Al-Hadi Mosque in Sa’ada City [Archives:2008/1194/Last Page]

September 29 2008
Photo from archived article: photos/1194/lastpage1_1
Photo from archived article: photos/1194/lastpage1_1
Located 242 km north of the capital, Sana'a, Sa'ada City rises 2261 meters above sea level, and was established on a plain known as Ka'a Al Sahn. First built as a trading point, Sa'ada spread out till it became a city. It came to the fore thanks to the attention it received from the Kings of Himiar, mainly because of its fertile soil and the crude iron that was discovered in its lands.

After the advent of Islam in Yemen, the city retained its great significance and flourished as a city of science, religion, culture, commerce and agriculture. Eventually, it became known as a city of Islamic monuments in Yemen as it contained several religious, civil and military buildings and movable rarities.

When Imam Hadi arrived in 897 A.D. to settle down in the city, he built a mosque and a house for himself outside the vicinity of the old city with an idea of making it the first stage of the construction of a new city that would develop and expand with time.

Today, the mosque is located at the southern east part of the city. It consists of an open nave in the middle surrounded by four porticos, the deepest of which is that of the kiblah. The mosque is accessible through thirteen doors and has two minarets, the bigger of which is placed in the nave. This minaret is considered the tallest minaret in Yemen as its 52 meters high. The second minaret is smaller and is located at the southern courtyard.

The Al Hadi Mosque has great religious status, in addition to its fabulous religious and artistic Islamic architecture. It contains several architectural elements that give the viewer an impression of the disparity of the artistic and architectural style that were carried out on the mosque in different eras.

The Al Hadi Mosque is considered the third mosque in Yemen to have a minaret – the first is the Farwa bin Maseek Mosque and the second is the Grand Mosque in Sana'a. It is also the oldest mosque to have annexes for the devotees and expatriates, in addition to the fact that it is the only mosque with a two-level grade mihrab that tapers off as the building rises.

The mosque is also famed for its wooden pulpit which is considered the oldest pulpit with a recorded date of 922 A.D., in addition to eight other magnificent structures. These structures contain various types of Arab and Islamic decorations (arabesque). Furthermore, the mosque has a number of tombstones with inscriptions engraved in stone. These highlight the creativity of the Yemeni calligrapher, and his ability and skills that survived the different eras of the Islamic times.

Another extraordinary feature of the mosque is its walls, which have miscellaneous plans, as well as geometric and written decorations made out of gypsum. All the building materials used in the construction, were taken by architects from the area surrounding the mosque. In fact, no other mosque in Yemen has as many buildings and facilities as Al Hadi Mosque.

Source: Tourism ministry , Endowment ministry