The Mosque of Ahmad Ibn Tulun

One of the most important Islamic monuments in ‎Egypt, Ahmad Ibn Tulun Mosque has some unique ‎architectural and ornamental features. It has been built ‎on an area of six and a half feddans, which makes it ‎the largest mosque in Egypt. It also has additional ‎extensions or ziyadahs to the West, North and South, ‎similar to those in the Mosque of Samarra', with the ‎purpose of protecting and isolating the Mosque from ‎the outside noise. The extensions are sometimes used ‎when the congregation is larger than the mosque's ‎capacity. Piers in this mosque were used instead of ‎columns, joined by pointed arches. The upper parts of ‎the walls contain a large number of stucco windows ‎each having different decorations and geometric ‎forms. It has several entrances and still keeps six ‎mihrabs. The most distinct feature of this Mosque is ‎its old minaret with its spiral external stone staircase, ‎identical to the minaret of the mosques of Samarra'. ‎No wonder, for Ahmad Ibn Tulun grew up in Samarra' ‎during the Abbasid period and when he declared Egypt ‎an independent state in 245 Hegira, he copied the ‎Iraqi decorations and styles of Samarra' in the ‎construction of his own mosque.‎‎

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