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Masjid al-Khadra'

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Masjid al-Khaḍrā' (Arabic: مسجد الخضراء) or Jāmi' al-Khaḍrā' (Arabic: جامع الخضراء) 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 l-Qasim al-Khoei. Masjid al-Khadra' was also the place for Ayatollah al-Khoei's teaching. After the fall of Baath regime of Iraq, this mosque was reopened with the support of Ayatollah 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 near the building of the shrine, it was named "Masjid al-Hadra" (مسجد الحضرة, the mosque of the shrine) and later this name was changed among people to Masjid 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 al-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/May 1949, 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.

Ayatollah al-Khoei's teaching in the mosque

In 1385/1965-66, Ayatollah al-Khoei ordered to reconstruct the mosque under the supervision of Shaykh Ahmad Ansari Qummi. In this mosque, Ayatollah al-Khoei led the congregational prayer and taught Islamic 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, Ayatollah al-Khoei appointed Ayatollah Sistani for teaching and leading the congregational prayer. He was occupied with the teaching and leading 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.

Architecture

This mosque has two doors. The inner door opens to the courtyard in the third porch on the east side, beside the grave of Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei. This door leads to the grave of Ayatollah al-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 toilets and a shoe-keeping place and the second floor is above it. The roof of the courtyard is in the 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 epigraphs and arabesques. In the corner of mihrab, it is written: "The reconstruction of this blessed mosque was made in 1385/1965-66 by the efforts of Hujjat al-Islam Shahid Ahmad al-Ansari."

Reopening

This mosque which was closed since the time of the government of Baath regime in Iraq, was repaired by the order of Ayatollah Sistani after the fall of Saddam and was reopened on Monday, Jumada I 1, 1427/2006, and the congregational prayer was held there which was led by Sayyid Hasan Mar'ashi.

Library

Library of the mosque was made in 1427/2006 on the second floor of the mosque by the efforts of Ahmad Ansari Qummi. It included the bookstack and the reading hall. It was destroyed following the expansion of the surrounding area of the shrine.

References

The material for this article is mainly taken from مسجد الخضراء In Farsi Wikishia.