Jama Masjid of Herat, Afghanistan

The Jamia Masjid of Herat is located in the North Western province of Afghanistan in the town of Herat and it is known by many names. Some people call it Great Mosque of Herat; some call it by Masjid-i-Jami of Herat. The construction of this mosque began in 1200 AD during the rule of Ghayas-ud-din Ghori, but as the time passed and the rulers changed, the mosque was expanded and the structure was updated to cope with the change in design and other facilities were added. All the upcoming rulers gave importance to this historic mosque and kept its maintenance up to date. Although many changes have been made during the succeeding periods of rulers, the present shape of the mosque was intact since 15th century. This mosque was built in place of two smaller mosques which were destroyed during the earthquake and fire. The design of the mosque was drawn up by Jalal-ud-din Firuzshah

In every town of each country there are small mosques in the residential areas of the town for people to offer daily five time prayers. In fact, the Friday congregation is mainly held in a central mosque where Friday sermons are also a part of Friday prayers. In the beginning this mosque of Herat was not the biggest mosque in town. Another mosque built by Gowharshad which was much bigger than this and situated in the northern part of the city with a Madrasa. This mosque complex was brought to ground by the British forces in order to facilitate and pave way for the Russians to capture India, if they ever desired.

The mosque is considered to be the first mosque in the town of Herat where Friday congregation was held. This construction of the mosque started in 1404 A D, which means 807 A H, and was finished in 1446 A D which fell in 850 A H.  Luckily the construction of the mosque continued even after the expiring of Ghiyas-ud-din Ghori, by his successor, who was his brother.

The mosque has been designed in a rectangular fashion with a big verandah in the middle. A few unique ornamentations are still there, but many of them have been removed and new decorations, which would certainly be inferior in quality, have been put in their place.

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