Author: MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS
Monday 19 December 2011
Take Al-Rahmah Mosque on the Corniche, which attracts a large number of visitors — even more so than historically important mosques. It’s only a little over a decade old and built in a blend of traditional and modern Arab styles.
The popular mosque used to be known as Fatimah Mosque, but its name was changed so visitors wouldn’t mistakenly believe it had a historical association with Bibi Fatimah, (may Allah be pleased with her), daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The mosque is lapped by the waves and the gentle breeze blowing from the Red Sea creates an atmosphere of aesthetic beauty merging with the spiritual dimension of the surroundings.
Some ancient mosques are located in the old districts of the city.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities is striving to uphold the mosques in all their architectural grandeur. The oldest mosque in the city is Al-Shafei Mosque.
It is situated in Harrat Al-Mazloum in Souk Al-Jameah. Its large four-sided shape with an open yard inside allows natural air and light to flow within all parts of the structure. Its minarets were built in the 13th century, but the original structure is older than that.
Another notable mosque in the same Harat Al-Mazloum is the Uthman Bin Affan Mosque, also known as Al-Abanous Mosque because of its two ebony pillars. The mosque was mentioned in the works of Ibn Batuta and Ibn Jubair.
Okash Mosque in the Qabel Street is another mosque is believed to have been built in the 13th century. The floors were elevated above street level and are accessible via several steps.
Bakr Pasha, the governor of Jeddah in 1735, built Al-Basha Mosque in Harat Al-Sham. It had an inclined minaret, which was an architectural feature of the city until 1978. The mosque was then demolished and a new one was built in its place.