Buratha Mosque in Baghdad
شعبة الاعلام الدولي
شعبة الاعلام الدولي
To the north-west of Baghdad and five kilometres from the Sacred Sanctuary of the Infallible Imams Musa al-Kazim and Muhammad al-Jawad.a magnificent architecture stands in front of your eyes. It is one of the signs of the Divine guidance and a mark of the Prophet Muhammad’s dignity. It is nothing but the Buratha Mosque, with tall minarets that majestically attracts thousands of visitors from various parts of the world for receiving the Divine Grace and Blessing thereat.
It is the Buratha Mosque. In the Syriac language, the name connotes “the Son of Wonderland”, “Mary’s Home”, or “Jesus Christ’s Land”. The Buratha Mosque is one of the holy sites and shrines that is highly venerated by Christians and Muslims alike. It is a Muslim mosque that used to be a Christian monastery in the past; it also contains a cemetery and is one of Baghdad's oldest landmarks in the history of Islam.
Its History and Merits
According to authoritative sources, Buratha was a place special for Christians. Habbar was the Christian priest of the place. However, in the time of the first Infallible Imam `Ali b. Abi Talib and shortly after the Battle of Nahrawan in 37 A.H./ 659,the army settled over there at the same place, and met up with the priest. The leader of the Muslim army was the first Infallible Imam Ali b. Abi Talib, with his sons, the Infallible Imams al-Hasan and al-Husayn accompanying him. Thereupon, Imam Ali ordered his companions to stay at the place. There, he pulled out a piece of black rock, and a spring of water gushed out that tasted sweeter than honey. At the sight of such a miracle the Christian priest rushed out from his place and enquired about the identity of the leader of the army. He was then directed to Imam Ali b. Abi Talib. He stepped ahead, greeted him, and enquired :” Sir! Are you a prophet?”
“No. My master, the Prophet, had died.” returned Imam Ali.
“Are you the legatee of the prophet?” enquired the priest.
“Yes, but why do you ask this?”
“I built this minaret for this location, viz., Buratha. I read in some sacred books that nobody prays at this place except someone who must be either a prophet or a legatee of a prophet. Hence, I would very much like to convert to Islam.”
“Who prayed here?”
“Jesus Christ, son of Mary. May slaam be bestowed upon him and his mother!”
“Shall I inform you of who had prayed here before?”
“It was Abraham the Divine prophet. May the Divine salaam be
bestowed upon him.”
The Blessing Place
With the army having drunk water and performed wudu (ritual ablution), Imam Ali ordered his companions to dig the place much deeper. Then he showed to them, at a depth of some seven cubits, a piece of white stone that dated back to a time before the advent of Islam. It was a piece of white marble and in fact a treasure. It still exists in the mosque with which visitors get blessed.
An Interfaith Forum
Many, many Christians come to pay visits to this ardently-venerated place; likewise, followers of other sects and religions make pilgrimage to the same site, as Muslims keep visiting there, too. In consequence, it is the largest center for the convergence of religions, especially those of Islam and Christianity.
On the top floor of the mosque, there is a large library established around the year 1962. It contains books, manuscripts, and several other valuable documents, unavailable elsewhere in Iraq. However, the library has been closed for a long time. Regretfully, some of its manuscripts were stolen and/or burned. The curator of the Mosque, Mr. Ziya Hasan echoed that he had been keen on reviving the library and returning the valuable books and documents back to it.