El-Jazzar Mosque

The el-Jazzar Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الجزار, Masjid al-Jazzār; Hebrew: מסגד אל-ג'זאר, Misgad al-G'zar), also known as the White Mosque of Acre, is located on el-Jazzar Street inside the walls of the old city of Acre, overlooking the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and is named after the Ottoman Bosnian governor Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar.

El-Jazzar Mosque
מסגד אל-ג'זאר
Akko Mosque.jpg
LocationAcre, Northern, Israel
El-Jazzar Mosque is located in Northwest Israel
El-Jazzar Mosque
Shown within Northwest Israel
Geographic coordinates32°55′21.74″N 35°4′13.13″E / 32.9227056°N 35.0703139°E / 32.9227056; 35.0703139Coordinates: 32°55′21.74″N 35°4′13.13″E / 32.9227056°N 35.0703139°E / 32.9227056; 35.0703139
FounderJazzar Pasha


Mosque of "El Jaazar" Pasha against Haifa bay, Acre. March 1959

The el-Jazzar Mosque was the project of its namesake, Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar, the Acre-based governor of the Sidon and Damascus provinces, who was famous for his impressive public works and defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Siege of Acre in 1799. El-Jazzar ordered the mosque's construction in 1781 and had it completed within the year.[1] Despite lacking architectural training, el-Jazzar was the architect of the mosque,[2][3] drawing up its plans and design,[2] and supervising its entire construction.[3][2] In addition to the mosque itself, the complex included an Islamic theological academy with student lodging, an Islamic court and a public library.[4][3] The mosque was built for religious purposes, but its grandiose size and additional functions were also intended by el-Jazzar to serve as a means of consolidating his political legitimacy as ruler of Ottoman Syria.[5] He modeled the mosque on the mosques of Istanbul, the Ottoman capital.[4][3]

The el-Jazzar Mosque was built over former Muslim and Christian prayer houses and other Crusader buildings, including military architecture.[1][4] Building materials for the mosque, particularly its marble and granite components, were taken from the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Atlit and medieval Acre.[4] El-Jazzar commissioned several Greek masons as the mosque's builders.[6] There is a tughra or monogram on a marble disc inside the gate, naming the ruling Sultan, his father, and bearing the legend "ever-victorious."[citation needed]

Adjacent to the mosque is a mausoleum and small graveyard containing the tombs of Jazzar Pasha and his adoptive son and successor, Sulayman Pasha, and their relatives.[7]


The mosque is an excellent example of Ottoman architecture, which incorporated both Byzantine and Persian styles. Some of its fine features include the green dome and minaret, a green-domed sabil next to its steps (a kiosk, built by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, for dispensing chilled drinking water and beverages) and a large courtyard.[7]

The mosque, which dominates Acre's skyline, was originally named Masjid al-Anwar (the "Great Mosque of Lights") and is also known as the White Mosque because of its once silvery-white dome that glittered at a great distance. The dome is now painted green.[1] The minaret has a winding staircase of 124 steps.[8]

It is the largest mosque in modern-day Israel outside of Jerusalem.[citation needed]

Historian Nur Masalha describes the Mosque as notable for its "mixture of styles, Ottoman Byzantine, Palestinian, and Persian, incorporating and recycling the extraordinarily rich martial and cultural heritage of Palestine."[4]

Sha'r an-NabiEdit

The mosque houses the Sha'r an-Nabi, a hair (or lock of hair) from the beard of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sha'r an-Nabi used to be paraded through Acre on Eid al-Fitr, ending the fast of Ramadan, but is now only shown to the congregation.[8] The relic is kept inside the mosque in a glass cabinet placed at the women's upper floor gallery.[9][10]



  1. ^ a b c Archnet Archived 5 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Jazzar Mosque.
  2. ^ a b c Philipp 2001, p. 58.
  3. ^ a b c d Sharon 1997, p. 47.
  4. ^ a b c d e Masalha, Nur (2018). Palestine : a four thousand year history. London. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1-78699-272-7. OCLC 1046449706.
  5. ^ Philipp 2001, p. 59.
  6. ^ Sharon 1997, p. 50.
  7. ^ a b Mosque of Ahmed Jezzar Pasha Ullian, Robert. Wiley Publishing
  8. ^ a b Elian J. Finbert (1956) Israel Hachette, p 177
  9. ^ "News Brief". 22 May 1981.
  10. ^ "Al-Jazzar Mosque Review – Haifa and the Northern Coast Israel – Sights | Fodor's Travel".