Al Badiyah Mosque
History and museums
The Al Badiyah Mosque (Arabic: مسجد البدية, sometimes transliterated Al Bidyah or Al Bidya) is the oldest extant mosque in the United Arab Emirates. It is located in a small village in emirate Fujairah about 50 km north from region center. It is also known as Ottoman Mosque.۔
The mosque's date of construction is uncertain and because the mud and stone built structure uses no wood, radiocarbon dating is not possible. It is estimated to date to the 15th century, however some much earlier estimates have been proposed. The site was investigated by the archaeological center of Fujairah in co-operation with the 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.
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.
The mosque continues to host daily prayers and is a tourist attraction.