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Al Azhar Mosque

Al Azhar Mosque

Al Azhar Mosque

Al Azhar Mosque ,

One of Cairo’s most famous mosques is located in the old city quarter of the same name: the Al-Azhar Mosque with an attached Koranic school and Islam theological university.

It was founded in the 10th century by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Muizz. After its inauguration in 972, it was rebuilt several times.

For centuries it has been considered one of the most important theological educational institutions in the Islamic world.

The institution of Al-Azhar Mosque with its scribes is considered the Islamic authority in Egypt.

Since 1961, it has been recognized as a modern, state-run comprehensive university where medicine, economics, and technology can be studied.

However, its focus remains on theology and Islamic law (Sharia). As a theological university, it has an exceptional reputation throughout the Islamic world.

For travelers and tourists, however, the actual mosque building is of particular interest. Even though the mosque was consecrated as early as 972, it has been expanded, rebuilt, and modified several times since then.

Different building eras have left their mark, up to recent modernizations and restorations.

The five different minarets of the mosque are relics of the different building eras and styles.

The name Al-Azhar means “the radiant one” or “the flourishing one”. The mosque was a work of the Fatimids.

They had founded their new capital not far from the old capital Al-Fustat (Old Cairo) and christened it Al-Qahira, “the glorious one”.

Today’s Cairo eventually emerged from the merging of Fustat and Al-Qahira.

Al-Azhar Mosque was the first mosque of Al-Qahira and is the third oldest mosque in Cairo and Egypt after the two ancient mosques in Fustat, Amr Mosque, and Ibn Tulun Mosque.

 

Visit the mosque of Al Azhar:

One enters the Al-Azhar Mosque through the so-called Gate of the Barbers, the Bab Al-Mauzainin.

First, you enter a small courtyard. From this forecourt, rooms of the university library with valuable theological manuscripts branch off to the left. To the right are various classrooms.

Through another gate, one enters the main courtyard, a 48 x 34 m courtyard surrounded by arcades and prayer halls. The nine-nave main hall measures 50 x 80 m.

For centuries, Islamic clerics and scribes have held their sermons and readings here.

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