Published on 27th
of Shi'ism in Egypt
Toward the end of the rule of the Fatimid Caliphs, Shi'ism and
the teachings of the Holy Ahlul Bayt ('a) was solidly practiced in
Northern Africa, particularly that of Egypt.
The Al-Azhar University
year 359AH saw the building of the Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt, by Jawharus
Sayqali, the Commander of the army of the
An extensive programme of the Shia jurisprudence, faith and
philosophy were taught and all verdicts and teachings throughout
Egypt conformed with the religion of the Ahlul Bayt ('a).
The first text used at Al-Azhar University was al-Iqtisad,
which dealt with the Jurisprudence of the progeny of the Holy
Prophet ('s) and thereafter Da'a'imul Islam which contained the
rules and regulations of the Ahlul Bayt ('a) regarding lawful and
The last Fatimid Caliph was overthrown by Salaluddin Ayyubi,
who was a Kurd from Baghdad. Salahuddin dismissed the Shia judges and replaced them with
Shafi'i judges. He eliminated the words "Hayya 'ala Khayril 'Amal"
(Come to the good act) from the Azhan and he demanded that the
people follow one of the four Sunni mazhabs.
His order was: "The evidence of only that person, who
believes in the four sects will be accepted, and a person is not
entitled to deliver a speech or to teach unless he follows one of
the four sects."
The Ayyubis forcibly interfered with the traditions and
teachings of the Shia and endeavoured to destroy them, eventually
leaving the Shia faith relatively dormant in Egypt at that time.
Salahuddin imprisoned the remaining descendants of Imam Ali
('a) in Egypt and separated the men from the women so that the
off-spring of Imam Ali ('a) might become extinct.
Bani Ummayah and Hajjaj (the Shaytanic Caliphs following from
Mowawiya) used to celebrate the Ashura day (10th Muharram) like an
Eid festival, but later this practice was abolished. Salahuddin
once again declared it to be an Eid day.
Burning of The Libraries
This individual is also responsible for the tragic burning of
the great libraries of Alexandria, al-Azhar University and many
other grand libraries.
One of these contained over 200,000 books on jurisprudence,
ahadith, lexicography, history, medicine, chemistry, astronomy,
etc. It is said that this library was the biggest in all the
Islamic countries of its time.