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Mosque Name: Abu Dulaf Mosque

Country: Iraq

City: Samarra

Year of construction (AH): 245 AH

Year of construction (AD): 859 AD

GPS: 34° 21’ 39.6000” 43° 48’ 9.0000”


Original Qibla: Mecca


Between 859 and 861, al-Mutawakkil relocated the Abbasid caliphate temporarily from Samarra to a new settlement that he named Ja’fariya, also known as al-Mutawakkil. The Mosque of Abu Dulaf became the new main congregational mosque much like the Great Mosque in Samarra. The walls of the mosque barely remain visible. While this mosque does not face Mecca as the Great Mosque of Samarra. Perhaps the architect of the Samarra mosque was no longer alive to orient the Abu Dulaf Mosque. This mosque had a mihrab and a square minaret.

The Mecca Qibla is illustrated above, demonstrating that the mosque faces too far east.

The Mecca Qibla is illustrated above, demonstrating that the mosque faces too far east.


Leisten, Thomas, 2003. Excavation of Samarra, vol. I: Architecture. Final Report of the First Campaign 1910-1912, Baghdader Forschungen 20, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 58-67.

Herzfeld, Ernst, 1912. Erster Vorläufiger Bericht über die Ausgrabungen von Samarra, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.

Al-Janabi, Tariq, 1983. “Islamic Archaeology in Iraq: Recent Excavations at Samarra”, World Archaeology 14(3): 305-327.

Francis, Bashīr, and Ali, Maḥmūd, 1947. “Abi Dulaf Mosque at Samarra”, Sumer 3(1): 60-76 (in Arabic).

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