Mosque of Al-Hakim

The Enigmatic Legacy of Mosque of Al-Hakim

In the annals of Egypt’s storied history, one name stands out as an enigmatic figure – Al-Hakim, the sixth Fatimid ruler, who ascended to the throne as a mere child. Known as the “Little Lizard,” his reign, spanning 23 tumultuous years, was marked by a haunting aura and a reputation for capricious violence that shook the very foundations of his realm. Modern historians have speculated that his rule might have been marred by insanity, given the severity of the chaos and crises that engulfed his court.

During his reign, Al-Hakim did away with the tutor who had coined his infamous moniker, “Little Lizard,” along with several others who had crossed his path. His eccentricities knew no bounds, as he would often roam the streets incognito on a humble donkey. When he caught wind of dishonest merchants, he had them dealt with by his notorious black servant. Yet, the most perplexing aspect of his legacy remains his mysterious disappearance. While embarking on one of his secretive journeys, particularly towards the foreboding Muqattam Hills, he vanished without a trace, leaving behind an unsettling void. His body was never recovered, adding an eerie layer to his enigma.

The Mosque of Al-Hakim, dating back to 1013, stands as a testament to this perplexing ruler’s reign. Ironically, this sacred edifice, one of the older mosques in Cairo, never served its intended purpose – worship. Instead, it witnessed a series of transformations over the centuries, serving as a Crusaders’ prison, a stable, a warehouse, a boys’ school, and even a mental hospital – a reflection, some would say, of its enigmatic founder’s nature.

In the 1980s, the mosque underwent a transformation of its own at the hands of an Ismaili Shiite group. They bestowed upon it an open-plan square and minimalist decor. Amidst the modest adornments, two stone minarets emerge as the crowning jewels of this historical site. These masterpieces are considered the earliest surviving minarets in the city, standing as silent sentinels of a bygone era.

Al-Hakim Mosque, with its checkered past and captivating minarets, beckons visitors to delve into the mysteries of its founder’s reign and explore the enduring legacy of Egypt’s rich history. It is a place where the enigmatic past meets the timeless beauty of Islamic architecture, inviting all who enter to contemplate the enigma that is Al-Hakim.

Created On May 4, 2020

Updated On January 26, 2024

CAIRO Travel Guide
The Citadel of Cairo: A blend of medieval magnificence and urban expansion.
Cairo's golden hour, where the Nile meets the city's ancient charm

Lost your password?

Welcome’ as often as the Egyptians, and each time, they truly mean it.


34 Central St. From Road 9, Moqattam – Cairo, Egypt 11571


+20 2 25050550, 25050551, 25050552

Company Official Name:

Online Era



Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in


184 Mayfield St. Hopewell
Junction, NY 12533