Mosque of Rusafa

 Year AH

Year AD




Original Qibla

Rebuilt facing Mecca





Mosque of Rusafa



near 33°19'54?N 44°24'55?E

The name Rusafa is used for several places in the Islamic world from Cordova in the west to Nishapur in the east. Today al-Rusafa is the name of a quarter of the city of Baghdad which was founded soon after the caliph al-Mansur built his Round City. The quarter of al-Rusafa (whose name refers to the paved, embanked causeway across the swampy ground enclosed by the bend of the Tigris within which the quarter was laid out) was, according to the historical accounts was built by al-Mansur on the eastern banks of the river, opposite the palace of al-Khuld and the Round City.

The building of al- Rusafa took seven years, and was not completed till 159/776, by which time al-Mahdi had (in 159/775) succeeded to the throne. The new quarter was connected to the western side of Baghdad by a bridge of boats whose obvious strategic importance was such that each end was guarded by a police post. The foundation of al- Rusafa was the starting-point for the expansion of Baghdad’s suburbs on the eastern bank. Along with the palace a large congregational mosque was constructed in the Rusafa district. There are several references also of the Suwayqat Nasr which was adjacent to the Rusafa Mosque and was home to several scholars as well as being a place where traditions were exchanged. The original mosque is no longer in existence.

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