Manaret Madrasa Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Sinjar, Iraq
The minaret lies in the Mosul district and is built on flat land 1.5 kilometers south of Sinjar. It is said to belong to a madrasa built by Qutb al-Din Mahmud ben Emad al-Din Zengi ben Aqsunqur Atabeg of Mosul and an inscription below the balcony refers to its erection in 1202. Built of bricks and covered with juss, or gypsum, this minaret is said to having been built between 990 and 1095 by the Uqaylids who also sponsored several other monuments in the city. As for the inscription, it might refer to the restoration works carried out by Qutb al-Din Mahmud.

As seen today, the top part of the minaret has collapsed while the Iraq Ancient Monument Directorate restored the bottom before 1965. Historical travelers' accounts describe the minaret as having two balconies none of which exist except traces of muqarnas support. The minaret is made of bricks and has an octagonal shaft with only five sides decorated; it was probably joined to the walls of the madrasa on its remaining three undecorated sides. The five sides are decorated with niches framed with two rectangles surmounted by decorative panels that have mostly fallen off. The interior of these niches is decorated with geometric compositions of eight sided stars. In three of these niches the Quranic chapter called the Fatiha is inscribed in Kufic script. Above the decorative panels a historical inscription is unclear having mostly fallen off. The shaft is circular and it is punctured by arched openings above which lie two narrow tiled bands composed of stars and geometric motifs and topped with a brick band of Kufic inscription.

The internal body of the minaret is empty and shows no trace of a possible staircase, even though it has a door on its northern side; the balcony must have been accessible from the adjacent madrasa rooftop probably at the same level.


Bosworth, Clifford Edmond. The New Islamic Dynasties, 190-191. New York, Columbia University Press, 1996.

Shumaysani, Hasan. Madinat Sinjar min al-Fath al-Arabi al-Islami Hattá al-Fath al-Uthmani. Beirut, Dar al-Afaq al-Jadidah, 1983.

Uluçam, Abdüsselam. Irak'taki Türk Mimari Eserleri, 125-126. Ankara: Kültür Bakanligi, 1989.
Sinjar, Iraq
Images & Videos
Associated Names
1201-1202/598 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Manaret Madrasa Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Minaret of Qutb al-Din Muhammad Madrasa
Manaret Madrasat Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Madrasa Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Madrasa of Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Building Usages