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Ancient Mud Mosques

Ancient mud mosques in the Muslim world are spectacular & sustainable. They keep us cool in summer & warm in winter, & withstand extreme weather. In search of more sustainable buildings, architects are returning to this overlooked construction material.

Larabanga Mosque, Ghana, early 1400s

Founded by one of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Companions, Ibrahim Ayuba al-Ansari, who was sent there from al-Madinah. Built in the Sudanese architectural style, it is the oldest in the country & one of the oldest in West Africa.

Khatmiyah Mosque, Kassala, Sudan, 18th century

At the base of the Taka Mountains is this spectacular mosque, centre of the Khatmiyah Sufi sect. It's a lovely mudbrick building with a pointed octagonal minaret and a photogenic arcade of columns in the main prayer hall.

Al Bidya Mosque, UAE

The mosque's date of construction is uncertain & because the mud & stone built structure uses no wood, radiocarbon dating is not possible. It is estimated to date to the 15th century, however earlier estimates have been proposed. It is still in use today.

Djinguereber Mosque, Timbuktu, Mali, 1327

A famous learning center of Mali, cited as Djingareyber or Djingarey Ber in various languages. Its design is accredited to Abu Ishaq Al Saheli who was paid 200 kg (40,000 mithqals) of gold by Musa I of Mali emperor of the Mali Empire.

Minaret of Al-Muhdhar Mosque, Tarim, Yemen

Al-Muhdhar Mosque has the tallest minaret in Yemen. Gleaming white, it towers 150 feet high and entirely made of mud.

Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, built 13th c. current structure 1907

World’s largest mud-brick building & finest example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture; characterised by its adobe plastering & wooden scaffolding. The walls are reconstructed with mud each April in a 1 day event.

Mosque of the Seven Sleepers, Chenini, Tataouine, Tunisia

Where the sleepers are allegedly buried: in the surroundings of the masjid some uncommonly large tombs (about 4 meters long) are visible.

The Great Mud Mosque of Benin, in the region of Sahel, northern Burkina Faso

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