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Mosque Name: Gaza Great Mosque (Congregational)

Country: Palestine

City: Gaza

Year of construction (AH): 14

Year of construction (AD): 635

GPS: 31.504283 34.464567

Gibson Classification: Petra

Rebuilt facing Mecca: 13th century? or Ottomans later


There are three mihrabs in this mosque. See the mosque plan at the bottom of this page.

The Byzantine church was transformed into a mosque in the 7th century by Omar ibn al-Khattab’s generals,in the early years of Rashidun rule. The mosque is still alternatively named “al-Omari”, in honour of Omar ibn al-Khattab who was caliph during the Muslim conquest of Palestine. In 985, during Abbasid rule, Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi wrote that the Great Mosque was a “beautiful mosque.” On 5 December 1033, an earthquake caused the pinnacle of the mosque’s minaret to collapse.

In 1149, the Crusaders built a large church (Church of St John) , of which the main wall survive, but much was destroyed by the Ayyubids in 1187, and then rebuilt as a mosque by the Mamluks in the early 13th century. It was destroyed by the Mongols in 1260, then soon restored only for it to be destroyed by an earthquake at the end of the century. The Great Mosque was restored again by the Ottomans roughly 300 years later. Severely damaged after British bombardment during World War I, the mosque was restored in 1925.

Inside are several mihrabs. One corresponds to Petra, One to Mecca, and two other Mihrabs correspond to the orientation of the church of St. John, but are not related to any Islamic qibla.

Floor Plan. The dark areas are crusader construction.

Floor Plan. The dark areas are crusader construction.

Plan is from Nasser Rabbat / Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT

GPS directions are: Petra: 144, Between 155, Mecca 153

So the mosque has a Qibla for Petra, and one that would serve both the Between and Mecca.

Inside the Gaza Congregational Mosque

Inside the Gaza Congregational Mosque

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