Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque in Fujairah – Neighbourhood places to visit in Dubai
Al Badiyah Mosque, sometimes written Al Bidyah or Al Bidya. It is the oldest known mosque in the United Arab Emirates located in Al Badiyah / a small village in Dibba, northern part of the emirate of Fujairah, UAE.
This mosque is also known as Ottoman Mosque (named after the person who had constructed it). Not to be confused with Ottoman Empire. It is not sure when the mosque was constructed and because the mud and stone built structure uses no wood, its exact date of construction is unknown as radiocarbon dating is not possible for structures like this. It is estimated to date to the 15th century, however some estimates place the building’s age a thousand years before the arrival of Islam in UAE. The site was investigated by the archaeological center of Fujairah in co-operation with the Australian, University of Sydney from 1997-98 and Fujairah Archaeology and Heritage Department came up with the conclusion that the mosque was believed to be built in 1446 AD, along with the two watch towers overlooking the mosque and the village.Some studies have estimated that the masjid was built in 640AD. Others indicate the building may have been built as long ago as 1446BC, meaning it had other uses before it became a Muslim house of worship.
The small, square structure has an area of 53 square metres (570 sq ft) and was built from materials available in the area, primarily stones of various sizes and mud bricks coated in many layers of whitewashed plaster. The roof has four squat, helical domes that are supported by only one centrally placed pillar that also forms the ceiling. Entrance to the mosque is through double-winged wooden doors.
The prayer hall has a small mihrab (the niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca), a simple pulpit, arches and openings. A central pillar divides the internal space into four squares of similar dimensions. The pillar supports all four domes that can be seen from the exterior.
Inside the prayer hall, a number of small decorative windows allow light and air to enter the mosque. There are also cube-shaped spaces carved into the thick walls where copies of the Quran and other books are stored.
Although it has undergone some renovations over the years, the building’s basic, age-old characteristics remain. It was built from materials available in the area, including stones of different sizes and terracotta-coloured mud. Distinguishing the mosque are four squat, helical domes that are supported by only one centrally placed pillar that also forms the ceiling.
Daily prayers continue to be said in the mosque, which is one of the main tourist attractions in Fujairah.
Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque in Fujairah Details:
Where is the location of Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque?
What are the opening hours of Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque?
9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Can Non-Muslims enter into Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque?
Non-Muslims are free to take a peek but must be appropriately dressed and take off their shoes. Women must also cover their hair. Free abeyyas (black robes for women) may be borrowed from the attendant.
How to reach Al Bidiyah Archeological Mosque from Dubai?
- Get on E11 from Financial Centre Road/D71
- Take Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd to Al Shohadaa Rd in Ras al Khaimah. Take the exit from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd
- Continue on Al Shohadaa Rd to Fujairah
- Continue on E 87. Drive to E 99 in Al Badiyah
How to contact them for more information?
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