In Summary
  • When the Omanis arrived, they settled around the Old Town in clans and built houses close together, but also required a house of worship.

  • This is what led to the construction of Mandhry Mosque.

  • The mosque was named after the Mandhry Clan, which settled in Old Town.

Did you know that in Mombasa there is a mosque older than Fort Jesus?

Mandhry Mosque is one of only two mosques in the world with two mirhabs, a niche in the wall pointing to the direction of Mecca, where Muslims face when praying. The other is in Saudi Arabia.

Mandhry Mosque was built in 1570, 23 years before Fort Jesus. Today, nearly four-and-a-half centuries later, the mosque on Sir Mbarak Road in Old Town, about 150 metres from the old port, still stands strong and proud, preserving Swahili culture.

Dr Kalandar Khan, whose great-grandfather was among the people who first settled in the area, said that after Portuguese invaded the coast line, they were violent and dictatorial, which the Swahili people hated and wanted to chase them away.”

However, the Swahili could not match their military might, so they sought help from Oman.

When the Omanis arrived, they settled around the Old Town in clans and built houses close together, but also required a house of worship. This is what led to the construction of Mandhry Mosque.

The mosque was named after the Mandhry Clan, which settled in Old Town.

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