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Mosque Name: Imam Shafi ‘i’ Mosque

Country: Saudi Arabia

City: Jeddah

Year of construction (AH): 649 AH

Year of construction (AD): 1251 AD

GPS: 21°29’10.42”N 39°11’14.89”E

Gibson Classification: unknown

Rebuilt facing Mecca: 1251 AD


Some locals say this mosque, known as Jamia’ al-‘Atiq is the oldest surviving mosque in Jeddah and that it dates from the 2nd caliph ‘Umar. However, the town did not exist at that time. The Periplous of the Erythraean Sea (1st century) describes the area as being inhabited by pirates, and indeed records show that in 703 AD Jeddah was occupied by pirates from the Kingdom of Axum. The more accurate date of this mosque is set as 649 AH (1251 CE). The minaret is the oldest part of the mosque, and there may have been an older mosque before it on the same location. See GRD Kings, “The Historical Mosques of Saudi Arabia” page 38. Much of the old mosque reflect Ottoman styles. This mosque clearly does not date back to the time of the first caliphs.

The mosque as it stands today.

The mosque as it stands today.

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