Al-Rifa’i mosque is believed to be the most remarkable Islamic structure in Cairo. It is located in the Qala’a facing the great Al Sultan Hassan mosque. Through our article, you will explore all things related to Al-Rifa’i mosque includes:
The History of Al-Rifa’i Mosque
The mother of Khedive Ismail “Khoshiar” embellished the mosque to be the grand mausoleum of the royal family. She wanted to build a mosque that lives forever and keep its greatness through its shape & size. She also wanted to renew the Zawiya of the mosque so she completely destroyed the Zawiya and started to build this new grandiose mosque “Al-Rifa’i Mosque”.
The mosque is named after Sheikh Ahmed Al Refaie, who was the Sufi leader of the Al Refaieya method. Hussein Fahmy Pasha was the one who built this mosque and designed it to contain tombs inside of the members of the royal family in addition to adding two domes for the two Sheikhs Ali Abu Shebak and Yehia Al Ansary. The construction work stopped for a while in 1881 to make some changes and then with the death of Khoshiar Hanem in 1885, the construction completely stopped. After twenty-five years, Abbas Helmy II became the Egyptian ruler and ordered to continue the construction of the mosque. Finally, Al-Rifa’i mosque was opened to the public in February 1912.
The Construction of Al-Rifa’i Mosque
Al-Rifa’i mosque has columns made of rock and marble adorned with rich Arabic decorations. On the western side of the mosque, there is the main gate and at its top. There is a huge dome decorated with gold. When you enter Al-Rifa’i mosque, you’ll find a door that leads to the tombs of Ali Abu Shebak and Yehia Al Ansary. The walls of the mosque are decorated with very beautiful marbles. Abanos wood and radiant golden ornaments decorate most of the doors, walls, and windows of the mosque.
Inside its eastern walls, there is the mihrab that is decorated with colored marble. The Minbar is located right beside the mihrab decorated with ivory, ebony, and mother of pearl. This minbar has a unique style that was designed with the Mamluk way. The pure white alabaster Dekka is the most remarkable part of this mosque. Its style & decorations make the mosque one of its kind. This Dekka contains some stunning Quran inscriptions, written in pure gold and it was built on eight white marble columns.
The Northern side of Al-Rifa’i mosque contains six gates and four of these gates lead to the burial tombs of the kings & queens of the royal family. The west side contains a room, where Khedive Ismail and his mother were buried.
Interesting Facts About of Al-Rifa’i Mosque Burials
- Al-Rifa’i mosque was built to be the final resting place of Khushyar Hanim and her son Isma’il Pasha.
- It was also intended to be the resting place of Khedive Tewfik and Khedive Abbas Hilmi II but they are buried in Qubbat Afandina.
- It served as the burial site of Sultan Hussein Kamel, Sultan, and King Fuad I, and King Farouk.
- It used to be the resting place of Reza Shah of Iran. He died in exile in the Union of South Africa in 1944.
- Part of the burial chamber is currently occupied by Reza Shah’s son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who died in Cairo in July 1980.
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.