Story of the Mosque Named After the Prophet’s Uncle

The full name of this mosque is Jami’ Sayyid al-Shuhada’. It was built at Uhud where Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the Prophet’s uncle, and the rest of Uhud martyrs had been buried.

The mosque, in fact, carries Hamzah’s epithet, sayyid al-shuhada’ (the Master of martyrs). It was completed and officiated in 2017.

Since Uhud is the site of the second major battle between the earliest followers of truth and the followers of falsehood, containing the graves of about 70 martyrs, and since the place is on the list of sites recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be visited in Madinah, the mosque was built to cater to the needs of flocking pilgrims and visitors. It was also built, albeit not as much and as directly, for the sake of satisfying the needs of the neighboring local populace.

The mosque’s impressive form and striking conceptual as well as physical presence and operation also serve as an antidote to any even remotest idea, initiative or plan by anybody to architecturally commemorate and glorify to any extent the reputations of the martyrs and their graves.

In truth, the mosque and how its adjacent historical areas are currently managed, denote the successful embodiment of ample lessons pertaining to the menace of funerary architecture or “the architecture of death”, which have been accrued throughout history.

The mosque is a hypostyle hall without an open courtyard. There are five rows of columns parallel to the qiblah wall: three in men’s prayer area and two in women’s. There are six columns in each row. That means that there are four arcades in men’s prayer area and three in women’s.

Each arcade can accommodate six lines (sufuf) of worshipers, with each line having more than a hundred persons. That translates itself into 42 lines: 24 for men and 18 for women, which means that the total capacity of the mosque can easily near the figure of 5,000 worshipers.


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About Dr. Spahic Omer
Dr. Spahic Omer, an award-winning author, is an Associate Professor at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He studied in Bosnia, Egypt and Malaysia. In the year 2000, he obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in the field of Islamic history and civilization. His research interests cover Islamic history, culture and civilization, as well as the history and theory of Islamic built environment. He can be reached at: [email protected].