This Zawia was built in the 8th century AH / 14th century CE, by the Kairouani jurisconsult Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Jadidi, who died while on pilgrimage in 785 AH / 1384 CE. His work was continued by his disciple Abu Samir Ubayd al-Gharyani from Jabal Gharyan in Libya. Since then, the mausoleum and the Koranic school have been named after him. It seems that the monument has undergone numerous restorations and extensions over the centuries, but it is difficult to follow its development with any precision due to the lack of documentation.
The entrance to the zawiya is through a bent hall similar to that of Kairouani houses, which opens onto a marble-paved courtyard decorated with interlacing geometric shapes in black marble. This type of paving was known in Tunisia since the Hafsid period - for example, it can be found in the maidha (ritual ablution room) of the Sultan - and spread to Ifriqiya, particularly during the Ottoman period. The courtyard is surrounded by four porticoes whose walls are lined with carved plaster panels (stucco) and glazed ceramic tiles. Each of these four porticoes is composed of three horseshoe arches which are perfectly in keeping with Kairouani traditions.
All these elements are organized in an exquisite harmony that respects the proportions between the curves and the various straight lines and reflects the prowess of the architect who designed this monument.
The southern portico precedes the prayer hall, which consists of three bays and three naves, following the traditional architectural model of Islamic mosques.
The northeast portico leads to the mausoleum, which houses the tomb of Sidi Ubayd al-Gharyani, as well as that of the Hafsid Sultan Mulay al-Hasan, who died in 958 AH/ 1550 CE. It is surmounted by a magnificent wooden graded ceiling decorated with geometric and plant motifs and arches, which are regularly repeated according to the principles of the Andalusian ornamental and architectural repertoire.
From the outside, this ceiling is surmounted by a pyramidal dome covered with green glazed tiles, reminiscent of that of the mausoleum of Hammouda Pasha (1041-76 AH / 1631-66 CE) and that of the zawiya of Sidi Qasim al-Jalizi in Tunis.
The other outbuildings of the monument, which are located on the ground and ground floors, consist of small rooms for the koranic school students. The southeast corner leads to a second courtyard surrounded by galleries supported by Byzantine and Zirid capitals and columns decorated with seals and inscriptions in Kufic script, probably brought from the site of Sabra, the Fatimid capital.
This courtyard leads to the ablutions room and then to a vestibule that leads outside the zawiya.