Muhammed Ali Mosque

Muhammad Ali Mosque

A Historical and Architectural Marvel

Muhammed Ali Mosque, also known as the Alabaster Mosque, is a significant landmark located within the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt. Commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848, this Ottoman-style mosque stands out with its striking silhouette and twin minarets, making it one of the most prominent mosques in Cairo.

Muhammed Ali Mosque

History of Muhammed Ali Mosque

The mosque was constructed in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali’s youngest son who passed away in 1816. The building process began in 1830 on the grounds of old Mamluk structures within the Citadel.

Designed by architect Yusuf Boshnak from Istanbul, the mosque’s architectural inspiration was drawn from the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. Despite facing delays, it was finally completed during the reign of Said Pasha in 1857.

Architecture and Design of the Mosque of Muhammed Ali.

Muhammad Ali deliberately chose to adopt Ottoman architectural styles for this state mosque, showcasing his allegiance to his former rulers. The mosque features a central dome surrounded by smaller domes and semicircular structures.

Two towering minarets rise elegantly on the western side, reaching a height of 82 meters. The use of limestone and alabaster gives the mosque its distinctive appearance, with intricate detailing both inside and out.

Restoration and Significance of Mumahmed Ali Mosque.

Over time, the mosque underwent restoration efforts due to structural issues, with King Farouk overseeing a comprehensive restoration project that was completed in 1939. Muhammad Ali Pasha’s tomb, crafted from Carrara marble, is located within the mosque’s courtyard, adding to its historical importance.


Muhammad Ali Mosque stands as a testament to Egypt’s rich architectural heritage and cultural significance. Its blend of Ottoman design elements and local materials makes it a must-visit attraction for tourists exploring Cairo’s historic sites.

Early Life and Rise to Power.

Muhammad Ali, born in 1769 in Kavala, Macedonia (now in Greece), was an Ottoman-Albanian governor who ruled Egypt from 1805 to 1848. His exact ethnic background remains uncertain, but he is believed to have been Albanian. Muhammad Ali’s father, Ibrahim Agha, was a military commander, and after his death, Muhammad was raised by the local governor.

He married his cousin Amina Hanim and became involved in the tobacco trade before being sent to Egypt as part of an Ottoman force to oust the French occupiers under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801.

Through political maneuvering and alliances with local leaders, Muhammad Ali rose to power and was appointed as the Wāli of Egypt by 1805.

He embarked on a series of reforms aimed at modernizing Egypt across military, economic, and cultural spheres. One of his significant actions was the violent purge of the Mamluks, ending their dominance in Egypt.

Administrative and Economic Reforms.

Muhammad Ali implemented extensive changes to strengthen his rule and increase revenues. He converted much of Egypt’s agricultural land into state property, improved irrigation systems, introduced cash crops like cotton, and reorganized the government structure for better economic control.

Despite efforts to establish a modern industrial system and educational institutions for specialized training, his industrial ventures faced challenges due to administrative mismanagement and lack of resources.

Attempts at Expansion.

As a military leader, Muhammad Ali recaptured Arabian territories for the Ottoman sultan and conquered Sudan independently. However, his suppression of the Greek rebellion failed following European intervention at Navarino. He later waged wars against the Ottoman Empire in an attempt to challenge its authority. Although he achieved victories in Syria and Anatolia, European powers intervened to maintain Ottoman control over these regions.


In 1841, Muhammad Ali and his family were granted hereditary rule over Egypt and Sudan but under continued Ottoman suzerainty. His dynasty ruled until the Egyptian revolution in 1952 when monarchy was abolished.

Muhammad Ali Pasha’s rule marked a transformative period for Egypt as he laid the foundation for modernization while facing internal challenges and external pressures from European powers.

Egypt is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some must-see activities that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Egypt:

Pyramids of Giza: The Pyramids of Giza are the most iconic landmarks of Egypt. These ancient structures are over 4,500 years old and are one of the World’s Seven Wonders. You can explore the pyramids on foot or a camel ride.

The Sphinx Avenue: The Great Sphinx of Giza is a majestic statue of a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. It is located near the Pyramids of Giza and is a must-see attraction.

Luxor: Luxor is a city in southern Egypt and is famous for its ancient temples and tombs. The most popular attractions in Luxor include the Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings, and the Temple of Hatshepsut. Enjoy Luxor over a day tour from Hurghada, and Marsa Alam.

Nile River Cruise: A Nile River cruise is a great way to explore Egypt’s stunning scenery and ancient sites. You can choose from a variety of cruise options, ranging from luxury cruises to budget-friendly options.

Red Sea Resorts: Egypt’s Red Sea coast is home to some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling spots. Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are popular resort towns offering various activities, including water sports, beach lounging, and nightlife.

Egyptian Museum: Located in Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun.

Egyluxortour Trip Advisor.

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