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Islamic Egypt Time-line

After Bosworth 1980

The Orthodox or Rightly-Guided Caliphs

AD 632-661 (AH 11-40)

death of the Prophet Mohamed in Medina AH 11 (AD 632)

succeeded by four of his Companions, related by blood or marriage to the Prophet, each taking the title Caliph, in Arabic Khalifa meaning 'he who follows behind, successor':

Under the second Caliph, the Arab armies were organised to attack the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires; under his rule, the Arab general Amr overwhelmed the Byzantine forces in Egypt.


The Umayyad Caliphs

AD 661-750 (AH 41-132)

centre of rule: Damascus

41/661 Muawiya I bin Abi Sufyan

60/680 Yazid I

64/683 Muawiya II

64/684 Marwan I bin al-Hakam

65/685 Abd al-Malik

86/705 al-Walid I

96/715 Sulaiman

99/717 Umar bin Abd al-Aziz

101/720 Yazid II

105/724 Hisham

125/743 al-Walid II

126/744 Yazid III

126/744 Ibrahim

127-132/744-750 Marwan II al-Himar


The Abbasid Caliphs

centre of rule: Baghdad

The Abbasid Caliphs ruled the Islamic world at first in full force, and then as increasingly nominal religious leaders, until finally the Ottoman Turks assumed leadership of the Islamic world on their conquest of Egypt (AD 1517) and Syria.

From 868 onwards, the power of the caliphs over Egypt was interrupted by the following dynasties:

In 1517 the line of the Mamluks and their Abbasid Caliphs ended with the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Egypt.

List of the Abbasid Caliphs

132/749 as-Saffah

136/754 al-Mansur

158/775 al-Mahdi

170/786 Harun ar-Rashid

193/809 al-Amin

198/813 al-Mamun

201-3/817-9 Ibrahim bin al-Mahdi in Baghdad

218/833 al-Mutasim

227/842 al-Wathiq

232/847 al-Mutawakkil

247/861 al-Muntasir

248/862 al-Mustain

252/866 al-Mutazz

255/869 al-Muhtadi

256/870 al-Mutamid

279/892 al-Mutadid

289/902 al-Muktafi

295/908 al-Muqtadir

320/932 al-Qahir

322/934 ar-Radi

329/940 al-Muttaqi

333/944 al-Mustakfi

334/946 al-Muti

363/974 at-Tai

381/991 al-Qadir

422/1031 al-Qaim

467/1075 al-Muqtadi

487/1094 al-Mustazhir

512/1118 al-Mustarshid

529/1135 ar-Rashid

530/1136 al-Muqtafi

555/1160 al-Mustanjid

566/1170 al-Mustadi

575/1180 an-Nasir

622/1225 az-Zahir

632/1226 al-Mustansir

640-56/1242-1258 al-Mustasim

In 656/1258 the Mongols sacked Baghdad, and Hulegu murdered al-Mustasim. Shortly afterwards, the Mamluk Sultan Baybars in Cairo installed an Abbasid Caliph in Cairo, legitimating the new Mamluk rule over Egypt and Syria. The line of Abbasid Caliphs continued at Cairo under Mamluk rule (659-923/1261-1517).

659/1261 al-Mustansir

660/1261 al-Hakim I

701/1302 al-Mustakfi I

740/1340 al-Wathiq I

741/1341 al-Hakim I

753/1352 al-Mutadid I

763/1362 al-Mutawakkil I first time

779/1377 al-Mutasim first time

779/1377 al-Mutawakkil I second time

785/1383 al-Wathiq II

788/1386 al-Mutasim second time

791/1389 al-Mutawakkil I third time

808/1406 al-Mustain

816/1414 al-Mutadid II

845/1441 al-Mustakfi II

855/1451 al-Qaim

859/1455 al-Mustanjid

884/1479 al-Mutawakkil II

903/1497 al-Mustamsik first time

914/1508 al-Mutawakkil III first time

922/1516 al-Mustamsik second time

923/1517 al-Mutawakkil III second time


The Tulunids

254/868 Ahmad bin Tulun

270/884 Khumarawayh

282/896 Jaysh

283/896 Harun

292/905 Shauban

The Tulunids were the first separate dynasty to rule over Egypt, which they controlled together with Syria. The reign of the first in the dynasty, Ibn Tulun, marks a high point in Egyptian history. Of Turkish origin, he rose to power from his position as deputy governor. The dynasty ruled from Fustat, on the south side of the later city of Cairo.

In 905 Tulunid independence was ended with the conquest by the general Muhammad bin Sulayman fighting for the Abbasid Caliph.


The Ikhshidids

323/935 Muhammad bin Tughj al-Ikhshid

344/946 Unujur

349/961 Ali

355/966 Kafur, originally regent for Ali

357-8/968-9 Ahmad

The first Ikhshidid ruler, Muhammad bin Tughj, was of Turkish military origins, and rose to power from his position as governor of Egypt in 323/935, for which the Abbasid Caliph ar-Radi gave him the title Ikhshid (an Iranian title signifying 'prince' or 'ruler'). After his death the effective ruler of Egypt was the Nubian slave Kafur.

In 969 Ikhshidid rule was extinguished after the death of Kafur by the Fatimid conquest in 969.


The Fatimids

The power of this dynasty originated in central North Africa, moving to take over Egypt and Syria after 969. The following list gives all rulers of the dynasty.

map showing the size of the Fatimid caliphate. UC 40775

woodwork for decoration of the Fatimid palace in Cairo

(click on the image for a larger picture)

297/909 Ubaydallah al-Mahdi

322/934 al-Qaim

334/946 al-Mansur

365/975 al-Muizz

386/996 al-Hakim





524/1130 interregnum - rule by al-Hafiz as regent before he took the title Caliph

525/1131 al-Hafiz

544/1149 az-Zafir

549/1154 al-Faiz

555-567/1160-1171 al-Adid

The Fatimid rulers were adherents of the Shiite branch of Islam, in opposition to the Sunni branch expounded by the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad, and the Fatimids proclaimed themselves rival Caliphs. They founded the city of Cairo, and ruled from there. During their time, the First Crusade established Western Christian kingdoms in the Levant. Despite this, the age of Fatimid rule was one of great prosperity, and the new city of Cairo came to outshine the older centres of the Islamic world, Damascus and Baghdad.

Fatimid rule was ended by Saladin, who restored Sunni Islam at the highest level.

The Ayyubids

crusader coin

(click on the image for a larger picture)

564/935 al-Malik an-Nasir I Salah ad-Din (Saladin)

589/1193 al-Malik al-Aziz Imad-ad-Din

595/1198 al-Malik al-Mansur Nasir ad-Din

596/1200 al-Malik al-Adil I Sayf-ad-Din

615/1218 al-Malik al-Kamil I Nasir ad-Din

635/1238 al-Malik al-Adil II Sayf-ad-Din

637/1240 al-Malik as-Salih Najm ad-Din Ayyub

647/1249 al-Malik al-Muazzam Tarun-Shah

648-650/1250-1252 al-Malik al-Ashraf II Muzaffar ad-Din

The first Ayyubid ruler was Saladin, of Kurdish origin, famous for reconquering Jerusalem from the Crusaders (victory at Hattin 583/1187), and for his humane treatment of all his subjects.

The Ayyubids eventually lost power to their Mamluk slave troops in Egypt and elsewhere.


The Bahri Mamluks

UC 25409


(click on the image for a larger picture)

648/1250 Shajar ad-Durr

648/1250 al-Muizz Izz-ad-Din Aybak

655/1257 al-Mansur Nur ad-Din Ali

657/1259 al-Muzaffar Sayf ad-Din Qutuz

658/1260 az-Zahir Rukn-ad-Din Baybars I al-Bunduqdari

676/1277 as-Said Nasir-ad-Din Baraka Khan

678/1280 al-Adil Badr-ad-Din Salamish

678/1280 al-Mansur Sayf-ad-Din Qalaun al-Alfi

689/1290 al-Ashraf Salah-ad-Din Khalil

693/1294 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad first reign

694/1295 al-Adil Zayn-ad-Din Kitbugha

696/1297 al-Mansur Husam-ad-Din Lahin

698/1299 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad second reign

708/1309 al-Muzaffar Rukn-ad-Din Baybars II al-Jashankir

709/1309 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad third reign

741/1340 al-Mansur Sayf-ad-Din Abu-Bakr

742/1341 al-Ashraf Alah-ad-Din Kujuk

743/1342 an-Nasir Shihab-ad-Din Ahmad

743/1342 as-Salih Imad-ad-Din Ismail

746/1345 al-Kamil Sayf ad-Din Shaban I

747/1346 al-Muzaffar Sayf-ad-Din Hajji I

748/1347 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan first reign

752/1351 as-Salih Salah-ad-Din Salih

755/1354 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan second reign

762/1361 al-Mansur Salah-ad-Din Muhammad

764/1363 al-Ashraf Nasir-ad-Din Shaban II

778/1376 al-Mansur Alah-ad-Din Ali

783/1382 as-Salih Salah-ad-Din Hajji I first reign

784/1382 az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Barquq (Burgi)

791/1289 Hajji II second reign (with honorific title al-Muzaffar or al-Mansur)


The Burgi Mamluks

784/1382 az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Barquq first reign

791/1289 Hajji II second reign (Bahri)

792/1390 az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Barquq second reign

801/1399 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Faraj first reign

808/1405 al-Mansur Izz-ad-Din Abd-al-Aziz

808/1405 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Faraj second reign

815/1412 al-Adil al-Mustain (Abbasid Caliph in Cairo, proclaimed Sultan)

815/1412 al-Muayyad Sayf-ad-Din Tatar

824/1421 al-Muzaffar Ahmad

824/1421 az-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Tatar

824/1421 as-Salih Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad

825/1422 al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Barsbay

841/1437 al-Aziz Jamal-ad-Din Yusuf

842/1438 az-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Jaqmaq

857/1453 al-Mansur Fakhr-ad-Din Uthman

857/1453 al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Inal

865/1461 al-Muayyad Shihab-ad-Din Ahmad

865/1461 az-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Khushqadam

872/1467 az-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Bilbay

872/1467 az-Zahir Timurbugha

872/1468 al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Qait Bay

901/1496 an-Nasir Muhammad

903/1498 az-Zahir Qansuh

905/1500 al-Ashraf Janbalat

906/1501 al-Adil Sayf-ad-Din Tuman Bay

906/1501 al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri

922/1516 al-Ashraf Tuman Bay

The Mamluks were originally troops of slave status enlisted to sustain Ayyubid power. After they took control of Egypt, they achieved the reconquest of the last of the Crusader kingdoms in the Levant, and defeated the Mongols at the critical battle of Ayn Jalut (658/1260). The Mamluks are divided into an earlier group called the Bahri Mamluks, and a later group, the Burgi Mamluks; the Bahri Mamluks were originally soldiers based on Roda Island by Cairo, on the Nile (Bahr), while the Burgi Mamluks were associated with the Citadel (al-Burj). The Bahri Mamluks derived largely from Qipchaq tribesmen in what is now southern Russia, with Mongols and Kurds; the Burgi Mamluks were mainly Circassians, from the Caucasus mountains. There was a tendency for sons of the family, after two or three generations, to move into professions other than the military; the military stock was continually replaced with new troops of slave status from those areas.

Mamluk rule ended with the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.

Ottoman rulers of Egypt


(click on the image for a larger picture and more information)


In 1517 Selim I conquered Egypt. Until the relative autonomy of the Muhammad Ali dynasty in the nineteenth century, Egypt remained a part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Until the proclamation of the kingdom in 1914, Egypt was still nominally under Ottoman rule. The following list gives the Ottoman rulers on the throne between 1517 and 1914. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was Istanbul, the new name for Byzantium/Constantinople, conquered by the Ottomans in 1453.

918/1512 Selim I Yuvaz ('the Grim')

926/1520 Sulayman II Qanuni ('the Law-Giver', in European history known as 'the Magnificent')

974/1566 Selim II

982/1574 Murad III

1003/1595 Muhammad III

1012/1603 Ahmad I

1026/1617 Mustafa I first reign

1027/1618 Uthman II

1031/1622 Mustafa I second reign

1032/1623 Murad IV

1049/1640 Ibrahim

1058/1648 Muhammad IV

1099/1687 Sulayman III

1102/1691 Ahmad II

1106/1695 Mustafa II

1115/1703 Ahmad III

1143/1730 Mahmud I

1168/1754 Uthman III

1171/1757 Mustafa III

1187/1774 Abd al-Hamid I

1203/1789 Selim III

1222/1807 Mustafa IV

1223/1808 Mahmud II

1255/1839 Abd-al-Majid I

1277/1861 Abd-al-Aziz

1293/1876 Murad V

1293/1876 Abd-al-Hamid II

1327/1909 Mohammad V Rashad

The line of Muhammad Ali (Khedival Period)

1220/1805 Muhammad Ali Pasha

1264/1848 Ibrahim Pasha

1264/1848 Abbas I Pasha

1270/1854 Said Pasha

1280/1863 Ismail (Khedive from 1284/1867)

1296/1879 Tawfiq

1309/1892 Abbas II Hilmi

1333/1914 Husayn Kamil (Sultan)

1335/1917 Ahmad Fuad I (king from 1340/1922)

1355/1936 Faruq

1371-1372/1952-1953 Fuad II

Muhamad Ali was of Turkish Albanian origin, and came to Egypt as part of the Ottoman forces sent to expel the French Revolutionary expedition of 1798-1801. He rose to power, removing the Mamluk ruling class, and obtained the title Pasha as governor of Egypt. He led the modernisation of Egyptian agriculture, medicine and technology. His son Ismail was given the title Khedive (of Iranian origin). As a kingdom, Egypt became independent of the Ottoman Empire. However, from 1882 there was an occupying British military force in the country, and British Protectorate status only ended in 1922. Full independence was secured by the revolution of 1952, forcing the abdication of king Faruq, with the abolition of the monarchy a year later.

Since 1953 Egypt has been an independent republic.



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