Taqi al-Din Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi (1364–1442)[1] (Arabic: تقى الدين أحمد بن على بن عبد القادر بن محمد المقريزى) was an Egyptian Arab historian[2] more commonly known as al-Maqrizi or Makrizi. Although he was "a Mamluk-era historian and himself a Sunni Muslim, he is remarkable in this context for his unusually keen interest in the Isma'ili Fatimid dynasty and its role in Egyptian history."[3]

BornTaqi al-Din Abu al-AbbasAhmad ibn 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi
Cairo, Egypt
Died1442 (aged 77–78)
Occupationhistorian, writer
Notable worksMawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854)


Maqrizi was born in Fatimid Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt,[1] When he presents himself in his books he usually stops at the 10th forefather although he confessed to some of his close friends that he can trace his ancestry to Al-Mu‘izz li-Din Allah -first Fatimid caliph in Egypt and the founder of al-Qahirah- and even to Ali ibn Abi Talib.[4] He was trained in the Hanafite school of law. Later, he switched to the Shafi'ite school and finally to the Zahirite school.[5][6] Maqrizi studied theology under one of the primary masterminds behind the Zahiri Revolt,[7] and his vocal support and sympathy with that revolt against the Mamluks likely cost him higher administrative and clerical positions with the Mamluk regime.[8] The name Maqrizi was an attribution to a quarter of the city of Baalbek, from where his paternal grandparents hailed.[1] Maqrizi confessed to his contemporaries that he believed that he was related to the Fatimids through the son of al-Muizz. Ibn Hajar preserves the most memorable account: his father, as they entered the al-Hakim Mosque one day, told him "My son, you are entering the mosque of your ancestor." However, his father also instructed al-Maqrizi not to reveal this information to anyone he could not trust; Walker concludes:

Ultimately it would be hard to conclude that al-Maqrizi conceived any more than an antiquarian interest in the Fatimids. His main concern seems more likely to be the meaning they and their city might have for the present, that is, for Mamluk Egypt and its role in Islam. (p. 167)

In 1385, he went on the Islamic pilgrimage, the Hajj. For some time he was secretary in a government office, and in 1399 became inspector of markets for Cairo and northern Egypt. This post he soon gave up to become a preacher at the Mosque of 'Amr ibn al 'As, president of the al-Hakim Mosque, and a lecturer on tradition. In 1408, he went to Damascus to become inspector of the Qalanisryya and lecturer. Later, he retired into private life at Cairo.

In 1430, he again went on Hajj with his family and travelled for some five years. His learning was great, his observation accurate and his judgement good, but his books are largely compilations, and he does not always acknowledge the sources upon which he relied.


Most of Al-Maqrizi's works, exceeding 200,[9] are concerned with Egypt. The most important is the Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854), translated into French by Urbain Bouriant as Description topographique et historique de l'Égypte (Paris, 1895–1900; compare A. R. Guest, "A List of Writers, Books and other Authorities mentioned by El Maqrizi in his Khitat," in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1902, pp. 103–125).

Of his History of the Fatimites an extract was published by J.G.L. Kosegarten in his Chrestomathia (Leipzig, 1828), pp. 115–123; the History of the Ayyubit and Mameluke Rulers has been translated into French by Etienne Marc Quatremère (2 vols., Paris, 1837–1845).[10]

Maqrizi began a large work called the Muqaffa, an encyclopedia of Egyptian biography in alphabetic order. Another Egyptian historian, al-Sakhawi, believed this would require eighty volumes to complete, but only sixteen were written. Three autograph volumes exist in manuscript in Leiden and one in Paris.

Smaller works

  • Mahomeddan Coinage (ed. O. G. Tychsen, Rostock, 1797; French translation by Silvestre de Sacy, Paris, 1797)
  • Arab Weights and Measures (ed. Tychsen, Rostock, 1800)
  • Arabian Tribes that migrated to Egypt (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1847)
  • Account of Hadhramaut (ed. P.B. Noskowyj, Bonn, 1866)
  • Strife between the Bani Umayya and the Bani Hashim (ed. G. Vos, Leiden, 1888)
  • Historia Regum Islamiticorum in Abyssinia (ed. and Latin trans. F. T. Rink, Leiden, 1790).


See also


  1. ^ a b c Franz Rosenthal, al-Maḳrīzī. Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online, 2013. Reference. 9 January 2013.
  2. ^ Anthony Holmes (6 December 2010). Ancient Egypt In An Hour. History In An Hour. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4523-3674-9.
  3. ^ Paul E. Walker, Exploring an Islamic Empire: Fatimid History and its Sources (London, I.B. Tauris, 2002), p. 164. The material for updating this article is taken from Walker's account of al-Maqrizi.
  4. ^ RABBAT, NASSER (2003). "Who Was al-Maqr|z|? A Biographical Sketch" (PDF).
  5. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Inba al-Ghumar bi-Anba al-'Umr.
  6. ^ Nasser Rabbat, "Who was al-Maqrizi?" pg. 13. Taken from Mamlūk Studies Review, Vol. 7, Part 2. Middle East Documentation Center, University of Chicago, 2003.
  7. ^ Al-Maqrizi, Tajrid al-Tawhid al-Mufid, pg. 33 of the introduction of Sabri bin Salamah Shahin. Riyadh: Dar al-Qubs, 2005. ISBN 978-9960-49-202-5
  8. ^ Rabbat, pg. 15.
  9. ^ Okasha El Daly (2005), Egyptology: the missing millennium : ancient Egypt in medieval Arabic writings, UCL, p. 180
  10. ^ Histoire des sultans mamlouks, de l'Égypte, écrite en arabe (1845)

External links

Al-Adil Kitbugha

Kitbugha (Arabic: كتبغا‎), royal name: al-Malik al-Adil Zayn-ad-Din Kitbugha Ben Abd-Allah al-Mansuri al-Turki al-Mughli; Arabic: الملك العادل زين الدين كتبغا بن عبد الله المنصورى التركى المغلى‎) (died 1303 CE) was the 10th Mamluk sultan of Egypt from December 1294 to November 1296.

Al-Ashraf Khalil

Al-Ashraf Salāh ad-Dīn Khalil ibn Qalawūn (Arabic: الملك الأشرف صلاح الدين خليل بن قلاوون‎; c. 1260s – 14 December 1293) was the eighth Mamluk sultan between November 1290 until his assassination in December 1293. He was well known for conquering the last of the Crusader states in Palestine in the capture of Acre in 1291.


Al-Nabigha (Arabic: النابغة الذبياني / al-Nābighah al-Dhubiyānī; real name Ziyad ibn Muawiyah; c. 535 – c. 604), was one of the last Arabian poets of pre-Islamic times. "Al-Nabigha" means "genius" in Arabic.

His tribe, the Banu Dhubyan, belonged to the district near Mecca, but he himself spent most of his time at the courts of Hirah and Ghassan. In Hira he remained under Mundhir III, and under his successor in 562.After a sojourn at the court of Ghassan, he returned to Hirah under Numan III. He was, however, compelled to flee to Ghassan, owing to some verses he had written on the queen, but returned again about 600. When Numan died some five years later he withdrew to his own tribe, where he became known as Elias from the land of Bishara (ذؤّوب الياس من أرض البشارة) (as described by al Maqrizi).The date of his death is uncertain, but he does not seem to have known Islam. His poems consist largely of eulogies and satires, and are concerned with the strife of Hirah and Ghassan, and of the Banu Abs and the Banu Dhubyan. He is one of the six eminent pre-Islamic poets whose poems were collected before the middle of the 2nd century of Islam, and have been regarded as the standard of Arabic poetry; some writers consider him the first of the six. These poets have written long poems comparable to epic poems, known as Mo`allakat (معلقات) since they were hung on the walls of the Kaaba for every one to admire and read. Al-Nabigha is also known to be the person who gave the poet Al-Khansa her name.His poems were edited by Wilhelm Ahlwardt in the Diwans of the Six Ancient Arabic Poets (London, 1870), and separately by H. Derenbourg (Paris, 1869, a reprint from the Journal asiatique for 1868).

Amda Iyasus

Amda Iyasus (Ge'ez: ዓምደ ኢየሱስ ʿāmda iyasus, "Pillar of Jesus," Amharic: made iyesus) was Emperor (nəgusä nägäst) (throne name Badel Nan በድል ናኝ badil nāñ; 1433–1434) of Abyssinia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the younger son of Takla Maryam.

E. A. Wallis Budge notes that Amda Iyasus ruled for eight months, and left no children. The royal chronicles also do not relay his deeds during his brief tenure atop the throne. Al-Maqrizi was reportedly puzzled by the quick turnover in Kings.

An-Nasir Muhammad

Al-Malik an-Nasir Nasir ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qalawun (Arabic: الملك الناصر ناصر الدين محمد بن قلاوون‎), commonly known as an-Nasir Muhammad (Arabic: الناصر محمد‎), or by his kunya: Abu al-Ma'ali (أبو المعالى) or as Ibn Qalawun (1285–1341) was the ninth Bahri Mamluk sultan of Egypt who ruled for three reigns: December 1293–December 1294, 1299–1309, and 1310 until his death in 1341.


Izz al-Din Aybak (Arabic: عز الدين أيبك‎) (epithet: al-Malik al-Mu'izz Izz al-Din Aybak al-Jawshangir al-Turkmani al-Salihi, Arabic: الملك المعز عز الدين أيبك التركماني الجاشنكير الصالحى) was the first of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt in the Turkic Bahri line. He ruled from 1250 until his death in 1257.

Badr al-Din al-Ayni

Badr al-Din al-'Ayni (Arabic: بدر الدين العيني‎) born 762 AH (1360 CE), died 855 AH (1453 CE) was a Sunni Islamic scholar of the Hanafi madh'hab. Al-'Ayni is an abbreviation for al-'Ayntābi, referring to his native city.

Bahri dynasty

The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks (Arabic: المماليك البحرية‎, translit. al-Mamalik al-Baḥariyya) was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Cuman-Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate from 1250 to 1382. They followed the Ayyubid dynasty, and were succeeded by a second Mamluk dynasty, the Burji dynasty.

Their name "Bahriyya" means 'of the river', referring to the location of their original settlement on Al-Rodah Island in the Nile (Nahr al-Nil) in Medieval Cairo at the castle of Al-Rodah which was built by the Ayyubid Sultan as-Salih Ayyub

Battle of Al Mansurah

The Battle of Al Mansurah was fought from February 8 to February 11, 1250, between Crusaders led by Louis IX, King of France, and Ayyubid forces led by Emir Fakhr-ad-Din Yusuf, Faris ad-Din Aktai and Baibars al-Bunduqdari.

Battle of Fariskur

The Battle of Fariskur was the last major battle of the Seventh Crusade. The battle was fought on April 6, 1250, between the Crusaders led by King Louis IX of France (later Saint Louis) and Egyptian forces led by Turanshah of the Ayyubid dynasty. Following an earlier Crusader defeat at the Battle of Al Mansurah, Fariskur resulted in the complete defeat of the crusader army and the capture of Louis IX.

Ibn Taghribirdi

Jamal al-Din Yusuf bin al-Amir Sayf al-Din Taghribirdi (Arabic: جمال الدين يوسف بن الأمير سيف الدين تغري بردي) or Ibn Taghribirdi (2 February 1411— 5 June 1470; 813-874 Hijri) was an Egyptian historian born into the Turkish Mamluk elite of Cairo in the 15th century. He studied under al-Ayni and al-Maqrizi, two of the leading Cairene historians and scholars of the day. His most famous work is a multi-volume chronicle of Egypt and the Mamluk sultanate called al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira. His style is annalistic and gives precise dates for most events; this format makes it clear that Ibn Taghribirdi had privileged access to the sultans and their records.

Jami al-Qarafa Mosque

The Jami al-Qarafa Mosque, since destroyed, was the second mosque built by the Fatimid dynasty in their new capital of Cairo after their conquest of Egypt in 969.

The mosque was built in 976 by order of Durzān, mother of the Caliph al-'Aziz (r. 975-996), and her daughter Sitt al-Malik.

It occupied the site of the older mosque of the Dome (Masjid al-Qubba), and apparently was very large.

The historian al-Maqrizi says it was one of the most beautiful buildings of its day.

A possible layout was described by Jonathan Bloom in his "The Mosque of the Qarafa", although Yūsuf Rāghib pointed out problems with this reconstruction in his "La mosquée d'al-Qarāfa."

In Bloom's opinion, the mosque had a central aisle, wider than the others and with a higher roof, that led a dome over the spaces before the mihrab.

This was similar to the mosques of al-Azhar and al-Hākim bi-Amr Allāh.The courtyard provided a place where the elite of Cairo would meet on Friday evenings in summer,

and the covered qibla part of the mosque gave them a meeting place in the cooler weather.

State festivals would be held at the mosque in which food was distributed to all classes of people.

According to Ibn al-Zayyāt, it was an especially holy mosque, one where people would seek refuge in times of trouble.

When a great fire burned down most of al-Fustat in 1168 the mosque was almost completed destroyed, with only its green mihrab being preserved.

It was later rebuilt as the Jami' al-Awliyya, but was little used after al-Qarafa became depopulated following a crisis in 1403.

Madrasa of Sarghatmish

The cruciform Madrasah of the Amir Sarghatmish, built in 1356, lies to the northeast of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, in Islamic Cairo. The building's school, mosque, and mausoleum can be seen from Ibn Tulun's spiral minaret, while its entrance is on Saliba Street. This structure includes a madrasa, mosque, and mausoleum. The madrasa is also referred to as the Mosque of Amir al-Sayf Sarghatmish.

Madrassa of Al-Nasir Muhammad

The Madrassa of Al-Nasir Muhammad is a madrassa and mausoleum located in the Bayn al-Qasrayn region of Cairo, Egypt. Part of the larger Qalawun complex, it was built in the name of the Mamluk sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun, but its construction began in 1296 under the reign of Sultan Al-Adil Kitbugha, who was sultan in between Al-Nasir Muhammad's first and seconds reigns. When Al-Nasir Muhammad returned to the throne in 1299 he oversaw its construction until its completion in 1303. The Islamic historian Al-Nuwayri records that Al-Adil Kitbugha built the mausoleum along with the prayer iwan, and Al-Nasir Muhammad completed the construction of the building and added the minaret. Also, the Islamic historian Al-Maqrizi reports that Al-Adil Kitbugha oversaw construction of the building up to the top of the inscription band, and Al-Nasir Muhammad carried out the rest of its construction.

Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan

The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is a massive mosque and madrassa located in the Old city of Cairo, it was built during the Mamluk Islamic era in Egypt. Its construction began 757 AH/1356 CE with work ending three years later "without even a single day of idleness". At the time of construction the mosque was considered remarkable for its fantastic size and innovative architectural components. Commissioned by an-Nasir Hasan, a sultan of a short and relatively unimpressive profile, al-Maqrizi noted that within the mosque were several "wonders of construction". The mosque was, for example, designed to include schools for all four of the Sunni schools of thought: Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali.


Saif ad-Din Qutuz (Arabic: سيف الدين قطز‎; d. 24 October 1260), also romanized as Kutuz, Kotuz, and fully al-Malik al-Muzaffar Saif ad-Din Qutuz (الملك المظفر سيف الدين قطز), was the third or fourth of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the Turkic line. He reigned for less than a year, from 1259 until his assassination in 1260.

Sold into black slavery in Egypt, he rose to vice-Sultan over 20 years, becoming the power behind the throne. He was prominent in defeating the Seventh Crusade, which invaded Egypt in 1249–50. When Egypt was threatened by the Mongols in 1259 he took the lead militarily and then deposed the reigning Sultan, 15-year-old Sultan Al-Mansur Ali. The centers of Islamic power in Syria and Baghdad were conquered by the Mongols, and the center of the Islamic Empire transferred to Egypt, which became their next target. Qutuz led an Egyptian Mamluk army north to confront the Mongols, having made a pact with Egypts long-time enemy the Crusaders.

The battle of Ain Jalut was fought on 6 November 1260 in southeastern Galilee, between the Egyptian Mamluk army and the Mongols. The Mongols were crushingly defeated by Qutaz' force, in what has been considered a historical turning point. Qutuz was assassinated by a fellow Mamluk leader, Baibars, on the triumphant return journey to Cairo. Although Qutuz's reign was short, he was one of the most popular Mamluk sultans in the Islamic world and holds a high position in Islamic history.


In early Islam, a qāṣṣ (plural quṣṣāṣ) was a preacher or "sermoniser" who told stories ostensibly to edify the faithful. The term comes from the Arabic verb qaṣṣa, meaning "to recount". The qāṣṣ was essentially a popular storyteller and the reputation among Islamic scholars of the early quṣṣāṣ has generally been that of "second-rate religious figures lingering on the fringes of Islamic orthodoxy and even, at times, contributing directly to the corruption of the faith". In actuality, the quṣṣāṣ varied from serious Qurʾānic exegetes to outright charlatans.According to al-Maqrīzī, writing in the fifteenth century, there was a distinction between the private qāṣṣ and the official qāṣṣ. The office was instituted by the Caliph Muʿāwiya I. So far the only traces found of these official quṣṣāṣ come from Egypt. There the office was typically held by a qāḍī (judge). His job was to denounce the enemies of Islam after the morning prayer each day and to explain the Qurʾān after the khuṭba on Fridays. The official qāṣṣ was replaced in the tenth century by the wāʿiẓ and the mudhakkir.

Seventh Crusade

The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. His troops were defeated by the Egyptian army led by the Ayyubid Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya Mamluks led by Faris ad-Din Aktai, Baibars al-Bunduqdari, Qutuz, Aybak and Qalawun and Louis was captured. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in ransom for his return.

Shajar al-Durr

Shajar al-Durr (Arabic: شجر الدر, "Tree of Pearls") (Royal name: al-Malika `Aṣmat ad-Dīn Umm-Khalīl Shajar ad-Durr (Arabic: الملكة عصمة الدين أم خليل شجر الدر) (nicknamed: أم خليل, Umm Khalil; mother of Khalil)) (? – 28 April 1257, Cairo) was the second Muslim woman (after Razia Sultana of Delhi) to become a monarch in Islamic history.

She was the wife of As-Salih Ayyub, Egypt Sultan of the Ayyubid dynasty and later Izz al-Din Aybak, Egypt Sultan of the Bahri dynasty.

In political affairs, Shajar al-Durr played a crucial role after the death of her first husband during the Seventh Crusade against Egypt (1249–1250). She became the Sultana of Egypt on May 2, 1250, marking the end of the Ayyubid reign and the start of the Mamluk era. There are several theories about the ethnic roots of Shajar al-Durr. Many Muslim historians believed that she was of either Bedouin, Circassian, Greek or Turkic origin and some believed that she was of Armenian origin.

Notable works

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