Muqattam Hills, Cairo
Muqattam Hills is situated in east of river Nile extending towards new Cairo area. Though it is not so high, it has a peculiarity considering pseudo desert style of land in Cairo. This hill has some footprints in history as many cave like structures are seen on the sides of the hill. It is said to be solitary worship places of saints from Banu Israel (descendants of Prophet Yaaqoob Alihi Ssalam) who inhabited Egypt for some time.
It was Prophet Yusuf Alihi Ssalam (Son of Yaaqoob Alihi Ssalam) the first Banu Israeli who reached Egypt after being victim of treachery of his brothers. This wonderful string of events is explained beautifully in Quran in Surah (Chapter) Yousuf. Later Yousuf Alihi Ssalam rose up to become king of Egypt. He brought his parents and brothers after forgiving them.
There were confrontation between Banu Israel and original inhabitants of Egypt known as Qibtees (Coptic). Firouns (Pharaohs) from Qibti used to ill treat Banu Israel and give them hard works and kill their new born boys. This atrocity didn’t last long as Allah sent Moosa Alihi Ssalam and later destroyed Firoun and his military by drowning them in Red Sea.
Islam reached Egypt during rule of second Khaleefa, Leader of Believers Umar bin Khattab Raliyallahu Anhu. Earlier Rasoolullahi Muhammed Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam had sent a letter to Muqouqis, king of Egypt through famous companion Hatib bin Abi Baltah Raliyallahu Anhu. Though Muqouqis didn’t embrace Islam, he received the courier of Allah’s Messenger with respect and returned many gifts. Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam had then prayed for Egypt and prophesied that Islam’s flag will fly in Egypt soon.
The whole of Cairo surrendered to Amru bin Aas Raliyallahu Anhu, governor of Khaleefa Umar. Only Jews at Muqattam Hills resisted the move saying that the hills belong to their ancestors. But Khaleefa Umar Raliyallahu Anhu ordered to buy the hills from Jews after paying its price.
Now we can see pawed and well maintained roads to top of hills. There are many housing colonies over the hills. There are some view points from where one can view the Cairo city and river Nile running spiraled across the city. When we reached over the top we saw many people waving their hands so as to park our car near them. They were agents of some local hotels who have booked the area with some plastic chairs. Our driver told that you can relax on those chairs and they will offer you food and drinks and finally some thick bill! So we parked the car little far from them and had some quick glimpse of the hill and the city underneath.
Entry filed under: Islam.