1000-year-old mosque discovered in UAE

Because of the presence of a mihrab (a niche in the wall of the mosque, at the point nearest to Makkah), experts identified the structure indeed was a mosque.

1000-year-old mosque discovered in UAE
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Image Courtesy: The National

ABU DHABI: Remains of mosque believed to date back to 1000 years has been uncovered by Archaeologists from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

The site of the mosque which dates back to Islam’s Early Golden Age of the Abbasid Caliphate is located close to the construction site of the Shaikh Khalifa mosque in Al Ain is the earliest mosque yet discovered in the UAE.

“The new findings at the Al Ain archaeological sites prove the richness of the region’s history, which allows us to expand our knowledge of ages long past,” Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, told The National on Saturday.

“The discovery of a mosque from the Abbasid period in Al Ain demonstrates the deeply-rooted influences of Islam in the region, despite the immense distance from where Islam first emerged and at a time when modes of transportation were quite rudimentary,” he added.

Experts discovered a mihrab (a niche in the wall of the mosque, at the point nearest to Makkah) which confirms the building indeed was a mosque.

Image Courtesy: The National

Other mudbrick buildings at the site are the remains of small fortress and several houses. Inhabitants obtained fresh water from several falajes or irrigation waterways constructed around the settlement.

The technology used to create falaj waterways has a deep history in Al Ain stretching back 3,000 years.

Experts said to have also found the fragments of pots, likely to be used for ablution (ceremonial washing) and other artefacts date from the 9th to the 10th Centuries CE inside the mosque.

The simple mosque indicates the popularity and importance of Islam in UAE.