The Larabanga mosque is one of the oldest mosques in West Africa and is the oldest mosque in Ghana. Each year the Larabanga mosque must be renovated due to damage to the mud walls during heavy rains. These yearly renovations can cost up to $1,000 and although the government of Ghana provides monetary assistance to keep up the mosque, this is not always enough money to do the job well.
Story of the Larabanga Mosque
After Ndewura Jakpa died, and Ibrahim decided to remain in the Gonja kingdom, he realized that as an Islamic spiritual leader, or Imam, he needed a Koran. At this time there were only seven korans in existence, all of them written by hand and bound into no less than sixty Hinzibs each and kept wrapped bulkily in many blankets and stored in large calabash bowls far away in Mecca. Ibrahim decided to consult an old Dhen Zuo man who was a remaining resident of Zuriyir and he learned of the Mystic stone which was already known as a holy spot to the residents of Zuriyir. Ibrahim went to the Mystic Stone and prayed hard for a Koran to be brought to Larabanga and it is said that his prayers were rewarded when one of the original seven Koran from Mecca was delivered to him from the heavens.
This Koran is preserved in the village today by a caretaker and it is brought out for special prayers each year during the Fire Festival when the new Muslim calendar year is celebrated. Many people converge at Larabanga from far and wide to attend these readings outside the ancient mosque.
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