As you may have noticed in your travels to other Islamic countries, mosques are often spaces reserved only for Muslim believers. Therefore, it is logical to wonder if you can visit mosques in Egypt. In these lines, we give you an answer and even some suggestions for your trip.
Yes, you can visit mosques in Egypt
Egypt, due to its tradition and its position of ‘centrality’ in the Muslim world, is also a country with a policy of openness towards other cultures and religions. Perhaps that’s why it’s relatively easy to visit mosques in Egypt, even if you profess another religion. All you have to do is visit them during opening hours for visits and never during prayer. And of course, respect a series of decorum measures, which mainly are:
- Dress discreetly: that is, do not wear shorts or tank tops (knees and shoulders should be covered)
- Women should cover their hair and avoid low-cut garments
- Take off your shoes when entering the prayer room
- Photograph respectfully, according to the mosque’s indications: you can take photos of the architecture and decorative details, but not of people performing prayer
- Do not eat or drink
- Keep silent and turn off the mobile phone
Some mosques you should not miss
Being lucky enough to visit mosques in Egypt is something you should not miss because it is not so easy in other Muslim countries and, above all, because their beauty and history are incomparable. In this post on our blog, we already advised you on the 5 most interesting ones in the capital, Cairo:
- Alabaster Mosque or Mehmet Ali Mosque, in the heart of the Saladin Citadel, whose visit is usually part of many circuits
- Azhar Mosque: a spiritual center for all of Islam, dating back to the 10th century
- Al Muayyad Mosque, an example of Cairo splendor in the Fatimid era and the subsequent rule of the Mamluks
- Al-Hussein Mosque: very close to the famous Khan el-Khalili market, it is one of the most important for the Shia branch of Islam
- Amr ibn al-As Mosque, the oldest in all of Africa, founded in 641, just after the Arab conquest of the country
Beyond these five mosques, there are others outside the capital that you should also visit for their historical, religious, and architectural interest.
Al Sahaba Mosque, in Sharm el-Sheikh
For many, it is one of the most beautiful mosques in Egypt. Recently built (inaugurated in 2017), it stands out for its two large minarets of more than 75 meters in height and also for its rich materials, including marble. Its views of the Red Sea are another of its main attractions.
Abu el Haggag Mosque, in Luxor
What makes the Abu el Haggag Mosque in Luxor unique is, among other things, its unique location: right inside an Ancient Egyptian temple! And not just any temple, but one of the most sacred for that civilization: the Luxor temple. Its original construction dates back to the Ayyubid period, i.e., from the 11th century, although it has undergone subsequent reconstructions. It is dedicated to a Sufi master of that period and of great devotion in the city.
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, in Alexandria
This is a mosque with origins in the 13th century, the time when this Murcian Sufi saint lived. It underwent subsequent reconstructions and the current temple dates from the 20th century, with a project by Italian architects: Eugenio Valzaina and Mario Rossi. Its refined domes are perhaps its most outstanding element. And like the previous ones, its location amplifies its beauty, in this case very close to the Qaitbay Citadel.