Al-Zaytuna mosque is a slightly irregular building and medium in size. Its silhouette formed by a successive line of a white cylindrical minaret, a central dome and a smaller dome bestow it a pleasant elegant look. The mosque was built on the site of the crusader church named Saint Maria of Jehoshafat. It was built during the period of the famous Bedouin ruler Dhahir al-Umar by Haj Muhammad al-Sadiki who dedicated the mosque as a waqf. The mosque's courtyard later became the burial site for Husayn Abd al-Hadi (died 1836/7) who was the second governor of Acre in the period of the Egyptian rule.
In the middle of the 19th century the founders of the Shadhili order in Acre, Shaykh Ali Nur al-Din al-Yashruti and his followers, used the mosque as their congregation place until they built al-Zawiya al-Shadhiliyya in the adjacent lot. The members of this order believe the mosque was named after the Shadhili mosque in Tunis, where the order was founded. Others claim that name originated from the olive trees (Arabic: Zaytuna) that were presumably planted in the courtyard.
The entrance to al-Zaytuna mosque is located in the west façade under the minaret, slightly offset to the left. Following the entrance gate one finds oneself in a dark covered passage that narrows a bit just before it opens into the courtyard. Two windows, located in the wall dividing the passage and the prayer hall create a visual connection between the two. The courtyard, open to the sky with a fountain at its center, is encompassed by houses on three sides and connects to the prayer hall to the south. The courtyard retained some of its original red and white decorated marble pavement arranged in a geometric pattern.
A four bay arcade forms the threshhold to the prayer hall. Its domes are supported by convoluted columns, taken from Maria of Jehoshafat's Church. Above the entrance door to the prayer hall the wall is decorated with white and red marble set in ochre limestone. The prayer hall itself is composed of two rooms that are separated by a large open arch. The main room has a square plan, its dome rests on top of an octagonal drum, pierced with windows. A mihrab is set in the south wall between two windows, and a gallery abuts the west wall. The second room is smaller, slightly tapered and covered with a smaller dome.