The Mosque of al-Hakim (Arabic: مسجد الحاكم بأمر اللهromanized: Masjid al-Ḥākim bi Amr Allāh), nicknamed al-Anwar (Arabic: الانورlit. ‘the Illuminated’), is a historic mosque in Cairo, Egypt. In fact, it named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (985–1021). The sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili Imam. Construction of the mosque originally started by Caliph al-‘Aziz, the son of al-Mu’izz and the father of al Hakim, in 990 AD. Completed in 1013 by al-Hakim, which is why it named after him. The mosque is in Islamic Cairo, on the east side of al-Mu’izz Street, just south of Bab al-Futuh (the northern city gate). In the centuries since its construction the mosque was often neglected and re-purposed for other functions, eventually falling into ruin. In 1980, a major restoration and reconstruction of the mosque completed by the Dawoodi Bohras, resulting in its reopening for religious use.

Interior courtyard of the mosque

Architecture of the mosque

Firstly, the facades and minarets of the mosque made from stone. In addition to, the rest of the structure made of brick. In fact, the mosque’s rectangular layout consists of an open courtyard surrounded by arcades (riwaqs) on four sides. Behind these arcades are roofed areas divided into aisles by more arcades that run parallel to the sides of the courtyard. The space on the northwest side of the courtyard (the entrance side) is two aisles deep, the spaces along its southwest and northeast sides are three aisles deep, and the main prayer hall on the southeast side is five aisles deep.

In fact, this layout is similar to the layout of the older Ibn Tulun Mosque and the Al-Azhar Mosque. A special aisle, running perpendicular to the others, cuts across the five aisles of the prayer hall and leads towards the mihrab (niche indicating the qibla or direction of prayer). This central aisle further emphasized by its greater width and height. As well as by the presence of a dome, carried on squinches, covers the space directly in front of mihrab. In addition to, the main mihrab (which dates entirely from the 1980 restoration), and smaller mihrab to the right, covered in polychrome marble, was added by ‘Umar Makram in 1808.