He was born in Baghdad. His father had been a Turkish slave of Mongol Origin who rose to occupy the post of commander of the caliph’s guards. Ahmed was sent to Egypt by the Abbasid caliph as a viceroy, and then he gained more power as a leader until he founded the 1st independent Islamic dynasty in Egypt in 254 A.H/868 A.D. he founded a new capital called al-Qata’i.
He started to construct his mosque in 262 A.H/876 A.D. It took 3 years to be finished. It’s the 3rd mosque built in Egypt.
It was built on the top of Yashkur hills, it was mentioned that this place is blessed; it’s where God accepted the prayers of Prophet Moses. The mosque is the largest in Egypt.
It’s built around a courtyard with 4 arcaded halls; the largest is the one of the qibla. It’s built of brick except for the stone minaret. The arches of the arcade are pointed.
The qibla riwaq of the mosque has 5 aisles and the other 3 sides have 2 aisles each. The mosque is surrounded by an enclosed space except the qibla wall, probably to separate the mosque from the noise of the markets outside or to house a larger number of people.
Outside the mosque on the qibla side, there used to be a palace, dar al-imara, from which Ibn Tulun could enter the mosque directly through a door near the prayer niche.
Both the walls of the mosque and the enclosed space are crowned with a unique type of crenellation (parapets) made of open brickwork.
The mosque has 19 doors on three sides, there are 3 more doors on the qibla side and one leads to the museum of Gayer Anderson.
There is ablution fountain covered by a dome in the center of the courtyard was added by the Mamluk Sultan Lajin.
There is a wooden bench on marble columns in the qibla riwaq known as dikket al-muballigh which is used for Qur’anic recitations and to call to prayer inside the mosque.
The mosque has 6 prayer niches and wooden pulpit.
The minaret stands on the north side of the enclosed space.