Al Rifai Mosque

Al Rifai Mosque

Al Rifai Mosque

Royal Shrines In great architectural masterpiece Get To Know About Great Egypt Al Rifai Mosque

A unique mix of attractive Islamic style in the construction and the decoration, and the European Christian architecture, waits for you in one place. In which the crosses next to the Quranic verses as inscriptions on this great Egypt Mosque walls. Walk in this dazzle till be in the charm of unbelievable stunning royal shrines. Welcome to Al Rifai Mosque.

As large size as Aya Sophia and the Christian cathedrals in Rome, the famous Egypt mosque that is Al Rifai Mosque was designed. It is a great museum; you can live in it stories about five great rulers, including the Khedive, Sultan, Two Kings, and Shah. As well as two Sufi saints and the rulers’ wives and some of their children.

You will feel there the magic by listening to the stories about the Sufi people. Also, the overlapping of the three religions that are embodied towards your eyes there will allure you. Al Rifai is one of the most mysterious and enchanting mosques in the Islamic world. It is considered the leading place for the Sufis people, where they practice their customs. 

Just go around this great Egyptian mosque Al Rifai Mosque, and you will find yourself inside an open museum that reflects all the details of the history of Islamic architecture in Egypt. The wonders of the mosque are multiple; the shrines and the names are endless. 

Architectural Details In Al Rifai Mosque In Egypt

Al Rifai Mosque

Actually, the architects who were designed Al Rifai Mosque wanted to display their skills and art. So, they built the greatest mosque in Egypt with remarkable style, especially it would be tombs of the royal family. So you will be surprised once seeing the mosque door that has an ornament similar to the Star of David.

That means that the engineers and executives have a desire to combine the styles of the three monotheistic religions in Al Rifai Mosque, then the way to the huge entrances that are surrounded by stone and marble great columns with amazing columns capitals. While the lintels have been adorned with marble, and the entrances are covered with magnificent domes and ceilings.

The Architectural Magic is not Complete Yet!

The mosque is rectangular in shape, with an area of ​​6,500 square meters, of which 1,767 meters are for the part prepared for prayer. The rest of the area for the cemetery and what follows it.

The main door of the Al Rifai Mosque is located on the western side. From this door, you can meet a room topped by a dome. There you can find wooden corners are decorated with gold, and from one of its walls comes a door. It leads to a room in which Sheikh Ali Abi Shbak is buried. It also includes the shrine room of Sheikh Ali al-Ansari.

While the mosque’s Mihrab is located in the middle of the eastern wall. It is covered with colored marble and flanked by it; four marble columns. Next to the Mihrab is the Minbar made of wood inlaid with ivory and ebony.

In front of the mihrab, the muezzin deck. It is made of white marble, rests on columns, and next to it is the chair of the golden Qur’an. The walls of the mosque are surrounded by engraved golden briquettes, and copper chandeliers and enameled glass niches hang from the ceiling.

About the Other Side of the Mosque!

there are six doors; Four of them lead to the burial chambers of the princes and kings of the Alawite family. While two of them connect to the other burials, the first of these rooms on the eastern side has four graves for the sons of Khedive Ismail.

These daughters and sons of Khedive Ismail are Wahida Hanim, Zainab Hanim, Ali Jamal al-Din, and Ibrahim Helmy.

Above this room is a dome with inscriptions are decorated with Qur’anic verses. To its left, from the west, there is the second dome, and there are two graves. One of which is buried in Khushyar Hanim, then the tomb of Khedive Ismail.

Then this second spacious dome follows and then goes to the third dome. It includes the graves of Ismail’s wives, who are Shahret Faza Hanim, Jananiar Hanim, and Jeshm Afet Hanim. This dome is connected to a room containing the tomb of Sultan Hussein Kamel.

Al Rifai Mosque

Tomb of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Sultan Hussein Kamel is the son of Ismail, who took over the rule of Egypt in 1914 and died in 1917 to be succeeded by his brother, King Fuad. The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was the husband of Princess Fawzia, the sister of King Farouk, is buried in these sepulchers.

The Story Of Building This Great Museum In Egypt (Al Rifai Mosque)

In 1869 Khoshiar, the mother of Khedive Ismail had ordered to establish a mosque that would be a tomb for the royal family, and she decided to build it in place of Al Refaie Zawiya.

No one knows why exactly Khoshiar had chosen this location, maybe because it is near to the great mosque Al Sultan Hassan in the Qala’a area, which is placed right in front of the citadel.

Khoshiar had given the mission for Prince Hussein Pasha Fahmi Al-Mimar, the representative of the Office of Endowments, to prepare for her a design for a mosque with a tomb for Sidi Ali Al-Rifai, another for Sidi Yahya Al-Ansari, and cemeteries for her family.

Al Rifai Mosque was a Zawia from the Fatimid era called “Al Thakhira Mosque,” built by King “Jaafar”, and Khoshiar bought up all the land around it, and then she destroyed the Zawiya completely and started to build this new great mosque.

Although the idea of ​​establishing the mosque goes back to “Khoshyar Hanim,” and although it is called Al Refaie named after Sheikh Ahmed Al Refaie, the Sufi leader of the Al Refaieya method, he was never buried there or in Egypt at all.

The Story Of Naming This Great Mosque

But it has been named Al Refaie, because the small Zawia that Khoshiar renewed to build the great mosque was called  ” Refaie Zawia,” and that was contained the remains of the saints of the Rifa’i method that Khoshiar ordered to be transferred to the great Al Rifai museum.

The construction of the mosque stopped in 1885 AD due to the death of Khoshyar Hanim. Then Khedive Ismail ordered “Huts Pasha” to complete its construction in 1905, and the mosque was opened in 1912 AD; to amaze you today. Come to see Al Rifai Mosque – this great architectural masterpiece.

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Related FAQ

Who is buried in Al Rifai mosque?

The latter two kings of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, Kings Fuad I and Faruq, as well as Khedive Ismail and his mother Hoshiyar Qadin are all interred here in ornate tombs.

Who built the mosque of Al Rifaei?

Mosque of Al Rifaei

The mosque was built off many European-style boulevards that were also being built at the same time, near to two significant public squares.


Why was al rifai mosque built?

It was initially built for Hoshiyar Qadin, the mother of Khedive Isma'il Pasha in the 19th century, to enlarge and replace the ancient zawiya (shrine) of the Islamic saint Ahmed al-Rifa'i from the Middle Ages. Locals made the zawiya their pilgrimage destination because they thought the tomb possessed ethereal therapeutic powers.

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