The Jama Masjid, also known as the Great Mosque, is a mosque in the city of Herat that was the city’s first congregational mosque. It still serves as such today. It was built by Ghurids, the famous Sultan Ghayas-ud-Din Ghori, who laid its foundation in 1200 AD. The structure was later extended by several rulers down the centuries. These rulers were the Timurids, the Safavids, the Mughals, followed by the Uzbeks. All supported the mosque.
Many of the original glazed tiles have been replaced over time, and the Great Mosque in Herat was given its present form during the closing years of the fifteenth century.
Apart from numerous small neighborhood mosques for daily prayer, most communities in the Islamic world have a larger mosque, a congregational mosque, used for Friday services. The Jama Masjid wasn’t always the largest mosque in Herat. A much larger complex, the Mosque and Madressa of Gawharshad was built by the Timurids. Located in the northern part of the city, it was destroyed by officers of the British Indian Army in 1885 to prevent its being used as a fortress by the Russian army if Russia tried to invade India.
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