Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas | 1st Mosque in Africa



The Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque was the first Islamic prayer site in Egypt, as well as the first mosque in African territory. The mosque was a plain brick structure with an uncoated floor and a palm leaf roof supported by palm trunks, according to current sources.


Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas

Its composition was simple, it didn't have a mihrab, courtyard, or minaret, but it was large enough to hold a large group of believers for their prayers.

Today little remains of its original structure, which is the result of a series of restorations and renovations. Its two hundred columns are richly decorated, all different from each other: it is said that there are not two equal columns.

Also interesting is the wall that divides the men's and women's areas, through a wooden divider that can be moved according to the needs of the moment. The sudden nature of these changes indicates that perhaps there was not all of this division between men and women long ago, or that before women perhaps participated less in prayer meetings.

Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque

The oldest parts date back to the 9th century when the mosque was rebuilt and almost doubled. However, there are many elements that have been recently renovated, just a few decades ago.

The mosque has maintained its air of simplicity, in harmony with its humble origins, and still houses a large congregation of faithful. Tourists are welcome outside of prayer hours.

 

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