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Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi'i Reopens After Renovations

Built in 1176, the Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi'i bears the marks of the many renovations it experienced over the centuries, emblazoned with Islamic art that's emblematic of several different eras.

The Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi'i has reopened after a five-year restoration project. Since 2016, over EGP22 million has been funneled into the project to preserve one of the most important Islamic monuments in the country.


Imam al-Shafi'i was the founder of the Shafi’i school of Sunni jurisprudence, which is widely practiced in Egypt along with the Maliki, Hanbali, and Hanafi schools. A judge, jurist and poet, Imam al-Shafi'i was originally buried in the same tomb as Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam’s children in 819, before Sultan al-Din al-Ayyubi decided to build the mausoleum for him in 1176.


It has since been renovated multiple times throughout the centuries, a fact that is reflected in its construction, with multiple layers contained within, upon which different Islamic patterns from specific eras could be observed. Its outermost layer, however, is what the mausoleum is most famous for. The wooden dome is the largest such structure in Egypt, and is set further apart with its stucco ornamentation, ornate woodwork, and exquisite compositions made out of stained wood.