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Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas Mosque

Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas Biography

The Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas Mosque is a contemporary mosque in the neighborhood of Al Anfushi in Alexandria city. Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi was born in 1219 in the Andalusia region of Spain into a wealthy family. In the year 1242, when there was a rise in the control of Christians over Spain, he left for Tunisia with his family. Later he went on to Alexandria, which was a prominent place for many Islamic scholars.

He lived as a scholar and teacher in Alexandria for 43 years, until he died in 1286. He was buried in a small building in Alexandria, close to the eastern harbor. The Tomb was visited in 1307 by El Sheik Zein El-Din Ibn El Qattan, one of Alexandria’s wealthiest merchants who financed the building of a mausoleum and a dome for the tomb of Abu al-Abbas, and a small mosque.

Abu al-Abbas’s tomb became a place of pilgrimage for many Egyptian Muslims and those from Morocco on their way going and coming from Mecca, passing through Alexandria. Over the years, the mosque was occasionally rebuilt by rulers who constructed tombs next to the saint for themselves

The majority of the existing buildings date back to 1775 when the Abu El Hassan El Maghraby, who is an Algerian Sheik, built on the site a much bigger mosque. It was completely renovated in 1863, and a yearly festival to celebrate the birth of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi was initiated.

In 1943, the mosque was spruced up again under King Farouq I (r.1937-1952), who built the Mosque Square, or Midan El-Masged. The square contains five other mosques based around the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, and it occupies some 43,200 square meters.

In the 13th century, a total cost of about 140,000 LE was used to renovate the mosque in the traditional Arabian style when the saint arrived in Alexandria.

Things to see at the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque

The Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, which is cream in color, stands 23 m high and designed with artificial stone. It has a minaret that has four sections with different shapes. The minaret has a design of Ayoubids, and it is rising to 73 m on the south side. The mosque and its surroundings can be easily sighted from the sea, on the coast of the eastern harbor.

The mosque has one doorway to the north, and another at the east, both overlooking the square. The central portion of the mosque is an octagon, which has inner walls dressed in artificial stone except for a mosaic that is 5.6 m high.

Updated On April 30, 2020