Negash Mosque

At 60 Km from Mekelle, Negash is the first built mosque in Africa, where the first hijra in the history of Islam was made. It is the second holiest place only next to Mecca. It is also a symbol of religious harmony in Tigrai.

Also Negash, Nejashi, Al-Nejashi, Al Negashi.

Located 60 Km from the capital Mekelle, Negash is a small town found in Tigrai, a historically rich place in East Africa. It is synonymous with Islam as it is the place where the first hijra was made and the first Muslim settlement took place in the world.

A stunning Mosque of Al Nejashi, locally known as simply Negash, is currently standing at the cliff of Negash town, a small town 20 Km next to Wukro on the way to Adigrat. This Mosque is the first built mosque in Africa, as the Axumite Kingdom is the first kingdom to recognize Islam as a religion. Since the very strange welcome of the followers of Prophet Mohammed by the Christian Axumite King, Negash has been a place of great historical and religious significance as a symbol of peaceful coexistence between Muslim and Christian followers. It is considered by many Muslims as the second holiest place in the Muslim world. There is an annual pilgrimage to Negash (Al Nejashi Mosque) every year which attracts many Muslims from all over the world.

Today, Negash is known for its ornate white Arabic-style tombs of the first Muslims and the recently built mosque, said to be on the same site as the original mosque. An ancient cemetery has been uncovered, believed to contain the graves of those first Muslim refugees.

Since then you find Tigrian Muslims and Christians living in harmony. Marriage among them is common. They eat, work, play, pray, etc together. They live together. They go to school together. If you are from an extremist Muslim or extremist Christian world, you may see strange culture developed among them. Only in Tigrai will you find Muslims helping Christians in building churches and Christians helping Muslims in building mosques. You may see Muslims burning churches or Christians doing the same thing in the other world. But in Tigrai the story is different.

Al-Nejashi, this historic and religious symbol of the First Hijra in the history of Muslims, was attacked by the Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. Images showed al-Nejashi’s minaret destroyed, its dome partially collapsed, and its facade in ruins. Rubble also reportedly littered the floor of the inside of the mosque. As the Middle East eye noted, a number of artifacts are said to have been stolen, including religious books, letters, and manuscripts dating back to the time of Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.