Al Bidyah Mosque

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Tags : Mosque

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : Free

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Al-Bidyah Mosque, Fujairah Overview

Also known as the Ottoman Mosque, Al-Badiyah Mosque is the oldest mosque in U.A.E, named after the town that once surrounded the holy place. There are several other archaeological sites surrounding the mosque. These sites including the mosque are named as "Al Badiyah Archaeological Mosque" due to their extreme proximity to each other. The site includes four watchtowers, stone walls and foundations of old perished buildings and quite a few stones with petroglyphs and carvings.

Built in 1446 AD, Al-Bidyah Mosque is a simple mud and brick structure exhibiting the accomplishment of the craftsmanship of that time and region. The mosque features four pointed domes and a single internal pillar supporting it. The prayer hall of the mosque is adorned with arches and aeration openings along with a mihrab (prayer niche pointing to Mecca). A red carpet with white polka dots and books in the wall shelves adds charm to the hall.

Nestled along the coastal road on a low hillside, non-Muslims are allowed to look inside the mosque but must be appropriately dressed. They must take off their shoes and women must cover their hair. One can also witness a huge graveyard near the mosque with a vast tomb going back to the Iron Age. Several artefacts, pottery pieces and arrowheads excavated prove to be dating back to at least 1000 BC.

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History of Al-Badiyah Mosque

The mosque is held in great significance because it's the oldest mosque in the UAE which is still functioning uninterruptedly to this day. The mosque is believed to have been built during the mid-fifteenth century A.D and has been serving the faithful of Fujairah ever since. No one knows who constructed the mosque. No books or historical studies are available on the history of the mosque.

The assumption of how old the mosque was made by Australian archaeologists who carbon-dated a few samples from the mosque. The only other evidence for the age of the mosque are the towers of a Portuguese fort, situated just behind the mosque.

Architecture of the Al-Badiyah Mosque

The mosque is a very small building with four domes centrally supported by one-pillar. It can accommodate no more than 20 people at a given time. The four domes are unequal in size, and this distinguishes it from other old and modern mosques. Despite being square-shaped, the mosque still appears irregular.

The minbar is again square-shaped which encases three doorsteps with stairs. The mosque is only 1.5 metres high. The mosque is located in a wide rectangular yard of solid stone built using a mixture of mud and hay. The interiors of the mosque are decorated with intricate carvings, and the floor is carpeted with white polka dots on a red background. The walls have tiny holes allowing light and air to enter and also have encasements in certain parts to allow the placement of lamps.

Tips For Visiting Al-Bidyah Mosque

  • There's a small trek pathway behind the mosque towards the fort. It can sometimes turn out to be quite an interesting experience.
  • Anyone who wishes to visit the mosque is provided with free clothes for loan by the officials, so feel free to come wearing whatever you want.

How To Reach Al Bidyah Mosque

The mosque can be easily reached from the Fujairah city on the road leading to Oman (the E99). The mosque is situated just 20 minutes away from Fujairah city, 8 km north of Khorfakkan. The mosque is situated on the side of the highway.

Most tourists stop here on the way to other destinations. The only transport option available will be taking a cab or an uber. However, some tour operators do include the mosque as part of their package. Most hotels in the city may be able to provide transport with a guide to the mosque.

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