Mosques in Egypt: A Glimpse into the Land of Spiritual Wonders

mosques of egypt mosque of rifai and sultan hassan

Egypt, a country steeped in history and culture, is home to some of the most magnificent mosques in the world.

These architectural wonders stand as testaments to the country’s rich Islamic heritage and the enduring faith of its people.

In this detailed article, we will take you on a virtual tour of some of the most notable mosques in Egypt, exploring their history, architecture, and significance.

Read on to learn about the magnificent mosques in Egypt, their locations, and related tour packages.

How Many Mosques Are There in Egypt?

Mosques play a central role in the religious and social life of people. Egypt’s landscape is dotted with mosques, ranging from small neighborhood prayer locations to grand historic mosques with rich architectural significance.

According to estimates, there are over 140,000 mosques in Egypt. Among them, a remarkable 100,000 were classified as large mosques, emphasising the country’s deep-rooted religious and cultural significance.

This extensive network of places of worship reflects the central role that mosques play in Egypt’s social and spiritual fabric.

It also plays a significant role in Egypt’s tourism industry as thousands of people book tour packages to visit these mosques every year.

How Many Muslims Are There In Egypt?

Egypt is predominantly a Muslim-majority country, with Islam as the state religion. It is estimated that around 90% to 95% of the population identifies as Muslim.

egyptian muslim man praying

Biggest Mosque in Egypt

The biggest mosque in Egypt is the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, also known as the Alabaster Mosque.

It is a captivating masterpiece that adorns the skyline of Cairo’s Citadel, standing as one of Egypt’s most iconic and grandest architectural wonders.

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Built by the famed ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha, who reigned over Egypt in the early 19th century, this mosque is an enduring symbol of religious devotion and cultural significance in a central location in Cairo.

Construction of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali began in 1830 and was completed in 1848, marking the culmination of almost two decades of meticulous craftsmanship and architectural ingenuity.

The mosque’s design, inspired by the majestic mosques of Istanbul, is a breathtaking fusion of Ottoman and Islamic architecture, leaving visitors in awe of its splendor.

Upon approaching the mosque, one’s eyes are drawn to the impressive twin minarets that flank its entrance, soaring gracefully into the sky.

As visitors step inside the vast courtyard, they are greeted by a serene ambiance.

The polished marble floors, gleaming under the golden sunlight, lead the way to the central prayer hall, its grandeur befitting the reverence of worship.

Today, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Egypt remains a cherished place of worship and pilgrimage for both locals and tourists alike.

Its open doors welcome people from all walks of life, inviting them to witness the seamless blending of art, history, and spirituality within its hallowed walls.

It has a capacity of 10,000 people. Opening hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM. The ticket price is EGP 300 for foreigners (adults) and EGP 60 for Egyptians (adults).

Tour packages are also available. You can also visit the Al-Rifa’i mosque which is located nearby.

Oldest Mosque in Egypt

Egypt is known for some of the oldest mosques in the world that bear witness to the country’s rich Islamic heritage.

Read on to learn about the oldest Egyptian mosques and tour packages and prices.

Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-As

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is widely considered the oldest mosque in Egypt. It is also counted in some of the oldest mosques in the entire African continent.

Entrance to the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
Entrance to the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As

This historic mosque is located in Old Cairo, a prominent location, near the city area known as Fustat, which was the first Islamic capital of Egypt.

This mosque in Egypt holds immense historical and religious significance. It was built in 642 AD, just a few years after the Islamic conquest of Egypt by Amr ibn al-As.

The construction of the mosque marked the establishment of Islam as the dominant religion in Egypt.

Over the centuries, the mosque has undergone several renovations and expansions, but it still retains its historical essence.

Today, the beautiful mosque remains an active place of worship in the city, attracting both local worshipers and tourists interested in exploring Egypt’s rich Islamic heritage.

The mosque is open 24 hours, and it is free of charge to visit. However, you can book a tour package for a guided tour.

You can also book one of the nearby hotels to make the best of your trip.

Most Famous Mosques in Egypt

Egypt is home to several iconic and famous mosques that hold significant cultural, historical, and architectural importance.

Thousands of visitors visit Egypt and stay in hotels and Airbnbs to explore some of the most renowned mosques in Egypt and their locations.

Ibn Tulun Mosque

Ibn tulun mosque cairo

Dating back to the 9th century, the Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of Egypt’s oldest and largest mosques.

It was commissioned by Ahmad ibn Tulun, the founder of the Tulunid dynasty, who sought to create a place of worship that reflected the grandeur of his rule.

The mosque opened in 879. Its unique design, influenced by the architectural styles of locations like Iraq and Persia, sets it apart from other mosques in the region.

The mosque’s massive courtyard is surrounded by arched porticoes leading to the central prayer hall.

The iconic spiral minaret, reminiscent of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Samarra city, Iraq, adds to the mosque’s charm.

The interior is adorned with beautiful stucco decorations, exquisite wooden panels, and intricately designed mihrab and minbar. Entry to the mosque is free.

For a memorable visit, book a tour package and learn about the history and significance of this mosque.

Al-Azhar Mosque

Al Azhar mosque located in old cairo

Located in the Cairo city’s historic center, the Al-Azhar Mosque is not only a place of worship but also a renowned center of Islamic learning in Egypt.

Established in 970 AD, it is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world.

The mosque’s main prayer hall, with its impressive columns and carved wooden screens, can accommodate thousands of worshipers.

The courtyard is surrounded by arcades and leads to the intricately designed minarets.

Al-Azhar Mosque remains a vibrant center of learning, attracting students and scholars from all over the world to study Islamic theology, law, and philosophy.

It can accommodate up to 20,000 visitors. General entry is free but guided packages are available

Sultan Hassan Mosque

Adjacent to the Citadel, the Sultan Hassan Mosque stands as a prominent example of Mamluk architecture, a style characterised by its massive scale and grandeur. The mosque opened in 1363.

Built during the late 14th century by Sultan Hassan, the mosque’s construction aimed to rival the magnificence of the nearby Mosque of Ibn Tulun.

The mosque’s exterior features intricate stonework, including geometric designs, arabesques, and verses from the Quran. Its enormous courtyard leads to a grand entrance, which opens into the equally impressive prayer hall.

Inside, visitors can marvel at the soaring arches, stately columns, and an intricately carved wooden minbar (pulpit) that adds to the mosque’s regal charm.

Visitors can visit from 9 AM to 5 PM. The ticket price is EGP 120 for foreigners (adults), while locals can visit without purchasing a ticket.

Opt for a tour package in the city for a unique experience. The area also houses several hotels you can choose to stay at.

al rifai and sultan hassan mosque in egypt

Al-Rifa’i Mosque

Adjacent to the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, the Al-Rifa’i Mosque is a blend of Neo-Mamluk and Neo-Gothic architectural styles, making it a unique landmark in Cairo city.

Built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mosque serves as the final resting place of members of the Egyptian royal family, including King Farouk and other notable figures.

The mosque’s grand facade, featuring a series of arched windows and intricate stonework, is a sight to behold.

The interior boasts a spacious prayer hall adorned with chandeliers, colorful carpets, and beautiful Quranic inscriptions.

The central dome adds to the mosque’s grandeur, and visitors can also explore the royal tombs and mausoleums within the complex.

The mosque is open 24 hours. The ticket price is EGP 120 for foreigners (adults). Locals can visit the mosque free of charge but paid guided packages are available.

Al-Hussein Mosque

Built-in 1154, the Al-Hussein Mosque, situated in Cairo’s Khan El Khalili market, is one of the city’s most revered places of worship in Egypt.

Dedicated to Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the mosque holds immense religious significance for Muslims, particularly those of the Shia sect.

The mosque’s history dates back to the 12th century. It can accommodate up to 2875 worshippers.

The architecture of Al-Hussein Mosque reflects traditional Islamic designs, featuring a central dome and four minarets.

The interior is adorned with beautiful Islamic calligraphy and intricate geometric patterns, creating a serene ambiance for prayer and reflection.

Surrounding the mosque, the lively atmosphere of the city’s Khan El Khalili market adds to its charm, making it a must-visit location for both locals and tourists.

General admission to the mosque is free. You can also choose a tour package to elevate your experience.

Mosque of Sayyida Nafisa

Located in the historic district of Old Cairo, the Mosque of Sayyida Nafisa honors Sayyida Nafisa, a respected descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

As one of the most revered mosques in the area, it attracts Muslims from all over the world who come to pay their respects.

The mosque’s architecture is characterised by its traditional style, with a central dome and minarets adorned with intricate stonework.

Inside, the prayer hall features exquisite Islamic decorations and a serene atmosphere conducive to prayer and meditation.

The courtyard provides a tranquil space for visitors to find respite from the bustling streets of Cairo.

The mosque’s historical and religious significance makes it an essential stop for those interested in Egypt’s Islamic heritage. It remains open from 3 AM to 9 PM for visit and tour packages.

New Mosques in Egypt

Egypt has seen the construction of several new mosques that reflect modern architectural designs and serve as centers of worship, education, and community gathering.

These new Egyptian mosques incorporate innovative features while maintaining the essence of Islamic heritage.

Here are some notable examples:

New Alamein Mosque (El Alamein)

The New Alamein Mosque, also known as the El Alamein Grand Mosque, is a significant religious and cultural landmark located in the coastal city of El Alamein on the Mediterranean coast.

This stunning mosque was inaugurated in 2019 and is part of the larger New Alamein City development project.

Designed with a modern touch, the mosque’s architecture reflects both traditional Islamic elements and contemporary aesthetics.

The mosque’s main prayer hall is capped with an impressive central dome, surrounded by smaller domes and several minarets.

The exterior facade features intricate geometric patterns, and the interiors are adorned with beautifully crafted Quranic calligraphy and Islamic motifs.

The mosque’s spacious courtyard allows for large congregations during Friday prayers and other religious events.

Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque

Also inaugurated in 2019, the Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque is a stunning Egyptian architectural achievement that exemplifies Egypt’s commitment to preserving its Islamic heritage.

Situated in the New Administrative Capital and built to accommodate 17,000 worshipers, the mosque’s design draws inspiration from traditional Islamic architecture with a touch of Ottoman influences.

The mosque’s main prayer hall is adorned with elegant calligraphy and geometric patterns, and its large dome is supported by stately columns.

The minarets provide a visual focal point for the surrounding area, while the courtyard offers ample space for community gatherings and special religious events.

These are some of the most famous mosques in Egypt. Booking a tour package to explore Egypt’s mosques is a smart choice for an enriching and hassle-free experience.

Egypt’s mosques hold profound historical and architectural significance, and with a guided tour package, you can delve into their captivating stories while appreciating their stunning designs.

Professional guide packages provide valuable insights, making the visit not only educational but also spiritually meaningful.

The convenience and safety of a tour package, which often includes hotels, transportation, and well-planned itineraries, ensure that you can fully immerse yourself in Egypt’s cultural and historical treasures.

The right package will help you create lasting memories while exploring the beautiful mosques of this remarkable country

Famous Masjids around the World

The world is adorned with a diverse array of mosques. These iconic places of worship showcase the rich heritage and cultural significance of Islam across different regions.

These revered structures not only exemplify the beauty of Islamic architecture but also hold immense spiritual importance for millions of believers.

Here are some of the most famous masjids around the world, where faith, art, and culture harmoniously converge to create awe-inspiring landmarks of global significance.

  • The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) – Istanbul, Turkey: A majestic mosque with six minarets and a striking blue interior adorned with intricate tiles, drawing millions of visitors to Istanbul each year.
  • Al Fateh Grand Mosque – Manama, Bahrain: Among the world’s largest mosques, featuring a massive fiberglass dome and capacity for over 7,000 worshippers, symbolising Bahrain’s rich Islamic heritage.
  • Masjid Al Haram – Mecca, Saudi Arabia: The holiest mosque in Islam, encircling the Kaaba and hosting millions of pilgrims during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi, UAE: A grand architectural marvel representing religious tolerance and cultural diversity, featuring opulent domes and intricate designs.
  • Masjid Al Nabawi – Medina, Saudi Arabia: The second holiest mosque in Islam, housing the tomb of Prophet Muhammad and drawing visitors seeking spiritual reflection and devotion.

sultan ahmet blue mosque in turkey

Summary – Mosques in Egypt

In conclusion, the mosques in Egypt stand as remarkable embodiments of the country’s rich history, culture, and deep-rooted Islamic heritage.

From the iconic Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo to the ancient Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in Old Cairo, each mosque narrates a unique story of faith, art, and architecture.

Egypt’s mosques not only serve as places of worship but also as centers of community life, education, and cultural exchange.

These magnificent structures are symbols of devotion. As visitors and worshippers step inside these hallowed halls, they are transported through time, experiencing the enduring presence of faith and spirituality in the land of the Pharaohs.

As Egypt continues to progress, its mosques will undoubtedly remain, preserving the nation’s traditions and serving as a beacon of unity, spirituality, and cultural pride for generations to come.

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