• Mai Khder

"A Beautiful Example of Ottoman Architecture"

(Sulayman al-Khadim) the first Ottoman-style mosque in Egypt!


The mosque was named after Suleiman Pasha Al-Khadim, who was appointed governor of Egypt by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent for two terms. The first from the year 931 AH to the year 941 AH (1525-1535 AD) and the second from the year 943 AH to the year 945 AH (1536-1536 AD), and during his tenure over Egypt he undertook some construction and building work; Including this mosque, which he built in 935 AH / 1528AD in Cairo.


The mosque was in the beginning; A Fatimid mosque known as the Qusta mosque; According to Abu Mansour Qusta, the governor of Alexandria during the Fatimid era, he is an Armenian boy from the young men of Al-Muzaffar, son of the Emir of the armies, and he was poisoned by the eaters of Harissa, as Al-Maqrizi mentioned, and he was one of the wise men of the princes, and he built his mosque in 535 AH / 1141 AD.


As for the current mosque, Suleiman Pasha built it in the mountain castle (the Citadel of Salah al-Din) in the northeastern part of it, and he had dedicated it to the Janissaries, where he built it in fulfillment of the soldiers' desire. Those who were the rulers of Egypt among the pashas are making every effort to keep these soldiers residing in their homes in the Janissary Wall or the Wall of Salah al-Din, and to also remain separate from the soldiers of the West who were staying on the other side of the castle from the gate of the chain towards the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, and the purpose of its construction was also that The mosque of al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun had neglected his command and rarely frequented it, and it was necessary to establish a new mosque.


The Mosque of Suleiman Pasha was mentioned in the conciliatory plans, that: “In the castle of the mountain is famous, and near it in the corner of Sheikh Muhammad al-Ka’a’i, and it has a wood pulpit and a bench, and it has a lighthouse, purified, and a cell, and it has endowments, and its Islamic rituals are established, ... and the mosque is attributed to Sidi Sariya Radhi. May God be upon him the companion of the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, as it is common on the tongues, ”Ali Mubarak said about him.


As for Al-Maqrizi, he referred to that name as well and said: The Mountain Citadel was a cemetery in which several mosques were built, including the Qusta Mosque, and Ibn Jubayr mentioned the mountain pole as well, but he commented on this that it was not mentioned in the history books that the mountain pole came to Egypt as one of the companions who came to it.


The mosque consists of two parts: The first contains a hall covered by a large dome overlooking three iwans, and each iwan is covered by a large half dome, and the second section leads the first section, which is an open courtyard. Its floor is furnished with colored marble, surrounded by corridors on all sides and by domes carried on arches resting on the shoulders, and overlooked by the window of the tomb of Prince Al-Murtada, the glory of the caliphate Abu Mansur Qusta al-Amir, the founder of the first mosque, and this tomb is called the tomb of the "Sariat al-Jabal", and it has a painting dating back to the Fatimid era The date of the mosque’s establishment is written on it, and this exposed section is adjacent to the enormous lighthouse, and another building is a hospice, mosque, or library, and towards it, there is a yard with an ablution, and this square leads to another yard through a door and has another illumination also, but it has now ceased, and behind the second square is a space adjacent to it. The location of the graves and the mosque are surrounded by a wall that includes a garden on the east and south sides of the mosque, and entry to the mosque is through a door on the southern side of the wall with a double staircase.


At the top of the door that separates the garden from the exposed section of the mosque is an inscription on the side of the exposed section, which reads: “The high janb was built and built by the sultan of the Sultans, Sultan Suleiman bin Sulayem Khan, of the Othman family, who maintained his state until the Day of Judgment. Oh God, make him one of the winners, glory for the sake of God, the appointed king, seeking the pleas of the Lord of the worlds, in which they worship the righteous servants of God, and his history was "So they bow with those who bow" in the year 935 AH.


The mosque was paved with stone, and it was re-paved with marble and restored its levels. The mosque’s lighthouse belongs to the Ottoman architectural model that takes the form of a pencil, and its ceiling is built of wooden beams and is decorated with colored ornaments. In the thuluth script, as for the mihrab, it is strange in terms of the design of its perimeter around it, and its cavity is ribbed, its cladding is marble, and its middle is decorated with delicate star dishes made of marble, and the mosque pulpit is marble, and it is considered the first in Egypt in Ottoman mosques in the Ottoman style, as it is characterized by decorations His openings, lineage, and Ottoman helmet.


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