The oldest mosque in the country
Al Badiyah Mosque, located in the Badiyah region of Fujairah, is the oldest mosque in the UAE.
No one knows exactly when the squarish mosque was built. The archaeological centre of Fujairah in co-operation with the University of Sydney in Australia worked on the site in 1997-98, and some studies have estimated that the masjid was built in 640AD. Others indicate the building may have been built as long ago as 1446BC, meaning it had other uses before it became a Muslim house of worship.
Although it has undergone some renovations over the years, the building's basic, age-old characteristics remain. The mosque has an area of only 53 square metres, making it small. It was built from materials available in the area, including stones of different sizes and terracotta-coloured mud. Distinguishing the mosque are 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.
Daily prayers continue to be said in the mosque, which is one of the main tourist attractions in Fujairah.
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Updated: December 4, 2010 04:00 AM