The Sultan Mu'ayyad chose this site because he was once imprisoned at this location. During his captivity, he swore that he would build a mosque here if he was ever freed. He made good on his promise in 1420 and tore down the infamous jails that once occupied the site.
The mosque's facade is remarkable only in that the ablaq (the striped wall) is black and white, less common than the usual red and white. The famous entrance of the Sultan Hassan Mosque below the Citadel inspired the high portal. The beautiful bronze-plated door was a little more than inspired; Mu'ayyad had it lifted from the mosque of his better-known predecessor. The two elegant identical minarets rest against the towers of Bab Zuwayla, which makes them appear to be a part of the gate and not the mosque.
The interior space is well insulated from the bustle of the surrounding district by high walls blanketed in marble panels. The wood and ivory minbar is flanked by a fine columned mihrab with marble marquetry of an exceptional level of quality. The gilt and blue ceilings are also noteworthy.
Gam'a al-Mu'ayyad Shaykh, Shar'a al-Mu'iz at Bab Zuwayla, Cairo, Egypt