Mosques of harar

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Insoll, T. The Mosques of Harar. An Archaeological and Historical Study. Journal of Islamic Archaeology 6: Timothy Insoll.

Harar, Ethiopia's holy Muslim city

Ahmed Zekaria. JIA 6. Insoll Exeter. This was redressed through excavation of six mosques in the city, the results of which are presented. These were identified from existing historical research as significant in the Islamization of Harar.

Consensus on either the date or processes of Islamiza- tion does not exist. The results of the exca- vations provide insights into the Islamization of Harar and supplement the limited historical sources.

The six radiocarbon dates obtained indicate a varied mosque chronology spanning the late 15th and early 20th centuries AD. Evidence indicative of the use of mosques for educational purposes, local practices such as animal sacrifice and child burial near the mihrab, and for exten- sive mosque rebuilding, alteration and remodelling was found.

Comparable mosques in Djibouti, Somaliland, and elsewhere in Ethiopia are considered. It is concluded that all the Harari mosques investigated post-date the late 15th century and that the city also dates from this era and was linked with the establishment of Harar as the capital of Adal.

Prior to this the Hararis, likely in the form of the legendary Harla, were elsewhere, possibly at Harlaa and other sites in the eastern Harar Plateau and Chercher Mountains. Potentially, the Harari are the descendants of the legendary Harla, the occupants of Harlaa and other sites in the region.

The historical city of Harar is contained within the djugel. This is a wall of m circumference, built of locally quarried calcareous tuff Hashi stone mortared with mud and wooden reinforcements Ahmed; Zekaria The location of Harar in Ethiopia drawn by N. In total, the old city encompasses an area of c. Harar was economically important as it connected the eastern highlands in which it is situated with the arid lowlands and Gulf of Aden Wilding The city was located on a trade route running east to the Red Sea ports of Zeyla and Berbera Insolland minted its own coinage, probably from the 16th century cf.

Zekaria Prior toarchaeological research in Harar had been minimal cf. Insollcomprising a single unpublished survey Tesfayewith emphasis instead placed upon Harari archi- tecture and material culture such as manuscripts e.

The results of these excavations were previously described in the Journal of Islamic Archaeology Insoll The locations of the mosques and other sites previously excavated in Harar drawn by N. Table 1. Mosques excavated in Harar.

mosques of harar

The mosques archaeologically inves- tigated were identified as significant in the Islamization of Harar from the historical research of Zekaria where they were recognized as the earliest in the city. Insoll in preparation; Insoll et al. The fieldwork constitutes the only archaeological excavation of mosques to date in the city and because of the sensitive nature of the sites is unlikely to be repeated. Insoll Not considered was the Islamization of Harar and consensus on this does not exist ZekariaThe city is located on a hilltop in the eastern extension of the Oromiaabout five hundred kilometers from the national capital Addis Ababa at an elevation of 1, meters.

Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency inHarar had an estimated total population ofof whom 60, were males and 62, were females.

For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africathe Arabian Peninsulaand, through its ports, the outside world. Because of Harar's long history of involvement during times of trade in the Arabian Peninsula, the Government of Ethiopia has made it a criminal offence to demolish of interfere with any historical sites or fixtures in the city.

These include stone homes, museums and items discarded from war. According to UNESCO, it is "considered 'the fourth holy city' of Islam " with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and shrines. During the Ethiopian Empirethe city decayed while maintaining a certain cultural prestige. Today, it is the seat of the Harari Region. It is likely the original inhabitants of the region were the Harla people. According to the Fath Madinat Hararan unpublished history of the city in the 13th century, the cleric Abadir Umar ar-Ridaalong with several other religious leaders, came from the Arabian Peninsula to settle in Harar circa H CE.

Abadir was met by the Harla Harari peopleGaturi and Argobba. The sixteenth century was the city's Golden Age. The local culture flourished, and many poets lived and wrote there. It also became known for coffeeweavingbasketry and bookbinding. His successor, Emir Nur ibn Mujahidbuilt a protective wall around the city. Silt'eWolane, Halaba and Harari, lived in Harar while the former three moved to the Gurage region.

Following the death of Emir Nur, Harar began a steady decline in wealth and power. A later ruler, Imam Muhammed Jasaa kinsman of Ahmad Gragn, yielded to the pressures of increasing Oromo raids and in abandoned the city, relocating to Aussa and making his brother ruler of Harar.

The new base not only failed to provide more security from the Oromos, it attracted the hostile attention of the neighboring Afars who raided caravans traveling between Harar and the coast.

mosques of harar

Harar was very dependent on Berbera for trade since the Middle Ages. According to Sir Richard Burtonwho visited both Berbera and Harar during his travels, he repeated a famous Harari saying he heard in "He who commands at Berbera, holds the beard of Harar in his hands. During the period of Egyptian ruleArthur Rimbaud lived in the city as the local functionary of several different commercial companies based in Aden ; he returned in to resume trading in coffee, musk, and skins until a fatal disease forced him to return to France.We use cookies to improve our service for you.

You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Considered as the fourth holiest Muslim city in the world, Harar is the center of Islam in Ethiopia.

DW reporter Maria Gerth-Niculescu takes you through the small streets and jam-packed markets of this sacred town. The town of Harar is said to have been founded by Arab immigrants somewhere between the 10th and 13th century. The old town or Harar Jugol, can be accessed through five ancient gates. It is the capital of the country's smallest regional state and home to a majority of Oromos. Harar is home to 82 mosques and over shrines.

The Grand Jami Mosque is the city's biggest one. About one third of Ethiopians are Muslims — but here, they account for the wide majority.

The Jami Mosque is the only one where women are allowed to pray in the same building as the men. They enter through this small door on the right of the building, but it is also common to see them pray outside. Most of the mosques in the old town are very small, and are therefore reserved for men. There are two churches within the city's walls, the Medhane Alem church is the only Orthodox one.

Residents of Harar are proud that their town welcomes all religions. In recent years, however, there has been some tension around land issues and political representation. There is something very mystical about this city of overpeople. One reason for this is the influence of Sufism, a branch of Islam in which the connection to the divine is achieved through rituals and meditation.

One of the holiest places in the city is the tomb of Sheikh Abadir, one of the city's founder. Here people sit and chew the narcotic leaf khat for several hours. While khat was initially used for spiritual purposes, it is now consumed widely in Ethiopia. The region around Harar remains the center of its use and trade. It represents around 70 percent of the region's agricultural income and is chewed by the majority of men and a good number of women.

The leaf reduces tiredness and appetite. When chewed on a regular basis, it is highly addictive. Harar's economy is also boosted by its fabric market. It is often packed with women from the rural areas. They bargain for new fabric and then let the tailors — all men — prepare their new colorful dresses or headscarves. From early morning onwards, Oromo people from surrounding areas come to the city to sell their goods. They often walk for hours with their donkeys to reach the city walls of Harar.

The earnings are reinvested into new items such as pots, clothes or meat for their household. The smugglers market, Muslim market, the fresh food market, spice market - Harar lives through these small-scale economies. About 40km The traders are usually Somali nomads.Inside Africa. Facebook Twitter Email.

Juma Mosque, Harar: Address, Juma Mosque Reviews: 4/5

CNN — The ancient walled city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia is a hard place to forget: the silent maze-like alleys, the scents of the markets, the handsome women carrying intricately woven baskets atop heads, the muezzins calling the Muslim faithful to prayer. It's remained seared in my consciousness since my first visit in A decade later, following much development and change in Ethiopia, I was curious to see if the city still retained its exotic finesse and character that so affected me before.

From my hotel room's small balcony I could see the Asmaddin Beri beri means gate, as well as, rather more grandly, portal. It's one of six punctuating the thick five-meter-high walls running 3. Once through the Asmaddin portal the 21st century vanished, replaced by a sense of antiquity and a heaving, shambolic outdoor market, one of many dotted around the Jugal.

Harari women in colorful dresses squatted beside neat piles of onions, tomatoes, green peppers, bananas and more. Sweet smells wafted from where women sold pots of itan incensewhile samosas cooking on small stoves and baskets full of fresh bread rolls added to the pleasant stimulation. The building known as Arthur Rimbaud's was built on the site of an earlier house once occupied by the French poet.

The simplest way to explore the Jugal is to get lost among the warren of narrow, twisting alleys. Eventually you stumble upon a main street or landmark. On Mekina Girgir, a narrow, atmospheric street packed with tailors' workshops and men at sewing machines, one tailor looked up from his machine to point the way to what's known as Arthur Rimbaud's house. The French poet, who turned his back on literary stardom and became a gunrunner in Harar, didn't actually live in the large ornate house standing today.

This was built by an Indian merchant on the site of an earlier house where Rimbaud apparently lived. Inside, on the second floor, a photographic exhibition of turn-of-theth-century Harar shows the strange world Rimbaud encountered -- some scenes with similarities to the present day.

Despite the Jugal containing 82 mosques and this being a return trip I couldn't seem to find any of them as I zigzagged among pastel-colored alleyways that decorate the walled city's interior. I enlisted the help of a young scruffy boy passing by who, within 10 minutes, had taken me to three mosques. At each one he beckoned to where he indicated the best position from which to take a photograph. It's easy to get lost in the narrow alleyways of Harar's Jugal district. Believed to have been founded by Arabian immigrants around the 10th century, Harar became a crossroads for trade and culture, ideally situated between the Ethiopian highlands to the west and the shores of the Gulf of Aden to the east.

The city evolved into a center of Islamic scholarship and culture, and eventually was considered a sort of capital city of Islamic northeast Africa. In the 16th-century, Emir Nur ibn al-wazir Mujahid became Harar's ruler and fortified the city against the threats of Christian forces from Ethiopia and increasing migration of the Oromo people.

Foreigners -- especially infidels -- were denied access to the city. But in British explorer Richard Burton ignored the ban and traveled from the port of Zeila on the Somalian coast to enter the city disguised as an Arab merchant through Argob Beri in the eastern wall, staying for 10 days.

Nowadays locals are more accepting of those coming from far beyond their walls. After a decade of rising tourist numbers, I noticed how more people, children and adults included, expected to be paid for having their photos taken.

I exhausted my quota of polite rebuttals to the stream of offers from young men offering to act as guides. Despite some residents changing their attitudes toward tourists, the general way of life in the Jugal seemed utterly unchanged from my visit.

I still seemed a long way from the international commerce and high-rise buildings that have emerged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's rapidly growing capital.Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Juma Mosque 12 Reviews. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date s you selected. Please choose a different date.

Is this a place or activity you would suggest for families with kids? Yes No Unsure. Is this a place or activity you would go to on a rainy day? Is a headcover required for this place or activity? Would you recommend wearing modest dress to this place or activity? Are the prices for this place or activity budget-friendly? Would you send a friend who is visiting for the first time to this place or activity? Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a big group greater than 5?

Is this place or activity good for small groups less than four? Is this place or activity suitable for all ages? Would this be a good hot day activity? Thanks for helping! Share another experience before you go. Write a review. Traveler rating. Traveler type. Time of year. Selected filters. All reviews walled city old city pray. Haytham Abu Firas wrote a review Nov Doha, Qatar 12, contributions helpful votes. We prayed there. My visit to the city Harar was on Friday and luckily we had a chance to perform Friday Pray in there.

During Friday pray, the road with be packed with people, so no cars can move. An amazing and old mosque, one out of 82 mosques in the walled city called Jogol. The biggest in …. Read more.

April 5 2019 IHMS News Update - Mayhem at Harar Jami Mosque

Date of experience: November Helpful Share. Christchurch, New Zealand contributions 40 helpful votes. As this city is a Muslim city you would expect there to be many Mosques.The mosques of Harar have been the focus of some architectural and historical study but not archaeological investigation.

This was redressed through excavation of six mosques in the city, the results of which are presented. These were identified from existing historical research as significant in the Islamization of Harar. Consensus on either the date or processes of Islamization does not exist. The results of the excavations provide insights into the Islamization of Harar and supplement the limited historical sources.

The six radiocarbon dates obtained indicate a varied mosque chronology spanning the late 15th and early 20th centuries AD. Evidence indicative of the use of mosques for educational purposes, local practices such as animal sacrifice and child burial near the mihrab, and for extensive mosque rebuilding, alteration and remodelling was found. Comparable mosques in Djibouti, Somaliland, and elsewhere in Ethiopia are considered. It is concluded that all the Harari mosques investigated post-date the late 15th century and that the city also dates from this era and was linked with the establishment of Harar as the capital of Adal.

Prior to this the Hararis, likely in the form of the legendary Harla, were elsewhere, possibly at Harlaa and other sites in the eastern Harar Plateau and Chercher Mountains. Previously, he has completed archaeological fieldwork in Bahrain, northern Ghana, Mali, and western India. He is the author or editor of 18 books and special journal issues and his most recent book with S.

Almahari and R. His main area of interest is south eastern Ethiopia. He produced some publications related to history and heritage management, including of the Harar region, both in English and Amharic.

He has completed some heritage identification survey work in Somali and Afar regions. Currently, he is engaged in researching the evolution of Ethiopic and Arabic scripts. For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here. Series: Monographs in Islamic Archaeology. Privacy Policy. Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer. Abstract The mosques of Harar have been the focus of some architectural and historical study but not archaeological investigation.

Ahmed Zekaria, Addis Ababa University. References Agizew, H.Considered as the fourth holiest Muslim city in the world, Harar is the center of Islam in Ethiopia. DW reporter Maria Gerth-Niculescu takes you through the small streets and jam-packed markets of this sacred town. The town of Harar is said to have been founded by Arab immigrants somewhere between the 10th and 13th century.

The old town or Harar Jugol, can be accessed through five ancient gates. It is the capital of the country's smallest regional state and home to a majority of Oromos. Harar is home to 82 mosques and over shrines. The Grand Jami Mosque is the city's biggest one. About one third of Ethiopians are Muslims — but here, they account for the wide majority. The Jami Mosque is the only one where women are allowed to pray in the same building as the men.

They enter through this small door on the right of the building, but it is also common to see them pray outside. Most of the mosques in the old town are very small, and are therefore reserved for men. There are two churches within the city's walls, the Medhane Alem church is the only Orthodox one. Residents of Harar are proud that their town welcomes all religions. In recent years, however, there has been some tension around land issues and political representation.

There is something very mystical about this city of overpeople. One reason for this is the influence of Sufism, a branch of Islam in which the connection to the divine is achieved through rituals and meditation.

One of the holiest places in the city is the tomb of Sheikh Abadir, one of the city's founder. Here people sit and chew the narcotic leaf khat for several hours. While khat was initially used for spiritual purposes, it is now consumed widely in Ethiopia. The region around Harar remains the center of its use and trade. It represents around 70 percent of the region's agricultural income and is chewed by the majority of men and a good number of women.

mosques of harar

The leaf reduces tiredness and appetite. When chewed on a regular basis, it is highly addictive. Harar's economy is also boosted by its fabric market.


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