Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Azhar Mosque
Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Azhar Mosque Located in El Hussein Square, the Al-Azhar Mosque (the most blooming), established in 972 (361 H) in a porticoed style shortly after the founding of Cairo itself, was originally designed by the Fatimid general Jawhar El-Sequili (Gawhara Qunqubay, Gawhar al-Sakkaly) and built on the orders of Caliph Muezz Li-Din Allah.
Located in the center of an area teaming with the most beautiful Islamic monuments from the 10th century, it was called “Al-Azhar” after Fatama al-Zahraa, daughter of the Prophet Mohamed (Peace and Prayers Be Upon Him).
It imitated both the Amr Ibn El-As and Ibn Tulun mosques.
The first Fatimid monument in Egypt, the Azhar was both a meeting place for Shi’a students and through the centuries, it has remained a focal point of the famous university which has grown up around it.
It was under Yaqoub Ibn Cals that the mosque became a teaching institute.
This is the oldest university in the world, where the first lecture was delivered in 975 AD.
Today the university built around the Mosque is the most prestigious of Muslim schools, and its students are highly esteemed for their traditional training.
While ten thousand students once studied here, today the university classes are conducted in adjacent buildings and the Mosque is reserved for prayer.
Located at the heart of Islamic Cairo, the Al-Azhar complex, mosque and university, does not only house the oldest university in the world but it is also the place where the graduation black gowns originated from.
The costume worn by students all around the world during their graduation seems to have been inspired by the flowing robes of the Islamic Scholars ‘graduating’ from Al-Azhar.
The University is now distributed between different buildings, but the mosque, founded by Jawhar al-Siqilly, the Fatimid conqueror of Egypt, in 970 is still a true marvel and a not-to-be-missed attraction while visiting Cairo.
Moreover, due to its location, it is the perfect place to start your exploration tour of Islamic Cairo.
In addition to the religious studies, modern schools of medicine, science and foreign languages have also been added.