Damascus – Mohi al-Din Bin Arabi Mosque
دمشق – جامع محي الدين بن عربي
Mohi al-Din Bin Arabi Mosque (جامع محي الدين بن عربي) is a fascinating place of worship in the northern Damascus (دمشق) district of al-Salhiyeh (الصالحية). The mosque contains the tomb of the renowned Sufi mystic Abu Abdullah Mohammed Ibn Ali Ibn Mohammed Ibn Arabi (أبو عبدالله محمد ابن علي ابن محمد ابن عربي), who lived from 1165-1240. Ibn Arabi was born in Andalusia and gradually moved east, finding a more open atmosphere for his teachings in Damascus. The mosque was constructed during the early Ottoman period (1518) under the reign of Sultan Selim I to encourage the practice of Sufism. Architecturally, building is a mix of late Mamluk and early Ottoman designs. The mosque was widened and restored in 1947-1948.
Ibn Arabi’s tomb is located in a domed chamber below the mosque, approached from a stairway on the eastern side of the main courtyard (left side as you enter). The shrine is an important place of pilgrimage for Sufis, attracting a consistent stream of visitors. The burial chamber contains several other notable tombs, including two sons of Ibn Arabi and some of Ibn Arabi’s most prominent followers. The chamber also contains a cenotaph for the Algerian resistance leader Abd al-Qadar Ibn Mohi al-Din (عبد القادر ابن محي الدين), who died in exile in Damascus (دمشق). He was buried here until Algerian independence, after which his body was transferred to Algiers.
The mosque is regularly open for visitors even outside of regular prayer times.
Getting There: Mohi al-Din Bin Arabi Mosque (جامع محي الدين بن عربي) is located in the Damascus (دمشق) district of al-Salhiyeh (الصالحية), to the far northwest of the old city on the slopes of Jebel Qasioun (جبل قاسيون). It is about a twenty-five minute walk to the mosque from the city center. See the map below for the exact location.
Coordinates: 33°31’46.00″N / 36°17’17.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Mahi al-Din Bin Arabi Mosque, Muhi al-Din Bin Arabi Mosque
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