Since the sack of Somnath by Maḥmūd of Ghazna in 1025–26, Somnath has been a byword for religious orthodoxy, intolerance and conflict between Muslims and Hindus. Yet looking further than Maḥmūd's greed for the temple's gold and later the Delhi sultans' appetite for territory, Somnath and most other towns of Saurashtra had long-established settlements of Muslims engaged in international maritime trade. The settlers, while adhering to their own values, respected their hosts and their traditions and enjoyed the support of the local rajas. It is only in recent years that Hindu nationalist parties have revived the story of Maḥmūd to evoke resentment against the era of Muslim domination, with the aim of inducing communal tensions and gaining political power. The inscriptions and many mosques and Muslim shrines in this Hindu holy city and its vicinity bear witness to the long history of harmonious co-existence between Hindus and Muslims. This paper explores the Muslim culture of Somnath by studying its major mosques. Through an analytic exploration of the typology of the mosques of Saurashtra, the paper demonstrates that while the old centres of power in Gujarat lay outside Saurashtra it is in Somnath and its neighbouring towns that numerous mosques dating from prior to the sultanate of Gujarat still stand. These monuments help illuminate our understanding of early Muslim architecture in Gujarat and its aesthetic evolution from the time of the peaceful maritime settlements to the establishment of the Gujarat Sultanate.