Kunanbay Uskenbaev Mosque is one of the most important attractions of Karkaralinsk town, which is located in Karagada region. It is one of the oldest mosques in our country. The construction of the mosque was begun in 1849, and the doors of the mosque were open to prayers in 1853. In addition, this monument has a high spiritual value for all fans of the Kazakh culture. Kunanbay Uskenbaev, father of the great writer Abay, built the mosque.
Kunanbay Uskenbaev was chosen for the position Aga-Sultan of the Karkaralinsk County (the head of social and administrative life of Karkaraly and other tribes) in1849. Then he moved to the permanent residence in Karkaralinsk town with his expanded family and a retinue people. Therefore, a little boy Abay was in Karkaralinsk with which associated all his life and filled with many warm memories.
Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov knew all these facts. He wrote: "The city in the whole Abay and from his father and from other people. He knew that Kunanbay won glory and universal respect after construction of the mosque. The construction of the first mosque in Karkaralinsk town and throughout the district was begun on means of Kunanbay last year".
According to reports, Abay repeatedly visited the mosque, the building of which live about 150 years. Almost every resident of Karkaralinsk can talk about repeated visits of Abay to hometown.
It is important to mention that Kunanbay Uskenbaev is as a harsh despot in the epic novel “Abai's way" by M.Auezov. From the other sources, the complicated Kunanbay's image was created by M.Auezov according to the collection. For example, the Polish revolutionary Adolf Yanushkevich wrote about Kunanbay: "There is more clearly realization in recent years, that harsh tyrant father, who familiar us from the epic novel "Abai's Way" by Auezov, is just character's image, which was given according to past censure and claimed the application of techniques of social realism in the description of the rich feudal.
Memories of Turagul Kunanbayev, Arham Iskakov and Akhat Kudaiberdiyev confirmed that Kunanbay Uskenbaev was not really as the character, who was described as "bloodsucker of the common people".
Polish exiled revolutionary Adolf Yanushkevich, who had been about thirty years in the kazakh steppes, witnessed Kunanbay during his visit to Elder Juz villages. In his book "Diaries and letters from traveling in the Kazakh steppes" he gave a brief and capacious description of Kunanbay Uskenbaev: "He looked like a real steppe prophet, incorruptible and honest judge and exemplary muslim. Kunanbay gained a fame of prophet, to whom came youth and elders, rich and poor people from other villages for taking advice". The direct evidence of Kunanbay affairs, which aimed for the benefit of local people, is the construction of Karkaralinsk mosque and madrassas for his own expenses. Kazakh children studied there and hotels to Mecca during the pilgrimage. Near the name of Kunanbay on the facade was written that all Muslim pilgrims from his country could be freely populated.
The Kunanbay Uskenbaev mosque is two-story building, which was made of wooden. Initially, the mosque consists of a log house, which built of hewn logs, later the walls were lined with planks. Dimensions of the architectural plan: width - 15m, length - 11m, height - 6m. The name of the architect is unknown.
Unfortunately, Kunanbay Uskenbaev mosque didn't preserve the original form. The minaret was destroyed in 1920, and the building was given to school by the Soviet Union, and later was a warehouse, and even later was abandoned. The Kunanbay mosque was completely renovated in the 1980s. Today it assigned to the prayers, and it is used as an original purpose.