Houses of Worship in Fallujah in the Ottoman and Royal Eras


This research tackles in detail the houses of Islamic worship and others in Fallujah since its contemporary creation following the construction of the wooden Ottoman bridge in 1885. An Ottoman Firman was issued in 1899-1900 to make the village of Fallujah a town and the administrative center of the surrounding area, a position it retained until the end of the monarchy in 1958. The study sheds new light on the ways in which houses of worship convey a vivid picture of the faith, doctrinal beliefs, and religiosity of the town’s citizens. These houses of worship also offer insights into the conduct and daily activities of the citizens as they seek to achieve prosperity while adhering to the teachings and guidance of their Creator and Prophet. With the will and divine patronage, the contemporary town of Fallujah has been closely associated with its first mosque, founded in 1898 by Kazem Pasha (may Allah have mercy on him). The mosque highlights the dedication of the early Fallujah people to their religion, the first building project they undertook when Fallujah was made a town. The establishment of a mosque displays their devotion to the work of their Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) when he entered the town of Yathrib as an immigrant. The mosque was designed to be the religious and moral centre of the town, and reflecting the fact that the life, pride, renaissance and education of its people start from the mosque. This blessed work conveys a divine blessing upon the modern contemporary town, making it famous within a short time of its founding as if it is a heavenly message to those who raise the remembrance of God, in reward may Allah raise his remembrance. Because of the great expansion of the town, other houses of worship were established, including temple (the synagogue) which the people of Fallujah call (the Torah) in 1915, to be the second house of worship. This construction signals the importance of the Jews in Fallujah as well as highlighting the lack of religions or sectarian intolerance amongst the early people of Fallujah who did not oppose the construction of a house of worship for a second, minority religion. This also shows that they lived in affection, compassion, peace and respect for all religions and nationalities. This study also displays the wonderful and diverse Fallujian fabric at the beginning of the formation of their contemporary town, a diverse societal mosaic, as if it were a miniature Iraq. This religious diversity and tolerance was an important feature of Fallujah during its formative years as it grew rapidly. As the population expanded, additional mosques were needed to accommodate all the worshipers. The Shaker al-Dahi Mosque which was constructed in 1948, followed by the Al-Siddiq Mosque in 1950, and then the Al- Farouq Mosque in 1953. In addition, there were a number of small mosques scattered around the town, such as the Mulla Wahib Mosque, founded in 1936 and later called the Mosque of Saadoun, and the Mulla Ahmed Sarhan Abdali Mosque which was founded on the ruins of the Siddiq Mosque. Each house of worship gives us unique glimpses of the history of the emergence of the neighborhood in which it was founded. The growing number of mosques from 1948 onwards undersxcores the dramatic and rapid expansion of Fallujah during the first 50 years following its inception. The population doubled, and started competing in the construction and reconstruction of mosques until the town came to be called ‘the town of mosques’ and ‘the town of the gloried people’.

Keywords: The history of Fallujah, The Waqf Mosque, The Great Mosque, The Torah (The Synagogue), Al-Saadoun Mosque, Shaker Al- Dahi Mosque, Al- Sidiq Mosque , Abu Baker , Al-Faruq Mosque, Omar Bin Al-Khattab.