White Mosque, Nazareth
The White Mosque (Arabic: المسجد الأبيض, Hebrew: המסגד הלבן HaMisgad HaLavan) is the oldest mosque in Nazareth, Israel and is located in Harat Alghama or the "Mosque Quarter" in the center of Nazareth's Old Market. Its exquisite pencil-shaped minaret, cream-coloured walls, green trim and green dome are just one example of the Ottoman architecture common throughout the city.
History and ownershipEdit
The construction of the mosque was funded by the Egyptian ruler Suleiman Pasha in the latter half of the eighteenth century, and overseen by the high commissioner of Nazareth, Sheikh Abdullah al-Fahoum. The mosque was completed between 1804 and 1808 and Sheikh Abdullah was granted trusteeship over it in the form of a waqf and administered it until the time of his death in 1815. The tomb of Sheikh Abdullah is in the mosque's courtyard.
After Sheikh Abdullah's death, the managing of the mosque's affairs were transferred to Sheikh Amin al-Fahoum. Presently, the mosque continues to form part of the al-Fahoum family waqf, which also includes the khan of the pasha on Casa Nova street. It is administered by one of Sheikh Abdullah's descendants, 'Atif al-Fahoum.
The mosque was named by Sheikh Abdullah to mark the end of the reign of the former Ottoman governor, Jezzar Pasha, predecessor to Suleiman Pasha. Sheikh Abdullah chose "white" to symbolize a new era of purity, light and peace to be enjoyed between the faiths in Nazareth.
On a regular day, between 100 and 200 persons attend the noon and afternoon prayer services, while the Friday sermon is attended by 2,000 to 3,000 people.
The mosque serves Nazareth's Muslim community by offering religious classes for young men and sponsoring the Muslim scout troop in which 400 boys and girls ages 9 and older participate. The mosque also houses a museum with exhibits that document Nazareth's history.
- Chad F. Emmett (1995). Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth. University of Chicago Press. pp. 136–138. ISBN 0-226-20711-0.
- "Nazareth: The Mosque Quarter". Discover Israel. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Galilee:Nazareth". ThinkIsrael.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-12-01.