al-Naqteh Mosque (مسجد النقطة), located on the eastern slope of Jebel Joushan (جبل جوشن) in the west of Aleppo (حلب), is an important Shia shrine and place of pilgrimage. The shrine contains a stone that, according to tradition, caught drops of blood from the head of Hussein. The son of Ali and grandson of Mohammed, Hussein was killed in the Battle of Karbala (Iraq), and his head was being transported to Damascus (دمشق) via Aleppo (حلب) with prisoners of the battle.
There are varying accounts of the history of this site. According to Shia tradition, a Christian monk of Aleppo (حلب) could see light emanating from the head of Hussein as the caravan approached the city. In exchange for 10,000 dirhams, he was permitted to keep the head with him through the night. He placed the head on a stone, and blood fell onto it. The next morning, he returned the head and converted to Islam. An alternate version omits the monk, and claims that after blood dripped from the head onto the rock, blood began gushing forth from the rock. According to Sunni tradition, a shepherd was instructed in a dream to build a mosque in honor of Hussein at this location, where one of his goats had its foot sunken into rock. When he awoke and rescued his goat, a river of water began to flow from the rock.
The mosque is known to have been constructed from 1183 to 1260 in honor of Hussein, a challenge to Sunni orthodoxy at the time. The mosque eventually fell into disuse, and during the Ottoman period it was used for munitions storage for Turkish forces. An explosion in 1920 largely destroyed the building. Contributions by the Shia community brought about its reconstruction in the 1960s and 1970s, aided by plans and photographs from the German researcher Herzfeld prior to the explosion. The mosque has been expanded in recent decades to accommodate increasing pilgrimage traffic from Iran. The roof over the inner courtyard was added in 1991.
Note that this site is often referred to as Mashhad al-Hussein (الحسين مشهد).
Getting There: From the city center of Aleppo (حلب), just south of the National Museum (المتحف الوطني), follow Ibrahim Hanano (ابراهيم هنانو) street to the west for about one and a half kilometers. Immediately after passing under the railway tracks, turn left (to the south) and continue for about five hundred meters. The shrine will be on the right (to the west), with a large parking lot in front.
Coordinates: 36°11’43.00″N / 37°7’59.00″E
Transliteration Variants: al-Naqta Mosque, al-Naqtah Mosque, al-Nakteh Mosque, al-Nakta Mosque, al-Naktah Mosque, al-Nuqteh Mosque, al-Nuqta Mosque, al-Nuqtah Mosque, al-Nukteh Mosque, al-Nukta Mosque, al-Nuktah Mosque
Rating: (4 / 10)