The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi

collector Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Al-Arabi in Damascus

Entrance to Sheikh Muhyiddin Mosque in Damascus

Sheikh Muhyiddin Mosque is located in the city of Damascus, in the Salihiya area - in the Sheikh Muhi neighborhood. Al-Din, and it was on the banks of a river called the Yazid River, which is in an area known as Abu Jarash. The mosque was originally a small building with a pulpit, a mihrab, and a shrine for Sheikh Muhyi al-Din and upon arrival The Ottoman Sultan Selim I came to Damascus and ordered its restoration The mosque was rebuilt in 1518 AD, and it is said that the Sultan took the initiative to rebuild it The mosque after he saw Sheikh Muhyiddin in his dream, where the sheikh asked him to build a shrine for him Above his tomb. The task of designing the new mosque was assigned to Engineer Shehab Al-Din bin Al-Attar.

 Sultan Selim I entered Damascus in the year 923 AH, where he stayed at Al-Ablaq Palace in Green Square, which is the site of the Sulaimaniyah Hospice now. Then he pointed to a building at the grave of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, and he sent Al-Walwi Ibn Al-Farfour with the teacher Sultan Shihab Al-Din Ibn Al-Attar, where They drew up a plan to build the mosque, and that was on Saturday, the fourteenth of Ramadan in the year 923 AH. The next day, Ibn al-Farfour and the military judge, Rukn al-Din Zirk, and their group went to Salihiya and bought the house of Khair Bey Dawadar, the builder of al-Hajibiya in Salihiya, from its owner at that time, and he was God’s blessing to al-Hanbali al-Salihi, to expand the mosque with it. On Monday, the sixteenth of Ramadan, they demolished a mosque that had been renovated by Shihab al-Din al-Sumaidi, close to the soil of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi. They also demolished a bathhouse that was known as the Joura bathhouse. Then they began construction on Sunday, the second of Shawwal in the year 923 AH. Then the Sultan ordered the construction of a dome. On the soil of Sheikh Muhyiddin, its walls were established at night, and it was started on Tuesday night, the third of Dhul-Qi’dah. On the twenty-second of Muharram in the year 924 AH, a pulpit was placed inside the mosque, which became known as the Selimiye Mosque. In it, Sultan Selim ordered the construction of a hospice north of the mosque. On Friday, the fourteenth of Muharram, the Sultan rode to the mosque and prayed the Friday prayer in it, and the judge of the judges, Wali al-Din Ibn al-Farfour, addressed him on that day. He was so majestic, most of the markets in Damascus were closed for him, and the Sultan dispersed two silver socks on that day, and the mosque’s address was appointed to Manla Othman Ibn Manla Shams al-Hanafi. His imamate was appointed to Sheikh Shams al-Din bin Tulun al-Hanafi. Sultan Selim left Damascus on Monday, the seventeenth of Muharram in the year 924 AH, returning to his sultanate.

Al-Adawi says in his footer on Al-Naimi’s book: “Among the renovations in the city of Damascus was the Sultan’s building, which has a nice pulpit and a lofty mihrab, and the tomb of Ibn Arabi. For his sake, the Sultan built this wondrous building after it had been a dunghill and a bath, and he spent money on it as God wished it to be spent, and for this mosque. Four muezzins, and the Sultan stood over him in the village of Al-Tall, Minin, Harasta, Adra, Caesarea Al-Harir in Damascus, and several places. Shops. And a hospice opposite the mosque where cooking was cooked every morning and evening, and every Thursday, peppered rice and rice with honey were cooked. It burned down in the year 962 AH and then lived better than ever. It was.”

The mosque had a stone door on which was written: (Praise be to God, the Imam ordered the establishment of this noble mosque The greatest King of the Arabs and Persians, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sultan Selim bin Sultan Bayezid With the sign of Muhammad Badrakhan, may God immortalize his kingdom and authority. The beginning of his construction was on the ninth of Shawwal. In the year nine hundred and twenty-three, the end of which falls on the twenty-fourth of Muharram in the year twenty-four Nine hundred) and this is the date on which Sultan Selim rebuilt it.

The Grand Mosque consists of a large courtyard arranged in the Ottoman style and paved with colored marble It is white and yellow stone and has a small pond in the Damascene style, with a large raised gallery On four arches on the southern side of the courtyard, while on the southern side is the sanctuary The mosque, which is based on five arches and four columns, was brought from the building of the Viceroy of the Levant, Jan Balat Above the four arches are five smaller arches. The mosque has a wooden mihrab and its dome is covered. It is made of faience and has a minaret. The walls of the mosque are decorated with many tile paintings, including some Ottoman Damascene style, including some that are Mamluk Damascene style.

 The Sheikh Muhyi al-Din Mosque had a door made of huge stones on which was written: Praise be to God. He ordered the establishment of this Noble Mosque. The Great Imam, King of the Arabs and Persians, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sultan Selim bin Sultan Bayazid, with the sign of Muhammad Badrakhan. May God immortalize his kingdom and authority. Its construction began on the ninth of Shawwal. In the year nine hundred and twenty-three, and it ends on the twenty-fourth of Muharram in the year nine hundred and twenty-four. The mosque consists of a large, beautiful courtyard paved with colored marble and white and yellow stone. It has a nice pond, and to its west is a great gallery that rests on four high arches, and to the south is a prayer hall that rests on five arches and four columns and has a plain wooden mihrab, a wooden ceiling, and walls decorated with faience and colored engraved marble. In the south-eastern corner is a stone staircase from which it descends to the dome of the shrine, which is in the middle of the room decorated with exquisite tiles and amazing inscriptions. Around the tomb is a mesh of decorated silver, and next to it are the tombs of his two sons, Saad al-Din and Imad al-Din, the tomb of the Mujahid Prince Abd al-Qadir al-Jazairi, the tomb of Mahmoud Siri Pasha, son-in-law of Khedive Ismail, the Emir of Egypt, and the tomb of Sheikh Ismail. Amin Al-Kharboutli, the former superintendent of the mosque, and the grave of Rashid Pasha, the governor of Syria. Next to the door of the mosque is a cemetery containing some great figures. The Ottomans.

It is noted that the mosque was built according to the traditional layout of previous Damascene mosques, a courtyard surrounded by porticoes, and a sanctuary composed of porticoes parallel to the Qiblah. As for the minaret, it was erected above the door of the mosque, and this model is different from the Sulaymaniyah Hospice Mosque located on the Barada River. AndThe Grand Mosque consists of a large courtyard paved with colored marble and white and yellow stone. It contains a small twelve-sided water pool, in the middle of which is a fountain with a stone cup. It contains a large gallery raised on four arches on the southern side of the courtyard. There are three doors in the northern wall leading to the sanctuary, the middle of which is the largest and is built of white and yellow stone. It has three iwans in its court, and at its eastern end there is a staircase for a door that leads to the shrine of Sheikh Muhyiddin bin Arabi under the vault. In this basement there are two windows, one of which is in front overlooking the garden and the other is to the east overlooking the tomb of Sheikh Muhammad al-Hanafi. At its eastern and northern end is a door that opens for the solitude of expatriates, and in the middle of its north is the entrance door to the mosque, and to the west of it is the gatekeeper’s house, and to its east is the door of the minaret, which is installed on the door of the mosque and is built of Black and white stone, the front of the door is made of black and white stone, and the threshold is made of marble.

The sanctuary is based on five arches and four columns. It is composed of three arcades parallel to the Qiblah, interrupted by a conclusive arcade that is slightly skewed to the west. Which divides these packages into two equal parts, each part contains three packages, and each package consists of six contracts. These arches stand on crowned marble columns. On the western side of it is a large portico based on four high arches.

As for the southern wall of the sanctuary, it contains a mihrab in the middle, surmounted by an inscription band with a decorative frame at the top. The inscription is the beginning of Surat Al-Rahman after the Basmala. It is in the beautiful thuluth script in white, outlined in black, and the background is in blue, decorated with turquoise floral decorations. The eastern wall of the sanctuary is covered with tile, except for a window in the middle. It contains a panel composed of several tiles containing several drawings, including a drawing of a cypress tree, and another panel composed of several tiles containing three arches. As for the three lower naves, the middle one contains a vase, and to the right are two high sarcophagi, with the name Othman under them, and to the left, the same, with the name Ali under them. As for the western wall, its cladding is divided into two parts, separated by a wall library. Above the library is a band consisting of a panel on the right with a drawing of a crucifix star and a panel on the left with a drawing of a star surrounding tile tiles with a pink decoration. In the middle is a large plaque on which the Ayat al-Kursi is written in two lines after the Basmala, and the two lower sections are covered with cypress tiles. This cladding is characterized by repeated pictorial and inscriptional paintings, and it dates back to the era of the construction of the mosque.

In the campus of the mosque, above the northern wall, there are three carpets without a frame, composed of several tiles, two of which are composed of veins and carnation flowers, and the number of their tiles is 35. One of them has white writing on it, and the second is composed of 35 tiles with a geometric decoration consisting of a blue eight-pointed star surrounded by white geometric shapes. The panels are black and the ground is white.

In the southeastern corner of the mosque, there is a stone staircase leading down to the Dome of the Earth - the tomb of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi - which is in the middle of the decorated room, and around the tomb is a mesh of decorated silver. Next to it was the tomb of his two sons, Saad al-Din and Imad al-Din, and a little to the right was the tomb of Prince Abdul Qadir al-Jazairi. This dome has two windows in front of it overlooking the aforementioned garden, and to the north overlooking the soil of the al-Zaki family. In it is a coffin installed on a vault opposite the tomb of Sheikh Muhyiddin. To the west of the prayer hall are two cells; In the shrine room there is a large number of tiles covering the walls of an iwan that extends from the dome of the shrine and is covered by a semi-cylindrical vault. In the ceiling of the shrine room is a smooth, pointed dome resting on a ribbed neck with a single layer composed of twelve polygons, in which twelve windows open. Arched.

The minaret rises directly above the main door of the mosque. This minaret with a conical head is considered the mother of the Ottoman minarets in Damascus. Its trunk is Mamluk-style, octagonal, cut by decorative bands. In the middle of it are decorative blind windows with trefoil arches on each side. Its balcony takes the shape of an octagonal trunk, supported by... Supports made of muqarnas, surrounded by a beautifully carved stone balustrade, above which rises a wooden canopy that takes the form of a balcony. The minaret is surmounted by an Ottoman-style octagonal pediment, narrower in diameter than the lower minaret’s trunk, ablaq and compactly installed with its black and white stones. At the top of the pediment is a second circular balcony surrounded by a stone balustrade. It is carved and has muqarnas hanging from it without a canopy. The ablaq jusq ends with an Ottoman-style ribbed conical head covered with zinc panels.

 It is worth noting that on the side of the minaret of Sheikh Muhyi al-Din Mosque there is a miniature minaret with a bulbous peak, connected to the trunk of the original minaret by a covered portico and it is known as (the Taqisa). This room was allocated for the talbi who recites the takbeers to the imam of the mosque. The builder of the minaret was inspired by the idea of having a room for the talbi from the idea of building the bride’s minaret in the Umayyad Mosque. The scholar Muhammad Ahmad Dahman mentioned that the famous Damascus earthquake in the year 1173 AH, corresponding to 1759 AD, toppled the head of a minaret, so it was rebuilt, and its damaged sections were restored.

The mosque was previously provided with a waterwheel  Water wheels with rollers, still standing Today it is called the waterwheel of Sheikh Muhyiddin. Its mission was to raise the waters of the Yazid River, which is one of the... Important Islamic innovations and monuments, and its mission was to raise water from the Yazid River to the mosque and hospice without stopping. The waterwheel carried out this task for four centuries, until it stopped working completely in 1908 when the Water Authority began pumping Ain al-Fija water to the region. It is the only waterwheel still standing today in the waterwheel neighborhood in Salihiya on the Yazid River, and it used to feed the mosque. The waterwheel was designed by the famous astronomer Taqi al-Din Muhammad bin Marouf and was taken from a model of a waterwheel designed by al-Jazari. It is a huge wheel that rotates with the force of raising the waters of the Yazid River, rotating with its revolutions a huge wooden gear made in an artistic manner and with precise scientific measurements. This wheel turns another fixed wheel. At the top of the tower, an iron chain was attached to it, to which buckets were hung that were filled with water from the river and emptied into a basin at the top of the tower, where they traveled in a canal carried on an arched bridge to a water tank, and from there the water was distributed to the mosque and the watershed, and to the Selimiye hospice, and the waterwheel also reached the water tank. To Bimaristan Al-Qaymari.

There is also “Suleimaniyah Hospice” next to the mosque It provided the poor with food and drink. It included a house for poor men and another for women, three food containers, a large kitchen and an oven that baked two quintals a day and one hundred and fifty kilos of meat. On Thursdays, they cooked peppered rice with meat, and rice with honey, according to the Damascene historian Ibn Tulun. Al-Salihi. The Selimiye Hospice opposite the mosque still exists today, and the hospice has been operating for five centuries without any interruption. It serves a weekly meal of meat and wheat soup every Thursday morning for about 4,000 people in the same pots, which were inherited from previous eras.

As for the shrine of Sheikh Muhyiddin, it is located inside a domed room (i.e., it has a dome) located in the corner. The south-eastern corner of the mosque is descended by a stone staircase, where the shrine surrounded by a silver mesh is located In the middle of the ornate domed room, and next to it are the graves of his two sons, Saad al-Din and Imad al-Din and Waly Slightly to the right is the grave of Mahmoud Siri Pasha, son-in-law of Khedive Ismail, ruler of Egypt, and the grave of Prince Abdul Al-Qadir Al-Jazairi, who died in 1882 AD, and whose remains were later transferred to Algeria. The grave of Sheikh Muhammad Amin Kharbatli, the former superintendent of the mosque.

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