A Special Place for Modern Egyptians
The mosque is important for many reasons. It has the capacity to influence politics in an official capacity, with some sheikhs appointed to the governing councils throughout history. In the modern day, official pronouncements, or ‘Fatwas’ from Al-Azhar reverberate politically across the country, and throughout the Arab world. The current curriculum extends well beyond religion, and now encompasses philosophy, science, and the arts. The mosque itself features a variety of traditions, and of note are its many filigreed minarets which demonstrate the mosque’s Mameluk and Fatimid eras. Just as visiting the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel, or the Czestochowa monastery in Poland – Al-Azhar is widely seen as the religious heart of modern Egypt.
- To enter the mosque, a local attendant might require you cover your shoulders, bring a scarf or shawl.
- The mosque attendant might try to improperly charge an admission fee, your Sidekick will supervise.
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