Al-Hakim Mosque

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Mosque of al-Hakim
Arabic: مسجد الحاكم بأمر الله‎, romanizedMasjid al-Ḥākim bi Amr Allāh
Mosque MG 0823.jpg
Interior courtyard of the mosque
Religion
AffiliationIslam
Ecclesiastical or organisational statusMosque
LeadershipAl-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Year consecrated928 CE
Location
LocationCairo, Egypt
Al-Hakim Mosque is located in Egypt
Al-Hakim Mosque
Location in Cairo
Geographic coordinates30°03′16″N 31°15′49″E / 30.054571°N 31.263742°E / 30.054571; 31.263742Coordinates: 30°03′16″N 31°15′49″E / 30.054571°N 31.263742°E / 30.054571; 31.263742
Architecture
TypeMosque
StyleFatimid
Completed992 CE
Specifications
Dome(s)1
Minaret(s)2

The Mosque of al-Hakim (Arabic: مسجد الحاكم بأمر الله‎, romanizedMasjid al-Ḥākim bi Amr Allāh), nicknamed al-Anwar (Arabic: الانور‎, lit. 'the Illuminated'),[1] is a major Islamic religious site in Cairo, Egypt. It is named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (985–1021), the sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili Imam. This mosque originally started being built by al-Aziz, the son of Mu'izz( al Hakim's father) in 990 A.D.[2] It was named after Al Hakim because he has finished it.

[3] This mosque Al Hakim bi Amr Allah took over 20 years to build using a lot of money. The style of this mosque is the Fatimid. The interior of the mosque is an open courtyard with columns parallel, forming a rectangle shape all around. In late 1010 , Al Hakim (the ruler) ordered for the minarets to be at an angle and that the columns of the masjid to be very tall to cover the inside of the mosque.[4] The mosque's walls were symmeterically arranged within eachother. The mosque had originally more than thirteen entrances[5] hence the open space courtyard, one can enter from wherever. Masjid Al Hakim is very similar in architectural design with the mosque Ibn Tulun. Both mosques are located in Egypt. You can see below how open the mosque was and how indeed it does resemble a lot like Ibn Tulun Mosque architectural design.

It consists of an irregular rectangle with four arcades surrounding the courtyard. An unusual feature is the monumental entrance with its projecting stone porch.[6] It is located in Islamic Cairo, on the east side of Muizz Street, just south of Bab Al-Futuh (the northern gate)

Masjid al Hakim open courtyard

The minarets[edit]

The most spectacular feature of the mosque are the minarets on either side of the facade.

Originally the two minarets stood independent of the brick walls at the corners. These are the earliest surviving minarets in the city and they have been restored at various times during their history. The massive salients were added in 1010 to strengthen their structure, and the northern minaret was incorporated into the city wall. Inside, these strange structures are hollow, for they have been built around the original minarets, which are connected with brackets and can still be seen from the minaret below. A picture of an old minaret from years ago from masjid Al Hakim is displayed below in black and white to the right. It is the mabkhara finial of northern minaret from this Masjid [7]

Creswell. THE MUSLIM ARCHITECTURE OF EGYPT


One of the minarets

Name plate[edit]

Name plate Anwar mosque

There was name plate engraved on stone located at the top of entrance gate facing inside of Mosque. This plate got damaged with time and, one piece of it was found during renovation work. When enquired with archeological authorities few more pieces of the plate were recovered. With further research the details about missing piece of the name plates were collected, replica of missing part were made and, complete name plate was reinstalled at its original location by Dawoodi Bohra Spiritual Leader, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin.(as per photo placed). Few pieces in the name plate which looks old and having dark color are the original ones. Fourth line ending part and beginning of fifth line of the name plate mention the name of Imam "Haakim amar-i-llah" in Kufi Arabic scripts.

An another name plate of marble(photo placed) is installed just below the main name plate during renovation work, having details about the history of the Mosque and its renovation work done.

Post-Fatimid era[edit]

At various times, the mosque was used as a prison for captured Franks (i.e. Latin crusaders) during the Crusades, as a stable by Saladin, as a fortress by Napoleon, and as a local school. As a result of this the mosque had fallen out of use. The condition of the structure was as such that few portion of the mosque is left out as shown in the photo of ruins placed in gallery.

In 1980 ACE/1401 AH, the mosque was extensively refurbished in white marble and gold trim by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin the head of the Dawoodi Bohra, an international Ismaili sect based in India. Remnants of the original decorations, including stucco carvings, timber tie-beams, and Quranic inscriptions were restored as part of the renovations. His intent to restore the ancient Al-Hakim Mosque as a place of worship in contemporary times necessitated a lighting solution that provided this important functionality to the mosque and did so in a manner that paid tribute to the Fatimid tradition of illumination and its aesthetics. The miraculous emergence of the mishkat or small lantern from the niche of the richly decorated façade of Al Jami al Aqmar provided that solution. The niche in which the lantern motif was found has also been compared to the mihrab niche of Al Azhar mosque, the same also now found in Al-Hakim mosque, which has a central motif that resembles a large lamp or lantern.[8][9]

Today[edit]

Today the mosque is a place of worship. Its unique minarets attracts local and foreign tourists. Al-Hakim Mosque is now a place for Egyptians to pray and enjoy the calm and peacefulness of the mosque.

Map of Al-Hakim mosque

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, Doris (1989). "The mosque of Caliph al-Ḥākim bi Amr Allāh (990–1003)". Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An Introduction. BRILL. pp. 63–65. ISBN 90-04-09626-4.
  2. ^ King, James Roy (1984). "The Restoration of the Al-Ḥākim Mosque in Cairo". Islamic Studies. 23 (4): 325–335. ISSN 0578-8072. JSTOR 20847278.
  3. ^ Bloom, Jonathan M. (1983). "The Mosque of al-Ḥākim in Cairo". Muqarnas. 1: 15–36. doi:10.2307/1523069. JSTOR 1523069.
  4. ^ Hoag, John D. (1987). Islamic architecture. Faber. ISBN 0-571-14868-9. OCLC 924758720.
  5. ^ Hoag, John D. (1987). Islamic architecture. Faber. ISBN 0-571-14868-9. OCLC 924758720.
  6. ^ Williams, Caroline; Behrens-Abouseif, Doris (1992). "Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An Introduction. Vol. III". Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. 29: 226–229. doi:10.2307/40000513. ISSN 0065-9991. JSTOR 40000513.
  7. ^ Wilber, Donald N.; Creswell, K. A. C. (December 1954). "The Muslim Architecture of Egypt, I. Ikhshids and Fatimids, A.D. 939-1171". The Art Bulletin. 36 (4): 304. doi:10.2307/3047582. ISSN 0004-3079. JSTOR 3047582.
  8. ^ El Barbary, Mohamed; Al Tohamy, Aisha; Ali, Ehab (2017-02-01). "Shiite Connotations on Islamic Artifacts from the Fatimid period (358-567 A.H./969-1171 A.D.) Preserved in the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo". International Journal of Heritage, Tourism and Hospitality. 11 (3 (Special Issue)): 121–137. doi:10.21608/ijhth.2017.30225. ISSN 2636-414X.
  9. ^ King, James Roy (1984). "The Restoration of the Al-Ḥākim Mosque in Cairo". Islamic Studies. 23 (4): 325–335. ISSN 0578-8072. JSTOR 20847278.