See Also:Wasit, Iraq

ID:9673 Section: Place

Updated:Sunday 12th October 2014

Wasit ?

Wasit Definition

Wasiṭ was military and commercial city of medieval Iraq, especially important during the Omavi caliphate (661–750). Wasiṭ was established as a military encampment in 702 on the Tigris River, between Basra and Kufah, by al-Ḥajjaj, the Umayyad governor of Iraq. He built a palace and the chief mosque and encouraged irrigation and the cultivation of the region surrounding Wasiṭ. Through its location on the Tigris, at the centre of a network of roads radiating to all parts of Iraq, Wasiṭ became a great shipbuilding and commercial centre. Even after the capital was moved from Damascus to Baghdad, the city retained a strategic importance. Only with the shift in the course of the Tigris, sometime in the 15th century, did the city decline and eventually disappear. Thus, an early 17th-century Turkish geographer describes Wasiṭ as lying in the middle of the desert. Modern scholars do not agree as to the exact location of the medieval city but coins were mint during the reign of last Omavi Caliphs in Wasit. (Wikipedia) - Wasit, Iraq   (Redirected from Wasit) For other uses, see Wasit (disambiguation).

Wasit (Arabic,واسط) is a place in Wasit Governorate, south east of Kut in eastern Iraq.


The city was built by al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf in about AD 702 on the west bank of the Tigris across the river from the historical city of Kashkar.

Al Hajjaj is said to have taken the doors for the citadel and the main mosque from Zanzaward.

To quote UNESCO:

Wasit is an Islamic city built in the last quarter of the first Hijri century (7th century CE) by Al-Hajaj bin Yousif AL-Thaqafi, as an administrative centre for Iraq. As an ancient city its circumference is 16 kilometres. It was abandoned in the tenth Hijri century (16th century CE), after the change in the course of the river (Tigris. Its remains stood sound and safe due to its distance from constructive and agricultural influence. Most of its buildings are of bricks. A survey was carried out from 1936 to 1942, and another in 1985. The large mosque was cleared out in four stages from the seventh hijri, to the first hijri century, with some parts of its emirate house which is next to the mosque at the qibli side. A building known as the minaret was excavated, including a tomb and a school dating back to the seventh hijri century, a residence district was also cleared out in the late 1930s. Conservation has been carried out on some parts of the minaret due to the walls been worn out, but no real maintenance has been undertaken.

It was in Wasit that Al Hajjaj died in AD 714.

World Heritage Status

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on September 7, 2000 in the Cultural category.

Tags:Arabic, Baghdad, Basra, Damascus, Hijri, Iraq, Islamic, Omavi, Tigris, Turkish, UNESCO, Umayyad, Wasit, Wasit, Iraq, Wikipedia, World Heritage

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