Mosque Name: Um Jemal Later Castellum
City: Um Jemal
Year of construction (AH):
Year of construction (AD): 8th century
GPS: 32°19’29.56"N 32°19’29.56"N
Original Qibla: Petra
Rebuilt facing Mecca: never
Um el-Jemal is a very extensive rural settlement constructed of black basalt in the lava lands east of Mafraq, which flow down from Jebel Druze, a mountain 50 km to the northeast. It’s history back into the 2nd century but the Islamic era at Um el-Jemal began in 640 AD when the Rashidun Caliphs took control of the area. Much remodeling was done throughout the site so as to repurpose buildings to suit their own needs. The Praetorium and House XVIII are examples of buildings repurposed as dwelling places, while House # 53 and House X were possibly repurposed into a mosque. Despite all of this, the population decreased and the site was slowly abandoned with the help of an earthquake in circa 749 that destroyed many buildings and set much of the architecture off balance. The site was completely deserted under the Abbasid Caliphs in the ninth century.
What is facinating, is that the large building, known today as the Later Castellum has an orientation that is directly facing Petra.