How one Christian helped build one of Egypt’s first mosques in the Sinai

The Sinai was the first Egyptian region to be entered by Muslims as conquerors of the country, so it was not unusual for the peninsula to witness the establishment of the first mosque to hold prayers of Al Tarawih and the Eid prayers, and witnessed also the construction of a mosque by one Christian worker.

Dr. Abdel Rahim Rihan, General Director of Research and Archaeological Studies and Scientific Publishing in the Sinai and Delta in the Ministry of Egyptian Archaeology, told Al Arabiya that the commander Salahuddin al-Ayyubi established two mosques and a musalla (the name for an open space outside a mosque that is mainly used for praying) for Tarawih and Eid prayers at the Soldier Fort, which he built on his war route in Sinai from 1183 to 11877 AD.

Rihan points out that the musalla is an open place that has a niche that defines Qibla in a 15.9 m wall, the niche is built of carved stone and its width is 80 cm and its depth is 844 cm.

مساجد سيناء

مساجد سيناء

Salahuddin al-Ayyubi established the grand mosque in the soldier citadel, including a minaret whose base remained on the western side of its northwestern façade, it has an entrance knotted with a tapered pendant topped by the remains of balconies, its south-eastern façade is one of the most important facades, where it had the text of structuring the mosque and the tank below it, it is now in the Islamic Art Museum at Bab al-Khalq.

The Qibla wall has a library to keep the Holy Quran, its 70 cm above the floor, walls from inside covered with mortar, which is a building material, in the north-western corner of the mosque there are the remains of the walls of the minaret and the remains of the stones of its entrance from within the mosque, which clarifies that it is built from stone.

مساجد سيناء

مساجد سيناء

The archeologist asserts that "Sinai was the first region in Egypt to receive the Islamic civilization, the Islamic ages were rotated on Sinai and turned its pure land into the cultural platforms through many Islamic monuments, including religious, military and civil. There are many places for prayer, including the grand mosque, which requires the existence of the pulpit for all prayers and Friday prayers, the mosque to hold prayers except Friday prayers because there is no pulpit, the prayer hall is an open place to pray in Ramadan and Eid prayer and has a niche to determine the Qiblah direction.”
He added that the first of these mosques in the Sinai is the Mosque of the Holy Valley within the monastery of St. Catherine, built during the reign of the Fatimid caliph Al Amer beahkam Allah in the year 500 AH 1106 AD.

مساجد سيناء

مساجد سيناء

Rihan explains that Sinai contains mosques established within Islamic castles, one of which is located inside the citadel of Salah al-Din on the island of Pharaoh in Taba (567 AH 1171) in South Sinai the area of Islamic monuments, where the establishing board was found by the name of the builder of the mosque, Prince Hossam Eddin Bagel bin Hamdan, The castle also contains an exposed chapel.

Rihan refers to the Kilani or Gilani Mosque in the Sinai Desert, built by one of the Christians from Sinai. The Christian construction worker was Beniute Gregory. Sheikh Jilani's shrine was located before the building of the mosque. Two-thirds of the mosque is located in the sea, and the water has receded, west of the mosque is a store of wooden boats, his owner is called Ahmed Salem, In front of the mosque is the house owned by the sheikh of the mosque, Sheikh Ahmad Shatah.

مساجد سيناء

مساجد سيناء

Raihan explains that generally the mosques of Sinai were built the top of the mountains such as the Fatimid Mosque on Musa mountain 2242 meters above sea level and the Fatimid Mosque on the top of the windmill mountain in the firan valley 8688 meters above sea level revealed by a German expedition under the supervision of the South Sinai area of Islamic and Coptic monuments, The mosque is made of granite stone.

There is a mosque of the fort of Al-Tina (35 km) east of the city of Qantara, revealed by the North Sinai area of Islamic monuments, and has three niches and the castle is built by Sultan al-Ghuri 914 AH 1158 AD and remained up until 11400 AH, it is built by red bricks.

PHOTO GALLERY: Inside one of Egypt’s first mosques

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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