Perched on the Muqattam Mountain that overlooks the city of Cairo, the Jamiʿ masjid, al-Juyushi represents the perpetuity of Fatimi faith and culture. Prior to its restoration by His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in 1995, it was in dire condition. At the inner apex of al-Juyushi’s main dome lies a verse of the Noble Quran that sheds light on the remarkable preservation of this masjid: ‘It is Allah Who sustains the heavens and the earth, lest they cease; and if they should fail, there is none – not one – who can sustain them thereafter’ (Q 35:41). Syedna Burhanuddin’s restoration of al-Juyushi, and especially of al-Jami al-Anwar before it, inform us that these historic Fatimi masjids are not meant to be shackled in the past, but embraced as dynamic venues for the declaration and reinvigoration of worship, faith and culture.
AL-Jami al-Juyushi is an apt example of how the decorative character of Fatimi architecture uniquely blends humility with spirituality. Its designs, though ornate, exude a quality of simplicity and subdued elegance. Thus, even within Islamic traditions of architecture, the Fatimi style strikes one as particularly modern. The inner apex of the dome also bears an elegant medallion beautifully intertwining the names of the Prophet Mohammed SAW and Maulana Ali SA. Fatimi faith and Fatimi architecture are also intertwined: faith enhances and defines architecture and architecture provides context and expression for faith. As such, Fatimi architecture is steeped in Fatimi faith and philosophy.
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