When Islam entered Egypt after the defeat of the Romans on the
hands of the Arabs, most Egyptians converted to the new
religion while some Egyptians remained Christians. The
conversion came as a normal result of the Arabs' virtues seen by
Egyptians as the touch of Islam on them, in fact conversion
happened gradually throughout years of Islamic rule. When Amr
Ibn El Aas, the Arabian army leader, conquered the Romans he
assured people that their lives and belongings will not be
touched, they will be safe in their homes. The Egyptian patriarch
was hiding in fear of the Roman suppression because of his
beliefs, since the Islamic conquer, he got out of his hiding to
practice his authority fearlessly.
Actually, Egypt welcomed Arabs as religion callers, peace and
good patrons. Amr Ibn El-A'as and his soldiers entered Egypt and
struggled with the Romans, who occupied Egypt and Syria and
caused their people all sorts of misfortune. That is why, so many
of the Egyptians back then, joined the Islamic troops against the
Romans, since they found in Islam, the freedom and dignity that
they have missed during the Bezantian ages that someone of
them said: "The history did not realize more merciful invaders
than the Arabs".
The commitment of the Egyptians in early ages with Islam, and
the engagement of their history with the Islamic ideology, have
strengthen the most powerful tie, and strongest relations
between them and their faith. The thing that helped them a lot in
their struggle against all the hard challenges, and the invaders
campaign from tatar and crusades and the escape of the invaders
throughout the history. Also, this helped them to maintain their
Islamic ideology and the great Islamic culture, heritage and
Amr had chosen Al Fustat as the capital of Islamic Egypt because
a canal connected the city to the Red Sea, which provided easy
access to the Muslim heartland in the Arabian Peninsula. He
initiated construction of Cairo's oldest extant mosque, the Amr
ibn al As Mosque, which was completed in 711. On the orders of
the Khalif Omar, a town was built beside the fortress of Babylon
called Fustat. It was from Fustat, instead of Alexandria, that
Egypt was administrated as a province of the Khalifate, first the
Khalifs in Medina, then the Ummayyads in Damascus followed by
the Abbasids in Baghdad. From the conquest 642 A.D. until 868,
Egypt was a province ruled either from Medina, Damascus or
Baghdad, but from that time, 868, Egypt gained a sort of an
autonomy when two dynasties the Tulunids followed by the
Ikhshids ruled Egypt as a separate country until the Fatimids.
Egyptian history was intimately involved with the general political
development of Islam, whether unified or divided into warring
states. Under the Umayyad caliphate many of the people
continued their adherence to Coptic Christianity despite the
special tax exacted from infidels. Eventually, the settling of
colonists from Arabia and the increased conversion of peoples to
Islam reduced the Christian population to a small minority. The
Greek and Coptic languages went out of use, and Arabic became
the predominant language. In 750 AD, Marawan II, the last
Umayyad caliph was killed and the city of Al-Fustat was seized by
Abbasid general Saleh.
The Abbasids are descendents of Al-Abbas, uncle of Prophet
Mohamed. They asserted themselves as rulers of the Moslem
world in 750 AD and they conducted their rule from Iraq. Driven
by their hatred for the Umayyad dynasty on the belief that they
represent the legitimacy in ruling Moslems, the Abbasids
vigorously fought over the Umayyads. Winning battle after
another, they finally seized Al-Fustat, the then Arab capital of
Egypt. To disengage themselves from the past they don't
recognize, the Abbasids found a new capital to the north of Al-
Fustat. The new capital was called Al-Askar. By time the new
capital became nothing but a normal extension of Al-Fustat.
Abbasids started to lose control over Egypt also because of
skirmishes erupted with the Byzantines and inside the army.
They attempted to make some reforms by introducing new
taxation policies and new administration system. Abbasids began
using Turkic war slaves who were very loyal. They used those
slaves to tighten grip on territories. However those slaves were
preparing to actually rule rather than to be ruled. The emerging
power of the Turkic generals led practically to the independence
of Egypt under Ahmed ibn Tulun who established the semi-
independent Tulunid dynasty in Egypt.

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