Figure 1 illustrates a marbled mihrab (niche) inside the Fakhr Al-Din Masjid in XamarWeyne (HamarWeyne). It is perhaps one of the oldest Islamic sites in Somalia. It was constructed by one Xaaji bin Maxamed bin Cabdallah in the month of Shacban of the year 667 after Hijra (AD 1269). The Ayaatul al-Kursi (Throne Verse) is inscribed around the mihrab niche lamp with an added inscription of the author in this beautifully carved piece. It is a rare picture considering that these pieces of invaluable Islamic architecture were robbed from the mainland of Somalia, and its remains subsequently destroyed by the Italian colonial occupation.
“Most of the marbles with which the the Fakhr al-Din mosque was decorated were exported in the first years of our occupation, reportedly by the wali of the Sultan of Zanzibar who ordered their removal to this palace.” (Cerullio, 1957)
Figure 2 is another rare picture of a piece of an ancient mosque (Jama’ Mosque) constructed in early 13th century in Somalia. The inscription reads as follows:
“In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate
The construction day of this minaret commenced on the first of the month of Muharram of the year 636 after Hijra (note: corresponding to 14 August, 1238).
Peace and Blessings of God be upon the Prophet. May God forgive the one who built it and reward him and forgive him, his parents and the Muslim Ummah. Victory comes from no one but God.”