Kenya’s Riyadha Mosque, one of the oldest Islamic institutions in East Africa
The Riyadha Mosque in Kenya is a 19th-century Islamic institution in the East African nation and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site.
The 19th-century mosque is located in Kenya’s Lamu Island and is a top tourist attraction.
It is one of the oldest continuously functioning Islamic teaching institutions in East Africa, having been built around 1892.
The mosque is hailed as a landmark historical site because of its role in spreading Islam in East and Central Africa. In 2018, the government declared it a national monument under the National Museums and Heritage Act.
The United Nations' cultural agency describes it as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa," noting it has "hosted major Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century, and has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures."
The Riyadha Mosque is recognized as one of the most prestigious centers for Islamic studies in East Africa.
Mosques are the most important buildings in every city and village in Islamic countries. These religious landmarks have always had a significant role in the lives of Muslims.
In addition to being a place of prayer and worship, the mosque provides guidance, social, educational, political, conflict resolution and marital services.