Zanzibar’s Kizimkazi Mosque is the oldest mosque built by Shirazis in Africa after the Kilwa Island Grand Mosque in Tanzania, which is still used by worshipers and is visited by many tourists every year.
According to ISNA, quoting the public relations of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Institute, Morteza Rezvanfar, a member of the research faculty, said: “According to the inscription on the altar, the Kizimkazi Mosque was built in 500 AH (more than 940 years ago).”
Shirazi is the name of an ethnic group of inhabitants of the coasts and nearby islands in the Indian Ocean who live mainly in Zanzibar, Pemba, and Ittihad Qamar. According to legends spread on the east coast of Africa, the Shirazi’s are descendants of famous or anonymous Iranian princes who are associated with Swahili princesses.
He said: “According to the observation, this type of three-dimensional design in the altar was later used by some Shirazi, Baluch, Shushtari, Kazeruni, and Omani mosques in some mosques in Tanzania and Kenya, such as the Shushtari mosque in Zanzibar or the Baluch mosque.” Pointed at Kaule.
A member of the faculty of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Institute added: David Whitehouse (1941-2013), a British archaeologist who has spent several seasons exploring Iran and Africa, considers the Kufic inscription of the Kizimkazi Mosque to be similar to the inscriptions of Bandar Siraf in Iran.
According to Rezvanfar, the residents of the village of Makonduchi, near which the Kizimkazi Mosque is located, consider themselves Shirazi’s and hold the Nowruz (Niruzi) ceremony in August, almost at the same time as the sea Nowruz (fishing) ceremony in southern Iran.
Many years ago, this researcher traveled to Tanzania and Kenya to prepare a certificate for Iranian works and said: Kizimkazi Mosque is the oldest mosque built in East Africa, which dates back to 938 years ago.