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Tulunid Dynasty
(868 - 905 AD)

The dynasty was founded by Ahmed ibn Tulun, an able and witted Turkish who had been raised in the Abbasid court.
Ibn Tulun Mosque
Ibn Tulun Mosque,
one of the oldest
& largest mosques in Cairo
Ibn Tulun maintained his control over the government of Egypt until he gradually separated the province from the Abbasid CaliphateWhat does it mean?.
One of his early actions was to found a great army composed of foreign slaves. With this army he conquered Syria in 878.
Ibn Tulun built the city of Al-Qatae' (the wards) to the north of the Arab capital of Al-Fustat. Each of the ethnic groups of his army settled in a separate quarter in the new capital city.

Ibn Tulun built his great mosque in 879. The mosque is one of the biggest and oldest Islamic monuments in Egypt.

Ibn Tulun's rule was benevolent and Egypt became a rich state under his wise dominion. Money began to flow to the treasury. Tax collectors were strictly controlled. Thus the populaces were satisfied with the authority and the most important thing is that Egypt became a prosperous land.
Ibn Tulun sadly died in 884 and was succeeded by his son Khumaraweih.
Tulunid wood artwork
Wood artwork
from the Tulunid era
Photo by Raymon Kondos ©

Khumaraweih expanded the Egyptian rule to as far as the Euphrates. The Abbasids had to recognize him as a ruler. Moreover, relations improved between Khumaraweih and the Abbasid caliphWhat does it mean?. Khumaraweih sent his daughter, Qatr Al-Nada (dewdrop) to marry the Abbasid caliph. The ceremony was legendary.

Khumaraweih was killed in 896. He was succeeded by weak rulers who had no task but to plunder the empire's treasure and weaken its army.
In 905, the Abbasids recaptured Egypt. They raised Al-Qatae' to the ground. The whole city was wholly devastated except the mosque of ibn Tulun.

The caliphate seated in Iraq appointed unable Turkish governors in Egypt, and once again their 30-year rule was associated with corruption and skirmishes launched by the Fatimids, a rising Arab power in Tunisia.

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