The Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in Egypt, and certainly the most important and most magnificent mosque in Alexandria. The mosque is named after a 13th century Sufi saint, Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi. Originally built in 1775, the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque has since been renovated, altered, and rebuilt on a number of occasions.
Today, the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque remains an active place of worship. It is also visited by scores of Muslims from both Cairo and Morocco who are making their way to and from Mecca.
Like many of the great mosques in Egypt, this one is also open to visitors. However, visitors are expected to dress conservatively, and should avoid entering the mosque during prayer times.
The sheer magnificence of this mosque has resulted in it becoming one of the top Alexandria tourist attractions.
Who Was Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi?
Abu al-Abba al-Mursi was born in Andalusia in Spain in 1219 AD. He was the son of a very wealthy family, and was therefore able to receive a good education. Aside from his education, he grew up helping his parents with their trading business, and as he got older, he gained a reputation for his honesty, and for the many contributions he made to people in need.
By the time he was 23, Spain was increasingly falling under the control of Christians, and this persuaded him to leave Spain, along with his Mother, Father, and brother. Their intention was to settle in Tunisia, but his mother and father never made it that far. It was then that Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi was noticed by a sheikh by the name of El-Shazly who persuaded Abu al-Abbas to accompany him to Alexandria.
Sheikh El Shazly and Abu al-Abbas became very close friends during their time together in Alexandria, with Abu al-Abbas soon becoming the sheikh’s top student. In fact, Abu-al-Abbas al-Mursi even ended up marrying the sheikh’s daughter with whom he later had three children.
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi himself became a teacher, and taught until his death in 1286, 43 years after he first arrived in Alexandria. Following his death, he was buried in a tomb on the site where the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque stands today.
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque – A Brief History
One could say that the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque essentially started out as a tomb. In 1307, one of Alexandria’s wealthiest traders visited the tomb of al-Mursi, and because he held al-Mursi in high regard, he instructed his men to build a mausoleum for the tomb, and also a dome.
In fact, El Sheikh Zein El Din Ibn El Qattan even had a small but fine mosque built, and then paid for the mosque to have its own imam. At this point, al-Mursi’s tomb stood under the newly built dome on the right hand side of the entrance to the mosque.
By 1477 the mosque was showing significant signs of neglect, and was in desperate need of repairs. When the then ruler of Alexandria visited the mosque and saw the state of the mosque, he ordered the mosque to be fully renovated. He also had a tomb built for himself, just alongside the tomb of al-Mursi.
Later, in 1596, after a visit by Sheikh Abu al Abbas El Khurzemy, the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi mosque was once again renovated. Nearly 200 years later, a visiting sheikh by the name of Sheikh Abu al Abbas El Khurzemy gave the orders to build the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque which people can see today.
Visiting the Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi
The Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque is truly remarkable, and it is most certainly a wonderful place to visit, particularly if you are interested in strikingly beautiful Islamic architecture.
From the minute you arrive at this site, expect to be blown away, particularly if you are fascinated by old Islamic architecture. Much of the architecture at the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosques is representative of the era in which Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi lived.
Expect to see towering columns, an abundance magnificent marble and granite, much of which was imported from Italy.
In short, the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque is the most beautiful monument in Alexandria.
Breathtaking Egypt Travel Packages – Since 1955
With more than 60 years worth of experience behind our tours, we are only too well-aware of the fact that not all people who visit Egypt have the desire to visit religious monuments such as the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque. For this reason, many of our Egypt travel packages don’t include a visit to this site.
However, since all tour packages at Egypt Tours Plus are fully customizable, a visit to this magnificent mosque can easily be added to your preferred itinerary if it is not already included.