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Tunis TN - Ez-Zitouna-Moschee

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posted by Daniel Mennerich alias Daniel Mennerich on Thursday 31st of October 2019 10:50:59 AM

Ez-Zitouna Mosque or Ezzitouna Mosque or Mosque of El-Zituna (Arabic: جامع الزيتونة‎, literally meaning the Mosque of Olive) is a major mosque in Tunis, Tunisia. The mosque is the oldest in the Capital of Tunisia and covers an area of 5,000 square metres (1.2 acres) with nine entrances. It has 160 authentic columns brought originally from the ruins of the old city of Carthage. The mosque is known to host one of the first and greatest universities in the history of Islam. Many Muslim scholars were graduated from the Al-Zaytuna for over a thousand years. From Ibn 'Arafa, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, Imam Maziri, the great traditionalist and jurist to the famous Tunisian poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi and countless others all taught there. Ez-Zituna was the second mosque to be built in Ifriqiya and the Maghreb region after the Mosque of Uqba in Kairouan. The exact date of building varies according to source. Ibn Khaldun and El-Bakri wrote that it was built in 116 Hijri (731 C.E.) by Ubayd Allah ibn al-Habhab. A second source states that the Umayyad Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik ordered the building; however, Ahmed In Abu Diyaf and Ibn Abi Dinar attributed the order to Hasan ibn al-Nu'man who led the conquest of Tunis and Carthage, and used it as a place of prayer. Most scholars agree that the third possibility is the strongest by evidence as it is unlikely that the city of Tunis remained a long time without a mosque, after its conquest in 79 Hijri. Thus the closest date is 84 Hijri (703 CE), and what El-Habhab did was in fact enlarge the mosque and improve its architecture. For almost two centuries (1812 - 2011), the majority of the Grand Imams of the Zitouna mosque were part of the Cherif and Mohsen families, notably including AbdelKebir Cherif, Ahmed Cherif, Mohamed Cherif, Hamda Cherif, Hassan Cherif, Mahmoud Mohsen, Mohamed Mohsen, and Mostafa Mohsen. The Cherif and Mohsen families are part of the aristocracy "Tunisoise" of Tunis Carthage; are descendants of the Islamic prophet, Mohamed; and are a dynasty of religious scholars, sheikhs, imams, and landowners. These families were founded by an ancestor who arrived in Tunis by the XIV-e century. The descendants of Sheikh Mohsen Cherif changed the line from Cherif to Mohsen, creating the Mohsen branch out of the Cherif line.

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  • Published 01.18.22
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