The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As (Arabic: جامع عمرو بن العاص), or Taj al-Jawame’ (Arabic: تاج الجوامِع, lit. ‘Crown of Mosques’), or Masjid Ahl ar-Rayah (Arabic: مسجد اهل الرّاية, lit. ‘Mosque of the Banner Bearers’), or Jame’ al-Ateeq (Arabic: جامِع العتِيق, lit. ‘the Old Mosque’), was originally built in 641–642 AD, as the center of the newly founded capital of Egypt, Fustat. The original structure was the first mosque ever in Egypt and the whole of Africa. For 600 years, the mosque was also an important center of Islamic learning until Al-Muizz’s Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo replaced it. Through the twentieth century, it was the fourth largest mosque in the Islamic world.
The location for the mosque was the site of the tent of the commander of the Muslim army, general Amr. One corner of the mosque contains a room related in some significant way to his son, ‘Abd Allah’. Due to extensive reconstruction over the centuries nothing of the original building remains, but the rebuilt Mosque is a prominent landmark and in what today known as Old Cairo. It is an active mosque with a devout congregation, and when prayers are not taking place, it is also open to visitors and tourists
Description of the mosque
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is a historic mosque located in Fustat, Egypt. It refers to Amr ibn al-Aas, the Muslim general who conquered Egypt in 641 CE, and is one of the oldest mosques in the country.
The mosque was originally built in the 7th century CE, and has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries. Constructed with a combination of brick and stone, and features a distinctive oriental architecture style. The mosque’s main entrance adorned with intricate carvings and decorative arches, and its interior characterized by high ceilings and large, arched windows that allow natural light to enter.
The mosque is particularly famous for its unique minaret. In fact, it is like a truncated cone. It is one of the oldest surviving examples of its kind in the world. The minaret topped with a spiral staircase that leads to the top, and adorned with intricate carvings and decorative elements.
Today, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is a popular tourist destination. Tourists who likes the history and architecture of Egypt often visit it . The mosque is still in use for daily prayers. It is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Fustat and the wider Islamic world.