Queen Arwa Mosque

Historical mosque in Jibla – Yemen, It was built between 1056 to 1111 CE by Queen Arwa al-Sulayhi and her tomb had later became the site of pilgrimage

Jibla – Ibb, Yemen

Coordinates: 13.924134, 44.145915

Nearby Places

The Mosque of Queen Arwa bint Ahmad Al-Sulayhi, simply the Queen Arwa Mosque is a historical mosque in Jibla, Yemen.

It was built between 1056 to 1111 CE by Queen Arwa al-Sulayhi, and her tomb had later became the site of pilgrimage. It is considered one of the oldest ancient Yemeni mosques. It is also known as Hurrat-ul-Malaika Mosque, as the queen was often referred to as Al-Malika Al-Hurra, which means “The Noble Queen”.


The construction of the mosque is attributed to Queen Arwa bint Ahmad al-Sulayhi, who ruled the Sulayhid state of Yemen for the period between 1085 and 1138. When Queen Arwa moved to the city of Jibla in 1087, she ordered the conversion of Dar Al-‘Ezz Palace into a mosque.


The complex is rectangular with an open courtyard in the middle, surrounded by four corridors. The wall of the qiblah is located at the northern hallway. The area of the qiblah is accessible through five entrances on the southern side. The ceiling directly covers the roof and the hall is covered with wooden beams dating back to the 11th-century, some of which were renewed in 1358.


The mihrab is located in the middle of the wall of the qiblah at the northern hallway. It is surrounded by Kufic inscriptions, which reads as follows: “In the name of God the Most Gracious the Most Merciful I accept your Lord and be among the worshipers and not of the ignorant and worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death)”


The mosque has two minarets, one located on south-east, and another on south-west. The eastern minaret consists of a high square stone-based body with sixteen ribs.

Mausoleum of the Queen

It was built as ordered by the queen and is located on the north-west corner of the mosque. The site of her tomb was separated from the building of the mosque as she mentioned in her will and told by eyewitnesses and judges. The facade of the mausoleum is adorned with architectural elements, in the form of hollow niches in the eastern wall.

Note: This site belongs to Isma'ili branch of Shi'a Islam


Image Sources

By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia – Jibla, Yemen, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By Mufaddalqn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia – Old Mosque, Yemen, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By H. Grobe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Franco Pecchio from Milano, Italy – 200612_Yemen-268, CC BY 2.0,

By Waleed uuw – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By yeowatzup –, CC BY 2.0,

By Sherenk at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Md iet – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,