MOSQUE AND TOMB OF SIDI AL-‘AFIFI
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn Abd al-Salam ibn Ahmed ibn Hijazi was born in Mit ‘Afif village in the Menufiya province of Lower Egypt. He died in A.D. 1758 / 1172 A.H. He was a Sufi shaykh who lived at the cemetery and was renowned in his lifetime for piety, modesty, and an ascetic lifestyle. The whole surrounding area is known as al-‘Afifi from the name of the Shaykh’s birthplace. The suffix al-Shazli that the Shaykh and his followers used in their names stresses the adherence to the teachings of Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili (often rendered as Shazli), who in the 13th century A.D. founded the Shadhiliya Sufi order. In modern times, Sufis continue to visit the grave of al-‘Afifi to perform dhikr ceremonies (which halted with the COVID-19 pandemic). Even more popular is the adjacent shrine of a saintly woman Fatma al-Dissuqiya. Both the tomb chambers and the mosque are modern, dating to the 20th century. There is a record of the original tomb of Shaykh al-‘Afifi destroyed by a catastrophic flood. Before the closure caused by the pandemic, the back aisle of the mosque was used in the daytime as a passageway between the streets on either side, a practice also found elsewhere in Cairo.