The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Sights & Travel

Cairo’s Hidden Gems: Sufi Poet, Omar Ibn Al-Farid’s Mosque

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Cairo’s Hidden Gems: Sufi Poet, Omar Ibn Al-Farid’s Mosque
written by
Nagla Ashraf

Featured image via Emarat Al-Youm



Nestled in Al-Abageyah, Omar Ibn Al-Farid Mosque is famous among all local residents. The area is quite crowded, and somewhat ignored even, but walking through the rubble, reaching the mountain that overlooks Egypt from a brilliant vantage point, you can find the Mosque sitting right at the foot of the hill.

The area holds a lot of historical sites such as the cemetery named after Omar Ibn Al-Farid, or other historical mosques. Titled as the Sultan of Lovers, Omar Ibn Al-Farid was a poet, and a brilliant one too. He was one of the most famous Sufi poets, writing mostly about godly love. His father was from Syria, but he travelled to Egypt and settled there. Ibn Al-Farid also travelled to Mecca, but not at the times of pilgrimage, he enjoyed the isolation and was accompanied only by his poems, until he returned back to Egypt, where he died and was buried.

What’s unique about this mosque is that it’s not as glamorous as others, such as Al-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque, there’s not as much detail in craftsmanship as you see in other historical places of worship. It’s quite simple and is not usually visited by many. We learned that, not so long ago, lovers would come to the mosque, light a candle, and pray to stay together, however, the Imam of the mosque asked people to refrain from that.

In our visit, we had the privilege of speaking with the keeper of the mosque. He lives nearby, and we discovered that he was highly religiously educated. We enjoyed speaking with him about the mosque, and how he believes Egypt to be protected thanks to its mosques and the great people buried in their grounds. This man was not educated in schools, but you wouldn’t know it when speaking with him, he fills the role of the Imam when he’s not present, and sings the call to prayer in a beautiful voice.

You can find the mosque right at the foot of Al-Mokattam Mountain in Al-Abageyah. While it may not be as impressive as others in terms of craftsmanship and architecture, the aura of the area is surely quite spiritual and tranquil.



Translated by: Sherif Khairy