Madrasa and Mausoleum of al-Saleh Najm al-Din Ayyub

Madrasa and Mausoleum of al-Saleh Najm al-Din Ayyub

This is one of the most important architectural installations daring to the Ayyubid period.  It is located between al-Qasrayn  (“the two palaces) on Al-Mu’iz Street. Built in the year 641 AH / 1243 AD, it became known as the Salhiyya Madrasa, referring to its eponym Sultan Al-Malik Al-Salih Najm Al-Din Ayyub. The madrasa taught the four Sunni legal schools, replacing the Shi’ite curriculum that had been in place under the Fatimid Dynasty.

Each of the four legal schools has its own allocated area inside the madrasa. This was the first institution of its kind to teach all four of the legal schools. One of the madrasa’s most important features is its main façade and distinctive minaret above the entrance. Only the western iwan, in which the Malik madhhab was taught, survives.

The Mausoleum was built in 647AH\ 1249 AD by Shajarat al-Dur, wife of Sultan Najm al-Din Ayyub, she commissioned the structure for her husband following his death in the battle against the Crusaders in Mansura. He was buried in al-Rawda Citadel and later removed to the mausoleum when it was completed in 648 AH\ 1250 AD. 

The dome has one main façade with an entrance overlooking al-Mu’iz Street. A plaque records the date of the Sultan’s death. The wooden screen enclosure within is a good example of Ayyubid architecture. 

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