Abu El Abbas Mosque is very popular and famous in Egypt, in Alexandria. The Egyptians dedicated this mosque to the holy Sufi Abul-Abbas al-Mursi from Spain, who lived in the 13th century. In his last years, he moved to live in Alexandria. The full name of this Sufi is Shahab ad-Din Abu-l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Umar ibn Muhammad Al-Ansari Al-Mursi. Revered Abu El Abbas is one of four religious men who enjoyed high respect and wide fame in Egypt. His writings were rife and were of considerable importance to all the people in Egypt. Mursi has become a household name in the country thanks to his work and popularity.
Location of Abu El Abbas Mosque
The mosque of Abu El Abbas exists in the Alexandria region of Anfushi. The location of the mosque has an ancient history. In 1307, a Muslim preacher erected it near the Qaitbay fortress. The tomb Located above the grave of a Sufi sheikh existed near the harbour of Alexandria, in the eastern part. In 1307, one mighty and wealthy merchant visited the grave of Al-Mursy Abul-Abbas in Alexandria.
He then instructed his loyal subjects to build a mausoleum and a large dome over the grave. Also, he financed all the construction and paid the salary of the local imam. Thus, the Egyptians built a wonderful mosque with a small square minaret. The mosque had a coffin installed on the right side. Later, this mosque became a pilgrimage place for most Muslims from Morocco to Egypt. Indeed, It became their religious destination while travelling to Mecca and back.
Restoration of the Mosque
By the end of the 15th century, this mosque became wholly unusable and destroyed. At that time, Alexandria’s new ruler ordered to build of a religious building. Also, he erected a mausoleum for himself not far from Abu-Abbas Mosque. Later, they buried him there after his death. The subsequent restoration of the mosque came in 1596. It happened after the sheikh visited it, and he decided to rebuild a tomb in these places. Once again, in 1863, the mosque became unsuitable for various services. Once again, it collapsed. Later, one of the most famous Islamic architects restored the building. Initially, he instructed them to demolish most houses surrounding this place. After freeing up an ample space, he took up the complete restoration of the building.
The Architecture of Abu El Abbas Mosque
Many decades later, in the 40-the 50s of the 20th century, this building underwent a complete reconstruction. They raised the walls of Abu El Abbas Mosque in height by about 23 meters.
Also, the builders decorated an excellent stone minaret in the southern part. They raised it to 73 meters and divided it into four sections.
The first section, about 15 meters high, is square. Though the second represents an octagon of four meters high. Yet, the third section presents a hexagon of 12 meters. But the fourth section is round and 3.25 meters tall.
Also, the Abu El Abbas mosque has two entrances. The top has a complete cover of brass and has a crescent-shaped decor. It opens to the square and leads to the adjacent street to the king’s palace from the northern part. The eastern part also has access to the court. Marketably, it has granite stone stairs that lead to the exits.
The essential inner part of the mosque is an octagon with side lengths of 22 meters. The architects beautifully decorated this octagon with mosaic panels and artificial stone. Also, they supported the top of the ceiling with sixteen columns. In addition, they made these columns of Italian granite and combined them into arches. These columns rise to a height of 17 meters. Moreover, artists Amazingly decorated all the upper parts of those columns with traditional arabesque paintings.
Abu El Abbas Mosque has a floor of crisp white marble. At the same time, its outer domes receive sunlight and illuminate the entire space. Also, the doors stand immense, with a height is 6.5 meters. Besides, it has beautiful frames on the windows and handrails of rare types of wood and walnut. Moreover, Kufic writings do decorate all the pillars.