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The Contribution to Islam                  349
cessors the 'Abbasids. Wave after wave of migration converted
the country into an Arab province, in the full sense of the term.
For a long time Jews and Christians were employed as officials,
but in the course of the centuries, as their technical knowledge be-
came no longer indispensable to the administration, the whole
conduct of affairs passed into the hands of Muslims. Chris-
tians and Jews lived as 'protected' minorities, subject to the dis-
abilities and liable to the taxes imposed by their Muslim rulers.
In 868, Ahmad ibn Tulun, a Turk by birth, being appointed
governor of Egypt, declared his independence of the 'Abbasid
rulers, and set up a local dynasty (Tulunids) which lasted until
905. Thereafter for thirty years the central government was
again supreme, but in 935 Muhammad ibn Tughj, designated
ikhshid by the Caliph al-Radi, founded the short-lived Ikshidid
dynasty (935-69). The rise of the Fatimid Caliphate of the West
led to the reabsorption of Egypt as a province of a Shi fite empire
(969-1171) of which Cairo was the capital, and two centuries
passed before the country came under the independent rule of
the Ayyubid dynasty (1171-1250), of which the illustrious Salah
al-Din (Saladin) was the chief glory. The Bahri (Turkish)
Mamluks, founded by Shajarat al-Durr, widow of the Ayyubid
al-Salih, were followed in 1390 by the Burji (Circassian) Mam-
luks, whose rule was terminated by the Ottoman occupation
of Salim in 1517. So Egypt once more sank to the status of a
province. Napoleon's expedition of 1798 marks the beginning
of the modern history of Egypt. Under the rule of the Khedivial
house of Muhammad cAli (d. 1849), the country still acknow-
ledged the titular suzerainty of the Turkish Sultan, until its
official termination in 1914 following the declaration of the
British Protectorate. In 1922 Egypt's independence was pro-
claimed, subject to certain reservations, which were finally liqui-
dated by the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. The late King
Fu'ad assumed the title ofmalik (king); and his son King Faruq
now rules, the constitutional head of a fuEy independent State.