Located in Yemen’s Hadhramaut Valley, the ancient town of Tarim is widely recognized as a hub of religion, culture, and science, and in particular an important center for theological and juridical studies. The centerpiece of the historic town is the Al-Muhdhar Mosque or, to be more precise, its minaret.
The mosque’s prominent white minaret—the narrow, pointed tower from which Muslims are called to prayer—rises to a height of over 150 feet, making it the tallest tower throughout Tarim, and in fact the tallest minaret in all of Yemen.
Tarim is also a place where different architectural styles combine to create new aesthetics, and the minaret of Al-Muhdar Mosque is no exception. The minaret has a square base and an internal staircase leads all the way to the top of the structure, which, in accordance with the tradition of the region, it is entirely made of mud. Lime plaster covers the exterior of the minaret and gives it the bright white color that so stands out against the rocky mountain in the background.
The unique minaret was designed by Abu Bakr bin Shihab and Alawi Al Mash’hūr, two native writers, and its construction was completed in 1914. The mosque is named after Omar Al’Muhdar, a prominent Tarimi leader from the 15th century.
Know Before You Go
A special permit is needed to visit Hadhramaut, and you must have a military escort to visit Tarim.