Aqmar Mosque

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Al-Jam`e Al-ِAqmar
Aqmar Mosque - Cairo.jpg
Aqmar Mosque is located in Egypt
Aqmar Mosque
Shown within Egypt
Basic information
LocationEgypt Cairo, Egypt
Geographic coordinates30°03′06″N 31°15′43″E / 30.051667°N 31.261944°E / 30.051667; 31.261944Coordinates: 30°03′06″N 31°15′43″E / 30.051667°N 31.261944°E / 30.051667; 31.261944
AffiliationIslam
Year consecrated1125
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMosque
LeadershipAl-Amir bi-Ahkami l-Lah
Architectural description
Architectural typeMosque
Architectural styleFatimid
Completed1125
Specifications
Dome(s)1
Minaret(s)1

Al-Jam`e Al-ِAqmar (Arabic: الجامع الأقمر‎, literally: Moonlit mosque) or Al-Aqmar Mosque, also called Gray mosque, is a mosque in Cairo, Egypt dating from the Fatimid era. It was built under vizier al-Ma'mun al-Bata'ihi during the caliphate of Imam Al-Amir bi-Ahkami l-Lah.[1] The mosque is located on north Muizz Street.

Features[edit]

The mosque is notable for its façade, which is elaborately decorated with inscriptions and geometric carving. This is both the first mosque in Cairo to have such decoration, and it also the first to have a façade which follows the line of the street, built at an angle to the rectangular hypostyle hall whose orientation is dictated by the qibla direction.[2]

Main inscription just below the top cornice in front face

The main inscription lies just below the top cornice in front face of the mosque. Its opening words are missing as the right wing got damaged, but the remaining suggest following:

In the name of God, the beneficent the most merciful, its construction was ordered by……Imam Amir …son of …Imam Mustaali… give victory to army of …Imam Amir over… all infidels…. May god strengthen through him the religion….in the year 519[1125].

Pierced medallion just over the main entrance gate, Aqmar Mosque, Cairo

The another inscription is seen in pierced medallion just over the main entrance gate with quran verse 33;33 encircling names of Muhammad and Ali.

O people of the house (Ahle-bayt), God only desires to put away from you abomination and with cleansing to cleanse you.”[3]

Inscription of 5 'Muhammad'chain and Ali in middle at left wing of Aqmar Mosque, Cairo

In addition to above, combination of Mohammad and Ali are further prominent in the decoration of the left half of the façade, here name of Ali is in center and encircled by five linked Muhammad.

Chamfered Aqmar corner with three niches

There is chamfered corner appear three niches having verse 16:128:

Verily God is with (top), those who are God-fearing (bottom right), and with those who are good doers (bottom left).

On both sides of top niches there are roundel one having name of Muhammad and another of Ali. Hence top portion can be also read as:

Verily God is with Muhammad and Ali. [4]

Restoration[edit]

The complete interior, its mihrab and damaged front right portion was renovated by 52nd Dawoodi Bohra Dai Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin(RA).

Further reading[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ El-Aqmar Mosque (Gray Mosque): Egypt Feature Article. Ismail Abaza, Tour Egypt. Accessed 2009-03-28.
  2. ^ Mitchell 1995, p. 224
  3. ^ Williams, Caroline. 1983. The Cult of 'Alid Saints in the Fatimid Monuments of Cairo, Part I: The Mosque of al-Aqmar. Muqarnas 1:37-52 and EI, first ed.,s.v. “shia’.
  4. ^ Williams, Caroline. 1983. The Cult of 'Alid Saints in the Fatimid Monuments of Cairo, Part I: The Mosque of al-Aqmar. Muqarnas 1:37-52