Last weekend, Egyptians celebrated “Mawled Al-Sayeda Nafeesah”, an annual celebration of the birth of Nafeesah, one of the Prophet Muhammad’s female grandchildren.
Every year, people from all over Egypt come to revive her memory near the shrine standing inside a mosque that holds her name in the area of Al-Sayeda Nafeesah near Al-Azhar district.
Nafeesah was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and was known for her religious devotion.
She started learning Islamic knowledge as early as the age of five.
After getting married, she moved to Egypt and was met with sincere welcome and warm love, to the extent that people used to come to where she lived every day to gain religious knowledge from her.
When people knew that she thought of returning to Saudi Arabia, they widely refused, and insisted that she stay in Egypt. And under mass requests, she agreed and stayed until her death.
It was said that she dug her tomb with her bare hands, and she used to sit inside of it, reading the Quran.
Every year, on her birthday, Sufis and passionate devotees to the Prophet’s family visit her shrine bringing food, usually rice and meat with tomato sauce, and distribute meals to the needy for a whole week.
On the big night, Islamic enchantments fill the area of the shrine with attendees passionately performing Sufi dances.
All pictures taken by Haleem Elshaarani