The Souk in Kairouan, Tunisia – December 2013

The Souk in Kairouan, Tunisia - December 2013

Kairouan (Arabic: القيروان‎ Al Qairawān), also regarded as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan, is the money of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Cash, it is a UNESCO Planet Heritage web-site. The city was launched by the Arabs about 670.[one] In the time period of Caliph Mu’awiya (reigned 661-680), it became an important centre for Islamic and Quranic finding out, and as a result attracting a huge quantity of Muslims from numerous areas of the earth, up coming only to Mecca and Medina. The holy Mosque of Uqba is situated in the city.[two][3]

In 2003, the city experienced about one hundred fifty,000 inhabitants.


The identify is Arabic قيروان kairuwân, alone from the Persian کاروان kârvân, which means “military services/civilian camp” (kâr [war/military services] (akin to Latin guer, + vân [outpost]), “caravan”, or “resting position” (see caravanserai).[4][5][6]


Kairouan, the money of Kairouan Governorate, lies south of Sousse, 50 km (31 mi) from the east coast, 75 km (forty seven mi) from Monastir and 184 km (114 mi) from Tunis.


Kairouan was launched in about the 12 months 670 when the Arab typical Uqba ibn Nafi of Amir Muauia selected a web-site in the middle of a dense forest, then infested with wild beasts and reptiles, as the location of a military services post for the conquest of the West. Previously, the city of Kamounia was located wherever Kairouan now stands. It was a Byzantine garrison just before the Arab conquest. It was located significantly from the sea wherever it was safe and sound from the continued attacks of the Berbers who experienced fiercely resisted the Arab invasion. Berber resistance continued, led initially by Kusaila, whose troops killed Uqba at Biskra about fifteen yrs following the military services post was proven,[seven] and then by a Berber girl named Al-Kahina who was killed and her military defeated in 702. Subsequently, there was a mass conversion of the Berbers to Islam. Kharijites or Islamic “outsiders” who fashioned an egalitarian and puritanical sect appeared and are nevertheless present on the island of Djerba. In 745, Kharijite Berbers captured Kairouan, which was currently at that time a made city with luxuriant gardens and olive groves.

Energy struggles remained right until Kairouan was recaptured by Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab at the end of the 8th century. In 800, Ibrahim was confirmed Emir and hereditary ruler of Ifriqiya by Caliph Harun ar-Rashid in Baghdad. Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab launched the Aghlabid dynasty that ruled Ifriqiya involving 800 and 909. The new Emirs embellished Kairouan and manufactured it their money which shortly became famous for its prosperity and prosperity achieving the levels of Basra and Kufa and supplying Tunisia a person of its golden ages prolonged sought following the glorious days of Carthage.

The Aghlabites constructed the fantastic mosque and proven in it a college that was a centre of schooling both in Islamic believed and in the secular sciences. Its role can be when compared to that of the College of Paris in the Center Ages. In the 9th century, the city became a amazing emphasis of Arab and Islamic cultures attracting students from all over the Islamic Planet. In that time period Imam Sahnun and Asad ibn al-Furat manufactured of Kairouan a temple of understanding and a superb centre of diffusion of Islamic sciences. The Aghlabids also constructed palaces, fortifications and good waterworks of which only the swimming pools keep on being. From Kairouan envoys from Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire returned with glowing studies of the Aghlabites palaces, libraries and gardens – and from the crippling taxation imposed to pay back for their drunkenness and sundry debaucheries. The Aghlabite also pacified the country and conquered Sicily in 827.[eight]

In 893, by means of the mission of Abdullah al Mahdi, the Kutama Berbers from the west of the country started out the motion of the Shiite Fatimids. The 12 months 909 noticed the overthrow of the Sunni Aghlabite that ruled Ifriqiya and the creation of the Shiite Fatimid dynasty. Throughout the rule of the Fatimids, Kairouan was neglected and missing its importance: the new rulers resided initially in Raqqada but shortly moved their money to the newly constructed Al Mahdiyah on the coast of modern day Tunisia. Following succeeding in extending their rule over all of central Maghreb, an place consisting of the modern day nations around the world of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, they inevitably moved east to Egypt to discovered Cairo creating it the money of their vast Califate and leaving the Zirids as their vassals in Ifriqiya. Governing once more from Kairouan, the Zirids led the country by means of a different creative, professional and agricultural heyday. Universities and universities flourished, overseas trade in local manufactures and farm generate ran substantial and the courts of the Zirids rulers ended up centres of refinement that eclipsed all those of their European contemporaries.

When the Zirids declared their independence from Cairo and their conversion to Sunni Islam in 1045 by supplying allegiance to Baghdad, the Fatimid Caliph Ma’ad al-Mustansir Billah despatched as punishment hordes of troublesome Arab tribes (Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym) to invade Ifriqiya. These invaders so totally ruined Kairouan in 1057 that it never ever regained its former importance and their inflow was a major issue in the unfold of nomadism in places wherever agriculture experienced beforehand been dominant. Some one,seven-hundred yrs of intermittent but continual progress was undone inside a ten years as in most part of the country the land was laid to squander for approximately two generations. In the thirteenth century beneath the prosperous Hafsids dynasty that ruled Ifriqiya, the city started out to arise from its ruins. It is only beneath the Husainid Dynasty that Kairouan started out to obtain an honorable position in the country and throughout the Islamic earth. In 1881, Kairouan was taken by the French, following which non-Muslims ended up authorized obtain to the city.


The Terrific Mosque of Kairouan also regarded as the Mosque of Uqba (Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba)
The most important mosque in the city is the Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba also regarded as the Terrific Mosque of Kairouan. It has been explained that 7 pilgrimages to this mosque is viewed as the equivalent of a person pilgrimage to Mecca.[nine] Following its establishment, Kairouan became an Islamic and Qur’anic finding out centre in North Africa. An write-up by Professor Kwesi Prah[ten] describes how for the duration of the medieval time period, Kairouan was viewed as the 3rd holiest city in Islam following Mecca and Medina.[11] Currently, many take into account the city as the fourth holiest in Islam.[twelve]

In memory of Sufi saints, Sufi festivals are held in the city.[thirteen]

At the time of its greatest splendor, involving the ninth and eleventh generations Advertisement, Kairouan was a person of the greatest centers of Islamic civilization and its reputation as a hotbed of scholarship lined the entire Maghreb. Throughout this time period, the Terrific Mosque of Kairouan was both a position of prayer and a heart for teaching Islamic sciences beneath the Maliki present. One particular may perhaps conceivably examine its role to that of the College of Paris for the duration of the Center Ages.

In addition to reports on the deepening of religious believed and Maliki jurisprudence, the mosque also hosted numerous programs in secular subjects these as arithmetic, astronomy, medicine and botany. The transmission of understanding was certain by distinguished students and theologians which incorporated Sahnun ibn Sa’id and Asad ibn al-Furat, eminent jurists who contributed enormously to the dissemination of the Maliki believed, Ishaq ibn Imran and Ibn al-Jazzar in medicine, Abu Sahl al-Kairouani and Abd al-Monim al-Kindi in arithmetic. Consequently the mosque, headquarters of a prestigious college with a huge library made up of a huge quantity of scientific and theological performs, was the most amazing mental and cultural heart in North Africa for the duration of the ninth, tenth and eleventh generations.[88]

Major sights

Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba

The city’s most important attraction is the Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba, which is explained to mainly consist of its unique setting up elements. In truth most of the column stems and capitals ended up taken from ruins of earlier-time period buildings, even though other people ended up developed locally. There are 414 marble, granite and porphyry columns in the mosque. Pretty much all ended up taken from the ruins of Carthage. Beforehand, it was forbidden to count them, on discomfort of blinding.[14] The Terrific Mosque of Kairouan (Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba) is viewed as as a person of the most important monuments of Islamic civilization as nicely as a globally architectural masterpiece.[15] Established by Arab typical Uqba Ibn Nafi in 670 CE, the present aspect of the mosque dates from the 9th century.[16] The Terrific Mosque of Sidi-Uqba has a fantastic historic importance as the ancestor of all the mosques in the western Islamic earth.[seventeen]

Mosque of the A few Gates

The Mosque of the A few Gates was launched in 866. Its façade is a notable illustration of Islamic architecture.[eighteen] It has three arched doorways surmounted by three inscriptions in Kufic script, interspersed with floral and geometrical reliefs and topped by a carved frieze the initially inscription consists of the verses 70-71 in the sura 33 of Quran.[19] The smaller minaret was extra for the duration of the restoration performs held beneath the Hafsid dynasty. The prayer corridor has a nave and two aisles, divided by arched columns, parallel to the qibla wall.

Mosque of the Barber

The Mausoleum of Sidi Sahab, frequently regarded as the Mosque of the Barber, is actually a zaouia located inside the city partitions. It was constructed by the Muradid Hammuda Pasha Bey (mausoleum, dome and court) and Murad II Bey (minaret and madrasa). In its present state, the monument dates from the 17th century.[20]

The mosque is a veneration position for Abu Zama’ al-Balaui, a companion of the prophet Muhammad, who, according to a legend, experienced saved for himself three hairs of Muhammad’s beard, hence the edifice’s identify.[21] The sepulchre position is accessed from a cloister-like court with richly adorned ceramics and stuccoes.

Other buildings

Kairouan is also home to:

two huge drinking water reservoirs named “Aghlabid basins”
Mosque of Ansar (customarily courting to 667, but absolutely renewed in 1650)
Mosque Al Bey (late 17th century)
The souk (market place position), in the Medina quarter, which is surrounded by partitions, from which the entrance gates can be seen in the distance. Merchandise that are bought in the souk include things like carpets, vases and products manufactured of leather-based.
Kairouan is regarded for its pastries (e.g., zlebia and makroudh).

In preferred lifestyle

In Raiders of the Shed Ark, the street scenes in “Cairo” ended up filmed in Kairouan.

Posted by SaffyH on 2014-02-seventeen 09:40:22


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