Fountain of Ibrahim Rumi (Sabil Ibrahim Rumi)

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Sabil Ibrahim Rumi (سبيل إبراهيم الرومي) also known as Sabil al-Basiri (سبيل البصيري) and Sabil Bab al-Nazir (سبيل باب الناظر), but according to the foundation inscription, the one who renovated it was Ibrahim al-Rumi in the Mamluk era, during the reign of Sultan al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Barsbai, Eypt’s 9th Mamluk sultan. The importance of this Sabil stems from the fact that it is one of the few Sabils which belong to three-window style. The building is simple but well-constructed, using dressed stone.


The Sabil is built over a dome covering a large well carved in rock. The sabil is a free standing structure not attached to any adjacent building. Its architecture is simple, comprising a single square chamber with a shallow dome above it. There is a resemblance in planning and form between this Sabil and Sabil Bab al-Maghariba.


circa 1430 CE

The Sabil caters for people arriving from Bab al-Nazir (located in the western corridor to the left) and Bab al-Ghawanima. It is noteworthy that the Sabil founder restricted its use to the poor and destitute and prevented use by water providers, or transporting water from it in leather containers, indicating that he refused trading in water. This is an unusual condition in water sources like religiously endowed Sabils. Normally, water use is unrestricted in most cases.


circa 1430 CE

The east wall has a door, seen here to the left with two steps, leading inside the chamber and the other three walls have a window each, with water troughs for drinking. The drinking troughs were fed from the water well underneath, from where water was lifted and poured directly into them. Visitors to the Mosque drank from these troughs using tin cups.


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