The Fatimid dynasty made great efforts to construct, furnish and maintain mosques in order to disseminate their Shi‘ite beliefs. Whether at Mahdiyya, or in their splendid capital Cairo – with imposing complexes like the mosques of al-Azhar and al-Aqmar – or in regions as far a field as Sicily, Fatimid mosques were designed to shine, like beacons, of Shi‘ite propaganda. Architecturally the Fatimid mosque
is distinct: a protruding entrance reminiscent of Roman ‘victory arches’; a carved, stone dome, and a facade with inscriptions (Shi‘ite in content) written in kufic
script, but most notable of all, is the absence of a minaret.