The Mosque of Zumurrud Khatun is located in central Baghdad near the Mustansiriya Madrasa. It was built by Zumurrud Khatun, the mother of Caliph al-Nasr li-Dinillah and wife of Caliph Harun al-Rashid prior to hear death in 1202. Her tomb is found in western Baghdad, or al-Karkh neighborhood.
The mosque is part of a rectangular compound oriented along the northeast-southwest axis. The compound is entered from three ornate portals in a passageway from a half-demolished souk that adjoins to the northeast, and consists of a mosque, tomb, library, the imam's house and ablution and privy cells surrounding an L-shaped courtyard. An inscriptive plaque above the central portal commemorates a restoration by a certain Ibrahim in 1923 (1342 A.H.). The compound was also restored in 1590 (999 A.H.) by Cigalazade Sinan Pasha and in 1969 by the Iraqi Directorate of Waqfs.
Located at the southern corner of the compound facing the entrance, the mosque is three bays wide and two bays deep, with by a four-bay portico. The wide pointed arches of the portico are carried on brick piers and support a flat roof from the 1969 restoration. Two doors lead from the portico into the mosque. Inside, each of the six bays is crowned with a dome carried on pendentives; the three inner domes are taller and larger. The interior, which is dominated by two heavy piers supporting the domes, is illuminated by two tiers of windows along the qibla wall. To the right of the main entrance, a set of stairs embedded into an engaged pier lead up to the muezzin's lodge above the entryway. The five-sided mihrab niche and the lower sections of the piers are decorated with floral tiles. Tile decoration of the stone minbar was largely removed during renovations.
Because the mosque was used primarily by members of the Hanafi group, a large domed room, known as the Shafai Masjid, was added to its northwest to accommodate Shafai members. It is adjoined by the Shafai Madrasa, a small vaulted room entered from a deep iwan with an elaborate umbrella vault. Next to it, occupying the western corner of the courtyard is a small chamber preceded by an open passageway that holds the tomb of Ismail bin Kazim. On the other side of the mosque, lined along the southeastern courtyard wall, are three rooms of varying sizes that were used by the imam and housed the mosque library. Privy chambers and an ablution hall were added at a later date to the northwest side of the courtyard.
The mosque minaret, which was built earlier by the Seljuks in the twelth century, is considered to be the oldest in Baghdad. It rises between the Shafai Masjid and the mosque portico and has a single balcony carried on a muqarnas console. Blue and turquoise glazed bricks have been used to decorate the balcony parapet and the domical crown.
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Uluçam Abdüsselam. 1989. Irak'taki Türk Mimari Eserleri. Ankara: Kültür Bakanligi, 55-57, 339-343.