Muhammad Ali Mosque

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 Muhammad Ali Mosque

Muhammad Ali Mosque

  • Muhammad Ali Mosque is one of the most prominent historicalarchaeological and touristic landmarks in Cairo.


It is located inside the Citadel of Salah al-Din in Cairo, the site of this mosque is one of the most beautiful sites, as it overlooks the city of Cairo from the highest place in the citadel, in addition, many people believed that the Citadel of Salah al-Din was known as the citadel of Muhammad Ali Pasha, because of the fame of this mosque.

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali called the crown of Egyptian mosques, and it was called the Alabaster Mosque because it is completely covered with a type of rare marble called alabaster, which was imported from the Beni Suef quarries, they used this kind of alabaster in constructions of  Muhammed Ali mosque because it makes the place temperature constant at 27 degrees Celsius, whether in the summer or winter.

The layout and design of the mosque

The layout of this mosque is different from the rest of the mosques in Cairo, its layout is quite similar to the famous mosque in Istanbul, which is Nuruosmaniye Mosque, the engineer who built the mosque is a Turkish named Youssef Bouchnak, as for labors, and building materials, they were all Egyptians.
The mosque is also distinguished by the influence of Byzantine art on its design, the mosque is divided into two parts, the prayer house, and the courtyard, each part has two doors facing each other, which means that the mosque contains 4 doors.

Courtyard 

In the courtyard of the mosque there is a copper tower with a clock inside, which was given by the King of France Louis Philippe to Muhammad Ali Pasha, in addition there is water tank with 17 meters deep.

 Copper Clock tower


Muhammad Ali Mosque


This clock was the first mechanical clock which arrived in Egypt, but it has been off since it was installed into the tower, it has not worked since its arrival, although there have been 3 attempts to repair it, one of them was during the reign of King Farouk, as it was worked for 3 days only after it was repaired, then it was idle again.

  •  Muhammad Ali Pasha responded to this gesture, by gifting France the obelisk of Ramses II, which was standing in front of the Luxor Temple, where it stands today in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Fountain for the ablution


Muhammad Ali Mosque

In the middle of the courtyard there is a fountain for the ablution, it was made from alabaster, and decorated with the decorations of Baroque and Rococo art that appeared in Europe.

  1. It is surmounted by a dome carried on 8 columns.
  2. Inside of the dome is decorated with landscapes influenced by Western style, and verses from Surat Al-Fath, it topped by a crescent and a star.


Above the prayer house of the mosque of Muhammed Ali, there is huge dome the diameter of the dome is 21 meters, while its height is 52 meters, around the dome, there are 4 semi domes, which surrounded with another 4 small dome, they were decorated from the inside with the names of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Ali - Abu Bakr - Amr - Ottoman, while they were covered from the outside with lead material, the benefit of this layer of lead is prevents hot of the sun, and it prevents coldness in the winter.


Muhammad Ali designated a compartment with a balcony in the mosque, in which he could pray with senior statesmen, he did that for fear of assassinations.

Pulpits

This is the only mosque in Egypt, which has 2 pulpitsone of which is green painted wood, which is the original pulpit of the mosque, It is considered one of the largest pulpits in the mosques of Egypt, the inscriptions of this pulpit are considered the summit in the artistic miracle, it is an unparalleled masterpiece of art with its high height, decorative richness, and green color, the door of the pulpit contains the signature of the manufacturer, who was (Ahmed Hussein Jamal al-Din), and the year of creation, while the second pulpit was made of marble, and it was added to the mosque later in the reign of king Farouk, when he restored the mosque.


Muhammad Ali Mosque


The lighting lamps in Muhammad Ali Mosque it was designed from a striking architectural design, and they are large commensurate with the enormity of this mosque, their numbers are 365, according to the number of days of the year.

Minarets

The minarets of this mosque was built in the Ottoman style, and take the cylindrical shapes, it resembles the shape of a pencil, the two minarets of this mosque were the highest in Egypt, each reaching a height of 84 meters, while the highest minaret in the world is Hassan's minaret Mosque in Morocco, the balconies of the minaret of Muhammad Ali mosque are ascended by spiral staircases consists of 256 steps of stairs, their tops are covered with lead, and decorated with tree branches.

  • This mosque received great attention from members of the Muhammad Ali family, during the reign of Khedive Abbas Pasha engraving works of the gates were completed, while during the reign of Said Pasha, official celebrations were held in it, for five nights from every year, namely the night of Isra and Mi'raj which was the night of the fifteenth of Shaban, then three nights of Ramadan which was the night of the 13th anniversary of the death of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the night of the 14th of Ramadan when he was buried, and finally the Night of Power.


The mosque was built on the ruins of the palaces of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay and Sultan Qalansuh al-Ghuri, while Work began to build the mosque in 1830, it was continued without interruption, until the death of Muhammad Ali Pasha in 1845, when he was buried in the cemetery that he had prepared for himself inside this global mosque.

Tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha 

Inside the mosque is the tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha, which was built with beautiful white marble, as Muhammad Ali Pasha loved this mosque, as he recommended that he be buried inside it, even though he built a cemetery elsewhere earlier.


 

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