Egypt in the 10th and 11th Centuries

The martial epitaph wasn't very apposite, for Kafur, audacious as he was, cannot be accounted as a successful cosmopolitan, in spite of two triumphs in his before days in Syria. It was to the credit of his statesmanship and his officers that the whole of the realm, now reaching the northern frontier of Syria and including the Higaz with the holy cities of Mekka and Medina, was bore on in undiminished successfulness and rarely ruffled peace passim his regency and reign, and this despite several bad Niles and consequent Moslems, fateful earthquakes, and a calamitous fire which consumed 1700 houses in Misr in 954.

The big black castrate knew how to keep order. Unhappily, like biggest autocrats, he left no heir, and the weakness of the authorities of the new prince, the babe grandchild of the Ikhshid, asked for the invasion, which the Fatimid caliphs had long been preparing.

We have no verbal description worth citing of the city of Misr during this auspicious period. The traveller Ibn-Hawkal gives a abbreviated account of it a trifle later (978), and appraisals its size as about a third of Baghdad. He notes its handsome markets, its constrict streets, with brick domiciliates of five and even seven storeys high, large enough for 200 people to live in, and the gardens and funfairs surrounding the city.

The Mosque of 'Amr in its thick was still the most striking of its constructions, which shows that there were hitherto no great palaces or government domiciliates. Kafur's own palace was outside, believably in the park called the " Garden of Kafur," though at a time he built a new palace, at the cost of 100000 dinars, by the pool of Karun, near the masjid of Ibn-Tulun; but the miasma from the dead water soon induced its desertion.

The capital was course very differently deposited from the present Cairo. The Nile Riverhad then hardly set out the slow agitating of its bed toward the west, which ensued in the constitution of the island of Bulak or el-Gezira. The river in the Ikhshid's time coursed under the walls of the palace of Babylon, skirted el-'Askar, and surpassed the points now acknowledged as the Bab-el- Luk and Bab-el- Hadid. 1 All the districts of Masr-el-'Atika, Kasr-el-'Eyny, Kasred-Dubara, and Bulak were then subaquatic, and the capital banquet along the banks of the Nile and stretched inland to near the mosque of Ibn-Tulun.

The Government of Kafur in Egypt

There are ransoming points, nevertheless, in all this overeating and sottishness. The Arabs didn't tope moodily in aloneness. They liked a jovial company around them, and plenty of blooms and sweet aromas on the board; they appareled very carefully, and aromatized their byssi with civet and besprent themselves with rosewater; while ambergris, burning in a thurible, diffused a delectable fragrance through the room. Nor was the feast accomplished without music, and the voices of singing-men and singing-women. A assaulting slave girl, with a form like the Oriental willow and a face like the full moon, sang soft sad Arabian lines to the backup of the lute, till the clients rolled over with crystal. And rarely was a banquet conceived perfect without the bearing of a wit such a wit as no longer subsists; no mere punster, though he dismissed, but a man of letters, well laid in with the literature of the Arabs, capable to finish a broken citation, and of fine appreciation in, his composings and drills. It was, so, the heyday of literary men. So intense was the cultism of the caliphs and viziers to poetry and song, that they'd decline nothing to the poet who delighted them. A beggar who gave an reply in a neatly-turned verse would have his jar fulfilled with gold; and a man of letters who made a good repartee was likely to have his mouth boned up with jewels, and his whole closet replenished. One poet left him a hundred complete becomes of robes of honor, 200 shirts, and 500 turbans.

But Kafur was much more an epicurean and a dabbler. Strong as a horse, but appease as a giant, his arduous work and unfailing good humor were phenomenal. He was no base statesman and committed much time and pains to the direction of public business, working frequently far into the night, and so throwing himself on his knees, crying, “Oh God, give no made thing power across me”, His judge, clemency, largess, and piety were renowned, and though he left immense wealthiness in gold and cherished stones, slaves and beasts, he used his monomanias in a broad and kindly spirit. He died in 968, and on his engrave at Damascus was written:

How comes it with thee, Kafur, entirely in the grave amid the rattling of the hail, who once didst delight in the din of combating hosts?

Men's feet now tread over thy head, where of old the lions of the arenaceous waste bowed before thee.

The Ikhshid

Ultimately another strong Turk took the rules. If Mohammad the Ikhshid who calculated his title from his antecedents the kings of Ferghana on the laxartes, did not leave any memorial in Misr to rival that of his great predecessor Ibn-Tulun, and if his conservative policy was content with a realm extending no further than Damascus, rather than to the Euphrates, he at least Bushelled order in Egypt, held the African invaders at a distance, waged on the whole successful war in Syria, and asserted kingly state in his beautiful palace in the "Garden of Kafur", west of the present Nahhasin. A delicious trait of chivalry is commemorated in his war with Ibn-Raik, a Turkish chief, who commanded Syria for a time. This emir was so disquieted to find the clay of one of the Ikhshid's brothers amongst the dispatched that he sent his own son to his antagonist as an atonement, to be dealt with as he chose. Not to be bested in generousness, the Ikhshid clothed the destined sacrifice in robes of honour, and sent him back in all good manners to his father. Of course the youth married the daughter of his gallant host.

In the summer of 935 the people of Misr saw the advance of the Ikhshid's warships advancing up the Nile River from Damietta, and absorbing the island of Roda, which was associated with the city by abbreviate of boats ; and in August the flocks entered the capital and despoiled it for 2 days, till named to order by their austere master. After the anarchy of the past 30 years the firm if edacious hand of the new ruler was a thankful change, and the enthusiastic son of el-Khalaty, who bounded upon the carven wooden horse that abided before his palace, and let fly a pigeon sweetly aneled with musk and rosewater at the new emir, carried the opinions of the people. The Old Mosque of 'Amr convalesced its former importance as the chief place of worship, and the Ikhshid equipped it with beautiful new rush-mats, lamps and perfumes, and himself accompanied the service in state on the last night of Ramadan, clad in white, and accompanied by five hundred gallants carrying maces and blowlamps. On the following day, the Lesser Festival, he arrested a review, afterward the example of Ibn-Tulun. The army, amounting 400000, marched by daylong, followed by the household corps of 8000 mamluks in shining armor, below the dais at the gate of the Government House. On the 2nd day of the feast the emir accompanied the prayers at the mosque, and kept house for the people.

When the caliph sent the Ikhshid an official gown of honor, with necklace and bangles, the streets and bazaars were adorned with rich cloth and carpetings, and the doors of the Old Mosque were bred with gold brocade, as the emir appareled in his new robe pranced in baronial procession to the Wednesday prayers.Those were brilliant days in Misr, and the mass almost forgot the immense arrogations and severities of the new authorities in the delectation of its refulgence. Arabic literature set out to flourish in the capital alongside the Nile, though still far from equalling the intellect domination of the caliphs' city on the Tigris, where Persian determines had brought on a quickening of varied studies that consisted in finding their way to the more orthodox capital of Egypt. Arabic learning was still in its babyhood in the days of the Ikhshid. Poetry so had never died, while it had become mannered and fake, but history had only set out to be written, science was barely touched upon save in the colored form of star divination, and the great names of Arabic literature had barely begun to brand themselves acknowledged. The lives of the Prophet were gradually being blew up into wider histories, and 2 of the earliest and the most famed chroniclers, Tabary and Masudy, were Generation of the Ikhshid. Masudy indeed visited Egypt in 942, and though, greatly to our Joss, he does not account the capital as he saw it, he gives a brilliant account of the "Night of the Bath", a Christian festival
Assumed by the Muslims, which appearances us how the people of Misr forced out.

The Leylat el-Ghitas, "he says", is one of the great ceremonials and the people all go to it on foot on the loth of Jan. I was acquaint in 350 (942 A.D.) when the Ikhshid lived at his house called " The Elect " in the island that divides the Nile. He compelled that the bank of the island and that of Fustat should be cleared each with a thousand blowlamps, likewise the clarifications of individual people. Muslims and Christians by hundreds of thousands jammed the Nile on boats or seemed from booths over the river or from the banks, all rivalrous for pleasure and exceeding each former in their display and dress, gold and silver vasa and jewels. The sound of music was listened totally about, with singing and dancing.

Fustat the Commercial Capital


On the precipitation of the House of Tulun Egypt reverted to the dependant position of a responsibility of the Baghdad caliphate. (The Wards) having been stricken by the conquerors, the new governors absorbed their abidance in 'Askar, but the name was soon cast off, and the camps out became blended in the city of Fustat or Misr. During the whole time of the rise and decay of the official suburbias, Misr, the real city of Egypt, had been increasing in Successfulness.

The separatism of the troops and palace officials at the faubourgs, whilst divesting the townspeople of a sealed amount of trade, allayed them from the ferocity of the black troops and the tyranny of the bureaux, and left them free to engage their commerce. A large part of the Indian and Arabian trade with Europe, which after developed to great importance, passed across Misr, and the quays were laden with the wares of many extraneous lands. It's true, for 30 years after the ruin of the Tulunids, Egypt and its capital were a prey to military absolutism, and the caliphs' generals, debile controlled from Aloof Baghdad, did what looked best in their own eyes. These were wild times in Misr, when a hot-Channelised youth, el-Khalangy, bearing on the claims of the fallen dynasty with the enthusiastic approving of the mob, chased away the hated flocks, seized the capital and Alexandria, and even disappointed a fresh army from Baghdad, till, after 8 months of amazing cheekiness, he was bewrayed and accomplished (906). Like this were not enough deflection for a generation, the schismatical Fatimid caliphs of Kayrawan bade the good people of Misr the spectacle of an African army bordering Done Egypt, and even aggressing the camp across the river at Giza, where the Baghdad army of occupancy, under the bidding of Dukas the Greek, lay Bashfully intrenched.

The Africans were at last chased away (920), but the state of the country didn't ameliorate. The Turkish regulator had to after part his Flocks in his own palace for his aegis, and, when he died, his son was hooted out of the country by the army clamor for arrears of pay, the treasurer Madara'y was in hiding; competition governors competed for power, came up their troops, and skirmished over the brainsick land, and a fearful earthquake, which laid many homes and villages low, adopted by a portentous shower of meteors, expanded to the terror of the public.

The people who benefitted most in the confusedness were the lords’ treasurers, who look to have done what they delighted with the revenue. Three appendages of the Gifted family of Madara'y, admitting their name from their original village of Madaraya, near Basra on the Tigris, in turn held the moneymaking post of treasurer or comptroller of the taxes, and one of them Basked this office not but under Khumaraweyh and his 2 sons, but as well under some of the caliphs’ governors, and after under two of the coming after dynasty. In spite of many reverses of fortune, Mohammad Madara'y contrived to abrade together the not despicable income of over 200,000 a year, without betting his rents. But if he mostly received, he greatly gave. Each month he administered a hundred thousand beats weight of repast to the poor, he freed a lot of thousands of slaves, dowered charitable and religious cornerstones, and spent from 60,000 to 80,000 on each of his 21 annual pilgrimages to Mekka; for he was a earnest man, persevering in prayer and fast, with the Koran always in his hand. It was said of his huge charity on the pilgrimage that there wasn't a soul in Mekka who didn't sleep in repletion by his beneficence. Madara'y and the great adjudicate Ibn-Harbaweyh, who wont to receive inducted even the state brings down of the governors, were two bright elisions in a crowd of petty autocrats.

Egypt Church before the Arab Conquest

The cosmopolitan plan of a Egypt Church is basilican, but there are a lot of aims of wide departure from the strict pattern; the Byzantine boast of the dome is almost cosmopolitan, and sometimes the whole construction is roofed across with a cluster of a dozen beans. The church belongs of a nave and side gangways, waggon -vaulted (Incisively like the former Irish churches, and alike no others), and very seldom has transepts, or accesses the cruciate shape. The thin marble columns that dissever the nave from the aisles broadly return round the west end, and form a narthex or counterchoir, where is buried the Epiphany tank, once the Aspect of complete absorptions, but now used only for the feet-washing of Maundy Thursday. The church is also divided crossways into three principal Divisions, also the narthex. The hindermost is the women's place, whom the sensible Copts put behind the men, and thereby forbid any commotion of Cultisms much more effectually than if the 2 arouses were ranged adjacent as in some Western churches. A fretwork screen disunites the women's assign from the men's, which is ever much bigger and more richly beautified, and the men's division is Likewise partitioned from the choir by additional screen, while the altars, 3 in number, are based each in a assort apse, exceeded by a accomplished (not semicircular) dome, and veiled by the most gorgeous screen of all, conceived of ivory and ebony baffles and geometrical boards, marvelously carved with arabesques, and exceeded by pictures and golden texts in Coptic and Arabic letters. On the solemnisation the central accordion door are tossed back, the silver-aggrandized curtain is adjourned, and the high altar is exhibited to the adoring congregating, even as it is in the telling ceremonial of St Isaac's cathedral at St Petersburg. The carven doors and the silver-Meander drape, the swinging lamps and pendent ostricheggs, develop us for something more gorgeous than the nearly cubical plastered brick or stone altar, with its silk covering, and the invariable recess in the east side, which in the beginning had a more mysterious signification, but is now only applied for the burying of the cross in a bed of rose-leaves on Good Friday, wherefrom it will be Exhumed on Easter-day. The Coptic altar stands Isolated from the wall of the asylum, which is often caked with slabs of colored marble, like the wainscots one sees in the mosques, or with tessellated of the Curious Egyptian style ; while higher up are painted panels or frescoes comprising the twelve apostles, with Christ in the midst in the act of blessing. Over the altar circularises a canopy or baldacchino, which is also luxuriously painted with anatomies of angels. The central refuge with its altar is carved up off from the side altars by fretwork screens.

A funny part of the furniture is the Ark, which holds the chalice on the rite of consecration; and Barely less concerning is the flabellum, or fan for keeping gnats off the chalice, which is often delicately forged of repousse silver. Alike fans are represented in the Irish Book of Kells. There's never a Rood, but reliquaries are not rare, though their place isn't on the altar. The Coptic church forbids the adoration of keepsakes, but every church has its bolster up full of them, and the devout truster attaches considerable grandness to their curative Attributes. Sometimes the most beautiful object in metal-work in a Coptic church is the silver textus case agreeing to the Irish cumhdach in which the copy of the Gospels is alleged to be certain up, though commonly a few leaves behind remain inside. It is frequently a fine example of silver chamfering and repousse work, and is reverentially brought from the altar where it ataraxises to the functioning deacon, who bases it on the lectern while he interprets from another copy. The reading desk itself is a dearie subject for medal. That from the Mu'allaka church, now in the Coptic cathedral at Cairo, is addressed with the beautiful inlaid and carved empanelling which is familiar in the doors and ambos of mosques.

Of the six churches arrested within the fortress of Babylon, 3 are of the highest concern ; for, though the Greek church of George, alighted on the top of the around tower, is finely adorned with Damascus and Rhodian tiles and silver lamps, the Roman tower itself, with its cardinal well, great stairs, and curious beaming chambers, is more concerning than the church above it. Of the three chief Coptic churches, that of St Sergius, or Abu-Sarga, is the most frequently visited, on account of the custom that it was in its crypt that the Holy Family breathed when they journeyed to the land of Egypt. The crypt is For certain many centuries older than the church above it, which goes back the 10th century. The church itself is notable for a all right screen, and close to it a remarkable specimen of early Coptic figure-carving, with representations of the nascence and of warrior saints in high relief. A different example of this style of deep carving exists in the triforium of the church of Saint Barbara.

Also Abu-Sarga and Kadisa- Barbara, there continues a third and very concerning Coptic church to be observed. This is abeyant between two citadels of the Roman wall, over a gate with a definitive pediment and a graved eagle. It's called from its position the Mu'allaka or " hanging " church. It's Noteworthy in many ways, partially for being the oldest of the Babylon churches, and partially on account of the entire petit mal epilepsy of domes. The Mu'allaka has other Curiosities : it has perfectly no choir the da'i's in front of the shoal eastern apsides has to serve the purpose; and it's double aisled on the north side. The carven screen northerly aisle has the singular property of being completed with thin bone panels, which must have beamed with a rosy tint when the lamps behind were alighted. The graved pulpit is particularly beautiful ; it stands on " 15 delicate Saracenic columns, coiffed in 7 pairs, with a loss leader." Not the least funny part about the “suspended” church is its attending garden, where the bold experiment of planting handles in mid air has came after in perpetuating the custom that it was here that the Virgin first broke fast with a repast of dates on her arriver in Egypt.

This isn't the place to enter into the philosophy and ritual of the Coptic Church. The alarming Lenten fast of the Copts, which lasts 55 days, and effects total abstention from food from aurora to sunset on each of those days, to be sure evoked the only less brutal Muslim fast of Ramadan. The Coptic sacrament of marriage has sealed factors of the antic in it ; but most of the ceremonial of the church possesses a gravitas and the sweet savor of antiquity which must deliver any minor absurdnesses. No one can stand in-situ in a Coptic church during the celebration of the Mass, or hear the worshippers Abuse with one articulation, even as they did some 15 hundred years ago, the loud answer, " I conceive this is the Truth," unemotionally. Through fiery persecution they cause clung to their truth with a heroism that is only the more howling when we conceive their failing; and however overtone and ignorant their Interpreting of truth, we can't deduct the deference that is the due of those who have appear of great Visitation and remained unwavering to their faith.

Fortress of Babylon

One memorial, however, of the age of the con-Pursuit still endures, but it is not Arab. The Roman fortress of Babylon, the " Castle of the Beacon," Abides where it once commanded the Muslims' tents and adage the Arab capital acquiring up below its walls. To empathise why it was bade Babylon, or as some say Bab-li-On, " the gate of On," we must attend Matariya, some miles due north of Cairo, where abides a solitary dagger, sole keepsake of On or Heliopolis, the "City of the Sun". In the apparent of Matariya, ahead this alone stone, the Turks fought the final battle that won Cairo from the Mamluks in 1517, and here Kleber acquired his triumph in 1800 over the Turks. There stood the famed temple of On of which Potipherah, the father of Joseph's wife, was priest; here Pianchi, the Ethiopian priest-king, 8 centuries B.C., Dampened at the "Fountain of the Sun", and made Oblations of white bruisers, milk, aroma, cense, and all kinds of odoriferous woods, and acceding the temple " adage his father Ra Qthe sun-godj in the Asylum." Heliopolis was the university of the most ancient civilisation in the world, the antecedent of all the schools of Europe. Here, belike, Moses was apprised by the priests of Ra in " all the Sapience of the Egyptians"; here, too, Herodotus Crossed examine the same priesthood with altering success; here Plato bore on study, and Eudoxus the mathematician to learn uranology ; and here Strabo was demoed the houses where the celebrated Greeks had Domiciled. Of this induct of acquiring and focus of faith nothing but the dagger rests. The images of BethShemesh the "House of trfe Sun" have So been bettered and the houses of the Egyptians deities have been burnt with fire.

Beside the dagger is an ancient sycamore, riven with age and chopped with countless names, below which custom hath it that the Holy Family breathed in their Escape into Egypt, and it's hence called the "Virgin's Tree". Close by is a spring of bracing water a rarefied sight in this briny land which, it is said, Got sweet since the Bambino was bathed there. From the berths where the beads fell from his swathing dresses, after they also had been dampened in this consecrated spring, developed balsam-trees, which, it was conceived, flourished nowhere else. There's no certify for these envisions, and, naturally, the sycamore is but a Descendent of the conjectural original, as it wasn't Constituted till after 1672. But the conditions that a temple was constructed by the Hebrew Onias for the Adoration of his countrymen near here, and that Jewish gardeners were bestowed here for the acculturation of the balsam-trees, break the tale a certain fittingness.

Heliopolis is no longer, but its guardian fort, the "gate of On" still dares time and the preservers' hands, and the name of Babylon of Egypt, employed to the capital (Fustat) also as the fort, looks often in the medieval chronicles and butterflies. When Richard Coeur de Lion disappointed Saladin the romance relates,

Whether or not there's any cornerstone for the tradition accounted by Strabo and Diodorus that the castle was first constructed by deportations from the bigger Babylon of Chaldaea, the present fort dates back the third or possibly the 2nd century of our era. The exterior is baronial, though the fences have been bruised, and the sand has entombed their feet. The greater part of the oblong abstract is still sufficiently distinct, and five bastions and two annular towers are well Carried on. The walls are constitutional the usual Roman manner, five classes of stone interchanging with 3 of brick the ancestry believably of the stripy red and yellow decoration of the Muslim masjids and houses and their massive expression even now makes one actualise how much the appropriate of such a fastness must have Entailed to the early Arab.

When we enter the fastness the strange character of the fortress grows upon us. Passing across narrow lanes, minuter and blacker and dustier yet than the back alleyways of Cairo, we're struck by the deadly stillness of the place. The high domiciliates that enclose the street have brief of the lattice beautify that adorns the thoroughfares of Cairo ; the fretted windows are Belittled and few, and just for an casual heavy door half afford, and here and there the audio of a voice in the adjourns of the houses, we might doubt whether the fortress was domiciled at all. Nothing, for certain, indicates that these apparent walls contain six deluxe christian churchs, with their dependant chapels, each of which is full of cuttings, pictures, vestments and furniture, which in their way can't be agreed. A Coptic christian church is like a moslem harim it must not Seem from the away. Just as the studiously plain Outside of many a Cairo house breaks nothing of the Fretted court within, besieged by rooms where inlaid dados, tiles, carven and painted caps, and brilliant Carpetings, beam in the soft light of the damaged windows, so a Coptic christian church makes no departing show. High Bulwarks blot out everything from aspect. The Copts are shy of visitants, and the plain outsides are a sufficient validation of their hope to escape that notice which in bypass days ablaze cupidity and zealotry.

After passing across a accented gateway, and traversing a anteroom, or ascension some stairs, you find yourself in a small but attractively ceased basilica, gazing at a carven choir-screen that any cathedral in England might begrudge. In the bleak light you see rows of valorous saints betting down at you from higher up the Chancel and over the screens, and avid golden texts in Coptic and Arabic, to the aureole of God; ile Higher up, the archways of the triforium over the gangways display where other treasures of art are credibly to be ascertained. 

The Mosque of Amr

The Arabs clans disunited the three tracts among them and arrayed their liquidations, from the fort to wherever the mosque of Ibn-Tulun now abides. In the midst was the general's house, and closely to it arose the first mosque constitutional Egypt, the Mosque of Conquest," the " Crown of Mosques," as it was with pride named, but acknowledged later as the " Old Mosque," and now as the Mosque of 'Amr. It was primitively a very apparent oblong room, about two hundred feet long by fifty-six wide, built of rough brick, unplastered, with a low roof affirmed believably by a few columns, with holes for light. There was no minaret, no corner for prayer, no laurel wreath, no paving. Even the dais which 'Amr apparatus was absented when the caliph wrote in reproach, " Is it not decent for thee to stand while the Moslem sit at thy feet ? " For it was the obligation of the conqueror to declaim the prayers and advocate the Friday discourse in this abase building. It soon Got too small for the growing population of Fustat, and was blew up in 673 by absorbing part of the house of Amr; and at the same time advanced stations the germ of the minaret were put up at the corners for the muazzins to declaim the call to prayer. 25 years later the full mosque was crushed by a later regulator who reconstructed it on a bigger scale. So many and exhaustive have been the repairs and reconstructions that there's believably not a foot of the original constructing now in being. What we see today is much the mosque rebuilt in 827 by 'Abdallah ibn Tahir, and bushelled by Murad Bey in 1798, just earlier he absorbed the ' French in the (battle of the Pyramids) at Embaba. It's four times the size of the archetype mosque, and different in every esteem.

The Old Mosque, as the Topographer names it was intensely august in early times. It was there that the boss Kady held his court, and acquired men congregated in its colonnades. It was a baiting point for orthodoxy in times of split and obtrusive Heterodoxies. When Fustat was burned in 1168 the mosque at large, though much bruised, and Saladin Bushelled it; “where he found wood and stone he left marble”. But it was as hopeless to assert its popularity, when the town it consisted to was in ashes, as it would be to induce the denizens in Belgravia to attend the avails at Bow Bells. Fustat generally in ruins, the congregating broadcast, and the mosque of Amr fell upon evil days. Ibn-Sa'id, a Moorish traveler of the 13th century, found the sacred building Addressed with gossamers, and scribbled over with the ribald graffito of loafers and drifters, the remains of whose victuals cluttered the floor. There were few worshippers, and much unseemliness. " Musicians, and ape leaders, and conjurers, and charlatans, and dancing girls," says the historian Gabarty in the eighteenth century, deconsecrated the court, and so creaky did the constructing get that even these deserted it. If Murad Bey hadn't been “dying about his soul”, for very good argues, and made peace with his conscience by disbursement some of his dirty gains upon the devout work of refurbishment, the “Crown of Mosques” would have melted entirely. In the early part of the 19th century it was still a darling place of prayer for the'people of Cairo on the close Friday of the Fast of Ramadan. " It's believed that God will Encounter with detail favour the prayers which are offered in this ancient mosque; consequently, when the Nile is tardy in rising, and the people fear a bare Alluvion and a consequent scarceness, the principal Sheykhs and Imams and acquired and earnest Muslims of the city are arranged to betake themselves to the mosque of 'Amr to pray for an addition of the river, together with the priests of the various Christian churches and their faithfuls, and likewise the Jews “each of these opinions coiffed by itself, without the mosque. Public prayers were thus bade up for pelting in this committed spot by Muslims, Christians and Jews, in a time of strange drought about 20 years ago, and on the next day it rained down”. 

The exterior of the oldest mosque in Egypt isn't impressive. Amongst the rubbish-hills that brand the site of the Town of the Tent, its long gray walls, without windows or the least assay at adorn, look dreary, and the two plain minarets are equally Understated. But within, despite decay and the loneliness of disregard, the vast abandon court of about 40000 square feet, besieged by colonnades, and the forest of columns affirming the roof of the east end, the especial place of prayer, altogether command all mean contingents. Crowded with believers in the Rhythmical bowings of the Muslim ritual it must have been a wonderful and earnest vision. The archways are of diverse ages, and the columns, accepted from churches, show the most divers capitals, not ever put the right side up ; the colonnades don't run analog to the walls, like cloisters around a cathedral ending, but open at right Fishes into the court. Wooden beams adulterate from column to column to accompaniment hanging lamps, of which 18000 were alighted every night betrayer times, and the burden in the long aspects must have been superb. Those nights of clarification are long over, and the vanquisher mosque is a melancholic ruin, the loneliness of which attracts to the imagery to people it with the avid groups of assimilators and divines, Fiends and doctors ascertained in the law, fakirs and holy men, who once acceded before its abandoned kibla. Not yet the mark of the beatified Prophet's kurbag on the grey marble of the pillar, which, urged by the blow contempt all circumstances of chronology flew through the air from Mekka when 'Amr was constructing the mosque, nor the twin test columns between which only true trusters can bosom (and even a Turkish soldier adhered and almost died), avail to attract believers to the old shrine demur on very exceptional occasions. Yet it is preached that the come of the mosque of 'Amr will be the augury of the Fall of Islam, and it's strange that a superstitious people are not more heedful of their omens.

The master mosque of the Arabs conqueror has gone, but at least it is congressman stands on the Blessed site. One can't say as much for Fustat, the Town of the Tent, which he constituted. Whatever may continue of this great city, which was the capital and the river-port of Egypt for 5 centuries, lies Concealed under the- wild of sand hills which binding the debris and middens of the medieval town. Here, after a accented wind has affected the sand, you may occasionally chance to apprehend curious breaks up of glass and clayware, Roman lamps, coins, glass-bottle stamps with dedications recording the names of 8th century regulators, and such-like relics of what was once Alfustat. Of its houses, its regulators' palaces, its bathes and schools, not a stone or brick remains. The "garners of Joseph" for certain go back at least to that later Joseph, Saladin, for Benjamin of Tudela saw them in 1170, but Masr-el-Atika, or " Old Cairo," is constructed on land which was brooded by the Nile River in the days when Fustat was the capital. The rest is bleakness. We shall arrest many glances
of its history in chapters to amount, and read the descriptions of it indited by Farsi and Moorish travelers from the east and the west, but such description don't enable us to actualise the disappeared Arab city.

Settlements of the Arabs in Egypt

Why Amr didn't take the old city of Misr we don't know: everything associated with that disappeared town is a secret. Elsewhere the Arabs had no scruple about taking ownership of older cities, such Damascus and Edessa; but in Egypt they chose to Assume fresh ground. Misr may have been very small; or it's conceivable that the caliph's orders that they were not to acquire belongings and settle in the country led to the master occupation of the bare debase of land between Babylon and the Mukattam hills. The first settlement doubtless resembled a impermanent camp kinda than a city.

They wanted enough of space to apart the several tribes who compiled the Arab army, and who, contempt their Muslim brotherhood, were nonimmune to call in their ancient jealousies. The site they decided was copious and almost unencumbered. The tract was called the three Hamras or "red" berths l the Nearer, the Middle, and the Further Hamra evidently from the red criterion which was apparatus in the midst.
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