Masjid al-Khadra’ or Jami’ al-khadra’ (“the Green Mosque”) is among the old mosques of Najaf which is now a part of the shrine of Imam Ali (a) and the burial place of Sayyid Abu al-Qasim Khoei. Masjid al-Khadra’ was also the place for Ayatullah Khoei’s teaching. After the fall of Baath regime of Iraq, this mosque was reopened by the helps of Ayatullah Sistani.
Cause of Naming
The cause of naming this mosque (as al-Khadra) is not known. It is reported that since this mosque was built after the building of the shrine, it was named (Masjid al-Hadra/ Masjid Hadrat) after the name of Imam Ali (a) and later this name was changed among people to Masjid Khadra (al-Khadra’/ green). Some considered it possible that using green color in a part of this mosque, was the cause of its naming.
Another reason mentioned is that there was a vegetable farm or a vegetable market in that neighborhood and the mosque was named Khadra (green). The fourth opinion is that this mosque was founded by al-Khadra’, the sister of ‘Imran b. Shahin and became famous after her name.
Destruction and Reconstruction
In the month of Rajab 1368 AH, the government destroyed a part of the mosque to expand the streets around the shrine and half of the shops, houses and cemeteries on the east side of the shrine were destroyed. The remaining part included a mosque with a small hall and thick walls and a relatively big yard.
In 1385 AH, Ayatullah Khoei ordered to reconstruct the mosque under the supervision of Shaykh Ahmad Ansari Qommi and the mosque was reconstructed by the plan of Lorzadeh and the helps of Iranian donators such as Husayn Kashani.
In this mosque, Ayatullah Khoei led the congregational prayer and taught seminary lessons. Later, he gave up teaching due to illness and his son-in-law, Sayyid Nasr Allah Mustanbit took his place for teaching. After the demise of Sayyid Mustanbit, Ayatullah Khoei appointed Ayatullah Sistani for teaching and leading the congregational prayer. He taught and led the congregational prayer there too for some years until the Awqaf Organization of the Baath regime shut the mosque on the pretext of repairing and reconstructing.
This mosque has two doors. The inner door which opens to the courtyard in the third porch on the east side, beside the grave of Sayyid Abu al-Qasim Khoei. This door leads to the grave of Ayatullah Khoei through a small corridor and on the other side, it leads to the mosque. The second door is located on the outside wall. After this door, there is a courtyard which has a wudu-khana and a shoe-keeping place and the second floor is above it. The roof of the courtyard is in triangle shape and is made of glass and metal frames.
Beside the yard, the building of the mosque is located in 166 square meters and mihrab of the mosque is decorated with Qur’anic wall scrolls and Islimi patterns. In the corner of mihrab, it is written: “the reconstruction of this blessed mosque was made in 1385 AH by the efforts of Hujjat al-Islam Shahid Ahmad al-Ansari.”
This mosque which was closed since the time of the government of Baath regime in Iraq, was repaired by the order of Ayatullah Sistani after the fall of Saddam and was reopened on Monday, Jumada al-Awwal 1st, 1427 AH and the congregational prayer was held there which was led by Sayyid Hasan Mar’ashi.
Library of the mosque was made in 1427 AH on the second floor of the mosque by the efforts of Ahmad Ansari Qummi. It included the book stacks and the reading hall. It was destroyed following the expansion of the surrounding area of the shrine.