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Amr Ibn Al Aas mosque Cairo Egypt

Amr Ibn Al Aas mosque Cairo Egypt

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Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo is the first and oldest mosque which built on the land of Egypt. In fact, the mosque of Amr Ibn Al Aas erected in 642 AC by Amr Ibn Al Aas. He was the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo also known as Taj Al Jawamie (Crown of Mosques. It also Known as Al Jamie Al Ateeq (the Ancient Mosque). And it also known as Masjid Ahl Al Rayah (Mosque of Banner Holders). Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo built on the site of Amr Ibn Al Aas’s tent at Fustat. It is the oldest existing mosque, not just in Cairo, but the entire African Continent. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo located north of the Roman Fortress of Babylon. It actually on the edge of Fustat, the temporary city founded by Amr.

In fact, it was an Islamic learning center long before Al Azhar Mosque. Moreover, it could hold up to 5,000 students. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo built on an area of 1,500 square cubits, overlooking the Nile. The initial structure was quite simple; with walls bare of any plaster or decorations. But it was without niche (Miharb), minaret or ground cover. It had two doors on the north and two others facing Amr’s house. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo area remained unchanged until 672. When Musallama Al Ansari undertook expansion and renovation works for the mosque. He was Egypt’s ruler on behalf of Caliph Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufian. Walls and ceilings decorated. Four compartments for “muezzins” (callers for prayers) added at the corners.

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They are together with a minaret, while the mosque ground covered with straw mats. In 698, Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo demolished and expanded by Abdul Aziz Ibn Marwan, Egypt’s ruler. Once again in 711, the mosque demolished by Prince Qurrah Ibn Shuraik Al Absi, Egypt’s ruler. Upon the orders of Caliph Al Waleed Ibn Abdul Malek, the mosque area enlarged. A niche, a wooden pulpit, compartment and copings of four columns gold-coated. The mosque had then four doors to the east, four to the west and three to the north. Under the Abbasid state, successive additions and repairs introduced. In 827, Abdullah Ibn Taher, Egypt’s ruler on behalf of Caliph Al Ma’moun ordered an equal area to the north.

That is to added to the mosque, thus bringing its total area to its present level of 13,556,25 square meters. (112.3 m x 120.5 m). The Fatimid period was the gold era for Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo. Gilted mosaics, marble works, a wooden compartment and a moving pulpit introduced. A part of the niche was silver-coated. The last structural amendments in Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo made during the rule of Murad Bey. It was under the ottoman era, in 1797 AC. There was a collapse of some columns. That is why the interior of the mosque demolished and rebuilt. As a result, eastern arcades re-positioned to be perpendicular to the Mihrab wall. Arches extended across windows. Two minarets built and are still extant.

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Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo was not only a place of worship. In fact, it also served as a court for settling religious and civil disputes. Teaching circles organized either for general religious preaching or teaching lessons. It was in Quranic sciences and jurisprudence. Moreover, it also was in Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition (Hadith) as well as letters. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo incorporates elements of Greek and Roman buildings. It has 150 white marble columns and three minarets. Its present plan consists of an open Sahn (court). Sahn surrounded by four Riwaqs, the largest being the Qiblah Riwaq. There are many wooden plaques bearing Byzantine carvings of leaves. An enclosed column has transported from Mecca on the orders of Prophet Mohammad himself. There are many other ancient legions which related to the Mosque.

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Amir Sarghatmish madrasa mosque Cairo

Amir Sarghatmish madrasa Cairo Egypt

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Amir Sarghatmish madrasa, mosque and mausoleum located in Saliba Street in Cairo. In fact, they are just behind Ibn Tulun mosque. The Gayer Anderson museum located to one side of that mosque. Amir Sarghatmish Madrasa located on the other side. Madrasa is an Arabic word means school. In the Islamic era, it support of higher Qur’anic studies, prophetic traditions and jurisprudence. Seif ad-Dim Sarghatmish was a Mamluk. He acquired by Sultan Al-Nasir Mohammad. As was the custom at the time, he called al-Nassiri as a tribute to his mater. He grew up in the corps of jamdars or keepers of the wardrobe. Amir Sarghatmish was handsome man. He came to prominence during the reigns of al-Nasir’s minor sons. It was when he took an active part in the battles waged on their behalf.

In fact, he was one of the principle agents of Sultan Hassan’s return to power. Afterwards, he ruled the country on Hassan’s behalf. In fact, Sultan Hassan tired of this and had him imprisoned and then murdered in 1358. He buried under the dome of his Madrasa. Saliba Street is a rather narrow lane with lots of traffic. The redevelopment of Cairo Citadel to the transformation of this zone into an urban area. It was under Sultan Al- Nasser Mohammad leadership. Moreover, Saliba Street became a major thoroughfare. Princes built town houses, palaces, mosques and schools in the area. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa and mosque attached to the northeast wall of Ibn Tulun Mosque. There were houses which built in this area and destroyed by Prince Sarghatmish in 1356. So he could build his mosque and madrasa.

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In fact, Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a good example of the type of Islamic foundation. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa built especially for the teaching of the Hanefite rite of Islam. It was a major merging place for the rite’s leaders. They mainly came from Persia. This was why Persian architecture can seen in Amir Sarghatmish madrasa. It is besides to the Mamluk style. There were one senior and three junior professors appointed. Moreover, sixty students enrolled. There was also an orphanage school that established as an annex. It accommodated forty children. Moreover, it directed by a teacher and an assistant. The teacher taught them Quran, calligraphy and arithmetic.

In fact, Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a rectangular in shape with many windows. Moreover, the windows covered with white rock screens. The southwest facade facing Ibn Tulun mosque. It has shops beneath it. In fact, the main facade is on the west side, with a stalactite portal and a minaret. On the main facade are two black mashraheyya windows which are beautiful and well crafted. On the southwestern side of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a mausoleum. The mausoleum does not adjoin the prayer hall. That is why it can face the main street. Moreover, the dome of the mausoleum has a high drum. It is with the remains of an inscription band and a cornice of stalactites underneath the dome. This is the earliest extant example of a dome with stalactites on the exterior.

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The transition zone of the dome is not visible from the exterior. The profile of the dome differs from the common type in lacking a pointed top. It is double shelled with an inner shell lower than the outer one. A device used in the mausoleums of Samarkand beginning in the Timurid period. The minaret placed to the left of the entrance. It built of white and red stone. It has three stories. The lowest of which is octagonal. Furthermore, it surmounted by a cornice that supports the first level. This first story has reduced to just a base set on inclined or prismatic triangles. The second story is also octagonal and terminates with a similar stalactite cornice. It supporting the second level. The third story has eight marble columns, bearing the bulb. On the first story, the two-colored inlaid masonry forms a sunrise motif.

There is a zigzag motif on the second story. On the second story there is only one small decorative balcony. It is where there are usually four, one on every second facet of the octagon. The huge portal of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa, designed like Sultan Hassan’s gigantic gates. It differs from other of the same period. It has stalactite pendentive triangles at the two corners. They are between the semi-dome and the rectangular recess. Above the Maxalas (stone benches), on both sides of the entrance, runs a band of inscriptions. It contains the name of the founder and the date of completion. After one passes through this gate, there is a small, twisting corridor. It has some beautiful lanterns and leads to the main open air court.

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Amir Sarghatmish mosque built according to a cruciform plan. It consists of open air court which called Sahn. It surrounded by four Iwans. The largest being the Qibla one. It consists of three bays. The middle one of which covered by a lofty dome resting on wooden stalactite pendentive. One of these Iwans covered with a large piece of green cloth and reserved for women. The Sahn, paved with colored marble. It is amazing especially for its bold, black and white floor and the windows in the buildings all around it. The space between the sides of the four Iwans and the corners of the sahn occupied by students’ cells. It is where they slept and studied. The side Iwans are of considerable size. So, they are not like the cruciform madrasas of Qalawun and al-Nasir Muhammad.

It leave little room on the lateral sides of the courtyard for the student living units. Some of the living units overlook the street, while others open onto the courtyard. This marks the beginning of the tendency to integrate madrasas into urban life. Situated in the center of the Sahn a domed water fountain. It surrounded by eight marble pillars. The only part reaming of the old fountain are the eight marble columns. Actually this is not the original fountain or dome but. It is suppose to be a good reproduction of the original one, though the dome itself is new. Parts of the damaged marble floor of the water fountain dismantled and restored.

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Missing fragments of Qur’anic texts embellishing the Sarghatmish mosque have replaced. The authentic white and black marble floor has cleaned and missing pieces replaced. The Qibla Iwan contains the Mihrab and the Minbar. It is typical as the largest one in the madrasa. The prayer hall has carved marble slabs. Some of which are in the Islamic Museum. The others are in another mosque in the neighborhood. The decorations on these slabs are floral. One of them has an interesting composition of arabesques with two hands. They hold a stalk, a lamp and birds. The marbles with animal representations and grapes found under the floor of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa. One of the slabs near the prayer niche has a medallion at its center.

It has an inscription with the founder’s name as well as a blazon of Sarghitmish. It also has a handkerchief, symbol of his function as jamdar, or amir in charge of the royal wardrobe. The functions of the various Amirs (Princes) represented in their blazons. It was common during the Bahri Mamluk Period. These blazons symbolized their functions at the royal court. Examples we can see today include a sword on the gate of the sword-carrier Manjaq al-Silahdar. They also include polo sticks carved at the mosque of Amir Almalik al-Juqandar. Moreover, they also include the polo master, a cup at the madrasa of Iljay al-Yusufi. They include also the Wakala of Qusum, who were cup bearers.

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The earliest example of a blazon on a Cairo building is a pair of lions facing each other. It is on Al-Zahir Baybars’ madrasa at Nahhasin. In this case, the emblem represented his name. Baybars can translated at lion. At the back of Qibla Iwan is the Mihrab which in colored marble. In fact, it situated in the middle of a marble dado. It is remarkable for two panels of white marble. Each of which engraved with raised ornamentation. It is in the form of a medallion in the center and four quarter medallions at the corners. There are two bands of inscriptions. One in the upper part and the other in the lower part of each panel. In fact, they bear the name of the founder. They echo the brass linings of the doors of some other Mamluk mosques. The Mihrab decoration is rather simple but nicely done.

In fact, The dome of the Mihrab is the oldest remaining one of a madrasa in Cairo. Moreover, it restored in 1940 using old photographs, after having collapsed. Furthermore, a dome over a Mihrab is an architectural feature. It forms a unique feature which distinguishes it from earlier and later ones. This dome does not have a double shell, as the dome of the mausoleum, though it has a high drum. We do not know whether the original dome had a double shell or not. The dome supported on wooden pendentives and covers the central bay of the prayer hall. Two flat-roofed bays on each side of the domed area. The minbar dates to 1706 and it constructed from fine brown wood. It has a golden Arabic inscription written above its door.

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There is also the name of the founder of the Minbar which given as Ahmed Azban. The date of the foundation which written in the Hegry calendar as 1118 H. It is a fine piece of Islamic art. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa features huge amazing lanterns. They hang all about the iwans. They made out of pure Egyptian brass and adorned. There is one huge lantern in each Iwan. On the far side of the northwestern Iwan is a door. It opens into the mausoleum, in the center of which is a cenotaph of fine craftsmanship. The domed area does not overlook the street. Adjoining it is a rectangular space which cross-vaulted and has windows. A similar device used at the mausoleum of Baybars al-Jashankir.

In both cases, this explained by the street alignment on one side and the Mecca orientation of the dome. Moreover, it is also in its relationship to the rest of the building on the other side. The mausoleum had a colored marble dado, of which a few fragments remain. Inside the floor covered with white and brown marble. There is a huge dome above the tomb of the Prince, which itself is plain. The dome is high and beautiful with a huge lantern hanging from its center. This dome built in 1940 to replace the old one, which demolished at the end of the nineteenth century. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa features exotic character of the domes. They associated with its dedication to Persian students. Though several similar domes found at Samarkand in Transoxia.

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In fact, all these examples are of a later date which built around the year 1400. There is no doubt though that these domes had a foreign prototype. They did not belong to a Cairene tradition. Furthermore, double-shell domes were common in Persia. A common prototype in Persia is the origin of both the Samarkand and Sarghitmish domes. A similar situation seen in Ibn Tulun Mosque. In fact, it is where features taken from Samarra mosques. And in the minaret of al-Nasir Mohammad at Cairo Citadel. Its Persian origins likewise cannot demonstrated in surviving structures. The double-shell dome built once more in Cairo at the Sultaniyya mausoleum.

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Qanibay Amir Akhur complex Cairo

Qanibay Amir Akhur Complex

Qanibay Amir Akhur Complex Cairo information, tours, prices, booking

Qanibay Amir Akhur complex belongs to Qanibay Al Sayfi. In fact, he was grand master of the horses during the reign of Sultan Al Ghuri. He also known as Al-Rammah because he was famous for his horsemanship and using spears. Al Rammah is an Arabic word means the lancer. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex sometimes known as madrasa of Qanibay Qura Al Rammah. In fact, it features a madrasa, mosque and a Sabil-Kuttab. The Mamluk era varied creative features to the already diverse and expressive Islamic Architecture. Moreover, Mamluk early buildings followed the traditional plans and designs. The Islamic architectural reached its most significant achievements during the Mamluk time. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex built in 1503 AD in Cairo. It built on a hill overlooking Sultan Hassan mosque and Al Rifai mosque.

Qanibay Amir Akhur complex indeed has a unique location. It lies in Salah El Din Square opposite Bab Al Azab. Baba Ala Azab is one of the city gates. This gate lies next to the Horse market. Moreover, it leads to the Sultans horse stables. It located in the citadel grounds just off the square. The important complexes usually built on main streets. Designers often faced with most irregular plots of land. Creative architectural solutions required to do a successful building. One of these cases seen in the Qanibay madrasa. It built on stepped rocky ground. This conflict overcame by erecting the complex on storerooms and the madrasa basement. That is why the various parts of the facade would be at the same height.

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It took full advantage of the view and at the same time exposing the mosque to the crowds below. For this reason, the building considered a suspended mosque. The mosque and madrasa occupy the upper floor while the Sabil is on the left of the entrance. It is above which located the Kuttab. Moreover, the mosque and madrasa reached by an exterior staircase. It is on the main south eastern facade. And then through a trilobed vaulted portal. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex has a long main facade overlooking the square. It consists of the same elements used in Mamluk architecture . They are such as rectangular niches that differ according to the function behind them.

Furthermore, the rectangular niche of the entrance has two sitting decks on the sides. It topped with calligraphic bands. It composed of a trilobed arch crowned by another taking the shape of trefoil leaves. As for the rectangular niche of the qibla iwan, it has two windows in each. The Sabil facade consists of a large rectangular window. It surmounted by four small wooden window screens. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex has a bent entrance leading to a vestibule. It isolating it from the exterior and working as a distribution space to all the elements of the complex. The vestibule has a beautiful wooden ceiling supported on stalactite frieze with colored ornaments.

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In fact, the madrasa follows the traditional Qaa plan. Moreover, it marked for the extravagance and richness of its interior golden decorations. It composed of an open central Durqaa (hall). Furthermore, it surrounded by two perpendicular Iwans and another two side ones. Facing the Qibla Iwan, is a stone Mihrab. It worked with various ornaments, a wooden Minbar and two bands of Quranic inscriptions. The Qibla Iwan roofed by a shallow vault on pendentives. The Iwan on the opposite side covered by a cross vault. Limestone used for building external and inner walls of the madrasa. The mausoleum occupies the corner of the adjacent building to the Qibla Iwan. It can reached from the Durqaa through the southeast door. The internal walls cl-added with marble and it has a Mihrab facing it with two side wall cupboards.

The mausoleum dome rests on four pendentives decorated. It is with seven rows of Muqarnas (stalactites). It is also with a drum containing sixteen arched windows topped by the calligraphic text. This dome has amazing arabesque carving patterns and floral forms seen from the outside. The minaret, located to the left of the entrance as a landmark. It consists of two pedestals. They are one on top of the other separated by rows of stone Muqarnas which carry the balconies. This minaret is a style that appeared in the end of the Mamluk era. It is the oldest of its kind. It is a twin-topped minaret rather than the usual one head. The double type minarets also used afterwards in Al Ghouri Mosque and Al Azhar Mosque.

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Qanibay Amir Akhur complex minaret has a square lower and middle section. The upper section composed of two rectangular bodies with an arched recess on each side. Both surmounted by a Mamluk dome ending with a post. They crowned by a spherical bulb form domes and crescent. Prince Qanibay Qura Al Rammah known to be fond of architecture and construction. He also built a madrasa in Al Naseriyya. Prince Qanibay died in 1515 A.D. He buried in the madrasa at Qanibay Amir Akhur complex. In fact, Qanibay Amir Akhur complex first restored in 1895. And then in 1939 by the French Commission for the conservation of Arab Monuments.

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Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo, Egypt tours, booking

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was the royal mosque of both the Citadel and Cairo itself. In fact, Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo built by Sultan Al Nasir Muhammad in Cairo citadel. It was during his third and longest reign in 1340. The Sultans (kings) of Cairo performed their Friday prayers in it, except on religious feasts. In feasts, prayer took place in a large gathering at the hippodrome beneath the Citadel walls. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was large enough to hold five thousand worshipers. Moreover, the main entrance to Al Nasir Muhammad is across the entrance to the courtyard of Mohammad Ali mosque. The Citadel always had a mosque. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo is like most of the buildings which built on the site of a previous building.

In fact, there were several mosques in Cairo Citadel. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was one of the most glamorous in Cairo. It was until the original dome covered with green tile over the nine-bay Maqsura. Maqsura is a private area in the prayer hall. In fact, it usually enclosed by a wood screen for the ruler and his entourage. It collapsed in the sixteenth century. Furthermore, the marble carried off by the Ottoman conquerors. In fact, Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo founded in 1318. It pulled down and rebuilt on a larger scale in 1335. This hypo-style mosque built as a regular free-standing rectangle around a courtyard. It was with a large dome covering the prayer niche area. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo has three entrances. One is on the northeastern side with a trilobed shallow recess. Moreover, another one is on the northwestern wall with a stalactite portal.

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The third entrance is on the southern wall. It adorned with a pointed arch including a sun-rise motif in Ablaq masonry. None of the entrances has a Maksala or bench, making them the exception to the rule in Cairo. The facades of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque not paneled. They have no decoration except crenellation. The appearance is rather austere. It is except for the two exotic minarets at the northeast corner and at the northwest portal. They decorated with blue and green faience mosaics. Moreover, the minaret to the north directed its call to prayer to the officers and soldiers dwelling there. The other minaret faced the sultans’ palaces. The northern minaret is the taller of the two. That is why it could seen by the palace house some distance away. Both minarets built of stone.

The western minaret is conical, with a shaft which carved in a deep zigzag motif. It is vertical on the first story and horizontal on the second. It has no openings and has a garlic-shaped bulb resting on a ribbed, tapered cylinder. The whole upper structure covered with green, white and blue faience mosaics. It is like those which found at Al Nasir’s Sabil attached to the madrasa. In fact, this madrasa (school) built by his father, Qalawun. A Quranic inscription band made of white faience mosaic adorns the nick of the bulb. This minaret continues the Cairene tradition of placing minarets at the portals of foundations. The minaret at the northeastern corner of the mosque has a completely different shape. The base is rectangular and the second story is cylindrical.

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In fact, both are without carving. Its upper part has an open hexagonal pavilion. Moreover, it supports the top of the structure, which is like the top of the western minaret. Both minarets have balconies adorned with parapets. They made of stone panels pierced with arabesques. Furthermore, they carved in the same technique used to make the screens of Sanjar. The crenelation around the base of the bulbous is the earliest which known experimentation. This is with technique at the base of a Cairene dome. A craftsman from Tabriz came to Cairo during the reign of Al Nasir Muhammad. He was the one who built other minarets covered with faience, as was the fashion in Persia. The bulb shape also came from Tabriz technique, but also the bulb shape, seem to have come from Tabriz. Both minarets also have another common feature.

It distinguishes them from all other Mamluk minarets. Moreover, their base is below the level of the roof of the mosque. It is when the roof of the mosque rebuilt, the minarets were already standing. On the northern wall of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo underneath the minaret is a small balcony. It reached by a staircase inside the mosque. Its function is unknown. One may speculate that it intended for prayers or recitations addressed. This is to overflow crowds of worshipers outside Al Nasir Muhammad mosque. Furthermore, the interior of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque follows the hypo-style scheme. It is with the standard pattern of a rectangular courtyard. A sanctuary on the Qibla side and arcades surrounding its other three sides.

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In fact, within Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo, the walls supported by the arcades. They have a row of arched windows that give the building a special character. These windows must added when the roof raised. The openings help reduce the thrust carried by the arches, admit light and are ornamental as well. The voussoirs of the Al Nasir Muhammad’s arcades composed of ablaq masonry. They are of the same stone, but painted. The ceiling over the arcades is flat. It covered with traces of its light blue. In fact, the silver decorations are still visible. The crenelation around the courtyard is of the stepped type. It differs from the outer crenelation composed of rectangles. It is with rounded tops like those of the city and Citadel walls. At the corners near the crenelations of the courtyard are four decorative structures. They are like the Mabkhara (incense burner) minaret tops.

A special collection of pre-Islamic capitals crowns the marble columns of the mosque. The two pairs of Coptic Christian capitals at the main entrance are particularly interesting. Their white marble carved with a basket pattern. There are also capitals dating to the Greek and Roman periods. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo had many large iron-grilled windows that now walled up. It also paneled with high marble dados. They later removed by Sultan Selim. They shipped to Istanbul with other marbles from the palace. The Qibla wall completely restored. The ground level inside the Citadel has risen. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was a much higher level and reached by a staircase.

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The present dome of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo is modern. It carried by granite columns like those of the Citadel palaces. These columns taken from ancient Egyptian temples. The original dome, like many others in Cairo, made of plastered wood. The transition zone consists of pendentives carved with stalactites. They, together with the inscription band referring to the founder, painted and gilded. During the later Mamluk period, the stalactite squinches supplanted by stalactite pendentives. Pendentives are triangles at the corners of the transitional zone of a dome. They transfer the thrust of the dome to the corners of the four walls. The squinches are arches or quarter-domes. They transfer the thrust into the middle of each of the four walls.

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Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa & Mausoleum Cairo

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa and Mausoleum Egypt

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa, Mosque, Mausoleum

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa stands next to Sultan Al Nasir Muhammad madrasa. It is in a street called Al Mu’izz in Nahhasin district in Islamic Cairo. In fact, Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa dates back to 1384. Madrasa is an Islamic school teaches Islamic religion. The architect Shihab al Din Ahmad belonged to a family of court architects and surveyors. Moreover, he was in charge of part of the construction. Jarkas al Khalili was master of Barquq’s horse and the founder of the famous Khan El-Khalili. His name appears in the inauguration inscription. The name is on the facade and courtyard of Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa. The founder of Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa was Sultan Barquq. In fact, he was of Circassian origin, recruited under the Turkish Bahri Mamluks.

The Circassians were subjects of the Tatar Golden Horde. They were first imported to Egypt as slave troops by Qalawun in the thirteenth century. In fact, Barquq freed in 1363. He established his dominance in the Mamluk government in 1382. It was when he seized power through a series of intrigues and assassinations. Moreover, he began recruiting Circassian Mamluks from Caucasus. Egyptian history references the following era as the Circassian Mamluk period. These Mamluks garrisoned at the Citadel. It is where also called the Burji or Burgi Mamluks. Sultan Barquq sought to legitimize his rule by associating himself with the previous dynasty. In fact, he bequeathed a legacy from Bahari Mamluk. It was fending off the Crusaders and Mongols. It was also espousing Sunni Islam.

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Sultan Barquq established himself by marrying Baghdad Khatun. She was a widow of Sultan Sha’ban, one of the last descendants of Sultan Qalawun. Al Zahir Barquq ordered the construction of a funerary foundation for his family. To emphasize the continuity, he chose a site next to the early Qalawunid monuments. In fact, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa set the tone for architectural decoration in Cairo. It was between 1400 and 1450. Moreover, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa was teaching the four rites of Islam. Moreover, it has a Friday mosque and a mausoleum. The madrasa was also a Khanqah for Sufis. Furthermore, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa housed one hundred and twenty-five theology students and sixty Sufis. It had living quarters for the teachers and stables for their horses.

The facade of Al Zahir Barquq madrasa paneled with recesses surmounted by stalactites. Moreover, the upper windows pointed arches as well as wooden grills. This is a style that can seen in several mosques of the Bahri Mamluk period. The dome next to the minaret is not original. The two structures seem to be in harmony. Furthermore, the original dome was a wood and plaster structure. In fact, the dome collapsed in the nineteenth century. Al Zahir Barquq madrasa had theme of illustrations. These illustrations made it possible to reconstruct the dome. The new dome made of brick. Though the dome’s surface is plain and there is a cornice of stalactites at its base. This feature seen at the mausoleum of Sarghatmish.

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An octagonal minaret recognizable at great distance. It is by its solid overlapping roundels and column-supported galleries. In fact, it is also by onion shaped copper finial. The minaret of Al Zahir Barquq mosque is completely octagonal. Moreover, it differs from most of the other fourteenth century minarets. There are intersecting circles where white marble inlaid in the stone. This design maybe inspired by the intersecting arches at the top of the minaret of Qalawun. Just as in the Qalawun mausoleum, the facade of the minaret on its lower part has columns. They attached to the wall. These columns with their capitals carved parts of the wall masonry. The capitals themselves are unusual. One of them adorned with a stylized ram’s head.

A trilobite stalactite portal graces the facade. To the north of the portal is a large dome which flanked by a minaret. This high, rectangular and offset entrance is next to Al Nasser’s Madrasa. Moreover, The original bronze door adorned with geometric stars inlaid with silver. Barquq’s name is visible on the raised boss of the center star. In fact, Barquq means plum in the Egyptian dialect. The recess of the portal decorated with a large rectangular panel. It is with inlaid marble, also reminiscent of that at Sultan Hassan’s vestibule. The mosque retains many of its original windows, doors and other furniture. A bent entrance leads through a corridor to the cruciform interior. This vaulted passage has a recess on the left side. It used for water jugs, kept fresh by a wooden lattice door that is now missing.

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In fact, there are four Iwans face the courtyard. They have four large pointed arches. Moreover, above the arches, a large inscription carved in stone. The open court paved with marble mosaic and features large porphyry disks. The ablution fountain situated in the center of the courtyard. It has a bulbous wooden dome on eight marble columns. It is also like that in Sultan Hassan Mosque. The inauguration of this specific mosque, the ablution fountain filled with sugared water. The sweetmeats distributed to the congregation. During this period, the the sultan attended the first day of prayers. It was the traditional inauguration ceremonies of a mosque. The tripartite sanctuary has two pairs of granite columns on each side. They separate the central, large aisle from the side aisles.

The sanctuary has an un-vaulted wooden ceiling. Moreover, it painted and gilded due to a modern restoration. The Qibla wall, to the right, decorated with a marble dado and marble prayer niche. The Qibla Iwan was once lit with enameled mosque lamps that are today at the Islamic Museum. The current ones are replicas. The entrances to the four Madrasas pierced in recesses. The upper part of the recesses form round arches with zigzag. A device that can also be seen in the Roda Nilometer. We find a new feature on the doors inside Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa. It is a central bronze medallion. There are also four quarter circles of medallions at the corners. They leave the wood background to contrast with the bronze.

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Even the bronze appliques pierced to show the wood background. This pattern of decoration, common in carpets, adopted from book bindings. The living units for the students all open onto interior passages. It is because there is no space on the facade or the courtyard. The Waqf deed refers to this complex as a Madrasa-Khanqah. Its dwelling units as a rab’, a term usually used to denote collective housing. On the north side of the prayer hall a door communicates with a vestibule. It is with a stone bench that leads into the mausoleum. The dome above the mausoleum has wooden pendentives. It painted and gilded with the usual decorations.

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Al Muayyad mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Muayyad mosque Cairo Egypt

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Al Muayyad mosque Cairo and complex situated next to Bab Zuweila in Cairo. In fact, Al Muayyad complex contained a madrasa-khanqah, mosque and two mausoleums. Al Muayyad mosque Cairo and complex built between 1415 and 1422. Moreover, Al Muayyad Madrasa dedicated to Sufis only. The curriculum comprised the study of official religion according to the four rites. It is unlike Barquq’s madrasa-khanqah. In Barquq’s madrasa-khanqah, students dwelt under the same roof. They enjoyed exposure to each other’s teachings and religious practices. Al Muayyad mosque Cairo and complex built by Sultan Al Muayyad. Sultan Al Muayyad (Al Mu’ayyad) was a pious and oppressive man, but he was also a musician and poet. His reign cursed by plague and by his own unusual currency reforms.

When he died, everyone engaged in choosing his successor. Nobody attended his funeral and his body wasn’t wrapped with a towel. Al Muayyad mosque and it’s minarets became a land mark of Cairo. The site had unpleasant connotations because there was a prison adjoining Bab Zuweila. That is why they say that Al Muayyad was lucky to live when he was a prince. Sultan Al Muayyad Shaykh was a Burgi or Circassian Mamluk. In fact, he served as sultan between 1412 and 1421. Al-Maqrizi relates that during the reign of Farag ibn Barquq, Al Mu’ayyad captured. And he thrown into the prison on this site. He suffered from the lice, the fleas and vowed. When he came to power he would transform the infested prison into a “place for the education of scholars”.

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Once he became sultan, he soon fulfilled his promise. Moreover, he spent some 40,000 dinars on its construction. “Marble taken from everywhere”. It relates the 15th century historian al-Taghribirdi, “even from (private) houses and palaces. The prize of marble in Egypt soon rose to astronomical height for the vast demand. It also does to the big dimensions of Al Muayyad mosque Cairo. Al Muayyad mosque Cairo became indeed the most beautiful mosque which built in Cairo. It is because of decoration and the use of marbles. Many donkeys occupied to carry away loads of bones of the dead which found in the prison. Due to the Sultan’s lavish endowments, the madrasa became one of the most prominent academic institutions. A large library collected. The most eminent scholars of the day filled professorial chairs.

Ibn Hagar al-‘Asqalani was The most famous specialist in Quranic exegesis in Egypt. He installed as lecturer in Shafi’i jurisprudence. There was a great ceremony for the opening of Al Muayyad madrasa. It was when Al Muayyad and his Mamluk entourage came down from the Citadel. The water basin in the middle of the vast courtyard filled with liquefied sugar and sweets. Al Muayyad mosque Cairo had three minarets. This is including the two we see above the towers of Bab Zuweila. They are twins. The third one, near the western entrance, was different in appearance. It destroyed sometime during the 19th century. The two remaining ones, though they present no innovation in the evolution of minarets. They are particularly slender and elegant with their zigzag carved shafts.

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Noteworthy, is the signature of their architect. Moreover, they carved on a cartouche above the entrance to their staircases. They are on the northern side of each shaft and dating to 1419 and 1420 (AD). In fact, his name was al-Mu’allim Muhammad Ibn Al Qazzaz. This is the only which known signature of a Mamluk architect on a building. There is a story which related to the remaining minarets. It seems that after their completion, one began to lean dangerously towards one of the neighboring buildings. It decided to tear down the newly built minaret and rebuild it. The demolition work alone took a whole day, during which one of the local workers killed by falling pieces. Afterwards, Bab Zuweila closed for a whole month.

In fact, Al Muayyad mosque Cairo had four facades and four entrances. Moreover, the two main facades are the one parallel to Bab Zuweila. It is on the site of the Fatimid southern city wall. And which rebuilt in the 19th century. The facade is perpendicular to Bab Zuweila on its left with the main portal. Furthermore, the muqarnas portal is of grand proportions. It enhanced by a pishtaq or wall above the entrance that is higher than the others. A conch rests on a large vault. It is where nine tiers of dripping stalactites have incorporated. A band of carved stone inlaid with marble and red and turquoise colored stones frames the doorway. The panels on either side of the portal have examples of square Kufic. They are an arrangement of the shahada.

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Shahada is the first pillar of Islam, “There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”Over the portal and on the bays to either side of the door is a Quranic inscription. It used in religious buildings. The door is indeed a masterpiece of bronze metalwork. In fact, it taken, along with a bronze chandelier from Sultan Hassan mosque. Moreover, it was against payment of a sum of five hundred dinar. Islamic law prohibits the acquisition of land or other properties for a new foundation. Once endowed, a property cannot change owners. Maqrizi mentions many such illegal acts connected with the foundation of religious buildings. Inside the complex, the vestibule covered by a magnificent groin cross-vault.

Moreover, it flanked by two half-domes on stalactites. It is perhaps the most remarkable feature of the entire complex. Today, one enters Al Muayyad mosque Cairo, he thinks it is a mausoleum. There was direct access into the courtyard. Furthermore, the mausoleum dome has an exterior like that of Faraj Ibn Barquq. In fact, it is smaller and has two cenotaphs. This is where Sultan Al Muayyad and his son buried. In fact, one of the cenotaphs is larger than the other. It is with remarkable Kufic inscriptions in marble which crafted during the Ikhshidid. Their texts are Quranic. In fact, they taken from an earlier building. These “foliate” beginnings lead to lush arabesque backgrounds for scripts.

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On the top part of the north western wall of the mausoleum, there are two blind windows. Moreover, they feature carved stucco decorations in the Andalusia style. The hypo-style plan of the Congregational mosque is like that of the khanqah of Faraj Ibn Barquq. But on columns rather than piers. This is a late example in Cairo of the open courtyard plan on a large scale. In fact, it is the last such hypo style mosque to build in Cairo. There is an ablution fountain in the middle of the courtyard. Of the four iwans, only the sanctuary section survived. There were plans for it to be flanked on either side by a domed mausoleum. In fact, only one built. This is where the tombs of the female members of the Family buried, though there is no mausoleum.

The sanctuary decorated with a high marble dado and a polychrome marble prayer niche. Moreover, it is with a row of inlaid niches which separated by blue glass colonnettes. A painted gilded wooden ceiling, stucco grilled windows and beautiful doors inlaid with wood and ivory. Besides to the marble columns with their pre-Islamic capitals. They contribute to the richness of the decoration. The prayer hall restored during the 19th century. It was when Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Muhammad ‘Ali, installed Turkish tiles. That were inset into the qibla wall. It was at that time that the ruined iwans torn down but only the western one rebuilt. The rest of the area turned into a garden. It was once again restored in more recent times.

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In 2001, the Ministry of Culture removed the garden and. It rebuilt the missing arcades around the courtyard. Al Muayyad mosque also has its original wood and ivory pulpit. A doorway at one end of the sanctuary leads to the second story platform of the Bab Zuweila. It also leads to the minarets. In fact, the living quarters of the Sufi students were not around the courtyard as they are at Faraj’s khanqah. They formed a separate structure consisting of a courtyard. They surrounded by several stories of living units. It no longer exits. On the western side of Al Muayyad mosque. Sultan Al Muayyad built a hammam (bath). The pendentive in it that once supported a dome have remarkable stalactites.

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Al Rifai mosque Cairo Egypt Islamic Cairo tour

Al Rifai mosque Cairo Egypt

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Al Rifai mosque Cairo located next to Sultan Hassan in Salah El Din Square, near to The Citadel. In fact, Al Rifai mosque separated from the mosque of Sultan Hassan by a pedestrian street. Once you enter this lane you will overwhelmed by the huge structure of the Al Rifai Mosque Cairo. Khoshiar Hanem, the mother of Khedive Ismail, was the one who wanted the mosque built in 1869. In fact, Al Rifai mosque’s construction took 40 years. It now contains the tombs of many Royal Family members in Egypt. It was the reason why Khoshiar Hanem wanted it built in the first place. She appointed Hussein Fahmy Pasha to be in charge of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo design. This enormous structure built upon the site of the former Rifa’i zawiya. It acquired and demolished by the Princess Khushiar.

Shaykh Ali Al Rifai was a medieval era Islamic saint. Zawiya was a pilgrimage site for locals. Those who believed that the tomb had mystical healing properties. Al Rifai Mosque Cairo houses his tomb, along with that of Yehia Al Ansary, a companion of the prophet. In fact, Al Rifai Mosque Cairo is rectangular in shape, measuring some 6500 square meters in size. Moreover, 1767 square meters of this area reserved for praying. The rest of area is the mausoleum of the royal family. Furthermore, Al Rifai Mosque Cairo built in the Bahri Mamluk style which was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. This style was like the European style of buildings at the time. Most of the materials imported from Europe. The building of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo was part of a vast campaign by the 19th century rulers of Egypt.

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Construction on Al Rifai Mosque Cairo moved along at a good pace. It was when, first Hussein Fahmy died and then in 1885, Khoshiar Hanem also died. She granted her wish of entombed here. And then in 1894, when her son Khedive Ismail also died, he entombed next to her. All this caused the process of building the mosque to stop for about twenty five years. They also completed the decorations of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo. In fact, this accomplished in 1911. Moreover, it opened for Friday prayer for the first time in 1912. The mosque came to represent a turning point in the cultural and political history of Cairo. Furthermore, the doorway of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo opens onto the narrow street between the two mosques. It had two huge marble columns to either side, with an unusual spiral design on their columns.

The decorations on the walls above the door and all around it are indeed fascinating. Even the ceiling of the entrance way is interesting. The designers seem to be articulate, paying attention to the smallest details. Moreover, the ceiling above this portal is wonderful. It is with golden Mamluk decorations. In fact, this was not its main entrance. Once inside Al Rifai Mosque Cairo, one finds oneself in front of the mausoleum of Shaykh Ali Al Rifai. He is the head of the Al Rifai tariqa, or order of dervishes. Moreover, he was a saint during his lifetime. People still walk around his tomb, touching his hands to the sandalwood screen. In fact, they seek his blessed intercession in their lives.

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Some people still come to this mausoleum to read a verse of Quran for the Shaykh. Reading the verses of “Fatha” for the dead a well known Islamic tradition. His tomb covered with fine pieces of wood engraved with marvelous decorations. What completed the amazing scene were the many flowers and roses. They placed on top of and all around his tomb. To the left of this tomb, behind the mashrabeyya screen, in other chambers lie the Tombs of King Fuad. In fact, he reigned from 1917 to 1936, and his mother along with the mausoleum of the Shah of Iran. It contains the tomb of Mohamed Reda El Bahlwy, who died in exile in South Africa in 1944. It returned to Iran after World War II. Part of the burial chamber is currently occupied by Reza Shah.

He is the son of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. He died in Cairo in 1980. For Iranians who find themselves in this mausoleum there is poignancy for an emperor. He reigned for 37 years . It was during which Iran was an island of stability and progress in a volatile part of the world. The mausoleum is small but it has many amazing decorations. Colorful designs and golden verses of Quran are all about the room. Here is one of the most beautiful Mihrabs you will ever encounter. It decorated with marble and gold and shines as if it built just yesterday. The room also filled with flowers. The tomb itself is only a small step. It rises from the floor with the name of the Shah and his dates of birth and death.

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The ceilings of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo chosen and decorated in a charming style. The gold for its gilding imported from Turkey between 1906 and 1912. Muslims paid great interest to the ceilings especially in mosques. It is because when a Muslim speaks to God, he supposed to look upwards towards the sky. Thus he looks at the ceiling. Most of the walls of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo covered with colorful marble. They are with different styles of the Mamluk style ornamentation. Here, nineteen different kinds of marble from seven different countries used. Pointed arches divide the royal mosque into three porticoes. Two marble columns, one white and the other dark green, stand at the sides of the great dome.

There are forty-four grand columns in all, and eighteen window grills. There are many doors in the walls. All doors made with the finest wood and decorated with pieces of expensive Abanos wood. Many of the walls have blue decorations highlighted by golden lines all around them. Lighting has always been an interesting element of mosque design. The lighting of Al Rifai Mosque Cairo well suited. It consists of huge ornate brass lanterns that hang from the ceiling. These lanterns are electric now. In the past, they used candles as a source of light. There are also many smaller lamps which hung from the ceiling. The Dikka in Al Rifai Mosque Cairo indeed is one of the most beautiful you will ever see. It is a raised platform from which the respondents (qadi) repeat the ritual postures of the Iman.

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This rectangular Dikka made out of white, pure alabaster supported on eight columns. It adorned with Quran verses engraved using pure gold all around it. Beside the Dikka, there is the Quran table which known as a kursi. It indeed is a wonderful work of art in wood. It well designed and in good condition. The Minbar of the mosque decorated with mother of pearl. The door to the minbar made of wood and decorated with abanos wood and alabaster. The platform of the minbar like many other in Cairo, surmounted by a dome. This minbar is the most brilliant one can see in the Mamluk style. Unlike the minbar, the mihrab of Al Rifai mosque Cairo is rather plain and familiar. It is only a niche in the wall to show the direction of the qibla. There are five lines of decorations in Mihrab.

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Al Hussein mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Hussein mosque Cairo Egypt

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Al Hussein mosque built in Cairo, Egypt in 1154. In fact, it located in Khan El Kahlili area. Moreover, Al Hussein mosque named for the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Fatimid Shia, Dawoodi and Bohar believe that the Al Hussein head buried in Al Hussein mosque. Many Shiah Muslims believe that the head of Al Hussein and his body in the Al Hussein Mosque in Karbala. Al Hussein mosque in Cairo indeed is one of the holiest Islamic sites in Cairo. It built on the cemetery of the Fatimid caliphs. It is a fact, it later discovered during the excavation. The mausoleum (dating back to 1154) is the oldest part of the complex. The current building built in the 19th century. It influenced by Gothic Revival architecture.

Al Hussein mosque houses some sacred items. They are like “the oldest complete manuscript of the Quraan”. There is a marble slab on Al Hussein mosque. It contains the hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad says: “Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein. May Allah love whoever loves Hussein. Al Hussein is a grandson (chief) from the grandsons (chieftains). At the bottom of the slab of Al Hussein mosque is a good (hasan) hadith related by Tirmidhi. It also related by Bukhari and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.

History of transfer of the head of Hussein to Cairo in Fatimid belief:

Abu Mansour Nizar Al Aziz Billah traced the site of the head of his great-grandfather. It was through the office of his contemporary in Baghdad, in 985. In the city of Ashkelon, Israel, it remained buried at “Baab al Faradis”. It was for a long time (about 250 years up to 1153). After the 21st Fatimid Imam At-Tayyib Abi l-Qasim went into seclusion. His uncle, Abd al Majid occupied the throne of the Fatimid Empire. Al-Zafir, order to transfer the head of Al Hussein to Cairo. It was because of Fearing from disrespect and the atrocities of the traitors. Historians and Ibn Muyassar have mentioned that the casket reached Cairo. It was on Tuesday 2 September 1153.

The famous Mamluk historian of Egypt, Mohiyuddin Abd al Zahir wrote:

When Salahuddin came to power he seized all the Palaces of the Aimmat Fatemiyeen. He looted their properties and treasures. He destroyed the valuable and rare collection of the hundred thousands books. It was in the river Nile. When he learnt through his intelligence.. That one of the.. custodians of Raas Al Imam Al Hussein.. respected by the people of ..Qahera, he surmised that perhaps he .. be aware of ..treasures of the Aimmat Fatemiyeen. Salahuddin issued orders to present him in his court. He inquired of him ..of the Fatemi..treasures. The nobleman denied ..about the treasures“.

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Salahuddin angered, and ordered his intelligence .. to ask him through ‘third degree torture’. But the nobleman bore ..torture and repeated ..statement. .. Salahuddin ordered his soldiers to put a cap on the head of the nobleman. The cap contains Centipedes. It was such type of punishment. It was so severe and unbearable. None could survive even for a few minutes. Before putting the Cap of Centipedes on the head, his hair shaved. It was to make it easy for the Centipedes to suck blood, which in turn made holes in skull. But! In spite of that punishment the noble custodian of Hussein’s Head. Felt no pain at all. Salahuddin ordered for more Centipedes to put on .. but it could not kill or pain him“.

Finally Salahuddin Ayyubi ordered for a tight cap full of Centipedes .. to do the result. Even this method could not torture or kill him. The Ayyubid brutes astounded further when they sawthe Centipedes were dead. It was when removed the cap. Salahuddin asked the nobleman to reveal the secret of this miracle. The nobleman revealed as follow:

“When Al Hussein head brought to Qasar, he carried the casket on his head. ‘O Salahuddin! This is the secret of my safety”.

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The burial place now also known as Raous (head)-us-Husain. A silver Zarih (Maqsurah) made on the place by Dawoodi Bohra Dai. The place visited regularly by all Shia. The presentation of the Maqsurah is also unique in the history. It is in loyalty and faithfulness. The Maqsurah of All Hussein head constructed for the Al Abbas Mosque at Karbala, Iraq. When this Maqsurah reached the mosque of Al-Abbas ibn Ali it would not fit on the place. The size of the Maqsurah and the site of the fitting place differed at the time of fitting. It is although every technical aspects and measurements of the site taken into account. The engineers astonished, as what had happened, although handled professionally.

The loyalty of Al-Abbas ibn Ali also seen on that day too. In fact, it seen on the day of Aashurah. There a divine guidance came to the effect by way of intuition. A sincere, faithful and loyal brother could not tolerate, that Al Hussein head should be without a Maqsurah. Thus how could he accept this gift for himself. Hence even after Shahadat, Al-Abbas ibn Ali paid his tribute to Hussein. He presented his own Maqsurah for Raas (head) al Imam Al Hussein. When this Maqsurah brought from Karbala, Iraq to Al Moizziyat al Qahera, Egypt. It fitted upon the original position of the grave. It known as Mashhad of Raas al Imam Al Hussein in such a manner.

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Al Hakim mosque Cairo

Al Hakim mosque Cairo Egypt

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Al Hakim mosque Cairo also known as Al-Jam`e Al-Anwar. In fact, Al Hakim mosque is the second largest Fatimid mosque in Cairo. The name of Al Hakim bi-Amr Allah means “Ruler by God’s Command”. He known to many by his eccentric dictatorial and eccentric decrees. At one point he declared himself a divine entity. Al Hakim went off on a mysterious one way ride to al-Muqattam hills and never returned. In fact, the building of Al Hakim mosque started in 990 by the Caliph Al Aziz Billah. He is son of the famous Khalifa Al Moez Lideen Allah Al Fatimy. Wood cutters, their camels, mules, carts and wood logs banned from treading the street. This is To secure serenity and solemnity during the Fatimid Era. Moreover, streets lit all night by lanterns. Lanterns hung on the facades of buildings and shops.

In fact, the building served as a prison for captive Crusaders. It served also as Napoleon’s warehouse and Salah al-Din’s stable. Moreover, Al Hakim mosque served also as a lamp factory and a boys’ elementary school under Nasser. It was when a basketball court marked off in the courtyard. Napoleon’s soldiers left the mosque in a bad state and it fell into disrepair. In fact, it was at the end of the 18th century. It later revived during the reign of Khedive Tawfik. The foundation for the first Islamic Museum before that museum relocated to Bab Al Khalq in 1903. The first time to use Al Hakim mosque as a mosque was in 1452. In fact, the mosque stood outside the enclosure walls of Fatimid Cairo. It was until Badr Al Gamali rebuilt the Northern Wall.

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This is to include the the mosque within the boundaries of the enclosed city. This is a good example of a congregational mosque. It was typical to early Islamic architecture. Al Hakim mosque constructed of brick with stone facades and minarets. It covers about the same area as the Ibn Tulun Mosque. Al Hakim has an irregular rectangular plan with a rectangular central. It has also open courtyard surrounded by arcades. They are supported by compound piers with a prayer hall. The arcades also carried on compound piers. The front facade on the north given a central projecting monumental portal. In fact, the mosque has three domes and a central nave in the qibla prayer hall. It is higher and wider than the lateral aisles with a basilica disposition. The termination of this aisle at the mihrab marked by a dome and carried on squinches.

The domes mark the outer corners of the prayer hall as well. Al Hakim mosque’s two corner minarets are different in shape and decoration. They encased in projecting trapezoidal stone structures. That project into the street, during the reign of Al Hakim in 1002-3 AC. These minarets are the oldest surviving minarets in Cairo as they stand at the outer walls of the mosque. In fact, the bases are original. Furthermore, they seen inside the buttresses. The tops replaced in 1303 by Baybars II Al Gashankir. It was during the Mumluk period after an earthquake destroyed the upper stories. Baybars was also responsible for the mabkhara finials. He was also responsible for poly-chrome marble which faces mihrab. In fact, it is in the qibla wall to the right of the main mihrab.

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An interior staircase leads to the city’s ramparts and a rampart walk that date from the 12th century. Al Hakim built his mosque in the tradition of the Great mosque of Qairawan in Tunisia. The original decorations remains after a restoration by an Ismaili Shii sect. Al Hakim mosque has encased in marble and only the wooden tie-beams. Stucco carvings in the clerestory and Quranic inscriptions remain of the original decorations. Every Friday, the mosque hosts hordes of worshipers. They head for it weekly. They perform their midday prayers, and to give the mosque its fame. In fact, it is the most crowded mosque of Old Cairo.

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Al Azhar mosque Cairo, Egypt

Al Azhar mosque Cairo Egypt

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Al Azhar mosque Cairo is the first Islamic university which built in Cairo around 1000 years ago. Moreover, Al Azhar mosque in Cairo was the official mosque which has the Friday prayers. In fact, it built by the great Fatimid army leader and the builder of Cairo, Gawhar El Seqelly. It was due to the orders of the Fatimid Caliph, Al Mui’z le Din Allah. The building of Al Azhar mosque Cairo started in the year 970 AD. In fact, it finished three years afterwards in 972 AD. The objects behind building was to make it the official mosque of Cairo. It is the same as Amr Ib Al Aas Mosque and the Ahmed Ibn Tulun mosque. Al Azhar mosque in Cairo established to be an educational institution. That is to teach Shiite teachings and spread it all over the country.

Architectural description of Al Azhar mosque in Cairo:

The old area of Al Azhar mosque was only half the area it has now. New buildings, and restorations done during all the following eras made it as it shape now. The early mosque of Al Azhar consisted of three iwnas, prayers halls, and a Sahn. Sahn is an open air courtyard. The gate of the mosque located in the mosque’s Western walls. This section contained a simple Fatimid minaret. It decorated with Kofy Islamic writings and plant ornaments. They are the only remaining feature of the ancient mosque that is still available now.

The old Mihrab of the mosque decorated with ornaments and Kofi writings of Quran. There is also a Mamluk style dome. In fact, the dome goes back to the 15th century which took the place of the Fatimid dome. The mosque of Al Azhar had three gates in its Northern, southern, and western walls. The original Minnbar built by Gawher El Seqqely. In fact, it was then transferred to Al Hakim mosque.

Al Azhar Mosque Cairo in the Fatimid period:

In fact, Al Azhar mosque went through a lot of changes in the Fatimid period. Al Hakim be’amr Allah added 27 amazing lamps to the mosque. The lamps made of silver. What remains of the works of Al Hakim is a small wooden door. The decorated with Kufi writings which was the dominant decoration feature of this era. In 1125, the Fatimid ruler Al Amer be’ahkam Allah established a Mihrab for Al Azhar mosque in Cairo. It made out of the Aro Turkish wood which decorated with a lot of plant and geometric shapes. Fatimid Caliph, Al Hafez Le Dine Allah wanted to expand the area of Al Azhar mosque Cairo. In fcat, it was In 1149 AC. He added some space to the Sahn of the mosque. He also added some decorations to the walls of the mosque and it built out of plaster.

Al Azhar Mosque Cairo in the Mamluk period:

In 1266 AD, Al Zaher Baybars ordered to build a Minbar. Nothing remains of it except its historical building note which now kept in the museum in Algeria. The Tabrisy Madrasa which is Islamic teaching institution built by Baybars Khazendar. He was the army commander in the reign of Al Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalaun. It is to right hand when you enter the Al Azhar mosque. This added a bigger space to the mosque. It hosted Islamic teachings classes and also had a large Islamic books library. The Afghaweya Madrasa built in 1340 AD. It located on the left hand side of the entrance. Moreover, it hosts the library of Al Azhar in the present time. Al Gawhareya Madrasa built in the Eastern Southern section of the mosque, is a small Madrasa. It consists of four Iwans and a small Sahn.

Al Azhar mosque Cairo in the Ottoman era:

In fact, Al Azhar mosque had a lot of building works in the Ottoman era. The biggest and most important building work done by the Amir Abdel Rahman Katkhuda in 1753 AD. He expanded the area of the mosque by adding a Riwaq behind the Mihrab. It built on a higher level than the whole mosque. He also added a new Minbar and Mihrab. Katkhuda added two great gates as well. The first one is in the Southern wall. It called the Sa’ayda gate. The Shroba gate is in the Eastern section of the mosque. Furthermore,  a minaret added beside it.

Katkhuda was also responsible for building the beautiful Western gate. It is now the main entrance of the mosque. The mosque also restored by the supreme council of antiquities in the modern time. Al Azhar as a mosque and as an educational institution has played a major role in the whole Egyptian history. It is especially in fighting the French and British occupation.

Al Azhar University:

It is the largest and most important Islamic teaching institution in the whole world. It is the second modern university to built in history. Islamic teaching in Al Azhar University transformed from Shiite teaching to Sunni teaching. In fact, it started in the Fatimid era. It is still one of the most important education institutions in Egypt and in the whole world.

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