The Mecca of West Africa; the Larabanga mosque

The Larabanga mosque is believed to be the oldest mosque in Ghana and one of the oldest in West Africa. It is a whitewashed mosque built in the 1400s from reeds and mud and is located in Larabanga in the Northern region of Ghana.

Although the exact time it was built is not known, the mosque is believed to be in existence as far back as 1421. Oral history has it that the mosque was built through Ayuba, an islamic trader, who was traveling through the Larabanga community. Ayuba slept in the area and had a dream where he was told to build the mosque. Interestingly, Ayuba woke up from his sleep to find the foundation of the mosque already built. As instructed in his sleep, he completed the construction of the mosque. The mosque has a baobab tree next to its entrance where Ayuba was buried.

The Larabanga mosque, also known as the ‘Mecca of West Africa’ was built in Sudanese architectural style and has four entrances. One for the village chief, another for the men, women and the muezzin, the leader of the call to prayer.

In addition to its rich history, the mosque is believed to contain a very old Koran believed to have been delivered from heaven around 1650.

Non-muslims are prohibited from entering the whitewashed Sahelian mosque which also serves as a place of prayer and pilgrimage to Muslims in the country.

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