the lead up to the outside of the azhar mosque in Cairo.
Over the course of its over a millennium-long history, this mosque has been alternately neglected and highly regarded. Because it was founded as an Ismāʿīli institution, Saladin and the Sunni Ayyubid dynasty that he founded shunned al-Azhar, removing its status as a congregational mosque and denying stipends to students and teachers at its school. These moves were reversed under the Mamluk Sultanate, under whose rule numerous expansions and renovations took place. Later rulers of Egypt showed differing degrees of deference to the mosque and provided widely varying levels of financial assistance, both to the school and to the upkeep of the mosque. Today, al-Azhar remains a deeply influential institution in Egyptian society and a symbol of Islamic Egypt.