May 29, 2023

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Al-Azhar: How did the ancient mosque retain its religious status for over 1,000 years?

  • Hashim Shaheen
  • BBC News Arabic

Image copyright Reuters

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Al-Azhar Mosque is over a thousand years old as it has become an important place for Islamic science.

Today, Wednesday, marks the 1083 Hijri anniversary of the founding of the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, built by Jawhar al-Sighilli, a prominent military commander during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Mu’iz li. Din Allah, whose construction began on the twenty-fourth of Jumada al-Awwal, corresponding to the fourth of April, 359 A.H. In 970 AD, its construction took nearly 27 months and was opened for Friday prayers. , Ramadan is the seventh AD. 972 June 21, 361 AH.

Also called Al-Azhar Mosque in reference to Mrs. Fatima Al-Zahra, daughter of Prophet Muhammad and wife of Ali bin Abi Talib.

Al-Azhar is the country’s largest Islamic scholarly organization, concerned with preserving, researching and publishing Islamic heritage, according to Law No. 103 on the Restoration of Al-Azhar and Bodies in Egypt.

Al-Azhar Mosque building

Throughout the ages, from its inception to the present, Al-Azhar Mosque has received the attention of Muslim caliphs, sultans, princes and rulers in its architecture in terms of expansion, construction and renovation. It was completed in 1439 AH / 2018 AD, it lasted for almost three years, and its current area is approximately 12 thousand square meters.