The Egyptian poet al-Busiri (d.1294) is considered the most distinguished author of poems praising the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.). His tomb and mosque in the Anfushi district of Alexandria have recently been restored with the help of local benefactors, and are again playing an important part in the life of the city, attracting visitors from around the world.
The present structure mainly dates from the year 1863, when Muhammed Said Pasha, the son of the well-known Egyptian/Albanian governor Muhammad Ali Pasha, sponsored a complete reconstruction of a much older and more modest structure. The architecture is of Ottoman inspiration, with three large domes and a courtyard with ablutions-fountain (sadrvan). Further remodelling took place in 1889 under the khedive Tawfiq, and again in the late 1990s.
The mosque is noted for its fine mural calligraphy, which includes 94 verses of al-Busiri’s famous poem al-Burda inscribed in ta’liq script. There are also several important Qur’anic inscriptions by the calligrapher Abd al-Ghaffar al-Duri, together with dedicatory lines in Arabic and Turkish.