Ifriqiya: Present day Libya, Tunisia, and most of Algeria.
Al-Andalus: Southern Spain, but used in Arabic sources to designate all of Islamic Spain.
Ribat: Originally designated a building type that was both military and religious in character. It was a fortified barrack for those volunteers (murabitun) whose piety led them to devote themselves to guarding the frontiers of the Islamic state.
Qayrawan: The Islamic capital of Ifriqiya, founded by Uqba ibn Nafi' in 664. He built in it a dar al-imara (palace of the governor) and the congregational mosque which carries his name (the Mosque of Sidi Uqba).
The Aghlabids: A dynasty that ruled Ifriqiya and Sicily between 800 and 909. Their capital was at Qayrawan, and they paid tribute to the Abbasids.
The Umayyads of Spain (756-1031): After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty in 750, a scion of the family, Abd al-Rahman I, fled to Spain and established a principality in Cordoba independent of the Abbasids. His great grandson, Abd al-Rahman III (912-961) declared a new Umayyad caliphate with its capital in Cordoba.
Main Features of North African Mosques
- Hypostyle plan with arcaded porticoes on the three sides of the courtyard.
- T shaped plan of prayer hall (axial nave and transverse arcade in front of mihrab), with aisles perpendicular to the qibla wall.
- Dome above the mihrab.
- Square-based tower as minarets.