Description - وصف
The Great Omari Mosque is located in the city of Sidon on a high hill overlooking the sea from the western side of the old city, to the north of the Makassed Islamic Charitable School near Hammam al-Ward. The mosque has two entrances, the first from the eastern side, you enter it through a corridor connected to Dahr El-Mir Street between the buildings of the Makassed School on the southern side, and a residential other on the northern side of the corridor. As for the old entrance, it is located on the northern front of the building, reversing east of the northern portico overlooking the courtyard, and leads to the courtyard of the mosque’s lane. There was a great deal of disagreement about the construction of the Great Omari Mosque and its history. Some said that it was a temple for the worship of the sun, others said that it was a church, while some say that it was not a church, but rather a military fortress built by the Spartan knights in 1260 AD. The construction of this mosque dates back to the Crusader era and was built by the Knights of St. John in 1260 AD in honor of their patron saint. The Great Omari Mosque was from ancient times a temple to the city of Sidon. It was built to be a temple to the sun. This is evident from the circular window at the top of the eastern wall of the mosque’s precinct, which allows sunlight to flood the hall. And then it turned into a church during the era of the Byzantines, until it finally turned into a mosque after the Islamic conquest of Sidon, and it was called the Great Omari Mosque in relation to the Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, who was the Caliph of Muslims in that era. Inside the Great Omari Mosque, and at its entrance doors, there are many beautiful and important marble panels that chronicle the important stages in which it was restored throughout history. The oldest painting throughout history is the painting that chronicles the great victory of the Muslims during the time of Salah al-Din and the liberation of Sidon from the rule of the Crusaders in 1291 AD, which is also present inside the mosque. This marble plaque includes a slogan in which it says: (There is no god but God, the One, the Supreme). Under this slogan is the noble verse from the Qur’an: “God, the Most Merciful, the Most Merciful. Only those who live in God’s mosques are those who believe in God and the Last Day and perform prayer and pay zakat and fear none but God. be among the converts.” Inside the sanctuary, there are two marble panels. The first is inscribed with the name of His Majesty (God) and is located above the mihrab located to the right of the marble pulpit, and the second is inscribed with the noble verse (Whenever Zakaria is on it the mihrab) located above the mihrab located to the left of the aforementioned pulpit. The rest of the paintings show the most important dates for the various stages in which the mosque was restored.
During the reign of Sultan Abdul Majeed Khan, some expansions and arrangements were made on the lobby of the mosque after it was damaged by severe sea conditions in 1820 AD. It was restored at the expense of the government and from some donations after the city was struck by the English and Austrian fleets in 1840 AD. During the reign of Sultan Abdul Aziz, repairs were made to the mosque in 1870 AD, after it was cracked as a result of the sea conditions. During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid Khan in 1893 AD, it was also restored after the sea overwhelmed the western section of the mosque and that section was cracked. Then the Islamic Endowments in Sidon, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, in 1975 AD peeled the dirt paper from the sandstone and removed the ablution pool and the eastern room, so the courtyard in the mosque’s hall expanded and the ablution place was built outside the mosque from the north. And in the year 1979. The restoration work in this mosque was completed as it was inaugurated by His Eminence, the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Hassan Khaled. Later, on June 6, 1982, the mosque was subjected to the most violent destruction in its history, as Israeli planes bombed the mosque and threw huge missiles at it in order to remove this important Islamic edifice.