Culture and Civilization of Egypt in Fatimid Caliphates Era.
The culture and civilization of Egypt is about eight thousand years old. This culture has witnessed many rise and fall on the Bank of River Nile. It reached to its peak during Fatimid caliphates dynasty. Egyptian culture and civilization have many rise and fall in the history. Five thousand years old human substances have been found on this land.
Pharaoh has built many historical memorials in Egypt, which are still in its original form. The tomb of Pharaoh in Egypt is a prominent example of these memorials. The dead body of Pharaoh in Ahram-el-Miser (museum in Egypt) is another example of ancient Egyptian history.
Egypt has ancient and glorious culture like Amritsar, Greek and Babylon cultures. The history of Egypt has different cycle of rulers. It consist of a series of different governments and cultural period. Qulopatra remained one of the famous government body in Egypt after Pharaoh’s government. The Greeks defeated Qulopatra’s government and ruled for a long period here. It remained under the influence of Greeks for long time.
After the long invasion Greeks, Egypt remained under the government of Iranians and The great Alexander simultaneously. The Christians also ruled over Egypt after taking over from Romans. It also remained under the government of Islamic Caliphates. In those days, Egypt had been a province of Islamic stated. The Caliphs of Islam used to depute their governor in Egypt.
Influence of Islamic Culture and Civilization over the Culture of Egypt.
The inhabitants of Egypt followed different believes before existence of Islam. Most of its inhabitants have accepted Christianity in the time of Christian invaders. When Muslims established government in Egypt, they gave proper attention towards agriculture sector. They made many water canals and distributaries there. The Muslim rulers provided large quantity of water to agriculture lands. In this way, the coastal built of River Nile became green and fertile. The agriculture sector provided sound reserve exchange/ revenue to Abbasid caliphates in those days.
Similarly, the Muslims founded a new government in North Africa, which is known as Fatimid dynasty in the history. Fatimid dynasty was named after the name of Hazrat Fatima Zahra. Their caliphates were on the opinion that they belong to Hazrat Fatima Zahra and are the actual heir-domes of Islamic states. Initially, these caliphates occupied only Quern city of North Africa. Later, they conquered some islands of the Roman sea like Egypt, Libya, Syria and island of Sardinia. They established capital of their kingdom in Qahira (Cairo).
Ruling Period of Fatimid / Ismailia.
Fatimid era is one of the prosperous period in the history. In those days, Baghdad was one of the most developed city but the capital of Ismailia was Cairo city. These caliphates worked day and night and made Qahira city more developed than Baghdad city. Fatimid caliphates produced better results in all field of life in a very less time period. The caliphates and their ministers were interested in education of general public. They brought economic and educational revolutions / reforms in their areas.
Fatimid / Ismailia caliphates also interested in promotion of literature and culture. Caliphate Aziz Billah has strongly promoted the Islamic culture and civilization in Egypt. He also founded a large Royal library in Kahira city. In those days, approximately, two hundred thousand books were placed in this library. Ismailia caliphate placed two thousand and four hundred hand-written Quranic copies in this library. He also placed original hand-written copy of “TIBRANI” (collection of Hadith) there. Fatimid caliphate used to depute a proper librarian on this Royal library. He expended large amount of funds on royal library.
Foundation Stone of Bait-ul-Hikmat (House of Wisdom).
Fatimid Caliphate Hakim Ullah founded Bait-ul-Hikmat in Egypt at the first time. These caliphates were the followers of Ismailia Sect, therefore, they deputed Ismailia individuals in these Bait-ul-Hikmat. The deputed individuals used to preach and spread Ismailia sect from Bait-ul-Hikmat. Many religious discussions were organized in Bait-ul-Hikmat in which Ismailia caliphates had participated.
Bait-ul-Hikmat also remained a learning institute of Fatimid era. Many subjects e.g. logic, philosophy, medical, astrology and study of earth etc were taught in Bait-ul-Hikmat. The students used to visit here for knowledge from remote areas of the country. The succeeding caliphates also worked for the development of Bait-ul-Hikmat. They extended Royal library and Bait-ul-Hikmat.
Foundation of Zahra University
Zahra university is one of the greatest memorial of Fatimid caliphates in Egypt. Fatimid caliph Moez Uddin-Be-Allah has founded this university. They constructed it for promotion of education sector of Fatimid dynasty. Promotion of Ismailia culture and civilization was the main motive behind construction of Zahra university. Fatimid caliphates have three main achievements in education sector. One of them is Royal library. Ismailia caliphate Aziz Be-Allah founded the royal library, which was further extended by Mustansar Be-Allah. He provided six hundred thousand book to this library. The people used to visit this library from far-flung areas. It is one of the prominent wonder of Islamic world.
Memorial of Fatimid Caliphates
Zahra University is one of the great memorials of Fatimid / Ismailia caliphates. Fatimid caliphates had given special attention towards its structure. Skillful architects have constructed it. That is why its structure is still in original condition. They taught Mathematics, Logic, Philosophy, Medical and Astrology to students in this university. It was the preaching center of Ismailia caliphates. Fatimid/ Ismailia caliphates paid handsome salaries to the teachers of this university, in order to bound them in the university. They also produced many scientists in their period. Moreover, Fatimid / Ismailia caliphates also developed Qahira city apart from Zahra university. Ibn-ul-Haisham is one of the renowned scientist of Fatimid era, who is a qualified student of this university. The said scientist has written the book titled “KITAB-Al-MANAZIR“.
Fall of Fatimid / Ismailia Dynasty.
After the fall of Fatimid government, Turks occupied Egypt and destroyed the Royal library completely. Turkish king rudely turned-out all the books and made shoes of its leather covers. After Salah Uddin Ayubi, no one worked for betterment of education sector except Fatimid caliphs. After the fall of Ismailia caliphate, no one gave proper attention towards education sector.
Reasons behind Development of Egypt.
There are two main reasons behind the development of Egypt in the time of Fatimid caliphates:-
Abbasid government depended upon the income of agriculture and trade only, whereas Fatimid caliphates made reforms in multiple sectors. Fatimid / Ismailia brought the land under cultivation on the bank of Nile River. It gave more annual income/ revenue to Fatimid / Ismailia government. They spent the income incurred from agricultural sector on the development of education.
Sea Port of Egypt.
Alexandria port was the most ancient port of Egypt. It was situated on the bank of River Nile. The port was the main center of trade and commerce in those days. France, Italy, and Rome used this port for their trade and commerce. The Indian traders also used it for transportation of their goods to Europe. Alexandria port was the main source of income of Fatimid / Ismailia caliphates.
The famous Persian poet Ameer Khosrow has highlighted the prosperity of Fatimid / Ismailia era in his book “Nama-e-Khosro”. Ameer Khosrow says that he never seen such prosperity and wealth anywhere in the history of Islamic caliphates.