Mosque Name: Barwada Mosque

Country: India

City: Gujarat

Year of construction (AD): 700-800 CE

GPS: 21.692053 72.270851

Original Qibla: Between

Rebuilt facing Mecca: Never

Description:

An article in The Times of India (6 Nov 2016) proclaimed that the ancient Barwada Mosque was the oldest mosque in India. This report has been picked up by other news services, and even Wikipedia suggests that it is the oldest mosque in India, placing the date as early as 610 to 623 CE. This date is not based on anything found at the mosque site, nor even a mention in ancient manuscripts. Rather, the date was arrived at, by assuming that the Qibla direction was Jerusalem, and thus The Times of India calculated that the mosque had to be built during the short time-period when it was believed Muslims faced Jerusalem, before the Qibla was changed to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

However, upon careful examination, it appears that this mosque faces 286 degrees, which is closest to the Between Qibla. It does not face Jerusalem. Please use the Qibla Tool to see the exact measurements.

Now that a world-wide Qibla Survey has been carried out, it becomes clear that this is not a good method for dating any mosque, as mosques that face towards Petra were built over a period of more than a hundred and sixty years. Therefore Dan Gibson assigns a date of 600-699 CE tot his mosque. So this is still an early mosque, but at this point in time the mosque cannot be dated more accurately.

The old Barwada Mosque is not a heritage site, so no funds have gone towards its preservation.

The old Barwada Mosque is not a heritage site, so no funds have gone towards its preservation.

Notice the India styled domes on the roof.

Notice the India styled domes on the roof.

An inscription above the mihrab.

An inscription above the mihrab.

The mihrab is at the back of the centre wall marking the Qibla to Petra.

The mihrab is at the back of the centre wall marking the Qibla to Petra.

The mihrab niche dates this mosque construction to after 708 CE or 89 AH.

The mihrab niche dates this mosque construction to after 708 CE or 89 AH.

The old Barwada Mosque

The old Barwada Mosque

A closer image of the Mihrab

A closer image of the Mihrab

A corner of the mosque. Notice that it once had ornate carvings.

A corner of the mosque. Notice that it once had ornate carvings.

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