koutoubia mosque in marrakech morocco

Koutoubia Mosque:The 900-Year-Old Wonder

The Koutoubia mosque’s minaret may be heard issuing the call to prayer in the heart of Marrakech. However, the appeal has yet to receive a response during this Ramadan. One of the biggest and oldest mosques in the country is the Koutoubia Mosque. It served as a location for Marrakesh locals to offer Tarawih prayers throughout the blessed month of Ramadan.

A typical sight was visible. Hundreds of international tourists lined up on the edges of the mosque’s courtyards, thinking and the congested courtyards of believers praying. The atmosphere of Tarawih is distinct. But mosques must stop offering Friday prayers as the Coronavirus spreads nationwide. The Corona epidemic blocked this year’s version of the scene. This unprecedented situation has halted the usual flow of visitors participating in photo tours, leaving the minaret’s call echoing unanswered in the empty courtyards of the Koutoubia Mosque.

First Time in History: Closed Koutoubia Mosque

First Time in History: Closed Koutoubia Mosque

In an unprecedented move, authorities closed mosques, including the iconic Koutoubia, in early March to curb the spread of the epidemic. A month-long health emergency was declared on March 20, with movement restrictions implemented nationwide. These measures were extended for an additional month on April 20, ensuring the state of emergency persists through Ramadan. The Ministry of Interior also imposed a nighttime curfew during Ramadan, prohibiting movement between 7 PM and 5 AM. This decision, although necessary for public health, marks a significant departure from centuries-old traditions of uninterrupted prayer at the Koutoubia Mosque.

This morning’s video gives a glimpse of waking Marrakech and the Koutoubia Mosque
koutoubia mosque marrakesh morocco outside view

Continuous Prayer from Past Nine Century

Since its construction in 1146 by the Almohad caliph, Abd al-Mumin bin Ali, the Koutoubia Mosque has stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of worship in Marrakesh. It played a crucial role in both political and religious spheres, serving as a focal point for allegiance to Moroccan sultans and as a departure point for military expeditions to Andalusia. Despite changes in governance, including the period of French rule from 1912 to 1956, prayers at the Koutoubia Mosque have persisted without interruption.

Throughout its history, there is no documented instance of Tarawih prayers being disrupted. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has made the unprecedented decision to temporarily close the nation’s mosques, including the historic Koutoubia, to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech Morocco 5

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Koutoubia Mosque stands as a symbol of spiritual significance and cultural richness, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan in Marrakech. Witnessing thousands of residents flocking to the mosque for Tarawih prayers depicts the strong bond between the city’s inhabitants and their religious practices. However, this year’s Ramadan seems to have a subdued atmosphere compared to previous years, with the absence of the usual festive spirit noticeable. Despite this, the allure of the Koutoubia Mosque remains strong, attracting hundreds of foreign visitors who seek to immerse themselves in the spiritual ambiance of the Tarawih prayers.

The presence of tourists during the prayers has been a common sight, with many drawn to the mosque by the opportunity to partake in a unique spiritual experience. It is notable that the atmosphere within the mosque has been influential in persuading some tourists to consider converting to Islam, with an average of 20 to 25 individuals embracing the faith each month, predominantly hailing from Western nations.

The Koutoubia Mosque serves as more than just a place of worship; it serves as a bridge between cultures, fostering understanding and appreciation for Islamic traditions among both locals and visitors alike. As the spiritual heart of Marrakech, its significance extends far beyond its architectural beauty, making it a cherished landmark for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

A Photo Tour Koutoubia Mosque In Marrakech
the tower of koutoubia mosque

More about Morocco phototours services: https://morocco-phototours.com/services

Koutoubia mosque website: https://koutoubiamosque.com/

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