Al-Mustansiriya’s hardship is the worst famine the country has experienced

Egypt lived this painful historical fact, about which perhaps not much is known, because “a read nation does not read!”
During the reign of Al-Mustansir Billah, the fifth caliph of the Fatimid Ubaid state in Egypt, and the eighth since its inception in Morocco, the most famous events of his era were the hardships of Al-Mustansiriya, or what is known in the books . of historians as “The Great Difficulty”, a term given to the famine and destruction that befell Egypt for seven weak years (457 H – 464 H / 1065 AD – 1071 AD).

Fate decided that the country’s suffering should not be limited to administrative imbalance and political chaos, so the lowering of the Nile water level added to the country a serious crisis.

This landing was repeated to strike the country with a great catastrophe and a severe famine that lasted for seven consecutive years (457 H – 464 H / 1065 AD – 1071 AD). The reason for this is the weakness of the caliphate, the imbalance of the conditions of the kingdom, the taking of the state by the princes and the connection of quarrels between the Arabs and the palaces of the Nile.

First scene of Al-Mustansiriya Shadedah:

By the severity of hunger, people ate dogs and cats when they ate natural meat of cows and animals like chickens or rabbits, and the price of a dog was five dinars and a cat three.

The second scene of Al-Mustansiriya difficulty:

The issue intensified until the man took his neighbor’s son, slaughtered him and ate him and this was not denied by anyone. People were on the road, if the strong would be strong over the weak, they slaughtered and ate them.

The third scene of Al-Mustansiriya difficulty:

Ibn Iyas recalled the incredible miracles at the time of that famine, that a group of people sat on the roofs of houses and made hooks and hooks to shoot passers-by down the streets from the roofs and when they had it, they slaughtered it. on the spot and ate it to the bone.

The fourth scene of Al-Mustansiriya difficulty:

It was mentioned that the minister of the country had only one mule to ride, so he entrusted the mule to a boy to guard it, but the boy, from the severity of hunger, was weak and could not face the thieves who stole mules, and when the minister took heard of the theft of his mule, became angry, and was able to catch the thieves, and hanged them from a tree, and when he awoke in the morning he found only the bones of the thieves; Because people are so hungry that they ate their meat.

Al-Mustansiriya Fifth Scene Fifth Scene:

In Egypt there was a neighborhood known as the Tabaq neighborhood and it is known as the city of Fustat, in it there were twenty houses, each house was worth a thousand dinars, so they were all sold for a plate of bread, every house. for a loaf of bread and from that day it was called Harat El Tabaq.

Sixth scene of Al-Mustansiriya Shadedah:

Al-Maqrizi mentioned that a wealthy woman in Cairo was in pain from the screams of her young children while they were crying from hunger, so she turned to her jewelry jeweler and started spinning the jewels and jewels that were in it, and then repented that he had a great fortune, and could not buy any bread. So she chose a precious pearl necklace worth more than a thousand dinars and went to the markets of Cairo and Fustat, finding no one to buy it. Until she persuaded a merchant to buy her for a sack of flour and hired some porters to take the bag to her house, but she had not yet taken a few steps when the hungry hordes attacked her and they usurped the flour and then she there was no escape from their gathering until he grabbed for himself a handful of flour, cooked a handful of flour and made it out of it, baked small slices, then hid them in the folds of the dress and went out into the street shouting. : Uria, uri. bread bread. The men, women, and children turned around her, and she walked with them to the palace of Caliph Al-Mustansir, and she stood on a platform, then pulled out a disk from the folds of her dress and shook it shouting: People, know that this peak has cost me a thousand dinars, the blessings of his good eyesight, while this peak has been a thousand dinars. ”

Seventh scene of Al-Mustansiriya difficulty:

A man who killed women and boys, sold their flesh and buried their heads and limbs, was arrested and killed. The price increase and the epidemic intensified so much that the people of the house died overnight and every day at least a thousand souls died, then the number increased to ten thousand and on the eighteenth day they died. Al-Mustansir was incurring the cost of covering twenty thousand on his account, until a third of the people of Egypt disappeared, and it was said that one million six hundred thousand souls died, and the soldiers came down to work the land after the farmers. disappeared. The hardship Al-Mustansiriya went through several stages during the drought years, from selling jewelry and treasures to buying wheat by buying and eating dogs and cats, then eating the dead from graves, then eating its meat living by children. weak boys and people.

Al-Mustansiriya Sectarianism at Al-Mustansir Palace:

The crisis reached Al-Mustansir himself, as he no longer had animals in the barn and began to sell the marble of the graves of his fathers and grandfathers for food, and the situation reached the point where he owed his life to the daughter of one of scholars, who fed him daily with two alms bread.

One third of the population of Egypt died, precious houses were sold to buy a piece of bread, and famine crushed the people so much that the Caliph could not bear it.

Abdullah Al-Gamali, Egypt’s savior from the crisis

Thus he sought the help of Badr bin Abdullah al-Jamali, the governor of Aqa (it was one of the cities belonging to the Fatimid Caliphate) after losing many lands, which were under his rule, and the number of cities. sat down after dozens were divided.

The intensity of Al-Mustansiriya ended up in the hands of Al-Jamali, who determined that he should bring his people and impose his authority and turn things around in the right place by force of arms.

Al-Mustansir agreed after appointing Al-Jamali as Minister of State and Al-Jamali worked to reform the irrigation system and canals.

He took care of agriculture, fought against the soldiers, drove them out of Egypt, and gave all the crops in the first three years to the peasants, and in the fourth he took them.

It was known of al-Jamali that he was a righteous man who extended his hand to the Fatimid state and expelled from it the accumulations of difficult times.

He woke her from her depression and God gave her to Egypt after seven years of weakness, when the Nile River overflowed and this grief subsided.

The Egyptians immortalized the memory of Minister El-Gamali by naming him after the most famous area in Egypt, the neighborhood of El-Gamaliya.

May God protect Egypt from all evil


Ibn Khalikan – Ibn Ijas – el-Maqrizi – Ibn el-Ather – Sibt Ibn el-Xhevzi

And refer to the book “Teaching Hanafa with the news of the Imams”

The Book of Ibn Taghri Bardi: The Shining Stars in the Kings of Egypt and Cairo

Book of Ibn Iyas: Helping the Ummah by Proclaiming Sorrow

(From the author’s Facebook page)

All published articles express the opinion of their authors and do not necessarily express their opinion “Arabic 21”

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