THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
8.THE MODERN PERIOD .
55- THE MOSQUE OF AS- SAIYIDA ZAYNAB 1302H.(1884/85) . AS- SAIYIDA ZAYNAB was the grand- daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, by his daughter Fatima az- Zahra' and the Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. Historians agree that she was highlygifted, wise, and intelligent. She had been present at the battle of Karbala' in the compnay of her brother al- Husayn and saw with her own eyes his death on the battlefield. She was famous for her eloquence. The Mosque of as- Saiyida Zaynab, the main faade of which overlooks the square that bears her name, has undergone several repairs at various dates. In the Ottoman period, 'Ali Pasha al- Wazir, Governor of Egypt under Sultan Sulayman, repaired it in 956H. (1549) , and 'Abd ar- Rahman Katkhuda had it rebuilt in 1174H. (1761). In 1212H. (1798) , cracks were detected, and thereupon 'Uthman Bey al- Muradi had it demolished and started its reconstruction. The walls and columns were erected, but the building was not completed on account of the invasion of Egypt by the French. After their withdrawal, work was resumed, but again was not completed until Muhammad 'Ali al- Kabir, the founder of the Royal Family, came to power and completed it. Ever since, the Mosque of as- Saiyida Zaynab has received the continuous care of the Royal Family. Khedive 'Abbas II had started its repairs, but he died before the work was completed. The undertaking was resumed by Sa'id Pasha in 1276H. (1859) who completed the repairs and built the two mausoleums of 'Atris and 'Idarose referred to below. The present mosque was built by order of Khedive Tawfiq, and was completed in 1302H. (1884/85). During the reign of H. M. King Farouk, and by his gracious order, the mosque was enlarged on the southern side, and the enlargement was inaugurated by H. M. when he presided at the Friday prayers on 19 th Dhu'l- Higga, 1360H. (1942). The main faade overlooks as- Saiyida Zaynab Square and there are three entrances that lead directly into the sanctuary. The faade retreats at its western end to allow for a private entrance for women who wish to visit the mausoleum. The minaret is placed to the left of this entrance. The north western corner is surrounded by an iron railing, which encloses two small domed mausoleums in contact with each other resting on seven arches, supported by six marble columns. These domes cover the tombs of al- 'Atris and al- 'Idarose. The western faade overlooks as- Sadd Street; it has one entrance, to the left of which is a big clock. The mosque has two other faades, one of which overlooks al- 'Atris Street and the other, Bab al- Mayda Street. The Mosque faades, the minaret, and the dome of the mausoleum are built in Mamluk style, and are rich with arabesque and inscriptions. The whole mosque is roofed. The ceiling is rich with arabesque, and the roof is supported by arches resting on white marble columns. Above the mihrab is a skylight. Another skylight is to be found in what was the centre of the mosque before the enlargement; this contains a number of glass windwos, and in the middle is a small door, with pierced stucco windows, decorated with coloured glass. The mausoleum is situated on the western side of the mosque; it contains the tomb of as- Saiyida Zaynab, with a brass grille round it and a small wooden dome above. Above the mausoleum is a lofty dome, with multiple tiers of stalactites at the corners. In the drum are windows of pierced stucco, decorated with coloured glass. The extension was treated internally to harmonize with the original mosque; it comprises two rows of arches, resting on marble columns, and supporting a wooden ceiling decorated wtih arabesque. In the centre is a high skylight with windows. The faades of the extension are built of stone, similar to the other faades of the mosque. Plates 180- 181.