Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

In Depth: Spirtuality of Cairo's Historical Mosques in Ramadan

Thu 04 Apr 2024 | 02:03 PM
Rana Atef

During Ramadan, the historic and longstanding mosques in Egypt earn a special spiritual mood, especially in Cairo, which is called "the city of a thousand minarets."

The historical mosques in Egypt are still representing and witnessing the Egyptians’ connection and mutual ties with them in every Ramadan since the beginning of the Islamic reign in Egypt. 

The hearts of all Muslims flock to the spiritual scent of these mosques, with their Qur’an sessions, Ramadan's night prayers (Tarawih), and late night prayers (Tahajud).

The Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque is one of the landmarks of Cairo's mosques. It was founded by the great Muslim leader Amr Ibn Al-Aas in 20 AH (641 AD), after the conquest of Egypt. 

It is among the top-welcoming mosques for worshipers during the Holy Ramadan due to its historical symbolism, as it is the first mosque established in Egypt and Africa. 

Dr. Mohamed El Kahlawi, the director of the Arab Council of the General Union of Arab Archaeologists, told the Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the Egyptians’ deep connection to these historical mosques like Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque during Ramadan is driven by their appreciation for the role of these mosques throughout history.

El Kahlawi added that these historical mosques occupy a special place in the hearts of Egyptians, especially during Ramadan. Therefore, it witnesses a great turnout of worshipers throughout the ages, pointing out that the Egyptians inherited visiting and spending spiritual times in mosques during Ramadan since the Islamic conquest of Egypt.

On his side, Dr. Ayman Fouad Sayed, Professor of Islamic History at Al-Azhar University, told QNA that these mosques in Egypt, especially in Cairo, had special positions for Egyptians, especially during Ramadan. Sayed added that Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque played a prominent role in the cradle of Islamic history in Egypt, along with the Ahmed Ibn Tulun Mosque and Al-Azhar Mosque.

Dr. Gomaa Abdel Maqsoud, Professor of Restoration of Islamic Antiquities at the Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, told QNA that the secret behind the Egyptians’ appreciation and attachment to these mosques during Ramadan is due to their historical value, in addition to their embrace of preachers and scholars with distinctive voices in the holy readings during Ramadan's prayers. This makes those sacred mosques shine during Ramadan.

Abdul Maqsoud added that the spiritual atmosphere of these historic mosques is due to their important roles in establishing the pillars of Islam in Egypt. So, their value is not only represented in their religious role but also in their historical, architectural, and artistic value.

Regarding the value of Al Azhar Mosque, Abdel Maqsoud expressed that Al-Azhar Mosque has a special status for Egyptians, especially in Ramadan, due to its role and spirituality throughout history. In addition, it is not only a mosque but also a university and a hub for religious studies. So, it has a great impact on the lives of Egyptians and their identity.

Dr. Mohamed Wardani, professor of media at Al-Azhar University, told QNA that the role of mosques in Egypt in Ramadan extends to rituals and spiritual atmospheres characterized by familiarity and affection, like hosting iftar for thousands of fasting people every day, Holy Qur’an sessions, and religious discussions. 

Wardani added that the mosques in Egypt inspired a similar spiritual atmosphere in the holy Ramadan from the Al-Azhar Mosque and the rest of historical mosques, including Holy Qur’an competitions, especially among children.