The Temple of Ibn Ezra
From an Orthodox church to a synagogue that contains an Islamic relic, what is it, where it is located, and the story of that masterpiece
It is mentioned in the year 882 AD that Ahmed Ibn Tulun imposed taxes on the Christian religion, and there was an Orthodox church called “the Shamaa’in Church”, which was passing through a financial dime as a result of the increase in taxes and was unable to pay the duties prescribed by the ruler. An amount of 20 thousand dinars, and the temple was named after him, and it was sometimes called the Temple of the Palestinians or the Temple of the Shawam. This temple is located in the Fustat area (the Old Cairo neighbourhood) now, and it is one of the most important relics of the “complex of religions” that occurred in that area.
The temple was built in the basilica style, derived from Roman origin, consisting of a large middle nave and two wings.
Two sides and three structures.
The temple housed an Islamic masterpiece dating back to the Mamluk era
One of them consists of a hanging chandelier engraved with the names of the Rashidun Caliphs and is located to the temple’s right. At the same time, the other hangs from its conical shape bearing the name of Sultan Qalawun, who ruled Egypt from the year (678-689) AH. The Sultan gifted these chandeliers to the church.
All this indicates Egypt’s embrace of religions throughout the different ages and periods.