Saturday, December 3, 2016

Seen in Alexandria : Sidi Bishr Mosque

Sidi Bishr Mosque
Sidi Bishr Mosque 
And Egypt's Alexandria has got its share of many Islamic saints , most if not all of them came from North Africa and Al-Andalus.
Among those Islamic Saints who are highly respected in Alexandria : Sidi Bishr.
Legend says Sheikh Bishr El-Gohary came from the West , either from Morocco or Al-Andulas to Alexandria in the Middle ages to join a famous mystic Sufi school growing in influence in North Africa.
Living ascetically in an isolated area in the coastal city , Sheikh Bishr El-Gohary earned fame in the city as an Islamic scholar.


The Sheikhs passed away in Hijri year 528 and he was buried where he lived.
Time passed and his tomb turned into a shrine with little Mosque.
In the 19th century , a big Mosque was built replacing the little Mosque as it became eccentric Khedive Abbas I's favorite mosque to pray at in Alexandria.
The area itself was named after Sheikh Bishr El-Gohary officially as this is how it was among the Alexandrians for ages.
The big mosque was extended to become even bigger Mosque in 1945 as the area was getting more and more urbanized.
Soon Sidi Bishr or Master Bishr area was the center of Middle and Upper Middle Class in Alexandria in the 20th century.
It started with a simple place for Sufi foreign man seeking mystic knowledge in the middle ages.
Alexandria's Cosmopolitan nature goes beyond the foreign western communities that settled down there in the 19th century , it goes beyond there and Sidi Bishr is another proof.
Those photos were taken during my little short spring break in Alexandria in May.  
I have not gone inside but it was great to pass by the mosque of Sidi Bishr and know his story finally. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks
    It is interesting to read the history of part of my Alexandria.

    ReplyDelete

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