Mosque Name: Humeima Abbas House
Year of construction (AH): 80 AD
Year of construction (AD): 699
GPS: 29°56’59.64"N 35°20’45.33"E
Original Qibla: Petra
Rebuilt facing Mecca: Never
J.P. Oleson of the University of Victoria excavated ancient Hawara or modern Humeima. The Abbasid qasr was identified in 1993. It is a rectangular structure (ca. 61 x 50 m) consisting of a large trapezoidal courtyard surrounded by rooms fronting the court, which also acted at the prayer area until later a small mosque (ca. 5.7 m sq.) was constructed outside the southwest corner. Ceramics and coins provide rich and precise documentation of the date, and the remains of frescoes and carved ivory furniture indicate a taste for luxury and wide commercial connections appropriate to this politically active family. The site was abandoned around 750 A.D.
The Umayyad Palace (qasr) at Humeima was built during the early Islamic era by Ali, a grandson of ’Abbas, a paternal uncle of the prophet Muhammad. The qasr would have either included a small prayer room or the central court would have been used for prayer, therefore the alignment of the entire building should have been according to the qibla. The building is oriented northeast. Mecca is not in this direction, nor is Jerusalem, but it does correspond with Petra, only 27 miles to the north. Later a smaller outside mosque was built with a qibla pointing closer to Mecca.