05 December 2021 06:30 AM

Al-Rifai Mosque

Sunday، 15 May 2016 - 12:00 AM

Al-Rifai Mosque is similar to the mosque of Sultan Hassan in magnitude and height although the time lapse between them was about 500 years.

Sultan Hassan mosque was established in 1359, while Al-Rifai Mosque was originally established by an order from Khushyar Hanim, the mother of Khedive Isma’il Pasha in 1869.

Al-Rifai Mosque is famous for the preciseness of industry and its large number of decorations.

Al-Rifai Mosque covers an area of 6,500 square meters. It competes with mosque of Sultan Hassan in greatness, and grandeur.

It is strange that in spite of the mosque being called Al-Rifai, Rifai, the well-known spiritual Islamic leader, has not been buried in it, instead he is buried in Iraq.

Perhaps the reason for this naming is that part of the area of the mosque was a Zawiyah  (small mosque) called Rifai, in which some of Rifai’s students and followers were buried.

Khushyar Hanim has bought this land and entrusted Husayn Fahmi Pasha to outline a project to build a large mosque, including a cemetery for her and her family and two mausoleums for the two religious men Ali Abo Shebak and Yahya Ansary.

For some reasons the construction of the mosque had stopped from 1880 to 1905 until Khedive Abbas Hilmi II entrusted Khairy Ahmed Pasha, the Director of private Endowments, with the completion of the mosque and it was opened in 1912.

Khushyar Hanim died in 1885 and was buried in Al-Rifai mosque before the completion of its construction and many of the family members of Muhammad Ali were also buried in this mosque, such as Khedive Ismail in 1895 and three of his wives who died after him.

Sultan Hussein Kamel was also buried in this mosque in 1971, King Fouad in 1936 and his mother Princess Ferial as well as his son King Farouk in 1965 and the Shah of Iran in 1980.

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