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x Mosque and Khanqah of Emir Shaykhu

The Mosque and the Khanqah of Emir Shaykhu appear opposite to each other in El-Saliba St. off Salah El-Deen Square. Next to this complex one can notice the remains of the House and Sabil of Emir Abdullah and the ruins of the Hod of Shaykhu. This complex was erected by Emir Shaykhu who was one of the famous Emirs during the reign of the Sultan Nasser Ibn Hasan. In 1351, he played a great role in supporting Sultan Hasan in restoring his power. Therefore, the Sultan made him the Commander in Chief and gave him for the first time the title of Emir Kabir (grand marshal). His decree regarding the rules of etiquette inside the royal court of sultan Hasan, no one is permitted to sit in front of Sultan Hasan except for the Sharif of Mecca, is the reason for his resonating fame. Those two buildings are similarly designed with long and tall façades and two identical Minarets and portals. Emir Shaykhu established the Mosque to be a place for Sufis where they can study Quran and prophetic instructions. Five years later, he built the larger khanqah, which included his Mausoleum. He had had to purchased property from the merchants and proprietors in the area to set up this complex which is regarded as one of the largest worship places in Egypt. The Mosque: The mosque is worth visiting for its sanctuary and the diagonal way in which the Qibla wall is bent from the street. Another is the stone Minbar, the remains of the carved geometric decorations that appear along the balustrade. The tight geometric patterns suggest that this Minbar had been a mid-sixteenth-century gift to the Mosque. The Mihrab also is beautifully decorated in the 14th century style with beautifully colored marble panels. The portal arch is ornamented with handsomely carved arabesque spandrels. The entrance to the Mosque leads into a vestibule finely decorated with black glass. The mosque includes also a beautifully decorated empty tomb that Emir Shaykhu established for himself before building his mausoleum in the Khanqah. To reach the courtyard of the Khanqah on the other side of the street, one should walk through the twisting corridor. Seven hundred Sufi dervishes, living in the warrens surrounding this courtyard were accommodated by the Khanqah. The Khanqah: The main nave of the Khanqah appears as a vast hall divided by the columns of two arcades. The ceiling of the Khanqah is distinguished by its handsomely ornamented two domes over the Mihrab and the Second Aisle. The ceiling has handsome blue-and-white patterns that reflect the unique style of eighteenth-century decoration. Under the beamed ceiling, there are charming Quran inscriptions. The complex includes the mausoleum of Emir Shaykhu that was restored at the age of Bilal Agha and another tomb for El-Shaykh Akmal El-Deen Muhammed that does not exist now.

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