Date of construction
The alabaster Mosque of Muhammad Ali was built by “Muhammed Ali” in 1830 and it finished by 1848.
it was dated based on its historical epigraphic inscriptions on the building.
An inscription panel above the windows of the eastern colonnade,
overlooking the courtyard of the mosque, comprises Quranic verses (holy book of muslims)
Another inscription with Qur’anic verses is found on the ablutions
fountain, including the date 1263AH (1844AD).
The Founder “Muhammad Ali Pasha”
He was as an Albanian soldier, who came with the Turkish army to
recoup Egypt from the French 1798.
He was very smart and wicked in the same time
He remained in Egypt and was able through the help of people to
become the Wali( ruler) of Egypt in 1805.
He founded a kingdom to be inherited by his sons under the Turkish
He ruled Egypt from 1805-1848, his family extended until 1952 and
ended with the king Farouk.
In Egypt he introduced modern education, medical care, and industrial
The motive of constructing the mosque
He built this mosque to be a religious place for praying and to be a
mausoleum for himself. But he didn’t build Madrassa in.
The Architect It was designed by an Armenian architect named Yusfuf Bushnaq;
Then Muhammad Ali hired Yusuf Bushnaq to design the mosque on a plan similar to that of the Mosque of Sultan Ahmad in Istanbul or “Blue Mosque”.
Names of the Mosque
It is considered the most popular Islamic mosque among tourists and visitors to Egypt, It’s Known with three different names:-
(1)Alabaster mosque, due to its extensive use of that stone on some of the exterior walls and other surfaces.
(2)Muhammad Ali mosque according to its founder.
(3)The citadel mosque, because it was built with the citadel walls.
Recent excavations demonstrate that, in order to build the mosque on top of the pre-existing structures, some ten meters of rubble was filled in The site.
It is built inside the walls of the citadel in place of Mamluk palaces which
Muhammad Ali pulled down to build for himself this monument where he
The design of the mosque
It was modelled as a replica of the blue mosque of sultan Ahmed in Istanbul. So it was designed in the ottoman style of Istanbul and is followed to the architectural tradition of Cairo.
The materiel of the building It is built of local lime stone, and covered until 11 meters of a height inside and outside by with facing of Egyptian alabaster which brought from Beni Suef quarries.
The description of Mosque of Muhammad Ali
The mosque consists of two main parts:
(1) The open courtyard (forecourt – Sahn)
(2) The open court (prayer Iwan or Sanctuary)
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The chandelier … apiece from France!
There is a chandelier made of Bohemian glass dangled from the central dome. It was also gift from Louis Philippe.
There are 365 lanterns according to the number of the days in the year
to light the mosque.
The inner and outer decorations of the alabaster Mosque of Muhammad Ali
The domes are carved from the outside by lead sheets imported from turkey to protect the domes from rain. The decoration of the mosque is in the rococo and baroque.
There are no stalactites, geometric shapes or arabesques. The inscriptions appeared on six large medallions around the dome enclose the names of God, (Allaho ) prophet Muhammad and the first four Khalifs (his first four successors) . The script written over a royal blue that often adorns windows in the mosque actually represent verses from the poem Nahg El Burda which is a poem written for Prophet Mohammed by Imam Al- Busyri.
Finally , during your tour in Cairo , we are sure that you will never forget to visit this beautiful mosque .. because it is easy to see it clearly from different places in cairo as it is located in a high level at the downtown .