24 of the most extraordinary & ancient mosques in Africa, each a reflection of the local building styles (1)


24 of the most extraordinary & ancient mosques in Africa, each a reflection of the local building styles (1)

From Senegal to Ghana, to Egypt to Somalia, Africa is known for its unique mosques – each an architectural masterpiece in their own right.

1. Bayt al-Fann,  The Mosque of the Companions, Massawa, Eritrea, early 7th century CE . This was the first mosque built in the continent of Africa.

2. Masjid al-Qiblatayn, Zeila, Somaliland, 7th century, built after the hijrah, the migration of the early followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to Abyssinia. Now mostly in ruins, it is one of the oldest mosques in Africa & contains the tomb of Sheikh Babu Dena.

3. Al Nejashi Mosque, Negash, Ethiopia, 7th century
Negash is synonymous with Islam as it is the place where the first Muslim settlement took place in the world. It houses the tombs of the companions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH & is dubbed by Ethiopian Muslims as the second Mecca

4. Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt, 970

One of the oldest and most important mosques in Egypt. It is considered a source for enlightenment. The cornerstone of Al-Azhar Mosque was laid on Ramadan 14, 359 AH – 970

5. Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, built 13th century, current structure 1907

World’s largest mud-brick building & finest example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture; characterised by its adobe plastering & wooden scaffolding. The walls are reconstructed with mud each April in a one day event.

Bayt Al Fann

6. The Fakr Ad-Din Mosque, Somalia, 13th century

Also known as Masjid Fakhr Ad-Din, the 2nd oldest mosque in Somalia after Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Somaliland). It is located in Hamar Weyne mogadishu, the oldest part of the city. It is believed to be the 7th oldest mosque in Africa.


7. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, 670

One of the oldest Muslim place of worship in Africa, over a millennia, founded in the year 670. Also known as the Uqba Mosque, it illustrates the mixed influences of pre-Islamic, Roman, and Byzantine architecture.


8. The Gobarau Minaret, Katsina, northern Nigeria, 14th century

Gobarau is one of the largest buildings in West Africa, with its construction believed to have been completed during the reign of King Sarkin Katsina Muhammadu Korau (1398-1408 AD) the first Muslim King of Katsina.