Religious Tourism

The historical Islamic sites in south of Lebanon vary between mosques, Mashhads, and Maqams that can be attributed to different historical periods. Among the most important sites we can find:

Cazas of Sidon and Tyre

The Great Mosque el-Omari - Saida

It was named after the second orthodox caliph “Omar Ben el-Khattab”. It is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings of the thirteenth century, and the widest mosque of Sidon. It is located to the south west of the region, near the terrestrial castle of Sidon, over a hill overlooking the sea. Its architecture is a mixture between the two styles: Crusader and Mamluk. It was subject to many restorations and enlargements during the Ottoman period and the modern age.



El-Baher Mosque- Saida

Travelers from Sidon port used to pray in this mosque, which is located in front of the maritime castle. It belongs to the Mamluk age, and it is the only one remaining in Sidon from that period. It was built by “Hasan Ben Sawah” (775AH/1373AC) as stated by the graved plaque above the entry. A new minaret was recently added.



El-Barrani Mosque- Saida

It was built by the Emir “Fakhr ed-Din el-Ma’ni the Second” (1634AH) outside the fences of the old Sidon; therefore, it was known by el-Barrani (the external). It is near the seacoast, and it is considered a lively model of the Islamic architecture of the Ottoman age. It has three domes, and a room that includes the corpses of the two Emirs: “Melhem” and “Saif ed-Din”, the sons of the Emir “Fakhr ed-Din el-Ma’ni”. Its southern wall is made with piebald stones of the following colors: brown, red, black and white; its minaret is octagonal.



Qotaish Mosque

This mosque combines a lot of the Islamic architectural arts. Its designs are apparent in all its sections. It is about 100 meters from the south of el-Qikha mosque. It was built at the expenses of el-Sheikh “Ali Qotaish” (1001AH/1592AC) inside the old Sidon. Plant shapes such as flowers, roses, wheatears and jugs decorate its dome, while piebald stones of alternating white and black marble decorate the mihrab. The mosque includes the tomb of its founder.



Bab el-Saray Mosque- Saida

It is one of the oldest standing mosques in Sidon. Its construction dates from the period when the Europeans occupied the city (598AH/1201AC) according to the plaque above the northern entry. Its minaret rises above the roof for about 20 meters. It is distinguished by its large dome above the eastern part of the hall. It was known as “el-Mohtaseb Mosque”. It is called today el-Saray Mosque because of its nearness to the Saray (government house) built by the Emir Fakhr ed-Din el-Ma’ni the Second.



El-Qikhya Mosque- Saida

It is an example of the Islamic architecture of the Ottoman period. Located in the old Sidon, it is surrounded by crossroads from the East and Bahr el-Abed alley from the West. It was built by “Mustafa el-Qatkhada” in 1033AH/1624AC. It rises above the level of the road, and it is decorated with six domes, muqarnas, and a marble minbar colored in white and blue, with four columns decorated with different geometrical designs.



Bahaa Eddine Al Hariri Mosque - Saida

At the northern entrance to Saida is the mosque of Bahaa Eddine Al Hariri near the East Boulevard. Of a particularly distinctive architectural style in Lebanon and the Middle East, it renews the main features of the mosques architecture. The adopted architectural style is the Ottoman architecture where a dome covers the central prayer hall entirely. The mosque consists of prayer squares, and the center is covered by a dome resting on eight octagonal peripherals pillars.

The mosque has three entries:

A northern one for normal daily access and joins the path west by an external path that crosses the front garden ;

Second one used for access during festivities and holidays.

the third entrance on the west side .

The mosque covers an area of 7500 m2 and can accommodate up to 5,000 worshipers in two interior rooms for women and men.



El-Imam Hasan el-Asqari Mosque - El-Sarafand

It is one of the oldest mosques in the South. It is said that it was built in 184AH/800AC. It is composed of two sections: old and new. The old part is composed of a room surmounted by a dome, with four mihrabs at the four sides, which is a unique phenomenon. Above the entry is a plaque that identifies the name of the founder as “Ali Ben Sa’d ed-Din Fakhr ed-Din”.



Tyre Mosque -Tyre

In the middle of the old city that recalls the scent of the history, “Abbas el-Mohamed”, the governor of Tyre, built the Tyre Mosque in 1180AH/1766AC. It was strong, with a high minaret. The magistrate of Tyre, “Abdullah el-Maghrebi” was buried there in 1267AH. The mosque was renewed for the last time in 1997AC.



* In the South also, there are Mazars and Maqams that are attributed to some prophets and holy men, like: Maqam el-Nabi Yahya in the south east of Sidon, Maqam Abi Nakhleh in the old Sidon, Maqam Sharhabil Ben Hasna in “el-Hababiyah” in the east of Sidon, Maqam Abi Zarr in el-Sarafand town, Maqam el-Nabi Omran to the east of el-Qalilah town, near Tyre, Mashhad el-Nabi Monzer in Mays el-Jabal, Mashhad el-Ma’shouk near Tyre, Mashhad el-Ouwayzi above Qfarkilla village, and Mashhad Jamal el-Hosn in Hadatha.

In Sidon, there are Zawiyat Al el-Baba known by el-Sabsabi, el-Zawiya el-Rifa’iyah or el-Daqouriyah, and el-Zawiya el-Qadiriyah.


Maqam el-Nabi Sho’aib

It is one of three Mazars holding the same name. The first one is in the Jordanian city Ajloun, the second one is in Hettine, to the north of Palestine, and the third one is in the region of el-Teem Valley, in the province of Rashayah, in el-Sfainah town that is about five kilometers from el-Kafir town.

The region is known for its rich ancient monuments belonging to the period preceding Christ. This Maqam had a distinguished spiritual and human importance through history.



Khalwat El-Bayyadah

They are located on a hill overlooking Hasbayah town, Palestine, Marje’youn plain and Beqaa plain. El-Sheikh Jamal ed-Din el-Hamra built one of them more than three hundred years ago in order to use it for worship, religious studies and spiritual meditation. They were called el-Bayadah (whitening) Khalwas because they whiten the heart, purify it from evils and hostilities, and fill it with faith and love instead, seeing a good omen in the people who visit these Khalwas from Druze worshipers willing to study religion, meditate and practice spiritual exercise. These Khalwas are composed of about 50 simple buildings inhabited by students looking for religion education. They consist, together with the big assembly hall, a kind of spiritual university. Nearby, lie the tombs of some holy men who spent their life praying and worshiping in this place.



El-Nabi Mosque of el-Nabatiyeh el-Fawqa

It is the greatest and the most important mosque of el-Nabatiyeh el-Fawqa. Its dome shows how old is this building which belongs to the Mamluk age.



El-Nabatiyeh el-Tahta

It is located in the middle of el-Nabatiyeh el-Tahta. Built at the end of the sixteenth century, it was renewed more than once.



Bleyda Mosque - Bleyda

It is one of the most historical mosques of Amel Mount. It is old and its founder is unknown. It has the shape of a cellar that stands, though its wideness, on one pillar. Its architecture provokes astonishment and admiration as its beginning is fine, then its gets gradually wider in a wonderful way. It was ruined and restored many times.



Honine Mosque - Honine

Built by el-Sheikh “Qabalan el-Hasan” from Al Alam el-Saghir (the family Alam el-Saghir) in 1166AH/1753AC during the reign of the Ottomans. It is a strong building to which a high minaret was added in 1187AH/1773AC.



Shaqra Mosque - Shaqra

Founded by Mr. “Abu el-Hasan Moussa el-Amine” in 1182AH/1768AH, it is large with a minaret that looks more like a tower and does nOt exceed its roof. It was restored in 1350AH/1931AC.



Bent Jbeil Mosque

It is one of the greatest mosques of Amel Mount built during the Ottoman reign. It was renewed at the end of the nineteenth century.



*Other mosques in Amel Mount: In addition to the pre-mentioned mosques, there are a lot of historical mosques in the different cities, and towns of Amel Mount: the Mosque of: Tebnine, Shhour, Jowaya, Teir Dabba, el-Khyam, Jaba’, el-Babeliyah, Ansar, and Ansariyah.

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