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Hala Sultan Tekke 2007.

Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram is a very prominent Muslim shrine near Larnaca, on the island of Cyprus. Umm Haram (Hala Sultan is the Turkish language name) was the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s ‘wet-nurse’ and the wife of Ubada bin al-Samid. Most accounts[weasel words] establish a connection between the site and the death of Umm Haram during the first Arab raids on Cyprus under the Caliph Muawiyah between 647 and 649, which were later pursued throughout the Umayyad and the Abbasid periods. According to these accounts, Umm Haram, being of very old age, had fallen from her mule and had died during a siege of Larnaca. She was buried near the salt lake and her grave became a sacred shrine. The shrine, and later the mosque and the whole complex was named after her.

In Ottoman times, a mosque complex was built in stages around the tomb, especially as of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The shrine structure was first erected by Sheikh Hassan in 1760. Later the mosque was constructed and the complex assumed its present form around 1816/17. Hala Sultan Tekke complex is composed of a mosque, mausoleum, minaret, cemetery, and living quarters for men and women. The term tekke (convent) applies to a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood, or tariqa, and may have referred to an earlier feature of the location. The present-day complex, open to all and not belonging to a single religious movement, lies in a serene setting on the shores of the Larnaca Salt Lake, which apppears to be an important site also in prehistory (see below). Hala Sultan Tekke is a listed Ancient Monument.

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