Cult site with a strong historical charge, the Bab Doukkala Mosque stands majestically in the heart of the old medina of Marrakech, as if to testify to the remarkable contribution of Moroccan women and their major role in the building and construction of religious monuments. and has been for many centuries.
This high place of spirituality and meditation, which bears the name of one of the most famous historical gates, namely: “Bab Doukkala” adjoining the western part of the ramparts of the old medina, was commissioned by “Massouda Bent Ahmed Al Wazkitiya”, wife of Mohammed Al-Sheikh (founder of the Saadian dynasty) and mother of Sultan Ahmed Al-Mansour Eddahbi.
This emblematic religious monument, whose construction was completed around 1586, according to several historical sources, reflects, if necessary, the grandeur and richness of Islamic civilization in the era of the Saadians, but also the diversity and significance Almohad and Andalusian legacies.
Built in a rectangular shape over an area of 2,432 m2, this religious building, also known as the Al Horra Mosque (Mosque of the Free), is composed of a prayer room and a courtyard surrounded by a series of corridors.
The ceiling of the Prayer Hall is adorned with fine wood carvings and graceful traditional copper chandeliers, while the walls are masterpieces of dense decoration and floral calligraphy, embellished with verses from the Holy Quran, carefully engraved on the sides of the Mihrab.
The Mihrab, which is positioned in the middle of the wall of the “Qibla”, is characterized by its arch surrounded by magnificent plant inscriptions on the gypsum and a dome decorated with muqarnas and Kufic motifs inlaid with arches. Its facade is decorated with inscriptions of great beauty, interspersed with Koranic verses in Kufic script. To the side of the Mihrab is the Minbar, made entirely of cedar and adorned with etched geometric fillings that reflect the magic of the authentic Moroccan art of engraving.
On leaving the Prayer Room, the faithful are welcomed into a large open-air courtyard, which extends over an area of approximately 870 m2. Decorated with a profusion of arcades, engravings on plaster and green tiles, the courtyard is dominated by a fountain surrounded by alabaster dedicated to ablutions.
With a height of 25 m, the Minaret of a square shape is located, meanwhile, in the northeast corner of the mosque. Its four facades are carefully decorated with various geometric patterns, surmounted by a jamour with four brass balls.
The mosque remains accessible by three doors (East, West and North), in addition to the door of the Imam, and includes many outbuildings, among others, a library, a Koranic school and a hammam.
The place of choice occupied by the Bab Doukkala mosque in the hearts of Marrakechis in particular, and Moroccans in general, was reinforced in 2017 when King Mohammed VI, Amir Al Mouminine, decided to perform the prayer of Friday. In 2019, the Sovereign awarded the Mohammed VI Prize for Adhan and Tahlil to Mohamed Boukantar, who dedicated 59 years of his life to Adhan and Tahlil in this mosque.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the mosque experiences an atmosphere of piety and meditation, as the faithful flock from all parts of the Ocher City to perform the supererogatory prayers (Tarawih), as well as the five daily prayers and the Friday prayer.
This place of spirituality and piety also plays an active role in the program to combat illiteracy within the mosques, to establish itself as a place of worship, a school of learning and a space for religious awareness and of preaching.
“The Bab Doukkala mosque is a religious and historic high place in the city of Marrakech, which was commissioned by Massouda Bent Ahmed Al-Wazkitiya, the mother of Sultan Ahmed Al-Mansour Eddahbi”, underlined Moulay Hicham Essaidi, member of the Provincial Delegation of Islamic Affairs.
Essaidi, also preacher of the Bab Doukkala mosque, indicated that this building eloquently illustrates the contribution of Moroccan women, through the ages, to the construction of religious buildings in the Kingdom, indicating that the mosque also remains a privileged place. for the holding of a large religious vigil in commemoration of Aid Al-Mawlid Annabaoui.
In a tone of pride, he did not fail to recall that King Mohammed VI, Amir Al Mouminine, had performed Friday prayers twice in this mosque, “which testifies to the High Solicitude and the interest that the Sovereign continues to grant this religious monument steeped in history”.