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The Early Development of Islam in Egypt (640-1171 A.D.)

  • Jan 1, 641

    Islam Entered Egypt

    In 641 A.D., Amr Ibn al-As’, an Arab commander under the second Caliph ruler Umar Ibn al-Khattab, brought an army of twelve-thousand soldiers and conquered the city of Fustat (which is now present day Cairo) from Byzantine troops. This is considered the first migration of Islam into the country of Egypt.
  • Period: Jan 1, 642 to Jan 12, 848

    Egypt As A Province

    During this period of time (642-848 A.D.), Egypt was a province ruled from the cities of Medina, Damascus, or Baghdad.
  • Jan 1, 711

    Amr Ibn al-As’ Constructed Mosque in Fustat (Cairo)

    Amr Ibn al-As’ Constructed Mosque in Fustat (Cairo)
    In 711 A.D., Amr Ibn al-As’ completed the construction of the Amr ibn al As Mosque. This mosque was built in Fustat (or present day Cairo) and also is Egypt's oldest mosque in existence today. Fustat (Cairo) was chosen as the Islamic capital, because it was connected by a canal through the Red Sea to the Muslim heartland of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Jan 1, 848

    The Dynasty Period Began

    In 848 A.D., the early Islamic dynasty period began where Egypt was ruled as a autonomy and separate country during the Tulunids(868-905 A.D.) and Al-Ikhshidids (935 A.D.-969 A.D.). These dynasties were followed by the Fatimids (969-1171 A.D.)
  • Jan 1, 848

    Ahmed ibn Tulun Captured Syria And Expanded Rule of Cities

    Ahmed ibn Tulun, the first ruler and founder of the Tulunid Dynasty who was Turkish and raised in the Abbasid court, captured the city of Syria with an army composed of many foreign slaves. He also built the city of Al-Qatae' north of Fustat (Cairo). Each ethnic group of the army settled in a different quarter of the new city. He eventually separated the Egypt province from the Abbasid Caliphate.
  • Period: Jan 1, 868 to Jan 1, 905

    Tulunid Dynasty Period

    From 868-905 A.D., the Tulunid Dynasty ruled.
  • Jan 1, 884

    Ahmed ibn Tulun Passed Away And Khumaraweih Took Over

    In 884 A.D., Tulunid Dynasty ruler Ahmed ibn Tulun passed away, and his son Khumaraweih took over. Khumaraweih expanded the rule of the dynasty all the way to the Euphrates, and the Abbasids began to recognize him as a ruler (mostly out of force), However relations between Khumaraweih and the Abbasids began to improve, and Qatr Al-Nada, Khumaraweih's daughter, was sent to marry the Abbasid caliph.
  • Jan 1, 896

    Khumaraweih Passed Away

    In 896 A.D., Khumaraweih passed away, and the other rulers that were after him were very weak. In fact, the empire was taken away from Khumaraweih by the Abbasids in 905 until the Al – Ikhshid dynasty took over in 935.
  • Jan 1, 935

    The Al– Ikhshid Dynasty Was Founded By Muhammad ibn Tughj Al-Ikhshid

    In 935 A.D. Muhammad ibn Tughj Al-Ikhshid founded the Al– Ikhshid Dynasty, and his main concern was to protect Egypt from the attacks of the Fatimids, who were a growing Muslim power in the African country of Tunisia. He was able to fend off the Fatimids and obtain additional territories in Syria and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Period: Jan 1, 935 to Jan 1, 969

    Al-Ikhshidid Dynasty Period

    From 935-969 A.D., the Al-Ikhshidid Dynasty ruled.
  • Jan 1, 945

    Muhammad ibn Tughj Al-Ikhshid Passed Away

    In 945 A.D., Muhammad ibn Tughj Al-Ikhshid passed away and the Al-Ikhshid Dynasty was followed by a series of weak rulers that caused the Dynasty to collapse, ending with Abul Fawares, Al-Ikhshid's grandson.
  • Jan 1, 969

    The Fatimid Dynasty Invaded Egypt

    In 969 A.D., the Fatimids seized the opportuntiy to invade Europe. They were the only Shiites to ever rule Egypt, a denomination of the Muslim split of religion between Shiites and Sunnis. They claimed to be descendants of Fatimah (daughter of the prophet Muhammad) and her husband, Ali, who was the fourth Caliph. The army was led by General Gawhar Al-Sekelli, under Al-Muezz, who built a new capital in Egypt named "Al-Qahera", or "Mars." This was changed to "Cairo" by European merchants.
  • Period: Jan 1, 969 to Jan 1, 1171

    Fatimid Dynasty Period

    From 969-1171 A.D., the Fatimid Dynasty ruled.
  • Jan 1, 970

    The Fatimid Dynasty Built The Al-Azhar Mosque

    The Fatimid Dynasty Built The Al-Azhar Mosque
    In 970 A.D., the Fatimid Dynasty completed The Al-Azhar Mosque, which is named after the Prophet Muhammad's daughter, Fatima Al-Zahra.
  • Jan 1, 970

    Fatimid Dynasty Expanded Their Control

    As the Fatimid Dynasty continued to dominate in 970 A.D. as they ruled Egypt, they expanded their ruling of many different areas. They captured the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. They also acquired the area of Palestine, where they faced Byzantine troops. They transitioned the Caliph seat to be ruled from Cairo instead of Tunisia. Although Cairo was considered an "Arab" capital, and the Fatimids were of the Shiite religion, they employed Sunnis, Jews, and Christians in the government.
  • Jan 1, 975

    Al-Muezz Passed Away and Al-Aziz Billah Took Over

    In 975 A.D., ruler Al-Muezz passed away, and Al-Aziz Billah took oer the Fatimid dynasty. Al-Aziz Billah is considered to hae been a very efficient ruler, with help and guidance from his vizier, or very high Muslim official, ibn Killis. Al-Aziz Billah continued to strengthen the Fatimid dynasty by importing in Turkish and Sudanese mercenaries.
  • Jan 1, 996

    Al-Aziz Billah Passed Away and Al-Hakim Took Over

    In 996 A.D., ruler Al-Aziz Billah passed away and his son Al-Hakim took over, even though he was only eleven years old at the time. Al-Hakim was a very eccentric ruler, who passed a series of very strange laws. Al-Hakim ordered all shops to be closed at daylight and open only at night. He made the selling of wine, beer, meloukhia (Jewish food) illegal, and also ordered honey to be poured into the Nile River. He also was not very fond of women, and forbid shoemakers from making them shoes.
  • Jan 1, 1005

    Al-Hakim Built The The Wisdom House (Beit Al-Hekma)

    Al-Hakim Built The The Wisdom House (Beit  Al-Hekma)
    In 1005 A.D., ruler Al-Kahim built the The Wisdom House (Beit Al-Hekma). It became a profound center for the teaching and learning of science and theology. Many Muslim scholars met here and discussed many subjects/topics.
  • Jan 1, 1017

    Al-Hakim Was Called An Incarnation Of God And Fatimid Dynasty Experienced An Internal Crisis

    In 1017 A.D., a vizier, or high Muslim official, named Darazi claimed that that Al-Hakim was an incarnation of God. Many Egyptians began to make fun of Al-Hakim, and tensions became so high that a rebellion erupted in 1020 A.D. Al-Hakim sent troops to burn the city of Al-Fustat. In 1021 A.D., Al-Hakim disappeared after riding out in the desert and was considered to have been murdered. The Fatimid Dynasty began to lose all of the territories they had gained due to their internal crisis.
  • Jan 1, 1074

    Fatimid Ruler Badr Al-Gamali Regained Egypt Under Control

    Fatimid Ruler Badr Al-Gamali Regained Egypt Under Control
    In 1074 A.D., the caliph of Egypt sent for Fatimid ruler Badr Al-Gamali to regain control and mitigate the chaos and crisis that was happening. Turkish troops had destroyed the treasury as well as the caliph's library of 100,000 books. Badr Al-Gamali's army crushed the Turkish troops and he reunited Egypt under his control. Egypt began to prosper and gates such as Bab El-Fetouh, Bab El-Nasr and Bab Zuweila were built by Badr Al-Gamali's architects.
  • Jan 1, 1094

    The Caliph And General Passed Away And Fatimid Caliphs Took Over

    In 1094 A.D., the caliph and his general passed away, and six Fatimid caliphs ruled following them until 1171 A.D. Many of these caliphs had power struggles with other high Muslim officials; in fact, many of them let their court members have much control over the government. In 1099, the first Crusade occured that was meant to target the Holy Land in Palestine. In 1118, the Crusaders had their first unsuccessful attack on Egypt.
  • Jan 1, 1171

    The Last Fatimid Caliph Ruler Passed Away

    In 1171 A.D., the last Fatimid Caliph ruler passed away, ending the reign of the Fatimid Dynasty. They were the only Shiite dynasty to ever rule Egypt. During the later years of the Fatimid Dynasty, the Crusaders began to occupy many lands in the Middle East and were trying to expand into northern Africa. The next two dynasties, known as the Ayyubids and the Bahari Mamluks, were responsible for some of the fighting during the Crusades period, and also were the beginning of Sunni rule in Egypt.