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Muhammad Ali Mosque

Muhammad Ali Mosque


  • Muhammad Ali Mosque is one of the most prominent historical, archaeological 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.
  • The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is one of the most famous landmarks in Cairo, so that many believe that the Citadel of Salah al-Din known as the citadel of Muhammad Ali Pasha because of the fame of this mosque.
  • It was called the crown of the Egyptian mosques.
  • It is called the Alabaster Mosque, due to the fact that it is covered completely with a type of rare marble called Alabaster, which was imported from the quarries of Beni Suef.
  • The benefit of alabaster is that it has stabilized the temperature of the place at 27 degrees Celsius, whether in the summer or winter.
    • The mosque was built on the ruins of the palaces of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay and Sultan Qalansuh al-Ghuri

    The layout and design of the mosque

    • The layout of this mosque is different from the rest of the mosques in Cairo
    • The engineer who built the mosque is a Turkish named Youssef Bouchnak.
    • As for labor and building materials, they are all Egyptian
    • The mosque is also distinguished by the influence of Byzantine art on its design.
    • The design of this mosque is based on the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul.
    • 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.

    The 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.
    • The water tank is 17 meters deep

     The copper Clock tower


    Muhammad Ali Mosque
    • This watch is the first mechanical watch which arrived in Egypt.
    • The clock has been idle since it was installed in 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 him 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  .
    • France considers this obelisk one of its unique and rare properties, and one of the signs of one of its most famous squares, the Place de la Concorde.

    Fountain for the ablution


    Muhammad Ali Mosque

    • In the middle of the courtyard there is a fountain for the ablution.
    • The Fountain decorated with alabaster, the decorations of Baroque and Rococo art that appeared in Europe.
    • It is surmounted by a dome carried on 8 columns, and the inside of the dome is decorated with landscapes influenced by Western style, and verses from Surat Al-Fath.
    • The distinctive feature of this courtyard is domes, topped by a crescent and a star.
    • In the middle of the Mosque of Muhammad is a large dome, with a diameter of 21 meters, while its height is 52 meters.
    • Around the dome, there are 4 semi-domes, on each side a dome, and the pillars of the mosque are covered with 4 small domes.
    • The domes of the mosque were covered from the outside with lead material.
    • The benefit of this layer of lead is that it prevents the sun, as it prevents coldness
    • Muhammad Ali designated a compartment with a balcony in the mosque, in which he could pray with senior statesmen, for fear of assassinations.

    The pulpits

    • This is the only mosque in Egypt, which has 2 pulpits.
    • one 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.

    Muhammad Ali Mosque

    • The second pulpit is made of marble, and it was added to the mosque later in the reign of king Farouk, when he restored the mosque.
    • The lighting lamps in Muhammad Ali Mosque 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.

    The minarets


    • They built it on the Ottoman style, and take the cylindrical shapes, It resembles the shape of a pencil
    • The two minarets of the mosque were the highest in Egypt, each reaching a height of 84 meters.
    • The balconies of this minaret are ascended by spiral staircases consists of 256 steps of stairs.
    • Their tops are covered with lead, and decorated with tree branches.
    • Now the highest minaret in Egypt is the minaret of the Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses Square, with a height of 139 meters.
    • While the highest minaret in the world is the minaret of Hassan Mosque in Morocco, it's about 150 meters.
    • The dome is decorated from the inside with the names of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Ali - Abu Bakr - Amr - Ottman)
    • 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.
    • This mosque received great attention from members of the Muhammad Ali family
    • During the reign of Khedive Abbas Pasha, engraving works with gates, and marble works were completed.
    • During the reign of Said Pasha, official celebrations were held for five nights every year, namely:
    • The night of Isra and Mi'raj, 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.

    Tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha 

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

    • The Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, in cooperation with a 3D photorealistic survey company, organizes a virtual tour inside the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in the Citadel of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, by clicking on this link.

    References 

    • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuruosmaniye_Mosque


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