At the shoreline of Diani beach there exist a very unique mosque which has stood the test of time. Its architecture is as unique as its discovery.
Welcome to Kongo Mosque, which was named after the nearby Kongo River. According to historical accounts, Kongo Mosque was built and used by early Arab merchants for prayers as they toured the East African Coast in the 14th Century and it is believed to be the oldest mosque in Eastern Africa.
Formerly, this mosque was known as Diani Persian Mosque. Despite being a tourist attraction for both local and foreign visitors, all Islamic traditions and procedures are observed. Non-Muslims are strictly not allowed inside the mosque. Visitors are requested to respect Islamic traditions while enjoying themselves around the mosque and its grounds.
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The history of this mosque have it that after the Arabs had left the Kenyan Coast, the mosque was deserted becoming a base of wild animals and bats. The huge baobab trees formed a thicket engulfing the mosque and for quite a long time, no one knew a mosque existed there.
During his sleep, over 300 years ago, a cleric, Sheikh Mwenye Kombo had a dream. In the dream he got instructions to walk along South Coast to look for the mosque ruins. He was told to look for the mosque lying unused in the thickets of huge baobab trees. He did as instructed in the vision and he discovered the mosque after some days. He went back to his home and mobilized a group of his fellow men and returned to clear the bushes around the mosque and cleaned it read for use. Since then, the mosque had been open for Muslim faithful all over Coast area and their visitors.
Its surrounding is well maintained and clean. Kongo Mosque offers a perfect area for fun.
The canopy formed by the huge baobab, coconut and palm trees provide a good relaxing shade for tourists who usually spread themselves on the dazzling soft white sand as others either walk around enjoying the sun or jumps into the ocean and swim.
The grounds around the mosque have a secure parking for visitors’ cars while the visitors go their different corners of the grounds and the beach.
Under normal circumstances the area is usually bustling with activities during weekends as both local and foreign visitors enjoys themselves.
Apart from visitors coming here for learning the history and have a relaxing aura, in recent times, the grounds had been used for volleyball training.