The Sayeda Zainab Mosque and Mausoleum is located in the Sayeda Zainab neighborhood in Cairo, where the neighborhood took its name from the owner of the shrine located inside the mosque, and it is in the middle of the neighborhood and the square opposite the mosque is also known as Sayeda Zainab Square. The neighborhood in which the mosque is located is one of the most famous popular neighborhoods in Cairo, where it is crowded with cafes and restaurants for popular foods. The people of Cairo, especially during Ramadan, used to go to the cafes of this neighborhood and eat suhoor meals, especially there. One of the most famous landmarks of this neighborhood next to the Sayeda Zainab Mosque is also Zain El Abidine Street, which is a street parallel to the mosque and is one of the largest commercial streets in Cairo.
It is well-known that the mosque is built over the tomb of Lady Zainab bint Ali bin Abi Talib and the sister of Hassan and Hussein. Some historians say that Zainab left for Egypt a few months after the Battle of Karbala and stayed there for 9 months, then she died and was buried where the scene is now. It is the shrine of Sayyida Zainab bint Ali bin Abi Talib and is considered by many to be one of the most important Islamic shrines in Egypt.
It is not known exactly when the mosque was built on top of the tomb of Sayyida Zainab. The historical references only mention that the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Ali Pasha, renovated the mosque in 951 AH / 1547 AD and then renovated it again, by Prince Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda in 1171 AH / 1768 AD, and in 1940 AD. The Ministry of Awqaf completely demolished the old mosque and built the existing mosque, so the mosque is not registered as an Islamic monument. The mosque at that time consisted of seven corridors parallel to the qibla wall, in the middle of which is a square courtyard covered with a dome, and on the opposite side of the qibla wall is the mausoleum of Sayyida Zainab, may God be pleased with her, surrounded by a brass fence and surmounted by a lofty dome. In 1969, the Ministry of Awqaf doubled the area of the mosque.
The mosque occupies a great place in the hearts of Egyptians, and many, especially those living in regions far from Cairo, consider visiting it an honor and a blessing that they pray to God to obtain. The mosque is considered a center of the Sufi orders and their followers. And every year in the month of Rajab, the birth of Sayyida Zainab is held. Thousands of people flock to Sayyida Zainab Square and celebrations are held, and the shape of the area changes completely for a few days.
Sayeda Zeinab Mosque
The Sayyida Zainab Mosque was mentioned in the famous Egyptian novelist Yahya Haqqi's novel "The Qandeel Umm Hashem". And “Um Hashem” is the nickname of Sayyida Zainab bint Ali bin Abi Talib. The novel tells us about a rural young man who, when he was young, and his rural family came to Cairo and lived near Mashhad al-Sayida. The axis of the novel revolves around the ways of treating eye disease among the people of the neighborhood, most of them were treated by using jellyfish oil that was lit inside the scene and above the tomb of the lady. The narration has many meanings, but it clarifies the status of this mosque so that they were blessed with oil.