The Larabanga Mosque is claimed to be Ghana’s and West Africa’s oldest mosque. Because of its rich historical and architectural characteristics, it is commonly referred to as the “Mecca of West Africa.” The mosque is roughly 8 meters by 8 meters in size. The World Monuments Fund named the Larabanga Mosque to its list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
There is some disagreement about when the mosque was built and who built it. The mosque is believed to have been built in 1421. The mosque is thought to have been built by an Islamic trader named Ayuba who was passing through the area. Ayuba reportedly slept in the region and had a dream in which he was told to build a mosque, according to one account. The foundation of the mosque had suddenly emerged when he awoke the next morning, so he continued with the construction until the mosque was completed.
The Sudanese-style mosque is composed of mud and sticks. A big baobab tree stands near the entryway, beneath which Ayuba’s remains are buried. There are four entrances to the mosque: one for the village leader, one for men, one for women, and one for the muezzin who leads the call to prayer. The mosque has a very old Koran that is said to have been delivered from heaven to an Imam named Bramah around 1650 after he pleaded fervently for one.
The mosque is in Larabanga, a small primarily Muslim community near Damongo in the Northern Region’s Western Gonja District. The mosque does not allow non-Muslims to enter.
The old mosques, in addition to serving as Friday prayer grounds, are important places of pilgrimage for the country’s Muslim community. On busy days, a large number of devout worshippers flock to these mosques for prayers and to hear Koranic readings.
Individuals who have important problems to tackle or who seek spiritual protection on their businesses can also request private readings. The Chief Imam usually asks for the sacrifice of a cow and other community gifts in exchange for the readings.
History of Larabanga Mosque
The majority of villages in Northern Ghana, particularly in the Northern Region, are Muslim. Islam, which originally arrived in Africa through Egypt in the 10th century AD, spread from there to the west and south, paralleling the trans-Saharan slave and gold trade routes.
Mande warriors, Islamic traders, and missionaries all exploited these trading routes in Ghana. These routes were occasionally characterized by assaults by the Almoravids, a Berber dynasty that was instrumental in the spread of Islam in the region. People were converted to Islam during rest stops for Islamic traders along the routes and in conquered lands, resulting in the construction of mosques in Ghana’s northern region. Some of these mosques, which date back to the 17th century AD, still exist today.
Who built the Larabanga Mosque in Ghana?
The Larabanga Mosque made it to the World Monuments Fund’s List of 100 Most Endangered Sites. The mosque is believed to have been built in 1421 by an Islamic trader called Ayuba. The mosque is made of mud and stick, in Sudanese style.
Larabanga is situated 10 miles (16 km) west of Damongo and only about 5 miles to the Mole National Park. Damongo is about 72 miles west of Tamale.
- Mole National Park
- Mystery stone
Ghana Travel Restrictions
Ghana is open to most travelers again. I mean travelers from all over the world. However, you do need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or a negative test result before being allowed entry.
Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety.
Read the ultimate travel guide to Ghana to help you plan your trip.