07 December 2010

Abu Darwish Mosque

The Mosque of Abu Darwish was built in Jebel al-Ashrafiyeh, one of Amman’s seven hills in 1961 with a total area of 2,500 square meters, consisting of six domes and a 36 meter tall minaret. The alternate rows of black and white stone shows a Levantine influence. More than 7,000 worshippers can be accomodated in the mosque. A small Islamic museum is housed inside.

The mosque was funded by Abu Darwish (Mustafa Hassan), who owned the land and financed the building. Hassan was born in Caucasus and embraced Syrian architecture. Palestinian workers from Ein Karem,  a village in West Bank near Jerusalem built the mosque.

Before the mosque was erected the Ashrafiyeh area was sparsely populated. Al Bashir Hospital, known then as Ashrafiyeh Hospital was located there. Abu Darwish noticed that women who came to look in on their sick relatives had no place to rest. To help them he built two rooms on his property that the ladies could use as a lounge. Later, he built two more rooms and rented them to the Ministry of Education for a school.

Abu Darwish drew the mosque’s design and a local calligrapher did the inscriptions and paintings. The stones were brought in from Syria. Additional money was needed to finish the minaret so he sold a piece of land in Mafraq and borrowed money from friends to finish his project.

There are two halls in the mosque. One accommodates up to 2,000 worshipers and the other 400. There is also a library of more than 3,000 books and a small school for teaching Holy Qur'an.

The idea of unifying the azaan, or call to prayer, was born at Abu Darwish Mosque. The first muezzin to perform the unified azaan was Abu Asfour. It was broadcast to the 42 mosques in the city and heard over all of Amman.

Enjoy the pictures!

1 comment:

Teresa Williams said...

These pictures are remarkable!