Murad Agha's Mosque

Murad Agha's Mosque

May 11, 2019 - 17:18
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Murad Agha's Mosque is one of the most splendid pieces of Islamic architecture in Libya. It was built by Murad Agha, an Othmani Basha commander of the military campaign sent by Sultan Sulaiman in 1510, in response to the people of Tripoli's appeal against Spanish invaders. The Mosque stands on a raised platform in the middle of Tajoura, a suburb of Tripoli. The building includes a house prayer, which centers a large courtyard and a separate minaret. The current minaret is relatively modern, the original one collapsed in an earthquake in 1901. the minaret is square shaped as in Moroccan style. It was derived from the one built in Alqayrawan's Mosque. The prayer house is 33.00x38.50 m; which makes it form a rectangle shape. Creative architecture have made the outside walls thick from beneath and gradually decrease as they extend up high to create a spectacular corn vision. Carved wooden doors and arches, marble columns that hold up a splendid ceiling are all highly cherished by the visitors and art lovers. Murad Basha settled in Tajoura in preparation to free Tripoli from its occupiers. The huge mass of the building besides its schematics from the inside show that the building was first designed and constructed to be a military fort. Unlike other mosques, the wall that the people face while praying which points to Kiblah (direction of Mecca) is smaller than the other walls. The rooms that were distributed throughout the Kiblah wall are thought to be places for soldiers to rest or storage rooms for army supplies. Wall to wall flyovers locate the marble columns. The wooden doors above that open out at all directions meant to be lookouts for security guards. The well inside the prayer house is also unfamiliar to mosques architecture, historians indicate that the well was a main source of drinking water for soldiers residing the fort. These kind of buildings were positioned throughout the coastline in North Africa at that time to resist the Norman sea raids. When the war ended, the fortress was converted in to a mosque in 1552. After four decades, the Mosque still stands as a symbol of resistance. In 2011, at the same place in a different era, people marched from the Mosque in a rally, triggering the revolution in Tripoli and the entire west region, which led to the dismantling of the dictatorship military rule.