Mosque Name: Mosque of Sidi ‘Ukba

Country: Algeria

City: Biska

Year of construction (AH): 67 AH

Year of construction (AD): 686 AD

GPS: 34°44’57.81”N 5°53’50.99”E

Original Qibla: Parallel

Rebuilt facing Mecca: 416 AH & 1214 AH


The original buildings date to 67 AH (686 CE).* The Sidi ‘Uqba mosque was built beside ‘Uqba ibn Nafi’s tomb. The tomb itself has no qibla or mihrab. There are a number of inscriptions in the mosque. For instance while the construction of the tomb is given as 67/686 according to an inscription on the tomb, there are some epitaphs dating a reconstruction to 416 AH (1025 CE).

** Another inscription on a wooden plank on a wall carries a date of 1215 AH (1800); similarly the mosque’s mihrab is dated to 1214 AH (1789). Since there have been two reconstructions, and one of them specifically dealing with the Qibla, we cannot 100% confirm the direction of the woriginal qibla. But the imam at the mosque assured us that the qibla direction was not changed during renovations.

* Ali Lafer “Sidi ‘Uqba (mosque, minaret and tomb)” in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2016;isl;dz;mon01;15;en

** According to Captain H. Simon in his “Notes sur le mausolée de Sidi Okba” (Revue Africaine, 1909, pl. III), these dates refer to expansions.



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