When Did Islam Come To Egypt? (TOP 5 Tips)

The Muslim conquest of Egypt by the army of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, took place between 639 and 646 CE and was overseen by the Rashidun Caliphate.

What are the major religions in Egypt?

  • According to a 2012 estimate by the U.S. government, the main religion in Egypt is Islam. About 90 percent of Egypt’s residents are Sunni Muslims. The majority of Christians in Egypt belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church while the remainder belong to the Roman Catholic, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, Orthodox and Anglican churches.

What was the religion in Egypt before Islam?

The majority of Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which was the dominant religion in Egypt before Islam. There are only a handful of Jews left in Cairo – about two hundred. Most of Egypt’s Jewish population has emigrated in the last fifty years to Israel or the United States.

Who ruled Egypt before Islam?

After the fall of Rome, Egypt became part of the Byzantine Empire, until it was conquered by the Muslim Arabs in 641 CE. Throughout the Middle Ages, from its conquest by the Islamic Empire in the year 641 until 1517, Egypt was governed as part of a series of Arab Caliphates.

Which is the oldest religion in the world?

The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.

Is the Bible banned in Egypt?

CAIRO — Egypt on Sunday said it banned Ridley Scott’s biblical epic “Exodus: Gods & Kings ” because the Hollywood blockbuster distorts Egypt’s history and presents a “racist” image of Jews. The Culture Ministry explained its decision for the first time in a statement issued a few days after the ban was announced.

When was Islam founded?

The start of Islam is marked in the year 610, following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad at the age of 40. Muhammad and his followers spread the teachings of Islam throughout the Arabian peninsula.

Why did Muslims conquer Egypt?

Muslims gained control over Egypt by a variety of factors, including internal Byzantine politics, religious zeal and the difficulty of maintaining a large empire. The Byzantines attempted to regain Alexandria, but it was retaken by ‘Amr in 646. In 654 an invasion fleet sent by Constans II was repelled.

Why does Egypt speak Arabic?

Egyptian is a dialect of the Arabic language, which is part of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Egyptian Arabic evolved from the Quranic Arabic which was brought to Egypt during the seventh-century AD Muslim conquest that aimed to spread the Islamic faith among the Egyptians.

Who is the founder of Islam?

The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus.

What religion came first in order?

According to most scholars, Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion with roots dating back to almost 4,000 years. What are the 5 major religions in order from oldest to youngest? Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism and Confucianism.

What was the first religion in the Bible?

What is the first religion in the Bible? The Bible’s Old Testament is very similar to the Hebrew Bible, which has origins in the ancient religion of Judaism. The exact beginnings of the Jewish religion are unknown, but the first known mention of Israel is an Egyptian inscription from the 13th century B.C.

What religion was Egypt before Christianity?

Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian culture. It centered on the Egyptians’ interactions with many deities believed to be present in, and in control of the world.

Are Egyptians Arabs?

The Egyptians are not Arabs, and both they and the Arabs are aware of this fact. They are Arabic-speaking, and they are Muslim—indeed religion plays a greater part in their lives than it does in those either of the Syrians or the Iraqi.

Islamization of Egypt – Wikipedia

The Islamicization of Egypt took place as a result of the Arab conquest of Roman Egypt, which was led by the notable Muslim general Amr ibn al-Aas, who served as the military administrator of the Holy Land at the time. Massive conversions from Christianity to Islam took place across Egypt and the Middle East, with individuals who refused to convert being fined jizya (a tax) for their refusal. According to John of Nikiû, a Coptic bishop who wrote about the conquest and who lived within a few years of the events he related, this was the case.

Because of these factors, Islam became the dominant religion in Egypt between the 10th and 12th centuries, Egyptians acclimated to an Islamic identity, which eventually led to the Arabic language replacing Coptic and Greek, which were spoken as a result of the Greek and Roman occupation of Egypt, languages with Arabicicaas their sole vernacular, which was subsequently declared the official language of the country by law.

The Islamic presence in Coptic Egypt predates the Arab takeover of the country.

Egypt was attacked by the Arabs in 641 AD, and they were forced to fight against the Byzantine army.

  1. Christians who were granted the protected status ofdhimmis were subjected to a special tax called asjizya by the Arabs, which was justified on the basis of protection because local Christians who maintained their religious beliefs were never recruited to serve in the army of the Arabs.
  2. During times of state distress, Coptic Christians organized rebellion against the new authorities, citing high taxation as one of the reasons for this.
  3. The termAgiptous was seldom used by the Arabs in Egypt during the 7th century, and instead an Arabic language equivalent of the termAl Qibt was used instead, which was then adapted into English asCopt, to characterize the natives of Egypt.
  4. As a result, only Christian Egyptians were known as Copts or Orthodox Copts, while the Egyptian Church that was not affiliated with the Chalcedonian Church became known as theCoptic Church.
  5. They were known as CopticEgyptians because they spoke in Coptic, which was written using a Greek alphabet, and pronounced /nirem-en-kmi/, which means “Egyptians” in English.

But conditions deteriorated quickly after that, particularly in the eighth century when Muslim rulers forbade the use of human figures in art (taking advantage of an iconoclastic conflict in the European-ruledByzantium) and, as a result, destroyed many Coptic christian paintings, mostly of Jesus and frescoes in churches, leading to the death of thousands of Coptic Christians.

Despite the political instability, Egypt remained mostly Christian, although Copts lost their majority position between the 10th and 12th centuries as a consequence of intermittent persecution and the demolition of Christian churches in Egypt, as well as forced conversion to Islam during this time period.

Egypt’s Fatimid period was characterized by a high degree of tolerance.

In addition, extensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of churches and monasteries were carried out. Coptic arts thrived throughout Middle and Upper Egypt, reaching new heights in their development.

See also

  • Identities of Copts, forced conversion, Islamization, spread of Islam, Muslim conquests, persecution of Copts, Pharaonist movement

References

  1. Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Taxation, Exemption, and Manipulation in Relation to Islamic Conversion: Forcing Taxation on Those Who Oppose Conversion (PDF), abClive Holes,Modern Arabic: structures, functions, and varieties, Georgetown University Press, 2004,ISBN978-1-58901-022-2,M1 Google Print, p. 29
  2. AbKamil 1990, p. 41
  3. Shea, Nina, Modern Arabic: structures, functions, and varieties, Georgetown University Press, 2004,ISBN978-1-58901-022-2,M1 Google Print, p. 29
  4. AbClive Holes, Modern Arabic: structures (June 2017). “Do Copts have a future in Egypt?” asks the author. Affaires étrangères. It was archived from the original on June 20, 2017
  5. Etheredge, Laura S. (2011). Middle East, Region in Transition: Egypt. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 161.ISBN9774160936
  6. N. Swanson, Mark (2010). In Islamic Egypt, the Coptic Papacy is known as the Coptic Church (641-1517). p. 54.ISBN9789774160936
  7. Etheredge, Laura S. (2011).Middle East, Region in Transition: Egypt. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 161.ISBN9789774160936
  8. Kat, Hiroshi (2011).Middle East, Region in Transition: Egypt. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 161.ISBN9789774160936
  9. Etheredge, Laura S. (2011).Middle East, Region in Transition: Egypt (2011). Islam and Minorities in Middle Eastern Studies: Muslims and Non-Muslims p. 133. ISBN 9784901838023 from the University of California Press. A period of immense upheaval in society occurred during the Mamluk period, during which many Dhimmis were compelled to convert to Islam. Naiem and Girgis are two names for the same person (2018). Egypt’s Conflicting Identities: Copts and Muslims in the Political and Religious Landscape of Egypt McFarland & Company, p. 69, ISBN 9781476671208
  10. Robert Morgan is a writer who lives in the United States (2016). Coptic Orthodox People and the Church of Egypt: A Chronological Overview Page 342 of FriesenPress’s Middle East Documentation Center’s book, ISBN 9781460280270. (2006). p. 73, ISBN 9781460280270
  11. Mamluk Studies Review, University of Chicago Press, p. 73, ISBN 9781460280270 The Relationship Between Social Benefits and Islamic Conversion in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Forcing taxes on people who refuse to convert is an example of conversion, exemption, and manipulation (PDF), According to the story, Umar ordered that “the poll-tax [should] be seized from all men who did not wish to become Muslims.”

Sources

  • Betts, Robert B., et al (1978). An Analysis of Christians in the Arab World from a Political Perspective (2nd rev. ed.). Lycabettus Press
  • Charles, Robert H. Athens, Greece (2007). The Chronicle of John, Bishop of Nikiu: a translation of Zotenberg’s Ethiopic Text (The Chronicle of John, Bishop of Nikiu). Evolution Publishing, Merchantville, New Jersey
  • Kamil, Jill (1990). Coptic Egypt: A Guide to the Past and Present (Revised ed.). Meyendorff, John
  • American University in Cairo Press
  • American University in Cairo (1989). The Church from 450 to 680 A.D. was divided by imperial unity and Christian discord. The Church throughout history.2. St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York
  • Ostrogorsky, George, ed (1956). The Byzantine Empire’s historical development. Basil Blackwell Publishing Company, Oxford

Egypt – From the Islamic conquest to 1250

In Egyptian history, the time between the arrival of Islam and the country’s entry into the modern era is marked by foreign invasions, which include the Arab invasion commanded by Amr ibn al- in 639–642ce and the Napoleonic expedition of 1798, which mark the beginning and conclusion of the era. According to Egyptian internal history alone, this was a period in which Egypt abandoned its cultural inheritance in order to adopt a new language and religion, or, in other words, a new civilization. It is true that the past was not immediately and completely abandoned and that many aspects of Egyptian life, particularly rural life, continued virtually unchanged, but the fact remains that the civilization of Islamic Egypt diverged dramatically from that of the previous Greco-Roman period and was transformed as a result of the impact of European colonization.

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While it’s true that Egypt was a part of a large international empire for the most of that time period, it’s also true that Egypt’s history is a record of its lengthy fight to rule an empire—a struggle that has parallels in both ancient and contemporary times, it’s just that they’re in different places.

Period ofAraband Turkish governors (639–868)

The dispatching of a military expedition to Egypt from the caliphal headquarters of Medina marked the beginning of the second phase of the first Arab conquests. Previously, the conquests had been directed against lands on the northern borders of Arabia and had taken the form of raids for plunder; however, as the Byzantine Empire and the PersianSasanian dynasty —the two dominant political entities at the time — mounted organized resistance, the scale and momentum of the conquests grew in size and momentum.

The Arab conquest

Arab forces destroyed the Byzantines and conquered Syria and Palestine’s most important towns. On the eastern front, in Mesopotamia and Iraq, they routed the Persian army. Syria needed to be protected against a probable assault by the Byzantine province of Egypt, which was the next logical step to take. Arab historians draw emphasis to the fact that Amr ibn al-, the Arab general who subsequently conquered Egypt, had visited Alexandria as a youth and had observed firsthand Egypt’s immense riches, in addition to this strategic reason.

By 642, the Byzantine armies had been beaten and had withdrew from Egypt, which appears to have happened with lightning speed.

Different theories have been advanced for the rapidity with which the conquest was accomplished, the majority of which place the emphasis on the inadequacy of Byzantine resistance rather than Arab power.

The argument that the Copts welcomed the Arab invasion because they believed Muslim religious tolerance would be superior to Byzantine imposed orthodoxy and brutality is based on extremely tenuous evidence, and Coptic support for their Byzantine oppressors was probably at best unenthusiastic at best.

(See Coptic Orthodox Church for further information.)

Early Arab rule

In Egypt, like in Syria, Iraq, and Iran, the Arab conquerors did little in the beginning to upset the status quo; as a tiny religious and ethnic minority, they intended to establish a permanent presence in Egypt and therefore make the occupation permanent. A series of treaties negotiated between Amr and themukawqis (perhaps an allusion to Cyrus, the archbishop of Alexandria) gave protection to the indigenous population in consideration for the payment of tribute. There was no attempt to coerce or even encourage the Egyptians to convert to Islam; in fact, the Arabs even committed to protect the Christian churches that had been built under the occupation.

  1. Copts were in charge of administering the tax, and they manned the tax office at all levels save the highest.
  2. The Melchites, Monophysites, and the Council of Chalcedon are examples of such groups.
  3. As had been their approach elsewhere, the conquerors chose not to create a permanent capital in an established city such as Alexandria, but instead constructed a new garrison town (Arabic:mir), which was planned out in tribe sections, as their headquarters.
  4. It was named Al-Fus, which is most likely an Arabized variant of the Greek word for “encampment,” and it provides a solid idea of the nature and size of the first permanent colony in the area.
  5. The process of Arabization, on the other hand, was long and drawn out.
  6. Because of the absence of pressure from the conquerors, it is likely that the expansion of their religion was even more sluggish than the spread of their language.
  7. The mosque in Amr functioned not only as the town’s religious focal point, but it also served as the site of a number of administrative and judicial functions.

Trajan’s Canal was cleared and reopened, allowing supplies of grain bound for Arabia to be transported from Al-Fus to the Red Sea by ship rather than by caravan, so increasing the port’s commercial prominence.

Early Islamic Period in Egypt

In 639, a 4,000-strong army led by Amr Ibn Al-Aas was dispatched to Egypt by the Muslim ruler Khalifa Omar; another 5,000 soldiers joined the force in 640, and the army ultimately defeated the Byzantine army at the Battle of Heliopolis. Then, in November 941, a pact made between Amr and the Byzantines resulted in the surrender of the Byzantine army to him. A series of warfare ensued in the following years, from 941 to 946, which resulted in the re-conquest of Alexandria by the Byzantine Empire in 645, and the re-establishment of Muslim rule in 946, respectively.

Following the initial surrender of Alexandria, Amr picked a new location for his forces to inhabit, which was near the Byzantine Fortress of Babylon.

It is still possible to see the remnants of this fort, as well as the location of the mosque itself, in Coptic Cairo today (Old Cairo).

It was the Umayyad Caliphate, which was located in Damascus, that took over after the Rashidun Caliphate.

  • Learn more about the Islamic Period in Egypt by taking advantage of one of our Egypt Tour Packages.

Early Islamic Period

In 639, a 4,000-strong army led by Amr Ibn Al-Aas was dispatched to Egypt by the Muslim ruler Khalifa Omar; another 5,000 soldiers joined the force in 640, and the army ultimately defeated the Byzantine army at the Battle of Heliopolis. Then, in November 941, a pact made between Amr and the Byzantines resulted in the surrender of the Byzantine army to him. A series of warfare ensued in the following years, from 941 to 946, which resulted in the re-conquest of Alexandria by the Byzantine Empire in 645, and the re-establishment of Muslim rule in 946, respectively.

Following the initial surrender of Alexandria, Amr picked a new location for his forces to inhabit, which was near the Byzantine Fortress of Babylon.

It is still possible to see the remnants of this fort, as well as the location of the mosque itself, in Coptic Cairo today (Old Cairo).

It was the Umayyad Caliphate, which was located in Damascus, that took over after the Rashidun Caliphate.

  • Learn more about the Islamic Period in Egypt by taking advantage of one of our Egypt Tour Packages.

Umayyad period

The Umayyad Caliphate was one of the most powerful islamic caliphates throughout the Islamic era, and it was ruled by a succession of islamic dynasties during its existence. As a result, the caliph, who was also the son of the previous caliph, was appointed as the state’s supreme leader. Between 661 and 750 CE, the Umayyad Caliphate reigned over the Islamic Empire. After the First Muslim Civil War, Muawiyah I ascended to the throne of the Caliphate, which succeeded the Rashidun Caliphate. For over 100 years, the Umayyad Empire ruled over the Islamic Empire from its capital, which was constructed by Muawiyah I in the city of Damascus.

In the period 661-750 CE, the Umayyad Caliphate ascended to the throne of the Islamic Empire.

It all began when Muawiyah was crowned Caliph during the first Muslim civil war. They established Damascus as the capital, and they dominated the country for about a century after that. The Abbasids seized control of the region in 750 CE, bringing the period to a close.

Abbasids Period

A revolution against the Umayyads resulted in the formation of the Abbasid Caliphate at Baghdad in the eighth century. The Fatimid Caliphate, which had its origins in modern Tunisia, wrested control of Egypt from the Abbasids in the 9th century and founded a new capital at Al-Qahirah, which is the source of the city’s name. In 1171 AD, the Fatimid Caliphate was overthrown and replaced by the Ayyubid Caliphate, which was formed by Salah Ad-Din, a famed Crusader general. Egypt has maintained its position as an essential member of the Muslim world during all of these changes in administration.

  1. Furthermore, Egypt and its capital, Cairo, were of significant geographic and political significance throughout the reigns of the Fatimid and Ayyubid Caliphates.
  2. Over the course of these centuries, the Egyptian people transformed along with their government.
  3. It was sometimes extremely difficult for non-Muslims to survive, in contrast to the Rashiduns’ generally favorable treatment of non-Muslims, which made conversion a viable option.
  4. Following the collapse of the Abbasid Empire, several Islamic dynasties rose to prominence, including the Tulunid period, the Second Abbasid period, and the Ikhsidid period, as well as the Fatimid period, the Ayyubid period, Mamluk Egypt, and the Bahri dynasty.

Byzantine Rule

The introduction of Islam in Egypt came at an opportune moment. Only recently had the Byzantine Empire regained Egypt from the Persian Sassanid Empire, which had temporarily occupied the land during the reign of the latter. Additionally, the Egyptian Coptic Christian majority was subjected to persecution under the rule of the Byzantines, owing to a doctrinal difference between the Coptic Church and the Byzantines and a conflict between the Coptic Church and the Byzantines. In light of the Byzantines’ determination to eradicate this divergent theology in Egypt, the Egyptian Christians were more than willing to accept the Muslim conquest, given that the Rashidun Caliphate only requested that non-Muslims in conquered lands pay an annual tax in exchange for exemption from military service in the Rashidun army.

History of Egypt from the 7th Century – Islam conquest of Egypt

Egypt was controlled as part of a series of Arab Caliphates throughout the Middle Ages, beginning with its capture by the Islamic Empire in the year 641 and continuing until 1517. Despite invasions by neighboring empires and the Crusades being launched against them, the different Caliphs, notably the Umayyad and Fatimid dynasties, managed to maintain control of the land for over 900 years. During this period, Cairo was constructed and elevated to the status of capital city. In 1517, the Ottoman Turks invaded the Mamluk Caliphate of Egypt, reducing it to the status of a province that was obliged to pay enormous taxes to the Ottoman Empire.

This was due to a debilitated economy, plagues, and famines that rendered it vulnerable to invasion.

Because of the British victory over France in 1801, a power vacuum developed between the Mamluks, the Ottoman Turks, and Albanian mercenaries serving the Ottoman army, preparing the path for Egypt to become an independent state in 1805.

Modern Egypt

In 1805, the Albanian leader Muhammed Ali took authority and slew the Mamluks, bringing the region to its knees. The Ottomans granted him permission to administer a virtually autonomous Sultanate, and he implemented several military, economic, and cultural reforms while maintaining close contact with the Ottomans. As a result, he is often regarded as the creator of modern Egypt. Egypt began to lose its independence under the rule of Muhammed Ali’s successors, and it came under the influence of the British, the French, and the Turks.

  1. British soldiers were compelled to withdraw from most of the nation under the reign of the popular King Farouk, with the exception of the territory surrounding the Suez Canal, under the reign of King Farouk.
  2. Egypt has maintained its independence since the 1952 Revolution; nevertheless, the years afterwards have been marked by confrontation with Israel and its allies, notably the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967, and the 1973 War.
  3. After President Sadat was killed by fundamentalist army soldiers in 1981, President Mubarak seized control of the country.
  4. However, under his administration, there was a great deal of civil discontent, political corruption, and police brutality, and he was eventually deposed during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
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All Photographs Copyright by Thomas Hartwell, except:Photograph 3, Copyright by Diane Watts

Because most of the people who live in Cairo are Muslim, there are mosques all over the city, ranging from very big ones like the Mosque of Ibn Tulun to small neighborhood mosques. Muslims are supposed to pray five times every day.They gather at the mosque for the noon prayer on Friday, which is the holy day in Islam.Accordingly, businesses, schools and offices close on Friday.Each religion has its holidays, which are observed by the local population.The main Islamic holidays are Ramadan, Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Islamic New Year, and the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Various Christian holidays are also observed by the Christian population.Religious holidays are celebrated according to the Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar thatis shorter than the solar calendar by eleven days, so the dates are not fixed.The Islamic calendar is also called theHijracalendar, and is sometimes abbreviated A.H.There are twelve months in the Islamic calendar:Muharram,Safar,Rabi al-Awwal,Rabi al-Thani,Jumada al-Awwal,Jumada al-Thani,Rajab,Shaban,Ramadan,Shawwal,Dhul QadahandDhul Hijjah.The first of Muharram isIslamic New Year, and is greeted with celebrations.

Egypt – Islam

Egypt The following is a table of contents: When Muhammad (later known as the Prophet) was thirty-one years old, he began preaching the first of what Muslims believe to be revelations from God through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad (later known as the Prophet) was an Arabian merchant who belonged to the Hashimite branch of the Quraysh clan, which controlled the Arabian city of Mecca. Muhammad, a devout monotheist, criticized the polytheism of his fellow Meccans and called for their conversion. Muhammad’s vehement and unwavering condemnation gained him the intense hostility of Mecca’s authorities, who feared the influence of Muhammad’s beliefs on the city’s successful economy, which relied on pilgrimages to a variety of pagan holy destinations.

  1. The beginning of the Muslim calendar is marked by their movement, known as orhijra(Hegira), which is based on the lunar year and is several days shorter than the solar year.
  2. The Quran (also known as the Koran) was collected by Muhammad’s followers, and it contains the words of God that were directly communicated to him by the prophet.
  3. Thehadith are collections of Muhammad’s sayings and teachings that were compiled separately and are referred to as hadith.
  4. ‘There is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet,’ summarizes the core tenet of Islam in a short manner, as expressed in the shahada (profession of faith).
  5. The act of reciting the words with unwavering conviction qualifies one as a practicing Muslim.
  6. The majority of Arabs, on the other hand, worshipped a wide variety of gods and spirits, the existence of which Muhammad rejected.
  7. In his explanation, Muhammad stated that his God was both omnipresent and unseen.

Muhammad said that God was in control of the events of the world and that defying God would have been fruitless and wicked.

A Muslim is someone who submits to authority.

Their religion also holds that God is one and the same throughout all of time, but that his genuine teachings had been forgotten until Muhammad emerged on the world stage.

Islam, on the other hand, considers only their words to be sacrosanct.

Guardian angels, the Day of Judgment (or the Last Day), general resurrection, paradise and hell, and the everlasting existence of the soul are all notions that Islam considers as legitimate.

Each day, the believer prays in the prescribed manner following purification by ritual ablutions at dawn, lunchtime, midafternoon, sunset, and nightfall.

A series of prescribed genuflections and prostrations precede the prayers, which are spoken facing Mecca by the worshipper.

On Fridays, it is mandatory to participate in corporate prayer.

Women are permitted to participate in public worship at the mosque, but they must remain apart from the men.

The muezzin is a specific functionary who calls the whole community to prayer at the right hour; individuals in remote locations identify the appropriate time by looking at the sun.

Early Islamic authorities levied a tax on personal property that was proportional to one’s wealth, and the proceeds were donated to mosques and to the poor, according to tradition.

Although almsgiving is still considered a religious obligation, it is no longer enforced by the government and has evolved into a more personal concern.

It is customary for Muslims to fast throughout the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, in honor of Muhammad’s receiving of God’s revelation, the Quran.

Adults who have been exempted from fasting are required to follow a comparable fast as soon as they have the opportunity.

Wealthy persons typically perform little or no labor for the most of the day or for a portion of the day.

For example, when Ramadan falls during the summer months, it causes particular difficulty for farmers who must perform intense physical labor in the fields throughout the day.

Muhammad created this requirement, which he modified from pre-Islamic practice, in order to emphasize locations linked with Allah and Abraham, who Arabs believe started monotheism and is the progenitor of Arabs through his son Ishmael, as well as sites affiliated with the Prophet Muhammad (Ismail).

In the past, the departure of Egyptian pilgrims culminated in a ceremony known as the mahmal, during which the Egyptian government handed carpets and shrouds to the Kaaba shrine and the grave of Muhammad in Medina as part of the country’s national gift.

Once in Mecca, pilgrims must resist from participating in activities that are deemed unclean because they are clad in the white seamlessihram.

The end of the hajj is marked by the celebration of Id al Adha, a great Islamic holiday observed across the world.

On the occasion of Id al Adha, each household, if they have the financial means, sacrifices a lamb in remembrance of an ancient Arab sacrificial rite. In recognition of his or her return, the pilgrim is given the honorificichajjorhajji before his or her name.

Early Developments

For the most of his life, Muhammad served as both the spiritual and temporal head of the Muslim community. For the first time, he defined the notion of Islam as a comprehensive, all-encompassing way of life for both people and society. Religions such as Islam preach that Allah revealed to Muhammad the unchangeable precepts of proper conduct. Islam, as a result, obligated Muslims to live their lives in accordance with these ideals. According to the divine injunctions, the community was also obligated to improve human civilization on earth in accordance with their beliefs.

  1. Muslims have always been subject to Islamic law, known as sharia (Islamic jurisprudence, but in a larger sense meaning the Islamic way).
  2. As legal opinion became established doctrine throughout the ninth century, the figurativebab al ijtihad (gate of interpretation) was gradually closed.
  3. A consensus was reached in 632, following Muhammad’s death, among the leaders of the Muslim community on who should replace him.
  4. Some others supported Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and the spouse of his favorite daughter Fatima at the time, but Ali and his followers (the Shiat Ali, or Ali’s party, now known as Shia) finally accepted the community’s choice.
  5. Both of these caliphs (fromkhalifa, literally successor) were recognized by the whole community.
  6. Muawiyah was killed in the revolt.
  7. Ali was the last of the so-called four orthodox caliphs to rule the Islamic world.

Muawiyah subsequently proclaimed himself caliph from Damascus, and the rest is history.

They backed Ali’s claim to a presumed right to the caliphate based on their lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad through Fatima and Ali, which was endorsed by the Shi’a community.

Early Islam was a fervently expansionist religion.

A sweeping wave of conquistador armies and migratory tribes poured out of Arabia, spreading Islam over the region.

Egypt, which Arab armies conquered in 640, was one of the first countries to fall under their authority.

By 647, with the fall of Alexandria, Muslims had seized control of the whole country, including the capital.

According to Islamic legend, Ismail’s mother, Hagar, was born in Egypt and raised in the Islamic faith.

It was Amr who offered them this option since the Prophet had acknowledged the special position of the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians), whose scriptures he regarded perversions of God’s genuine word but which he thought still beneficial to Islam.

If Jews and Christians in Muslim areas accepted the status of dhimmis, or subordinate peoples, they would be able to live according to their own religious rules and in their own communities without fear of persecution.

By the ninth century A.D., the vast majority of Egyptians had embraced Islam.

He was the driving force behind the construction of Cairo’s oldest existing mosque, the Amr ibn al As Mosque, which was finished in 711, some years after his passing.

In 876, Egypt’s first Turkish king, Ahmad ibn Tulun, constructed the Ibn Tulun Mosque, which is today one of Cairo’s most prominent mosques.

Despite the fact that the Fatimids donated a large number of mosques, shrines, and theological institutions in Egypt, they were unable to establish their faith (which is now known as Ismaili Shia Islam) throughout the country.

The Fatimids endowed the Al Azhar Theological School, which swiftly transformed from a center of Shia study to a bulwark of Sunni orthodoxy in a short period of time.

Custom Searches are available. The United States Library of Congress is the source for this information.

Post-Byzantine Egypt

  • In this section, we’ll talk about the repercussions of the Islamic invasion on Egypt.

Key Points

  • Until the Muslim invasion of North Africa began, Egypt was a part of the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital in Constantinople, and the country was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Due to the province’s grain output and naval yards, it was considered to be of strategic importance, as well as a base for further conquests in Africa. In 639, Rashidun forces under the command of Amr ibn al-As were dispatched to Egypt to capture the country. When the Rashidun army crossed the border from Palestine into Egypt, it pushed quickly into the Nile Delta region. At the Battle of Heliopolis in 640, Muslim forces were able to defeat a Byzantine army for the first time. In a short period of time, Alexandria and the Thebaid succumbed
  • Following the initial surrender of Alexandria, Amr picked a new area to settle his forces, which was close to the position of the Byzantine fortification of Babylon. The new settlement was named Fustat, and it quickly rose to prominence as the focal point of Islamic Egypt. The main pillar of early Muslim rule and control in the country was the military force, orjund, which was provided by the Arab settlers
  • This force served as the country’s primary source of defense. The Fatimid Caliphate invaded Egypt in 969, establishing a new capital in Cairo, which was designed to serve as a royal enclosure for the Fatimid caliph and his army. These were initially the troops who had accompanied Amr and taken part in the conquest. Egypt flourished economically and culturally under Fatimid rule, attracting scholars and thinkers from all over the world and establishing itself as a center of intellectual debates and freedom of expression
  • Egypt flourished economically and culturally under Fatimid rule, attracting scholars and thinkers from all over the world and establishing itself as a center of intellectual debates and freedom of expression
  • Egypt flourished economically and culturally under Fatimid rule

Terms

In North Africa, there was an Ismaili Shia Islamic caliphate that stretched from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, spanning a huge territory from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The dynasty reigned across the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and it was under their reign that Egypt rose to become the caliphate’s administrative capital. At its height, the caliphate encompassed not only Egypt but also other parts of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and the Hijaz, among other places.

Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire

Late antiquity and the Middle Ages were characterized by the continuance of Roman rule in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Constantinople as its main city (modern-day Istanbul, originally founded as Byzantium). It survived the breakup and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE, and it continued to exist for another thousand years until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, when it was destroyed.

mamluk

Slaves are referred to as’slaves’ in Arabic. Their position was elevated above that of regular slaves, who were not permitted to carry weapons or do specific activities while they were being bought and sold. They finally consolidated their position as a formidable military caste.

Copts

An ethno-religious community based in North Africa and the Middle East, primarily in the territory of current Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination. They are the largest Christian denomination in the world. They are also the largest Christian denomination in the Sudan and Libya, as well as the rest of Africa. Historically, they used the Coptic language, which is a direct descendent of the Demotic Egyptian language spoken during the Roman era, but it has been nearly extinct since the 18th century and has been used mostly for liturgical purposes since then.

The Rashidun Caliphat

At the dawn of Islam, the Islamic caliphate was comprised of the first four caliphs—the “Rightly Guided” caliphs—who reigned for a brief period of time. It was established in 632, following Muhammad’s death (year 11 AH in the Islamic calendar). By the time it reached its zenith, the caliphate ruled an empire that stretched from the Arabian Peninsula and Levant to the Caucasus in the north, North Africa from Egypt to present-day Tunisia in the west, and from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau in the east.

caliphate

This is the territory under the control of an Islamic steward known as a caliph—a person who is regarded the religious heir to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the spiritual head of the whole Muslim community. Following the Rashidun period in Islamic history, a large number of Muslim kingdoms, virtually all of which were hereditary monarchs, asserted their claim to the right to be classified as such. Until the Muslim invasion of North Africa began, Egypt was a part of the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital in Constantinople, and the country was a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Egypt had been captured by the Persian Empire (619–629) only a few years before the arrival of the Muslims.
  • Before the Muslims launched their invasion of Egypt, the Byzantines had already lost control of the Levant and their Arab ally, the Ghassanid Kingdom, to the Muslim conquest of Egypt.
  • The Rashidun Caliphate was the Islamic caliphate during the early period of Islam, and it was comprised of the first four caliphs of the Islamic state.
  • By the time it reached its zenith, the caliphate ruled an empire that stretched from the Arabian Peninsula and Levant to the Caucasus in the north, North Africa from Egypt to present-day Tunisia in the west, and from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau in the east.
  • When the Rashidun army crossed the border from Palestine into Egypt, it pushed quickly into the Nile Delta region.
  • However, the Muslims dispatched reinforcements, and the invading army, which was bolstered by an additional 12,000 troops in 640, beat a Byzantine army at the Battle of Heliopolis in 640.
  • According to reports, the Thebaid submitted with little to no resistance.

The Rashidun Caliphate grew slowly but steadily throughout time.

In contrast to the Sasanian Persians, the Byzantines, after losing Syria, fled to Anatolia, where they remained until the end of the century.

Following the initial surrender of Alexandria, Amr picked a new place for his soldiers to dwell, which was near the site of the Byzantine bastion of Babylon at the time of the first capitulation.

Fustat swiftly established itself as the focal point of Islamic Egypt and, with the exception of a temporary shift to Hulwan during a plague in 689 and the period 750–763, during which the governor’s seat was moved to Askar, the capital and administrative center of the country.

In 643/4, however, Caliph Uthman selected a single governor, who was to be based in Fustat and have control over the whole country of Egypt.

Alexandria retained its identity as a separate district, reflecting both its function as the country’s defensive fortress against Byzantine invasions and its importance as the country’s primary naval base.

Originally, they were the men who had accompanied Amr and taken part in the conquering of the land.

Despite their small number, they had a wide range of privileges as well as a protected position of honor.

In the early Islamic century, conversions of Copts to Islam were few, and the ancient system of taxation was in place for most of the first Islamic century.

The dynasty reigned across the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and it was under their reign that Egypt rose to become the caliphate’s administrative capital.

In 969, the Fatimid commander Jawhar invaded Egypt and established a new palace city at Fusat, which served as the basis for the establishment of a new capital in Cairo.

Egypt prospered, and the Fatimids established an enormous trading network in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, allowing them to export their goods around the world.

With the Fatimid emphasis on long-distance trade came a lack of interest in agriculture, as well as a disregard for the Nile irrigation system.

Members of other branches of Islam, such as Sunnis, were equally as likely as Shiites to be nominated to high-ranking positions in government.

As a result, religious tolerance was established in order to assure the flow of money from all non-Muslims in order to pay the caliphs’ massive army of mamluks (an Arabic word for slaves) who had been brought in from Circassia by Genoa merchants to finance their reign.

At times, they rose to the position of sultan while at other times, they maintained provincial authority.

II.

During the Middle Ages, shortly after the mamluks adopted the tradition of chivalry, known as furusiyya in Arabic, they were known as knights (or faris in Arabic), despite the fact that they were not free until after their duty was over.

Their martial arts abilities were to be trained first on foot, and then polished while mounted in the arena.

The advancement of intellectual life in Egypt during the Fatimid period was significant, with numerous intellectuals residing in or visiting Egypt, as well as easy access to sophisticated libraries, throughout this period.

The freedom of expression was perhaps the most important characteristic of Fatimid governance, provided that no one infringed on the rights of others.

Although their views were at odds with their own, they paid patronage to intellectuals and welcomed them from all over the world.

The period is also renowned for the creation of magnificent works of art and architecture.

During the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, the Fatimid Caliphate suffered a rapid decline, culminating in Saladin’s invasion of their territory in 1171. During his reign, he established the Ayyubid Dynasty and united the Fatimid state with the Abbasid Caliphate.

Egyptian Culture

Religion has a significant influence in Egyptian culture and society. Despite Egypt’s nominal position as a sovereign state, Islamic concepts about law, politics, and social conventions continue to affect the country’s laws and political relations, including elections. The great majority of the Egyptian population (90 percent) considers themselves Muslims, with the bulk of them belonging to the Sunni religion. Nine percent of the remaining population identify as CopticChristians, with the remaining one percent identifying with a another denomination of Christian.

  • Religious differences are frequently the source of social strife.
  • Additionally, family members may oppose or prevent interfaith marriage or conversion between religious traditions.
  • Egypt does not have a residential segregation between Muslims and Christians, with concentrations of Coptic Christians dispersed across the country’s Muslim majority.
  • Islam in Egypt is a religion of peace.
  • Egypt has long been regarded as a center of Islamic learning, and it is home to one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious institutes of Islamic higher education.
  • Egyptians, on the other hand, are typically obedient and attentive to the religion, which is a result of their profound religious conviction.
  • For example, Friday is regarded as a holy day and is the day of the major congregational prayer service in many churches.
  • Egyptians are also known for regularly alluding to God in their pronouncements regarding the future, which frequently include the phrase ‘inshallah’ (‘God willing’) to demonstrate that, in the end, the future is established by God’s will.
  • The CopticChurch is a member of the Christian Churches family.
  • Egyptians are supposed to have been the first Christians, which is why Copts are commonly known as “Egyptian Christians” (or “Egyptian Christians”).
  • In Egypt, a cross tattooed on the inside of the right wrist of a Christian is a typical way to identify oneself as a Christian.

While the Coptic Church is led by the Pope of Alexandria (based in Cairo), there are two Coptic bishops in Australia and more than 50 Coptic priests serving Egypt-born followers in Australia.

While the Coptic Church is led by the Pope of Alexandria (based in Cairo), there are two Coptic bishops in Australia and more than 50 Coptic priests serving Egypt-born followers in Australia.

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