Al-Ganad Mosque:  A Milestone of Magnificence for Muslims [Archives:1999/35/Last Page]

August 30 1999

Taiz -also known as “Al-Halemah”- is one of the most beautiful cities in Yemen. It is distinguished for its polite people and location. It has a splendid beauty that lures and charms lots of people who find it irresistible. It is also a historical town where there are lots of ancient antiques that show the great civilization of the Yemeni people. One of the most well known and beautiful antiques is Al-Ganad Mosque. It is the first mosque in Yemen. It was established by Moaad Ben Gabal sent by the Prophet Mohammed to Yemen.
Emad Al-Saqqaf, Taiz Bureau chief as well as Farook Al-Kamali paid a visit to this historical landmark on one of the most lovely days in Taiz. Upon our arrival, we could see a large group of tourists going around wondering at the magnificent beauty of this mosque. They were completely amazed of everything in the mosque especially the sculptures and the minarets. We ourselves did not believe ourselves because we could feel the allure of the Islamic civilization preseent again. Then we met with the Imam of the mosque who opened the interior doors of the mosque. As we entered a shiver, went through our bodies. 
We saw the Mehrab “prayer niche” of the honorable Moaad Ben Gabal. There is also another Mehrab built by Al-Aioboon. It is located in the middle of the mosque. Historians say that there is a verse of Holy Qura’an written in a perfect way. It can hardly be read out, in the above curved line which appears as a decoration. The name of the person who built this Mehrab was written on the right of it, quoting ” The building of this Mehrab was done by Abdullah Ben Abi Al-Fotooh and it was over in Ragab 618.” Prayers on the prophet Mohammed were engraved on the left side of it. It is worth mentioning to say that this prayer niche was decorated by gibes in 612\ 1215 which is located in the middle of the wall in the east. However, the small prayer niche in the east of the platform is the original one that remains from the mosque of Moaad Ben Gabal. Inside the mosque, you can see the Islamic vividty with all its sanctity.
My Goodness! How great our ancestors are! It is actually beyond description. When you get in, you feel the glory of the Islamic religion and the ingenuity of its advocates. You can see all these engraves and decorations alive until now. There are also some writings on the prayer niche and the platform go back to different ages. They embody prayers as well as news about writing. However, most of them have been changed of their original place except for those engraved in the south wall. In regards the place of ablution ,which consists of different small rooms with small dooms lined one next to the other, is in the south east.
There is a board on the east wall in which a sentence was written to show that the building of the mosque was done by the order of the king. In the north room opposite to the east wall, the rest of the sentence was written to indicate that the king was the well-mannered, dear, glorified and highly respected. In the right room, it was written that he was the leader of the nation and its establisher. In the north room, it was written that he was the unified king the defeator of rebellions. In the right room, it was written that he was the destroyer of the unbelievers and the king of all Arabs, Ben Ayoob 20 Gomad Alawal 75. In the room of the mosque, it is written in a board in 1393 that the west half of the mosque was rehabulated by the king Faisal. It is worth mentioning to say that during the reign of the king Arwa, the Al-Salihioon changed the water path from mountains. 

There are still some signs of this irrigation canal. It is also said that the king Arwa dugged out 11 wells as well as vaults and made something like vaults for 300m. This went on until a robust flood destroyed everything. Then, Hossain Ben Ismaeil, the ruler of Ibb came and changed this irrigation canal. The Imam of mosque also told us about the role of the samaritans to repair the mosque from time to time. He said the following: “After the irrigation canal was stopped, Mr. Al-Hashdi the owner of The Red Sea for Cleaning connected water to the mosque. The late, Hail Saeed Anaam repaired the doors, tank and pathrooms. He also established a school for teaching Qura’an. The carpets and the Holy Qura’an of the mosque are the responsibility of the immigrants. In 1989, The Ministry of Religious and Endowments repaired the pillars and added some of the marble stones to them in the campus of the mosque. The repairs made at the expense the King Faisal in 1970 were actually great changes which embrace all the sides of the mosque. The mosque, however, needs a lot of support to protect this mosque because it had been not only a place for praying but also a school that had graduated many great scholars who did a lot to spread Islam in different parts of the world. Therefore, this mosque should be given special care and attention to be the center of illumination as it used to be in the past. On our way back home, we still saw many tourists coming to see and visit this mosque. To sum it up, paying a visit to this mosque wil solicit a never ending sense of awe and admiration. Therefore, we wish that it would be given its due.