It took the name Lead Mosque, because all of its cupolas were covered with lead.
The Lead Mosque was built in 1773 by the Albanian pasha Mehmed Bushati of the noble Bushati family, who was vizier of Pashalik of Scutari at the time. Through this act, he intended to give his city of birth, the feeling of the capital. It is said that the mosque’s edifice was built on land owned by the catholic church.
Mehmed Bushati was personally involved with the construction and stones were incised under his patronage. Almost every day, he stepped down from his residence, the Rozafa Castle, to follow the progress of the works.
The first Imam of the mosque was Haxhi Ahmet Misria, who was of Egyptian origin. He came to Albania after the contacts he had with Mehmed Bushati. After him, other Imams served and also took care of the mosque.
In 1967, Lead Mosque was closed down, just like the other religious institutions, after the anti-religious communist leader Enver Hoxha declared Albania an atheist state. Unlike many mosques that were destroyed during this time, it survived from the communist regime, probably because it was declared a Cultural Monument in 1948.