The Saladin Citadel & Mohammad Ali Mosque
Who exactly was Saladin, and how did I meet him?
What part did the Saladin Citadel in Cairo play in history?
How and what the Citadel does behind the scenes
Find out more about Mohamed Aly’s past.
A look at the sacred history of the mosque in Islam
The Citadel of Saladin in Cairo has minarets that are so tall that you can see them from miles away. You can see a breathtaking view of Old Islamic Cairo and its surrounding area.
This beautiful building is called Qalaat Sal ad-Din in Arabic. It was a museum that showed how Egypt’s government changed between the 11th and 19th centuries.
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The legendary Citadel of Saladin is on the Mokattam Hills, about 15–25 minutes from the center of Cairo.
Who was Saladin?
The brave knight Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, known in history as Salah El-Din, built the Salah El-Din Citadel in Cairo.
Even though he was born in Iraq, he made the Ayyubid dynasty and was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria. People also think of him as the founder of the Fatimid empire.
He did his best work when he led the Muslim armies to victory at Jerusalem and added the city to the growing Islamic empire. Even though he was known as a religious and kind leader, he was also known for being a good warrior and helping to take over a lot of countries. He was famous for telling his followers, “I advise you not to pour blood, take pleasure in it, or make blood sacrifices.”
Salah and Din, the two parts of his name, come from Arabic, meaning “faith” and “justice.” He is thought to have died at 56 and been buried at the Umayyad Mosque in Syria. Both are fitting ways to end a life that was so full of things done and things learned.
The Saladin Citadel is essential to the growth and development of Cairo.
Citadel of the Mountain, also called Qala’a Al-Jabal, was built by Egypt’s Sultan Salah El-Din to protect Cairo from a Crusader attack.
Because it was on a hill in the middle of Cairo, it was hard to attack or take over. The Citadel was Egypt’s political center for a long time. Throughout Egypt’s history, the Citadel has been the center of power. The Ayyubids, Mamluks, and even the Ottomans ruled from there at different times.
Before Khedive Ismail took power, the Egyptian government moved out of the historic Citadel and into the more modern Abdeen Palace.
Sultan Salah El-Din gave the first permission to build what would become the Salah El-Din Citadel in 1176.
Al Malek El Kamel, who became king of Egypt after Salah El-death Din died in 1182, was in charge of finishing the Citadel. Salah ad-Din wanted to protect himself from his enemies, so he planned to build a giant, scary fortress.
He chose to use stones that had been stolen from many of the smaller pyramids in Giza. It looks like the fortifications in Syria and Lebanon gave it its grandeur and beauty.
Salah ad-Din dug wells inside the Citadel so that he could give water to his troops. There are about thirteen towers inside the Citadel’s walls, some of which are the al-Karkialan tower, the al-Turfa tower, and the El-Mokkatam tower. There are four ways to get into the Citadel: the El-Mokatam, New, Middle, and Citadel Gates.
At the National Military Museum, you can see artillery, tanks, and other weapons used in real battles. At the National Prison Museum, you can see prisoners’ cells. Inside the fort are about four palaces (Palace Ablaq, Al-Gawhara Palace, and ).
Inside the walls of the citadel
The Alabaster Mosque, another name for the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, is one of the world’s oldest and most well-known places of worship. The Salah el-Din Citadel is where you can find it.
It would help if you went to Salah ad-Din Citadel to look for it.
Construction on this mosque began in 1816 when Muhammad Ali Pasha was the caliph of the Ottoman Empire. It was finished 18 years later.
Muhammad Ali Pasha built this mosque in honor of his father, Tosun Pasha, who had died the year before.
Where did Mohamed Ali go?
Even though Muhammad Ali was born in Greece, research and old records may tell us a lot about the famous boxer. He is now in charge of Egypt as president.
Muhammad Ali ruled for another 43 years after returning to Egypt in 1805 and taking power from Napoleon’s France. After the French left and the British made him take the throne, he was given the highest title of “Pasha.”
The highest honor of the Ottoman Empire was given to him because of all the changes and improvements he made as king of Egypt. Changes were made in many areas, including agriculture, industry, education, and research.
On August 2, Muhammad Ali Pasha died in Alexandria at the Ras Al-Tin Palace. He was buried at the Salah ad-Din Citadel inside the Salah ad-Din Mosque. The possible place where he is buried.
Islam’s Sacred Place: A Brief History of the Mosque
After the mosque was finished in 1848, it was given a new name to honor the famous leader Muhammad Ali. From Salah el-Din Citadel, you can see it, and it was built in the traditional Ottoman style.
There are two different areas inside the mosque. They are as follows:
The prayer hall is in the building’s eastern part, while the courtyard is in the western region.
The architect was from Turkey and used a lot of limestone in the building, so it’s not surprising that the mosque looks like a traditional Turkish mosque.
Each medallion on the mosque’s dome is a tribute to a Caliph who helped lead the Islamic world in the right direction.
The mosque has two minibars for people to pray at, and the dome has six medallions with the prophets Allah, Mohammed, Abou Bakr, Omar, Othman, and Ali. A qibla direction system has also been put in the mosque.
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