Mosul’s Great Al-Nuri Mosque Destroyed

IAS Prelims 2023

Islamic State group militants have blown up Mosul’s iconic al-Nuri mosque (In Iraq) and its famous leaning minaret.

The Great Mosque was named after Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a Turkic ruler of Mosul and Aleppo who ordered its construction in 1172, two years before his death.

This mosque is also known as Mosul’s Great Mosque, is where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 declared a Islamic caliphate spanning parts of Iraq and Syria.

Mosul is a major city in northern Iraq. The city had been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since June 2014, and no westerner had entered the city until the latest initiative.

The Battle of Mosul, a military offensive to retake the city begun in October 2016, is the largest deployment of Iraqi forces since the 2003 invasion by U.S. and coalition forces.

Now, the eastern Mosul is under the control of the Iraqi security forces, while a small portion of the western part of the city remains under siege.

Mosques and Shrines in Mosul (Iraq):

Umayyad Mosque: The first ever in the city, built in 640 AD by Utba bin Farqad Al-Salami after he conquered Mosul in the reign of Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab. The only original part extant to recent times was the remarkably elaborate brickwork 52m high minaret that leans like the Tower of Pisa, called Al-Hadba (The Humped). It was largely destroyed during the Battle of Mosul.

The Great (Nuriddin) Mosque: Built by Nuriddin Zangi in 1172 AD next door to the Umayyad Mosque. Ibn Battuta (the great Moroccan traveller) found a marble fountain there and a mihrab (the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca) with a Kufic inscription. It was reportedly destroyed during the Battle of Mosul.

Mujahidi Mosque: The mosque dates back to 12th century AD, and is distinguished for its shen dome and elaborately wrought mihrab.

Prophet Younis Mosque and Shrine: Located east of the city, and included the tomb of Prophet Younis (Jonah), dating back to the 8th century BC, with a tooth of the whale that swallowed and later released him. It was completely demolished by IS in July 2014.

Prophet Jirjis Mosque and Shrine: The late 14th century mosque and shrine honoring Prophet Jirjis (George) was built over the Quraysh cemetery. It was destroyed by IS in July 2014.

Prophet Daniel Shrine: A Tomb attributed to Prophet Daniel was destroyed by IS in July 2014.

Hamou Qado (Hema Kado) Mosque: An Ottoman-era mosque in the central Maydan area built in 1881, and officially named Mosque of Abdulla Ibn Chalabi Ibn Abdul-Qadi. It was destroyed by IS in March 2015 because it contained a tomb that was revered and visited by local Muslims on Thursdays and Fridays.