a river of time

Ancient Egyptians rejoiced in the thought that their country was without history. Their view of the world was static: the best life was one in which everything was always the same. The Nile rose, flooded and receded; the sun crossed the sky. Today, we know Egypt has been burdened with more history than almost any other nation, a still ongoing process with the Arab Spring and its repercussions…

Rambam:Scripture tells us, according to the Version of Onkelos, that the Egyptians worshipped Aries, and therefore abstained from killing sheep, and held shepherds in contempt. Comp." Behold we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians," etc. (Exod. viii. 26):" For every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians" (Gen. Avi. 34). Some sects among the Sabeans worshipped demons, and imagined that these assumed the form of goats, and called them therefore" goats" This worship was widespread. Comp." And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto demons, after whom they have gone a whoring" (Lev. xvii. 7). For this reason those sects abstained from eating goats' flesh. Most idolaters objected to killing cattle, holding this species of animals in great estimation....Read More:http://www.teachittome.com/seforim2/seforim/the_guide_for_the_perplexed.pdf image:http://www.sadan-adab.com/publications.html

For several centuries after the Arab conquest, under the caliphs who ruled the new Islamic domains from their capital at Baghdad, Egypt was a province of a far larger empire. But late in the ninth century the Nile valley became independent again, under a dynasty called the Tulunids. In the centuries that followed, Egypt once more developed an independent culture, and its capital, Cairo, grew into the metropolis of Islam. In the year 988 the academy which was to evolve into the greatest university in the Moslem world was founded in the city. By the eleventh century, Cairo was famous for its wealth, its learning, and the beauty of the mosques. “He who has not seen Cairo,” wrote the famous medieval Arab scholar ibn-Khaldun, “does not know the grandeur of Islam.”

Giotto. St. Francis before the Sultan. 1320. ---Obama faced much anger – but certainly not more so than Francis, who visited the sultan during a battle in which the Crusaders, having turned down a peace treaty that would have given them Jerusalem, were laying siege to the city of Damietta at the mouth of the Nile, slowly killing nearly all its 80,000 residents. Sultan al-Kamil, probably the most Christian-friendly of any Egyptian sultan, received Francis gently and allowed him to preach. Francis came away with some revolutionary insights into how Christians could relate to Muslims. Even as the Crusade continued on toward its disastrous conclusion, he proposed that his friars live peacefully among Muslims and “be subject” to them. The tragedy is that Francis, ill and marginalized within his order during the last years of his life, was never able to convince others to join him in seeing Muslims in a new light. The example he tried to show his fellow Christians by going to the enemy unarmed wasn’t heeded at the time.---Read More:http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=3240

That grandeur was challenged by the Crusaders, whose arrival in the Middle East affected Egypt profoundly. It was the Crusades that gave Egypt one of its greatest rulers, Saladin, who gained his throne and established his dynasty by his skill in fighting what modern Egyptians might call a Western imperialist colonial incursion into Arab territory.  Among the “Western imperialist adventurers” who visited Egypt during the Crusades were two saints, Francis of Assissi, and Louis King of France. Francis came to preach Christianity to one of Saladin’s successors, the amiable and tolerant sultan al-Kamil. A few years and sultans later, Louis invaded the country and was taken prisoner with some of his men. As a captive, he was on hand to witness the unhappy end of Saladin’s dynasty,when Turan-Shah, the last of the line, was killed by his stepmother’s slaves in the river Nile.

Gustave Dore. Louis IX Prisoner in Egypt. Read More:http://www.all-art.org/impressionism/dore3.html


( see link at end) With the end of the only recognized Shi’ite Caliphate in Islamic history, the Fatimid Shi’ite Caliphate in Cairo, the last and only caliphate whose rulers were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad was destroyed. All the hopes and the millennial aspirations of the Shi’ite Muslims for the coming of the Shi’ite messianic Madhi (Hidden Messiah) and the future Islamic messiah, Isis ben Miriam, were destroyed with it. The last of this genealogical legacy is found today with the Ismaili sect of Shi’ite Islam in the reign of the 49th Aga Khan, His Highness Prince Karīm al-Ḥussaynī Āgā Khān IV.

The Shi’ite Fatimid dynasty in Cairo Egypt was recognized by most scholars as the only major Shi’ite Caliphate in Islam whose rulers were descendants of the Prophet Mohammad. The exception to this was the Shi’a Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736) in Iran whose genealogical roots were linked to the daughter of the last king of the Second Persian Empire, This dynasty pre-staged the modern attempt of the current Ayatollah regime in Iran to re-establish a Shi’ite Caliphate in Iran linked to the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. Read More:http://www.biblesearchers.com/prophecy/daniel/daniel8-82.shtml#SunniAyyubid

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