Al Bidyah Mosque, located in Fujairah, is one of the oldest mosques in the United Arab Emirates and is a significant part of the city’s history. The monument, which was built in the 15th century, is a glimpse into the advanced technology of its time and a repository of legends about ancient civilizations.
Visitors to Fujairah and those interested in the city’s past flock to the mosque due to its rich history, beautiful architecture, and convenient location.
If you look at a map of the area between Dibba and Khorfakkan, you’ll see that the Al Bidyah Mosque is perched on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. The Dibba neighborhood of Fujairah is home to the Bidya Mosque, also known as the Ottoman Mosque.
Islam was accepted by the region over 1,400 years ago. Therefore, Al Bidya isn’t the first mosque to be erected there, but many of the mosques built before were likely demolished due to their flimsier construction.
The oldest mosque in the UAE is the Al Bidiya Mosque (also known as the Al Badiyah Mosque), which was constructed in 1446. You can see it and the guard tower the Portuguese built on top of the rocky promontory by following the road down the shore, not far from the gorgeous hotels on the beach.
After being restored in March 2003, it is now in the care of an imam who allows visitors so long as they stay outside during prayer times. Women should cover their hair with a scarf (which they should carry) and not wear shorts or tank tops. Sure, you should remove your footwear as well. There are just a few copies of the Koran on display and a few prayer carpets on the floor inside.
History of Al Bidya Mosque
Fujairah’s Al Bidyah Mosque is one of the UAE’s oldest mosques and a possible candidate for UNESCO World Heritage sites. One of the fascinating things about Al Bidyah Mosque is that it continues to serve as a place of worship for residents and visitors alike centuries after it was initially constructed.
The history of the Al Bidyah Mosque is mostly unclear. It is unknown for certain who constructed the Ottoman mosque. However, it is thought that it bears the name of its architect. In contrast to popular belief, the name’s Ottoman reference is unrelated to the former Ottoman Empire.
Since there is no wood in the mosque’s construction, radiocarbon dating cannot be used to determine when it was erected. Its probable origin may be traced back to the 15th century. However, older dates have also been postulated.
The Fujairah Archaeology and Heritage Department, in conjunction with the University of Sydney, conducted excavations at the site in 1997 and 1998, and they determined that the mosque and the two towers that look out over the mosque and the village were likely constructed in 1446 AD.
The architectural design of Al Bidya Mosque
This building represents a significant moment in the cultural and architectural history of the area. The exterior of the historic Al-Bidyah Mosque was constructed using stones and burnt clay. The mosque’s four domes are held up by a central pillar. The innovative old-school engineering includes a mihrab and a tiny minbar (pulpit) with ventilation apertures.
The floor space of the Al Bidyah Mosque is around 53 square meters. The mosque and its immediate surroundings are frequently crowded with tourists because of its tiny size but historical significance and because it is one of the best places to visit in Fujairah. The mosque is placed on a slope, and there are two similarly antique watchtowers on the mountainside.
The Al Bidyah Mosque also features a prayer space enclosed by walls. Nearby is an old well that was likely used to supply the water for wudu (ablution) in the past. There is a sidr tree in the mosque’s courtyard that is reportedly as ancient as the building.
Upon entering the mosque, you will immediately recognize the main prayer hall for its use of traditional Islamic design features. The mosque is divided into four unequal portions by arches, the interior is illuminated by square windows, and the walls of the pillars that support the domes are decorated with muqarnas (ornamented vaultings).
Location of Al Bidya Mosque
The village of Al Bidya in Fujairah is home to the Al Bidya Mosque. Located on the shore, near the Gulf of Oman. Its inhabitants make a livelihood mostly from fishing and farming. The mosque, located just off a highway constructed after the federation was created in 1971, has brought the community to the attention of the UAE. The town was linked to the rest of the United Arab Emirates via a motorway.
Other significant archaeological discoveries have boosted the village’s profile. In addition to artifacts from the Hellenistic period (about 200 BC), a 30-meter burial from the year 2000 BC was discovered in the settlement.
Eleven Portuguese castles may be found on the northwestern Oman coast and the eastern UAE coast.
Final words about Al Bidya Mosque
One of the most notable landmarks in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, is the Al-Badiyah Mosque, commonly known as the Ottoman Mosque. It’s on the UNESCO World Heritage List because it’s one of the oldest mosques in the United Arab Emirates. Travelers can rent a car from the Fujairah airport and drive to the site. There is no cost to enter the venue.
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