One of the Marvels of the Islamic Culture Al Musharra’a Mosque [Archives:1999/43/Culture]

October 25 1999

Saleh Abdulbaqi
Cultural Editor
Yemen has been known in all ages for its deep-rooted civilization, its culture, its unique architecture, and Historical sites and monuments. Many of Yemen’s historical sites and monuments are not known because they are still buried under sand. An important site that was buried until discovered by accident is Al-Musharra’a Mosque.
Al-Musharra’a Mosque is an important Islamic monument that was built in Bait Al-Faqih. It was only discovered in the fifties of this century by a group of boys. While these boys were playing as usual at one at a dune of sand near Al-Houk quarter; to the east of the town, a boy noticed a tip of one of the domes of the mosque. At first, he thought that it was a white 
football buried in the sand. He went to pick it. When he found that he was dealing with a solid matter he called upon his colleagues to join him. They quickly found that it was an object of huge dimensions and reported the matter to the elders of the town. They also notified the people living nearly about the find.
The elders of the town arranged a campaign of volunteer work till the whole mosque was cleared. It took moths for the whole mosque to be brought out from under the sand dunes. It was identified by elder intellectuals to be Al-Musharra’a Mosque which was built during the Ayyobide era.
Al-Musharra’a Mosque has nine domes and contains 52 rooms. Some of the rooms were used for teaching religious sciences, while others were for accommodating the students. A room was for their teacher. I have found that the domes of this mosque were directed westwards at the time of construction, but I am not completely sure of that. There are some high trappings that I could photograph because of their height and the sand around them. Many parts of the mosque need restoration.
This beautiful mosque is only one of the thousands of monuments that make the glorious past of Yemen and are buried up to now. Yemen needs a sound and realistic program for the excavation of its glorious civilization from underneath the sands.