Grand setting for prayers

Worshippers held evening prayers, called tarawih, inside the iconic Al Sultan Hassan mosque in Cairo on Sunday as they observed the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the city's old Islamic area.

The mosque, which dates back to the 1360s, has been described as the finest ancient mosque in Cairo, and praised as one of the major monuments of the Islamic world.

It is named after its founder Sultan Hassan, who ruled Egypt twice. The first time was in 1347, when he was only 13 years old, before he was dethroned by other princes and generals. His second rule began in 1356, and lasted until 1361.

Considered one of the largest in the Islamic world, the mosque measures some 150m in length and covers an area of 7,906 sq m. Its walls rise to 36m, and its tallest minaret is 68m.

The complex also functions as a madrasah, or school, which can house about 400 students.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'Grand setting for prayers'. Print Edition | Subscribe