its Side Streets. CAIRO.
4. Route. 45
Barbers' (PL a), because thestudents used to have their heads shaved
here. To the right of this gateway is the Mesgid Ta'ibarslyeh (PL 2),
with a magnificent mihrab, or prayer-recess, of 1309, and to the
left are the office of the steward (PL 3), in a restored mausoleum,
and the Zdwiyet elrlbtighdwlyeh (PL 4), now used as a library.
The long archway, ending in a portal added by Kai't Bey (by
whom the adjacent minaret was also built), leads directly into the
large Sahn el- Gami'a, or mosque-court, enclosed by an arcade
(restored), with Persian keel-arches, niches, medallions, and open¬
The Sanctuary, with its nine aisles, now forming the principal
hall of instruction, has 140 marble columns (100 antique) and covers
an area of about 3600 sq. yds. The front and older part is low in
the ceiling. The part at the back, to which we ascend by a few
steps, has considerably higher arcades, restored a few years ago.
The hall is imperfectly lighted. A staircase to the right of 'Abd
er-Rahman's pulpit (mimbar) ascends to an upper story, which is
assigned to students from Mecca and Yemen. On the S. side is the
Tomb of 'Abd er-Rahman (PL 8). The N. side is bounded by the
very elegant little mosque of Zdwiyet Goharglyeh (PL 9), recently
The ceilings of the Northern and of the Southern Llwdn are
supported by double colonnades. The N. Liwan is adjoined by the
Court of Ablutions (PL 11), with a square basin in the centre.
The Lateral Liwans and many of the subsidiary buildings of
the mosque are divided by partitions or railings into Riwdks, or
separate chambers (literally, colonnades). Each of these is set apart
for the use of the natives of a particular country, or of a particular
province of Egypt (comp. the Plan and its reference numbers 12-22,
p. 44). Most of the students are natives of Egypt, so that the
Egyptian riwaks (Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt, Eastern Egypt) are
the largest, each having several hundred students. About twenty
years ago the total number of students was 7600-7700, taught by
230 professors; but since the British occupation the numbers have
sensibly diminished, especially as no students now come from the
former equatorial provinces of Egypt. The university of Cairo is,
however, still the largest in the domain of El-Islam; and at the last
census the mosque was occupied by 6923 souls. — The nationality
of the various groups of students may be learned from the guide.
This being one of the fountain-heads of Mohammedan fanaticism,
the traveller should, of course, throughout his visit, be careful not
to indulge openly in any gestures of amusement or contempt.
The Students (Mugdwirin) usually remain three, and sometimes from
four to six years in the mosque. They pay no fees, but each riwak is sup¬
ported by an annual subsidy from the endowments of the mosque. There
is also a separate riwak, called the Zdwiyet el-'Omydn, for blind students,
for whose maintenance a portion of the funds is set apart. — The Pro¬
cessors, or Shekhs, receive no salary, either from the mosque or from
government, but support themselves by teaching in private houses, by