My travel experiences always take me to new places I did not see before, but in this once, I have collected amazing facts about the Islamic culture and history about one of the most famous mosques in the world.
The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha makes me have a great adventure I didn't enjoy before, so let me start my amazing story and explain for you the information I have gotten during my Egypt tours.
It’s extremely rare when a construction can achieve the perfect combination of majesty and beauty but for Muhammad Ali mosque, it was quiet an easy task. The mosque was completed in 1848 by an order from Muhammad Ali himself and its considered one of the most eye-catching building in Salah Al-Din citadel in cairo for its elegant design and magical view.
When Muhammad Ali took the power in Cairo in 1800, he reshaped the citadel’s design to fit his own vision. He ordered an architect by the name Yusuf Bushnaq to construct a mosque similar to sultan Ahmad mosque in Istanbul and it took 18 years to build and was restored by king fuad in 1931 and again in 1939 by king farouk withthe total cost of 100,000 LE (about $560.00 USD). Muhammad Ali built the mosque with two minarets to defy the ottoman empire as the law prohibited anyone but the sultan from constructing a mosque with more than two minarets to which indicated his desire to free himself from the ottoman rule which shows it wasn’t a mere house of worship bot a historical landmark. Muhammad Ali is buried in a tomb made of carrara marble located in the courtyard of the mosque on the right side of one of the three entrances behind a bronze grill.
The mosque is famously known as “ The Alabaster Mosque“ for the extensive use of marble on the exterior walls and other surfaces.The mosque depended on ottoman style of architecture and the interior depended in some French rococo influences with mesmerizing finishes of ornate of red, green and gold. The mosque also contain a magical golden-scalloped mihrab and two majestic minarets that reach the height of 82 meters, made of alabaster and decorated in Nouveau style. Also Muhammad Ali Mosque contains a central dome which is 21 meters in diameter and the height of 52 meters, rises on four arches and around it are four smaller domes decorate in religious medallions.In the courtyard which is about 54 m in length and 53 m in width, surrounded by a single arched riwaq, and showcases naves raised on pillars and roofed with small domes, is an ornate clock given by king Louis Philippe of France to Muhammad Ali in 1845in exchange of the obelisk which is now standing in the Concorde square in Paris and a Turkish ablutions fountain that looks like a giant Easter egg.