It is also known as the alabaster mosque because the whole mosque supposed to be covered with alabaster.
It was built by Muhammad Ali; he was an Albanian officer who was appointed to be the viceroy of Egypt. He founded his own dynasty and he was the founder of modern Egypt.
He began the construction of this mosque in the citadel. He appointed a Turkish architect named Yusuf Bushnaq to design the mosque following the same design of Sultan Ahmed’s mosque in Istanbul (the Blue Mosque).
King Fu’ad I renovated the mosque as he removed the great dome, semi domes and small domes and rebuilt it.
The mosque has two sections; an open court and a covered section with a central dome surrounded by 4 semi domes and 4 small corner domes.
Two elegant cylindrical minarets of Turkish type (pencil shape) with 2 balconies and conical caps are situated on the western side of the mosque.
The courtyard has an ablution fountain in the center; it is carved out of a single block of alabaster. It’s covered by a dome supported with 8 fluted columns. The inner part is painted with scenes of landscape in European style known as Rococo.
There is a brass clock tower in the middle of the northwestern riwaq, which was presented to Muhammad Ali by King Louis Philippe of France.
There are 2 pulpits which is unusual, the larger one of wood is decorated with gilt ornament, and is original. It is said to be one of the largest in Egypt. The smaller one of alabaster was a gift from King Faruq. In the southwest corner of the sanctuary, within an enclosure richly decorated with bronze openwork, is the magnificent, white marble cenotaph of Muhammad Ali. However, Muhammad Ali was not originally interred here. He was originally buried at Housh el Basha, but one of his successors, King Abbas I, had his body moved to this location.
The mosque has three entrances, on the north, west and east walls. The western entrance opens onto the courtyard.