Meaning of 'AMR IBN AL-'AS, MOSQUE OF in English


earliest Islamic building in Egypt, erected in 641 by 'Amr ibn al-'As, the leader of an invading Arab army. The mosque was built in Al-Fustat, a city that grew out of an Arab army encampment on the site of present-day Cairo. Though originally a modest structure, it was destroyed and restored so often that it is impossible to know the appearance of the first building. The Umayyad 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Marwan demolished the mosque and rebuilt it, probably following closely the original dimensions, in 698. In 827 the 'Abbasids rebuilt it, doubling its size. The mosque was restored by Saladin in 1172 after the city of al-Fustat was burned by crusaders. After periodic cycles of ruin and restoration, the mosque was left to decay with the coming of Napoleon Bonaparte's troops to Cairo in 1798. The present mosque is a 19th-century reconstruction that still preserves design elements and ornamental work from various periods of the building's history.

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