In the bustling city of Amman, Jordan, religion plays a pivotal role in its cultural and historical fabric. With Islam as the predominant religion, the city boasts a rich tapestry of mosques, each bearing its unique historical significance.
From the ancient ruins of Kom Yajouz to the revered Al-Husseini Mosque and the stunning Abu Darwish Mosque, Amman’s mosques offer a glimpse into its diverse religious heritage. The Al-Hussein College Mosque, Abu Qawra Mosque, and Al-Fayhaa Mosque stand as testaments to architectural marvels, while the iconic King Abdullah I Mosque, a modern masterpiece, graces the city’s skyline.
Exploring these historical mosques not only unveils their architectural splendor but also unravels the cultural and religious narratives that have shaped Amman’s identity over the centuries. If you want to learn about more historical places to visit in Amman, we have another article for you.
Kom Yajouz, or Abdullah Pasha al-Dawud Mosque, is an ancient mosque nestled in Shafa Badran, north of Jordan’s capital, Amman. Its roots trace back to the late Ottoman era, attributed to a local sheikh, Abdullah Pasha al-Dawud.
The architectural layout adopts a broad rectangular shape, sporting a sole entrance on the northern side. The mihrab sits on the southern facade, not in line with the entrance but slightly westward, flanked by two windows.
Internally, its approximate dimensions span about 20 meters in length and 5 meters in width. Two distinct construction phases are discernible: the first, a preserved layer evident on the mosque’s exterior in the northern and eastern facades; the second, the structure itself composed of three barrel-vaulted arches, constituting the building’s roof.
Constructed from reused limestone, the southern facade incorporates thinner stones in its upper part, presumed to be remnants of the initial phase’s roof structure. The original building was smaller on its eastern and western sides, expanded during the late Ottoman period.
A modern inscription at the entrance denotes the mosque’s ownership linked to the region’s sheikh, Abdullah Pasha al-Dawud.
The Al-Husseini Mosque, founded in 1923 by Prince Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein, is one of Amman’s oldest mosques. It measures 58.5 meters in length and 12.5 meters in width, featuring a front porch, two side porches, and a central courtyard. Two minarets rise to heights of 70 and 35 meters on its sides.
Situated in downtown Amman along King Talal Street, the mosque showcases an expansive courtyard adorned with intricate Islamic inscriptions. It was constructed atop the ruins of the ancient Umayyad Mosque, with historical significance as Amman’s initial urban project.
Historical geographers detailed the layout of the prior Umayyad Mosque, highlighting its courtyard, roofed spaces supported by columns, and prayer hall oriented towards the qibla wall. The mosque featured meticulously crafted stones and adorned facades with colorful mosaic cubes.
Over time, the Al-Husseini Mosque underwent renovations, initially utilizing a cement mixture for the dome later replaced by a wooden one. Expansion efforts in the 1940s introduced a central fountain and a western minaret rising two floors with a stone dome. Significant restoration occurred in 1986 and 1987, emphasizing the mosque’s preservation.
Abu Darwish Mosque
The Abu Darwish Mosque, an iconic landmark of Amman, stands out for its Damascene architectural style, employing black and white stones in its construction.
Built in 1961 by Mustafa Hassan Sharkas, known as Abu Darwish, it crowns the Ashrafiyeh area of East Amman, visible from across the city. Abu Darwish, buried within its grounds, initiated the construction and dedicated the land for the mosque’s establishment.
Covering around 2,500 square meters, funded and designed by Abu Darwish, the mosque’s construction involved local calligraphers and Palestinian workers from a nearby West Bank village.
Previously, the Ashrafiyeh area was largely uninhabited, with only a hospital located on the mount. Abu Darwish’s compassion extended to creating lounging rooms for women visiting the hospital.
While non-Muslims generally can’t enter, some tourists have been granted access to tour the mosque, especially outside prayer times. However, communication inside is primarily in Arabic, necessitating an English-speaking guide. Visitors must dress conservatively, adhering to mosque etiquette.
The mosque’s exterior, with its striking black and white design, captivates from a distance, offering a breathtaking view of Amman, but reaching the mosque involves a steep hike.
Al-Hussein College Mosque
The Al-Hussein College Mosque, an ancient mosque in Amman, Jordan, derives its name from the adjacent Al-Hussein Secondary College, established in 1949. Situated on Khalid ibn Al-Waleed Street within Mount Hussein, it was founded during the reign of King Hussein bin Talal in 1971.
Initially covering 130 square meters, the mosque underwent expansion in 1981, enlarging it to 350 square meters under the leadership of the late Imam Bashir Al-Kilani. It serves as a center of worship and attracts students and educators from neighboring schools and universities, like the Al-Hussein Secondary College and Amman University College, established in 1951.
The mosque’s elevated location offers a view of its minaret from various landmarks such as Mount Jofeh, Mount Citadel, and Mount Lweibdeh. Comprising three sections, the main area accommodates 130 worshippers for daily prayers, Friday sermons, and Quranic learning sessions. It houses a stone-built mihrab inscribed with “And the mosques are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone.”
The second section, known as the Quranic House, established in 2004 by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Haj Eid, spans 60 square meters, accommodating 60 worshippers. It hosts Ramadan iftars and Quranic learning circles.
The third, the outdoor section, extends across 150 square meters, accommodating 160 worshippers during Friday prayers.
The mosque also boasts a library on its second floor, covering 150 square meters, hosting valuable religious texts and occasional religious seminars and lectures. Its towering minaret, standing 30 meters high, offers panoramic views of Amman’s landmarks from its spiral staircase ascent.
Abu Qawra Mosque
The Hajj Saleh Abu Qawra Mosque, also known as the Abu Qawra Mosque, stands as one of Jordan’s grandest private mosques. Built by the children of Hajj Saleh Abu Qawra, this impressive structure is located in West Amman, at the intersection of Queen Rania Al Abdullah Street and Abdul Latif Abu Qawra Street, adjacent to the Al-Rai newspaper building.
Featuring a spacious prayer hall spread across two floors, the mosque includes a dedicated area for women on the upper level. It boasts a school, a large Quran memorization center, a university library, and a Zakat committee.
The mosque serves as a primary destination for many Amman residents during Friday prayers, Ramadan’s night prayers, and educational sessions. It remains a pivotal spiritual and educational hub, drawing worshippers and learners seeking guidance and enlightenment in Amman.
The Al-Fayhaa Mosque, situated in Amman, Jordan, within the Abdali area, boasts a traditional Syrian architectural style.
This mosque serves as a hub for various activities, including commemorating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and organizing charitable and social initiatives. It’s under the jurisdiction of the Al-Fayhaa Association, catering to Jordanians of Syrian descent.
Praised for its cleanliness and splendid mosaic decor, this mosque features a ground-floor hall for gatherings and celebrations. Visitors remark its spaciousness, intricate Syrian-inspired designs, and meticulous attention to cleanliness and aesthetics, creating a peaceful and serene ambiance for worshippers.
The Al-Fayhaa Mosque stands as a significant spiritual and communal center for worship and various social events, providing ample space for men’s and women’s prayers and offering a vast parking area. With its striking architectural features and strong ties to Syrian cultural heritage, it remains a cornerstone in the Shmeisani area of Jordan.
King Abdullah I Mosque
The King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, is a striking architectural gem situated in the Abdali district near downtown. Constructed in the late 20th century to accommodate 3,000 worshippers, it commemorates King Abdullah I. It’s part of the Abdali project aiming to make Abdali the heart of the new capital.
King Hussein bin Talal laid the mosque’s cornerstone in 1982, with completion in 1986 of essential facilities like the courtyard, dome, library, Quranic center, royal chamber, first minaret, and living quarters. The second phase, finished in 1989, focused on the main chandelier, mosque lighting, conference hall, and additional minaret and dome.
The mosque’s features include an octagonal prayer area without columns, adorned with impressive calligraphy and stunning motifs, alongside a pulpit and modern amenities like air conditioning.
The mosque includes spaces for women, a royal chamber, a conference hall, a library, a Quranic teaching center, administrative offices, an Islamic museum showcasing King Abdullah I’s belongings, artifacts, Islamic heritage sites in Jordan, and a cafeteria.
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