Mosque Name: Qasr al-Kharanah

Country: Jordan

City: Desert Castle

Year of construction (AH): 92 AH

Year of construction (AD): 710 AD

GPS: 31°43’44?N 36°27’46.06"E

Original Qibla: Between

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


Qasr Al-Kharana (or Haranah) was capable of monitoring travel on Wadi Daba‘a, which is an outlet from Wadi Sirhan via Wadi Ghadaf. It is also in the line-of-sight of communication with Muwaqqar to the east, and Qusayr Amra‘s watchtower to the northeast. It was incorporated into a network of desert palaces designed by the Marwanid Umayyads (685-750AD), and was used during their reign, as attested to by a very early Kufic inscription found within the palace in one of the reception rooms, which refers to a local governor of Jund Al-Balqa, who served under Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.

The construction of the palace has been linked to Caliph Al-Walid (711AD). A painted inscription in one of upstairs rooms is dated to 710 AD and names a certain Abdul Malik bin Omar, thought to be a member of the entourage of Walid I in 710 AD. The inscription on Umayyad pottery also ensure that Kharana’s main period of occupation was during the Umayyad period. It might be the result of two distinct building phases; possibly late 7th century (661-684) and around 710. The entire structure has a Qibla direction 3.01° from the between position.

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