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Brief History of Islam In Egypt Which Will Make You Amazed

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Egypt is a country that famous of their culture and ancient history. It is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia. Egypt are bordered by Gaza strip and Israel in northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea of the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west.


The ancient Egypt itself has been renowned of their ability in many aspecs of life including writing, agriculture, urbanisation, building, religion, and central goverment. If you ever heard about pyramids, giza necropolis, great sphinx, the ruins of memphis, thebes, karnak are located in Egypt. The culture and all aspects of their lives are influenced by Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Turkish Ottoman, and Nubian. You should also read about brief history of Islam in Pakistan.

Since 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by imperial powers including the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Till it took form into a monarchy, after they gain independence from British Empire. But by the revolution in 1952 Egyptian think that the form of monarchy was the British instrument to keep their power in Egypt. After the revolution all the British soldier expelled an the Egypt transform into the form of republic.

The History of Islam In Egypt

We know that in ancient time, Egypt has been renowned from their ancient history and historical item such as pyramids of Giza and Sphynx. It was a great civilization. And how could Islam be a part of Egyptian culture nowadays? Here we would like to follow the phase on how Islam can be such a vital part in Egypt culture and religion. You may want to read about ways on how Quran controlling your brain.

As estimated that Islam is the dominant religion that has been practiced by 90% of the population. The small part of populations are practicing Christians and other religions. Before the 7th century we could concluded that Egypt was a Christian country. So after Islam was arrived gradually it became a majority-Islam country.

Islam entered Egypt as the result of Muslim conquest conducted by Arabs. During the years of 639-868, they have sent a military expedition, which previously leads by Amr ibn al-As (the military governor of Palestine) to conquer and made Egypt as part of their dominion with a force of 4.000 troops. The conversion of people in Egypt from Christian to Islam are took a long time, since it happened slowly. The caliph in Madinah Umar watches the development of the conquer in Egypt and later adding fresh forces at Madinah as a reinforcements for the troops lead by Amr.

The Conquest of Pelusium and Belbeis of Egypt

The army continued their journey until in 639 reached the Pelesium, an Eastern Roman garrison city and at that time consider as Egypt’s eastern gate. And after some battle the Pelusium fell to the Muslims Arabs, and the Muslims continued marched to Belbeis by desert roads and besieged it. It was the first place in Egypt where the Byzantines show some resistance towards the Arab conquerors. Aretion the famous of Roman general tried to negotiate with Amr ibn Al-As. You should read also about concepts of moral teaching in Islam.

Amr ibn Al-As give them three options :

  • The first option makes them offering to convert in Islam
  • To pay tax namely Jizya. Jizya is a special tax for Christians who acquired the protected status of dhimmis. The dhimmis itself was a term referring for non muslims who live in an Islamic state with legal protections or we can call it protected person.
  • To fight the Muslims

And after several days, Aretion and two monks decided that they rejected to convert into Islam and they did not want to pay Jizya. Only Cyrus of Alexandria who wanted to surrender and pay the Jizya. The result of the decision made by two monks and General Aretion was a battle and fight. After a fierce battle, the Muslims army won and Aretion died during the fight. The city was fell to Muslims army and they continued the siege of Belbeis until the fully surrendered to Muslims.

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The Conquest of Fayoum and Babylon

Later on, the Muslims army took Heliopolis and reach Fayoum. The victory in Heliopolis has spread far to Fayoum. Therefore the Byzantine garrison under the command of Domentianus evacuated from the city of Fayoum. The conquest of Fayoum did not get strong resistance from the Byzantines. After conquering Fayoum the continued to conquest Babylon, the city capture by Muslims army on 21 December 640. Even the general Theodorus and his army managed to escape to the island of Rauda. You may want to read about how to dress up for men according to Islam.

The Conquest of Alexandria

It happened in 641 AD. The city of Alexandria was heavily fortified and was not easy to conquest. They are also full of provision and food supply. It also has direct access to the sea. The battle was hard and they determined to offer stiff resistance to the Muslims. The Byzantine from Heraclies the emperor got reinforcement from Brief History of Islam In Egypt For Muslims. But following his dead, the Constantinople army were dispersed and the reinforcement stop. The siege that took apporoximately for 6 months give a great result since the morale of Byzantine army drops. About thousands of Byzantine army were killed and taken captive. And Amr wrote a letter to caliph of Uma :

We have conquered Alexandria. In this city there are 4.000 palaces. 400 places of entertainment, and untold wealth.”

Even there was a resistance to reclaim Alexandria, but Amr ibn Al-As still managed to maintain the city under the muslims teritory.

The Islamization process that converting Muslims be a dominant religion in Egypt was during the 10th and 14th century. The acculturation between Egypt culture and Arabs culture made the identity of Islam became stronger. They also replacing their native Coptic and Greek languages with Arabic as their sole vernacular and became the national language by law. You may want to read about virtues of durood in Islam.

And that’s how Islam entering Egypt and widely known as the state religion. It was followed by so many scholars that emerge from the Egypt university of Islam called Al-Azhar. And there are other institutions and organizations that supported the spread of Islam in Egypt such as Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah, Salafist Call, Muslims Brotherhood, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and so forth.

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Kategori : History