There are three main mosques in Nazareth that are of interest to visiting tourists, the Peace Mosque, Al-Nabi Saeen Mosque and the White Mosque which is the most historic mosque in the city. In addition there are about 14 other mosques which serve the smaller communities in the city. Map.
The White Mosque stands in the Harat Alghama or Mosque Quarter, in the Nazareth Old Market and in addition to being a place of worship and tourist attraction it is also a venue for educational programs and cultural activities. In the past the mosque was also used as an administrative center for civil matters and had a school and religious court of law.
The mosque and its congregation have a good relationship with the neighboring Christians in Nazareth. The mosque is managed by the Al-Fahum family, a respected local Nazareth family with a long history associated with the mosque. Constructed of the mosque continued from 1785 to 1815 and was paid for by Ottoman ruler Suleiman Pasha.
He ordered Sheikh Abdullah Eel-Ninni, the local high commissioner to construct the mosque. Eel-Ninni was also given a Waqf or wakf (a religious endowment, trusteeship or grant in Muslim law) to administer matters relating to the mosque, Nazareth residents and those living in the surrounding areas.
The Sheikh named the mosque the White Mosque as a symbol of purity, light and peace which followed the end of The Butcher Governor Jazzar Pasha’s rule which preceded Suleiman’s reign. The name also symbolized the cooperation and harmony between the various faiths of Nazareth residents. In 1834 the Sheikh resisted the authority of Egyptian Muhammad Ali and was deported to Egypt where he became a scholar at the Theological Institute of El-Zahr.
He went on to become an important religious scholar and gained the honorary title of al-Fahoum or “wise one.” When he died in 1815 Sheikh Abdullah al-Fahoum Eel-Ninni was brought back to Nazareth and buried in the courtyard on the western side of the mosque which he had established. Since then the mosque has been managed by the descendants of the al-Fahoum family as a “Wakf Den” or family trusteeship.