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Mosque Name: Harat Friday Mosque or the Blue Mosque

Country: Afghanistan

City: Harrat

Year of construction (AH): 596 AH

Year of construction (AD): 1200 AD

GPS: 34°20’34.93”N 62°11’44.07”E


Gibson Classification: Jerusalem

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


The Great Mosque of Harat is in the city of Herat, in the Herat Province of north-western Afghanistan. It was built by the Ghurids, under the rule of the Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad Ghori, who laid its foundation in 1200 CE. What makes this mosque unique, is that it’s Qibla seems to face Jerusalem or possibly Petra.

The Great mosque of Herat, the city’s first congregational mosque, was built on the site of two smaller Zoroastrian fire temples that were destroyed by earthquake and fire. A mosque was begun by the Ghurid ruler Ghiyas ad-Din Ghori in 1200 (597 AH), and, after his death, the building was continued by his brother and successor Muhammad of Ghor. This is confirmed both by an inscription on the eastern Ghurid portal uncovered in 1964 during a restoration, and by the sixteenth century Timurid historian Khwandamir in his Khulasat al-Akhbar.

No one knows way this mosque qibla was set closer to Petra or Jerusalem than to Mecca.

Harat Mosque Qibla  Black: Jerusalem, Red: Petra, Yellow: Between, Green: Mecca

Harat Mosque Qibla Black: Jerusalem, Red: Petra, Yellow: Between, Green: Mecca

Photo by Didier Tais -, 2011

Photo by Didier Tais -, 2011

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