Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque

Who is Amr ibn Al-As?

Amr Ibn Al-Aas is considered one of the most important figures in Egyptian history as he introduced Islam to Egypt. He founded a new city north of the Roman fort of Babylon called Fustat. Even today, the Amlu Ibn Al-As his mosque marks the location of this city. The structure has been restored several times and although today nothing of the original structure remains, it is the site of the oldest mosque in Egypt and the entire African continent. Islam spread throughout Egypt and the African continent in 640 AD with the Islamic Caliph Rashidun’s general Amr ibn Ar’ath. The religion was only a few decades old at the time, but it spread rapidly under the influence of Rashidun, his caliphate, established after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. At the time, Coptic religion had recently overtaken the religion of Ancient Egypt to become the dominant religion. General Amr ibn al-As and his army came to the area of ​​modern Cairo to attack Babylon’s fortresses on the banks of the Nile. Islamic forces encamped in settlements north of and around the fort and began a siege.

Interesting Facts about Amr ibn Al-As Mosque

While they were camping outside the city, legend has it that pigeons nested on the roof of the general’s tent. After defeating Babylon, the army prepared to march on Alexandria, the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt, but Amr ordered the tents to remain standing, seeing the pigeon’s nest as an omen of God’s will. I ordered to Islamic forces conquered Alexandria and gained control of Egypt, but news arrived from Medina’s caliph Umar that a new capital should be built near Medina. Following the dove omen, Amr ibn al-As built a mosque on the spot where his tent stood and became the center of Egypt’s new Muslim capital, Fustad. Founded in 642 AD and named after a general, this mosque was the first mosque on the African continent.

The construction of Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque

The mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas was originally constructed using palm trunks, mud-brick, and palm leaves for a roof so none of the original structure remains and it has been rebuilt many times since the 7th century. The first arcades of columns were erected in 827, giving it a permanent form that has since been expanded. Only a small number of these original architraves remain today and can be viewed along the mosque’s southern wall. The building was most recently rebuilt in 1875.

Despite the fact that most of its original structure has been replaced, the mosque’s historical significance as the site of the first Muslim settlement in Egypt and the first mosque in Africa still attracts tourists. It is conveniently located in Old Cairo (Fustat) very near the Mar Gargis metro station and Coptic Cairo.

You Can Visit the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas by choosing one of our Cairo Tour with Al Sahel Travel

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