With 13 centuries of history behind it, Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is the oldest mosque in Egypt. Its origins date back to the year 642 when the territory of Cairo was occupied by Fustat, the capital of Egypt which at that time had been recently founded. The name of this mosque is due to General Amr ibn al-as, a victorious commander of the army who built it in the same place where his shop was located before. In one of the corners lie the remains of his son, Abdullah. Over the years, the mosque has been rebuilt on so many occasions that today it is impossible to guess what it might have looked like in the first place. Nothing remains of the original structure, but the present construction is of a moving beauty and majesty, and it is also open to the public when prayers are not practiced.
In the mid-seventh century, work began on the construction of the first mosque. It was 641, the Arabs had just founded the city of Fostat, and a place of worship was needed. A year later, the work was underway. Demolished and rebuilt in 698 and again in 711, this building was also extended in 750 and 791. However, it did not acquire its present proportions until 827, under the orders of Abd Allah ibn Tahir.
So much work to extend the space inside the mosque was largely due to the fact that the number of Muslims who came to pray in the congregation hall was constantly increasing.
The last restoration took place in 1980, when an anonymous donor dedicated a very large sum of money to refurbishing the mosque.