Ancient Mosques

Since Harar was a center of Islamic teaching, it possesses old-aged mosques that express the Harari’s architectural style and civilization. Among evidences that make Harar center of Islam, its mosques are the foremost ones. Of the mosques in the Harari region, many are found inside the Jugal wall and, currently, there are 82 mosques found only inside the Jugal wall. The existence of these mosques in great number within a small area enables the followers of the religion to carry out religious tasks in their vicinity and to strengthen their religious and cultural practices.

In general, the distribution of mosques in Harar was intentional: to make one mosque available for every forty households and, except the Jami mosque, the other mosques were built according to the Harari architectural style and method; they are small in size and can accommodate forty households, have no minarets, their doors are of short height and anyone who enters into them should scoop and that is said to remind the believers that they should have reverence for the mosques. Among old-aged and historical mosques of Harar, the following are presented as examples:

Aw Meshad Mosque: Is located outside the Jugal wall, near to Asmadin Beri. This mosque is known for its being ancient and was built before 10th century. The mosque had been a place where Friday noon prayer took place before the great Jami mosque was built and it had been serving as a religious school. In addition, it is said that Sheik Abadir, who is the founder of Harar, had held different discussions in the mosque.

Jami Mosque: Is found on Emir street (Uga) that leads from Feres Megala to Argo Beri inside the Jugal wall, next to Jugal Hospital. When the great Jami mosque was built, first it had only a single minaret; the second minaret was added during the rule of Imam Ahmed in the 16th century. This mosque was expanded during the rule of the last Harari Emir - Emir Abdulahi. It has got its present appearance during the period of Italian occupation in 1930. Currently, it is the main spot that Friday noon prayer took place. Furthermore, it is a place where believers learn Quran Tafsir, recite Quran, perform zikri ritual and pray.

Din Agobera Mosque: Is sited on Emir Uga road that leads from Feres Megala to Argo Beri, a little farther from the Harari Cultural Museum. It is one of the ancient mosques inside the Jugal wall. Built in the traditional Harari architectural style, it is relatively the widest of all other mosques of it’s time. Its roof was constructed with a pile of timbers (Derbi Inchi) and it has a stand where the Imam leads prayers and four niches. In its current form, Din Agobera mosque is of a single minaret and, in olden days Friday noon prayer and religious teachings were performed in it.

Aw Mensur Mosque: Is located near Bedri Beri inside the Jugal wall. It is said that the mosque was built before the 10th century with typical Harari architecture, having a timber (Derbi) roof. This mosque has four “zawias” (abodes of servants of the mosque) in its yard, and it had been serving for Friday noon prayer.

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City of Hareri

In the last two and half decades of self-administration, Harari People’s Regional State has exerted every effort to maintain, develop and promote the culture, language and heritage of its people.

H.E. Ato Murad Abdulhadi  

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