The Suq al-Khamis, or Thursday market Mosque, is situated in the southern suburb of Manama, four kilometers away from Al Khamis town. Its construction date is highly debated. Some archaeologists suggest that it was built in 717, during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Omar bin Abdul-Aziz. However, an inscription on the qibla wall attest that it was built in 1058 (near the end of Caramathian rule) upon the request of two dignitaries from Bahrain, 'Abd-Allah bin Bahlul and Abu al-Walid Musallam. In the twelfth century, the Uyunid prince Abu Sinan of Bahrain's ruling Bani Murra family expanded the mosque and built a minaret. The mosque was totally rebuilt in the fourteenth century, with the exception of the qibla wall that was retained from the Umayyad structure. This new mosque contained a prayer hall, decorated from within with niches, composed of several rows of pointed arches raised on circular columns below a flat roof. The mosque complex was equipped with a water well and scholars' cells, and was framed from the eastern and western sides by two identical minarets. The minarets both have cylindrical shafts measuring twenty five meters high, and are each topped with a small circular dome. Their balcony is accessed with a circular staircase inside the shaft. In the fifteenth century the mosque was further modified and partially restored.
Only the minarets and some walls of the mosque survived until the twentieth century. However, in recent years, the authorities of Bahrain have given it special importance; not only is it the country's oldest mosque, but its spacious court makes it unique among others. Consequently, the authorities have restored the complex, rebuilding some of the prayer hall arches from the scattered stones found on the site. The two minarets have also been restored and their balconies rebuilt.Sources
Jenner, Michael. Bahrain Gulf Heritage in Transition
, 12-14. London: Longman, 1984.
Whelan, John. Bahrain, a Meed Practical Guide
, 155. London: Middle East Economic Digest, 1983.