Masjid Jawhar al-Lala
Cairo, Egypt
Jawhar was a eunuch first in the service of Sultan Barsbay and then to his son as a tutor (lala) to his children. Under Sultan Gaqmaq he fell from favor and was thrown into prison, where he died in 1438/841 AH. His mosque-madrasa-mausoleum-sabil-kuttab complex is behind and to the east of the Mosque of al-Rifai. The mosque is small but incorporates all of the typical Mamluk features. The facade of the building is covered in alternating bands of red and yellow limestone. The windows in the qibla wall are angled to adjust to the orientation to Mecca while still allowing the building's facade, dome, and minaret to clearly be visible from the maydan.

Original features that survive today include: the inscription on the portal, metal revetments to the doors, painted wooden ceilings in the iwans, the inlaid marble dado, and the inscribed mihrab. The upper tier of the minaret and the tomb chamber dome are Ottoman constructions. The sabil-kuttab appears to have been rebuilt by the Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe between 1895-1898, and the lantern in the mosque's inner court may also be a Comité restoration.


Warner, Nicholas. The monuments of historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue, 111. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.

Williams, Caroline. Islamic monuments in Cairo : the practical guide, 72-73. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.
Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
1429-30/833 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Jawhar al-Lala Mosque
Masjid wa-Madrasat wa-Khanqah Jawhar al-Lala
Building Usages