Essential Architecture-  Egypt

Mosque al-Hakim








Islamic Fatimid




  Plan and isometric drawing
  Aerial view
  Portal and  Interior view toward mihrab
Construction of the Mosque of al Hakim was begun by the Fatimid Caliph al-'Aziz in 990 and finished by his son al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah and his overseer Abu Muhammad al-Hafiz 'Abd al-Ghani ibn Sa'id al-Misri in 1013.

The mosque is constructed of brick with stone facades and minarets. Its irregular rectangular plan is composed of a rectangular courtyard surrounded by arcades supported by piers, with a prayer hall whose arcades are also carried on piers. The aisle leading to the mihrab is emphasized both in width and height. The termination of this aisle at the mihrab is marked by a dome carried on squinches, and domes mark the outer corners of the prayer hall as well.

The front facade was given a central projecting monumental portal and its two corner minarets--different in shape and decoration, were encased in projecting square stone structures during the reign of al-Hakim in 1002-3.


'Abd al-Wahhab, Hasan. 1940. Al-'Asr al-Fatimi. Majallat al-Imara 2, 5-6:310-24.

Bloom, Jonathan. 1983. The Mosque of al-Hakim in Cairo. Muqarnas 1:15-36.

Bloom, Jonathan. 1989. Minaret: Symbol of Islam. Oxford Studies in Islamic Art 7.

Berchem, Max van. 1978. Notes d'archéologie arabe I. Monuments et inscriptions fatimites. OperaMinora I. Geneva: Editions Slatkine. 78-201.

Creswell, K.A.C. 1952. The Muslim Architecture of Egypt. vol. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprinted by Hacker Art Books, New York, 1978.

Hoag, John. 1987. Islamic Architecture. New York: Rizzoli.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. 1994. Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.


Special thanks to the Islamic architecture website