The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: A Study in National Transformation 0814317618, 9780814317617

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The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: A Study in National Transformation
 0814317618, 9780814317617

Table of contents :
Note on Transliteration
Modern versus Traditional Historiography
The Islamic Inheritance
Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti and the End of the Classical Tradition
Rifa ah al-Tahfawi and the Beginnings of the Western Impact
History and Egyptian Education
The Encyclopedists: 'Alt Mubarak and Amin Sami
The Neo-Chroniclers: Sharubim and Sarhank
The Nationalist Historians: I Muçfafà Kamil
The Nationalist Historians: II Muhammad Farid
The Syrian Egyptian Historians
Egypt on the Threshold of Professionalization

Citation preview

The W riting of History in 'Nineteenth-Century Egypt A Study in National Transformation Jack A.


The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo Wayne State University Press, Detroit


Copyright © 1984 by The American University in Cairo Press. AU rights are reserved. N o part o f this book may be reproduced without form al permission. Published in the United States o f America and Canada by W ayne State University Press, Detroit, M ichigan 48202 Published in the M iddle East, Europe, and the United Kingdom Inf The American University in Cairo Press, 113 Sharia Kasr el Aini, Cairo, Egypt Library o f Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Crabbs, Jack A ., 1938The writing o f history in nineteenth-century Egypt Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Egypt—History— 19th century—Historiography. 2. Egypt—Intellectual life. 3. History— Study and teaching— Egypt. 1. Title. DT100.C73 1984 ISBN 0 -8 1 4 3 -1 7 6 1 -8



to Heidi


Preface 9 Acknowledgements 11 Note on Transliteration 12 I. M odem versus Traditional Historiography 23 II. The Islamic Inheritance 27 III. Abd al-Rahmän al-Jabarti and the End of the Classical Tradition 43 IV. Rifä'ah al-Tahtäwi and the Beginnings of the W estern Impact 67 V. History and Egyptian Education 87 V I. The Encyclopedists: Ali Mubarak and Amin Säm i 209 VII. The N eo-Chroniclers: Shárüblm and Sarhank 230 V III. The Nationalist H istorians: I. Mus ta fà Kámil 246 DC. The Nationalist H istorians: II. Muhammad Farid 267 X. The Syrian Egyptian H istorians 185 X I. Egypt on the Threshold of Professionalization 199 Bibliography Index 221



3 historiographical studies am be undertaken purely on their ow n m erit, since they will reveal to the student som ething of the state of the historical discipline itself, its epistem ological assump­ tions and m ethodology, and the concerns of individual historians w ho have helped build up the literary corpus. All of these are legiti­ m ate fields of inquiry and, as such, are included in the present study. But historiography can also serve a much broader purpose. It can be treated as a m eans rather than an end—a device for shedding addi­ tional light on the religious, political or social clim ate of a given era. It can be illustrative of a process of national transform ation, which in the Egyptian case at least is usually referred to as the modernization or W esternization of Egypt. It can act as a barom eter of national consciousness. And w hen considered alongside prevailing literary and artistic norm s, it can become an indicator of overall cultural ch an g e.1 The present study is an attem pt to use historiography in all of the above-m entioned ways. It focuses on it as the concrete Nachlass of each individual historian but does not hesitate to explore other aspects o f the historian's personality and career, if by doing so a clearer picture of both the man and his tim es will em erge. It recog­ nizes that the individuals to be examined here, although interesting enough sim ply in their own right as historians, could ill afford in the pre-professional era in w hich they lived to do nothing in life but w rite history. Each man w as, as a result, sim ultaneously involved in a great m any other enterprises, which were often considerably more lucrative and glam orous than historical w riting. To ignore all of those oth er related aspects of their lives would not only truncate the indi­ viduals in question; even more im portant, it would mean the loss of a 9


rich extra dim ension of insight into nineteenth-century Egyptian in­ tellectual and cultural change. The present study will therefore aim to give a clearer understanding of the transform ation process, with historiography acting as the primary (but not exclusive) tool of analysis. Since the central purpose of this study is to give a fuller picture o f Egyptian society in the nineteenth century, two lim itations have been im posed. First of all, no effort has been made to exam ine the num erous books on Egypt w ritten by foreigners. Their useful­ ness is not questioned; it is rather that our effort here is to ascertain how Egyptians felt about them selves and their own historical evolu­ tion. In addition, w ith but few exceptions only those w ritings w hich pertain to the period 1798-1922 will be discussed. Egypt did produce several very tine m edievalists and Egyptologists during the nine­ teen th century, w hose presence alone is indicative of new intellec­ tual and cultural priorities. O n the other hand, any detailed discus­ sion of historical periods far rem oved from the nineteenth century w ould be disruptive to the overall them atic unity of the present w ork.

N ote 1. Herbert Butterfield has expressed essentially the same views about the broader purpose of historiographical studies: " . . . the man who studies the history of history must avoid the disjointed chronicle, the temptation to give a straggling, mean­ ingless list of names. He must examine the internal development of historical scholar­ ship, always relating it to movements in general history, to the progress of other sciences and to the conditioning circumstances which affect its fortunes. He must see, for example, how historical study corresponds to the form of a country's constitution, to the state of public opinion, to the availability of evidence, and to the activity of universities, learned societies and periodicals." Herbert Butterfield, Man on H is Past (Boston: Beacon Press, I960), p. 8.


Acknowledgemen ts

For the privilege of know ing and working w ith them , for th eir p atien ce w ith m e as one of their students and for their invalu­ able ad vice as scholars, I wish to thank Professors William R. Polk, Jaro slav Stetkevych, Leonard Binder, Reuben Sm ith, Richard Cham­ b ers an d W illiam H. M cNeill of the University of Chicago. Thanks go also to M r. John Dorman and the staff at the Am erican Research C en te r in Egypt and to the U .S . Departm ent of H ealth, Education and W elfare, w ithout w hose generous financial assistance this study w ou ld n ot have been possible. Finally, to the countless num bers of E g y p tian s w ho w elcom ed m e so warmly in their country and assisted m e in th is effo rt, I offer my hope that the result of their hospitality w ill in som e sm all way m eet with their approval.


Note on Transliteration

In the transliteration of Arabic (and occasionally Turkish) w ords I have for the m ost part followed established procedures. O th er than indication of the "sh ort A " (alif maqsürah) with an accent grave ( ') rather than a long vowel marking, there is nothing that should strike the specialist as strange. (This device has been borrowed from the late Marshall Hodgson of the University of Chicago; it is an effective means of differentiating between the "long" and "sh ort" A in A rabic.) Relative noun endings have been rendered "h/yah" rather them " iyah," the final “h" signifying the "ta' m arbútah.” Grammatical case endings have been dropped for purposes of simplicity, except w here to do so would confuse the meaning. Geographical designa­ tions familiar to both specialist and layman have been thoroughly A nglicized, e .g ., M ecca instead of Makkah and Damietta instead of D im yât. Less well-known locations such as al-M ansürah bear all the relevant diacritical marks.


C hapter I

M odem versus Traditional Historiography

ntil the arrival of Bonaparte's expedition in 1798, Egypt had existed in more or less comfortable isolation from the W est. The French presence ended that isolation and inaugurated a period of bittersw eet interaction between East and W est. Egyptians fought tenaciously throughout the nineteenth century to escape W estern influence w hile paradoxically trying to absorb W estern ideas and scientific know -how as rapidly as possible. W hat the W est had to offer w as genuinely adm ired by som e; it was grudgingly accepted by others as essential to the struggle for national survival. The entire fabric of Egyptian life was in transition during the nineteenth century. The glory and assumed superiority of a cen­ turies-old cultural tradition now had to be called into question, and it w as done so w ith understandable reluctance. The literature of apolo­ getics abounded, testifying to the efforts of Egyptians and Muslims in general to salvage as much of their own heritage as possible in the m idst of a torrent of new ideas. In the end, however, the tide of W esternization proved irresistible, and the Egypt of 1922 was a very d ifferent place horn that of 1798. The fascinating, if painful, process of m odernization and intellectual change that occurred during these years is the su bject of this study. It is intended in the following pages to shed light on how Egyptian society as a w hole evolved during the nineteenth century and the degree to which it became m odem or W estern. As stated in the preface, historiography will act as the matrix for that discussion; and since it too was constantly changing, it will be essential at the outset to establish som e sort of criteria for delineating modem from traditional (w hich is not necessarily to say W estern from Islamic) historiography. The nineteenth century was definitely a transitional 13

T he W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

period for Egyptian historiography, and as it became "m o d em ," it underw ent certain basic structural changes. W e propose to deal with th ese here under the following rubric: (1) the demise of the chronicle, (2) resultant problem s of interpretation and bias, (3) the purpose of h istory, and (4) the style o f historical w ritings. H istory and the Chronicle During the medieval period historical records were kept for the m ost part in the form of chronicles.1 This term (from the Greek chronos, m eaning "tim e") is a convenient way of referring to a tim eoriented historical account, in w hich events are listed in strict tempo­ ral succession w ith no connecting link betw een them except that of th e passage of tim e.2 W hat this m eans, if we think about it, is that only the chronicle could be totally "o b jectiv e," since any other con­ nection betw een events (qualitative, causal, etc.) would have to be attributed to them by som e observer and would not necessarily be real. The chronicle is, to use Ranke's phrase, history "a s it actually hap p ened " (w ie es eigentlich gewesen). Assuming the chronicle is fac­ tually accurate, no one else need ever re-exam ine its subject.3 In fact, the distinction betw een the chronicle and history is n ot clear-cut. M any so-called medieval chronicles do contain a de­ gree of interpretive elem ent, ju st as the most m odem historical m onograph can ill afford to ignore tim e-sequence com pletely. The difference betw een history and the chronicle is therefore usually one o f degree. If the only m eaning the researcher derives from his data is a chronological one, the product will be a chronicle. If, on the other hand, he consistently tries to interrelate, analyze and otherw ise de­ rive significance from the historical raw m aterials, the result will be h istory. H istory is an effort to make sense out of the past; the chroni­ cle is an effort m erely to record it. W e should try to keep in mind such distinctions when we com e to exam ine nineteenth-century Egyptian historical writings. T he Egyptian historian of that period vacillated constantly between old er and m ore fam iliar annalistic techniques and m odem , analytic (and at least at that tim e W estern) approaches. As historians pro­ gressively abandoned the older m ethods, they began to ask the kinds o f questions that interest the m odem reader (and indeed any reader) m ore than m ere tim e-sequence, i.e ., questions about motives, 14

M odem vs. Traditional Historiography

trends, causes, results, relationships, etc.4 Although such questions are riskier and m ore intellectually demanding than those the old* style annalist would ask, the answ ers to them are more rewarding. Interpretation, as opposed to mere recording, of events re­ quires the use o f a “personal equation" and was at first regarded by Egyptians w ith great suspicion. This is understandable, if we con­ sid er the sim ilar sort of uphill battle the interpretive school in the W est has recently had to fight against the proponents of so-called scientific history. The latter school of thought once served to point up the dangers of overly rom anticized, nationalistic, or ju st plain slop­ pily constructed history, but later on it also tended to lead away from the "th o u g h t-con ten t" of history, to use Collingwood's phrase, and back to a quasi-annalistic treatm ent of events.5 This is clearly what doom ed the m ovem ent in the end, and nowadays few rigorous prac­ titioners of scientific history rem ain.6 Interpretation, analysis and judgm ent are now considered the sine qua non of good historical w riting, and these characteristics will form our basis for determining the "m od ern ity " of nineteenth-century Egyptian historiography. Interpretation and Bias A lthough even the purest chronicle will usually contain some form o f bias (if only in the selection of m aterials), it is the historian w ho is m ore directly confronted w ith this problem. This is because the annalist and the "scientific historian" will both try to some extent to w rite as a m achine would, w hereas the historian will actively attem pt to rethink the significance of his data.7 The chronicle will in m ost cases com prise a seem ingly endless series of undigested histori­ cal particulars, w hereas history will not normally even worry about the particulars, unless they appear to contain some sort of universal aspect. In the Egyptian context, for example, a biography of General K léber's assassin, Sulaym ân al-H alabï, will be of little use to the his­ torian unless it reveals som ething of the broader attitude of Egyptian society toward the French occupation. Unlike the chronicler, the his­ torian w ill not even care about the trees if he feels that they tell him nothing o f the forest.® H istory is dangerous to the extent that it adds a new dimen­ sion to the raw data:9 the dimension of understanding, which may take the form of historical interpretation or bias. Interpretation and


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

bias are simply good and bad sides of the same coin, and they are differentiated in that interpretation is derived from, and bias imposed on, the d ata.10 Interpretation must somehow be pinned on the evi­ dence; bias is n o t.11 William James probably expressed it best with his com plaint of having to "forge every sentence in the teeth of irreducible and stubborn fa c ts."12 Good history, like good science, is analytic although not usu­ ally engagé. Just as science for long lay paralyzed under the a priori desirable assum ption of a homocentric universe, so too is history in­ evitably ham strung whenever it is forced to serve some outside m aster. It may well be that "scien ce," since it deals with more predict­ able quanta titan human beings and their affairs, is more "objective" than history, although one sometimes wonders when confronted with the m odem battles that rage round chiropractic, acupuncture and the "scien tific" evidence of genetic superiorities or inferiorities in different ethnic groups. The rancor that usually accompanies such debates is strongly suggestive of something less than total objectivity, and his­ tory is of course even less immune than science to these kinds of squabbles. The types of bias that can enter into historical writing are alm ost endless, and many of them are not even intentional. Indeed, m ost historians now feel that just as there is no such thing as a pure chronicle, equally there is no such thing as totally objective history.13 W hat we should realize is that none of this invalidates his­ tory's claim to academic legitimacy. It simply means that the historian m ust try to be aware of whatever bias there may be in his writings; if he is not, he will be taken to task for this by his readers. By training and com m itm ent the professional historian is usually, but not always, better equipped to handle such problems— a fact which should be kept in mind in the case of nineteenth-century Egypt, all of whose his­ torians w ere indeed amateurs. It is equally clear, on the other hand, that neither the professional nor the amateur can totally divorce him­ self from all his deeply ingrained feelings toward country, faith, social class, ethnic group, etc. To do so would not even necessarily consti­ tute a historiographical gain, since it is these very things that result in different historical portraits of Mu'áwiyah, Sultan Selim I, or Mu­ hammad 'All, of Napoleon, Bismarck, or Franklin D. Roosevelt. His­ toriography can therefore be not poorer but richer for such differences. To illustrate further the problem of bias in historical writings, let us take a closer look at one of its most common forms in modem historiography. The rise of the nation-state in the W estern world and 16


vs. Traditional Historiography

later in the Middle East affected deeply not only modem historio­ graphy but all other phases of culture as well. Nationalism left such a strong im print on W estern historiography that even the most dedi­ cated professional was hard put to exorcize it.14 Jean Bodin's old fears about "nationalistic history" were realized repeatedly without, how­ ever, inducing either the historian or his readers to abandon the sub­ ject of history. Strong traces of nationalism were apparent even in the scrupulously "objective" writings of Leopold von Ranke;15 and a his­ tory of the United States undertaken by an American historian will alm ost always read very differently feom a similar book written by a Canadian, Chilean, or French historian, not to mention the sort of study a North Vietnam ese historian would be likely to produce.16 Given the undeniable presence of nationalism in modem W estern historiography, it should not surprise us to find it in Middle Eastern w ritings.17 In Iran, for example, Ibrâhîm Taymúri has categor­ ized national "h ero es" according to the strength of their patriotic sen­ tim ents (is this really so strange?), and Núralláh Lárúdi's biography of Nädir Shäh won great acclaim simply on account of its intense na­ tionalistic to n e.18 According to Albert Hourani, the writings of Leba­ nese historians like Chebli and Ism a'il were not less nationalistic in sp irit.1VAnd in Turkey a strong nationalistic bias was apparent in the w ritings of Ali Suávi and, even more, of Nejib Asîm Yazîksiz.20 Turkish nationalism entered a particularly virulent phase with the establishm ent of the Republic in 1923. It tapered off somewhat in later decades but today is still considered one of the main dangers facing historiography in that country.21 It was only natural that nineteenth-century Egypt should have felt many of the same pressures, affecting not only the historiography of the period but most other areas of literary endeavor as well. The Egyptian press was often intensely nationalistic in tone.22 The poetry of al-Bärüdi, Shaw qi, and Häfiz exuded patriotism and was partly on that account so popular; the modem Egyptian novel was no more immune to such sentim ents.23 Egyptian historiography underwent the same sort of evolution, becoming at times so nationalistic that Western observers w ere inclined to write it off as mere polemic and propa­ ganda. In the words of Anwar Chejne, modem Arabic historiography became a mere "instrum ent in the hands of the newly-arising S ta te s."24 O r as Hamilton Gibb has expressed it: " . . . the studies made by Arab w riters other than novelists of the economic, educa­ tional, religious, and other institutions are tracts, more or less pur-


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

posefully and skillfully designed to support a policy or a point of v ie w ."25 No detailed refutation of such charges can be attempted here. But sim ple attention to the footnotes of this study— wherein the works o f prom inent Egyptian historians like Muhammad Sabri, Jamal al-DIn al-Shayyäl, Ahmad Izzat A bd al-Karim, 'Umar Tüsün, Muhammad Fu'äd Shukri, Muhammad Anis, etc., are cited— may help the reader to decide for him self whether or not such sweeping condemnations are fair, at least in the Egyptian case.26 It is just as clear, moreover, that (1) every historian writes from some point of view, (2) an Egyptian historian can quite properly write from an Egyptian national point of view , and (3) such qualities need not be "purposefully and skillfully designed to support a policy or a point of view " but rather semiconsciously reflect the historian's national environment. Q ustantin Z urayq's appraisal of the situation, like that of Hourani, is fairer and m ore balanced than that of Gibb or Chejne. Zurayq agrees that nationalism has been an important element in modem Arabic histori­ ography, but he adds that the Arabs have not been alone in displaying nationalism and that some of the finest modem European historical w ritings resulted from its influence.27 Two conclusions of some importance to our later discussion of nineteenth-century writings emerge from the foregoing. First of all, it w ould be unreasonable to expect nationalism as well as other forms of "bias-interpretation" not to be present in some form in modem his­ torical literature. Their very presence in fact denotes an effort, how­ ever prim itive, to move history away from the traditional mechanistic approach of the chronicle toward a bolder and more modem style of w riting. The second conclusion is related to the first— namely, that it w ould be improper to criticize what always exists anyway and that the criticism , if any, should be directed toward the form, rather than the existence, of the bias. Since a-national history is extremely rare, welldocum ented and well-argued national(istic) history is probably the b est w e can reasonably expect.

The Purpose of History Akin to, but not quite the same as, the problem of interpreta­ tion or bias in history is the question of historical purpose. History has alw ays been w ritten with some sort of purpose in mind. Sometimes 18

M odem vs. Traditional Historiography

this purpose has been clearly articulated; sometimes the historian has tried to conceal it. Som etim es it is general, at other times specific. The purpose of the chronicle is simply to catalog, that of history to analyze. But as long as history has been w ritten, it has always been purposive in nature, enabling man (or so he thought) better to master both him­ self and his environm ent. Broadly speaking, historical purpose has been either heuristic or eschatological. The ancient G reeks used it heuristically in order to prom ote general civic consciousness.28 During the later medieval period it w as to a large extent absorbed into theology and became, therefore, more eschatological in nature. This is no less true of the Christian W est than of the Muslim East: just as Ibn al-Athir can find no explanation for the Mongol invasions except the will of God, St. Augustine can find no reason for the sack of Rome by Alaric (a . d. 410) other than G od's wish to see His city triumph over the imperial Roman structure.29 The broadly heuristic purpose of history in the W est was not revived until the Renaissance, when historians like Machiavelli and G uicciardini discarded the redundant devices of religious teleology and turned instead to history for explanations of human conduct.30 In m ore recent tim es history in the W est has been used to denigrate existing value-system s, w hether religious, political or cultural.31 While by no m eans "p u rp oseless," the ultimate goal of modem Western historiography (for the heuristic school) is nowadays deliberately vague. The advantage to this is that it allows the historian great lati­ tude of choice. He can pick and choose freely the kind of lesson he thinks is contained in a given chain of events and vary his conclusions according to the needs of the subject matter. It is an option that is not open to the eschatological school. The above distinctions should not be overdrawn, however, and it would be patently inaccurate to label all medieval historio­ graphy as narrow-minded religious propaganda or to think that escha­ tological history has been effectively banished in modem times. Indeed, som e m odem eschatological systems are probably more rigid than those of the medievalist, and Marxist historiography in particular has achieved as much currency as the medieval religious systems. It is ju st as eschatological in nature as the history of Isidore of Seville or that of al-M adä'ini (d. a . d. 840) and exhibits all the same weak­ nesses.32 But oddly enough, Marxist historians do not seem to recog­ nize that the sam e objections they have raised to religious history, i.e., 19

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

as having purposes extraneous to the cotuse of history itself and, more im portantly, as being historically unverifiable, can also be applied to M arxist-Leninist history, which, if not w rong, is at least a philoso­ phical rather than a historical system .33 The beauty of m odem historical w riting lies, above all, in its m odesty. The m odem historian (it is assumed here) is a true son of the French Enlightenm ent and in full agreement with the philosophes' pre­ ference for the esprit systématique over the esprit des systèmes. He there­ fore deliberately lim its his role to that of historian and, unlike the m edieval prelate or the m odem -day Marxist dialectician, avoids that of astrologer, philosopher or prophet. As far as possible, he lets his evidence determ ine the ultim ate purpose of his researches.

H istorical Style In form if not in content, history is one of the literary arts. O nly rarely, therefore, can the historian afford to ignore m atters of style com pletely. Style is so important to history that brilliant historical w orks may fail utterly, simply because they have been poorly written; conversely, shallow exam inations of a topic by an eloquent writer will som etim es enjoy a resounding success. Even w ithin our own W estern historiographical tradition styles have varied considerably from epoch to epoch, country to country and even individual to individual. The gap is still wider in the case o f an alien historical tradition such as that of Islam , and good Islam ic history may seem repugnant to W esterners simply on account of its stylistic peculiarities. Thus the W estern student of Islamic his­ toriography m ay be exasperated by the poetic flourishes of the medi­ eval M uslim historian, since nothing in his own tradition has prepared him for such an encounter. Ancient G reek and Roman historiography, for exam ple, was in general cast in lucid, no-nonsense term s.34 W estern historians of the medieval period also appear to have con­ sidered content much m ore important than style.35 W riting on Arab (or Muslim) historians Edward Gibbon once rem arked that they were always either dry chroniclers or flowery ora­ tors. The accuracy of this statem ent is in general open to question, and it w ould be totally misleading if applied to pre-eleventh-century Islam ic historiography. Until then Muslim historians, like their Chris-


M odem vs. Traditional Historiography

fian counterparts, used dear, readable and even elegant prose.36 In tact, al-Tabari (d. 923) would hardly be the one to suffer in any stylistic com parison w ith the Venerable Bede. O n the other hand, from about the late tenth century onward M uslim historians did turn more and more frequently to the conven­ tion of rhymed prose (saj ) in an effort to enhance the lyric effect of their narrative and perhaps also to facilitate the memorizing of certain passages. W ith each succeeding century rhyme became more and m ore essential to the historian's art, at least in introductory passages and in sections devoted to the panegyric of a ruler. (It took an excep­ tional linguist to m aintain saj' during the historical narrative itself.) V erse w as also experim ented w ith occasionally, with die final result being more or less as Gibbon has described it: the content of Islamic historical w riting began to suffer m easurably.37 By the end of the eighteenth century Ottoman historiography had degenerated into "m ere verbiage and bom bast."38 And in Egypt, w here Turkish had becom e the official governmental language as early as 1517, the ability to use Arabic declined so much that saj' was em­ ployed to cover up linguistic deficiencies.39 By the turn of the nine­ teenth century, therefore, the indigenous Islamic tradition of historiography had already lost much of its old vitality, it was able to hold on in spite of this throughout m ost of the period we will be discussing here— and in the face of constantly increasing doses of cultural W est­ ernization. O nly very subtly and gradually did the newer styles of writing displace more traditional forms, as more and more Arab intellectuals came to feel that classical modes of expression and even the Arabic language itself were inadequate to modem literary needs. The rapid developm ent o f Arabic newspapers during the nineteenth century provided an im petus to the movement for language reform, and it was not long before the lucid, factual style of journalism began to affect historical w ritings. M ustafà Kämil (1874-1908) and Qäsim Amin (1865-1908), in particular, were ardent advocates of stylistic change and helped develop what later became known as "th e direct style of w ritin g ."40 The latter caught on quickly, and by the end of the nine­ teenth century virtually all Arab authors were using it.41 H ence, literary styles and tastes in general (and in the nar­ rower context the style and format of historical writings per sé) under­ went profound change during the nineteenth century. Al-Shayyäl is 21

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

not really wrong to state that "th e direct style/' attributed to M ustafà Kam il, Qàsim Amin and a few others, caught on rapidly, but neither should it be forgotten that such men were the continuators, rather than the originators, of a movement of literary reform that had begun at least as early as al-Tahtäw i.42 From his time on, every Egyptian historian was obliged to w restle w ith questions of style, and many were able to abandon the m ore traditional modes of expression only at the cost of considerable loss of literary finesse.43 The more direct journalistic style, preferred by som e, was usually a bit too simplistic for what we would now regard as good historical form, yet Egyptian writers of that era did not alw ays understand how to create a fine literary medium without reverting to older, anachronistic conventions. It was not until fairly recent tim es that they finally evolved a style lending itself to all histori­ cal m oods. Contemporary Egyptian historical writings, in contrast to their predecessors of even a few decades ago, flow smoothly and deal easily with the most complicated concepts. Style has in fact improved so m uch that comparison of, for example, Husayn Fawzi al-N ajjär's style w ith the "direct style" of som eone like Jurji Zaydán makes Zaydän appear sim ple-m inded, which of course he is not.44 Although historical style will vary from epoch to epoch and from one part of the world to another, modem stylistic norms call for a relatively sober, lucid, undramatic (not to say understated) tone. Po­ etic form s are nowadays unthinkable since they will detract from the historian's m ain goal— that of explaining and interpreting his findings as econom ically as possible. This does not mean, on the other hand, that history should read like a statistical abstract, devoid of all stylistic niceties. Today's historical prose may not have to "sp arkle," as did M acaulay's essays, but it should at least be couched in an attractive sty le.45 M odem vs. Traditional Historiography Since nineteenth-century Egyptian historiography was in the process of becom ing "m od em ," it has been necessary in this chapter to define som e of the elem ents which that modernity might comprise. No attem pt has been made to provide a definitive discussion of histor­ ical writing across the ages; rather, only those differences between pre-m odem and m odem historical techniques which are particularly révélant to nineteenth-century Egypt have been examined. The criteria established here will form the framework for subsequent discussion of


M odem vs. Traditional Historiography

w hat is m odem or not m odem about nineteenth-century Egyptian historiography. O ne basic contention of this chapter has been that m odem historical w ritings m ust be analytic, considered, and interpretive, even if this results in a certain bias or cant. An elem ent of bias (or interpreta­ tion) is present in all history. It exists even in the exemplary studies of von Ranke, and the only real question, therefore, is w hether its form is innocuous or inim ical, deliberate or unintentional. As an effort to exorcise “the personal equation“ from history, we have seen that even the chronicle is ultim ately doomed to fail. And the price paid for such efforts is too great, since in the chronicle we end up with a straggling, m eaningless series of m inutiae.46 M odem historical writing is a more am bitious venture than this. It demands rather than fears the collabo­ ration of a critical m ind. Second, although the m odem historian must rethink and re­ flect on every shade of meaning and nuance contained in the raw data, good m odem historical writing is flexible and will not yoke the histor­ ical record to som e extraneous religious or secular ideology.47 Al­ though, therefore, there is nothing wrong with a national(istic) point of view (indeed, it is for the most part unavoidable), it can and should be attacked w henever it ignores, obscures or distorts significant por­ tions of the historical record. H ere the only appeal that can be made is to the evidence, which will presumably either corroborate or invali­ date the historical picture that has been painted. Only by looking at tiie evidence can we assess the balance and accuracy of nineteenthcentury Egyptian historical w ritings, although the historians them­ selves, as w e shall see, will not facilitate the task. True to the medieval tradition, m any of them were extremely vague about their sources of inform ation. They did not use footnotes, which were unknown to w riters of the pre-professional era, and this makes it difficult to verify the accuracy of their claim s. Finally, w ith regard to style, m odem historical writing de­ m ands a sm oothness and elegance but at the same time an economy of expression. Rhyme is nowadays out of the question, but neither should historical style be too sim plistic. Even apart from esthetic con­ siderations, history simply cannot afford verbal poverty and still deal with the thought-content, as opposed to the mere physical shell, of events. The style of a good historical monograph today should en­ hance the effect of the narrative but in such a way that the reader is only dim ly aw are of the literary m erits of what he has been reading.


The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

N otes 1. This is not entirely true ot much ot classical Greek and Roman histori­ ography, and there are also notable exceptions to the chronicle form within the Islamic tradition: for these, see below, pp. 31-33. 2. Burr C. Brundage, "The Birth of G io: A Resume and Interpretation of Ancient Near Eastern Historiography," Teachers o f History: Essays in Honor o f Laurence Bradford Packard, ed. H. Stuart Hughes (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1954), p. 226. 3. Franz Rosenthal, A History o f Muslim Historiography, 2nd ed. rev. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1968), p. 83. The philosophical difficulty in this argument is that it posits the existence of a "pu re" chronicle, whereas the latter could not possibly exist in the real world. Even a perfectly accurate chronology would be subjective in that that chain of events, and not some other, had been chosen. In human terms there are no clearly discernible limits to the number of historical particulars which could be included in the account. In the pure chronicle, for example, the fact that Caesar scratched his elbow and yawned forty-three seconds prior to launching the invasion of Gaul would have to be included. 4. Cf., for example, E. H. Carr's demonstration that the precise year in which the Battle of Hastings was fought is for the historian the least significant aspect of that event. E. H. Carr, What Is History? (New York: Random House, Inc., Vintage Books, 1967), pp. 7-8. 5. On this concept see R. G. Collingwood, The Idea o f History (London, Ox­ ford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), p. 213ff. Cf. R. G. Collingwood, Essays in the Philosophy o f History, ed. with intro, by William Debbins (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1966), pp. xvi-xx. 6. Thanks to the efforts of men like Benedetto Croce, Wilhelm Dilthey, James Harvey Robinson and Collingwood himself, who have fought stubbornly against the emasculation of history in this way. The other extreme is probably Lord Acton, who maintained that historians ought to be free to make moral judgment^ in their writings. This was correctly regarded by most professionals as a quantum leap and therefore much too dangerous, although Acton never was and still is not the only historian to practice such beliefs. For defense of Acton's position by a learned colleague, see G . G. Coulton, "Som e Problems in Medieval Historiography," Proceeding? o f the British Academy 18 (1932): 176-77. 7. Page Smith, The Historian and History (New York: Random House, Vintage Books, 1966), pp. 143-44,156. 8. See Collingwood, Essays in the Philosophy o f History, pp. 23-33; and Carr, W hat Is History?, pp. 7-10. 9. This is what has provoked the attacks on history from Descartes down to Henry Ford. 10. This idea has recently been clearly and forcefully presented to the Arab reader in a booklet enjoying considerable popularity. See Qustantin Zurayq's Nahnu w a'l-Ta'fikh (Beirut: Däral-Tlm li'1-Maläyin, 1963), p. 57. 11. Cf. Collingwood, The Idea o f History, p. 246. 12. As cited in Fritz Stem (ed.), The Varieties o f History (Geveland and New York: The World Publishing Co., Meridian Books, 1956), p. 26. 13. E. H. Carr, for example, wittily defines historical objectivity as the realiza­ tion that one cannot be objective. Carr, What Is History?, p. 163. 14. Gibb feels that the deleterious effects of nationalism on Western histori­ ography were attenuated by the simultaneous rise of scientific determinism and the development of critical historical methodology. H. A. R. Gibb, M odem Trends in Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947), pp. 108-9. It may be doubted that the effect of scientific determinism on historiography was wholly beneficial. Critical histori­ cal methodology, on the other hand, was simply one aspect of the increasing profes­ sionalization of historical studies and probably did help to eliminate certain excesses. It did not, however, expunge nationalism entirely from historical writings. 24

M odem vs. Traditional Historiography 15. For a penetrating discussion of the "humanity" of von Ranke and his school, see A. J. P. Taylor, Englishmen and Others (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1956), pp. 14-17. 16. Thus Egypt's most prominent historian today, as a result of countless disap­ pointments with the United States and its support of Israel in recent times, can write that America has from its beginnings been an imperialistic nation. To prove his case he need simply stress all of the most negative aspects of the Monroe Doctrine, slavery in the South, broken treaties with the Indians, the conquest of the American Southwest, Cuba, Panama, the Philippines, and the Vietnam war, etc. For details see the article by Muhammad Anis, "Amrikä wa'l-'Uzlah," Al-jumhûriyyah, February 19,1968. 17. The method of argumentation used here is itself an excellent example of how subtle bias can be. The technique, which crops up so often in the writings of Western Orientalists, can be paraphrased as follows: even the (insert "enlightened") West has been guilty of X. The presence of X in the (insert "benighted") Middle East should not, therefore, be too harshly condemned. 18. Firuz Kazemzadeh, "Iranian Historiography," Historians o f the M iddle East, eds. Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 432. 19. Hourani very properly adds, however, how understandable it is that for them Lebanon should have some significance as a country. Albert Hourani, "Historians of Lebanon," Historians o f the M iddle East, p. 241. 20. Ercüment Kuran, "Ottoman Historiography of the Tanzimat Period," Histarions o f the M iddle East, p . 428. 21. Halil Inalcik, "Som e Remarks on the Study of History in Islamic Countries," The M iddle East journal 7 (1953): 453-54. 22. L. Bouvat, "La presse égyptienne," Revue du Monde Musulman 1 (1906): 279. 23. On Egyptian poetry see Muh. Abdul Mu'id Khan, "Modem Tendencies in Arabic Literature," Islamic Culture 15 (1941): 322. For the modem Egyptian novel see, for example, Tawfíq al-Hakim, A wdat al-Rûh, where Fouquet, the French archeologist, lectures the British inspector on the inscrutable beauty of Egypt. Tawfíq al-Hakim, Awdat al-Rûh (Cairo: Maktabat al-Àdàb, n.d.), 11,59-60. 24. Anwar Chejne, 'T h e Use of History by Modem Arab Writers," The M iddle East journal 14 (1960): 383. 25. H. A. R. Gibb, "Problems of Middle Eastern History," Studies on the Civiliza­ tion o f Islam , eds. Stanford Shaw and William R. Polk (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), p. 339. 26. With regard to Egypt, Chejne supports his case by citing the works of Tahà Husayn, Muhammad tfusayn Haykal and 'Abbas Mahmud al-'Aqqäd. Chejne, "The Úse of History by Modem Arab Writers," pp. 387-89. It is a curious list, since none of the above-mentioned individuals is truly representative of modem Egyptian historiog­ raphy, and none is even primarily known as a historian. 27. Zurayq, Nahnu wa'l-Ta'rikh, pp. 102-3. 28. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, p. 9. 29. For St. Augustine, see Matthew A. Fitzsimons, Alfred G. Pundt and Charles E. Nowell (eds.), The Development o f Historiography (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, Inc., 1967), p. 13. For Ibn al-Athlr see his AI-Kâmil fCl-Ta'rikh (Beirut: Dàr Çàdir and Dár Bayrüt, 1966), XII, 359. 30. Fitzsimons et al., Historiography, p.lOl. Modem British historiography is said to have begun for precisely the same reasons around the turn of the seventeenth century. J. R. Hale (ed.), The Evolution o f British Historiography: From Bacon to Namier (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Co., Meridian Books, 1964), pp. 9-10. 31. Among those who used history to try to denigrate various religious claims were Erasmus, Richard Simon, Pierre Bayle, Voltaire, Reuss, Wellhausen, etc. 32. For Isidore of Seville see Fitzsimons et al., Historiography, p. 21ff. For alMadá'inl see H. A. R. Gibb, 'T a'rik h ," Studies on the Civilization o f Islam, p. 115. 33. Galileo might well feel that not much had changed, were he suddenly to be resurrected in the Soviet Union and to witness Stalin's initiation of a "crusade" against the Theory of Relativity on the grounds that it contradicted dialectical materialism. On


The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt this see Milovan Djilas, The Unperfect Society: Beyond toe New Class, trans. Dorian Cooke (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1969), p. 69ff. 34. Except for a brief and rather atypical interlude in Latin historiography when rhetoric played a more important role. On this see Michael Grant, The Ancient Historians (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970), pp. 89,115,136-43,184. 35. Marie Schulz, D ie Lehre von der historischen M ethode bei den Geschichtschreibern des M ittelalters, Abhandlungen zur mittleren und neueren Geschichte, no. 13 (Basel: Verlag für Recht and Gesellschaft A. G ., 1909), pp. 86-97. 36. D. S. Margoliouth, Lectures on Arätric Historians (Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1930), p. 155. 37. Rosenthal, M uslim Historiography, pp. 176-85. The poetic value of historiog­ raphy was at the same time enhanced. 38. Bernard Lewis, "History-Writing and National Revival in Turkey," M iddle Eastern Affairs 4 (1953): 219. 39. 'Umar al-Dusûqi, Ffl-A dab al-Hadtth (Cairo: Dar al-Fikr al-'Arabi, 1966), I, 13. 40. H. A. R. Gibb, "Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature," Bulletin o f the School o f Oriental and African Studies [hereafter abbreviated as BSOAS] 4 (1926-28): 758. 41. Gamal el-Din el-Shayyal [sic], "Historiography in Egypt," Historians o f the M iddle East, pp. 417-18. 42. Muhammad ‘Ammärah (ed.), Al-A'mdl al-Kdmilah li-R ifdah RäfT al-Jahfäw i, vol. I: AI-Tamaddun wa'1-Hadärah xoa’l-V m rán (Beirut: Al-Mu'assasah al-'Arabiyyah li'lDirâsât wa'1-Nashr, 1973), p. 98. 43. Firuz Kazemzadeh points up a similar phenomenon with regard to recent Iranian historiography, which he claims is more accurate and reliable than older writings but "drab, inelegant, and at times reminiscent of second-rate translations from a foreign language which some of it may very well be in fact." Kazemzadeh, "Iranian Histori­ ography," p. 434. Cf. my own comments on Jurji Zaydän, pp. 192--.94. 44. Al-Najjär is a talented contemporary Egyptian essayist, who has written articles on history, historians and historiography in various periodicals as well as a biography of Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid. His views are quite far to the left, but he has the redeeming qualities of profundity and originality. His style is exemplary and indicative o f the full literary maturity of the Egyptian historian. 45. John Higham, Leonard Krieger and Felix Gilbert, History (Englewood Cliffs, N .J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965), introduction. 46. Cf. the quotation from Butterfield at the beginning of the Preface. 47. In this respect it could be said that the medieval Islamic Mirrors o f Princes literature, which purposes the teaching of general moral and political lessons, was more "m od em " than twentieth-century Marxist historiography. On the M irrors o f Princes, see Gibb, "Ta'rikh," p. 121.


C hapter II

The Islamic Inheritance

I n the preceding chapter a number oÍ general criteria w ere laid down to differentiate between modem and medieval ap­ proaches to historical writing. These criteria will later on provide one key to understanding of nineteenth-century writings. The other key concerns the indigenous Islamic tradition of historiography, which is the focus of the present chapter. The Islamic historical tradition was, as w e shall see, a rich one, which did not die out completely with alJabarti—its last pure representative— but rather continued in increas­ ingly attenuated form to influence Egyptian historiography throughout the greater part of the nineteenth century. Egyptians were very much aw are of past achievem ents in Islamic historiography and in many cases used medieval writings as source materials for their own works. Much of the m ethodology they employed was also borrowed from earlier epochs, and so it is essential to understand both the strengths and w eaknesses of the Islamic inheritance. O f the three great monotheistic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam— only Islam emerged in the full light of history. Arab interest in history predated the appearance of the new religion, as any content analysis of Jähiliyyah poetry or of the popular battle stories {Ayyam al-'Arab) will show. But with the rise of Islam, m en's perceptions of historical time sharpened considerably, and the religion itself had an am azingly precise historical beginning— Muhammad's Emigration (Hegira or H ijrah) horn Mecca to Medina on Thursday, July 15, a .d. 622.1The Arabic word for history— ta’ñkh— first appeared on a papyrus dated a . h . 22, and Islamic historical writing began shortly afterwards.2 Its precise origins are still obscure, but according to one authority at least, it resulted from a "confluence of several streams of historical and quasi-historical com position."3


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

A s the centuries passed, the Arabs (and others too, writing in A rabic) gradually built up a body of medieval historical literature whose very size staggers the imagination. In his Die Geschichtsschreiber der A raber und ihre Werke (Göttingen, 1882), W üstenfeld was able to catalog 590 Arab historians during the first millennium after the Prophet's death, and many others probably escaped his attention. When the great al-Tabari wished to dictate to his students a history of some thirty thousand pages, and they objected that to read it would require a lifetim e, he graciously agreed to reduce it to a mere three thousand pages.4 Although of Persian origin, al-Tabari wrote in Arabic. In late m edieval tim es both the Persians and the Turks began to record their history in their own languages, and their literary achievements rivalled those of the Arabs. These developments, however, had only a marginal im pact on the continuing Arabic tradition of the western Islamic lands. In spite of the undeniably great contributions of Muslims to the field of history, neither in the Christian West nor in the Muslim East did m edieval historical studies ever achieve complete independence as an intellectual discipline. In the W est during the Carolingian period, for exam ple, history was considered useful for the study of grammar, and no one who wrote history during the Middle Ages ever considered that his primary function in lité.5 Similarly in the Islamic East, history began its long career primarily as a helpmate to theological studies. According to the Qur'an, the Prophet's life was to be a model for pious Muslims, and attention was directed mainly to Muhammad's acts and his exhor­ tations to the faithful, to his military activities (the maghâzî), and to Q uraysh genealogy.6 A student of these was known as a scholar (âlim , p i., 'ulamd'), i.e ., someone versed in the faith, but was, however, at the sam e time a historian. The only other type of early Muslim historian w as the tribal commentator or akhbäri, who reported on tribal exploits and genealogies and was not, therefore, exclusively concerned with religious history.7 The close association between history and theology gave to m uch of medieval Islamic historiography what we defined earlier as an eschatological purpose. "H istorians" like Ibn Shihäb al-Zuhri (b. ca. A.D. 671) and Urwah b. al-Zubayr (d. a . d . 712-13) considered them­ selves to be primarily jurists and traditionalists and only incidentally historians.8 Ibn Hishäm and Ibn Ishäq wrote detailed (and of course sym pathetic, although not necessarily unreliable) biographies of the Prophet. Al-Tabari did not intend his History o f Prophets and Kings to be an independent historical study but rather a supplement to his com­ 28

The Islamic Inheritance

m entary on the Q ur'an* And the tabaqdt genre of historical biography (w hich w e will discuss later) was undertaken more for theological than for historical reasons; its usefulness to us today is therefore open to q u estion .10 Such tendencies did abate in later times, but from alM adà'ini (d. 840) down to Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) history for the M uslim never quite divorced itself from the special and divinely in­ spired role that Muhammad's community had been called on to play.11 Because history was only rarely considered worthy of indepen­ dent study, it eventually became enmeshed in many other fields be­ sides theology. As in the W est, it is doubtful that history was ever considered an essential subject to the medieval Muslim curriculum, although at the elem entary level it may have been taught as one form of advanced "literary train in g."12 In other words, history was regarded as general inform ation or "cu lture" (adab) and so acquired a totally heter­ ogeneous format. Al-Ya'qübl (d. 897) and al-M as údl (d. 956) included m uch purely geographical data in their "h isto ries,"13 and al-M as'üdï's fam ous M um j al-D hahab is an excellent example of the medieval Islamic conception of history as simply general information. It contains much that is not really historical per se, e.g ., legends, anecdotes, genealogies, theology, folklore and belles-lettres.14 Such a mixture lingered on until w ell into the nineteenth century. A nother important characteristic of medieval Islamic historio­ graphy— and one of the few that divorces it completely from the medi­ eval W estern tradition— was the growing emphasis placed on decora­ tive literary forms like s a f and occasionally even poetry. Poetry had alw ays been considered the Arabic art form par excellence, and although for its first few centuries Islamic historiography did not use poetry directly for its expression, the separation was never complete. Even early Muslim historians were not at all averse to citing from familiar poem s to reinforce a point, and in 'Abbäsid times poets frequently used their art to teach historical lessons, e .g ., the works of Abù Tammàm, al-Buhturï and al-M utanabbï.15 A fter the 'Abbäsid period the use of decorative forms became m ore and more imperative. Gibb feels that the victory of verse was due in part simply "to the unequalled opportunities for literary artífice w hich Arabic provided by its variety of derivations."16 Another ele­ m ent was undoubtedly the reassertion from the seventh (eighth?) cen­ tury on of the older Persian historical tradition, which tended toward bom bast, rhetoric and elaborate rhyme. The M irrors o f Princes literature, for example, probably derived from Persian models, wherein the ruler


The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

w as portrayed as the ideal man. Biographies of this type generally used a great deal o isa j' and could degenerate into empty panegyric.17 According to Rosenthal, the first cases of saj' in historical writ­ ings date from the late tenth century.18 Even this estim ate may be too conservative, however, since saj' can certainly be found in the writings of al-M as'üdî (d. 956). Later historians like 'Imád al-Din al-Isfahäni (1125-1201), biographer of Saläh al-Din, and the Andalusian al-Fath b. Khàqân (d. ca. 1140) actually became famous as saj' stylists. By their tim e inclusion of saj' at given points had become virtually a necessity, and apparently only Ibn al-Athir (1160-1234) was able to avoid it. It probably reached a peak of popularity around the time of Ibn al-Furät (d. 1405) and Ibn Iyäs (b. 1448).19 Ibn al-A thir, because of his clear, uncomplicated style and the avoidance of saj' forms, is often the first Arab historian to whom the W estern student is exposed. Saj' styles are in general avoided except for the m ore advanced students, although, as the Arabist soon leam s, the conventions governing saj' are actually quite simple. Even historians w ho w ere incapable of writing in good classical Arabic had no difficulty w ith long saj' passages, simply because the occasions requiring its use— titles, introductions, and eulogies— had become so standardized. O nce the actual historical narrative had got under way, however, there w ere no m ore formal guidelines to follow and saj' soon fell by the w ayside. A third characteristic of both Islamic and W estern historio­ graphy during the medieval period— and one which we will find again in die w ritings of nineteenth-century Egyptians—was the emphasis that the chronicle by its very nature placed on facts merely transmitted rather than historically understood. In the Muslim world the origins of this approach go back to the tribal khabar, which was considered a single event, causally unexplained and with an air of isolation from what preceded and followed it.20 The khabar in time developed into the chronicle— a formal rather than a conceptual advance, since again only the outward aspect of an event was related. In the Muslim chronicle history rem ained material and physical, devoid of any thoughtcontent. The so-called tabaqät literature reflected the same approach and w as technical rather than biographical in nature.21 The intent in the tabaqät was to record merely the tangible, factual aspects of an in­ dividual's life and career. Finally, with regard to methodology, the purely external isnâd method of textual criticism attested to the Muslim 30

The Islamic Inheritance

historian's reluctance to question the meaning, as opposed to the transm issional accuracy, of the "fa c ts."22 W e m ust remember, however, to beware of overdrawing the distinction between history and the chronicle.23 The quality of medieval M uslim chronicles varied widely, and sporadic attempts at a more critical style of writing are indeed discernible. Al-Balädhuri (d. 892), for exam ple, often included in his writings his own personal appraisal of ev en ts.24 Al-M as'udi tried to determine the relationship between man and his environm ent and investigated the similarities between plant life-cycles and human institutions.25 The work of al-Tabari is usually regarded as the culmination of the early annalistic tradition, yet even here the smooth and elegant style militated against a purely annalistic approach, and the juxtaposition of contradictory versions of the same series of events was suggestive of an urge to find meaning in the historical record.26 Miskawayh (d. 1030) commented occasionally on causation and exhibited a surprisingly critical and independent sense of judgm ent in his portraits of leading figures.27 As for Ibn Khaldun it need only be said that he was the towering exception to all generaliza­ tion s.28 M edieval Islamic historiography was clearly not devoid of in­ terpretive elem ents. We find some early writings of great merit, infin­ itely superior to later Mamluk and Ottoman-Egyptian historiography. O n the other hand, the older annalistic tradition, exemplified by the fine w ork of al-Tabari, was difficult to break away from and maintained its sw ay thoughout the medieval period. Al-M as'údi, for example, who is thought by som e to have had a marked tendency toward "interpre­ tive h istory," nevertheless felt that history should be "facts" (khabar) rather than "speculation" (bahth or nazar). He apparently considered him self as a m ere "com piler" (jàm ï).29 Ibn Khaldün likewise never really escaped the influence of the chronicle, in spite of the revolution­ ary intentions which he expressed in his Muqaddimah. On balance, therefore, any medieval efforts at more speculative forms of writing rem ained highly tentative and rather atypical. Rosenthal's judgment is harsh but true: "M odem historiography as a whole has clearly outdis­ tanced anything achieved in the field of historical writing in Islam. Little could be said about Muslim historiography if one would apply to it a schem e such as J. G . Droysen's Grundriss der H istorik.”30 Turning now to the various form s that medieval Muslim his­ toriography took, all the following types of writing were possible: 31

The W riting o f H istory in N ineteenth-Century Egypt

I. The Chronicle— No further discussion of this form should be ne­ cessary. The best example is al-Tabari's Ta'rikh al-Rusul wa'lM uliik.31 II. The Topical History—Although arranged according to country, caliph, sultan, etc., this form nevertheless closely resembled the chronicle w ithin the "top ical" units themselves; it was an inchoate but ultim ately unsuccessful attempt to find an alternative organi­ zational principle to that of time-sequence alone. The best ex­ am ples are the works of al-M as'üdï and al-Ya'qùbi. III. The Universal History— Although the intent here was to deal with world history from the Creation to the present, non-Muslim areas w ere for the m ost part ignored.32 O f the many examples, perhaps the m ost perfectly realized was Rashid al-D ín's Ta’ríkh-i Ghäzàn ï.33 IV. Local Histories— A direct descendant of the Iraqi akhbàri tradition, local histories were always popular. Especially during the late medieval period, when communications between the various parts of the Islamic world broke down, local histories thrived. Examples are too numerous to cite, but they did take one of three m ain directions: (a) secular— describing local rulers and regions, as the term implies; (b) religious— containing information on the reliability of hadith-transm itters, religious rites, holy places, etc.; (c) Wi/ffli-literature— a topographical-archeological combination, usually of encyclopedic proportions. (The second and third sub­ divisions contained much information that was not strictly his­ torical in nature.) V . Biography— (a) The Tabacfit—A direct outgrowth of the early and intense interest in the life of the Prophet and his companions. The classic example was that of Ibn Sa'd (d. 845). Later tabacfit forms dealt w ith 'ulamä', local notables (a'yan), mystics, or poets, (b) G enealogies— Tribal, sharifian, etc. (c) Biographies of an indiv­ idual— e.g ., of Çalâh al-Din, Baybars, etc. This variation was m uch less common than (a) or (b). V I. Contemporary History, Memoirs and Diaries— In the broadest sense this category includes historians like al-M as'údi, Ibn al-Athir and al-M aqrizi (1346-1442), all of whom were contemporaries of some of the events they recorded. The purer form of diary and memoir w ritings is found in the works of Asám ah b. Munqidh, Prince 'Abdulläh b. Balqin, Ibn Tümart, al-Qädi al- Fädil 'Abd al-Rahmän al-Baysáni, and more recently al-Jabarti.


The Islamic Inheritance

The above categories are not mutually exclusive, and a given historical work may come under more than one of them .34 The earlier forms of historical writing tended to set the pattem for later centuries, and even many nineteenth-century Egyptian his­ torians modelled their historical studies on those of their forbears. According to Rosenthal, The elem entary forms of Muslim historiography were all developed at a very early date. They did not undergo any further development properly speaking during the whole course of Muslim historical writing. No new form s of any consequence, with the very important exception of "poetical" histories, were created. Development in Muslim historical writing consisted of the mixture of the different historical forms and, in particular, of the incorporation of disciplines that were not strictly historical into the frame­ w ork of historiography.35

This is not to say that Islamic historiography did not change later on or that im portant shifts in em phasis did not occur. If we turn now to the late medieval period, we may find that Rosenthal has stated the case a bit too strongly. W ith the coming of the Turks in the tenth and eleventh cen­ turies and the Mongols in the thirteenth, the linguistic unity of the Islam ic heartlands began to break down. Both of the invader peoples eventually adopted Persian as their cultural medium, Arabic being relegated as a result more and more exclusively to the domain of theological studies. Only in Egypt, Greater Syria and Arabia did Arabic retain much of its old importance. Egypt, in particular, came to play an im portant Arabic cultural role as a result of Sultan Baybars' am azing defeat in 1260 of Hulagu's armies. With the Mongol advance stopped, the Mamluks assumed control over most of the area between the Nile and the Euphrates for some two and a half centuries— until 1517, when Egypt came under direct Ottoman rule. We will now con­ sider the further development of historiography during the Mamluk and Ottom an periods. Mamluk Egypt (ca. 1260-1517), first of all, produced a sur­ prising number of historians, the most prominent of whom were incredibly prolific. Ibn H ajar al-'Asqalânï (b. 1372), for instance, wrote over 150 w orks.36 A l-Suyûtï (b. 1445) apparently wrote even more and m ay have been the most productive Arab historian of all tim e.37 View­ ing the period as a w hole, one wonders what gave rise to such copi­ ousness. It may be that Egypt's position as the last bastion of Arabic culture in an otherw ise Mongol-Turkish sea heightened the interest of


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

her historians in contemporary events. In addition, the very nature of M am luk government— an oligarchy par excellence of literally hundreds o f princes, commanders, subcommanders, viceroys, etc.— may have created an atm osphere like that of the Italian Renaissance, in which every budding young historian was able to find a patron. Whatever the reasons, the fact that such an abundance of Mamluk historical literature has come down to us casts serious doubt on the impression o f alm ost total social chaos one receives from reading Mamluk chron­ icles. Perhaps the apparently endless internecine, factional wars of M amluk tim es were only an external phenomenon and did not unduly disturb indigenous cultural life.38 Several important shifts in emphasis took place in the forms of history. Universal histories continued to be written, but they were m uch less popular than in earlier centuries. Local history became pro­ portionately more popular, both inside Egypt and in neighboring lands like Syria, where local histories first appeared in the twelfth century. The subject of Syrian local histories was invariably an indi­ vidual city such as Damascus, Aleppo, or Beirut. Urban and regional histories were also developing at this time in Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Persia, and Spain, and here again they dealt with individual cities.39 O nly in Egypt was the subject of local histories not a city but rather Egypt itself—a phenomenon that reflects the utter fragmentation of other areas and, conversely, the still strong sense of territorial identity in Egypt. It was during this period that Egyptian historians, isolated as never before from their Muslim neighbors, began to write consistently of Egypt alone rather than of the entire Islamic community. Such a developm ent obviously had important implications. O ther popular Mamluk historical forms included the biog­ raphy and the tabaqàt. Every prince and commander found his biog­ rapher, and the historian's narrative generally centered around the prince's struggles with his peers, his military exploits, promotions, e tc.40 A l- A sqaläni's Al-Durar al-Käminah fi A'yàn al-M ïah al-Thäminah and al-'A ynï's Tqd al-Juman f i Ta'rikh Ahí al-Zamán were but two wellknow n biographical collections of the lives of Egyptian military com­ m anders.41 The tabaqàt form was best represented by al-Suyütl, e.g ., his Tabaqàt al-M ufassirtn and his synopsis of al-Dhahabi's Tabaqàt alH uffaz. Apart from shifts in popularity of the various forms of histori­ cal w riting, the central characteristic of almost all Mamluk historiog-


The Islamic Inheritance

raphy, w hatever its form, was an exaggerated preoccupation with the chronicle approach to history. W hether or not a given work was intended as a chronicle made little difference: it always became one— generally in such extreme form as to make it the chronicle non plus ultra o f Islam ic historiography. In the seemingly endless procession of royal feuds and rebellions, which are the stuff of Mamluk history, there w ere ideal m aterials for the chronicle, and Mamluk historians yielded m ore com pletely than any of their Muslim predecessors to the idea of an atom istic, purely physical progression of events. The advent of Mamluk historiography can in fact be considered to be the end of the inchoate speculative trend visible in the writings of al-M as'üdï, alBïrünï, M iskawayh, etc. Even al-Tabari, who represented the culmina­ tion of an earlier annalistic tradition, did not adhere as rigidly to annal­ istic form s as the historians of Mamluk Egypt. Mamluk historiography, therefore, represented a decline in historical understanding. The mechanistic approach of historians like Ibn Iyäs and Ibn Taghri Bird! led, as inevitably it must, to history recorded but not history understood. This in turn has presented us w ith the problem of having a wealth of historical information about Mamluk Egypt without any real understanding of what life there was even like. To read Mamluk chronicles or to study Mamluk political and adm inistrative organization is to come face to face with a system of governm ent which should not and, it seem s, could not work. Mamluk chroniclers do nothing at all to dispel this mystery, with the result that w e cannot satisfactorily explain how such a system could have lasted m ore than two and a half centuries. Because of the abundance of historical writings in Mamluk tim es and their relative paucity during the later Ottoman period, it is often assum ed that the latter, rather than the former, period was one of general cultural decline.42 Although true to some extent, this al­ legation is an exaggeration, since the Mamluk chronicle itself was a product of a decline in historical technique. During the Mamluk era the Turkish language began to make serious inroads on Arabic. The M amluk princes were themselves mostly Turkish-speaking peoples from the Caucasus and the Crimea, and the Egyptian historian was obliged to leam Turkish even to communicate with his patron— which may have contributed to a decline in his ability to use Arabic w ell.43 C onsistent resort to saj' was sometimes no more than a defense mech­ anism , and by Ibn lyäs' time Arabic historical style had degenerated to


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

a level very near that of colloquial.44 If the Ottoman period did repre­ sen t a decline in historical standards, at least it was not the beginning o f that decline. Egypt's isolation from her Islamic neighbors during Mamluk tim es helped to re-enforce a tendency that had always been present to som e extent: an exclusive preoccupation with Egyptian, as opposed to Islam ic, affairs. Here again Egypt was somewhat unique. Nothing in the pre-Islam ic Syrian or Iraqi past could compare with the glory of the Islam ic caliphate as it had existed in those lands, whereas Islamic Egypt had been only the seat of a much diluted caliphate and not the basis for an em pire. Much of the glory in the Egyptian past was preIslam ic, i.e ., pharaonic and Hellenistic: the Egyptians' greater sense of territorial and “national" identity probably stemmed from here. Ibn Zùlâq was the first to express such feelings in his History and Praise o f Egypt. Later historians like al-M usabbihi and Ibn Muyassar continued in the tradition of writing exclusively on Egypt, and men like Mu­ hammad b. As ad al-Jawwäni (d. 1192) and Muhyï'1-Dïn 'Abdullah b. 'Abd al-Z àhir (d. 1293) compiled huge reference works on Egyptian history, topography and biography.45 Khitat literature, in particular, becam e inordinately popular in Egypt, allowing, as it did, the histo­ rian to catalog with loving care each and every mosque, fountain, street and palace in the major Egyptian cities.46 The best-known ex­ am ple of the khitat was in fact written during Mamluk times by the Egyptian Taqî'1-Din al-M aqrizl. An encyclopedic work, it begins with a long introduction on Egyptian history and geography and then moves on to richly detailed descriptions of Alexandria, Cairo, and al-Fustät (old C airo).47 During the nineteenth century al-M aqrizi's work served as inspiration for another illustrious Egyptian khitat, which we will discuss in detail in a later chapter.48 From the middle of the thirteenth to the beginning of the six­ teenth century Egypt had played at least three important historical roles as (1) guardian of the caliphate, (2) defender of the Dar al-lsläm against the M ongols and the Crusaders, and (3) preserver of the Arabic-Islam ic cultural tradition. With the Ottoman victory in 1517, how­ ever, m ost of this came to an end, and Egypt became just one more province (vilayet or muqäta'ah) in the far-flung Ottoman Empire.49 The Ottom an conquest must have had some impact on Egyp­ tian life and culture, since Turkish now became the official govern­ m ental language. Ottom an governors of Egypt were not resident in their dom ains as the Mamluks had been; they were appointed to terms


The Islamic Inheritance

o f only one year and then usually sent off to other parts of the em­ p ire.50 There is little chance that they even understood Arabic, and the Turkification of Egypt, if it did not intensify after 1517, certainly can­ not have abated. Although the indigenous cultural milieu remained A rabic and al-A zhar continued to be one of the foremost centers of Islam ic learning, the cultural effects of two and a half centuries of Turkish Mamluk rule and then almost three centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule m ust have been considerable. The increasing number of Turkish term s that found their way into Mamluk and OttomanEgyptian chronicles all the way down to al-Jabarti and the steadily declining level of proficiency in Arabic both testify to this fact. Unfortunately we can only speculate about all this, since so little is known about these three centuries. Just as Mamluk Egypt abounds in rich and detailed source materials, Ottoman Egypt exhibits a dearth of historical records which is difficult to explain. It may be because nothing of any importance happened.51 O r it could be that som e valuable written records were destroyed during the frequent O ttom an-M am luk feuds, and that others were carried off to remote places. That the rem ainder have simply been overlooked by scholars is a possibility that may be due in turn to the much stronger scholarly interest in nineteenth-century Egypt and to the encouragement that interest w as given by King Fu'äd I, who was willing to subsidize research only on the royal family.52 Despite the feasibility of these propositions, the m ystery of the obscurity of the Ottoman period may lie sim ply in the inability of any political and cultural center to main­ tain its elan, once it has become merely one remote province of an em pire whose center of gravity lay elsewhere. Since historical scholarship was already in decline prior to the advent of the O ttom ans, and since the Ottomans themselves under­ w ent a period of cultural decline in later centuries, they could not have been expected to arrest a similar process in Egypt.53 In addition, the Toynbean mechanism of Challenge-Response simply could not oper­ ate in the context of an Ottoman conquest of Egypt. The Ottomans w ere at the time absorbed in the struggle against Shi'ism ; thus in Egypt, as the traditional stronghold of Arabic Sunni Islam, there could be no question of any Ottoman cultural challenge. An Egyptian had no reason to feel culturally inferior to an Ottoman Turk or to re-examine his ow n heritage. Radier, the Ottoman concern with piety and the elim ination of heresy re-enforced the existing religious orientation of Egyptian culture at the expense of more worldly pursuits. The rising


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

popularity of mysticism (tasawwuf) among the Egyptian 'ulamâ' indi­ cates that an Ottom an cultural impact did occur—precisely in the area w here we would m ost expect to find it.54 Reinforcem ent, or congealment, of already existing cultural tendencies together w ith abasem ent of the Arabic medium of their expression affected all aspects of Egyptian literary endeavor. Historical studies underw ent a tremendous drop in quantity and at best a con­ tinuation of Mamluk standards of quality. Two distinct types of Ottom an-Egyptian historical writing emerged: I. The Literary Chronicle— Characterized by a pedestrian, ungram­ m atical style but obviously written by men with some pretensions to formal literary education and, in fact, most often by ‘ulamâ’. O ften referred to as the "sultan-pasha chronicles," since the or­ ganizational framework was usually according to reign. Examples include the works of Ahmad Çelebi Abd al-Ghani, al-Ishàqï, and Ibn Abî'1-Surür. II. The Popular Chronicle—Also referred to as the Soldiers' School. Characterized by colloquialisms, poor grammar, "speeches," clichés, etc. W ritten by men with little or no literary education— m ostly soldiers— partly for purposes of entertainment. The sultan-pasha framework of the "literary" chronicle was present but not really stressed. Individuals and the motives for their ac­ tions were somewhat more clearly defined than in the literary chronicle. Examples are Ahmad al-Dimurdáshi and Ibn Zunbul al-Ram m äl.55 So that we may form a better idea of the structure of the so-called literary chronicle, two examples follow: A . Küchük 'Ali— A member of the Faqäriyya faction, who neverthe­ less served under the viceroy Muhammad Pasha XII in the expe­ dition against the rebel Faqári governor of Jirja, Muhammad Bey, in Jumada II 1069/February-March 1659. He was one of the prin­ cipal grandees implicated in the great revolt of the Faqäriyya (§afar 1071/October 1660). At this time, although governor of the town of Dam ietta, he was resident in Cairo and ignored the vice­ roy's order to return to his command. When the Faqäriyya gran­ dees dispersed before the viceroy's forces, Küchük 'Ali, together w ith H asan Bey and Läjin Bey, made his way to Buhayra. Here w ith his colleagues he surrendered under a safe-conduct but was 38

The Islamic inheritance

put to death at al-Tarräna by order of Ahmad Bey on the night of 23 Safar 1071/27-28 October 1660. B. Q änsüh— Am ir al-H ajj. Because of his wealth, he was appointed on the suggestion of Muhammad Pasha V ll as governor-general of the Yaman, which was slipping from Ottoman control: early Jumädä 11038/late December 1628. He was at the same time ap­ pointed governor-general of Habesh, to which he nominated Muhammad Bey as his qá'im-maqám. He commanded a force com­ posed partly of troops sent by the sultan. He set out in Muharram 1039/A ugust-Septem ber 1629. The expedition failed. Some of the troops who had accompanied Qänsüh were found in Mecca by the expedition which accompanied Qäsim Bey in 1041/1631-32.56 W e can see that the Ottoman-Egyptian chronicle was histor­ ically no more revealing than that of its Mamluk forbears and may, in fact, have been less so. From such records only the skeleton of history or, as Croce would say, "th e corpse of history" emerges. Little is known of the "popular" or soldiers' school. The works of Ibn Zunbul al-Ramm äl, A li al-Shädhili, Ahmad al-Dimurdäshi, and Ibrahim M ustafà, for example, have been neither published nor edited nor as yet even used for research.57 Their use to students is question­ able, since for the most part they stress the same subjects as the liter­ ary chronicle. Occasionally one finds in them more detailed informa­ tion on factional struggles, the meaning of various military, adminis­ trative and financial term s, price fluctuations, etc., but such material is usually m ore than adequately provided in the literary chronicles. The reliability of the additional information is also open to question.58 Based on what we now know, Ottoman-Egyptian historiog­ raphy represents the nadir of a long and often glorious historical tradi­ tion. The structure of the chronicle declined in Ottoman times even further from its already threadbare Mamluk format, and the sheer quantity of historical writing tapered off dramatically. Historical style becam e a mixture of bone-dry chronology and empty sa;' convention. Even the ability to use sa;' smoothly declined, and one suspects that historians simply borrowed sa;' passages intact from earlier writers. By al-Jabarti's time very few ‘ulantä' devoted themselves to historical or even literary studies (adab) in any serious w ay.59 History and literature m ight occasionally provide one with a few interesting anecdotes, but they w ere neither popular nor very respectable.60 The Azhari curricu­ lum , like that of the Palace School at Istanbul, was heavily skewed toward the twin fields of theology and philology.61


The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

Notes 1. Julian Obermann, “Early Islam," The Idea o f History in the Ancient Near East (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1955), pp. 239,242-43. 2. Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz Salim, Al-Ta'rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhän al-A rab (Cairo: Dar al-Kàtib al-'Arabï li'l-Tibá'ah wa'l-Nashr, 1967), pp. 19,42.

3. Gibb, 'Ta'rikh," p. 108. 4. Margoliouth, Arabic Historians, p. 1. 5. Fitzsimonsef «!., Historiography, pp. 30-31,49. 6. Salim, AI-Mu'arrikhûn al-A rab, pp. 26-27. 7. A. A. Duri, "The Iraq School of History to the Ninth Century— a Sketch," H istorians o f the M iddle East, p. 46. 8. For al-Zuhri see A. A. Duri, "Al-Zuhri: A Study on the Beginnings of His­ tory Writing in Islam ," BSO A S19 (1957), and Sálim, Al-M u’arrikhän al-A rab, pp. 59-60. For Ibn al-Zubayr see also Duri's above-mentioned article on al-Zuhri, p. 1. 9. Gibb, "Ta'rikh," p. 118. 10. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, pp. 94-95. 11. Gibb, 'T a 'rik h ," p. 115; and George M. Haddad, "Modem Arab Historians and World History," The Moslem World 51 (1961): 38. We might also note in this regard that the Crusades— an exogenous and temporary impediment to Islamic historical evo­ lution— caused barely a ripple in the historiography of the period. See Bernard Lewis, "T h e Muslim Discovery of Europe," BSOAS 20 (1957): 411,415-16. 12. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, pp. 45-46. 13. Gibb, "Ta'rikh," p. 118. Geographical information can of course be vital to historical understanding, but in these cases it was inserted as just one more vital in­ gredient of a general work of adab. 14. Ilse Lichtenstadter, "Arabic and Islamic Historiography," The Moslem World 35 (1945): 133. Cf. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, p. 99. 15. Margoliouth, Arabic Historians, pp. 59-81. 16. H. A. R. Gibb, Arabic Literature, 2nd ed. rev. (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 9. One pitfall of this argument is that later Persian and Turkish histori­ ography underwent much the same evolution as Arabic, presumably without the ad­ vantage of a "wealth of synonyms," "the delicate distinctions in meaning," etc., which Gibb attributes to the Arabic language. 17. G . Richter, "Medieval Arabic Historiography," Islamic Culture 34 (1960): 14950. Cf. Gibb, T a 'rik h ," pp. 130-33. 18. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, p. 177. 19. Information taken from Sálim, Al-Mu'arrikhün al-A rab, pp. 75-82. 20. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, pp. 69-70. 21. Gibb, "Ta'rikh," p. 122. 22. Franz Rosenthal, The Technique and Approach o f Muslim Scholarship, Analecta Orientalia, no. 24 (Rome: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum, 1947), p. 34. Abdallah Laroui feels that the persistence of the khabar form and the isnäd method of historical criticism was due to tire importance that Islam placed on "testimonials," whether as khabar, isnäd, or, in the first instance, the Qur'an itself. See Laroui's The Crisis o f the Arab Intellectual, trans. by Diarmid Cammell (Berkeley, Los Angeles and Toronto: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 16-17. Medieval Western historians, in fact, were no more successful than their Muslim counterparts in breaking out of the epistemological confines of the chronicle. On this see Schulz, Die Geschichtschreiber des M ittelalters, pp. 98-107; and Fitzsimons et a l., Historiography, pp. 1 9 -2 0 ,2 3 ,3 1 -3 2 ,4 2 ,5 1 ,6 3 ,7 5 ,7 9 ,8 2 -8 3 . 23. a . p. 14 above. 24. Sálim, AI-Mu'arrikhûn al-A rab, p. 116. 25. Muhsin Mahdi, Ibn Khaldûn's Philosophy o f History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Phoenix Books, 1964), p. 137. In his doctoral dissertation, which has recently become a book, Tarif Khalidi stresses the "modernity" of al-Mas udi, including the latter's allegedly frequent use of internal historical criticism. See Khalidi, "M as udi's Theory and Practice of History" (Ph.D. dissertation. University of Chicago, 1970). 40

The Islamic Inheritance 26. We will encounter the same techniques later on in the work of a group I have called the neo-chroniclers. See below, pp. 134-43. 27. Margoliouth, Arabic Historians, p. 130ff. 28. The most detailed and profound study of Ibn Khaldun remains that of Muhsin Mahdi, cited above. For the best brief exposition of Ibn Khaldun's ideas and a clear statement of his importance, see Anwar Chejne, "The Concept of History in the Modem Arab W orld," Studies in Islam 4 (1967): 12-17. 29. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, p. 42.

30. Ibid., p. 197. 31. The reader will note the absence of saj' in the title. 32. Cf. above, p. 40 n. 11. 33. One observer considers Rashid al-Din's work the first Islamic world history. See John Andrew Boyle, "Rashid al-Din: The First World Historian," Islamic Culture 44 (1970): 17. 34. Scholars have differed on how to arrange Islamic historical writings— accor­ ding to material presented, internal structure, time-period covered, etc. The above classification is based on comparison of the works of Gibb, Sâlim and Rosenthal. 35. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, p. 99. Regarding the "incorporation of disciplines that were not strictly historical into the framework of historiography," we have seen that this was also a characteristic of early Islamic historical writings. (See above, pp. 28-29.) Rosenthal's reference to "the very important exception of 'poetical' histories" is also a bit mysterious. He probably does not mean something like Ibn 'Abd al-?ah ir's rhymed biography of Baybars, since few Muslim historians followed this example. It is more likely that he is referring to the use of saj', although that is not, strictly speaking, poetry but prose. Finally, we might note that however "static" the forms of Islamic historiography may have been, medieval Western historiography did not invent any really new forms either. It may even be doubted whether Machiavelli or von Ranke came up with any new "form s," at least in the sense in which we have been using the term. 36. C. van Arendonk, "Ibn Hadjar al-'Askaläni," The Encyclopedia o f Islam (Ley­ den: E. J. Brill, Ltd., 1913), II, 380. (From now on El (1913] and El [1965] will refer to the 1913 and the 1965 edition of The Encyclopedia o f Islam, respectively.) 37. Brockelmann, "Al-Suyufl," El (1913), IV, 573. 38. Modem scholars often puzzle over how native Egyptians tolerated the rule of such an obviously foreign and "racist" clique like the Mamluks for so long. That the Mamluks were a caste apart cannot be denied, but for Egyptians there were certain definite advantages to such an arrangement. Under Mamluk rule, for instance, they were spared the rigors of military service, and they were probably only dimly aware of Mamluk feuding and in-fighting in general. Not unwisely, they felt that that govern­ ment governs best which governs least, and they resisted strenuously the later nine­ teenth-century efforts of Muhammad 'All to remove the discriminatory yet comfortable Turkish monopoly of warfare. The Ottoman sultans, Ahmad Bey of Tunisia and other nineteenth-century Muslim rulers encountered similar resistance movements. 39. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, pp. 150-72. 40. David Ayalon, "Studies on the Structure of the Mamluk Army— I," BSOAS 15 (1953): 205,210,212,214. 41. These works might also be counted as taba/fit literature, another indication of how loosely the above-mentioned categories should be construed. 42. Muhammad Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M içri fi'l-'A fr al-'UthmOnl (Cairo:

Dâr al-Jil li'1-Tibà'ah, 1962), p. 11. 43. Al-'Ayni, for example, even wrote some of his historical works in Turkish. Marçais, "Al-'A ini," El (1913) 1, 213. We can speculate further that a decline in the historian's ability to use his own language well would lead to a simplification of the content of the chronicle, thereby moving historiography away from the conceptual, analytic approach of earlier centuries. 44. Al-Dusûqï, TTl-Adabal-Hadtth, 1 ,13. 45. Rosenthal, Muslim Historiography, pp. 154-56. 46. Gibb, "T a'rik h ,"p . 125. 41

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 47. Brockelmann, "Al-Makrizi," E i, (1913), 111, 175. 48. See Chapter VI. 49. Stanford J. Shaw, The Financial and Administrative Organization and Develop­ ment o f Ottoman Egypt, 1517-1798 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962), p. 1. 50. Ibid. 51. This is Professor Holt's suggestion, which to me at least seems far-fetched. P. M. Holt, "The Beylicate in Ottoman Egypt during the Seventeenth Century," BSOAS 24 (1961): 214. 52. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rfkh al-M içri, pp. 8-11. Cf. Muhammad Anis, "Mu'arrikh Majhúl Sabaqa al-jabarti," M-HiUU, no. 7 (1964), p. 25. 53. Richard N. Verdery, " 'Abd al-Rahmán al-jabarti as a Source for Mu­ hammad 'All's Early Years in Egypt (1801-1821)" (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton Univer­ sity, 1967), p. 5. Words like "decline" are of course susceptible to much misuse. A better term might be cultural "stability," as opposed to a period of renascence or innovation. Historical "decline" is in most cases apparent only in retrospect, and notions such as "the good old days" or "the Golden Age" may be as mythical as they are real. In addition, contemporary observers of a period of "decline" may well find times happier and even culturally more satisfying than during an age of disruptive ferment; con­ versely, those who experience a renaissance may see it as merely destructive of certain basic values. 54. I am indebted to Professor Anis for the substance of this argument although I have carried it a bit further than he did. Anis, Madrasat al-Ta'ríkh al-M i$rí, pp. Í4-17. 55. I have used Holt's schema. See P. M. Holt, "Al-Jabarti's Introduction to the History of Ottoman Egypt," BSOAS 25 (1962): 40-42. Anis adds a third category— the biographical school— which by his own admission was a Syrian rather than an Egyptian form, "brought" to Egypt by al-Jabarti. Anis, Madrasat ai-Ta'rikh al-M içri, pp. 45-53. For more on the biographical school, see pp. 50-52,55-56 below. 56. As cited in Holt, "The Beylicate in Ottoman Egypt," pp. 232,241. 57. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'ríkh al-M içri, pp. 53-54. Peter Gran's recent study of eighteenth-century Egypt contains a few references to al-Dimurdáshi, calling him "alDimirdash." See Gran's Islamic Roots o f Capitalism: Egypt, 1760-1840 (Austin, Texas and London: University of Texas Press, 1979), pp. 68-69. (There is even disagreement over whether al-Dimurdashi is one or several people.) 58. Anis thinks the soldiers' accounts could be highly informative. Anis, Ma­ drasat al-Ta'rikh al-M içri, pp. 55-57. For the reasons stated above, I tend to agree more with Holt's very guarded optimism. See Holt, "Al-Jabarti's Introduction to the History of Ottoman Egypt, " pp. 41-42. 59. "According to al-Djabarti's own testimony, the study of history was com­ pletely ignored and despised by his contemporaries." David Ayalon, "Al-Djabarti," El (1965), II, 355. As we shall see in the following chapter, Ayalon tends sometimes to overstate his case. 60. In Mecca as late as the nineteenth century Ibn al-Athir and Ibn Khallikán were read not for the sake of edification but in order to "shine in conversation." Rosen­ thal, M uslim H istoriography, p. 53. 61. See, for example, J. Heyworth-Dunne, An Introduction to the History o f Educa­ tion in M odem Egypt (London: Luzac and Co., 1939), pp. 41-42,65.


C hapter 111

Abd al-Rahman al-Jabartî and the End of the Classical Tradition


^ Jro en the sorry state of historical scholarship during the O ttom an period, one m ight expect that the first worthwhile nine­ teenth-century Egyptian writings would have resulted from outside influence. Instead, em erging out of an apparent vacuum comes a historian w hose m erits virtually eclipse the efforts of predecessors, contem poraries and later historians alike— a historian who clearly belongs to an allegedly defunct indigenous historical tradition but som ehow m anages to rise above his culturally "sterile" environment to becom e not merely the last but also one of the greatest represen­ tatives of the purely medieval school of Islamic historiography. Unlike many later nineteenth-century Egyptian historians, w hose work has been ignored, al-Jabarti has never lacked admirers. In a w ork published in 1863, the famous German O rientalist von Kremer referred to al-Jabartf s Wondrous Seeds o f Men and Their Deeds1 as "a historical work which describes the history of his time truthfully and reliably." Toynbee felt that al-Jabarti would "undoubtedly figure on a list of candidates for the distinction of ranking as leading historians of civilized society up to d ate." David Ayalon considered al-Jabarti "a giant among dw arfs" and Muhammad Anis has called him "th e great­ est h isto rian ."2 A clear verdict on al-Jabarti would therefore seem to have been reached.3 Anyone rash enough to attem pt to re-evaluate his work finds him self buffeted on all sides by a barrage of scholarly opinions, w hose influence is difficult to escape. O n the other hand, it may be that to bring all these diverse viewpoints together and then to subject al-Jabarti to scrutiny on the basis of the criteria elaborated in Chapter I may produce yet another result. This is in any case the intent of the present chapter.


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

'Abd al-Rahm än b. Hasan al-Jabarti was bom in Cairo in 1753 or 1754 and died som ewhere between 1824 and 1826.4 His family had com e originally from the village of al-Jabart, near the Red Sea port of Zayla'— an area that was a dependency of the Abyssinian Negus and noted for the extrem e piety of its inhabitants. Around the turn of the sixteenth century, 'Abd al-Rahm än, seventh grandfather of our histo­ rian, em igrated to Egypt to become shaykh of the Jabarti riwäq in al-A zhar—an office w hich then passed from father to son.5 That al-Jabarti's forbears were A zhari shaykhs already places him in the Egyptian cultural elite. The towering figure in his life was reportedly his father, H asan (d.1774), who was quite affluent: he was a m an of business who had relatives among Egyptian merchants and shipow ners. Having inherited a generous endowment (ivaqf) from his paternal grandm other,6 he also chose a wife from a wealthy family. For a tim e he was in charge of the fortresses of al-Tür, al-Suw ays (Suez) and al-M uw aylih.7 The family had at least three residences: a hom e in al-Abzariyyah on the N ile, another in Búláq, and a third in al-Sanädiqiyyah near al-A zhar.8 All three households contained mamluks, slaves (abxd) and both black and white slave-girls (jawdrin).9 Apart from his affluence, Hasan also provided his family with a cultural milieu unsurpassed for its time. He was on good terms with the Mamluk and Ottoman beys and was even known to Sultan Mus­ tafa 111 (1757-73) and other Ottom an notables, who used to send him b o o k s.10 His home was a m eeting-place for Azhari shaykhs and housed a good library containing Arabic, Turkish, and Persian books as w ell as a few rare m anuscripts.11 Although primarily an expert in the religious sciences, H asan was also regarded as a leading authority on m athem atics, astronomy, the calendar, calligraphy, engraving, carving, and weights and m easures (imawäzin al-qabbän).12 Al-Jabarti him self claim s that his father was a talented linguist, attaining such fluency in Turkish and Persian as to be taken for a native.13 He ap­ pears not to have delved into history per se, but his knowledge of other non-religious areas undoubtedly spurred his son on to investigation of such similarly mundane subjects like geometry, accounting, and his­ tory. 14 W hen the French expedition arrived in Egypt in 1798, alJabarti was in his early forties. Given his educational background, there could not have been a better native observer of events. He was on good term s with Egypt's rulers and her religious leaders and could w rite their biographies for the most part out of personal experience.15


The End o f the Classical Tradition

His close friendship with Ism ä'3 al-Khashshäb, who was a regular m em ber of the governing councils (dawäwin) set up by the French, gave him access to the documents of the Superior Court (Dâr alM ahkamah al-K abirah),16 although he seldom needed to refer to them since he was him self eye-w itness to many of the events that he re­ corded. Yet the m aterial and cultural advantages that al-Jabarti had over his contem poraries still do not wholly explain his success. His affluence and relatively high degree of learning, his contacts with Egyptian leaders, and his capacity as an eye-w itness observer could easily have resulted in merely one more history of the period and not in any magnum opus. If indeed he did produce truly great work, as m ost scholars think, other elem ents must have existed that account for this achievem ent. Although al-Jabarti did have diverse interests, it is primarily as a historian that he has become know n.17 He wrote two, and possibly three, historical works: (1) 'Ajä'ib al-Ä thär ftl-T arâjim w a’l-Akhbâr, al­ ready referred to above, (2) M azhar al-Taqdis bi-Dhahäb Dawlat al-Faransis, which can be rendered in English roughly as The Demonstration o f Piety in the Demise o f French Society, and (3) Ta'rikh Muddat al-Faransis bi-M isr, or History o f the French Presence in Egypt. The status of the third w ork is still in some doubt, since it is not clear whether it is an inde­ pendent historical study or simply an earlier version of M azhar alTaqdis. 18 Several copies of it exist in rough-draft form. Thought to have been w ritten around 1798,19 it is quite critical of the French and con­ tains numerous grammatical and stylistic errors. If, indeed, it was intended by al-Jabarti to be an independent historical study, it is cer­ tainly the least im portant of the three above-mentioned works and need not concern us in the discussion that follows. 'Ajâ'ib al-À thàr, al-Jabarti's main work, is in four volumes, spanning the period 1688 to 1821 but giving details and precise dates only after 1786.20 M azhar al-Taqdis is a much smaller book, written apparently in conjunction with Hasan al-'A ttär and covering the peri­ od of the French Occupation only (1798-1801).21 For a long time M azhar was thought to have been written after ‘Ajâ'ib, but now most scholars agree that M azhar was completed in December, 1801, and the first three volumes of Ajâ'ib only in 1805-6.22 It is important to know which work cam e first, since there is a significant shift of opinion from one work to the other. M azhar has been called by one scholar the official history of the


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

French occupation.23 It was dedicated to the new Ottoman governor, Yusuf Pasha, and was taken to Sultan Selim III in Istanbul, where it w as translated into Turkish.24 For many years it was also thought to exist in a French translation done by Alexandre Cardin (ca. 1790-ca. 1839), dragoman to the French consulate in Alexandria.25 There is no longer any doubt, however, that Cardin's work is an abridgement of A ja'ib rather than a translation of M azhar,26 The original Arabic ver­ sion of M azhar, oddly enough, appeared only very recently under the title Yawmiyyät al-}abarti (ed. Muhammad 'Ata, 2 vols., Dar al-M aarif, n .d .).27 The publication in Arabic of ‘Ajâ'ib al-Àthdr was also long de­ layed because of the unfavorable aspersions it cast on the government of Muhammad 'AIL W hen von Kremer visited Egypt in 1850, he re­ ported that it had already become a bibliographical rarity, as the court had destroyed any copies that fell into its hands. The ban was lifted toward the end of the 1870's, and the first publication anywhere of part of Aja'ib appeared in the Alexandrian newspaper M isr in 1878. In 1879-80 the entire work was printed at the Búláq Press; this edition subsequently became "standard" and is the one most often cited by O rientalists.28 A French translation of ‘Aja'ib, entitled M erveilles biog­ raphiques et historiques ou chronique du Cheikh Abd-El-Rahman El-Djabarti (Cairo, 1888-% ), also exists, but Ayalon does not exaggerate when he says that it is "an extremely inaccurate and bad translation, and is very dangerous to u se ."29 Recent scholarship indicates that the third section of ‘Aja'ib, covering the period 1798-1805, is basically an expansion of Mazhar. M azhar ended with the events of January, 1802, and contained only biographies of the Mamluk princes, to which those of the ulamä' were appended to make section three of ‘Aja'ib.30 ‘Aja'ib therefore gives a fuller account of the period; even more important, however, it is writ­ ten from a vastly different point of view than that of Mazhar. To judge from M azhar alone, al-jabarti feels nothing but con­ tem pt for the French. He vehemently attacks Napoleon's first proc­ lam ation, declaring that the French, in spite of their protestations to the contrary, are indeed atheists. They may say they respect the Qur'an, yet they do not hesitate to touch it after urinating. They are altogether an ill-m annered people, who shave and wear shoes on expensive carpets. W hen referring to individual French officers, alJabarti does not hesitate to add epithets to their names, e.g ., "th e accursed" (al-la in), "th e infidel" (al-kafir), "th e wicked" (al-khabith), 46

The End o f the Classical Tradition

"th e w retched" (al-tais). He mocks French political reforms, claiming that the French notion of equality means only that idiots rule; on genuine French achievem ents such as improvements in sanitation, he is silen t.31 ‘A jâ'ïb al-À thàr, on the other hand, tells the story of the French occupation in a different light. Al-Jabarti comes full circle, asserting that "th e whole conduct of the infidels is guileless and unblemished, in contrast to that of the M uslim s."32 French scientific know-how is described in detail with admiration. No epithets or insults follow French nam es. W hereas M azhar depicted the French as drunkards, ‘Ajà'ib says only that they drink for refreshment. The trial of Sulaymän al-H alabï, assassin of General Kléber, is simply noted in M azhar; in ‘A jä'ib it receives sixteen pages, full of obvious admiration for the French sense of justice. The Ottoman "liberators" from French rule are described as "th e Muslim arm y" in M azhar, showing al-Jabarti's ap­ proval of the return to Islamic rule; in 'Ajä'ib they are called simply "th e O ttom ans" or "th e arm y." Commenting on the French evacua­ tion in M azhar, al-Jabarti says that it "w as a day of rejoicing and greet­ ing and the end of anxieties and evils"— a phrase which is suppressed in ‘Ajä'ib. In ‘A jä’ib al-Jabarti is content simply to note the feeling of the people that the return to Islamic rule was a good om en.33 Finally, and perhaps strangest of all, he seems in 'Ajä’ib to have been genuinely disappointed over the failure of the English invasion of Egypt in 1807.34 W hat made al-Jabarti change his opinion of the French so radically? O ne answ er is that whereas M azhar represented al-Jabarti's first im pression, ‘Ajä'ib was the product of hindsight and reflection. It is not difficult to understand why al-Jabarti's initial response to the French occupation was unfavorable. As a pious Muslim and, more­ over, an A zhari shaykh, he saw the French as interlopers who had overturned the sultan's (and hence the caliph's) rule as well as that of his representatives in Egypt.35 He was often repelled by the alien custom s of the French, denouncing, for example, the "loose behavior" of French wom en, which he feared might infect Egyptians.36 He re­ mained aloof from the French during most of the three-year occupa­ tion and criticized those of the 'ulanuV who had, he felt, prostituted them selves in the service of their new m asters. But toward the end of the French presence and particularly after the assassination of Kléber, he began to change his views: when General Jacques Menou formed a new governing council in October, 1800, al-Jabarti consented for the


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

first time to be a m em ber.37 Perhaps M enou's recent conversion to Islam had removed an important objection to French rule for al-Jabarti. H e may also have concluded that further resistance to the French would be futile— why not yield to the inevitable? M azhar, which he w rote after the departure of the French, indicates that in spite of his position in the council (about which, incidentally, he is completely silent in his histories), he did rejoice over the defeat of the French in 1801.38 To carry the argument one step further, if the "revisionist approach" of 'Ajà'ib to the French occupation was not yet present in 1801, it m ust have taken form immediately afterwards— during the confusing period of the Ottoman restoration (1801-5). Al-Jabarti him­ self tells us that during the next five years more and more people began to yearn for the return of the French. The new Ottoman gov­ ernors proved more rapacious than ever. Their cruelty was in turn m atched only by Muhammad 'Ali and his Albanian irregulars, whom al-Jabarti despised so intensely that he refused to sign a petition of the shaykhs calling for Muhammad 'A li's retention in the Egyptian paçalîk. Even al-Jabarti's favorites— the Mamluk princes— now came in for censure because of their continual in-fighting and their inability to give the country stability. The only other system of government our historian had known— that of the French— now began to look much m ore attractive. Hence the new approach of 'Ajà’ib was al-Jabarti's attem pt to revise the conclusions he had previously reached in M azhar.39 ‘A jà’ib was a mature work, written only after considerable soul-searching, and this is why it has been so much more acclaimed than M azhar. W hereas M azhar is simply an eye-w itness account of events, ‘A jà’ib is history in the sense in which we earlier defined it. In ‘A jà’ib, for example, al-Jabarti goes so far as to criticize Shaykh 'Abdulläh al-Sharqäw i for refusing to wear the revolutionary cocarde, since to w ear or not to wear a particular hat has nothing to do with being a good M uslim .40 This sort of judgment shows that al-Jabarti has taken time to ponder the meaning of Islam and the meaning of the French presence in toto. That the French are infidels and sometimes oppressive rulers as well can no longer blind him to some of their very real achievem ents: in spite of his overall preference for Mamluk rule, he notes with approval that the French abolished the Mamluk corvée (sukhrah).41 And in spite of his strong antipathy toward Muhammad 'A li, he duly records that the Egyptian pasha did launch some valuable 48

The End of the Classical Tradition

public-works projects such as the repair of the Alexandria dam in

1816.42 The historical reputation of al-Jabarti seems to be richly de­ served. However, the arguments presented thus far have been based alm ost exclusively on that part of Ajä'ib dealing with the French occu­ pation. M azhar al-Taqdts does not merit attention except insofar as it offers important clues to an understanding of 'Ajä'ib. Mazhar is indeed better than other contemporary chronicles but would never by itself have achieved for al-Jabarti the rank of pre-em inence he now enjoys. Even Ajä'ib al-A thär, taken in its totality, is not really as analytic and interpretive a work as our discussion thus far has implied. W e should at this point return to our original criteria for judg­ ing the m odernity of historical writings. Regarding the purpose of his­ tory, for exam ple, al-Jabarti has the following to say: Let it be known that history is a science which investigates the condition ot peoples, their countries and achievements, customs and vocations, origins and dem ise. Its subject is the past careers of individuals, i.e ., prophets, rulers, 'ulamä', sages, poets, kings, sultans, etc. Its purpose is to ascertain whence and how past situations came about, to profit from such examples, to learn from them , and to gam er a wealth of experience through under­ standing of the vicissitudes of time. (In this way] a healthy intellect will become wary of the destructive examples of past generations, finding their good deeds attractive and shunning their wrongdoing, avoiding the tempo­ ral and pursuing ardently that which is lasting.44

Admittedly a trace of religiosity seeps into this statement of purpose, particularly in the final phrase. But the general tone is open-endedly heuristic. Not only does al-Jabarti feel that history is bound up with human affairs, from w hose example later generations can profit, but he is interested in causation, since in his words history's purpose is "to ascertain w hence and how past situations came about." At no point does he use the word "rep orts" (akhbär), claiming instead that history deals with the "cond itions" (ahwäl) of peoples. It is on balance a satis­ factory approach to history, which, if carried through, is unlikely to lead to a chronicle of the traditional stamp. Contrary to expectation, however, the overall organization of 'Ajä'ib is strictly annalistic. Like most medievalists, al-Jabarti is overzealous about dating, e.g ., forenoon, evening of the third day in Ra­ m adan, etc. There is no structural cohesiveness to 'Ajä'ib other than the passage of time— a fact that prompted Ayalon to say that the best way 49

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

to study al-Jabarti would be to rewrite his history.44 Events and obit­ uaries are lined up alongside each other as long as they both belong to the sam e year. It m akes no difference whether or not the person who died has any relationship to the events just discussed. As a result, 'Ajà'ib is confusing and difficult to use; moreover, it contains much redundancy. To do an obituary properly, sometimes as much as ten years after the individual has ceased to exercise any influence, alJabarti is forced to dredge up many of the same facts previously pre­ sented in the historical narrative per se. The essential question is whether within such a schema he treats history as an endless series of externals or focuses on the thought-content of events. Two examples should suffice: Dhú'1-Hijjah 1181 a .h . (April, 1763)

(1) In that month news arrived that Husayn Bey Kashkash and Khalil Bey, upon their arrival in Gaza, had collected a force and were ad­ vancing toward Cairo (M isr). 'AH Bey hurriedly prepared a large expedition­ ary force and set out with it. Three days later news arrived that they had veered off in the direc­ tion of Damietta and had plundered it of much wealth. They then appeared in al-M ansúrah, plundering it also. 'AH Bey ordered his men to meet them and [at the same time] sent a force from the Nile (al-baltr ). They came together at al-Diras and al-Jarráh in the province of al-Mansürah, near Sam anüd. A great battle occurred. The expeditionary force was defeated and quickly retreated. In this battle were killed Sulaymán Jurbajl Pasha, head (ikh tiy ár ) of the Jamiliyän Corps; Ahmad, the Circassian standardbearer;45 and 'Umar Aghá Jáwúshán, "th e quarterm aster." All were topranking Janissaries (su d ü ral-w ijäqät). The retreat continued to Dajwah. When news of it reached 'Ali Bey, he becam e concerned. The pasha [i.e., the Ottoman governor] came down out of the citadel and went to the Bäb al-Nasr Tower outside Cairo. There he assem bled the corpsmen, the ‘ulamà’ and the leaders of the Sùfi orders, commanding everyone who was either a corpsman or on military pay46 to get ready to join the expedition or to pay the necessary fees for exemption. 'All Bey then made every effort to collect another army, which was commanded by Muhammad Bey Abú'1-Dhahab and departed in early M uharram . It joined up with the first army, and the two together then pursued Husayn Bey, Khalil Bey and their forces, who had in the meantime crossed over to the shore of Gharbiyyah province, after defeating the [first] arm y. If God had so ordained that they follow up their rout of the army with dispatch, as 'All Bey and Sàlih Bey had done, they would have entered Cairo {M isr) with no obstacles; but this was not the Lord's w ish.47 (2) Prince Qásim Bey Abu Sayf also died [in a .h . 1216/a .d. 1801-2]. He was one of 'Uthmän Bey Abu Sayf's mamluks, sometimes called Qásim 50

The End o f the Classical Traditioti

Káshif Abü Sayf. He was a tax-collector with a good income and an estate. H is fame went back to the days of Murad Bey, who built for him a very expensive home in al-Näsiriyyah. He was gifted and knowledgeable in architecture and had rented a large piece of land from the Mawlàwiyyah ivaqf in al-Barkah al-Näsiriyyah across from his home. He put up a wall around it and built inside an ornate palace with a large courtyard. The land was divided into plots for farming, around which ran long and well-maintained roads and canals, some for the Nile w aters and others built out of cement and mortar, through which water from the irrigation ditches (al-sawâcft) flowed. Surrounding all this were willow trees, rich in foliage, while within were date palms and other trees and fields of cucumbers, clover (birsim ), com and so on. The eye roamed freely in any direction, and the mind was at rest in such wide-open spaces. The ditches were made in such a way that the waters collected in a basin, from which they spurted through pipes into a lower basin. Benches and places to sit were nearby. . . . W hen Hasan Pasha al-Jazä'irli arrived in Cairo (Misr) and the other princes departed, Qäsim Bey remained behind and did not accompany his m aster. He was given the rank of prince and sanjak in 1201. His command prospered and his reputation grew. Twice he was appointed Am iral-Hajj.«•

H ere we have al-Jabarti's approach to persons and events. The historical narrative stresses mere physical passage from one place to another; the biography gives us no real insight into the individual being discussed.49 The techniques are those of the typical m edieval Islam ic chronicle. O ccasionally al-Jabarti provides a little m ore of what m ight be called anecdotal material than some of the barer Mamluk and O ttom an-Egyptian chronicles, but the differences are slight and the style is rem iniscent of the Ottoman soldiers' ac­ counts. Shafiq G hurbäl's claim that al-Jabarti could write "m arvel­ ously captivating biographies" (tarâjim khallâbah badi'ah lïl-rijâl) seem s exaggerated to say the least. Ghurbai cites those of Murtadà al-Zabidi and Muhammad Bey al-Alfi as particularly outstanding,541 yet upon closer examination they prove to be only slightly better than their m edieval prototypes. Most of al-Jabarti's account of al-Zabidi concerns the paeans of praise and the gifts he received from contem­ porary adm irers.51 A l-A lfi's biography is longer and does contain a few interesting anecdotes illustrating his character. As in the biog­ raphy of Qäsim Bey, however, most of the narrative is devoted to the num ber of residences and palaces al-Alfi built (each with an elaborate description), an estim ate of his material wealth and the various ranks he held.52 The treatm ent of both men is basically that of the tabaqät, in w hich a mere silhouette of the individual in question emerges; it is


The Writing o f History in Nineteeitth-Century Egypt

certainly not for such qualities that 'Ajâ'ib has sometimes been con­ sidered a classic of historical w riting.53 The paradox is that although the content and style of 'Ajä'ib ai-Ä thär both betray an essentially traditional annalistic approach to history, many other of its elem ents do not fit such a conception. How are w e to view al-Jabarti's profound analysis of the French impact on Egypt, his ability to see the French expedition from both the French and Egyptian sides, his acute observations on French customs and governm ent? How do we reconcile his frequent willingness to offer his own appraisal of men and events, together with the convincing evi­ dence he adduces for his opinions, with the typical chronicler's prac­ tice of withholding all personal commentary on such matters? The only answer to such questions is that al-Jabarti is, after all, more than ju st a chronicler. The interpretive element in his writings is perhaps not as palpable as it would be in historical writing today, and he does follow too closely the traditional medieval practice of record­ ing simply the outer shell of events. But at the same time the analytic, questioning mind in 'Ajä'ib is strong enough to set it apart from earlier w orks. This quality, more than any other, has won for al-Jabarti his great reputation. M ost scholars have assumed that the interpretive elements in ‘Ajä'ib resulted from al-Jabarti's own unique powers of observation, overlooking the fact that most of ‘A jä’ib and of Mazhar follow accepted annalistic procedures, leaving us with exactly the same blind spots as earlier chronicles. They have been hard put to discover what enabled al-Jabarti to produce such a masterpiece, coming, as he did, out of such a sterile historiographical environment. Like all proponents of the G reat Man Theory, they have ultimately been forced to accept al-Jabarti's personal genius as something axiomatic— with no antece­ dents, no contemporary parallels, and no nineteenth-century continuators. N eedless to say, such an explanation does not completely satisfy. The alternative is that much, if not all, of the interpretive ele­ m ent in ‘A jä’ib stem s from the nature of the subject itself rather than from al-Jabarti's enigmatic personal talents. By this I mean that no thoughtful Egyptian observer could have set down the history of the French occupation without paying some attention to the characteris­ tics that set the French apart from more familiar groups like the Mamluks, the Ottom ans or even the indigenous population itself. It was the French, after all, who altered drastically the Egyptian form of govem-


The End o f the Classical Tradition

m ent; al-Jabarti merely recorded this event. It was also the French who had radically different religious views and a totally unfamiliar way of life, and al-Jabarti simply registered these differences. Finally, die French possessed a vastly superior science and technology, and alJabarti was privileged to observe and assess the results of that supe­ riority. In other words, the French occupation was for an Egyptian a phenom enon sui generis, which could not be treated as one would treat Mamluk in-fighting, and indeed as al-Jabarti did treat Mamluk in­ fighting. The French experience was so contrary to anything Egyptians had ever known that of its very nature it tended to provoke thought and a re-exam ination of values. It demanded of al-Jabarti that he write a history different from that which he otherwise would have written and, with the sole exception of the French experience, from that which he did in fact w rite: It would be unnatural for us to expect of al-Jabart! that he set down aspects of social life as it was lived at that time, in Cairo or in the countryside. This is a new kind of speaking and writing, which was unknown to men of his tim es and ignored by authors and writers. Whosoever lived amidst the people and saw and shared in their customs every hour of every day would have been unaware of gradual developments and alterations in his or their lives. [He would not have paid attention to] what entered into that life or vanished from it; to what in time became mixed with it; to the effect of contacts and dealings between people in commerce, war or travel; or to others of life's concerns which were subject to change or alteration (ilà

ghayr dliàlika min shu'ün al-hayâh allati ¡ó tañí ‘an al-tatmnour wa'l-tahauwml wa’l-mazj). Thus he [al-Jabartf] believed or felt that the customs of his con­ tem poraries and the life which surrounded them would remain in every respect just as it had been, untouched by any change or alternative (way of life). To record them or write about them would have been useless, assum­ ing that the idea ever crossed his mind. On the other hand, al-Jabarti de­ parted from such principles with regard to a given period of time whose history he recorded— namely, the period of the French invasion. [In this case] he recorded, above all, a number of specific social effects which the soldiers of this expedition had on Cairo. . . . Al-Jabarti's departure from principle concerning this period was natural, since the effect of the expedi­ tion was clear and powerful. Al-Jabarti took note of it and felt its impact on Cairene social life, of which he was one pillar.54

A l-Sharqäw l has provided the key to this impasse. According to him , al-Jabarti simply yielded to natural impulse, much as Ibn alA thir had done many centuries earlier when the alien presence of the M ongols forced him to devote attention to their strange ways. Ibn al-A thir's powers of observation may have been less acute than those


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

of al-Jabartl, but there was also more to observe about the French than the M ongols, who at least in the early phases of the invasion brought nothing but destruction. Unlike al-Jabarti, Ibn al-Athir had only one dim ension to work with, which, if we look at his description of the M ongol violation of unborn fetuses and the practice of building pyra­ m ids out of human heads, he was certainly not remiss in recording. Ibn Fadlän and al-Biruni were likewise careful medieval observers of the Russian and Indian scenes, respectively. The comments they made on alien cultures were comparable in many ways to al-Jabarti's, since in each case the historian needed to explain and evaluate things he would have taken for granted in his own cultural context. None of this invalidates the argument that al-Jabarti observed events more keenly than most of his contemporaries. But it does ex­ plain why his analytic powers were of such varying depth: penetrating in the case of the French yet shallow when he dealt with "traditional'' subjects like the biographies of leading 'ulamä'. If it does not wholly explain the success of a work like ‘Ajä'ib, it does at least go part of the way. We argued in Chapter I that to move away from the content of the chronicle toward actual historical writing was in one sense to be­ com e less "objective. " ss Al-Jabarti ran precisely this risk in his dis­ cussion of the French occupation, which is why these sections of 'Ajä­ 'ib are so much more valuable than the run-of-the-m ill chronicle. W hen he com es to the French, al-Jabarti starts for the first time to interact personally with his material, rather than simply recording it. H e abandons the faceless "objectivity" of the chronicle and does not, as Ayalon contends, write an account that is "a model of objectivity." The difficulty here is with Ayalon's choice of words; he himself senses it by subsequently contradicting his previous assertion and adding that it would be unreasonable to expect al-Jabarti to be anything more than a product of his environment and tim es.56 But this is the other extrem e, som etim es known as "determ inist history." It is just as in­ adequate, since clearly we do expect a good historian to transcend, in the way al-Jabarti did, his immediate environment through re­ thinking its m eaning. It cannot be shown, for example, that al-Jabarti's attitude toward the French, the Mamluks, Muhammad A ll, or anyone else w as simply presented to him in toto by his environment. Rather, al-Jabarti formed his own views, based on his observations, and had enough of the historian in him to want to re-evaluate the instinctive dislike of the infidel which he had felt while writing M azhar. No longer


The End o f the Classical Tradition

the "ob jectiv e" chronicler, he now felt it his duty to speak out on the various issues and to make known the "biases" which he felt had been intelligently arrived at. His historical perspective enabled him to see both the good and bad in the French occupation, and his scrutiny of the facts resulted in a marked esteem for the French, which he made no effort to conceal.57 His judgment of Muhammad 'All was equally clear and unequivocal, and it too has been of great value as a corrective to the generally favorable verdicts of later generations.58 Al-Jabarti is therefore not objective, if by that is meant neutral. But he is openm inded, thorough, and, above all, reflective. He gives us all the facts necessary to reach our own conclusions, but at the same time offers his ow n ideas on personalities and events. He makes it clear, for example, that the Mamluks treated the ulamä' with more respect than Mu­ hammad 'Ali did; and he does not hide his own opinion that the ‘ulamä' deserve high rank, possessing, as they do, the greatest degree of knowledge and justice (ilm and ad/).59 If we wish to infer from this that al-Jabarti, as an fl/im himself, was incapable of judging Muham­ mad 'All fairly, this is our privilege. The significant thing is that it is al-Jabarti who has enabled us even to be aware of such an issue. By expressing his views openly, he has afforded us a depth of historical understanding far beyond the meager powers of the chronicle. A l-Jabarti's occasional profound flashes of insight do not alter the fact that ‘Ajä'ib is for the most part just one more example of the medieval Islamic chronicle. Were it not for the mitigating factors of the unusual subject m atter and the contemporaneity of the main theme, the work m ight well have consigned its author to historical oblivion. Contem porary history was, as we have seen, a common medieval form of writing that had invariably resulted in some of the best ex­ am ples of medieval historiography. Al-M as'ùdï and Ibn al-Athir were also at their best when discussing events they themselves witnessed, since it was only then that the medievalist, from al-Tabari down to al-Jabarti him self, was able to offer anything beyond the barest of docum entation. For earlier periods his sources generally did not per­ mit the elaboration needed to make his account truly informative. Although the final portions of ‘A jä’ib can be described as both chronicle and contemporary history, the work as a whole has charac­ teristics of several other categories as well. The biographical element occupies even more space than the chronicle— which again places alJabarti squarely in the middle of medieval practice. The biography had alw ays been a popular historical form, and it became especially so


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

during late medieval tim es.60 Syrian historians in particular were very active biographers, and the abundance of biographical data in 'Ajä'ib arises partly from al-Jabartfs collaboration with the Syrian historian al-M urädi.61 A l-Jabartf s approach to biography was basically that of the m edieval tabacfit, the biographical and chronological passages alter­ nating throughout the entire work. The result was an amalgam of chronicle, diary, and biography, the content of which was at times irregular to the point of including such irrelevant details as descrip­ tions of princely estates. In this respect too Ajä'ib al-Ä thär merely perpetuated the late medieval tradition. A l-Jabarti also followed late medieval practice in style, sprin­ kling ‘Ajä'ib liberally w ith saj‘ where tradition demanded its use, e.g ., introductions, descriptions of battles or other dilemmas, emotionally charged passages of praise or condemnation, and so on .62 He was not an expert in this field, however, as anyone familiar with earlier works can attest. Even late nineteenth-century Egypt produced historians w ho w ere better so/'-stylists than al-Jabarti, although they were much further removed from the tradition than he w as.63 A l-Jabartf s style w as in fact generally poor, reflecting the decline in literary standards that had started in Mamluk tim es. Saj' seem s to have been the only device al-Jabarti knew of to get his sentences beyond a simple subjectpredicate construction of ten words or less. He used improper gram­ m ar, colloquialism s and even slang and at no point demonstrated that he w as able to write on any higher level.64 As we observed earlier, such linguistic deficiencies may have obstructed his efforts to go be­ yond the shallow , m aterial kind of history that is the essence of the chronicle. Before attem pting any final appraisal of al-Jabartf s work, a look at a few other historians of the period should enable us to place al-Jabarti in his proper context and to assess whether or not he really w as a giant among dwarfs. Egypt produced several other early nineteenth-century histo­ rians of note, all of whom were more or less al-Jabartf s contempo­ raries. The m ost prominent of them was undoubtedly Muhammad b. 'U m ar al-Tünisï (1789-1857), called by al-Shayyál the greatest of all m odem editors and redactors of texts.63 Al-Tûnisî undertook too m any other activities to be able to devote much time to historical w riting per se, but he did publish an account of his travels in the Sudan. A valuable source of geographical and sociological data, it also


The End o f the Classical Tradition

contained som e historical references. In keeping with the prevailing saj' conventions, he entitled the work "Intellectual Stim ulation in the H istory of the Arab and Sudanese N ation" (Tashhidh al-Adhhân bi-Sfrat BUM al-A rab iva'1-Sùdân). The book was a mélange of al-Túnisi's random observations on Sudanese life, frequent allusions to the Qur'an, poetry, and anecdotes. Like other medieval historians, alTünisï was for the m ost part content simply to describe, never really searching beneath the surface of events. The arrangement of the work was geographical and topical rather than merely chronological, which w as to be expected, considering it was not a history as such but a travel account. A l-Túnisi's style, oddly enough, conformed much m ore closely to classical Arabic norms than did al-Jabartfs— possibly because of the sophisticated training he had received as translator and redactor (m usahhih) in the School of Medicine and at the Búláq Press.66 O ccasionally he too defied the rules of Arabic grammar and inflection or lapsed into a colloquial passage, but in comparison with al-jabarti such occurrences were rare.67 As well as the Tashhidh, al-Túnisi wrote an account of a second trip he made to the Sudan (R ihlat Wâdây), and a m edical dictionary (Al-Shudhür al-Dhahabiyyah ftl-M ustalahät al-Tibbiyyah). He also edited several medical texts.66 Three other authors during this period— 'Abdulläh al-Sharqáwi, Ism á'il al-Khashshäb, and M uçtafà al-Q al'aw ï— were less ori­ ginal minds than al-Túnisi but were more purely historical in their accounts.69 Both al-Sharqäw i and al-Khashshäb were personal ac­ quaintances of al-jabarti. Unlike al-jabarti, 'Abdulläh al-Sharqäwi (d. 1812) chose from the very beginning to work closely with the French occupationary forces. He too w as an A zhari shaykh, but one of much greater renown than al-jabarti him self. Apparently dazzled by the superiority of the French over his own more backward countrymen, al-Sharqäwi was for Napoleon a natural choice as president of the first governing council set up under the occupation.70 A typical Ulim of his time, he eschewed history for the most part and wrote instead on religious subjects and language. His two historical works were a fifty-six page history of Egypt ([Tuhfat al-Nâzirin fî-m ân Waliya M isr min al-W ulâh wa'1-Salätin) and a collection of biographies of Shäfi'ite religious leaders (imams) from the fifteenth century down to his own time (Al-Tuhfah al-Bahiyyah f i Tabaqät al-Shâfi'iyyah).71 Tuhfat al-Nâzirin went through eight editions, in itself ample evidence of al-Sharqäw i's standing in the community. It had basic


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

shortcom ings, however, being both too brief and too annalistic in form to be of any value today. Purporting to be a study of contemporary events, it nevertheless ignores the French occupation— possibly be­ cause al-Sharqäw i wanted to cover up his own role in French ad­ m inistration. It was in fact a skeletal account of Egyptian history from the Arab conquest down through Ottoman times and came near to being simply a list of Egypt's rulers. Its tremendous popularity was probably due to the lack of even mediocre historical writings. A l-Sharqâw ï's other work does not merit attention. As the title im plies, it was of the tabaqät genre and in no sense an original creation. A l-Sharqäw i cribbed almost all his information from earlier writers such as al-Sha'räni and al-Suyütï or from contemporaries like alJabarti!72 The work of Isma il al-Khashshäb (d. 1814) was even less sig­ nificant. His father had been either a carpenter, a lumber merchant or both (hence the name), and during his early years he worked as a shahid (paid w itness) in the Superior Court of Cairo. He seems to have been both w ell-versed educationally and very likable, earning the re­ spect of all sides in a faction-ridden period of Egyptian history. During the French occupation he was appointed official scribe of the govern­ ing council by Jacques M enou. He was also on good terms with several French savants who had accompanied Napoleon to Egypt—a fact that prevented him neither from being equally close to Azhart circles and to al-Jabarti in particular,73 nor later on from remaining in the service of Muhammad 'All and certain other Ottoman pashas. Since he recorded the official m inutes of council m eetings, al-Khashshäb must have had excellent access to records and intimate knowledge of affairs of state. A l-Jabarti tells us that he tried on the basis of this knowledge to write a history of the French occupation. But if indeed he succeeded, his work has unfortunately not yet been found.74 About al-Q al'aw i, little need be said. He wrote a brief chroni­ cle of events from 1798 to 1808, containing nothing not already pre­ sented better and in far more detail by al-Jabarti himself. Like alSharqäw i, he probably cribbed most of his work from other sources.75 A l-Túnisi, al-Sharqäw i, al-Khashshäb and al-Q al'aw i all clear­ ly belong to the medieval Islamic tradition of historiography. This tradition was still operative in other Islamic lands besides Egypt: it survived in Arabia and the Maghrib down to the end of the nineteenth centu ry.76 In Turkey too, in spite of the alleged sterility of the Ottoman tradition,77 a truly remarkable example of "m edieval" historiography 58

The End o f the Classical Tradition

appeared in the Târîkh-i devlet-i ‘a liyye (12 volumes) of Ahmed Jevdet Pasha. The Tärtkh-i Jevdet, as it came to be called, was a chronicle of the period 1774-1826 and took its author no less than thirty years to write. Although he had used an abundance of original source-materials, Jevd et's history did not transcend the manner of the old school; pro­ m otions, elevations in rank, and deaths were recorded in the tradi­ tional way. Yet Jevdet's rich detail and extreme care in recording events rivalled that of al-Jabarti and made his work indispensable to later scholars. If he was not the last of the traditional Ottoman his­ torians, he was certainly the last of the great ones.78 Lebanon also produced a historian of some significance dur­ ing this period— Niqúlá al-Turk (1763-1828). Although bom at Dayr al-Q am ar, al-T u rk's ancestors were G reeks from Constantinople, w hence he derived his cognom en of "T h e T u rk." He entered the service of the Druze leader, Amir Bashir II, and was sent to Egypt to observe and report on the progress of the French expedition. Re­ m aining m ostly in Dam ietta from 1798 to 1804, he collected the ne­ cessary m aterials for "A n Account of the French Occupation of the Egyptian and Syrian N ation" (D hikr Tamalluk al-Faransawiyyah alA qtâr al-M isriyyah w a’l-Bilàd al-Shämiyyah). A l-Turk's account is doubtless superior to al-Jabarti's Mazhar and would even now be considered a document of crucial importance, w ere it not for the ‘Ajä'ib. It is the existence of the latter that has been responsible for the relegation of al-Turk alm ost to the position of a second-rate historian— clearly an injustice to his many talents. His history does contain a high proportion of errors, but they may be those of later copyists. Like al-Jabarti, he uses saj' liberally, disregards the rules of Arabic grammar and writes in colloquialisms. The arrange­ m ent of m aterials in Dhikr is also strictly chronological, and like most m edievalists al-Turk only occasionally concerns him self with any causal nexus or interpretation of events. Finally, he makes no attempt to conceal his bias as an Arab Christian in writing his account of the French occupation. In al-Turk's eyes the French are bearers of a higher civilization which will hopefully replace the "barbarism " of former tim es.79 These other historians of the period allow us to put al-Jabarti's contribution into proper perspective. In one sense no mystery at all surrounds his great reputation, since to judge him against someone like al-Sharqäw i is like comparing wheat against chaff. Even al-Turk's history— no mean effort considered in isolation— almost pales into 59

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

insignificance when measured against 'Ajä’ib, which is not only fuller and more accurate but also more profound in its insights and more balanced in its perspective.80 W hereas al-Turk's feelings toward the French border on adulation, al-Jabarti's are those of cautious admira­ tion.81 Al-Turk is promoting a cause dear to his own heart, whereas al-Jabarti is sim ply trying to get at the truth. Can al-Jabarti be considered as the greatest Muslim practi­ tioner of the historian's art? This would seem an exaggeration, inas­ much as m ost aspects of his history are a mere continuation of, rather than an improvement upon, medieval methodology. In its form and style, ‘Ajä'ib is basically no different from other medieval chronicles, of w hich senne could be considered even better.82 M ost of the weak­ nesses of medieval practice in general can be found in al-Jabarti's work, for instance, the heterogeneous content,83 the atomistic ap­ proach to events, the tabaqât-lïke treatment of biographies, the clumsy handling of saj‘ at fixed intervals, the generally poor literary style, the strictly chronological arrangem ent of materials, and so on. All of these characteristics are common to medieval Islamic historiography. Their presence in al-Jabarti's writings indicates nothing unique about his ow n contribution to Islamic historiography. Yet al-Jabarti's chronicle fills what would otherwise have been an enorm ous gap in our understanding of early nineteenth-century Egypt. As much could be said of many historical writings, but what distinguishes ‘Ajä'ib from other efforts is that extra insight it provides, the rich detail and surprising degree of accuracy.84 In those sections of ‘Ajä'ib where al-Jabarti gives us not only the raw khabar but also his ow n invaluable commentary on it, we leave the realm of the chronicle and begin to see the real significance of events. In this respect alJabarti was certainly not a "traditional" medieval historian and was, as w e shall see, even more "m odem " than several late nineteenthcentury Egyptian historians. But these qualities are on the whole atypical of his work and are due to the nature of the subject matter rather than to al-Jabarti's own personal awareness of how history should be w ritten. For although his observations on the French are indeed trenchant, in the rest of ‘Ajä'ib he uses older, traditional tech­ niques consistently, indicating that the attem pt to penetrate to the very heart of the French experience was more or less thrust on him by the alien nature of his subject. It now becom es clearer what enabled al-Jabarti, as a product of an apparently effete historical tradition, to write as he did. The only 60

The End o f the Classical Tradition

rem aining flaw in this argument is that both Niqúlá al-Turk and Abdulláh al-Sharqàw ï had as much opportunity as al-Jabarti to ob­ serve the French, yet neither of them produced a work of the caliber of 'Ajä'ib al-Ä thär. W ith the same stim ulus, only al-Jabarti brought to his subject the thoughtful, discerning mind of the historian. For whatever reasons, al-Jabarti felt impelled in this instance to set down thoughts rather than m ere records of physical movement. In so doing he wrote history and not ju st another chronicle.

Notes 1. My translation of 'Ajä'ib al-À thdr ftl-T aräjim wa'1-Akhbár. From now on I shall try in the case of major works to preserve the sa/'-rhyme of the original Arabic titles. 2. The opinions of von Kremer, Toynbee and Ayalon himself were all taken from Ayalon's article. See David Ayalon, 'T h e Historian al-Jabarti and His Back­ grou nd ," BSOAS 23 (1960): 218. For Anis' position see Muhammad Artis, "Al-Jabarti: A'?am al-Mu'arrikhin," Al-HUdl, no. 12 (1967), p. 287. 3. Negative opinions have been rare. Salámah Mùsà felt that al-Jabarti "lacked a real understanding of the great changes which had occurred and their historical im­ portance. He believed in the miracles of holy men; his mental pattem was that of a medieval oriental type." Salama Moussa [sic], "Intellectual Currents in Egypt," Middle Eastern Affairs 2 (1951): 267. That al-Jabarti "lacked a real understanding of the great changes which had occurred" can certainly be argued. In addition, Mùsà's judgment is hardly historical if he expects al-Jabarti to have a twentieth-century Western mentality. The view of Muhammad Mu$tafà Ziyädah might also be mentioned here. He gives al-Jabarti rather short shrift, claiming that he wrote a mere "day-to-day history of nis own times, in diary form ." See Ziyàdah's "Modem Egyptian Historiography," M iddle Eastern A ffairs 4 (1953): 267. 4. Macdonald says al-Jabarti was bom in 1754. D. B. Macdonald, "Al-Djabarti," E l (1913), I, 986. Ayalon, on the other hand, believes he was bom in 1753. Ayalon, "Al-Djabarti," E l (1965), II, 355. There is also disagreement over the date of his death. In his 1913 article Macdonald accepts the verdict of the French translators of 'Ajä'ib al-Ä thär that al-Jabarti was murdered by agents of Muhammad Ali in June of 1822. However, recent scholarship indicates that al-Jabarti died a natural death. Ayalon accepts Lane's report that he died in 1825 or 1826. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 247-48, repeated in Ayalon, "Al-Djabarti," El (1965), II, 355. Anis' examination of court records leads him to believe that al-Jabarti died sometime in a.h. 1240, or more exactly, between November 23,1824, and May 14,1825. Muhammad Anis, "H a^i'iq 'an Abd al-Rahmän al-Jabarti Mustamaddah min Wathä'iq al-Mahkamah al-Shar tyyah," Al-M ajallah al-Ta'rikhtyyah al-M isriyyah 9-10 (1960-62): 70-73. Al-Jabarti's last days were in any case filled with misery. Sick, almost completely blind, and grief-stricken over the death of his son, Khalil—who probably was murdered by Muhammad 'All's men in 1822— he lived in quiet seclusion in his home in al-Sanádiqiyyah. On this see Mahmud al-Sharqäwi, Mipr ftl-Q am al-Thdmin ‘A shar (Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilü'1-Miÿriyyah, 1957), 1 ,15-16. 5. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 237-38. 6. Ibid., p. 238; and Khalil Shaybúb, 'Abd al-Rahmdn al-Jabarti (Cairo: D ir alM a'irif li'1-Jibá'ah wa'I-Nashr, Iqri' Series, no. 70,1948), p. 19. 7. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 237-38; and Shaybúb, Al-Jabarti, p .1 9 . 61

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 8. Al-Sharqáwi, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin 'Ashar, p. 6. Recent evidence indicates that the Jabarti family may in fact have had two properties in al-Sanádiqiyyah alone. Anis, "H aqà'iq 'an al-jabarti," pp. 80-84. 9. Al-Sharqáwi, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin ‘Ashar, p. 7. 10. Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," p. 239. 11. Shaybùb, A l-jabarti, pp. 5, 22; and al-Sharqáwi, Mißr fi’l-Qam al-Thámin ‘A shar, p. 8. 12. Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," p. 239. 13. Verdery, "A l-jabarti," p. 153. This is probably an exaggeration. Cf. alSharqawi, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin ‘Ashar, p. 5. 14. Muhammad Fu'äd Shukri, Mißr fi Mafia" al-Q am al-Tàsi' ‘Ashar (Cairo: Matba'at Jâmi'at al-Qähirah, 1958), III, 1163. 15. Shaybüb, A l-jabarti, p. 54. 16. Shukri, M isr f i M afia al-Q am al-Tási‘ "Ashar, III, 1166. 17. Edward Lane reported, for example, that al-jabarti was fascinated by A Thousand and One N ights. (Al-jabarti does not mention this in ‘Ajà'ib, however.) He also appears to have been interested in medicine and wrote an abridgement of Dá'úd alAntaki's Tadhkirat al-A lbáb. Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," pp. 246-47. 18. Verdery does not even mention it in his study of al-jabarti. Moreh has made the most extensive manuscript analysis of all of al-Jabarti's works and initially felt that it was simply M afhar under a different name. See S. Moreh, "Reputed Autographs of 'Abd al-Rahman al-jabarti and Related Problems," BSOAS 28 (1965): 524-36. In a more recent and detailed study of al-jabarti, however, Moreh argues that it is a separate and independent text. S. Moreh, A l-jabartfs Chronicle o f the First Seven Months o f the French Occupation o f Egypt (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975), p. 18. 19. Ibid., pp. 18,23, 26. 20. Shukri, Mißr f i M afia'al-Q am al-Tàsi' 'Ashar, III, 1168. 21. Moreh, Al-jabarti"s Chronicle, pp. 18, 30; and al-Sharqáwi, Mißr fi'l-Q am alThámin ‘A shar, p. 36. Cf. Ayalon, who feels al-'Atfar's role was minimal. Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," p. 245. 22. Those who wish to pursue further the argument over which work was written first may consult the following sources: (1) Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," pp. 223-24; (2) Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri, pp. 34-37; (3) Moreh, "Reputed Auto­ graphs of al-jabarti," pp. 536-37; (4) Moreh, Al-Jabarti's Chronicle, p. 18; (5) Ismail K. Poonawala, "The Evolution of al-Jabarti's Historical Thinking as Reflected in the Machar and the ‘A jà'ib," Arabica 15 (1968): 270-87; (6) Muhammad Anís, "Al-jabarti bayn M tahar al-Taqdis wa ‘Ajà'ib al-À thàr," M ajallat Kulliyyat al-Àdàb Jâmi'at al-Qàhirah 18 (1956): 59-70; (7) al-Sharqáwi, Mißr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin Ashar, pp. 43-44; and (8) Verdery, "Al-Jabartí," pp. 11-12. The views of Anis, Poonawala, and Moreh are all so similar that one suspects they may have been "borrowed" from each other. (Ayalon and al-Sharqáwi represent the older view that ‘Ajà'ib was written first but reach different conclusions from this fact. See p. 63, n. 39 below.) Anis' article was the first to appear, yet neither Ayalon nor any of the others refers to it. This may be an injustice to Professor Anis' prior claims to scholarship, but if it is, Anis repays it in kind in his M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-Mißri, which appeared in 1962— only one year after Ayalon's article on al-jabarti. In Madrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri Anis does occasionally refer to Ayalon's article, but there are also entire passages taken verbatim from Ayalon which carry no acknowledging footnotes. (See, for example, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri, pp. 27-29.) This does not necessarily mean, however, that Anis has deliberately plagiarized. Footnoting procedures are in general still rather confused in the Arab world, and Anis at least mentions Ayalon's article, which is more than the other writers have done for him. The quality of printing in M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri also leaves much to be desired and may itself be part of the difficulty. 23. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri, p. 38. 24. Poonawala, "Al-Jabarti's Historical Thinking," p. 283; and Moreh, Al-Ja­ barti's Chronicle, p. 23. 25. The usually meticulous Dr. al-Shayyál was only one of many to fall into this


The End o f the Classical Tradition trap. See by Gamal el-Din el-Shayyal [sic], A History o f Egyptian Historiography in the N ineteenth Century, Faculty of Arts, no. 15 (Alexandria: Alexandria University Press, 1962), pp. 111-12 n. 12. 26. On this see Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," p. 158ft*.; and Moreh, A l-Jabartís Chroni­ cle, pp. 19-21. 27. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 245. 28. Moreh feels that al-Jabarti's grammatical and stylistic inadequacies have been "edited out" of the Bùlâq edition; Moreh, Al-Jabarti's Chronicle, p. 16. He does not say, however, that the actual content of the Bulâq edition differs from that of authenticated manuscript copies of 'Ajà'ib contained in the British Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale. Richard Verdery agrees that the Búláq edition is only slightly expurgated, if at all. Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," pp. 17-18,156-57. 29. Unless otherwise indicated, this information has been taken from Ayalon, "T h e Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 229-30. 'Ajà'ib has more recently been translated into Russian, and there are at present in Dar al-Kutub alone no less than thirteen copies of the work. Al-Sharqáwi, M ißrfri-Q am al-Thämin 'Ashar, p. 33. 30. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M isri, p. 36. 31. Poonawala, "Al-Jabarti's Historical Thinking," pp. 274-81. 32. ". . . jam ï' m uâm alat al-kuffär sälimah min al-ghishsh wa'l-naqç bi-khilàf mu'àm alât al-musHmin." Al-Sharqáwi, M isr fVl-Qam al-Thämin 'Ashar, p. 19. In this context the word "mu'àmalah" (pi., m uâm alat) may refer to commençai transactions. 33. Poonawala, "Al-Jabarti's Historical Thinking," pp. 286-87. For further de­ tails on changes in terminology between the two works, deleted passages, etc., see al-Sharqáwi, M isr fVl-Qam al-Thàmin 'Ashar, pp. 39-43. 34. Shaybub, A l-Jabarti, p. 101. 35. Shukri, M isrfiM afia al-Q am al-Tàst 'Ashar, III, 1183. 36. Matti I. Moosa, "The Development of Modem Arabic Fiction," The Islamic Quarterly 13 (1969): 142-43. 37. Shukri, Mißr fiM aJla'al-Q am al-Tási' 'Ashar, 111, 1188,1193. 38. Ibid., pp. 1189-90. 39. This analysis is based on the following sources: (1) Anis, Madrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ißri, pp. 37-42; (2) Shukri, Mißr fi M afia' al-Q am al-Tási' 'Ashar, III, 1186-93; (3) Moreh, "Reputed Autographs of al-Jabarti," pp. 536-37; and (4) Anis, "Al-Jabarti bayn M uzhir wa 'Ajà'ib," pp. 64-66. In his more recent study, Moreh says that Ta'rikh Muddat al-Faransi$ bi-M ißr represents al-Jabarti's initial knee-jerk reaction to the infidel French. M azhar, written slightly later, then becomes even more hostile because of al-Jabarti's desire to cover up his cooperation with the French occupation forces and simultaneously to ingratiate himself with the Ottomans. Moreh continues to regard 'Ajà'ib, however, as al-Jabarti's final reassessment of the French presence. Moreh, Al-Jabarti's Chronicle, pp. 23, 25. These hair-line distinctions need not bother us here. We should simply note that al-Jabarti's initial hostility to the French (as contained in either Muddat or Mazhar) changed to cautious admiration several years later in 'Ajà'ib. We can also look at the positions of Ayalon and al-Sharqáwi. Writing in 1960, Ayalon was evidently not sure which work came first. Thus he claimed that al-Jabarti tried to curry favor with the Ottomans by presenting them with a "revised history" of the French occupation, indi­ cating his (Avalon's) suspicion that 'Ajà'ib was written first. This is the same conclusion which Mahmud al-Sharqáwi had reached in his earlier and more detailed study of al-Jabarti, but Ayalon now tried (not very successfully) to "stand al-Sharqáwi on his head." He did not like to think, as al-Sharqáwi had maintained, that the French pres­ ence in Egypt during the writing of 'Ajà'ib had forced al-Jabarti to whitewash the occupa­ tion. He therefore cited al-Jabarti's attacks on Muhammad 'All as proof of al-Jabarti's claim that 'Ajà'ib was written with fearless honesty and not to flatter any one individual or faction. This was not a very convincing argument, however, in view of Ayalon's own demonstration that M azhar was not written honestly but rather to curry favor with the Ottomans. For the two positions see Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 231 n .l, 245; and al-Sharqáwi, M isrfTl-Q am al-Thàmin 'Ashar, pp. 43-44. 40. Shukri, Mißr fi M afia'al-Q am al-Tási' 'Ashar, HI, 1188.


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 41. Louis 'A wad, Al-M u'aththiràt al-Ajnabiyyah fil-A dab al-'Arabt al-H adîth. vol. II: A l-Fikr al-Siyàsi wa'1-ljtimà't (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'ärit, Publication of the Center tor Ad­ vanced Arabic Studies of the Arab League, 1966), p. 149. 42. Shukri. M isr fi M afia al-Q am al-Tàsi' 'Ashar, III, 1188. 43. Muhammad Qandil al-Baqli (ed.), Al-M ukhtàr min Ta'rtkh al-Jabarti (Cairo: Matäbi' al-Sha'b, Kitáb al-Sha'b, no. 27, 1958), p. 3. Some of the Arabic in this passage has been translated loosely in order to produce a readable English version. 44. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 244. This is more or less what Mahmud al-Sharqàwî attempted to do in Volume 1of his Misr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin 'Ashar. 45. The Arabic reads "Ahmad Tannàn Jarâkisah." 46. The French translation of Ajá'ib renders this expression as "jouissant d'une solde," which I have accepted here. The Arabic is obscure and reads " alayhi 'atäman ah." 47. Al-M ukhtàr min Ta'rikh al-Jabarti, pp. 81-82. 48. Ibid., pp. 485-86. 49. Or, as Richard Verdery puts it: Al-Jabarti tends "to lose the forest for the trees." Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," p. 115. 50. Shafiq Ghurbâl, "Ma^ádir al-Uhám 'ind Ba'd al-Mu'arrikhin," Al-Hilàl 62 (1954): 49. 51. Al-M ukhtàr min Ta'rtkh al-fabartt, pp. 223-26. 52. Ibid., pp. 691-708. 53. Even Ayalon has to admit that al-Jabarti's biographies of 'ulamà' are too stereotyped, containing simply the names of the 'àlim's teachers, the books he read, the treatises he compiled, etc., and that, consequently, they are of little use to the student. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 236. 54. Al-Sharqäwi, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin 'Ashar, pp. 47-48. 55. See pp. 14-16 above. 56. Ayalon, "T h e Historian al-Jabarti," p. 231. Al-Sharqäwi falls into the same trap when he says that al-Jabarti wrote "history without emotion." Al-Sharqäwi, Mi$r fi'l-Q am al-Thàm in 'Ashar, pp. 28-30. Al-Jabarti's feelings come through clearly in his work. What al-Sharqäwi admires are the cogent historical reasons he gives for such feelings. 57. Al-Sharqáwi feels that al-Jabarti's final position was too extreme, since the rule of Jacques Menou, in which al-Jabarti assisted, was harsher than that of any of Menou's predecessors. Al-Sharqâwï, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thámin 'Ashar, p. 30. (Like Ayalon, incidentally, al-Sharqäwi now comes close to contradicting his earlier assertion that al-Jabarti wrote "history without emotion.") 58. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 234. 59. Shukri. M isr fi M afia' al-Q am al-Tàst 'Ashar, III, 1171. 60. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M isri, p. 46. 61. Ibid., p. 52. The biographical school may have been most active in Syria, but it is strange to find scholars like Ayalon and Anis claiming that it was defunct in Egypt. Anis, for example, maintains that al-Jabarti brought the biographical genre from Syria to Egypt. See p. 42 n.55 above. Ayalon goes even further to state that of all the chroniclers of Ottoman Egypt, al-Jabarti was the only one to write biographies. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 225; repeated in Ayalon, "Al-Djabarti," El (1965), II, 356. Such a view can be supported, I think, only by taking a very narrow view of the biography. Ottoman-Egyptian chronicles will then remain chronicles, even though, like al-Jabarti's history, they contain numerous biographies. Two examples of Ottoman-Egyptian biog­ raphy have already been cited above (pp. 38-39), and we noted that the so-called literary chronicle is also referred to as the "sultan-pasha chronicle," because it contains so many biographies of sultans, pashas, etc. Thus Gibb's position on Islamic biographical writ­ ings seems to square more with the facts: "In contrast to the historical tradition, the biographical tradition, less dependent upon political changes, maintained its vitality, especially in Syria. Damascene scholars continued the series of dictionaries of notable persons of the late tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries (al-Burini, al-Muhibbi, alMuradi), and other works commemorate the scholars of single towns and districts. 64

The End o f the Classical Tradition Alongside these there flourished Imy italics] also in Egypt and Syria a type of ornate and involved biography in rhyming prose, bearing much the same relation to the preceding works as the rhyming prose history to the plain chronicle. Ot this school, the principal representative is the Egyptian Shihab al-Din al-Khafaji (d. 1069: 1659). . . . " Gibb, "Ta'rikh," pp. 135-36. 62. Shavbúb, A l-jabarti, p. 88; and Shukrï, Mijsr fï M afia' al-Q am al-Tâsi'Ashar, 111,1176,1179. ' 63. See Chapter IX, p. 174. 64. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 231 n.2; and even more convincingly in Moreh, A l-jabarti's Chronicle, pp. 25-30. (Cf. al-Sharqâwi, who feels 'Ajä'ib's many errors may have arisen from al-Jabarti's inability to find the time to edit it. Al-Sharqàwï, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thâm in 'Ashar, p. 26.) Ayalon adds that in writing this way al-jabarti was only following the example of earlier Egyptian historians, who from Mamluk times had moved toward "a living literary language which included these things." Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti," p. 231. More recently, Gran has maintained that al-jabarti's historical writing is characteristic of a so-called "eighteenth-century revival" in Egypt, which Gran describes as consisting of changing trade patterns between Egypt and Europe; the activities of "reform-minded" $ ú fiorders; and heightened interest in (1) the Battle of Badr, (2) the Prophet's Companions, and (3) hadith-studies\ Somewhat incon­ gruously, Gran then disparages both al-Jabarti's history and his poetry as shallow at­ tempts to win the favor of Muhammad 'AH's "court." Gran, Islamic Roots o f Capitalism, pp. xii-xiv, 73,88. Ayalon and Gran notwithstanding, al-jabarti belonged to an epoch in which the techniques of inshd' and literary artifice ran rampant, whether in Arabic, Turkish, or Persian historiography. It is therefore inappropriate to speak of a deliberate movement toward more popular forms of writing. There was indeed a movement, but it was simply a decline in literary standards and not any impulse toward a so-called "living literary language." 65. Jamál al-Din al-Shayyàl, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah wa'l-Harakah al-Thaqâfiyyah fi 'Apr M uhammad 'Alt (Cairo: Dar al-Fikral-'Arabi, 1951), p. 179. 66. Jamal al-Din al-Shayyâl, "Duktùr Birrún [Perron] wa'1-Shaykhän Muham­ mad 'Ayyäd al-Tantàwi wa Muhammad 'Umar al-Túnisi," M ajallat Kulliyyat al-Adab Jâm i'at Fàrüq al-Awwal 2 (1944): 221. Cf., al-Shayyal, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah, pp. 180-81. 67. Some of al-Tûnisï's errors may in fact have been edited out of the 1965 edition of his work, which is the only one I consulted. 68. Al-Shayyál, "Duktúr Birrún wa'l-Shaykhán," p. 218. Unless otherwise indi­ cated, my comments on Tashhidh were taken from Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Túnisi, Tashhidh al-A dhhàn bi-Sirat BUM al-'Arab wa'l-Südàn, eds. Khalil Mahmúd 'Asákir, Mu^tafà Muhammad Mus'ad and Muhammad Mu?tafà Ziyâdah (Cairo: Al-Dár alMi$riyyah li'1-Ta'lïf wa'l-Tarjamah, 1965), pp. 20-21 et passim. 69. According to Gran, Shaykh Hasan al-'Attár also wrote a "major work in the field of history based on the methodology of Ibn Khaídún. In so doing, he transformed a traditional religious topic of veneration into a basis for rationalist-cum-secular argu­ m en t." Gran, Islamic Roots o f Capitalism, pp. 159-61, 243 n. 2 5 .1 have not seen al-'Attár's work on the caliphate, but, if Gran is to be believed, it must be utterly unlike his other writings. 70. Al-Sharqáwi, M isr fi'l-Q am al-Thâmin 'Ashar, p. 55. 71. These titles might be rendered in English as follows: (1) "Gems of Obser­ vation in Egyptian Government and Administration" and (2) "Dazzling Jewels of the Sháfi'ite Schools." 72. On al-Sharqáwi's life and writings see Ayalon, 'T h e Historian al-jabarti," pp. 248-49; el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 12-14; al-Sharqàwî, Misr fi'l-Q am al-Thämin 'Ashar, pp. 55-57; and Jurji Zaydän, Ta'rikh Àdàb al-Lughah al'Arabiyyah (Cairo: Matba'atal-Hilál, 1914), IV, 281-82. 73. As mentioned earlier, al-jabarti could have obtained information of official governmental nature through his friendship with al-Khashshäb. See p. 45 above. 74. On al-Khashshäb see (1) Gran, Islamic Roots o f Capitalism, pp. 60-61, 80, 224


The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt n.46 (2) Avalon, "T h e Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 241-43, and (3) el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 14-15. 75. On al-Qal'awi's history, see Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," pp. 13-14,70. 76. Gibb, 'T a 'rik h ," p. 135. 77. See p. 21 above. 78. On Jevdet and later Ottoman historians see Kuran, "Ottoman Historiog­ raphy," pp. 422-23. 79. On al-Turk's life and work see especially George M. Haddad, 'T h e His­ torical Work of Niqula el-Turk, 1763-1828," Journal o f the American Oriental Society 81 (1961): 247-51. Haddad's views are in need of some sort of corrective, since, like Ayalon, he has become a little too enamored of his subject. For this corrective see Henri Pérès, "L'institut d'Egypte et l'oeuvre de Bonaparte jugés par deux historiens arabes con­ temporains," Arabica 4 (1957): 120-29; and el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 16-17. 80. It was obviously not easy to fool al-Jabarti. For example, when the French try to convince him that the English landing in Egypt in 1801 poses no threat to their own position, al-Jabarti comments: "And many words after this fashion with the same meaning: from the ocean of ignorance." As cited in Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," p. 44. 81. Pérès, "L'institut d'Egypte et l'oeuvre de Bonaparte," p. 122. 82. The work of al-Mas'üdi, al-Balädhuri and al-Tabari, to mention only a few, is first-rate. Even among al-Jabarti's contemporaries, Jevdet Pasha's history and to some degree that of the Tunisian Ahmad ibn abi Piyäf compare favorably with al-Jabarti's achievement. Jevdet Pasha has already been discussed on pp. 58-59. For an evaluation of Ibn abi piyäf's work, see L. Carl Brown, The Tunisia o f Ahmad Bey, 1837-1855 (Prince­ ton: Princeton University Press, 1974), p. 12. 83. Discussions of politics, for example, contain weather reports, occasional Bedouin raids, murder of prominent Cairene businessmen, etc. Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," pp. 150-51. 84. Ajä'ib's four volumes constitute quite a hefty chunk of historical prose. It is therefore not surprising that scholars differ somewhat regarding its overall accuracy. Lavish as usual with his praise, Ayalon claims that al-Jabarti was every bit as accurate and reliable as the French "masterpieces in historiography" written on the period. Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," pp. 232-33. Richard Verdery also gives al-Jabarti fairly high marks for accuracy, especially when he writes about events in Cairo. Verdety, "Al-Jabarti," pp. 38-39, 44, 68, 154-55. However, neither Ayalon nor Verdery took into consideration the views of Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i, who made a thorough and painstaking study of al-Jabarti's accuracy and came up with very different results. See al-Râfi'ï's Ta’rikh al-H orakah al-Qawmiyyah, 2 vols. (Cairo: Mafba'at al-Nah^ah, 1929), 1 ,9 9 ,1 0 5 -6 ,1 0 9 ,1 9 6 -9 7 ; II, 325-26,390 et passim. Regarding al-Jabarti's thoroughness, he provides in a mere twenty-five pages a more graphic account of the Egyptian invasion of Arabia than a contemporary Saudi historian is able to provide in two hundred. He is also a valuable source of information on economic and financial history. Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," pp. 109-10,117.

Chapter IV

Rifa ah al-Tahfâwï and the Beginnings of the Western Impact

J..hat the Ottoman period in Egypt, supposedly one of cultural and material decline, could produce a historian ot al-Jabartf s stature is paradoxical when we see that the reign ot Muhammad 'Ali (ca. 1805-49), which is usually considered a time ot torward momen­ tum , m odernization and reform, was incapable ot producing any firstrate historian. This apparent anomaly was a result ot rapidly changing cultural assum ptions trom one era to the next. The basis tor al-Jabarti's achievem ent had been the medieval Islamic historical tradition, which, albeit in its last throes, was at least clearly understood and potentially operative. But during the first half of the nineteenth century Egypt began to move in radically different directions, many of which Egyp­ tians did not yet fully understand.1 The defects of the older annalistic form s had begun to be clear, but it was no easy matter to translate this aw areness into actual application of a new historical methodology. There was a practical difficulty too. Egyptian cultural move­ m ent during the first half of the nineteenth century was determined largely by the personal wishes of her ruler, whose interest could not long be sustained in an enterprise to which he could see no military applications. Muhammad 'A lt's entire educational system was in­ tended primarily to serve the needs of the military, and his outlook on life was unlikely to further significantly the development of historical studies. W hat probably saved history from total oblivion was the Egyp­ tian ruler's feeling that it did, after all, have some vague connection with military affairs and public adm inistration. Sultan Selim III (17891807) had earlier held similar notions, hoping to save his empire by following the historical example of Peter the Great of Russia.2 Mu­ hammad 'A li, in turn, appears to have considered himself a m odem -


The W riting o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

day Alexander the G reat. He felt that through study of the careers of great rulers like Alexander, Julius Caesar, Peter the G reat, Catherine U, Napoleon I, and Charles XII, he might leam how to make Egypt into a great power. His French advisers encouraged him to read his­ tory in this light, but since he knew nothing but Turkish (and that not very w ell), it became necessary to translate history books into that language.3 A whole series of translations into Turkish from French, Italian, and even Arabic was therefore commissioned. Among the m ore im portant works w ere Ibn Khaldun's Prologmena, M achiavelli's The Prince, al-Jabarti's M azhar, a French history of Catherine the G reat, a history of N apoleon, and a history of Italy.4 Another indication of Muhammad 'A lt's interest in history is contained in an executive order of his to the treasury (1829), in which he specifically m entions that he has read "in history books" that the A shm fiyyah Canal was originally constructed by Alexander the Great. There is even evidence to suggest that he intended to commission the w riting of an encyclopedic history of his reign (Kitâb al-U m rûn) and, furtherm ore, that he wanted to set down his own memoirs of the period. But because of his large number of other interests, neither project ever came to fruition.5 Bow ring's report, which describes Muhammad 'All as totally ignorant of histoiy, should therefore not be taken too seriously.6 Bow ring was certainly not the friendliest observer of events, and he may have caught the Egyptian pasha in one of his more irascible m oods. Muhammad 'A li would in any case have resented strongly the im plication by Europeans that he did not know enough about history or, for that m atter, anything else. In addition, the meeting with Bow­ ring took place shortly before 1840, at which time Muhammed 'Ali could with considerable justification have claimed that he had been successful enough w ithout any knowledge of history. Bowring evi­ dently chose to accept such pronouncements at face value, although the burden of evidence cited above belies his report. Muhammad 'All clearly did have some interest in history and so commissioned alTahtäw i to undertake, among other things, translations of several his­ torical works into Turkish. Just as al-Jabarti seemed to tower over his contemporaries, the reputation of Rifâ'ah al-Tahtâwî has virtually eclipsed that of all other early nineteenth-century Egyptians. Al-Tahtäw i's career was extraor­ dinarily m ulti-faceted and has been examined from many different perspectives.7 He was, for example, important not only for the histori­


The Beginnings o f the Western Impact

cal w orks he him self actually w rote b u t even more, for the impetus and sense of direction he gave to historical studies in general. It was he w ho, m ore than any other single individual, laid die groundwork for later Egyptian achievem ents in historiography. Rifä'ah al-Tahtäw i was bom in die same year in which the French forces left Egypt (1801). His biographer, Sälih M ajdi, claims for him noble origins going all the way back to the Prophet's grandson H usayn.8 But if this is true (and such things are usually to be dis­ counted), his lineage does not seem to have helped him in any mate­ rial way. His family was reportedly quite poor.9 In 1817 al-Tahtäw i was fortunate enough to gain admittance to the university of al-A zhar. He remained there, first as a student and later as a teacher, until 1824, when he was appointed "preacher" (wä'iz) to one of Muhammad 'A ll's regim ents.10 W hile at al-Azhar, he sat at the feet of Shaykh Hasan al-'A ttár—undoubtedly one of the m ost influential figures in his life. A1-'Attar had been an intimate of al-Jabarti and was one of the m ost respected Azharis of his time. Dur­ ing the French occupation he had maintained close contacts with French scientific circles. Impressed by what he saw, he realized the need for reform in Egyptian education, science and society. After the departure of the French, he travelled widely in Syria and Anatolia (1802-15) and married a Turkish woman during his stay in the latter a rea .11 The peak of his influence came later on when he returned to Egypt and Muhammad 'Ali appointed him rector of al-Azhar and edi­ tor of the official Egyptian newspaper, al-W aqâ'ï al-M isriyyah. It was then that Rifä'ah made his acquaintance, and a warm friendship soon developed between the two m en. Rifä'ah came later to owe much to this friendship, since it was al-'A ttàr who opened for him the door to many opportunities. W hen, for instance, Muhammad 'Ali asked al'A ttär to nom inate a religious leader to oversee the first Egyptian educational m ission to France in 1826, al-'A ttàr chose Rifä'ah. Five fascinating and productive years in Paris followed. And when Rifä'ah returned to Egypt in 1831 to begin a brilliant career in government service, al-'A ttär apparently suggested to him that he write an account of his experiences in France. This account became of course the im­ m ensely successful Takhlts al-Ibriz ft Talkhts Bâriz. 12 As religious guide (inuint) to the Egyptian students studying in Paris, it was certainly not expected of Rifä'ah that he learn French. He nevertheless began to study the language as soon as the boat had left port and in time developed specific fields of interest in history, geog­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

raphy, philosophy and literature.13 The director of the Egyptian mis­ sion in Paris was Edmond-François Jomard, who had been a member of N apoleon's expedition in 1798 and later supervised the publication of the monumental Description de l'Egypte, jom ard was by profession an engineer, but he was also an accomplished geographer and may w ell have turned al-Tahtäw i's own thoughts in that direction.14 In addition to Jom ard, al-Tahtäwi was fortunate enough to find close friends among some of the most celebrated French O rientàlists of his day, e.g ., Silvestre de Sacy at the Collège de France, Coussin de Perceval at the Ecole des Langues Orientales, and Joseph Reinaud at the Biblio­ thèque N ationale. 15 It is easy to imagine what must then have been the topic upperm ost in these m en's minds, since in 1822 the French arche­ ologist, Champollion, had finally unlocked the secret of hieroglyphics. A s an Egyptian, al-Tahtäwi was particularly responsive to the excite­ m ent this discovery caused, and he quite naturally developed a lively interest in pharaonic Egypt.16 He must also have discussed Islamic history with de Sacy and others and cannot but have noticed the enorm ous differences in historical methodology between Egypt and Europe. The very fact that in Europe history was deemed a worth­ w hile pursuit may initially have been a shock to him. Al-Tahtäwi obviously regarded his sojourn in Paris as a great opportunity rather than a sacrifice. What is often depicted as the dosem inded A zharf m entality, fearful of contamination by the Christian W est, does not apply to his attitude toward this unique experience.17 He used his time to the fullest, acquiring first of all profidency in French and then going on to read in a wide range of su bjects.18 History and geography became his favorites, and some of his m ajor studyprojects included: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

a survey of andent history an introduction to G reek philosophy a book on Greek mythology Depping's Les moeurs des peuples M ontesquieu's history of the Roman Empire A biography of Napoleon M alte-Brun's Universal Geography M ontesquieu's L ’esprit des lois parts of the works of Voltaire and C ondillac.19

Besides his reading, al-Tahtäwi found time while in Paris to make tw elve translations of French works into Arabic, including a short 70

The Beginnings o f the Western Impact

history of Alexander the G reat, a treatise on political science, and part of the above-m entioned geography ot M alte-Brun.2u W hile fulfilling his religious duties in Paris al-Tahtâwï devel­ oped a broad understanding ot European culture. When he returned to Egypt in 1831, his star was already rising. He was met personally in Alexandria by Ibrâhîm Pasha, who rewarded his services with a gift of 36 feddáns of land in the Khänqah quarter. He was then appointed translator to the new School of Medicine— it was the first time an Egyptian had held this position. He also served for a time as translator to the Artillery School, but by far his most important post was director (názir) of the School of Languages (M adrasat al-Alsun), established in 1835 to teach "com plem entary subjects" like history, geography, and m athem atics. To the School of Languages was added in 1841 the Translation Department (Qalam al-Tarjam ah); both will be discussed in detail in Chapter V. Al Tahtäwi Remained director of the School of Languages (and after 1841, of the Translation Department also) for the next sixteen years. He was even entrusted with the editorship of «/Waqä'i ai-M isriyyah for a time, and in recognition of his em inence Mu­ hammad 'A li promoted him (in 1844) to the rank of qä'im-maqäm. In 1847, having finished a translation of M alte-Brun's geography, he re­ ceived an additional promotion to the rank of amiraláy, together with a gift of 250 feddáns of farm land and a 36-feddán garden plot. S a 'id later added 200 more feddáns to this rapidly growing estate, and Isma il another 250.21 In spite of his modest origins, al-Tahtawi had by then becom e one of the w ealthiest men in Egypt.22 O nly once during his long tenure in public office did Rifä ah have reason to fear for his future well-being. This was when 'Abbás cam e to the throne in 1849 and quickly closed down almost all of Muhammad 'A ll's new schools. The following year Rifä'ah was sent (or, as he claim s, "exiled ") to the Sudan. 'Abbás' reasons for ousting him are not entirely clear, but there are at least three distinct possibili­ ties: (1) the second printing of R ifä'ah's Takhlts al-lbm in 1849, contain­ ing passages criticizing the principle of absolute rule, (2) the intrigues of 'A li Mubärak against him, and (3) the jealousy of certain Azhart shaykhs, who felt he had been encroaching on their position as educa­ tors of Egyptian youth. For all that, al-Tahtäwi tried to make the best of his three-year stay in Khartum. His educational duties as director of the Egyptian school still left him time to undertake an Arabic transla­ tion of Fénélon's Les aventures de Télémaque, which had to be published in Beirut since it was even more outspoken in its criticism of absolute 71

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

rule than Takhlts.23 Many of R ifä'ah's former duties in Egypt fell on the able shoulders of his younger contemporary, Ali Mubärak, who seem s to have enjoyed 'Abbas' complete confidence: he was thus for som e time R ifá'ah's chief rival for royal favor. W ith the accession of Sa'id to the throne in 1854, Rifä'ah was welcomed back and Mubarak was sent to the Crimea. However, since Sa'id was preoccupied by his interest in military reform and the con­ struction of the Suez Canal, al-Tahtáw í remained for several m onths w ithout w ork.24 In 1855 he was appointed assistant director (utakil) of the M ilitary School (al-M adrasah al-H arbiyyah), set up in the same year to train officers for the G eneral Staff. When Colonel Sèves (Sulaymán Pasha) retired a few years later he was promoted to director. During the sam e period he was instrumental in persuading the government to undertake publication of older Arabic literary texts, e.g ., the Tafsir of Fakhr al-D in al-Razi and the Maqämät of al-H ariri. His official duties ended abruptly in 1861, when Sa'id decided to abolish the Military School. For the next two years he was once again without w ork.23 W ith the accession of the Khedive Ism á'il in 1863 began the so-called Egyptian renaissance (inahdah). Ism á'il was a much better educated m an than his predecessors, with far-reaching plans for re­ form and the desire to make out of Egypt "a piece of Europe." For such an am bitious project he needed the talents of all educated men, and despite his advancing years, Rifä'ah once again became a pivotal figure. Ism á'il immediately appointed him director of the revived Translation Departm ent, whose main task then was to translate the Code Napoléon and other legal documents into Arabic. The School of Languages was also reopened in 1868 as M adrasat al-ldärah w a’l-Alsun, although Rifä'ah did not serve on its staff. He had been destined by Ism á'il for even greater things and became the only permanent mem­ ber o f the Egyptian Board of Education (Qümisyün al-M adäris).2b W e will of course later in this chapter evaluate al-Tahtäw i's ow n historical writings. It is already obvious, however, that his im­ portance to historical studies and to education in general far tran­ scends his literary ouput alone. Rifä'ah played a seminal role in many different areas, and his greatest service to his country may have been his w idespread influence on students.27 He and his pupils in the School of Languages translated in all over 1,000 books into Turkish and A rabic.28 M ost were in various technical fields, but the following are a few examples o f the many historical and para-historical texts:


The Beginnings of the Gestern impact

1. Ithàf al-Mulük al-Alibbâ' bi-Taqaddum al-Jam'iyyàt fi Urubbd, trans. Khalifah Mahmud 2. Ithàf Multik al-Zamàn bi-Ta'rikh Imbarâtüriyyat Shàrlikân, trans. Khalifah Mahmud 3. Nuzum al-Alâ' ftl-Sulük fi-matt Hakama Faransä min alMulük, trans. 'Abdulláh A bú'l-Su'úd 4. Qannàsat Ahí al- Asr fi Khulásat Ta'rikh Misr, trans. 'Abdulláh A bú'l-Su'úd (from Marriott Bey's history of ancient Egypt) 5. Kitàb Ghûyat al-Adah fi Khulásat Ta'rikh al-‘Arab, trans. Muhammad ' Abd al-Räziq (from Sédillot's history of the Arabs) 6. Burhàn al-Bayàn wa Bayän al-Burhân fi Istikmäl wa Ikhtilàl Dawlat al-Rümàn, trans. Hasan al-Jubaylï2v A l-Tahtâw fs journalistic activities also enabled him to direct attention to topics of historical interest. Through his appointment as editor of al-Waqa'i' al-Misriyyah in 1842 he was able, in spite of the w atchful eye of Egypt's ruler, to influence somewhat the paper's ap­ proach toward news. It was under al-Tahtáw i's editorship, for exam­ ple, that Arabic began to supercede Turkish.3” The paper's focus also shifted from m ere eulogy of the sovereign toward discussion of truly newsworthy events; away from mere reporting toward a more critical analysis of dom estic and foreign affairs.31 Under Muhammad 'AH caution had to be used, however, and the results were thus rather m eager. During the later reign of ism â'il, al-Tahtàwï got a second chance at journalism , and this time he was allowed more freedom of action. In 1870 'AH Mubârak appointed him editor of the new journal, Rmvdat al-Madäris, which had been established to revive and revitalize Arabic language and culture and to disseminate "new ideas" (ima'ärif hadithah).32 Rawdat al-Madäris published articles covering a wide range of areas, including history. Al-Tahtawi him self contributed many of these, and his biography of the Prophet first appeared in this journal in serial installm ents. O nly later was it issued in complete form .33 Although al-Tahtäw i's own interests lay in the area of history and geography, he had at all times to consider the wishes of Egypt's rulers, i.e ., that he confine his efforts for the most part to technical fields such as m athem atics, natural and applied science, and law. Yet he managed to divert considerable attention toward areas that he him­ self considered worthy of study and for a time even succeeded in


The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

establishing a School of History and Geography {Madrasat al-Ta'rikh wa'1-fughräfiyä)— a clear indication of the importance he gave to these su bjects.34 Had he been a truly free agent, he undoubtedly would have launched even more ambitious projects. We do not know w hether he ever tried to arouse Muhammad 'A ll's interest in history, but he certainly did encourage his students to pursue historical studies. Besides his roles as educator, administrator, and translator, al-Tahtaw i w as him self a writer. Badawi lists twenty-eight works of various kinds w hich he either w rote, translated, or edited— a prodi­ gious achievem ent, considering the multiplicity of other duties that fell on his shoulders.33 Among the twenty-eight were certain historical or quasi-historical tracts as well as four m ajor studies authored by alTahtàw ï him self. I. "T h e Paths of Egyptian Hearts in the Joys of the Contemporary A rts" (Manâhijal-Albâbal-Misriyyah fî Mabáhij al-Àdàb al- ‘Asriyyah) II. 'T h e Purification of Gold O re in the Delineation of Parisian Lore"

(Takhlis al-lbrizfi Talkhis Büríz) III. "T h e G lory and God-Given Resplendence in the Story of Egypt and Ishm ael's D escendants" (Anwär Tawfiq al-Jalil ft Akhbdr Misr

wa Tawthiq Boni Ismail) IV. "T h e Briefest Source on a H ijàzï's Life-Course" (Nihâyat al-ljûz fi

Sirat Sàkin al-Hijáz)3b W e will deal w ith each of these in turn. O f the four, Marnhij al-Albâb is for us the most important. It is the only one that deals w ith m odem Egyptian history in any detail, yet the book is not, strictly speaking, a history at all.37 The historical content is for the m ost part incidental and only one of a great number of subjects contained in the book, e.g ., ethics, the duty of alms-giving in Islam , poetry, educational m ethods, reconciliation of different reli­ gious factions within a state, reform of local government, Qur'mic exegesis, hadith, Egyptian geography, etc. Mamhij is in fact an incre­ dible pot pourri of inform ation with little structural unity of any sort. It needs considerable reflection even to realize what al-Tahtäwi hoped to accom plish with the book. The author's main concern seems to be with what he calls "m atters of public utility" (al-mamfi' al-'umûmiyyah). The Arabic term is unclear, however, and one wonders why al-Tahtáwi avoided more traditional concepts like ‘umrdn (prosperity). The awkwardness of his


The Beginnings o f the Western Impact

term inology obliges him to expand on his earlier definition, and he goes on to differentiate between two basic means of civilizing a people: (1) through religion, which will elevate a people morally, and (2) through m aterial refinem ents (tamaddun màddi) such as improvements in agriculture, commerce, and industry.38 The latter, he states, are the sam e as al-m anäfi' al- umümiyyah.39 If this seem s clear enough, our author nevertheless contradicts him self further on claiming that al-numdfi‘ al-'umümiyyah can be equated w ith the French term “industrie,"40 thus excluding both agri­ culture and commerce from the definition. This inconsistency may be due to the desire to pay lip-service to Saint-Sim onism , which was the rage in France at the time of al-Tahtäw i's stay there; he probably brought the term back w ith him to Egypt. It is unlikely that he really intended to exclude agriculture and commerce from the definition, that is, if we can judge from his assertion that of the three forms of econom ic activity— agriculture, commerce, and industry— agriculture is the m ost beneficial.41 Perhaps he was merely indulging in linguistic snobbery w hen he threw in the term “industrie. “If so, then the gen­ eral tenor of the rest of the discussion indicates that Hourani's defini­ tion of al-manäfi' al-'umümiyyah as simple “economic activity" comes very close to what al-Tahtáw i actually intended by the expression.42 Although econom ic activity is the focal point of the work, Rifä'ah does talk about a variety of other subjects. The book begins with a brief description of Egypt, her geography, and the glorious historical role she has played.43 This is the “introduction." Five large chapters44 and a “conclusion" follow. In Chapter I Rifä'ah rambles on for over a hundred pages with no apparent central topic or purpose. He flits back and forth from tafeir to hadith to poetry, and in spite of an occasional mild attem pt to provide religious justification for some of the “new id eas" he propounds later in the book, there is no organic unity to the discussion.45 In Chapter II (41 pages) Rifä'ah deals with ancient and m edieval history and, more particularly, with the great scientific achievem ents of the Arabs, e.g ., the invention of the compass, Arab excellence in dock-m aking, Syrian expertise in dye manufacture, etc.40 The reader is led to the conclusion that if the Arabs have been great sdentists and technicians in the past, they can become so again in the future. Chapter 111 (37 pages) is concerned almost exclusively with ancient history. Rifä'ah refers to ancient Babylon as “an Arab king-


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

dom " and of course w rites of the immortal achievements of Egypt under the pharaohs. He speaks eclectically of some of the more out­ standing figures in ancient W estern history, e.g ., Solon, Alexander the G reat and the Ptolem ies,47 and then jumps in the space of two short pages from the Ptolemies to the reign of Muhammad 'All. He notes in passing that it was the Mamluks and Ottomans who caused Egypt's decline from her previously glorious position.4“ Chapter IV begins with an extended eulogy of Muhammad 'AH and then moves on to consider briefly great rulers like " mawlänä" Süleym an the M agnificent, Francis I, and Louis XIV. Al-Tahtàwï com­ m ents favorably on Louis XIV's use of men like Colbert and Turenne, the impUcation being that Muhammad 'AH too looked for men of proven ability rather than high station.49 The chapter ends with a look at Muhammad 'A ll's various reform projects.50 Chapter V is essentially a list of further reforms that alTahtàw ï feels might be useful for future planning, such as land reform; im portation of mulberry trees and merino sheep; and encouragement of cotton, sugar cane, and livestock production.51 He points out that "m od em " inventions like the telegraph, railroad, and postal service have all had tim e-honored Islamic equivalents.52 The chapter ends on a political note, leading directly into the "conclusion" in which he discusses social classes, rights of rulers and their subjects, civic duties, and the necessity of enlisting the services of enlightened public ser­ vants.55 All of the latter information is non-historical and need not concern us here.54 M anähij was obviously not intended as history but rather as a general cultural guide for the tim es. Although it was widely read and appreciated, al-Tahtàw i's hope to have it incorporated into the cur­ riculum of certain state schools was apparently frustrated.55 The ir­ regularity of the w ork's content was suggestive of the medieval approach to history as general adab, although in other ways the book differed fundamentally from medieval writings. Al-Tahtäwi may have intended it as an Egyptian version of what he had come to know in France as économ ie politique, although in this case it is clear that he had only a nodding acquaintance with that highly abstract and complex science. In its historical dim ension, however, M anähij did break im­ portant new ground, and for the first time nineteenth-century Egyp­ tian historiography moved sharply away from the older annatistic


The Beginnings o f the Western Impact

techniques. The work was topically rather than chronologically ar­ ranged, and its subjects were treated analytically rather than descrip­ tively. Like any other historian, al-Tahtâwï wrote from a certain view­ point which in his case consisted of (1) pride in the past achievements of the Arabs, (2) admiration for France and French culture, and (3) loyalty to the family of Muhammad 'A ll.56 All of these are obvious biases and, as such, would have to be considered in any evaluation of his work. But given his Arab-Egyptian heritage and his career, it is to be expected that his writings would reflect such attitudes. There is in fact nothing intrinsically wrong with them, provided he can adduce solid historical evidence to support them. M anähij makes no secret of al-Tahtáw i's admiration for Mu­ hammad 'Alt and refers to him generally as cennetmekän— a Turkish expression denoting respect for a deceased sovereign.57 He begins discussion of Muhammad 'A ll's reign in typical late medieval fashion, building one ornate saj' expression on another for a full two pages.58 (It would have been inconceivable in his time to address such an august personage in any other way.) Unlike the medievalist, however, he then goes on to enum erate the historiad reasons for his admiration. He m entions, for exam ple, that it was Muhammad 'A ll who liberated M ecca and Medina from the W ahhäbis, who had been making the pilgrimage such a hazardous undertaking.59 He writes of the war in G reece, providing us w ith valuable insight into the Egyptian view of this episode. He m aintains that the Egyptian invasion of the Morea was necessitated by G reek attacks on Muslims and their mosques. The G reeks, according to al-Tahtawi, had broken not only Christian laws (al-shari'ah a l-‘ïsàwiyyah) but also the Law of Nature (al-nawâmts altabiiyyah).tM The question of independence or autonomy for the G reeks does not enter into the discussion (indeed, why should it?); nor does al-Tahtàw ï see the war as one of territorial aggrandizement on Muhammad 'A ll's part. A fter com paring Muhammad 'All to Louis XIV and Ibrâhîm Pasha to G eneral Turenne, al-Tahtäwi then moves on to consideration of Muhammad 'A ll's dom estic policies. In keeping with his conviction that agriculture is Egypt's most important asset,81 he spends much time on Muhammad 'A ll's agricultural reforms. His own area of exper­ tise had been education, about which he could conceivably have boasted a bit. Oddly enough, however, he contents him self with only seven pages on Muhammad 'All's educational reforms, as opposed to


The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

nineteen on agriculture. He also describes at length Muhammad ‘All's policies in the Sudan, particularly his efforts to discover new sources of m ineral w ealth.62 W hether or not we agree with al-Tahtäw i's point of view, his w hole discussion of Muhammad 'Ali has a decidedly modem flavor. H e has of course left him self open to the charge of bias, but in so doing he has also shaken off the sterile format of the chronicle. This aspect of his writings makes him more modem than al-jabarti. Wheras al-Jabarti's insights are to some extent accidental, those of al-Tahtäwi are a direct consequence of the new approach he takes to historical writing. Another distinguishing mark of al-Tahtäw i's writings, in con­ trast to those of al-jabarti, is the embryonic statem ent of Egyptian nationalism that they contain. This sort of "b ias" has already been show n to be a common trait of nineteenth-century intellectual and cultural activity in general;63 and in the case of Egypt some sense of separate territorial identity existed even before the nineteenth century. It is doubtful whether this feeling could be called nationalism in any tm e sense of the word, although W estern and Arab scholars are not in com plete agreem ent on these m atters.64 W hatever one may think of ancient or medieval "national­ ism ," by al-Tahtäw i's time nationalism clearly did exist. It left an in­ delible imprint on his w ritings, as in M anähij, for example, when he states that he has written the book as a service to his country (w atan).*5 He dedicates it not to Muhammad 'Ali but rather to Egypt, "in remem­ brance of this nation and what men of intelligence have said about her advanced civilization."66 To justify such feelings he then invokes the Prophetic tradition to the effect that love of one's country is the es­ sence of faith {Hubb al-watan min al-im än).bl A series of ardently pa­ triotic poems follow s.60 He refers to Egypt at one point as “Umm al-D unyâ," w hich is to say that she is both distinct from and somehow better than Syria or Iraq.60 It does not therefore seem an exaggeration to say that alTahtäw i was an Egyptian nationalist.70 Nationalism may have under­ gone certain ideological refinem ents in later times, but this does not alter the basic impulse behind such feelings. For al-Tahtäwi, "nation­ alism ," even in the overly romanticized sense in which he understood it, acted as an im petus to historical writing as well as a basic deter­ m inant of the approach he would take to the subject. He wrote out of devotion to his country and doubtless regarded this as a pure, noble, and entirely natural sentim ent. It probably never occurred to him that 78

The Beginnings of the Western Impact

a philosophical conflict could arise between devotion to one's country and devotion to "historical tru th ." Ideally he should have realized this possibility, but in fact he did not run into problems. For one thing he w as basically an honest man and did not consciously attempt to distort or falsity the historical record. He wrote unabashedly from an Egyp­ tian point of view, but he did take care to buttress his positions with the necessary data. In addition, his "nationalism " had its positive aspects, enabling him at times to put some distance between him self and Egypt's ruling family, whose responsibility it was, al-Tahtawi claim ed, to govern the country wisely. History, he said, could be of service in diverting rulers from oppressive acts that future generations would condem n.71 Al-Tahtäw i's busy schedule as adm inistrator, editor, transla­ tor, educator, and litterateur left him little time to devote to strictly historical researches. In addition to M anàhij, he apparently had hopes of writing a multi-volum e history of Egypt from earliest times down to the nineteenth century, but as it turned out, he finished only two volum es of the projected series— one on ancient Egypt and the other on the Prophet and early Islam. In both cases he tried as he had in M am hij to make his work conform to modem historiographical stan­ dards. In his study of ancient Egypt, for example, he incorporated a wide variety of European and Arabic sources and even included a few of the m ore recent archeological findings.72 He had realized that a m ere chronicle would not do, and so he attempted to go beneath the surface of events.73 The book was well received, indicating that its modernity did not go too far for pious, well-educated Muslims; for al-Tahtàw ï had to be careful not to offend deep-seated religious be­ liefs. He accordingly interpreted the course of ancient history such that it would corrotx>rate certain parts of the Qur'àn and, even more naively, accepted certain myths and legends which, although interest­ ing, did not form part of any historical treatment of the subject.74 The other volume in his uncompleted series was concerned with the life of Muhammad. As might be expected, the treatment was cautious and conservative, and al-Tahtäwi adhered faithfully to literal interpretation of the Q ur'àn.75 In one important respect, however, al-Tahtäw i's biography of the Prophet represented another advance in techniques. Not content to write a simple chronology, he tried instead to include in his study an extended discussion of early Islamic institu­ tions— an important innovation for the tim es and one that may have been inspired by his reading of Voltaire's history of Louis XIV, which 79

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

had achieved fam e for precisely this reason. W hatever the inspira­ tion, N ihâyat al-îjâz proved further that al-Tahtäwi was well aware of the new directions nineteenth-century European historiography was takin g .76 The fourth and final work m entioned above was al-Tahtäw i's Takhlis al-Ibriz f i Talkhis Barit, which went through three editions in Egypt alone and w as later translated into Turkish, achieving wide­ spread circulation in Istanbul as w ell.77 Takhlis was a travel account and not a w ork of history per se, but it did contain certain features that w ill help us to understand al-Tahtäwi him self better. Two things about Takhlis are of particular im portance. First o f all, Takhlis has a wealth of detail and a depth of com­ m entary that recall immediately al-Jabarti's descriptions of the French. A l-Tahtäw i goes into all aspects of French life— politics, the status of w om en, eating habits, furniture, science, etc. Not only is he a careful observer o f the French scene; like al-Jabarti, he is not reluctant to com m ent personally on what he finds.78 Takhlis thus acquires a sense of im m ediacy and a vividness that none of al-Tahtäw i's other works can duplicate, because he was confronted by the same basic phenome­ non as al-Jabarti had been, i.e ., an alien culture and a way of life that dem anded extensive analysis and critique. It was utterly different from w riting about o n e's ow n country, as he (like al-Jabarti) proved later on w hen he tried unsuccessfully to carry over into M am hij some of the sam e techniques. The other significant aspect of Takhlis for us is its style, which in m any ways represents an im portant literary advance. Although he could not quite bring him self to abandon saj' altogether, in Takhlis al-Ibriz al-Tahtäw i for the first time made a serious effort to limit its use sharply and, in general, to write in as straightforward and concise a m anner as possible.79 Compared to Takhlis, M am hij and Anwar are stylistically quite weak, as we can see from passages like the following: I have called it M am hij al-Albàb al-Misriyyah f i Mabahij al-Ädäb al-'Asriyyah and [would like to] present it to His Highness, the Crown Prince of this noble nation (watan), exalted guardian of Egypt, supreme vizier, magnifi­ cent counselor, provider of the m eans to virtue and wisdom, augmenter of the stock of knowledge under His father's banner, the most lofty personage ('alam ) of those who are worthy and com petent in noble glory, His Highness Muhammad Pasha Tawfiq. May He continue under His father to enjoy great and eternal glory.80

Such em pty saj' formulae were typical of the late medieval 80

The Beginnings o f the Western Impact

tradition, and al-Tahtàw ï does not hesitate to use them in M anähij. In Takhlts al-Ibriz, how ever, saj’ has become a rarity, and even the strictly narrative episodes are far superior to his other works. The Arabic in Tahklts flow s sm oothly and easily with little wasted space, in contrast to the style of M anähij, which is clumsy and full of redundancies and abrupt transitions. Such discrepancies cannot simply be explained in terms of al-T ah täw fs own personal literary grow th.81 The only explanation seem s to be that Takhlis, unlike M anähij and Anwàr, was written first in rough draft form w hile al-Tahtawi was still with the Egyptian educa­ tional m ission in Paris. It was apparently full of grammatical and stylis­ tic errors, w hich the French O rientalist, Silvestre de Sacy, was able to point o u t.82 Ironically, it was with de Sacy's help that al-Tahtàwï then polished up the book's style—an option which was unfortunately no longer open to him for either M anähij or Anwär. A l-Tahtàw ï was, all things considered, not a first-rate histo­ rian. H e did not see historical writing as his prime function in life and received no noticeable encouragem ent for the efforts he made. But it w ould be w rong to w rite off his contribution entirely. He was in many w ays m ore m odem than al-Jabarti and could be just as acute an ob­ server. In style he at least equalled al-Jabarti, and if he occasionally becam e clum sy or abstruse, this was because he was trying to eluci­ date com plicated and alien concepts for which the Arabic language w as as yet unprepared. His effort to treat history institutionally and to incorporate W estern research findings into his account was both im­ perfectly understood and imperfectly executed, but it was an effort (indeed, the first effort). He wrote about Muhammad 'Ali in a new and untried way, concentrating on meaningful topics like agriculture, com m erce, and education. In form he was erratic, full of digressions and non secfuiturs. He constantly fell back on older methods of driving hom e a point, such as the Qur’an, a Tradition, or a well-known poem. But through it all al-Tahtaw i tried to keep his sights fixed on a new kind of history which would bear little resemblance to medieval forms like "th e sultan-pasha chronicle." It was a goal that he ultimately proved incapable of realizing but one which al-Jabarti could not even have conceived of. Unlike al-Jabarti, al-Tahtàw ï grew up in an atmosphere of con­ stantly changing cultural assum ptions. As Professor Anis aptly ob­ served, it would have been unlikely for such an era to produce a historian of al-Jabarti's stature.83 Al-Tahtawi had to operate in a cul­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

tural limbo and was at the whim of ruling groups that were not at all sym pathetic to liberal studies of any sort. He laid the groundwork and set the example for future generations, and he achieved much— as adm inistrator, educator and author. Taken in their entirety, his ac­ com plishm ents were indeed prodigious. They fully justify the rank of pre-em inence he has since come to hold in the eyes of his countrymen.

Notes 1. Anis, M adrasat al-Ta'rikh al-M ipri, p. 16. 2. Edward S. Creasy, History o f the Ottoman Turks (Beirut: Khayats, Oriental Reprints, no. 1,1961), pp. 45f£-59. 3. Verdery concludes from the reports of contemporary observers that Mu­ hammad 'All learned to read sometime in his forties. Verdery, "Al-Jabarti," p. 7. 4. Ziada, "M odem Egyptian Historiography," p. 267; and al-Shayyäl, Ta'rfkh al-Tarjam ah, pp. 166-68. 5. Jacques Tagher, "Mohammad Ali étudiât l'histoire et rédigeait des mém­ oires," Cahiers a histoire égyptienne 2 (1949): 73-75. 6. For Bowring's report see el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, p .1 9 . 7. Although much has been written on al-Tahtäwi, no study has ever been made of his role as a historian. It is this aspect of his career which is the focus of the present chapter. 8. Ahmad Acunad Badawi, R ifi'ah Räfi' al-T ahfäw i (Cairo: Mafba'at Lajnat alBayän al-'Arabi, n.d.), p. 12. 9. Maurice Chemoul, "Rifä'a Bey," El (1913), III, 1155. Cf. Gabriel Baer, A H istory o f Landoumership in Egypt, 1800-1950 (London, New York, and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 49. 10. Badawi, A l-Jahtäu d, pp. 17-19. Cf. Jamál al-Din al-Shayyäl, R ifi'ah R ifi' aJ-T ah fiw i, Nawäbigh al-Fikr al-'Arabi, no. 24 (Cairo: Däral-Ma arif, 1958), p. 22. 11. His prolonged absence from Egypt, highly unusual for an 'Him of that time, suggests that he may initially have been branded a collaborator. 12. The most thorough study of al-'Affär's life and writings is Gran's Islamic Roots o f Capitalism, p. 76ff. See also: (1) Sämi Badräwi, "Al-Shaykh Hasan al-'Atfàr," AlM ajallah, no. 99 (1965), pp. 30-35; (2) Badawi, A l-T ahtitoi, p. 16; (3) Al-Sharqäwi, Mipr fCl-Q am al-Thámin 'Ashar, p. 49; (4) Ayalon, "The Historian al-Jabarti," p. 243; (5) AlShayyäl, A l-Jah (äw i, p. 24; and (6) 'Ammärah, Al-A'mäl al-Kämilah, p. 46. 13. Al-Dusûqï, Ffl-A dab al-H adlth, 1,25-26. 14. Rifä'ah Badawi R aff al-Tahfäwi, Takhlip al-Ibriz ft Talkhip Bäriz, ed. Mahdi 'Alläm, Ahmad Ahmad Badawi and Anwar Lüqä (Cairo: Maktabat Mustafà al-Bäbi al-Halabi & Sons, 1958), pp. 5-6. According to Muhammad ‘Ammärah, this edition of Takhlip is flawed by deliberate omissions which distort al-Jahfáwi's meaning. The ex­ amples that 'Ammärah himself cites, however ('Ammärah, Al-A'mäl al-Kämilah, pp. 24-26), do not provide very convincing support for such an accusation, and his own edition of al-Tahfäwi's works is no less suspect in this regard than the Egyptian version. For more on this, see pp. 84-85 n. 54 below. 15. Takhiip al-Bmz, p. 29. I have assumed here that the Arabic "D ir al-kutub al-faransiyyah" refers to the French national library. 16. See, for example, pp. 75-76 above. 17. A l-jahfäw i was atypical of the 'ulami' of his time in that he regarded all knowledge, and not just the religious sciences, as useful. 'Ammärah, Al-A'mäl alKäm ilah, pp. 227-29. 82

The Beginnings o f the Western Impact 18. Al-Shayyàl, A l-Tahfdw i, p. 30. 19. A composite taken from Badawi, A l-Jah tiw i, pp. 21-22, 27-28; 'Awad, AlM u’aththirdt al-Ajnabiyyah, p. 200; and Takhllp al-lbriz, pp. 30-31,241. 20. Badawi, A l-Jm fd w l, pp. 28-29. We have seen that M uham m ad 'All was interested in the lives of men like Alexander the Great. ^ 21. Al-Shayyàl, Ta'rîkh al-Tarjamah, pp. 131-32, 138, 141. Baer corroborates these figures, adding that al-Jahfáw i bought privately another 900 feddäns during his own lifetime and that his heirs ultimately enlarged the estate to 2,500 feddäns. Baer, Landoumership m Egypt, p. 49. 22. In addition to the revenue from all his landholdings, promotion to the rank of amiraldy carried with it an emolument of 13,000 piasters per month. Al-Dusüqï, FTl-Adab al-H adith, I, 30. Muhammad 'All's efforts at modernization created many such opportunities for men of lowly origins like al-Tahtäwi, since he (Muhammad A li) had either eliminated or tried to avoid dependence on the traditional First and Second Estates, i.e., the Azhart shaykhs and the Mamluk princes. The ranks of government were thus thrown open to newer men, as al-Tahtäwi himself acknowledged gratefully in his history of Muhammad 'Ali's reign. Cf. p. 76 above. 23. The work was accordingly quite ineffective as a means of "educating" 'Abbäs on the evils of despotism, which is why al-Jahfáwi translated it in the first place. Ammarah, Al-A'mdl al-Kdmilah, p. 161. 24. According to one author al-Tahtäwi suggested (apparently in vain) that SaTd set up a system of "popular" elementary schools to educate the Egyptian masses in such subjects as the Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages; and Egyptian and Ottoman history. See J. T. [presumably Jacques Tagher], "La création d'écoles populaires en Egypte, selon un projet de Rifaa Rafée," Cahiers d'histoire égyptienne 1 (1944): 186-88. Unfortunately, Tagher provides no evidence for this assertion. 25. Biographical information on Rifâ'ah's activities during the reigns of 'Abbâs and Sa'id has been taken from al-Shayyäl, A l-Jahfdw i, pp. 39-45. 26. For al-TahJawi's career under Ismä'il, see al-Shayyäl, Al-Tahfdwi, pp. 46-50; and Badawi, A l-Tahtäw i, pp. 62-63. 27. Badawi, A l-Tahfdw i, pp. 94-98. 28. Moosa, "M odem Arabic Fiction," pp. 145-46. 29. A more complete listing can be found in Badawi, A l-Tahfäw i, pp. 94-95. Unfortunately Badawi does not always reveal from which European works the trans­ lations have been made. Because of the needs of su/', the original European-language titles have been altered beyond recognition. 30. According to Ammarah, al-Tahtäwi himself was the architect of this change. 'Ammarah, Al-A'mdl al-Kdmilah, p. 54. 31. Ibrahim 'Abduh, A'lOm al-$ihdfah a l-’A rabiyyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Ädäb bi'1-Jamämiz, 1944), pp. 41—46. 32. Ibid., p. 49. 33. Badawi, A l-Tahfäw i, pp. 74-77. Cf. 'Abduh, A'ldm al-ßihdfah al-'Arabiyyah, p. 47. 34. Al-Shayyàl, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah, pp. 38-39; and 'Ammarah, Al-A'mdl alKdmilah, p. 54. 35. Badawi, A l-Tahfdw i, pp. 351-53. Cf. 'Ammarah, Al-A'mdl al-Kdmilah, pp. 78-84. Hourani claims that al-Tahtäwi himself did translations of about twenty works. Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 71. 36. I have used Hourani's saj' rendition of M andhij al-Albdb. Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 72. The other three translations are my own. 37. One writer has called it "a treatise on national progress." Jamal Mohammad Ahmed, The Intellectual Origins o f Egyptian Nationalism (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 13. Another sees its main significance in terms of a well-articulated notion of Egyptian nationalism. Anouwar Abdel-Malek, Idéologie et re­ naissance nationale: L'Egypte moderne (Paris: Editions Anthropos Paris, 1969), pp. 222-23. O f the two, Ahmed's description is the more apt.


The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 38. This may be a subtle piece of religious revisionism. Al-Tahtáwi treats Islam here as beneficial rather than "true" and, in addition, as only one of any number of equally legitimate religious systems. 39. Rifâ'ah Ráfi' al-Tahtáwi, Kitáb M anähij al-Albàb al-M ifriyyah fi M abàhij alÀdâb al-'Açriyyah (Cairo: Matba'at Shirkat al-Raghà'ib, 1912), pp. 7-9. This must be the edition that ’Ammárah claims came out in 1911. The book first appeared in 1869. 'Ammárah, al-A 'm älal-Käm ilah, p. 79. 40. M anähij al-Albáb, p. 129. 41. Ibid., p. 80. 42. Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 72. 43. M anähij al-Albàb, pp. 7-23. 44. Rifâ'ah actually entitled these divisions "books," but nowadays we would call them chapters. 45. Chapter I was probably used as a smoke-screen to get the book past the objections of religious conservatives. It is so frustrating that many readers would have put the book down without even completing the first chapter. 46. M anähij al-Albáb, pp. 129-49. 47. Ibid., pp. 170-226. Out of deference to his ruler's interest in such men? 48. Ibid., p. 205. 49. Ibid., pp. 217-21. According to 'Ammárah, al-Tahtáwi was himself respon­ sible for introducing new criteria by which to judge men's actions. He considered talent and usable skills (al-mawähib al-ham idah wa'1-fadâ'il al-mufidah) more important than one's family, wealth, or social station; and to drive home this point he compared the achievements of the Prophet Muhammad with those of the high-bom Quraysh tribe. 'Ammárah, Al-A'mäl al-Kám ilah, p. 178. 50. M anähij al-Albáb, pp. 225-49. 51. Ibid., pp. 286-322. 52. Ibid., pp. 328-40. 53. Ibid., pp. 348-445. 54. Hourani has written the best brief discussion of al-Tahtáwi's political ideas, based mainly on the Conclusion of M anähij. Hourani, Arabic Thought, pp. 73-83. Some of the more recent Arab interpretations of al-Tahtáwi's politics try to cast him as a proto-socialist and must therefore be used with caution. In his Ta'rikh al-F ikral-lshtim kifi M i$r (Cairo, 1969), Rifat al-Sa'id maintains that al-Tahtàwî came out publicly in support of socialism in M anähij al-Albàb. Louis 'Awaçl's A l-M uäththirät al-Ajnabiyyah (pp. 175, 203-40) so distorts al-Jahtàw ï's ideas as to make them virtually unintelligible, and in a 1968 article in al-Ahràm 'Awad calls al-Tahfáwi a "radical" and a follower of "the moder­ ate socialists" (al-ishtirákiyún al-m u‘tadilún)\ Husayn Fawzi al-Najjár, while no less leftist in his sympathies, is a more careful writer (cf. p. 26 n.44 above) and feels that while alTahtàwï preached justice, honor and well-being as attributes of the good society, he showed no dear tendencies toward socialism. (The commentary on 'Awad's al-M u’aththirät al-A jnabiyyah is my own; the other judgments have been taken from 'Ammárah's new edition of the works of al-Tahtàwï, p. 177.) 'Ammárah's own book, incidentally, is another example of an attempt to put words in al-Jahtàwi's mouth. Thus according to 'Ammárah, al-Tahtàwï was aware of "the class struggle" (a l-firá a t al-(abaqiyyah) in France (p. 106), condemned Ottoman "imperialism" (pp. 144ff.), favored the "progres­ sive" forces of the time over the semi-feudal interests represented by Turks, Circassians and Albanians (p. 183), understood the notion of equality in a "bourgeois" sense (p. 185), regarded manual labor as useful and the labor of household servants as useless (p. 191), discussed the role of private property in the "superstructure" (al-binä' al-faw qi) of society (p. 192), analyzed "the class structure" (al-nizäm al-tabaqi) of ancient Egypt (ibid.), exhibited traces of socialist thought, if not of a socialist viewpoint (p. 195), and wanted to rid Egypt of its class-oriented educational structure (tabqiyyat al-la'lim ), (p. 235). In his constant attempts to force al-Tahtáwi into a particular mold, 'Ammárah is obliged to make statements that appear to contradict his earlier assertions. For example, he admits that al-Tahtáwi believed in slavery (pp. 191-92) and in limiting higher educa84

The Beginnings o f the Western Impact tion to the sons of the rich (p. 236). Other examples could be cited, but this is enough to show that the result is a rather confused and confusing mixture. 55. J. Heyworth-Dunne, "Rifà ah Badawî Räfi' al-Tahtäwi: The Egyptian Revi­ valist," BSO A S10 (1940-42): 405. Cf., al-Shayyäl, A l-Jahlàun, pp. 50-51. 56. According to 'Ammárah, al-Tahtäwi felt that rulers were not answerable to their subjects but only to God ('Ammarah, Al-A'màl al-Kàmilah, p. 161)— another indica­ tion of how difficult it is to make al-Tahtäwi fit into the socialist mold, much less that of the "liberal democratic thinker," which 'Ammárah at other times accuses him of being. Ibid., pp. 1 0 4 ,1 0 6 ,1 6 7 ,170ff., 193-94,199. 57. M anàhij al-A lbàb, p. 207 et passim. 58. Ibid., pp. 207-8. 59. Ibid., p. 211. 60. Ibid. 61. See p. 75 above. 62. M anàhij al-Albàb, pp. 221-81. 'Ammárah claims that al-Tahtáwi made "mild criticisms" (al-naqd al-h àd ï) of Muhammad 'All's agricultural policy, his overall poor planning, and his preoccupation with the military. 'Ammárah, Al-A mal al-Kàmilah, pp. 165-66. If so, they were indeed mild. 63. See pp. 16-18 above. According to one author, Egyptian nationalism did not become a real force until after World War I, when Muhammmad Husayn Haykal took over editorship of the newspaper al-Siyàsah. Abdul Mu'id Khan, "Modem Tendencies in Arabic Literature," p. 322. This is an absurd statement, refuted at each step of nine­ teenth-century Egyptian history from al-Tahtäwi down through Ahmad 'Uräbi, 'Abdullàh Nadim, Ya'qub Çannû', M u lata Kämil, Muhammad Farid, Shawqi, al-Bärüdi, Háfi?, etc. A case could probably be made, on the other hand, for the absence of Arab nationalist feeling in nineteenth-century Egypt. Even as late as 1944 the well-known Egyptian historian, 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Ráfi i, took note of Arab nationalism only so as to disparage the notion that the various Arab countries had any real common interests. 'Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i, Ft A'qäb al-Thawrah al-M ifriyyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahçlah al-Mi^riyyah, 1951), III, 142. 64. Most Western scholars, for instance, seriously question the notion that na­ tionalistic feelings or even nations existed in ancient or medieval times. Arab historians, on the other hand, in their quest for national identity, somtimes push the opposite interpretation to an extreme. Qustantin Zurayq, in his Al-Wa'y al-Qaumtt (Beirut, 1938), considers Muhammad the "architect of Arab unity" and refers to Arab, rather than Islamic, consciousness even during the early Islamic period. Chejne, 'T h e Use of His­ tory By Modem Arab W riters," pp. 395-% . In Egypt 'Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i has had the temerity to write of Egyptian national feeling during pharaonic times! See al-Ráf'i's Ta'rikh al-H arakah al-Qawmiyyah fi Mi$r al-Qadimah (Cairo: Maktabat al-NahçlahalMi^riyyah, 1963). 65. M anàhij al-A lbàb, p . 4. 66. Ibid., p. 7. 67. Ibid., p. 10. 'Ammárah is probably correct in thinking that al-Tahtäwi was the first modem Arab author to use this slogan. 'Ammárah, Al-A'màl al-Kàmilah, p. 123. 68. M anàhij al-Albàb, pp. 10-16. Patriotic odes (wataniyyàt) were considered one of al-Jahtäw i's fortes. 69. 'Awaçl, Al-M u'aththiràt al-Ajnabiyyah, p. 207. 70. The reader will recall Abdel-Malek's characterization of M anàhij. See p. 83 n. 37 above. 'Ammárah takes the argument one step further and calls al-Tahtäwi the father of Arab nationalism. 'Ammárah, Al-A'màl al-Kàmilah, p. 132. 71. M anàhij al-Albàb, p. 356. According to 'Ammárah, al-Tahtäwi also advocated the creation of an enlightened public opinion (m'y 'àmm) as useful in this regard. 'Am­ márah, Al-A'màl al-Kàm ilah, p. 163. Al-Tahtäwi's attitude is in any case reminiscent of the M irrors o f Princes literature, which he may well have had in mind when he wrote M anàhij. The purpose of history, as stated here, is clearly heuristic. 72. El-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 35-36. 85

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 73. This is the comment o í a contemporary reviewer ot A nw ir, indicating that the "n ew " approach was indeed considered necessary. The review is contained in the introduction to al-Tahfàwi's Anwär Tawpq al-fallt p A khbir Mifr wa Tawthiq Bani Ismä'tt (Cairo: n.n., a . h . 1285 (i.e., a . d . 1868-69]), 1,14. 74. Badawi, A l-Jahfäw l, pp. 119-20. 75. Ibid., pp. 126-27; and 'Aminarah, A l-Ä m äl al-Kämilah, p. 77. 76. For further details on the institutional framework of Niháyat al-ljâz, see elShayyal, A H istory o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 37-38. 77. Heyworth-Dunne, "Rifâ'ah al-Tahtâwï," p. 401. The first (1834) and third (1905) editions of Takhlfy were identical but al-Tahtäwi made some additions and correc­ tions to the second edition (1849). 'Ammárah, Al-A'mäl al-Kämilah, p. 78. 78. Takhltp al-lbrfz, pp. 98ff., 119ff., 132-33 et passim. 79. Ibid., pp. 4 7 ,57-58,80; and 'Ammärah, A l-A m älal-Käm ilah, p. 77-78. 80. M anähij al-Albäb, p. 5. 81. For one thing Tam ils was published before either M anähij or Anwir. 82. Takhlis al-lbrfz, p. 38. Muhammad 'Ammárah feels that al-Tahtáwi de­ liberately resorted to Egyptian colloquial Arabic when he could find no satisfactory equivalent in the classical language. See 'Ammárah, Al-A‘m il al-KOmilah, p. 73. This makes about as much sense as ai-Jabarti's alleged preference for a so-called "living literary language." See p. 65 n.64above. 83. See p. 67 above. Or as Ahmad Badawi has put it: "The age of Muhammad ‘Ali was one of translation rather than composition." Badawi, A l-Jahtàw i, p. 41.

Chapter V

History and Egyptian Education

± h e r e is more to historicism , to use M einecke's phrase, than a m ere series of historical w ritings. In the preface we discussed the need for the historian of history to investigate all the elem ents that m ake the w riting of history possible— the educational system , the general cultural and political m ilieu, the possibilities for mean­ ingful research, the historical consciousness of a society, etc. The purpose of this chapter is therefore to examine the Egyptian educa­ tional system and the increasing importance history came to have w ithin that system . Up until now we have not considered these areas, since of the two historians previously discussed one predates the m odem Egyptian educational system and the other helped to create it. From now on, how ever, we will find that most Egyptian historians w ere to som e degree products of their educational system. W e w ill begin our survey with Egypt's oldest educational institution— al-A zhar University, which was founded more than one thousand years ago. Throughout the medieval period al-A zhar was the m ost im portant center of Islam ic learning. In recent tim es its influence has declined, yet it rem ains a religious and an educational stronghold, both in Egypt and in the Muslim world as a whole. The m edieval Islam ic conception of education, as we have seen , w as oriented toward theological-philological studies and left little room for m ore m undane pursuits like history.1 The curriculum o f al-A zhar around the turn of the nineteenth century reflected this attitu d e, since it divided "scien ces" into three broad categories— religious, linguistic, -and rational, of which the first two consumed m uch m ore of the student's time than the third. Logic, mathem atics, algebra, tim e-calculation (mtqät), astronom y, philosophy, and rhet­ oric (ädäb al-bahth) w ere all considered "rational sciences"; history and 87

The W riting o f H istory in N ineteenth-Century Egypt

geography, on the other hand, w ere not. In al-Jabarti's numerous biographies o f Egyptian ‘ulamâ', it is rare to find anyone who was interested in history or, for that m atter, in the literary arts.2 H istorical studies w ere neglected to the extrem e, even by high medieval standards. The institution o f al-A zhar changed little during the reign of Muhammad 'A ll (1805-49). Although it is often claimed that Mu­ hammad 'A li broke the back of al-A zhar by putting an end to its mo­ nopoly of education and confiscating many of its large w aqf revenues, the damage thus caused tends to be exaggerated. More often than not, M uhammad 'A li had no choice but to work with the Azhart shaykhs, w ho were still by far the best educated men in Egypt; and although he did try to m onopolize many other areas for the state, it is significant that the "new schools" he established competed with al-Azhar but w ere in no sense intended to replace it. Muhammad 'A ll's desire to teach the new er, more worldly disciplines in Arabic also forced him to seek the cooperation of the Azharis, many of whom, like al-Tahtäw i, he sent off to Europe w ith various educational m issions.3 Al-Azhar thus acted as a recruiting ground for Muhammad 'A li, and it would have been unw ise for him to cut off completely the hand that was feeding his new state schools. O nce he had asserted his overall au­ thority, he left the Azharis to run their affairs much as they always had. The innovations in the state schools, therefore, had no noticeable ef­ fect on Azhart curricula or teaching m ethods.4 As a religious institution, al-A zhar was understandably slow in accepting new ideas. Its bargaining position perhaps carried even m ore w eight during the reign of Ism â'il (1863-79), when Arabic came to be used widely as a language of instruction in state schools. O f the 366 teachers in the state school system in 1875, 127 were Azhart shaykhs. The role of Där al-'Ulüm (to be discussed later) as a teachers' college for Azharis further enhanced al-A zh afs reputation as the only institution w hose graduates could demonstrate complete proficiency in all aspects of the Arabic language.5 Although al-A zhar was obliged to expand its facilities during Ism ä'fl's reign, it did not succumb to many of the period's new educa­ tional ideas. By working closely with Shaykh M ustafà al-'A rûsï (Rector of al-A zhar, 1864-70), Ismà'Ü managed to push through a few limited reform s, raising the educational standard required to qualify as a teacher but in no way altering the curriculum or the methods of in­ struction. Study at al-A zhar was still confined to "th e twelve sciences,"


History and Egyptian Education

and anyone suggesting a new discipline still risked being accused of heresy.6 W e have already seen that al-Tahtäwi disagreed with alA z h a fs concept of education,7 and Muhammad Abduh later tried to insert into the A zhari syllabus such subjects as m odem mathematics, geom etry, algebra, geography and history. After a long, uphill battle al-A zhar eventually condescended to incorporate history and geog­ raphy into its official program of study.8 M odification of the curriculum during the late nineteenth cen­ tury w as thus only slight. Three unequally weighted categories still m ade up the official A zhari program of study: (1) transmitted sciences — theology, jurisprudence, Qur'ûnic exegesis, Qur’m ic recitation, tra­ ditions, and dogmatic; (2) Arabic language and literature, grammar, rhetoric, lexicography, etym ology, prosody, and composition; and (3) history, geography, natural science, mathematics, and astronomy. The third category was still not treated seriously by many A zharis.1* It w as not until the m id-1920's, when the budget and administration of al-A zhar w ere brought under state control,10 that reforms could be introduced m ore quickly and efficiently by the central government itself. By this tim e the impetus for change was also coming from the Azharis them selves, since graduates of al-A zhar had been finding them selves totally unprepared for positions in government, business, and the professions. W e do not need to go into detail on more recent developments in a l-A z h afs history, except to say that in the last three decades the school has adapted itself to the contemporary world and nowadays offers a choice of courses closely paralleling those of lay institutions. It will certainly never again regain its old position of primacy but does seem to have adjusted to its new role as a modem Muslim "denom i­ national" college. It is in no sense a defunct educational organ.11 Since al-A zhar proved for the most part either unwilling or unable in the nineteenth century to offer Egyptians advanced training in any of the new sciences, Egypt's rulers had to go outside the Azhari structure to create a m odem educational apparatus. This was a long and arduous undertaking, full of many pitfalls and disappointments. It w as a necessary one, however, if Egypt was ever to narrow the educational and scientific gap separating her from her more advanced European neighbors. The foundations of Egypt's new educational system were laid during the reign of Muhammad 'Alt. Because he was interested pri­ marily in strengthening Egypt militarily and economically, the various 89

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

schools Muhammad 'Ali established— infantry, artillery, naval, chiefsof-staff, cavalry, veterinary, midwifery, agricultural, medical, etc.— w ere all technically oriented and tended to ignore historical studies.12 H ow ever, thanks largely to the efforts of al-Tahtäw i, history was in­ troduced into a few curricula. For a few months al-Tahtäwi even suc­ ceeded in setting up a school specifically for instruction in history and geography.13 But the experim ent was short-lived, and in the long run, except for the School of Royal Administration (established 1834), w hich worked with simple historical texts in French,14 the only signifi­ cant advanced training Egyptians of Muhammad 'Alt's generation got in history was through the School of Languages and the Translation Departm ent, both of which were under al-Tahtäw i's direction. All of Muhammad 'A lt's various schools functioned initially under the aegis of the W ar Department (Diwan al-Jihädiyyah). They thus had little latitude in the selection of course materials; moreover, their own concerns were often subordinated to those of the Depart­ m ent, which had other, more pressing matters to attend to .15 Fortu­ nately, with the creation of the Educational Council (Shürà'l-Madâris) and the promulgation of the new Educational Reform Law in 1836,16 fifty-five new "sta te " (nizâmï) primary schools and two preparatory schools w ere established. The two preparatory schools were Qa?r al‘A ynï in Cairo with 1500 students and Ras al-Tin in Alexandria, which had 500 students.17 Each had a four-year study program incorporating history in the third and fourth years. Third-year students read the first volum e of al-Tahtäw i's history of ancient Egypt, and fourth-year students studied the second volume on the Prophet and early Islam. W äsif's history was also read as part of the program of Turkish and Persian language instruction.18 The modem history of Egypt, how­ ever, w as com pletely ignored. The introduction of history into the secondary school curric­ ulum showed that its status was beginning to improve. Egyptian edu­ cation in general suffered a severe setback in 1841, however, following Egypt's defeat in the Syrian war and the signing of the London diktat. The treasury was em pty, jobs for new graduates were simply not available, and Muhammad 'All had decided that he was a beaten man. T he educational reform of 1841 accordingly called for drastic cutbacks in funds and staff, particularly in the primary schools, which, having reached sixty-seven in number by 1836, were reduced to thirty-eight in 1840 and finally to only four in 1841. Oddly enough, not one higher level training school was abolished at this time, which may mean that 90

History and Egyptian Education

the reduction in state primary schools was only temporary, pending full reorganization of the entire system. Even with the abolition of m ost state primary schools, the secondary schools could have con­ tinued to recruit from the many Qur'an schools (katätib) which Mu­ hammad 'A ll's reform measures had hardly touched. But since this would have entailed a serious decline in the educational level of enter­ ing secondary school students, it may be that in later years some of the nizâm ï primary schools were quietly re-opened.19 O f more importance to us was the retention after 1841 of the specialized schools, particularly the School of Languages. On its founding in 1835 as the Translation School (Madrasat al-Tarjamah), eighty students were enrolled. This number gradually increased to 150, and by 1839 the school had even produced a few graduates, who w ere put to work translating historical and literary texts.20 Under the 1841 reorganization plan history remained part of the curriculum of the School of Languages.21 To this institution was now joined the Translation Department, which contained four sub­ sections for (1) scientific and mathematical texts, (2) medicine and physics, (3) literature and social sciences, e .g ., history, geography, logic, philosophy, and law, and (4) Turkish translations. As many as fifty translators were engaged in the Department at any one tim e.22 Despite Muhammad 'Alt's military proclivities, the status of history had already improved somewhat since the days of al-Jabarti. It w as being both read and taught, at first in the School of Royal Admin­ istration and later in both preparatory schools and the School of Lan­ guages. No attention was as yet being given to modem Egypt, and no original historical work of any kind had yet been written. But from al-Tahtäw i on down through the lower educational strata, emphasis on and interest in history were clearly gaining impetus. During the last two years of Muhammad 'A ll's reign, his son, Ibrahim Pasha, took over virtually all aspects of the administration. Ibrâhîm was a remarkable man who came to be regarded as something of a national hero. It is not entirely clear, however, what he intended to do w ith his father's educational system during the brief time he was in charge of it. Heyworth-Dunne, relying on the studies of Hamont and Schoelcher, believes that Ibrâhîm him self was primarily responsi­ ble for playing down the educational program as far back as the Syrian post bellum period.23 Ahmad 'Izzat 'Abd al-Karim disagrees, however, and feels that Ibrahim 's educational ideas were in general far in ad­ vance of his tim e. 'Abd al-Karim claims that it was Ibrahim who intro­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

duced into the school system an "experim ental curriculum ," using children's stories and geographical texts instead of the usual Azhari religious m aterials. This was, he m aintains, a conscious effort to re­ m odel Egyptian education along English lines.24 If Ibrahim 's attitude toward education was ambivalent, the policy of die next two rulers— 'Abbas I (1849-54) and Sa'id (1854-63)— is quite clear. A dour and frugal man, 'Abbas has been much maligned by European and Egyptian sources alike, and with his accession Egypt's "forw ard m om entum " is usually alleged to have come to an abrupt halt.2S 'Abbas did gear down considerably the machinery of state, but m ost of the historical judgments pronounced on his reign have been too harsh. Much of Egypt's so-called forward momentum had already ground to a halt by 1841: as we have said, only four of the previous sixty-seven state primary schools were in operation when 'A bbäs came to the throne.26 By further retrenching his position, 'A bbas in one sense did Egypt a tremendous favor, since his attitude of "ben ign neglect" allowed the country to recover from the exhaustion o f Muhammad 'A ll's reign and kept it free— for a time at least— from the clutches o f the Europeans. Egypt's next ruler, Sa'id, did not make any radical departure from the policies of 'Abbäs. He was primarily interested in expansion o f the m ilitary and the proposed construction of the Suez Canal.27 He once summed up his philosophy of education as follows: "W hy open the people's eyes? They are only harder to ru le."28 Given such a men­ tality, education was bound to stagnate, although we have seen that during this period al-Tahtaw i's position improved over what it had been under 'Abbas. H e was ultimately put in charge of no less than five high-level offices: (1) Director of tine War School (M adrasat alH arbiyyah), the first to re-open under Sa'id in 1856, (2) Director of the Translation Departm ent, (3) Director of the School of Accounting, oddly enough a scaled-down version of the older School of Lan­ guages, (4) Director of the School of Civil Engineering, and (5) Inspec­ tor-G eneral o f the Buildings Department.29 N evertheless, it is unlikely that history w as taught in any of these schools.30 Under the dynamic leadership of the Khedive Ism ä'il (186379), Egyptian education once again began to make rapid progress. For Ism ä'il no project was too ambitious or expensive, and he seem s, consciously or unconsciously, to have modelled his rule on that of N apoleon III and the Second Empire. W hile Baron Haussmann, for exam ple, was rebuilding Paris, Ism ä'il set out to adorn Cairo and


History and Egyptian Education

Alexandria with palaces, European-style buildings of all kinds, and an opera house. He financed the construction of railroads, canals, light­ houses, telegraph lines, new port facilities, factories, and a postal service.31 His educational policies were no less ambitious, and to the single elem entary and secondary school, the military academy, medi­ cal school, school of midwifery, and school of chemistry, which were still in operation from the previous reign,32 Ism à'ïl gradually added the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Poly technic, established 1866 Veterinary, 1867-1879 Accounting, 1867-1873 Surveying, established 1867 A rts and Trades, established 1868 M ilitary Science, 1868-1872 Painting, 1869-1871 Law, established 1868 Egyptology, 1870-1875 School for G irls, established 1873 Teachers' College, opened 1873.33

The portion of the budget allocated to education soared from £E6,000 to £E80,000; the number of elementary schools from 185 to 4,000; and the num ber of pupils to a new record of 100,00o.34 The guiding hand for m any of these changes was 'Ali Mubarak,35 whose career and w ritings will be discussed in the following chapter. The m ost important educational reform measure to be passed under Ism à'ïl came in 1868. According to 'AH Mubârak, Ism à'ïl's Min­ ister of Education, the elementary school system had continued to function according to traditional methods of Qur'an memorization and classical Arabic philology.36 To break away from these practices, the Educational Act of 1868 (Lä'ihat Rajab) placed all Qur'an schools, still by far the m ost numerous type of elementary school in Egypt, under state control. Three categories of elementary education were set up accord­ ing to the size of the town or area where the school was located. In the sm allest schools (category 1) the curriculum remained much as before. But schools in the second category, containing more than seventy pupils, had their syllabus “m odernized" to include economics, his­ tory, geography, and even a foreign language. In the largest schools (category 3: al-madäris al-markaziyyah), where the best students matric­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

ulated, the curriculum now incorporated zoology, botany, and agri­ culture, as well as the above-m entioned subjects.37 The new legislation would have resulted in a significant ad­ vance in historical studies, had it been possible to implement all of these plans. The problem was that "there were no history teachers w orth speaking of, and their provision depended upon the Training College; the sam e applied to geography, which was badly taught and am ounted to the mere memorizing of nam es."38 The lack of qualified personnel and the tremendous financial difficulties facing Ism a'il's adm inistration by the 1870's meant that the proposed educational pro­ gram s had to be cut back drastically. Many of the reforms were thus destined to rem ain on paper.39 Secondary schools underwent little expansion, the Law of 1868 apparently setting up only two— one in Cairo (al-'Abbâsiyyah) and one in Alexandria (once again at Râs al-Ttn j.40 The secondary school in Cairo w as under All M ubarak's personal supervision, and he made a point of conducting a daily tour of inspection of the school. In time the Cairo secondary school, relocated from al-'Abbâsiyyah to the palace of M ustafà Fädil in Darb al-Jamàmïz, became the center of the whole edu­ cational m ovem ent.41 From at least 1874 on history was taught during each year of the four-year secondary school program. Attention fo­ cused on the following areas: First Year— Ancient Egypt and the Near East Second Year— Ancient G reece, the Hellenistic period, the Roman Republic and early Empire Third Year— the Roman Empire to Theodosius, the barbarian inva­ sions, pre-Islam ic and early Islamic history, Islamic Spain and Sicily Fourth Year—Medieval Arab history: the Crusades, Ayyubids, and Mamluks up to the Ottoman conquest.42 A ll history courses were at best ju st brief surveys of events and prob­ ably depended on al-Tahtäw i's ancient history as their primary source; in 1865 Ism ä'il ordered the Búláq Press to print five hundred new copies of the book.43 H igher education under Ism ä'il was still to a great extent tech­ nically oriented, and history was taught only in the School of Engi­ neering (M uhandiskhänah), the School of Administration and Lan­ guages (M adrasat al-Idärah loa’l-Alsutt),44 and of course in the Egyptian Teachers' College (Dar al-'Uiütn).45 The Naval Academy and some of 94

History and Egyptian Education

the m ilitary schools taught survey courses in geography but did not offer instruction in history.46 In addition to state schools, Ismä'Ü made every effort to en­ courage the establishm ent of private, denominational and/or "com ­ m unity" schools. From 1875 to 1887 enrollm ent in foreign schools increased from 18,916 to 27,264, while that of the Egyptian schools only w ent from 4,878 to 5,500.47 In general, the teaching programs of foreign and community schools tended to be weak in Arabic-language instruction but strong in foreign languages, mathematics, geography and history.48 Isma il's spirit of toleration was such that he even sub­ sidized "m odem schools" (madäris nizàmiyyah) for the Copts. The largest Coptic school in Cairo had a progressive curriculum, including subjects like French, English, Italian, mathematics (hisâb), geometry, history, geography and logic.49 Ism â'il's overall educational record was clearly a good one. Although many of his more far-reaching projects did not materialize, it nevertheless cannot be denied that he made a more conscientious effort than any of his predecessors to educate his people. Taking his­ torical studies as an example, Egyptians under Ism á'3 were receiving instruction in history in all but the smallest primary schools (whenever funds perm itted), in the secondary schools, and in the specialized schools. The establishm ent of Dàr al-'Ulüm under Ism ä'il, as we shall see later on, w as a milestone both in the development of Egyptian education and in that of historical studies p erse.50 The next two rulers— Tawfiq (1879-92) and 'Abbas Hilmi (1892-1914)— made still greater efforts to expand and modernize the Egyptian educational system . Shortly after his accession to the throne, Tawfiq formed a governmental committee to study further ways of W esternizing the curriculum of state schools. This time particular at­ tention w as to be paid to the applied sciences, and those primaryschool students who did not wish to go on to secondary school were invited to enter "finishing classes" {fusül takmïliyyah), where the em­ phasis was either agricultural or commercial, depending on the area of the student's origins. The tumult of the 'Uräbi period made it impos­ sible to implement these plans, but in 1885, when calm began to be restored, the government once again began to move ahead with the 1880 proposals.51 To the extent that he was a free agent, Tawfiq appears to have favored expansion of the educational system. The budgetary allotment for schools rose steadily from £E59,415 in 1880 to £E81,949 in 1881, but


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

after reaching £E88,078 in 1882,52 financial problems became more severe under the British occupation. Europe was now in a position to coerce Egypt into honoring her financial obligations, which were so great that little remained for areas like education. Cromer initially put through a series of austerity budgets and only much later, with Egypt's gradual return to solvency and Crom er's departure, did mat­ ters improve. As late as 1890 the token figure of £E81,000 was being spent on education, although by 1908 this amount had increased to a m ore realistic £E450,450.53 The progress brought about by the British in Egyptian educa­ tion was both too little and too late. From 1882 to 1902 Cromer allowed less than 1% of the budget to be spent on education, and even after his departure the figure never exceeded 3.4% .S4 It was barely possible to keep pace with population increases, and Egyptian nationalists began to point out that Britain's aim was the same as Sa'id 's had been— to keep Egypt ignorant in order to rule her more easily. Cromer coun­ tered with the argument that budgetary problems had prevented more extensive efforts from being made. He also claimed that most of Egypt's "pasha class" opposed the concept of "popular education,"ss yet w e find men like Ahmad Lutfî al-Sayyid, Mustafà Kämil, and Sa d Zaghlul whose entire lives were devoted to educating their people. The truth is that Cromer was interested in producing competent low er-level government functionaries and not literati, for he abolished the School of Languages and discontinued the program of educational m issions to Europe, concentrating instead on primary and secondary schooling.56 A few important changes in the curriculum of state schools did occur under the British. In 1892, for example, the study program in secondary schools was lengthened from four years to five. History, physics, chem istry, and some geometry were taught in either French or English, and foreign-language instruction in general rose sharply. The school w eek consisted of thirty-three class hours, of which seven­ teen were in Arabic the first year, fifteen the second, fourteen the third, thirteen the fourth and twelve the fifth and final year. On the suggestion of Dor Bey in 1905, specialization of third-year students in either the sciences or the arts became the rule.57 The British also agreed (although belatedly) in 1911 to help alleviate the perennial shortage of funds for education by allowing the provincial governing councils (majûlis al-mudïriyyât) to levy a 5% tax on land in order to support local primary schools (katátib): ninety-three


History and Egyptian Education

new primary schools were set up immediately as a result.58 In 1913 the British finally relented on their attitude toward educational m issions. Egyptians had long been demanding the expansion of study programs abroad, and the M inistry of Education agreed to set up a "Com m ittee of Guidance for Egyptian Students" (Lajnat Irshäd al-Talabah alM isriyyin). This committee decided to subsidize study programs in Europe for 614 students— 373 in Great Britain, 139 in France, 64 in Sw itzerland, e tc.59 By the outbreak of World War I Egypt probably had about five thousand schools of all kinds and levels.60 These covered the entire range from the elem entary hittdb with perhaps one elderly shaykh as teacher to the newly established Egyptian University (al-Jämi'ah alM isriyyah).bl It is difficult to say how many of these schools were governm ent-supported. State support probably varied widely from full governm ental subsidization down to small increments in aid.62 By 1914 the curricula of both elementary and secondary schools had undergone considerable modernization. The elementary school syllabus now included religious instruction, Arabic grammar and syntax, calligraphy, m athem atics, geometry, drawing, "general inform ation" (i.e ., history, geography, hygiene, etc.), physical educa­ tion for boys, and home economics for girls.63 In the secondary schools the program still followed Dor Bey's reorganization scheme w hereby during the final two years students selected a "m ajor" in either the arts or the sciences. By the m id-1920's history had achieved popularity as a liberal arts m ajor.64 Education in the liberal arts and social sciences had now reached a take-off point. After the winning of "independence" and the drafting of the new constitution in 1922, progress was accelerated. G reat hurdles still remained, and as late as 1937,80% of Egyptian men and 96% of Egyptian women were illiterate.65 But from the late nine­ teenth century on, the increasing emphasis on the social sciences and the hum anities in the Egyptian curriculum, the growing numbers of Egyptians who were studying these subjects in Europe, the continued im m igration of educated Syrian journalists, the maturation of the dis­ ciples of al-A fghani and Muhammad 'Abduh— all began to create a public audience with the education, interest, and leisure necessary to' form a market for writers in general and for historians in particular.66 The reform of the educational system provided each new generation of Egyptians with greater opportunities to study history. T he country as a w hole, however, could not afford to wait until it 97

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

could train its young men in the new sciences at home and was obliged throughout die nineteenth century to send students abroad for advanced training. Al-Tahtäwi was one of the first to develop an interest in historical studies in this way. During m ost of the nineteenth century Egyptian students w ere sen t abroad to study natural science, engineering, or medicine but received no direct exposure to any of the social sciences. M uhammad 'All, for instance, sent 399 Egyptian students to Europe, m ost of whom, like al-Tahtáw i, spent several years abroad.67 Yet only six of these had specializations that may have included some formal study of history.68 All of the others were scientifically oriented—a fact w hich, if they were at all of al-Tahtäw fs bent, need not necessarily have prevented them from acquiring substantial information in other areas. Equally w e must not assume that those students with technical or scientific specializations received no formal instruction whatsoever in non-technical fields. For instance, during the early stage of training abroad Egyptian students had to study a European language and could not have done so from reading technical or scientific texts. We know that students housed in the Egyptian Military School in Paris in 1844 and studying mainly military subjects were also given some teaching in history and geography, which may have stimulated their interest in these subjects.69 The technical-scientific orientation of Egyptian educational m issions abroad persisted down into the period of the British occup­ ation. 'Abbäs I and Sa'id scaled down considerably the numbers of students in such programs, and although lsm á'3 did promote them m ore actively and arranged financing for about 172 Egyptian youths betw een 1863 and 1879, he did not send anyone abroad for specializa­ tion in the social sciences.70 A marked change took place in the late nineteenth century. W hereas educational m issions to Europe prior to 1882 had been 96% technically oriented, during the occupation 60% of Egyptians sent abroad ultim ately specialized in the humanities and social sciences. Besides those who were studying abroad on government fellowships, hundreds of others were in Europe at their own expense.71 We have no statistics to tell us what the latter group was studying, but in one au thor's opinion it was mainly law, medicine and other professional field s.72 A fter W orld War I the number of Egyptians travelling abroad to study grew greater and greater. During the late 1920's and early 1930's 98

History and Egyptian Education

there w ere about 300-500 Egyptian students abroad at government expense as well as 600-800 others on their ow n.73 Most of Egypt's m ore celebrated historians of recent times— Shafiq Ghurbäl, Muham­ mad §abri, and Muhammad Anis, among others—earned their doc­ torates from either British or French universities. Upon completion of their studies, they then returned home to introduce modem historical techniques to their students. Three crucial developments took place in the late nineteenth and early tw entieth centuries which, because of their overriding impor­ tance to Egyptian education and to historiography in particular, have been om itted until now so that we may give them special attention. The establishm ent of the Egyptian National Library (Dar al-Kutub) in 1870, that of the Teachers' College (Dar cd-'Ulüm) in 1871, and finally the foundation of the Egyptian University {al-Jâmi'ah al-Miçriyyah) in 1908 all deserve separate mention. In term s of accessibility of documents and other historical source m aterials, until well into the twentieth century Egypt resembled Re­ naissance Italy. Just as Boccaccio could weep with joy over the dis­ covery of a priceless old manuscript in Monte Cassino, Egyptian his­ torians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found it alm ost im possible to locate important historical documents, most of w hich still lay mouldering in some forgotten com er of a mosque, governm ent building or family archive. The first important steps in preserving the Egyptian historical heritage were taken during the reign of Ism á'3. When the Ottoman Sultan Abdiilaziz visited Cairo in 1865, he suggested that Ismä'fl set up a royal library to collect and house historical documents. The khedive liked the idea and turned the project over to his M inister of Education, 'Ali M ubärak.74 The result was the Egyptian National Li­ brary— even now the largest in the Arab world. The work of finding, purchasing, editing, and indexing the m any books and documents that eventually found their way into Dar al-Kutub was a monumental undertaking, some of which is still not com pleted. The Dor's collection has, however, grown steadily since its inception. Originally established in the palace of M ustafà Fädil at Darb al-Jamámü— the same building in which the Ministry of Education had its offices— by 1904 its collection had mushroomed to 54,000 volumes, and it had to be moved to Bäb al-Khalq Square.75 By 1913 it housed approxim ately 70,000 books, of which 3,200 were historical works w ritten in A rabic.76 During later decades continued expansion neces­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

sitated the transfer of part of its stock annually to the G tad el.77 Today, in addition to the m ain building at Ahmad Mähir Square, the Dûr has eleven branch libraries. The main building alone now holds 1,000,000 volum es.78 D or al-Kutub is by far the largest Egyptian library, and scholars in all fields make constant use of its resources. There are other libraries, how ever, that contain im portant collections of historical materials: 1. The Library of al-A zhar—Originally set up in 1879, by 1913 it contained approximately 36,000 books and 11,000 documents. A s m ight be expected, the majority of these were in the religious sciences; history and geography together accounted for ju st over 1,000 volum es.79 2. The M unicipal Library of Alexandria— Established in 1892 with 16,193 volum es. The University of Alexandria Libraiy is nowa­ days much more important and contains about one million vol­ um es, m ost of which are in European languages.80 3. Private libraries— As in any developing country, private collec­ tions w ere for long one of the principal sources of records. Among the m ajor private libraries were those of Ahmad Taymur, Ahmad Zaki Pasha, Muhammad Bey À sif, Ahmad al-Husaym, 'A ll Rifà'ah (one of al-Tahtäw f s heirs), Abdulläh Fikri, Ibrâhîm Halim Pasha, etc. Som e of Dar al-Kutub1s most valuable acquisi­ tions w ere bequeathed to it from the private collections of men like M ustafà Fädil and Shaykh al-Shanqiti. 4. O ther school and association libraries— Examples are the Law School Library w ith 19,950 volumes, that of the Medical School (10,000 volum es), the Academy of Science (23,000 volumes), and the Geographical Society (5,000 volumes). The Egyptian Univer­ sity Library at the outset contained only 11,930 volumes. The Counter-Intelligence Library (Maktabat al-M ukhàbarât), attached to the M inistry of War, housed about 5,000 volumes mostly on history, geography, econom ics, and public administration. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were for Egypt a time of preparation of source materials. An enormous amount o f work was still needed to make the expanding collections of the new ly established libraries usable, and Egyptian historians of the period thus tended to write on subjects for which they personally had access to the necessary documents. Only by the very end of our period


History and Egyptian Education

had enough preparation of source materials been made to allow pro­ fessional researchers to use the libraries to accomplish research of any value. Although the subject of history had managed to creep into the curriculum of primary, secondary, and certain of the specialized schools during the nineteenth century, its retention as a major academic discipline rem ained uncertain until the foundation of the Egyptian Teachers' College (Dar al-'Ulüm) in 1871. The idea for this institution cam e from 'A ll Mubarak. Recognizing that the gap between A zhari and nizam i (public school) instruction had persisted and that it would be futile to try to introduce the new sciences into al-A zh afs curriculum, M ubarak decided to found an entirely new educational institution.81 Där al-'Ulüm opened in July, 1871, offering courses by Egyp­ tian and European scholars in the Qur'ân, Islamic law, Arabic litera­ ture, history, botany, physics, astronom y, mechanics, architecture, and railroad construction.82 Its progress was at first slow, and it grad­ uated only about tw enty-seven students between 1872 and 1879. M oreover, the graduates them selves were still so steeped in A zhari m ethods as to be unable to teach anything but the "traditional" sub­ jects; even their knowledge of Arabic left much to be desired.83 One notable exception was Muhammad 'Abduh, who in 1878 was ap­ pointed to the history faculty of the College. Unfortunately after only about a year's teaching, he was dismissed at the time of al-Afghäni's expulsion from the country.84 Because of the obvious deficiencies in the College's structure, a "n ew " Teachers' College (M adrasat al-Mu'allimin al-M arkaziyyah = Ecole normale centrale) was set up in 1880 under the direction of the Frenchm an, M ougel. The new school contained two subdivisions, one for traditional subjects such as Qur'an study and the Arabic language and the second for "n ew " disciplines like European languages, his­ tory, and geography. The plan was to recruit the entire teaching staff from Dar al-'Ulüm to fill Section O ne only. But since this would have entailed considerable expansion of personnel over a period of several years or perhaps even a decade,85 the plan was probably overam bitious. In spite of the initial obstacles, the Egyptian Teachers' College m ade steady progress and by 1937 had graduated a total of 2,435 new teachers.86 History became one of the main subjects of the curriculum, w hich was itself updated from time to time. By 1930, for example, the religious orientation of the "traditional" side of the curriculum had


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

been largely abandoned in favor of an emphasis on Arab culture and civilization.87 The college still exists today as part of the University of Cairo; among its graduates are some of Egypt's most distinguished historians such as Muhammad Fu'äd Shukri, Muhammad Rif at, Mu­ hammad A nís and Ahmad Abd al-Rahlm M ustafà. In spite of the progress Egypt had made in education during the nineteenth century, she still did not have a modem university capable of graduating, funding and employing professional historians and researchers. It became obvious that if Egypt hoped ever to pro­ duce adequate numbers of scholars not only in history but in the arts and sciences in general, this final crucial step would have to be taken. Thus in 1908 a group of Egyptian intellectuals proposed the estab­ lishm ent of Egypt's first W estern-style liberal arts institution— the Egyptian University. The impetus for this project had come mainly from nationalist circles, and m ost scholars agree that the idea itself is traceable to M ustafà Kám il.88 (Kamil himself predeceased the establishm ent of the university, however, and his party had fallen out of favor with both the court and the occupation forces— it consequently faded into the background.) O nce the plans had received the khedive's endorse­ m ent, a "P roject Implementation Com m ittee" (Lajnah Tahdiriyyah) was set up w ith Prince Ahmad Fu'àd as president, Sa d Zaghlùl (then assistant m agistrate in the Court of Appeals) as vice-president, Qäsim Am in as secretary and Hasan Sa'id as treasurer. The first problem the Com m ittee had to face was lack of money, since the university was to be privately funded. The financial crisis of 1907 also hindered progress for a time, but less than a year later the Ministry of Charitable Founda­ tions (Nizârat al-Awqdf) came to the rescue and offered an annual sub­ vention of £E5,000. The Ministry of Education added £E2,000 per year to this, and H asan Pasha Zäyid donated fifty feddäns of his own land. The success of the project was shortly thereafter assured when the university fell under the patronage of Princess Fätimah (the khedive's paternal aunt), who contributed still more land, a new building, and £E18,000 in personal jew els. By 1913 university assets stood at £E20,000, on deposit w ith the Deutsche Bank. Returns on investm ents am ounted to £E3,000.89 To create a new university virtually out of a vacuum was an enorm ous task, and in spite of such generous donations, the Egyptian U niversity got off to a very slow start. The number of students en­ rolled was small at first: by 1911-12 only 344 men and 77 women were


History and Egyptian Education

enrolled.90 A further obstacle was the acute shortage of qualified teachers, w hich the University attempted to remedy in 1911 by send­ ing thirty Egyptian students abroad for advanced training. Each stu­ dent received a government fellowship in the amount of £E4,380 per year91 and w as expected on completing his studies to return home to teach advanced courses. The curriculum offered at the Egyptian University in 1908-9 included such m odem disciplines as Islamic civilization; Arab history, geography and philology; and French and English literature. In 190910 w ere added the history of Arab astronomy, physics, political science, and Arabic literature; and in 1910-11 Sem itic philology, M iddle Eastern history, Arab philosophy and ethics, the history of philosophy, and sociology.92 These early m odest achievements were cut short by the First W orld W ar, during which the university's fate hung in abeyance. A fter independence, however, it was converted into a state institution and from then on began to grow steadily. Strictly a liberal arts institu­ tion until 1925, it received in that year three new faculties— law, medi­ cine, and sciences— and was by then on the way to becoming one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Middle East.93 By the early 1930's history and geography were two of the most popular university m ajors,94 and the problem of finding qualified personnel to teach these subjects no longer existed. Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid became the university's first rector, and men like Tahà Husayn and Ismä'fi R a'fat as well as a bevy of well known European scholars were counted among its teachers.95 In the History Department per se com­ petent Egyptian professionals such as Shafiq Ghurbâl and Muham­ mad M ustafà Ziyädah were beginning to take over from the European orientalists.96 In 1940 the university's name was changed to Fu'äd I and in 1952 to the University of Cairo— its present designation. By 1953-54 there w ere nine faculties in all, and enrollm ent stood at 24,000.97 Today's enrollm ent has passed the 100,000 mark in Cairo alone, with four other universities now in operation at Alexandria (established 1942), A yn Sham s, Tantä, and Asyüt. The quantity and quality of historical writing produced by a country is determ ined largely by that country's educational system and by the intellectual climate it helps to create. Egypt entered the nineteenth century wholly dependent on the medieval A zharf ap­ proach to education which all but ignored historical studies. She left it 1 03

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

w ith a m uch expanded and modernized network of schools in which history had becom e an essential and recognized discipline. Many Egyptians had been able to travel abroad for advanced training, and even those w ho specialized in technical fields often came into contact w ith and developed an interest in history during their studies. Li­ braries were established, teachers could train in the humanities and social sciences, and a new liberal arts university was being nurtured. The entire clim ate for historical studies had changed radically, and Egyptian historians of the late nineteenth century naturally benefited from this m ore conducive atm osphere.

N otes

1. Cf. pp. 19,28-29 above. 2. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 41-42,75. 3. Mufiammad Badi' Sharif, Zaki al-Mahâsinï and Ahmad 'Izzat 'Abd alKarim, Dirdsdt Ta'rikhiyyoh fTl-N ahdah al-A rabiyyah al-Hadithah (Cairo: Matba'at alRisâlah, n.d.), pp. 560-61. 4. Al-Shayyäl, Ta'rfkh al-Tarjam ah, p. 225. 5. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 376,395. 6. Ibid., pp. 398-401. 7. S e e p .8 2 n.17above. 8. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 403; and Moussa, “Intel­ lectual Currents in Egypt," p. 270. 9. S. A. Morrison, "El Azhar Today and Tomorrow," The Moslem World 16 (1926): 132-33. 10. Achille Sékaly, "L'université d'el-Azhar et ses transformations," Revue de Etudes Islamiques 1 (1927): 465-66. _ 11. The most detailed study of al-A zhar is Saniyyah Qarrä'ah's Ta'rikh al-Azhar ft A lf 'Am (Cairo: Maktab al-$ihäfah al-Dawli li'l-$ihàfah wa'I-Nashr, 1968). 12. Ahmad Tzzat 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-T a’lm fi A$r Muhammad 'Alt, (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahçlah al-Mi$riyyah, 1938), pp. 251-326,345-421. 13. See pp. 73-74above. Cf. al-Shayyál, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah, pp. 130-34. 14. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta’rikh al-Ta'lim fi'A ?r Muhammad 'Alt, pp. 327-28. 15. Ibid., pp. 84-85. 16. Actually only in February, 1837, although the new system in most other respects went into effect in 1836. Ibid., pp. 9 3 -% . 17. Enrollments sometimes fell below these "optimum" figures, however. Ibid., p. 227. 18. Ibid., p .229. 19. Ibid.,*pp. 123-28,133-34. 20. The graduates apparently knew both French and Arabic well enough to translate non-technical materials but were still inadequately prepared to deal with scientific texts. Ibid., pp. 332-33,340-41; and al-Shayyäl, A l-Jahfäw t, pp. 32-33. 21. Badawi, Al-Tahfm vi, p. 43. 22. Al-Shayyál, A l-Jahfätoi, p. 35. 23. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 229ff., 235-36,240. 24. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'ltm f i ‘A fr Muhammad ‘AH, pp. 140-41. 25. French influence in Egypt did in feet come to a rather abrupt halt, and the most damning accounts of 'Abbas' reign are accordingly those of French observers. 104

History andtgyptian Education 26. He proceeded to abolish these tour as well as most ot Muhammad ‘All's specialized schools. See 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'lim fi ‘Apr Muhammad 'Alt, p. 134; and Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 297. 27. See p. 000 above. 28. Walther Björkmann, "Probleme des ägyptischen Bildungswesens/' Die Welt des Islam s 22 (1940): 115. 29. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 317. 30. The School ot Accounting, which at various times also taught European languages and surveying, could reasonably have been expected to continue Alsun's policy with regard to history. However, both Heyworth-Dunne and 'Abd al-Karim agree that history was not taught there. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, ' " ’-6 8 , 317, 355; and 'Abd al-Karim, Ta’rikh al-Ta'lim fi 'Afr Muhammad 'Alt, pp. 31. M. Sabry, La genèse de Tesprit national égyptien, 1863-1882, Thèse principale de Doctorat ès Lettres présentée à la Faculté des Lettres de l'Université de Paris (Paris: Le recteur de l'Academie de Paris, 1924), pp. 82-89. 32. Moosa, "M odem Arabie Fiction," p. 151. 33. Sabry, L'esprit national égyptien, p. 89. 34. Khalil $âbâh, "M atba'at Bùlâq fi 'Ahdihâ al-Thâni, 1841-1882," Majallpt Kulliyyat al-À dàb Jdmi'at al-Q àhirah 24 (1962): 23. These figures seem a little inflatéd, because the katâtib are included. 35. Henri Laoust, "Introduction à une étude de 1'enseignement.arabe en Egypte," Revue des Etudes Islamiques 7 (1933): 302. ' 36. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 361. 37. Fritz Steppat, "National Education Projects in Egypt Before the British O ccupation," Beginnings o f Modernization in the M iddle East: The Nineteenth Century, eds. William R. Polk and Richard L. Chambers, Publications of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, no. 1 (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 289-90. Cf. Sa'id Zàyid, 'Ali M ubarak wa A'màluhu, Al-Alf Kitàb, no. 199 (Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilü'1-Migriyyah, n.d.), pp. 73,76. 38. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 435. 39. No two scholars are in complete agreement on the extent of the cutbacks during the 1870's. Heyworth-Dunne says that the number of students decreased from 1,368 to 663 during the period 1873-78. Ibid., p. 383. Steppat maintains that the number of elementary school pupils under Ismä'il probably never surpassed the 5,500pupil capacity projected by Muhammad 'Ali. Steppat, "Education Projects in Egypt," p. 294. Both figures are a far cry from the 100,000 enrollment claimed by Sabah. See p. 000 above. The essential fact is that primary school enrollment declined substantially during the mid-1870's. 40. Abdel-Malek, L'Egypte moderne, p. 158. 41. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 353. 42. Ahmad 'Izzat 'Abd al-Karim, Ta’rikh al-Ta'lim fi Mi?r (Cairo: Matba'at alNa$r, 1945), II, 431. Heyworth-Dunne disagrees with 'Abd al-Karim and maintains that no history at all was taught in the Cairo secondary school. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 354. Abd al-Karim's evidence is drawn from original documents in the Egyptian archives; Heyworth-Dunne's for the most part from reports by contempo­ rary European observers. 43. Çàbâh, "M atba'at Bùlâq," p. 24. 44. Revived in 1866 primarily to undertake translation of th e Code Napoléon and other legal documents. French sources often refer to it as the "Ecole de Droit." 'Abd al-Karim, Ta’rikh al-Ta'lim f i M içr, II, 546. 45. Ibid., pp. 498, 553, 582, 587, 598. Heyworth-Dunne does not mention his­ tory as part of the curriculum in the M uhandiskhdnah. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 354-55. 46. Ibid., pp. 348,351. 47. Zàyid, A li M ubarak, p. 68. 48. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 436. 105

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 49. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-T alim ft 'A$rMuhammad 'Alt, p. 668. 50. See pp. 101-2 above. 51. Ismä'il Mahmud al-Qabbäni, Siyásat al-T alim f i M içr (Cairo: Lajnat al-Ta'lïf wa'l-Tarjamah wa'l-Nashr, 1944), pp. 6-7. 52. Heyworth-Dunne, Education m M odem Egypt, p. 428. 53. Björkmann, "Probleme des ägyptischen Bildungswesens," p. 117. 54. Robert Tignor, Modernization and British Colonial Rule in Egypt, 1882-1914 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), p. 346. 55. Björkmann, "Probleme des ägyptischen Bildungswesens," p. 116. 56. Moosa, "M odem Arabie Fiction," p. 156. 57. Laoust, "L'enseignement arabe en Egypte," p. 310. For further details on foreign-language instruction see Chapter XI, pp. 20b-7. 58. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Àdâb al-Lughah al- Arabiyyah, IV, 35. Al-Qabbânï daims this measure went into effect in 1909. Al-Qabbäni, Siyäsat al-T alim fiM i$r, p. 7. 59. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Àdâb al-Lughah al-A rabiyyah, IV, 35. 60. A rough guess based on the often contradictory statistics given by various scholars. Zaydän, for example, claims that the total number of schools stood at 5,000 in 1913, with an enrollment of about 400,000 students. This represents in his view a decline from the 1882 position, when there were 5,370 elementary schools and 27 secondary schools (with, however, a total of only 142,217 students). The 1882 estimates, moreover, according to Zaydän do not include the various "spedal" or "preparatory" schools. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Àdâb al-Lughah al-A rabiyyah, IV, 34-36. Zaydän's figures are more or less borne out by an article that appeared in 1914 and which may in fact have been based on Zaydän's book. According to this source, by 1913 there were 807 "state schools," 3,800 Qur'an schools, and 1,100 "other schools," making a total of 5,707. "H . L ." [Henri Laoust?], "Mitteilungen: Egypten," Die Welt des Islams 2 (1914): 336. 61. On the Egyptian University see pp. 102-3 above. 62. Statistics conflict even more radically on these matters. Nadav Safran claims that there were only 68 government-supported primary and secondary schools in Egypt in 1914, alongside 739 private schools and 328 communal and missionary schools. Na­ dav Safran, Egypt in Search o f Political Community (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 55. Safran obviously does not include among the "primary schools" the several thousand katàtib. This is misleading, since according to the 1914 article cited above, the katàtib were indeed state-supported. H. L., "Mitteilungen: Egypten," p. 336. The confusion may be due to the fact that many schools receiving "governmental aid" did not get this aid directly from the Ministry of Education. Laoust, for example, states that in 1917 there were 521 schools of various kinds receiving financial aid from the central government (but not from the Ministry of Education) or from provincial govern­ ing councils. He also claims that in the same year there were 121 elementary schools under the direct control of the Ministry. These statistics clearly contradict Safran's fig­ ures, since the number of state-supported schools cannot have increased so much pre­ cisely during the war years. Laoust, "L'enseignement arabe en Egypte," p. 305. It does at least seem clear that there were in 1914 six state-supported secondary schools. On that point Björkmann and Laoust agree. Björkmann, "Probleme des ägypti­ schen Bildungswesens," p. 121; and Laoust, "L'enseignement arabe en Egypte," p. 310. This represents a threefold increase from Ismâ'ïl's time. 63. Laoust, "L'enseignement arabe en Egypte," p. 306. 64. Ibid., pp. 310-12. 65. Björkmann, "Probleme des ägyptischen Bildungswesens," p. 112. 66. Safran, Egypt in Search o f Political Community, pp. 55-57. 67. Scholars disagree on the numbers of students Muhammad 'Alt actually sent to Europe. The most detailed study of Egyptian educational missions is that of 'Umar Tusún, whose figures I have used here. See by Prince 'Umar Tüsün, Al-Ba'athàt al'Ilmiyyah f i 'Ahd M uhammad 'A li thumma f i 'Ahday éAbbâs al-Awwal wa S aid (Alexandria: M atba'at Çalàh al-Dïn, 1934), pp. 404-8. 68. Two studied political science and four public administration. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-T alim f i 'A^r Muhammad 'Alt, pp. 435-36. 106

History and Egyptian Education 69. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 245-46. Direct links are difficult to establish, but it is significant that three of our late nineteenth-century his­ torians— 'AH Mubärak, Amin Sami, and Ismá'Il Sarhank Pasha— were brought round to history through training in technical-scientific fields. Al-JahJàwi also underwent much technical training and wrote books on mathematics and engineering. (For a listing of these, see Badawi, A l-Jah tâm , pp. 351-53.) It was during his study of technical fields in Paris that he developed an interest in history. 70. On 'Abbás and Sa'id see Túsún, Al-Ba'athät a l-’lbniyyah, p. 416ff. On Ismá'Il see 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'lim fiM ipr, II, 695-775. Cf. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 394. 71. Safran, Egypt in Search o f Political Community, pp. 55-56. Abdel-Malek agrees wth Safran's pre-1882 figure of 96% but, basing his argument on M. M. Mosharrafa's Cultural Survey o f M odem Egypt (London, 1947), claims that about 75% (215 out of 289) of the post-1882 missions were in “letters." Abdel-Malek also thinks that the occupation sent no Egyptian students abroad prior to 1906-7, which would mean there was an incredibly extensive program after that date. He sums up British educational policy in Egypt by saying that it forced Egypt "to renounce her modem armaments, inasmuch as she also had to give up continuing to be a military and industrial power, and endow herself instead with government officials— language professors and jurists— able to hand down instructions from the occupying power and nothing more." This policy, he maintains, leads to denationalization of Egyptian culture, obsolescence and regression. Abdel-Malek, L’Egypte moderne, pp. 355-56. Thus Adbel-Malek takes the British to task for facilitating precisely those things which Egyptian nationalists were themselves de­ manding, i.e., greater emphasis on quality education in non-technical Helds. 72. Tignor, M odernization in Egypt, p. 339. Mu$tafà Kamil, for example, went to Europe to study law. See p. 163 n.17 below. 73. Björkmann, "Probleme des ägypHschen Bildungswesens," p. 127. 74. Zaydán, Ta'rikh À dàbal-Lughahal-’Arabiyyah, IV, 112-13. 75. No author. Dar al-Kutub f i 'Ahd al-Thawrah, 1952-1962 (Cairo: Matba'at Dar al-Kutub, 1962), pp. 5 -6 . 76. Zaydän, Ta’rikh Àdàb al-Lughah a l-’Arabiyyah, IV, 114-15. 77. Dar al-Kutub f i 'Ahd al-Thaw rah, pp. 6-7. 78. The World o f Learning, 24th ed. (London: Europa Publications, Ltd., 1973), I, 375. 79. Unless otherwise indicated, the following informaHon on Egyptian libraries has been taken from Zaydán, Ta'rikh Àdàb al-Lughah a l-’Arabiyyah, IV, 114-16, 118-21, 125-28. 80. A. P. Wales (ed.). International Library Directory (London: The A. P. Wales Organization, 1968), p. 213. 81. 'Abd al-Muhsin T^hà Badr, Tataummr al-Riwâyah a l-’Arabiyyah al-H adithah fi M iqr, 1870-1938, Maktabat al-Diräsät al-Adabiyyah, no. 32 (Cairo: Dár al-Ma arif, 1963), pp. 26-27. Without wishing to underestimate the importance of Mubarak's role, it should be mentioned that the guiding hand of the College in its early days was Edouard Dor (Inspector-General of Education during the 1870's, and afterwards ex officio adviser to the Ministry of Education). On the role of Dor Bey, see 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh alTa’lim f i M isr, II, 599ff. 82. Steppat, "Education Projects in Egypt," pp. 292-93. 83. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, p. 379. It is by now obvious that Heyworth-Dunne's attitude toward Egyptian education is consistently negative. 84. C. C. Adams, "Mohammed Abduh, The Reformer," The Moslem World 19 (1939): 268. 85. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-T a’lim f i Mi$r, II, 607. 86. "Dár al-'Ulûm: Hadith $ádiq Jawhar Bey," Al-M uqtataf 39 (1937): 153. On the growth of the College under TawHq and 'Abbás 11 see Amin Sami Pasha, "AlMadäris fi Rub' Q am : Min Sanat 1875-1900," Al-M uqtataf 38 (1936): 600-601. 87. Laoust, "L'enseignement arabe en Egypte," p. 318. 88. Zaydán, Ta’rikh Adàb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 44. Kâmil's National Party 107

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt also hoped to spread knowledge of modem Egyptian history among the illiterate masses and for this reason set up night schools for the poor in 1908. By 1909 four such schools were in existence, each with about 120 pupils; both Islamic and Egyptian history were taught. See 'Abd al-Rahmân al-Ráfi'i, Muhammad Farid: Ramz al-lkh li? wa'l-Tadhiyyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nah The volume does have a certain value in the wealth of documents and statistics it contains: official fetoas and firm ans, population figures, fluctuations in cotton prices, and estim ates of military and naval strength. The arrangem ent is once again strictly chronological and subjects can be looked up in no other way; the seemingly endless stream of documents and statistics is devoid of alm ost all accompanying commentary. Yet to the extent that this information cannot easily be found elsew here, Volume II is a good reference work. The value of Taqwim al-N il increases greatly with the three parts of the third and final volume, covering the relatively short period 1848-79. Sám i now includes many essential documents to which he alone, working from 1880 on in the Egyptian archives (Dar al-M ahfüzät), had access. Turkish records have been duly translated into A rabic.87 The text is complemented by a great many charts and graphs, some of which deal with the Nile and related m atters, but there are others on such areas as Egyptian education, craft guilds,


The Encyclopedists

revenues, etc. The detail is at times out of all proportion, reaching dow n to the nam es and terms of office of all of Egypt's provincial governors, the names and ranks of her army officers and the names and terms of employment of her school teachers. This information is again presented without any commentary, however, and often seems to have about as much value as a telephone directory.88 Its structural weaknesses notwithstanding, Taqwtm al-N il was the only nineteenth-century Egyptian historical work whose scope even approached that of the encyclopedic K hitat. For accuracy and care in research, Sám i probably d eserv es even more merit than Mubárak, since he incorporated many more European sources into his w ork and him self admits that its publication was several times delayed because of the necessity of cross-checking the reliability of Arabic and Turkish sources with the testimonial of European observers.89 Not content simply to draw on Egyptian records collections, Sámi also sent to Istanbul for certain m aterials.98 He was overall a more methodical researcher than Mubarak, and were it not for Taqivim's awkward and confusing form, it would certainly even now be in almost constant use by scholars. Sám i wrote two other shorter studies, both on education. The first of the two— Education in Egypt91— was, if anything, even more solidly packed with statistical material than Tacjwim. in no sense a history, it resembled more an educational balance sheet. It contains little worth-while information for the period preceding the reign of Ism ä'il, but after that the treatment becomes steadily more detailed, leading to a final appraisal of Egyptian education as it was in 1914-15. The book could have had some importance as a reference, were it not for its lack of alm ost all accompanying commentary and its poor or­ ganization. Sám i's last m ajor historical contribution— Egypt and the Nile— appeared in 1938. Judging from the format, the work was the result of a royal com m ission and, hence, part of the new king's effort to restore the badly tarnished reputation of the royal line. It contains full-page photo­ graphs of all Egypt's rulers from Muhammad 'All down to Fárúq. The organization of Egypt and the N ile is more baffling than any of Sám i's previous works: even at this point in his career he was incapable of putting together a coherent historical account. The book begins with a brief discussion of efforts under the pharaohs to control the course of the Nile, e .g ., construction of reservoirs, irrigation proj123

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

ects, and m easures to elim inate silting. It then jumps abruptly across m illennia to the explorations of Sir Sam uel Baker in the Sudan and M uhammad 'A ll's irrigation projects. The sources thus far range from H erodotus to M arriott Bey's history of ancient Egypt to the official governm ental archives.92 Then follow s a description of Egyptian education and general prosperity during medieval tim es, drawn from Ibn Khaldün, Ibn Duqm äq, and al-M aqrizi.93 Taken together, the first two parts account for roughly one-third of the book. The other two-thirds consist of a list o f charts and statistics, documenting the progress of Egyptian educa­ tion from Muhammad 'Ali down to Fárúq. These data have been draw n directly from Taqw m al-N ñ and simply arranged in tabular form .94 Thus, along with being incoherent, the book contains no new m aterial and has absolutely no value as a reference work. Like alm ost all historians of the pre-professional era, historical w riting for 'A li Mubarak and Amin Sam i was an ancillary activity. Both m en w ere first and forem ost dedicated public servants who spent their lives as educators, engineers and government administrators. Like al-Tahtâw î before them , they both admired and respected Egypt's ruling family and did not embroil themselves in the revolu­ tionary disturbances of the tim e.95 To have done so would of course have been tantam ount to condemning oneself to obscurity, in which case neither man could have assisted in his country's development. It is the sam e question every would-be revolutionary faces, and Mubärak and Sám i, w hatever one may think of their motives, chose to w ork w ithin the system rather than not to work at all. In spite of their many official duties and the relentless pressure on them to confine their activities to technical fields, both men devel­ oped such an intense curiosity toward the history of their country that each tried, in his own way, to encompass in his works the entire spectrum of historical knowledge. Although in general they fell far short of their goal, in one sense they did succeed: the very compre­ hensiveness of their treatm ent of the subject made their work indis­ pensable, regardless of its faults. Although al-Tahtaw i represented an older, more "traditional" generation of Egyptians than either Mubärak or Sám i, he nevertheless proved ultim ately more able to adapt to new ideas than they did. This receptiveness w as probably due at least partly to his Azhart back­ ground, w hich neglected history per se but did instill in its graduates an ability to think in other than quantitative terms alone. Al-Tahtàw ï 124

The Encyclopedists

w as clearly m ore at hom e with concepts and intellectual abstractions than w ere M ubärak and Säm i, who had both from the beginning been trained only in quantification and, on the basis of that, nevertheless w anted to try their hand at history. They turned out an essentially m edieval product, tempered only by the precision and statistical ac­ curacy of the scientist. They may not even have realized that their w orks did not increase historical understanding as such but rather served à la M as'üdi as com pilations of vast quantities of data.96 Even in m atters of style, they were at best pedestrian. Only Säm i was able to do w ithout saj', but neither his nor Mubarak's style will stand com­ parison w ith that of “nationalist historians" like M ustafà Kàmil or M uhammad Farid. The lasting importance of their history lay rather in its encyclopedic dim ensions, which was in itself enough to insure im m ortality for them. N either al-K hitat al-Tawfiqiyyah nor Taqwim alNÜ is interesting as history per se but rather as a source for historical w riting, and the latter is always more durable than the former. 'A ll Mubärak and Amin Säm i served Egypt in various official capacities for alm ost a century between them. Moreover, they devoted every free m om ent to assem bling the m aterials necessary to recon­ struct the Egyptian national heritage. It was at the time a thankless jo b , requiring a sort of selfless devotion to one's country. Apart from the research, the actual writing of a work like al-K hitat al-Tawfiqiyyah or Taqwim al-N tl must have taken many years. Mubärak and Sämi w ere obviously equal to the task, in spite of the myriad other services each man w as called on to perform.

N otes 1. Ayalon, "The Historian al-jabarti/' p. 219 n .l. 2. El-Shayyal, A H istory o f Egyptian H istoriography, p . 48. 3. Ibid.; and Mahmud al-Sharqawi and 'Abdullah al-Mashadd, 'Ali Mubärak: H ayàtuhu wa Da'ioatuhu toa Àthàruhu (Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilu'l-Mi?riyyah, 1962), p. 14. This book won the literary prize of the Arab Academy of Language. 4. Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim, 'Ali Mubàrak: Hayàtuhu wa Ma'áthiruhu (Cairo: Matba'at al-Risálah, n.d.), p. 27. 5. Ibid., p. 36. 6. Ibid., p. 28. 7. 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'ltm ft ‘A^r Muhammad ‘Alt, p. 51. 8. For more information on al-Falaki, see p. 130. 9. Al-Sharqawi, 'AliM ubàrak, p. 34. 10. The so-called "Mission of Princes" (Ba'that al-Anjàl). The future Khedive Isma il was also on this mission, and Mubarak's later sucess as a government official was due in no small measure to his long-standing acquaintance with Egypt's future ruler. 11. Al-Sharqawi claims that Mubarak had returned to Egypt already in 1846. 1 25

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt Al-Sharqäwi, 'Alt M ubarak, pp. 36, 39. However, al-Shayyäl and al-Ráfi'i are agreed on the 1850 date. El-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, p. 48; and 'Abd alRahmàn al-Ráfi'i, ‘Apr Ismä'il (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahçlah al-Misriyyah, 1948), 1,221. 12. Occasionally spelled Tarrah or Jarah. 13. Al-Sharqäwi, A ll M ubarak, pp. 38-39,42-44. 14. Záyid, A li Mubarak, p. 60. 15. For Mubärak's activities under Sa'id see al-Sharqàwi, A li Mubarak, pp. 4 4 - 50. 16. Al-Ráfi'i, 'Apr Ismä'il, 1,228-29. 17. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 352-53. 18. Al-Rafi'i, ‘Apr Isma il, 1,231. 19. Cf. p. 94 above. 20. Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim, A liM ubarak, p. 91. 21. Al-Sharqawi, A li M ubarak, pp. 54-57. 22. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 353-54. 23. Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim, A li Mubarak, p. 88. 24. Al-Ràfi'ï, ‘A sr Ismä'il, 1,235-36. Cf. al-Sharqàwi, 'AliMubárak, pp. 58-59,62. 25. Al-Rafi'i, ‘Apr Ismä'il, 1,229,235-36. 26. Ibid., pp. 236-37. 27. Commenting, for example, on Mubärak's acceptance of a position in Riyàçl Pasha's first government, Mahmud al-Sharqàwi says that “out of respect for 'Ali Mu­ bärak's patriotic sentiments we should mention that he approved of the work of this ministry and of its having vested in his hands control of the department which he directed. But his approval of the men in it themselves and of the incorporation of the two European 'observers' was the approval of one unable to do anything but submit to a /bit accom pli and an unavoidable necessity (mahzúr al-darùràt)." Al-Sharqäwi, 'Ali Mu­ barak, p. 65. Both al-Sharqàwi and Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim regard Mubärak's choice in 1882 as mediator between Tawfíq and the 'Uràbists as proof that Mubärak was “on friendly term s" with the revolutionary forces. Al-Sharqàwi, A li Mubàrak, p. 70; and Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim, 'Ali Mubärak, p. 115. This is of course nonsense. Mubärak was selected for this mission because, more than anyone else, he wanted to preserve the peace between the 'Uràbists and the khedive. Ministers like Nübär, Riyäd, and Mubärak himself were in fact very unpopular with the Egyptian people. This was because of their numerous European connections. Alexander Schöjch, Ägypten den Ägyptern! Die poli­ tische und gesellschaftliche Krise der fahre 1878-1882 in Ägypten (Zurich and Freiburg: Atlan­ tis Verlag, 1972), pp. 8 7 ,89,230-33. Further apologetics for Mubärak's political ideas may be found in al-Sharqäwi's article, “'Ali Mubärak wa'I-Thawrah al-'Uräbiyyah," Al-M ajallah, no. 41 (1960), pp. 4 5 - 51. O f all al-Sharqäwi's claims, perhaps the strangest is the contention that Mubärak's conduct as deputy-director of the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce was proof that he was "a grass-roots Egyptian" (Mipri'l-Qalb w a'l-A tifah). He was, it is said, much more just than the previous director, who was Armenian! Al-Sharqäwi, A li Mubärak, p. 97. 28. Al-Räfi'i, 'A srIsm ail, 1,237—41. 29. Ibid. Even this must be regarded as a "restoration regime," coming, as it did, on the heels of the Occupation. 30. Al-Sharqäwi, 'AliM ubärak, p. 69. 31. In the words of Gabriel Baer, Mubärak "glorifies without reservation Egypt's rulers of the nineteenth century." Gabriel Baer, " ‘Ali Mubärak's Khitat as a Source for the History of Modem Egypt," Political and Social Change in M odem Egypt: H istorical Studies From the Ottoman Compust to the United Arab Republic, ed. P. M. Holt (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 24. 32. Al-Sharqäwi, 'AliM ubárak, pp. 195,198-99,203-5. 33. Muhammad Ahmad Khalafulláh, 'AliMubárak um Äthäruhu (Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilú'l-Misriyyah, n.d.), p. 147. 34. Al-Sharqäwi, A liM ubárak, p. 121. 35. 'Ali Mubärak, A l-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyyah al-fadidah li-Mipr al-Qâhirah vm M u126

The Encyclopedists duniha wa Biládihá al-Q adm ah w a’l-M ashhúrah (Búláq: Al-Matba'ah al-Kubrà al-Amiriyyah, 1306 A.H. ]i.e., 1888-89]), 1,3. 36. On Mubarak's "patriotism" see the following: (1) Schölch, Ägypten den Ä gyptern, p. 122; (2) Al-Sharqàwï, Ä liM ubarak, pp. 136,142-43,153; (3) Khalafolläh, 'Alt M ubarak, pp. 211-13; and (4) Badr, Tafawwur al-Riwäyah fi Mi$r, p. 54. We might also note that a "super-patriot" like M u lata Kâmil was impressed with Mubarak's honesty and integrity and defended him continually throughout his own lifetime. Al-Sharqáwi, A li M ubarak, pp. 177-79. We can see that much of the fuel for refuting al-Sharqäwi's charges about Mubarak's so-called lack of patriotism has come from al-Sharqäwi him­ self. This is a curious but not uncommon result of poorly enforced censorship of histori­ cal writings. 37. Tadhkarat al-M uhandisin, for example, was an instructor's manual for mathe­ matics and natural science. Taqrib al-Handasah dealt with fundamental principles of accounting, military science, fortifications, etc. On these see Khalafulláh, Alt Mubarak, pp. 148-49. 38. My translation of Nukhbat al-Fikr fi Tadbir Nil Mi?r. 39. Khalafulláh, ‘Alt M ubarak, pp. 208-9. 40. Badr, Tafawwur al-Riwdyah fiM ipr, pp. 31,63-64. 41. As such, it should be considered the first modem Arabic literary work to appear in the form of dialogues— a distinction often mistakenly given to al-Muwaylihi's H adith ‘ïsà b . Hishàm . Al-Sharqäwi, A li M ubarak, p. 118. 42. Ibid., pp. 145-47. 43. El-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, p. 52. 44. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Ä däbal-Lughah al-A rabiyyah, IV, 292. 45. Al-Räfi'i, ‘A^r Ism ail, 1,240-41. 46. Shafiq Ghurbäl, "Risälat al-Mu'arrikh," Al-Hildl 65 (1957): 13-14. 47. This is not to say that Egyptians are the only ones to have written khifaf. In modem times, for example, we find Muhammad Kurd 'All's Kitdb Khitaf al-Shäm (6 vols., Damascus, 1925-28). It is probably mere coincidence, but Kurd 'AH did spend some time in Egypt. Jamál al-Din al-Shayyàl, "Al-Mu'arrikhûn al-Süriyûn fi Mi$r fi'lQ am al-Täsi' 'Ashar," Al-M ajallah, no. 23 (1958), p. 65. 48. A l-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah, 1 ,1, 3. Gabriel Baer takes Mubarak to task for this bit of hyperbole. According to his (Baer's) calculations, Mubarak actually dealt with less than 10% of the total number of Egyptian towns and cities. Baer, "Mubarak's K hifaf," p. 25. But even by Baer's count, Mubarak did include information on 1,155 places which was no insignificant number. 49. The "old " one being that of al-Maqrizi. 50. A l-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah, I, 2. Baer feels the toaqf deeds and property records are the most important sources of Mubarak's information. Baer, "Mubarak's K hifaf," p. 15. 51. Al-Sharqäwi, A li Mubarak, pp. 113-14. According to Baer, the Description de l'Egypte was most often resorted to, whereas little actual use was made of Volney. Baer, "M ubärak's K/tifaf,"pp. 18-20. 52. In Baer's opinion al-Jabarti was the most important Arabic-language source. Baer, "M ubärak's K hitaf," pp. 17-18. However, my own investigation turned up far more references to al-Maqrizi than to any other author. 53. Mubärak had access to so many archival materials that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to track down all his sources. Baer has made the most thorough study of Mubärak's source materials and feels that he made extensive, though for the most part unacknowledged, use of already published statistical yearbooks by Régny, Amici, and Dor Bey. Baer, "Mubärak's K hifaf," pp. 13-14. 54. A l-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah, 1,2. 55. I use the term "workable" loosely here, since by modem standards the organization of al-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah is nothing short of chaotic. Baer is right to hope that the work will one day be indexed (Baer, p. 22), providing of course that a suffi­ ciently masochistic person can be found for the job. 127

The W riting o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 56. Baer feels that Mubärak's own personal observations played a central role in the K h ifaf. Baer, "Mubarak's K hifaf," pp. 15-16. 57. See pp. 32,36 above. 58. Baer errs in saying that Mubarak did not arrange his materials alphabetically. Baer, "M ubärak's Khitat,'' p. 21. 59. A l-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah, VII, passim. 60. An indication that Mubärak may have read M anâhij al-Albäb. 61. There is considerable overlap between this volume of al-K hifaf al-Tawfiqiyyah and Mubärak's Nukhbat al-Fikr. 62. Information on the last three volumes of al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyyah has been taken from al-Sharqäwi, 'Ali M ubärak, pp. 113-16. Baer disagrees on the matter of Suez, claiming that Mubärak's discussion of the canal's completion in no way implies any criticism of Ismä'il's government. Baer, "Mubärak's K hitat,” pp. 24-25. 63. This is Abdel-Malek's estimate. Abdel-Malek, L'Egypte moderne, p. 426. 64. Zaydän, Ta'rUdt Ädäb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 291. 65. Baer, "Mubärak's K hitaf," pp. 26-27. 66. A possible exception is Mubärak's own autobiography, which is one of the finest Islamic examples of the genre. Al-Sharqäwi, A li Mubärak, p. 110. 67. Baer is over critical in asserting that accuracy was "not one of the merits of Mubärak's K hitaf." He bases his case primarily on Mubärak's misspellings of European names and on his faulty estimation of the distances between various Egyptian cities. Baer, "M ubärak's K hifaf," p p . 22-23. 68. Al-Sharqäwi, A li M ubärak, p. 113. Cf. Baer, "Mubärak's K hifaf," p. 21. 69. Caesar E. Farah, "The Impact of the West on the Conflict of Ideologies in the Arab W orld," Islam ic Culture 35 (1961): 111. We will recall that al-Tahtäwi was the first to have been influenced by pharaonism, which again suggests that Mubärak may have read M anähij and/or Anwär. 70. This is how Abdel-Malek has characterized Mubärak's history. See AbdelMalek, L'Egypte moderne, p. 426. 71. Abdel-Malek's claim that Mubärak initiated no real "school" of historical writing can therefore be challenged. Ibid., p. 425. The documentary, statistical type of history was clearly Mubärak's doing, and later historians like Jalläd, Hunayyin, Artin, al-Naqqäsh, and Sämi were only following in his footsteps. The work of Ismä'il Sarhank Pasha also bears traces of Mubärak's influence. (All of these men and their writings will be dealt with in subsequent chapters.) 72. Biographical information taken from Amin Sämi, "Lammä Kuntu Mu'allim än," A l-H iläl 45 (1937): 610-12. 73. Sämi, "Al-Madàris fi Rub' Q am ," pp. 598-601. 74. Amin Sämi, "Tatawwurunä fi Arba'ïn 'Àmàn: Al-Tarbiyah wa'l-Ta'lim," A l-H iläl 40 (1931): 23-23. 75. Prime minister, 1891-93 and 1895-1908. For the nationalist view of Fahmi see 'Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i, Mipr wa'l-Südän fi Awá'il 'Ahd al-lhtiläl (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi$riyyah, 1942). pp. 194-95. Al-Ráfi'í's opinion, incidentally, is sec­ onded by Robert Tignor. Tignor, Modernization in Egypt, p. 346. 76. No author. Review of Taqwim al-N il, by Amin Sämi, in Al-bAuqtafaf73 (1928):


77. See p. 123 above. 78. Amin Sämi Pasha, Taqwm al-N il (Cairo: Matba'at Dar al-Kutub al-Mi$riyyah, 1919-36), Introduction, p. 5. 79. Taqwim al-NÜ, introduction to the Appendix (M ulhaq). Like Mubärak, Sämi only rarely displays his own feelings on any particular subject. At one point in Taqwim, however, he does permit himself to praise Egypt as a country where a man with talent and ambition (?ähib al-mawàhib al-nashif) can always get ahead. Ibid., 1 ,117. The formu­ lation is slightly reminiscent of al-Jahfawi. (See pp. 76,84 n.49 above.) 80. Taqwim al-N il, Vol. Ill, Part 2, p. xxx. 81. Sämi followed the medieval tradition of inserting at relevant points poems written in honor of some great occasion. Ibid., Vol. Ill, Part 2, passim. 128

The Encyclopedists 82. The Introduction and Volume I are bound together as one unit. 83. This is, I think, the best translation of duwal (sing., dawlah). The more usual meaning of "state" makes no sense in this context. 84. Taqwim al-NÜ, 1 ,117. 85. Ibid. Like so many other nineteenth-century Muslim historians, Sami evi­ dently had a passing acquaintance with Ibn Khaldun. 86. Ibid., II, passim. 87. Ibid., pp. xxvii-xxviii. Cf. Vol. Ill, Part 1, p. xxxi. 88. Ibid., Ill, passim. 89. Ibid., Vol. Ill, Part 2, p. xxxii. 90. Ibid. 91. The full title of the book is Ai-Ta'lim f i Mi$r fi Sanatay 1914 wa 1915 wa Boyan Tafcili li-N ashr al-T alim al-A w w ali wa'1-lbtidà'i bi-Anhä' al-Diyär al-M ifriyyah (Cairo: Matba'at al-Ma arif, 1917). 92. Amin Sámi Pasha, M ifr wa'l-Nil min Fajr al-Ta'rikh ilà'1-Àn (Cairo: Matba'at Dàral-Kutubal-Miÿriyyah, 1938), pp. 3-13. 93. Ibid., pp. 14-16. 94. Ibid., pp. 17-51. 95. In Mubarak's rather florid language Egypt "reached a peak of happiness, blossoming under the rule of the glorious family of our lord and master— the blessed magnificent and pious (al-jalil al-marhúm al-hájj) khedive, Muhammad 'Alt." Al-Khitat al-Taw fiqiyyah, Introduction, p. 2. Sami expressed essentially the same sentiments in only slightly less glowing terms, referring to Muhammad 'Ali as he who had "caused Egypt to rise to the peak of [her] power and prosperity, so that she became in his time part of the vanguard of independent nations (al-duwal fdhibat al-sha'n). When he as­ cended the throne, justice and true religion sat beside him and shared in his rule." Taqwim al-NÜ, II, xxvii. 96. Cf. p. 31 above.


C hapter V il

The Neo-Chroniclers: Shärübtm and Sarhank

JLsy the end of the nineteenth century Egyptian historical w ritings were becoming more numerous, more critical, and better or­ ganized .1 For the first time Egypt was producing not only compilers like Mubarak and Sàm i but serious and sophisticated historians of both the ancient and medieval periods such as Mahmúd al-Falaki, 'All Bahjat, and Ahmad Kamál, as well as a bevy of new writers working on the m odem period of Egyptian history. Before turning to the main subject of this chapter— the neo-chroniclers— let us look briefly at the lives and writings of nineteenth-century Egyptian medievalists and Egyptologists. W hile the content of their works cannot properly con­ cern us here, the mere fact that Egyptians were becoming intensely interested in and knowledgeable about their pre-Islamic past is a good indication that the intellectual climate of the nineteenth century was indeed changing. Mahmüd al-Falaki (1815-1885) was a historian, astronomer, and engineer who wrote about fifteen books and articles on various su bjects. He studied astronomy for nine years in Paris, travelled w idely all over Europe and published articles on scientific and histori­ cal topics in leading European journals. Most of his works were re­ leased originally in French and only later translated back into Arabic. H is historical interests included Alexandria in the Ptolemaic and Rom an periods, the pre-Islam ic Arabian calendar, the exact date of the H ijrah, and the writings of al-G hazali.2 'All Bahjat (b. 1859) was a graduate of the Madrasat al-lddrah wa'l-Alsun and later became curator of the Museum of Arab Art in Cairo. He took charge of the excavations at al-Fustât in 1912 and sub­ sequently published, jointly with French experts in the field, several books on the results of his findings. These included a lengthy descrip-


The Neo-Chroniclers

tion of the ceramic glassware and glazed tiles unearthed during the excavations. He also translated into Arabic from European languages several m ajor archeological studies.3 Ahmad Kamàl (b. 1860) was probably the first Egyptian in m odem tim es to have mastered hieroglyphics. He wrote a detailed history of ancient Egypt, using original sources like Herodotus and Diodorus, the works of contemporary European Egyptologists like Brugsch,4 and m anuscripts and artifacts contained in French muse­ um s. He worked in tire Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and devoted his life to stimulating the interest of his countrymen in the pharaonic period. A complete list of his publications would contain several dozen item s.5 The research being done by men like al-Falakl, 'Ali Bahjat, and (to a lesser extent) Ahmad Kamál aroused considerable interest in Europe and was often published in respected European journals. All three m en worked closely with professional European contemporaries and tended to absorb quickly European approaches to the study of history. It was a beneficial arrangement for the Europeans too, since, w ithout their Egyptian counterparts, they would in most cases have been cut off from valuable information contained in Arabic sources like al-M aqrizI, al-Qalqashandi, Ibn Duqmáq, etc. Thus, as the nineteenth century came to a close, Egypt could claim to be producing her own specialists in astronomy, archeology, Egyptology, and the Roman and Ptolem aic periods of Egyptian history. She no longer had to depend solely on European expertise in these areas. Egyptians who had been meticulously trained in their respec­ tive disciplines by European masters can hardly be considered “transi­ tional figures." Egypt did produce, however, a fascinating array of w riters during this period, who had one foot in each of two methodo­ logical cam ps. "Ali Mubárak and Amin Sám i were themselves good exam ples. Both realized that historical methodology was indeed changing, yet in the final analysis they were unable to write in any but the traditional way. The next generation of historians found it even harder to adhere to the old school. They were not yet modem— not even in the sense in which Machiavelli was a "m odem "—but they did m anage to strike such a delicate balance between the old and the new that I have called them the neo-chroniclers. O f all the men who are the subject of this work, the neochroniclers are the most obscure. Very little is known about their lives, since on the whole they led modest and practically anonymous exis-


The Writing o f History in Nineteen th -Cen tury Egypt

tences. Their writings are even today indispensable to the student of m odem Egyptian history, yet no one has ever thought to analyze the conceptual basis from which they wrote. This is doubly unfortunate, since apart from the substantive importance of their work, the con­ tribution of these men provides the best illustration of how foreign (i.e ., W estern) influence may gradually alter the fabric of a m an's thought-patterns. There is too little W estern influence in the writings of 'A li Mubàrak and Amin Sám i to allow us to discern clearly such a process, just as there is too much W estern influence in the writings of the nationalist historians. Only in the work of the neo-chroniclers is the tension between the two historiographical traditions unmistak­ able, and it provides important clues to the nature of the acculturation process itself. Although this chapter is concerned mainly with the works of M ïkhâ'ïl Shârûbîm and Ism á'il Sarhank Pasha, we should look briefly at an earlier and less important figure, who was nevetheless part of the sam e tradition. Mahmud Fahmi, who produced a quasi-traditional chronicle, was by profession an army engineer who had worked closely with Urâbï. He was later exiled for his activities to Ceylon and, w hile there, developed an interest in history. Consulting all the sources available to him on the island (mostly general works in French and English), he was able to write a world history in four volumes. He was neither the first nor the last Egyptian to formulate such a project, but he does seem to have been the only one prior to World War 1 who actually completed a multi-volume study in world history.6 True to the Islamic tradition, Fahmi cast his title in rhyme and began the historical account itself in saj'.7 The rhyme lasted for only one page, however, after which the narrative became straightforward, unadorned and for the most part limited to physical historical events (akhbär). Like Amin Sam i and so many others, Fahmi alluded to Ibn Khaldun's cyclical theory of civilizations to give his history a more analytical flavor.8 But the account itself bore little trace of this or any other interpretive tool and was, predictably enough, no more than a recension of standard European references. Only the passages on m odem Egyptian history, and in particular the description of the events of the 'Urâbï Revolution, have any real value for the modem reader.9 In this section at least Fahmi approaches his subject from a m ore critical perspective, interpreting events as a memoirist rather than as a historian. His version of the Urâbï Revolution is thus a 132

The Neo-Chroniclers

w orth-w hile eye-w itness account rather than a history. But it is also— and herein lies its importance— an inchoate attempt to break away from the "objectiv e," uncritical approach of the chronicle. Because Fahm i's work was neither scholarly nor original, it has not withstood the test ot time. It illustrates how an Egyptian historian could still w rite a traditional chronicle on events in which he had not taken part, yet, like al-Jabarti, found it impossible to pursue the same course of action once he had arrived at a more meaningful set of circum stances. For his chapters on modem Egypt, Fahmi could be considered as one of the progenitors of the nationalist school. But since the m odem section is quite atypical of the content of the work as a w hole, which is no more than an up-dated version of the chronicle, it is m ore appropriate to include him h Much more important than that of Fahmi was the historical work of M ikhá'il Shárúbim (1861-1920). Shárúbim was a Copt, bom in the Saqqäyin quarter of Cairo, where he attended elementary and sec­ ondary school. As well as being proficient in Coptic and Arabic, he m astered both English and French and at the age of only fourteen was appointed to the Foreign Publications Department of the Ministry of Finance. He changed posts several times during his life, becoming in 1884 a judge in the State Court of al-M ansûrah (Mahkamat al-Mansûrah al-Ahliyyah) and later the same court's chief prosecutor (ra'fe niyábah). In 1899 he returned to the Ministry of Finance as one of the directors of the Royal Domain. A fter his retirem ent in 1903 he devoted all his attention to history. He was for a time president of the Coptic Com­ m unity Relations Society (Jam'iyyat al-Tawfiq al-Qibtiyyah) and was a recognized leader of the Egyptian Coptic com m unity.11 Although Shárúbim was also responsible for editing and pub­ lishing an old and valuable m anuscript,12 it is primarily for his history of Egypt that he is remembered. The work was entitled "A Definitive H istory of Ancient and M odem Egypt" (Al-Káfift Ta'rikh Misr al-Qadim wa'l-Hadtth), and it appeared in 1898-1900 in four large volum es.13 Both title and text were equally devoid of saj’, making Shárúbim the first prom inent Egyptian historian to break completely with the older stylis­ tic conventions.14 The organization of the four volumes was as follows: Volume 1— Ancient Egypt from Noah to the Arab conquest Volume II— Pre-Islam ic Arabia, the caliphate, Fátimids, Ayyùbids, and Mamlúks down to the Ottoman conquest 133

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

Volume 111— Ottoman Egypt to 1805 and the establishment of Mu­ hammad 'A ll's rule Volume IV— Egypt and the Ottoman Empire to the end of the reign ofTaw fiq. The last part of Volume III and the whole of Volume IV, dealing with the m odem period, are the sections on which we will focus our analysis. In departing from the saj norms of former times, Shârûbim had no elegant substitute to fall back on. He seems to have been searching for the tersest and most economical vehicle of expression (the "direct style"?), which ultimately took the form of short sentences of sim ple subject-predicate construction. These were strung endlessly one after the other, with some familiar Arabic conjunction of time serving as the only connecting link. Shârûbim was following more or less standard annalistic practice, and his work did bear at least a prima fa d e resem blance to the medieval Arabic chronicle. There are passages, som etim es running into dozens of pages, which give the feeling that nothing of importance has happened except the passing of tim e.15 The initial impression is misleading, however, and it does not require much further investigation to see that Shârûbim 's chronicle is considerably more informative than most. For, besides discussing his­ torical events them selves, Shârûbim often goes into the reasons be­ hind those events. F " tries, for example, to pin down the motives for N apoleon's invasion of Egypt: "Som e said it was in order to oppose the British and destroy their power. Som e said it was to conquer cities and cultural centers (amsàr). And some said other th in g s."16 Similarly Shârûbim would not embark on his account of Muhammad 'A ll's in­ vasion of Syria until he had identified at least two possible reasons for the launching of the attack: (1) the large numbers of Egyptians who had fled to Acre to escape conscription (2) the earlier impertinence of al-Jazzär, w hich Muhammad 'A li had never forgotten.17 In his concern for critical evaluation of men and events, Mikhà'ïl Shârûbim parted company with the typical medieval historian. H is assessm ent of the reign of Muhammad 'A li, for example, included positive features such as repair of the Ashräfiyyah Canal, reform of the arm y, establishm ent of modem schools and factories, and the con­ quest of the Sudan. But at the same time he drew attention to the confiscatory nature of Muhammad 'A ll's taxes and to the burden they placed on the Egyptian people.18 W ithout sacrificing any of his own "objectiv ity ," Shârûbim succeeded in painting a fuller and more in­


The Neo-Chroniclers

form ative historical picture than was contained in most medieval historical w ritings. He was more consciously and consistently analyti­ cal than even the best of his medieval counterparts. Such an approach to history was for its time innovative and Shárúbim was careful not to take it too far. W henever possible, he preferred to avoid personal commentary by taking refuge behind another means of historical interpretation for which time-honored Is­ lamic precedents did exist— namely, the practice of lining up different versions of the same event. This technique had the advantage of al­ lowing the historian to show à la Tabari or Mas'údi that history could well mean different things to different people, at the same time guard­ ing intact his own personal claim to absolute neutrality. It was a "sa fe r" method of historical interpretation that Shárúbim found much more appealing than the idea of venturing out on a limb. It still gave considerable scope for analysis and criticism, and Shárúbim was quick to sense the possibilities it provided for subtle qualification of histori­ cal claims. W riting on the internment of the Ottoman governor, Khusrú Pasha, in 1803, for example, Shárúbim stated that in the opinion of "certain w riters" it resulted from Khusrú's quarrel with the relatives of Tàhir P asha.19 The reasons for the Greek revolt in 1821 w ere prefaced with the words "H istorians have said . . . " (Qäla ashâb al-ta'rikh);20 and the expression "Certain writers have said . . . " (Qäla ba'd al-kuttäb) appeared again and again.21 The technique was reminis­ cent of the best of the medieval Hochchronik, but by the frequency with w hich he resorted to it, Shárúbim succeeded in giving his work a slightly m odem ring.22 He hedged and qualified his statements at every turn and was fully aware of the contentiousness of his subject. The hallmark of Shárúbím 's history was in fact its scrupulous fairness: the more controversial the issue, the more deftly he was able to handle it. It is virtually impossible, for example, when reading his discussion of the British attack on Egypt under General Frazer (1807) to tell that an Egyptian historian has written the account.23 Similarly, in describing the dispute between Sharif Pasha and the 'Uräbists (Feb­ ruary, 1882) Shárúbim remains completely impartial. He says first of all that the assembly delegates turned against Sharif when he refused to allow them to vote on the governm ent's budget. But he then rescues the Pasha by alluding to his belief that the European Powers simply would not perm it this.24 It is left to the reader to decide whether Sharif is som ething less than a true patriot, as many nationalist historians have claimed, or simply a victim of circumstances.


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

A l-K äfi fVl-Ta'rikh was clearly not just another run-of-the-m ill chronicle. History, as Shárübim treated it, had a marked analytic flavor yet retained the basic structure of the chronicle. Shârûbïm achieved remarkable balance in his coverage of highly controversial subjects like the French occupation, the reign of Muhammad Ali and the 'U räbi Revolution without having to side-step any of the issues them selves. M oreover, the fact that he did not restrict discussion to purely political affairs is a further sign of the modernity of his writings. H e w rote in som e detail on the locust plague of 1842, the Bedouin revolt of Sa'id 's time and the drought of 1889-9025— all of which are profitable reading for the social or economic historian too. There are also lengthy accounts of Ism ä'fl's efforts to obtain legal recognition of the principle of primogeniture and of late nineteenth-century develop­ m ents in the Sudan.26 It is not always possible to discover the source of Shärübün's inform ation, but as a result of his long career in govern­ m ent service he must have had personal access to many important docum ents.27 The work of Shârûbïm represents a very real step in the direc­ tion of m odem historiography. W hile guarding much of the method­ ology and in fact the whole mood of the chronicle, he nevertheless focuses attention on the motives, causes, and consequences of histori­ cal acts. Like the medievalist, he tries to avoid internal criticism, but he com pensates for this by presenting several sides to the story. He is too cautious ever to dare a comparison of Muhammad 'A li with Louis XIV (as did al-Tahtäw i), but it is this very caution that also makes him a m ore reliable source of information than his Azhart predecessor. As important as Shärübün's contribution was, it was neverthe­ less left to one of his contemporaries— Ismä'fl Sarhank Pasha— to dem onstrate ju st how far the framework of the medieval Arabic chron­ icle could be pushed. Sarhank was not only the last but also un­ doubtedly one of the finest practitioners of the "m edieval" art of historical writing. Very little is known about Sarhank's life, although he himself supplies us with a few facts about his father, who was taken as a child from Crete by Ibrahim Pasha and in 1825 joined the Military School at Q asr al-A yn i. In 1830 he was transferred to the Naval Academy, where he com pleted his studies. He later held several upper-level positions in the Egyptian navy and participated in important naval actions, for exam ple, during the Crimean War. He retired from service during the 136

The Neo-Chroniclers

reign o f Sa id but was later reactivated by Ismi'Ü. Final retirement cam e in 1887, and he died in 1895.28 O n Sarhank him self, there is no extant biography.29 Fortu­ nately, however, the late Jamal al-Din al-Shayyäl has undertaken the onerous task of going through Sarhank's history from cover to cover and extracting all the fragments of information which are of relevance to the author's own life. He has come up with the following admit­ tedly incom plete picture. Ismä'O Sarhank was selected as one of a few superior students to be adm itted to the newly revived Naval Academy under the Khe­ dive Ismä'Ü. Since this school was re-established in 1867, and Sarhank entered it somewhere between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, alShayyäl concludes that he must have been bom around 1854. Upon graduation, Sarhank, like his father, began to climb through the ranks. H e ultim ately reached the position of admiral (miralay) and is known to have participated in naval actions in the Red Sea and off the coast of Ethiopia and Serbia. W hen the royal steamboat al-M ahrúsah was sent to London for repairs in 1872, it returned to Egypt via Istanbul, during w hich time Sarhank was one of the captains. His active status ended abruptly with the British occupation, when the Egyptian navy was disbanded. A fter that, he apparently taught military science and naval artillery to reconstituted units of the Egyptian marines. He died in 1924.30 As originally intended, Sarhank's True Relations o f the Maritime N ations31 was to consist of three stout volumes. All of these did in fact appear— in 1895, 1898, and 1923—but only Volume I was as Sarhank had planned it, covering the ancient and medieval periods, with con­ siderably more attention to the Arab countries (except Egypt) and the O ttom an Empire than to W estern civilization.32 Volume II, however, w as originally intended to cover Egypt, France, and Great Britain,33 but as it turned out, Sarhank had to devote the entire book to Egypt alone. The first 220 pages covered Egyptian history to the end of the reign of Muhammad Alï, and the rest of the book (364 pages) dealt w ith events up to around the turn of the twentieth century. With Volum e II Sarhank had of course already fallen far short of his original goal. He was held up even more in the third and final volume, in w hich he had hoped to treat all of the remaining countries of W estern Europe plus Russia.34 The book finally did appear a full twenty-eight years after the publication of Volume II and was now subtitled "V ol­ 137

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

um e III, Part O n e." It was much shorter than either of its predecessors and contained an "Em endation and Apology" (istidräk wa ïtidhâr), in w hich Sarhank stated that "th e general political situation had changed, constituting an immovable object between me and the force of my intentions."35 This was, according to al-Shayyàl, a reference to W orld War I and the 1919 Revolution as well as to alterations in the Búláq lettering system , which delayed the printing of Sarhank's book.36 Volume III dealt in any case only with the history of France from Clovis to Charles VII. Sarhank's various positions in the Ministry of Marine gave him access to many official documents. His friends in other govern­ m ental departments supplied him with further information, and, as a result, his history is dotted with official records, some of which can be found nowhere else. He lists, for example, the names and sizes of Egyptian ships during the reign of Muhammad 'Ali as well as the am ounts and types of coastal fortifications, munitions and artillery in use at the tim e.37 He translates French consular papers and British Foreign O ffice documents into Arabic, and in his discussion of the Italian occupation of Somalia goes so far as to examine the relevant Italian diplomatic correspondence.38 Sarhank's attention to secondary sources is equally careful, and it is surprising to find how thoroughly he has researched all sides of a question. The following list gives some idea of the range of mate­ rials he uses: M engin's history of Egypt under Muhammad 'Ali, the works of Clot Bey, al-Jabarti, the memoirs of Colonel 'Uràbï, Gabriel H addäd's Ta'rikh al-Harb al-Südäniyyah, Hans Riesener's biography of 'U ràbï, Shaykh Khalil b. Ahmad al-Rajabï al-Shàfi'ï's Ta’rikh M uham­ mad 'A li Bäshä, foreign and domestic newspapers, etc.39 Wherever possible, Sarhank aims for contemporaneity of source materials. The passion for original documents and, above all, for statisti­ cal analysis show s the continuing influence of the Mubärak "school" of Egyptian historiography.40 From Mubarak on, Egyptian historians had become increasingly aware of the importance of originality to historical studies— in the form of either new source materials, a new area of investigation or simply a new slant on things. Not all practi­ tioners of this method were equally successful as creative writers, but Sarhank at least stands out as one of the few whose work could qualify on all three counts. He used new and original source materials, and his history also had the distinction of being the first modem Egyptian attem pt at a truly topical study of a narrowly defined area, i.e., the 138

The N eo-Chronklers

history of the sea powers. In the area of interpretation, where the very nature of the chronicle made a breakthrough most difficult, Sarhank made a better attem pt than any of his predecessors to write conceptual rather than purely mechanistic history. According to Sarhank, the purpose of Haqä'iq al-Akhbär was to fill som e of the existing gaps in historical knowledge, particularly as regards the history of the sea pow ers.41 This he did partly by introduc­ ing new and useful data, but, even more important, by his unusually com prehensive treatm ent of the subject and his bold and sophisticated judgm ents on men and events. He did not share any of Shárúbim 's m ethodological inhibitions, which is precisely what made his work so valuable. To illustrate these points, let us examine more closely Sarhank's historical technique. His discussion of the French occupation gives the Egyptian reader much greater insight into French motives than earlier authors. He does not encapsulate the incident as a purely Egyptian affair or, as later became fashionable, dispose of it as just one more imperialist plot. Instead, he takes into consideration the FrancoRussian rivalry in Europe and the attem pt at Tilsit to divide the rest of the world between the two powers. He m entions too the importance of Egypt's geographical position and the role she has played as a link betw een Europe, India and the Far East.43 Moving on to discuss the reign of Muhammad 'Alt, Sarhank paints a generally favorable picture, buttressed by a wealth of statisti­ cal inform ation. He alludes of course to the Pasha's reforms in educa­ tion and agriculture and to his conquests in the Sudan, the Morea and Syria.43 In his treatm ent of foreign policy, he tries to get at the main­ springs of Muhammad 'A ll's military ventures. The conquest of the Sudan, he m aintains, was the more or less traditional goal of a strong Egypt, and he notes that the area had been an Egyptian dependency as far back as the twelfth dynasty of pharaohs.44 Through conquest of the Sudan, he claim s, Muhammad 'Ali hoped to discover valuable mineral deposits, to put an end to Mamluk resistance to his rule, and to elim inate tribal disruption of trade routes to the south.45 The Syrian episode, on the other hand, was according to Sar­ hank the result of a different combination of elem ents. Like Shárúbim, he alludes to the presence of Egyptian refugees in Acre and to the grudge that Muhammad 'A li bore toward the late al-Jazzär Pasha. But he also goes on to consider the broader context, i.e ., the fact that Muhammad 'A li had been promised control over the Morea and was


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

then obliged to sit back and see his entire fleet destroyed for nothing. Sarhank is as usual conscious of the European influence on events and in this context brings up the interesting hypothesis that France actively encouraged the Syrian invasion in order to distract from her own effort to colonize Algeria.46 Sarhank has relatively little to say about 'Abbas I, merely la­ m enting the fact that he closed down so many of Muhammad 'A ll's schools.47 He moves on to Ism a'il, taking the khedive severely to task for inaugurating so many costly and wasteful projects which did not really benefit the Egyptian people. The result of Ism a'il's profligacy w as in Sarhank's view to place Egypt in Europe's debt, leading ulti­ m ately to European control of the country.48 By the late 1870's, Sarhank claims, European intervention had becom e intolerable, and the mood of the people was approaching revolutionary proportions. In discussing the events of the revolution them selves, he expresses the opinion that no one group can be sad­ dled w ith complete responsibility for the disaster. Colonel 'Urabi had by then become a hero in the eyes of the people, and initially at least he did make a sincere effort to obtain greater popular control over the m achinery of government. Later on the 'Uräbist clique got out of hand, however, and exceeded the proper limits of its authority, both during the celebrated Alexandria automobile incident and again in its call for the deposition of Tawfiq. Sarhank examines the so-called "M assacre of Alexandria" (June 11,1882) from both the European and the Egyptian points of view and again declines to place the entire blam e on any one group. The Europeans, he claims, had good reason to fear the control of the streets by angry mobs, but were not, how­ ever, justified in arming themselves and shooting down any suspi­ cious passers-by.49 The final section of Sarhank's second volume is devoted to the first tw o decades of the Occupation. It is a valuable statistical source and by Egyptian standards relatively free of the usual nationalistic venom . Sarhank does not exactly apologize for the British presence in Egypt, but he does explain its historical origins and consequences. He begins by tracing the sustained interest of Britain in Egypt from Na­ p oleon's time down to the start of the Occupation in 1882. For his docum entation he relies on the relevant British diplomatic corres­ pondence, such as the letters of Lord Palmerston and Lord Dalhousie. H e w eaves his way deftly through the intricacies of European diplo­ m acy, pointing out the conflicting designs of the various powers and 140

The Neo-Chroniclers

how they affected developments in the Islamic world. In his account of the O ccupation itself, he outlines the accomplishments of the British in sanitation, irrigation, finance, domestic transport, tax relief for the Egyptian farmer, street lighting, etc.50 The treatment of the topics covered is adequate, but Sarhank unfortunately gets bogged down in a discussion of late nineteenth-century events in the Sudan51 and, as a result, entirely om its many other important areas, viz., the develop­ m ent of national resistance to Britain under 'Abbas Hilmi. As a naval officer, Sarhank was obviously more interested in the collapse of Egyptian rule in the Sudan than in party politics. For depth of perception and historical insight the work of Ism a'il Sarhank Pasha surpasses that of all his predecessors. O ne of Egypt's greatest twentieth-century historians, Muhammad Çabrî, pointed this out recently when he was asked which members of his profession had in his opinion done the most to spread accurate knowl­ edge of Egypt's past. Sabri named, among others, four native Egyp­ tians— al-Jabarti, Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i, Shafiq Ghurbäl and Ismä'ü Sarhank.52 Few W estern observers could have come up with such a list, and although the m atter is too complex to discuss here, it is a mark of Çabri's greatness both as a historian and as a man that he selected these four individuals.53 As Sabri instinctively realized, Sarhank's name should figure on such a list for many good reasons. First of all, his documentation is both original and unusually thorough.54 Second, the range of subjects he covers is exceptionally broad, since in spite of its title, his book contains much m ore than just naval or military affairs: it provides a w ealth of inform ation on almost all areas. Even more than Shärübim, Sarhank was aware that history does not revolve exclusively around politics and the succession of governments. He therefore treated topics like education and the Egyptian economy in depth and is indis­ pensable as a source on both areas. Even social history received atten­ tion; w e find subjects like "th e condition of the Egyptian peasantry under Isma il." 55 In each case the discussion was conceptual and insti­ tutional— w ith an em phasis quite alien to that of the "pure chronicle." The importance of Sarhank's contribution lay not only in what he w rote but also in how he wrote it. Al-Jabarti and particularly alTahtäw i had taken the first tentative steps in the direction of analytic history, but neither was as consistent or careful in their analysis as Sarhank. M oreover, al-Jabarti's and al-Tahtàw ï's comments were for the m ost part those of an observer, whereas Sarhank's judgments 141

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

w ere clearly those of a historian. He saw events with a critical eye far m ore consistently than al-Jabarti. In organization, style, balance, and conceptual sophistication he surpassed al-Tahtawi. And he made a conscious effort to extract meaning from the historical record, even if in scope his work cannot touch the studies of 'Ali Mubarak or Amin Säm i. In spite of all his innovations, Sarhank's history must curi­ ously still be considered part of the medieval annalistic tradition. This is not simply because the title and the opening invocation are in tradi­ tional saj' style.56 Indeed, except for these passages, Sarhank's style is concise, straightforward and considerably more elegant than the sim­ plistic prose one finds in Mubärak, Sâm i, or even Shàrùbim. It is rather that the analytic, diagnostic qualities of his history, which have been pointed out frequently enough in the preceding pages, are nevertheless not typical of the work as a whole. They do exist, but only if one hunts for them. W e noted earlier that the line between history and the chroni­ cle is som etim es a fine one, and that the quality of chronicles can vary greatly from the thoughtful studies of men like al-M as'üdï, Miskawayh and Ibn Khaldún to the mechanical productions of the Mamluk and Ottom an periods.57 In my analysis I have deliberately stressed those aspects of Sarhank's history which set him apart from previous w riters— the very specific nature of his subject matter, his thorough docum entation, his interpretive depth, his awareness of the value of non-political information in his writings, and so on. These are, so to speak, the highlights of his work, which are nonetheless encased in a highly traditional mold. For example, we find many extended pas­ sages dealing with a purely temporal succession of events. Sarhank includes them only out of necessity and if he sees any significance to them , he certainly does not point it out.58 Similarly the many statistics and charts in Haqâ'iq, most of which the author passes over entirely w ithout com m ent, appear to be there simply because they exist. It is a technique that Mubärak or Sam i might have employed and that con­ form s closely to the philosophy of history as "com pilation" or, for that m atter, to that of the encyclopedic khitat. Sarhank's work reaches the very threshold of modem histori­ ography, but it does not quite cross over it. He purports to write a history of the naval powers, but like the medievalist he ends up with a pot pourri o f inform ation on all areas. The book's organization is unsys­ tem atic and extrem ely difficult to use, but the interpretive element is 142

The Neo-Chroniclers

for its time rem arkable, although the author frequently lapses back into the old chronicle approach. Hatfi'iq al-A khbär is perhaps best de­ scribed as a chronicle that is on the verge of bursting its own confines. In this it ultim ately fails, leaving to the next generation of Egyptian historians the job of dealing the final death-blow to the medieval Is­ lam ic tradition.

N otes 1. Zaydàn, Ta'rfkh Àddbal-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 281. 2. A detailed biography of al-Falaki is contained in the recent edition of his study of ancient Alexandria. See by al-Falaki, Risdlah ‘an al-lskandariyyah al-Qadimah, revised by Muhammah Awâd Husayn (Alexandria: Dár Nashr al-Thaqáfah, 1966). 3. From the introductions to Bahjat's Fouilles d'al-Fustat (Paris, 1921) and his La céramique musulmane de l'Egypte (Cairo, 1930) it appears that although technically the author of both books, he was actually working as a research assistant to French experts in the field. 4. Cf. p. 112 above. 5. For more information on the lives and writings of al-Falaki, AH Bahjat, and Ahmad Kamál see el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 54-65. 6. El-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, p. 70. Cf. Haddad, “Modem Arab Historians," p. 39. 7. Mahmud Fahmi al-Muhandis, Al-Bahral-ZdkhirfiTa'rfkh al-'Alam wa Akhbdr al-Awd'il wa'l-Awdkhir (Cairo: Al-Matba'ah al-Amiriyyah bi-Büläq, a .h . 1312 [i.e., 1894J, 1,2. The title can be rendered in English as "The Bottomless Sea on the Events of World H istory." 8. He claimed that all nations go through three phases: (1) growth— characterized by interest in military affairs and beaux gestes-, (2) maturity—when atten­ tion is turned to legal, scientific, and artistic activity; and (3) decline—when love of material comforts saps the nation's strength and internal quarrels cause it to disinte­ grate. Al-Bahr al-Zdkhir, 1,3. 9. El-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, p. 70. 10. "Up-dated" with respect to Fahmi's topical organization of the subject mat­ ter. In the Table of Contents he goes out of his way to cast the discussion in institutional terms, but once he actually begins to write, he immediately loses sight of his objective. 11. Biographical information taken from Jamäl al-Din al-Shayyäl, Al-Ta'rfkh waT-Mu'arrikhûn ft Mi$r ffl-Q a m al-Tdsi' 'Ashar, Al-Maktabah al-Ta'rikhiyyah, no. 3 (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi^riyyah, 1958), p. 212. This is the original Arabiclanguage version of al-Shayyál's A History o f Egyptian Historiography in the Nineteenth Century. It is fuller and more detailed. (Coptic sources on Shârùbim's life may also exist but, if so, I was unable to locate them.) 12. "Al-Tawlid fi Madhhab Ahl al-Tawhid" of Hamzah b. 'AH, vizier of the FaJimid caliph, al-Häkim. Ibid. 13. A fifth volume was apparently planned but remained in draft form. Ibid. 14. Strict avoidance of s a j, together with the similarity between Shârùbim's and Ibn al-Athir's titles, suggests that he modelled the work on al-Kdmil ftl-T a'rfkh. 15. See, for example, his discussion of the feuds between Muhammad A li and Muhammad al-Alfi. MIkhâ'il Shârûbim, Al-Kdfi ft Ta'rfkh Mifr al-Qadtm xoa'l-Hadfth (Bûlâq: Al-Matba'ah al-Kubrà al-Amiriyyah, 1898), 111, 304-9. The treatment is reminis­ cent of (and perhaps borrowed from) al-Jabarti. 16. Ibid., p. 213. 17. Ibid., IV, 49.


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 18. Ibid., pp. 5,3 8 -4 8 . 19. Ibid., Ill, 303. 20. Ibid., IV, 41. 21. Ibid., pp. 49,59,65, 70,93, 111, 19betpassm . 22. The procedure is, after all, completely legitimate even by today's standards. 23. With no apparent emotion Shárúbim relates that following the expiration of the twenty-four hour ultimatum, the British fleet shelled Alexandria, destroying a comer of the "Great Tower" (al-burj al-kabir) and many other fortifications as well. The people of the city were then given an amnesty, and the British entered. The Ottoman governor, Amin Aghà, negotiated a treaty with the British based on the following provisions: (1) quartering of British troops on the population but conditional on the latter's consent and with reimbursement to the householder; (2) respect for the Shan ah and mosque properties, with no interference with worship; (3) passage for local travel­ lers on British ships to anywhere but the Ottoman Empire; and (4) no new taxes to be levied with the exception of a 2 l/i°/o customs duty on goods passing through the port. A l-K àfi fCl-Ta'rikh, IV, 16-17. Cf. 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Ráfi'I, Muhammad A ll (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi?riyyah, 1951), pp. 51-52, where Amin Aghä's actions are described as "sham eful" and "cowardly." 24. A l-K àfi fTl-Ta'rikh, IV, 273-74. 25. Ibid., pp. 93-94,111-12,458. 26. Ibid., pp. 143ÍÍ., 378-423. 27. He sometimes cites verbatim from official sources, e.g., a letter from the French consul-general to Ibrâhîm Pasha (undated) or an Ottoman firman. Ibid., pp. 53, 87. More often than not, however, his sources are unknown. His account of the French occupation (Vol. Ill, p. 213ft.) seems to have been taken directly from al-Jabarti, who is mentioned on pp. 256,301, 305 and 310. He consults the records of the Shari'ah Court of Rosetta for details concerning the marriage of Jacques Menou. Ibid., Ill, 266. According to Verdery, Shárúbim leans heavily on al-jabarti for the reign of Muhammad 'AH too. Verdery, "Al-JabartI," p. 132. This can only be true of Muhammad 'All's early years, however. And even then, Shárúbim is consistently more analytic and interpretive than al-jabarti. 28. Al-Shayyál, Al-Ta'rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhûn, pp. 124-25. 29. Such are the disadvantages of foreign cultural impact. By the turn of the twentieth century the medieval historical tradition was practically defunct, and, as a result, there was no tabaqàt literature on men like Sarhank and his father. 30. AI-Shayyàl, Al-Ta'rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhûn, pp. 125-29. "Marines" is, 1 think, the best translation here. The Arabic states that Sarhank was appointed "battery officer" (ma'mùr li'1-battàriyyah) to the "commando ship" (qarwít al-sá'iqah), where he taught the above-mentioned subjects. Qarwit is presumably an Arabic corruption of the French "corvette." 31. My translation of Haqà'iq al-Akhbàr 'an Duwal al-Bihàr. This is the last time that sa j' will appear in the title of an Egyptian historical work. 32. The Arab countries and the Ottoman Empire received each about three hundred pages, the West about half that. 33. Ismá'il Sarhank Pasha, Haqà'iq al-Akhbàr 4an Duwal al-Bihàr (Cairo: Matba'at al-Amlriyyah bi-Búláq, a . h . 1312), 1,3. 34. Ibid. 35. Ibid., Ill, n.p. 36. Al-Shayyál, Al-Ta'rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhün, p. 138. The Búláq story is rather feeble, but I have not been able to discover the exact nature of Sarhank's difficulties. They may have been mainly political, since Volume III had in the end to be printed privately. 37. Haqà'iq al-Akhbàr, II, 253-55. Cf. al-Shayyàl, Al-Ta'rikh wa'l-Mu'arrikhûn, pp. 135-37. 38. Haqà'iq al-Akhbàr, II, 209,499-505 et passhn. 39. Ibid., pp. 374-75, 463; and al-Shayyàl, Al-Ta'rikh xva'l-Mu'arrikhùn, pp. 13234. 144

The Neo-Chroniclers 40. Al-Shayyàl comments appropriately in this regard that the type of historical writing Mubarak and Sarhank did was a result of their technical and military training. Al-Shayyal, Al-Ta'rikh wa’l-M u’arrikhm , p. 139. 41. H aqä’iq al-A kh bär,l,2 . 42. Ibid., II, 209. 43. Ibid., pp. 225-57. 44. More recent Egyptian-Sudanese relations bear out this notion of Egypt's "natural frontiers" and the so-called "unity of the Nile Valley." Until a couple of decades ago, most Egyptians would have found it hard to conceive of an independent Sudan, and even now "reunification projects" are constantly in the air. 45. H aqä’iq al-Akhbár, II, 232. 46. Ibid., p. 244. 47. Ibid., p.262. 48. Ibid., pp. 354-55. 49. Ibid., pp. 374-90. 50. Ibid., pp. 382-88,418-26,438. 51. Ibid., pp. 537-55. 52. No author, "Al-Bahth 'an Turâthinâ: Hadith ma'a'l-Duktúr Muhammad Sabri," A l-Kätib, no. 9 (1961), p. 84. 53. For instance, he includes Ghurbál even though the two were at times bitter rivals and saw eye to eye on practically nothing. 54. Sarhank was fluent in four languages— Arabic, Turkish, English, and French. Al-Shayyál, A l-Ta’rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhün, p. 131. 55. tfaqä’iq al-Akhbär, II, 355-56. Other examples include his discussion of the Bedouin revolt of al-Fayyûm (1854) and that of Ahmad al-Tayyib at the beginning of Ismá'il's reign. Ibid., pp. 267,281. 56. Ibid., 1,2. 57. See pp. 14,31 above. 58. See, for example, his discussion of Sudanese history, which is an amazing mixture of history and chronicle, tfaqä’iq al-Akhbàr, II, 462-98.


C hapter VIII__________________________________

The Nationalist Historians: I Muçfafà Kamil

\ s tn til this point the influence of nationalism on Egyptian historiography has barely come to light. A vaguely defined national pride did exist in the writings of almost all the historians we have looked at, and al-Tahtáw i probably came closest to giving such feel­ ings concrete expression. But not until the late nineteenth century did Egyptian national consciousness evolve to the point where writers began to feel instinctively a loyalty to their Egyptian homeland (w atan). This new loyalty then competed for ascendancy with the much older feelings of Islamic solidarity, just as it later collided, but this time from a position of strength rather than weakness, with the notion of Arab unity. The victory of nationalism was neither quick nor easy, and until such time as it had won out over religious allegiances, an Egyptian historian, like the rest of his countrymen, faced the psy­ chological dilemma of trying to decide whether his Muslim or his Egyptian self was the more basic component of his character. It was an identity crisis that we will see mirrored clearly in the writings of men like M ustafà Kämil and Muhammad Farid. The watershed in the progress of Egyptian nationalism was the Uräbi Revolution, which acted as inspiration for nationalistic w riters from 'U räbi's time right down to the present. The revolution itself spawned a number of fervently patriotic w riters, including Colonel 'Uräbi himself. His own account of the period was subse­ quently lost, however, and was not rediscovered until the second decade of this century when the only copy apparently in existence was found in the personal library of Muhammad À sif. 1 More important than 'Uräbi both as a speaker and a writer was 'Abdulläh al-Nadim. Al-Nadim had been a prominent spokesman for the 'Uräbist faction during the revolution and later on, according to 146

The Nationalist Historians: l

Ju rji Zaydän, came to have a m ajor influence on the ideas of Mustafa K ám il.2 He is therefore of some importance to our discussion of Kámil as w ell as being a key figure in his own right in the genesis of national­ ist historiography. Bom in 1845 of a m iddle-class family, al-Nadim worked for a time as ship's carpenter and baker before his father sent him to the Ibrahim Pasha Mosque to study religious sciences. He developed a stronger interest in literature than in religion but to support himself he learned telegraphy. During the 1870's he travelled around from Cairo to Badawäy (Daqahliyyah Province) to al-M ansurah and was repu­ tedly outspoken in his criticism of existing conditions. As a result he was twice dism issed from influential positions. In 1879 he decided to go to Alexandria, where his life as a revolutionary really began.3 In Alexandria al-Nadim joined Misr al-Fatûh— a secret organi­ zation that encouraged reforms of various kinds. He also became active as a journalist, writing articles for Adib Ishaq's two papers, Misr and al-Tijârah. He then left Misr al-Fatäh rather abruptly, preferring to set up his own organization— the Islamic Charitable Foundation (alJam'iyyah al-Khayriyyah al-lsUtmiyyah).4 He was beginning to acquire a certain reputation as a writer, teacher, and orator. In 1881 al-Nadim abandoned the Islamic Charitable Founda­ tion to set up a newspaper— al-Tanklt wa’l-Tabktt— the first issue of w hich appeared on November 6. The paper's tone was a mixture of fiery nationalism and provocative satire and it was soon forced to close dow n. At this point al-Nadim decided to throw in his lot with the 'U räbist forces. He left for Cairo to begin publishing still another new spaper, al-Tä'if, a fervently Islamic, pro-'Urâbi tract, which quick­ ly achieved widespread circulation. By the time 'Uräbi reached the peak of his own political popularity (following the resignation of Sharif Pasha and the formation of the new government under alBárúdi), al-Nadim had become the leader of Egypt's first political "p a rty ," appropriately enough named the National Party (al-Hizb al-

Watani).5 Al-Nadim was fiercely loyal to 'Uräbi and remained at his side during the Battle of Kafr al-Dawwàr, continuing to publish al-Tâ'if all the w hile from the military encampment itself. Recent evidence indi­ cates that he, like Mahmùd Sàm ï al-Bârûdi, stuck with 'Uräbi to the bitter end and participated in the efforts to build a last-ditch line of defense after the disaster at Tall al-Kabir.6 When 'Uräbi surrendered, how ever, al-Nadim somehow managed to escape. The Occupation 147

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

governm ent then put a £E1,000 reward on his head, dead or alive, and he w as forced to spend, the next nine years of his life in disguise, travelling from village to village. It was during this period that he w rote Kûna wa Yakûnu, which he him self described as "a religious, linguistic, nationalistic, political, sexual, literary, historical abstract!" O n his capture in November, 1891, although the khedive saw fit to pardon him, he was ordered into exile and had to go live in Jaffa. 'A bbés H ilm i shortly afterwards permitted him to return to Egypt, and it w as then that he met up with the young M ustafà Kámil, whose m entor he became for a time. In 1892 al-Nadim once again demon­ strated his literary flair with the popular al-Ustädh, whose circulation soon surpassed that of all other contemporaneous daily and weekly new papers. Because of his sharp criticism of the government, how­ ever, he was forced into exile for a second time. He returned to Jaffa but later settled in Istanbul, where be became Abdülhamid ITs Inspec­ tor o f Publications at a salary of £E45 a month. He died in 1896.7 That Abdullah al-Nadim was one of the most ardent national­ ists Egypt ever produced® is apparent in everything he wrote, whether historical in nature or not.9 He produced no real history of Egypt but did w rite numerous articles on the subject and had a powerful in­ fluence on later generations. He was also an early pioneer of language reform , experim enting at various points in his literary career with no less than three radically different literary styles: (1) "p u re" literary Arabic, com plete with the traditional stylistic flourishes (badt), (2) a sim ple, supple style found in his newspaper articles and directed at educated audiences, and (3) a quasi-colloquial genre, suitable for the m ore general reader of al-Tankit wa'l-Tabkit.10 In style as well as in ideas, al-Nadim left his mark on later writers, particularly those of the nationalist school.11 It would be difficult to exaggerate the impact that the 'Urâbî period had on Egyptian intellectual circles. Men who had not even participated in the revolution were nevertheless deeply troubled by the events of those four years, and the revolution could count among its direct progeny not only 'Urâbî and al-Nadim but also Mahmud Fahm i and Salim al-N aqqásh.12 The careers of all these men were cut short by the advent of the Occupation, however, and the embryonic nationalist movement was forced to languish for about a decade after that. Egypt's nationalist leaders had now been either imprisoned or exiled, the Khedive Tawfiq had learned through experience to fear popular movem ents even more than British encroachments on his 148

The Nationalist Historians: l

authority, and Lord Cromer was determined to resist any return to the conditions that had necessitated British intervention in the first place. Thus it was not until the accession of the new ruler, 'Abbäs II, in 1892 that the Egyptian nationalist movement once again began to acquire m om entum . Cromer found 'Abbäs much less tractable than Tawfiq, and relations quickly soured between the two men. Even more threatening than 'Abbas, however, was the meteoric rise of Mustafa Käm il, who fanned the flames of nationalism to new intensity and shook the very foundations of British rule in Egypt. M ustafä Kämil was bom in Cairo in 1874. His father, 'All Mu­ ham m ad, had been an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers (muhandis dabit) and had, therefore, a social standing that enabled him to send his son to the khédivial secondary school (1887). It was there that Kämil first m et up with 'Ali Mubarak, who was reportedly impressed w ith Käm il's eloquence and predicted that he would one day achieve national prominence. Kämil completed his secondary school training in 1891 and w ent on to study law. He got to know some of Egypt's leading intel­ lectuals, such as the poets 'Ali al-Laythi and Ism ä'3 Sabri, and in 1892 w as introduced by Khalil Muträn to Bishärah Taqlà, editor of the in­ fluential al-Ahrâm. Taqlä opened the columns of his newpaper to Käm il, who began to write articles on Egyptian national aspirations. During the day Kämil still attended the Egyptian Law School, but since French was at the time the single most important language for an Egyptian lawyer, he also attended the French Law School in the eve­ nings. His first m eeting with 'Abbäs II came in November, 1892, when the new ruler visited the Law School. Kämil was selected to recite a poem (qasidah) which he had written in the khedive's honor.13 Lord Cromer and 'Abbäs had by this time already clashed on a num ber of points, and Crom er's so-called ''hum iliation" of 'Abbäs led in January, 1893, to a demonstration by Egyptian Law School students in w hich Kämil participated. Kämil's monthly magazine, al-Madrasah also began to appear at this time, carrying articles on a multitude of subjects and published under the motto "Love your school, your people, and your country" (Hubbuka Madrasataka, Hubbuka Ahlaka wa Watanaka).14 By now Kämil had many influential friends, including 'Abdulläh al-Nadim, recently pardoned by the khedive and again liv­ ing in Egypt. From August, 1892, to June, 1893, al-Nadim was pub­ lishing al-Ustädh, which was full of biting satire against the British. Kämil often sat at the older m an's feet, learning all he could about his



The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

past and his nationalistic activities. Al-Nadim may well have coun­ seled him not to commit the same errors he himself had made, nam ely, relying too exclusively on the army instead of on public opinion and setting him self in opposition to the ruler and court circles.15 If he in fact did, the advice was not wasted; in later years K äm irs National Party based its strategy on just such a policy. In June, 1894, Kamil took the first of what was to become a series of frequent trips to Europe.16 In the beginning these trips were m ainly for purposes of study;17 but as he got progressively more in­ volved with politics, the trips to Europe (and particularly to France) evolved into efforts to sell the European Powers on Egypt's case for independence. In June, 1895, for example, he was allowed to deliver a speech in the Chambre des députés. In die same year he wrote a short tract in French on "The Dangers of the British Occupation" (later translated into Arabic as Akhtär al-Ihtiläl al-Baritânî). Fie published an article in the Viennese press on the same subject and lectured at the French Geographical Society. In 18% he wrote three open letters to G ladstone, urging him to grant Egypt independence. He contacted anyone and everyone who was willing to listen and until his death in 1908 continued to try to rouse enthusiasm in Europe for the Egyptian cause. As the years passed, however, he found that he met with steadily decreasing interest wherever he w ent.18 Kamil began his political career with several important advan­ tages, not least of which was the patronage of the khedive, 'Abbas H ilm i. For a long time the nature of the liaison between the two men w as unclear, and Kam il's biographer, 'Abd al-Rahman al-Räfi'i, in his anxiety to preserve the memory of his party chief from any compro­ m ising disclosures, did nothing to dispel this mystery. Rashid Ridä and Ahmad Shafiq had already suspected early on that Kamil's rela­ tionship with 'Abbäs went very d eep,19 and al-'Aqqäd, who was ad­ m ittedly not exactly a neutral observer, considered Kamil one of the khedive's "peddlers of venality" (min sarmsirat al-rutab iva'l-myâshiri).20 More recent scholarship has confirmed these earlier suspi­ cions, making it highly likely, if not altogether certain, that Kämil's activities w ere indeed financed by the Egyptian court.21 Kämil worked in close association with 'Abbäs for about a decade after their first encounter, when for various reasons the rela­ tionship between the two men began to cool. The signing of the Anglo-French Entente in 1904 was probably one element in the changed relationship, since it now became futile for 'Abbäs to try to 150

The Nationalist Historians: !

use Kamil as a wedge between Great Britain and France.22 The khedive also decided at this time to move closer to 'Alï Yùsuf, editor of al-Liw â' s rival paper, al-M u'ayyad. In 1904 Yùsuf had contracted a mar­ riage with a daughter of Shaykh al-Sädät, which proved a very un­ popular alliance with the Egyptian people. 'Abbas came out openly in support of this marriage, provoking an angry letter of reaction from Kamil in al-A hm m .23 By taking Yusuf's side in the dispute, the khedive w as in effect serving notice that he was prepared to drop his former protégé, and Kam il's vanity persuaded him that he, and not 'Abbas, should be the one to strike the first blow. At the same time 'Abbäs was apparently transferring his patronage abroad from Kamil to the Frenchm an, de l'O ncle, a well-known journalist and a member of the im perialist faction in the French parliament. He, rather than Kamil, w as henceforth to be charged with representing Egyptian interests in France.24 For all of the above-mentioned reasons Kamil now began to find him self somewhat isolated. The royal well was drying up, and the French could no longer be counted on to oppose the British presence in Egypt. Kamil had to look elsewhere for support, and during his last years he accordingly shifted his attention to Germany and Russia.25 H e becam e more active on the home front too, opening the Club For H igher Education in 1905 and supporting the project to establish a national liberal-arts university.26 With his two former sponsors now gone, he sought to broaden the popular base of his support by inciting the people to greater resistance to British rule and by coming out more forcefully in favor of the constitutional movement.27 He led the Egyp­ tian resistance to the harsh educational measures of Douglas Dunlop (G eneral Secretary to the Ministry of Education) and gave tangible expression to the shame and outrage that resulted from the Dinshawäy incident (June 13, 1906).28 In 1907 French and English editions of Kám il's paper, al-Liwâ', began to appear, and the National Party was formed under his direction. The stirring oration he made in Alexandria on O ctober 22,1907, made his name a by-word to pasha and peasant alike, but his death in February, 1908, cut short at its zenith a brilliant and prom ising career.29 Kám il's disciple and biographer, 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Ráfi'i, constantly em phasizes in his history of modem Egypt that the central plank of the National Party from M ustafà Kämil right down to the 1952 Revolution was the total and unqualified withdrawal of all British troops and government officials from Egypt. Kámil's and his suc­ 151

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

cessors' endless hammering on this one point was, at least in the beginning, the main reason for the party's tremendous popularity. The principle of evacuation was a simple one, easy to understand and alm ost as easy to endorse. As a goal it was negative, designed to get rid o f rather titan construct som ething, and negative goals are usually the easiest ones to agree on. The problem for Kamil came in trying to form ulate w hat he intended to replace the British with. By around 1906, in fact, m any prom inent Egyptians were already beginning to feel that Kamil and the National Party had been too lenient with the khédivial autocracy as w ell as too anxious for some sort of pan-Islamic religio-political connection with the Ottoman Empire. To give voice to such fears, the Party of the Nation (Hizb al-Ummah) was founded by Ahm ad Lutfi al-Sayyid. Lutfi, like Kamil, followed the constitutional m ovem ent, and he put more em phasis than did Kamil on the urgent need for internal political and social reform. He departed radically from Kamil, however, in his opposition to any form of association, em otional or otherw ise, with the Ottoman Empire. During the ItaloTurkish W ar of 1911, he urged Egyptians to turn a deaf ear to the N ational Party's plea for contributions to the Turkish cause. He was also a more outspoken W estem izer than Kämil and attracted to his party and the colum ns of his newspaper (al-Jaridah) men of similar m ind, such as Tahà Husayn and Qäsim Amin. W hile al-Liwä' and al-M u'ayyad, for example, were attacking the ideas of Amin, al-Jaridah w as defending them .30 O n w om en's em ancipation, the wearing of the veil, etc., Kámil and the National Party took a conservative stand, more or less in line w ith prevailing religious opposition to W estern "innovations" {bida ) of this kind. Kam il's attitude may have been no more than a political expedient, how ever, since to espouse Am in's feminist ideas was at that tim e to risk losing one's popularity with the m asses.31 The later opposi­ tion of the National Party to Ali 'Abd al-Räziq's book, Islam and the Principles o f Government (al-lsiâm wa Usui al-Hukm), may also have been a p loy,32 ju st as M ustafà Kam il's and Muhammad Farid's constant efforts to foster am icable relations between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire m ay have been for the sole purpose of affecting a united hont against the British. W e are confronted here with a very knotty problem, at each phase of which it is possible to maintain that what Kämil so often said, both in public and in private, he did not really believe but simply used as a political tactic. Käm il's historical writings will hopefully shed more light on this m atter, but before going further a few preliminary remarks 152

The Nationalist Historians: l

on his general attitude toward "pan-Islam " and the Ottoman Empire will be helpful. This question has already been discussed over and over without any real conclusion being drawn. The most detailed and scholarly analysis of K äm irs religious and political thought is Steppat's "N a­ tionalism us und Islam bei M ustafà K am il," already referred to above. In this article Steppat m ounts an impressive array of evidence to suggest that Kamil did indeed favor some form of political cooperation between Egypt and the Ottom an Empire. He was, first of all, a bitter enemy of the Syrian immigrants to Egypt (i.e ., men like Färis Nimr, Ya'qub Çarrùf and Sháhin M akáryús, who founded the paper al-M uqattam in 1889) and referred to them as "intru ders" (dukhalä'). These were of course the very men w ho preached total severance of ties with Turkey. Kàmil also spoke out frequently against "Christian fanaticism " and, particularly after 1904, held the feeling that Europeans looked on Orientals as their inferiors.33 During his many trips to Europe he noticed that in spite of the "progressive" and worldly posture that Europeans liked to affect, religion was still ju st as basic to their school curriculum as it was to that of Egypt and the Muslim world.34 And the spirit of toleration which was said to reign there m ust have seemed to Kämil a chimera after he had him self w itnessed som e of the uglier aspects of the Dreyfus Affair. Finally, Kamil often referred to him self as "an Ottoman Egyptian" (m isri 'uthmäni), w hich, as he explained it, was not a double nationality but rather a single allegiance, since technically Egypt still belonged to the Ottom an Em pire.35 In spite of such impressive evidence, Steppat does not conclude that Kamil favored som e form of federation between Egypt and the Sublim e Porte. Instead, he states that Kamil's insistence on Egypt's position as part of the Ottoman domains acted simply as a legal point d'appui with the European Powers. Kämil realized that if they were legally enforced, the Treaty of London (1840), the Ottoman recognition of sam e (1841), the Treaty of Paris (1856), and the Treaty of Berlin (1878) all would have provided "hom e ru le" for Egypt within the Empire— a m ore or less acceptable idea in that it would mean the end of the British occupation. Even after 1882 Egypt's formal legal status did not change, and Kämil therefore felt he had a good case in maintaining that the British w ere flagrante delicto in violation of international treaty obliga­ tions. According to Steppat, Kämil saw the caliph as having a certain "m oral" (nta'nawf) influence and nothing more, which helped bind 153

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

M uslim s together in the common struggle against W estern imperial­ ism . Kamil also understood that both Christianity and Islam had been exploited by unscrupulous politicians for non-religious purposes, yet Steppat did not really consider him a "religious cynic." Islam was for Kämil essentially an important cultural influence, re-enforcing the basic East-W est opposition with a Muslim-Christian dichotomy. Whereas, for exam ple, the disciples of 'Abduh were interested in religious reform for its own sake, Kam il's followers always linked it with the national struggle, which was for them the paramount concern. Steppat sums up by saying that Kamil was a "M uslim nationalist" rather than a "n a­ tionalistic M uslim ." He was not interested in setting up a theocracy under the caliph but rather viewed the nation as the ultimate goal of hum anity. O nly through service to the nation did the individual acquire the right to exist.36 In Steppat's opinion, therefore, Kamil's allegedly pan-Islamic stance was the result of a mere mariage de convenance. Both Egypt and the O ttom an Empire happened to be fighting simultaneously against European encroachm ents on their sovereignty, and it was logical for them to make common cause. Kamil's support of the Ottomans was no m ore than a necessary expedient, much as Anglo-American coopera­ tion w ith the Soviet Union during World War II was a reluctant and half-hearted affair, due solely to the common goal of opposition to the A xis Pow ers.37 Steppat's analysis of Kámil's politics is both scholarly and con­ vincing. If it nevertheless does not completely satisfy, this is because it requires us to discount so much of what Kämil said and did as mere strategy. If, indeed, Kämil did not always mean what he said, it is no less true that many intelligent observers did in fact take him at his word. Saläm ah M üsà, for example, states categorically that Kämil appealed for independence from Britain only and not from the Ottoman Empire — an error of omission for which some excuse him (my italics] by main­ taining that it was nothing more than a "temporary tactic. " 3SAl-'Aqqäd calls attention to the fact that Kämil did not distinguish between an O ttom an and an Egyptian nationality. He attached such great impor­ tance to imperial Ottoman rank that on the day he was given the title of pasha, he refused to publish al-Liwa' until the typeset had been revised to include his new honorific.39 In his writings Kämil took the 'Uräbists to task for having regarded Turks and Circassians as "foreigners"; according to him , they were just as Egyptian as 'Uräbi him self.40 He held annual celebrations in honor of "our noble lord" (al-matbü' al­ 154

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a m m ), Abdülhamid II, thus reaffirming Egyptian allegiance to the O ttom an Empire. The first plank in the National Party's platform called for Egyptian independence as provided for in the Treaty of London (1840), namely, internal autonomy vis-à-vis Turkey; and the tenth plank proposed the "strengthening of ties between Egypt and the O ttom an Em pire." Kämil fought running battles with Lutfi al-Sayyid, w ho favored full and complete independence both from Britain and from the Ottom an Empire. And the columns oial-Liw â' launched bitter attacks against the Turkish constitutional movement, which was at the tim e toying with the notion of increased secularization of life and greater political decentralization for the Empire's various constituent p arts.41 All of this would seem to contradict Steppat's thesis and indi­ cate that Kämil and the National Party did favor some sort of tie betw een Egypt and the Ottoman Empire. Steppat is probably right in thinking that for Kämil this tie would not have taken the form of a theocracy under the sultan-caliph, but there are other alternatives to w hich Steppat does not devote enough attention. For example, Kämil's consistent and outspoken loyalty to the Empire should be taken more seriously; it was certainly more than a tactic, but Kämil had never quite w orked out (and indeed did not need to work out) precisely what form an Ottom an-Egyptian connection would take. He may well have envi­ sioned some sort of Islamic commonwealth, giving a high level of autonom y to each regional subdivision but having a formal, consulta­ tive apparatus that would bind member states loosely to the seat of the caliphate. Kämil was in any case totally unsympathetic to the idea of Arab nationalism or inter-Arab alliances—a notion that was just begin­ ning to gain credence in other Arab lands.42 After 1904 and the disap­ pointm ent with French foreign policy, his nationalism began to take on a m uch more pronounced Islamic tone, and in 1905 he established the m onthly magazine The Islamic World (al-‘Àlam al-lslàm î). In 1906 he supported the sultan against the British in the Taba incident, which was tantam ount to renunciation of Egyptian territorial sovereignty over this area.43 And the pages of al-Ltwä' and al-M u’ayyad, in contrast to the editorial policy of al-Jartdah, repeatedly stressed the importance of Egypt's role as one member of the Islamic community and a bulwark of the sultan's authority.44 W e find, therefore, concrete evidence to suggest that Kämil actually did favor a form of Ottoman-Egyptian cooperative association. It does seem unreasonable to have to discount almost all of Kämil's own


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

statem ents and to assume that all his political opponents, from Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid to al-'Aqqäd to Salämah Müsà, misunderstood his line of thinking. Fortunately we have yet another tool that can assist in resolving this dilemma. Kamil's (and later Farid's) historical writings, w hich have by and large been ignored by scholars, give us considerable insight into his party's value-system. They are, moreover, no mean literary achievem ent in their own right. According to 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Ráfi'i, Kamil's interest in his­ tory stemmed from his primary-school days. As a young man he began subm itting articles and speeches to al-Ahräm and al-M u’ayyad on his­ torical and quasi-historical matters. By his early twenties he had already w ritten a short treatise on the history of slavery in ancient Rome (A'jab ma Kana fi'l-Riqq ‘ind al-Rümäri) in which he pointed out the differences betw een W estern and Muslim practice and a history of the Arab con­ quest of Spain (Fath al-Andalüs), which somewhat over-romanticized that particular epoch of Islamic history. From 1893on he brought out his ow n m onthly magazine, al-M adrasah, and in 1905 published a collection o f his speeches and of the correspondence between himself and various European dignitaries, which he entitled Egyptiens et Anglais.45 His most im portant historical work by far, however, and the only one which dealt at length with modem Egyptian history, was The Eastern Question (alM as'alah al-Sharqiyyah), which appeared in April, 1898.46 We will try to assess his contribution to modem Egyptian historiography through exam ining this work. W hen Kámil returned from a trip to Europe in December, 1894, he brought with him two large trunks containing the memoirs of vari­ ous European statesm en and more general works on international politics.47 These materials must have proved valuable as sources for the w riting of The Eastern Question, although the immediate occasion for the book was the "auspicious" Ottoman victory over Greece in 1898.48 The Eastern Question, unlike the other examples of nineteenthcentury Egyptian historiography we have considered, is exactly what it purports to be— a study of European diplomatic history relating to the O ttom an Empire and Egypt. Egypt understandably plays a greater role in K am il's book than in most W estern, Ottoman-oriented studies of the su bject, but nevertheless Kamil does not subordinate Ottoman or Bal­ kan affairs to those of his own country. He begins, for example, by observing that "th e Eastern Q uestion" can be seen in one of two ways. The first is as the struggle between Europe and the Ottoman Empire over the Em pire's European dependencies— a matter that touches the 156

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very existence of part of the Empire. The second way is as the much older conflict between Islam and Christianity, which dates back at least to the time of the Crusades. In Kamil's opinion the second vantagepoint contains more than a grain of truth but is nonetheless not com­ pletely applicable to present-day conditions. Europe no longer wages w ar against the Porte "in the name of religion alone" but does so essentially because it wishes to expand its territory. Europeans do som etim es use religion to stir up public enthusiasm for their conquests, but it is usually just "a veil behind which lurk divers intentions and d esires."49 According to Kamil, the Eastern Question was bom with the establishm ent of the Ottoman Empire itself. As soon as this Empire had begun to penetrate Europe, the centuries-long effort to roll back the Turkish wave com m enced.50 Kamil devotes little space to pre-nine­ teenth century events in general, but he does offer an extended analysis of the Russo-Turkish W ar of 1768-74. He brings into the account the Russo-Prussian designs on Poland as well as the Ottoman support of the Poles. The motives and diplomacy of the various Powers are ana­ lyzed in depth, and the powerful lever that Russia got on Ottoman affairs in the Treaty of Küçùk Kaynarca (1774) is commented upon.51 It w as, Kámil says, only the first in a long series of Russian efforts to underm ine the very foundations of the Empire, and to illustrate his point, he later brings in the Russo-Turkish War of 1786-92, Russian efforts to thwart the reforms of the Tanzimat, and Russian encourage­ m ent of the M ontenegro revolt and of Serbian separatist tendencies.52 The real detail begins with Kamil's discussion of nineteenthcentury events. He deals with all of the most important crises in turn: the G reek revolution, the Syrian War, the Crimean War, the British O ccupation of Egypt, Bulgarian unification, Greek irredentism, and the so-called "Arm enian atrocities." O f these, the Syrian war and the British Occupation of Egypt are for us the most relevant, but we will look briefly at other areas first to see how Kámil handles such subjects. In his account of the Greek revolt, Kámil points out that Alex­ ander and Dmitri Ypsilantis (leaders of the Philike Hetairia) were in reality tsarist agents, employed to stir up trouble in Ottoman G reece.53 Kámil does not see as Philhellenism the great wave of sympathy for the G reek cause which arose subsequently in Europe, but rather as reli­ gious prejudice against Muslims. He claims that even self-confessed European atheists were publicly demanding European governmental support for their "G reek Christian brothers"—with the stress on Chris-


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

tian rather than Greek. He quotes from European accounts of the revo­ lution to prove that the G reek massacre of Muslims and the pillage of their property was praised "in the name of freedom and religion," and he discounts entirely the reports of Muslim atrocities committed against the G reeks. He praises the heroism of the Egyptian army under Ibrahim and refers to Navarino as a "slaughter" rather than a battle. To support this assertion, he then lists the official censure of Codrington's actions at Navarino by such figures as George TV of England, Francis I of A ustria, British Liberal politicians, etc.54 Although it is obvious where Käm il's sympathies lie, he does to his credit back up most of his assertions with convincing evidence. Kam il's discussion of the Crimean War, the Congress of Berlin, and late nineteenth-century crises in the Balkan Peninsula are basically straightforw ard diplomatic history. His adeptness in weaving together m any different strands into a coherent, well-written narrative is worth noting, and the style of the work represents a considerable advance over anything w e have yet seen. At the outset of The Eastern Question Kämil includes a sentence referring to the Prophet and the Qur'an, follow ed by two full pages of laudatory saj‘ commemmorating the 1898 O ttom an victory over G reece.55 But from then on the style is at once lucid and elegant, avoiding both the clumsiness and superficiality of previous w riters. For the sake of emphasis Kàmil occasionally reverts to rhym e,56 but in his skillful hands it never impairs the narrative and in fact often enhances the smooth flow of the prose. That Britain would be cast as the villain of The Eastern Question w as m ore or less to be expected, given the political conditions of the tim e and Kam il's essentially French-oriented European culture. He loses no opportunity throughout the work to vent his distrust, even hatred, of the British. He blames them for setting Christian and Muslim against one another within the Empire57 and claims that in every phase of the Eastern Q uestion Britain has been bent on "weakening Muslim pow er. " 5S Britain was the main enemy both of the Ottoman Empire and o f Egypt during the Syrian w ar.59 In 1876 she perfidiously encouraged the Porte to resist the demands of the Powers at the Constantinople Conference, only to let the Empire down completely at the Congress of Berlin, where it lost in effect much more than it would have at Constan­ tinople.60 Britain masquerades as the torchbearer of humanity and civilization, yet she thinks nothing of shelling the "peaceful" city of A lexandria.61 She breaks her promises freely whenever it suits her, and 158

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her politics, when correctly understood, are nothing but the "science of lies, hypocrisy, and subterfuge."62 The counterpart to Kamil's bitter enmity toward Great Britain m ight logically be expected to be his unqualified support of the actions o f his own country. But although The Eastern Question contains no direct criticism o f Egyptian policy, the most fulsome praise is reserved for the O ttom an Empire, which Kámil defends in any and all circumstances. Again and again he points out how basely the Ottomans have been treated by Europe, claiming that the Empire was the only "European" Pow er that granted to all its subjects, regardless of faith, complete freedom of worship. The Ottoman Empire not only tolerated large Christian m inorities within its boundaries but even gave some of the highest offices of state to Christians. Spain, on the other hand, em­ barked on a genocidal campaign against Muslims and destroyed their hom es and places of w orship.63 Kámil admits that Ottoman policies m ay som etim es have been "m isguided," but they were never according to him ill-intentioned. He tries in this way to absolve the sultan from any blam e in the decision to declare 'Uräbi an imperial rebel by pointing out that in the early phases of the revolution the Ottomans had in fact supported him .64 His only lament is that it took the Ottomans so long to discover that G reat Britain was not sympathetic, but rather irrevocably hostile, to all Ottom an interests.65 To read Kámil is to be suddenly transported out of the whole context of earlier Egyptian historiography. His history is a thoroughly W estern product, replete with all the trappings of more modem writ­ ings. G one are the poetic flourishes. Saj has been all but eliminated w ithout any attendant loss of stylistic finesse. There are no more irrelevancies or redundancies. The book is well organized and eminently readable. The various facts and arguments Kámil presents are properly m arshalled so as to have considerable persuasive power. Finally, K äm il's depth of historical analysis far surpasses that of earlier writers. W hat is of course disturbing is Kámil's one-sided interpretation of events. W hat he w rites has a pronounced "national" (and, even m ore, "Islam ic") bias, the rough edges of which have not been tem­ pered by any training in historical methodology. He successfully aban­ dons the chronicle for the more dangerous business of trying to write history, and in so doing he both risks and achieves more than his nineteenth-century predecessors. But precisely because he is so con­ sistently critical and analytic in his approach to the subject, he collides 159

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

repeatedly with the problem of historical bias in a way that would have been unthinkable for writers of an earler era.66 Kamil of course has every right to take a pro-Ottoman, proEgyptian or anti-British stance in his writings, since he does operate out o f a real world in which the obverse of those emotions would be almost inconceivable. Moreover it is not that he can adduce no evidence to support his views, since, as we have seen, his positions are in general w ell argued and documented. It is rather that Kämil consistently pre­ sents only one side of the story and either omits or else scoffs at w hatever does not conform to that particular world-view. He is, as we m ight expect, quite critical of the British presence in Egypt, which does not in itself com pletely invalidate his approach. (In fact he would now adays be in good professional company!) But he also had an obliga­ tion to register any real progress achieved under the Occupation, and it is in areas such as this that Kämil fails utterly. He sees nothing whatso­ ever of value in the Occupation, terms the freedom of speech enjoyed under the British as "u seless," ignores the elimination of the corvée and the reduction of taxes from Ism ä'3's time, and spurns the various m aterial benefits of the Occupation.67 These too are historical facts, but in his zeal to present an unmitigated case against the British, Kämil either ignores them or is temperamentally unequipped to deal with them .68 O ne of the most intriguing aspects of The Eastern Question is its approach to areas where there is a direct Ottoman-Egyptian clash of interests. Käm il's evaluation of the reign of Muhammad 'AU, for exam­ ple, is generally favorable, but when he comes to events in Syria during the 1830's, the whole tenor of the discussion suddenly changes: W hen Ottomans and Muslims recall this crisis, they are more grief-stricken and sorrowful than would be the case in any other crisis situation. It was the m ost serious schism which ever occurred between subordinate (Egypt) and m aster (the Ottoman Empire), i.e ., between the heart of the Islamic caliphate and the caUphate itself, between the spirit of the Ottoman Empire and the Empire itself.69

In the subsequent narrative of events Kämil is surprisingly neutral, praising Egyptian prowess in battle but noting too that because the Janissary Corps had been destroyed shortly beforehand, the Otto­ m ans w ere sorely unprepared.70 If anyone were to object to his account of the w ar, it would probably be the Egyptian rather than the Ottoman reader. H e states, for example, that al-Jazzär's earlier refusal to repatri­ 160

The Nationalist Historians: l

ate Egyptian refugees was seized upon by Muhammad 'All as a pretext for declaring war. He adds that in the opinion of some historians Muhammad 'Ali was actually after the caliphate for him self.71 Finally, according to Kamil, Muhammad 'All would never have embarked on such a venture had he foreseen the serious consequences it was to have. H e cam e later on to regret the entire incident—a clear caveat, Kamil concludes, for future generations of M uslim s.72 The question at issue once again is whether or not we can write off all these pious declarations of friendship for Ottoman Turkey as a m ere tactic. If so, then I suggest we are approaching the point where our historical portrait of M ustafà Kamil is that of a man so devious that he never once said what he really meant. Why, for example, did he so consistently play down the Arabic-Turkish dichotomy within the Em­ pire, of which he was fully aware, and insist instead on referring to the Arabs as Muslims? He even called "th e Egyptian question" an Islamic issu e,73 and if that too was simply a tactic, he employed it so convinc­ ingly that his contemporaries were all taken in by it. He believed, for exam ple, that the true cause of 'U rabi's failure lay in the total disunity of the various factions involved— Circassians versus Egyptians, 'Uräbists versus Tawfiq, Egyptians versus Ottomans, etc.74 One need not infer from this that he wanted to obliterate Egyptian nationality entirely by subm erging Egypt within the Ottoman Empire. Indeed, he may have seen the solution to the Eastern Question in fundamentally the same term s as al-Afghäni had, which did not entail an Ottoman Anschluss o f Egypt but rather a form of Islamic commonwealth. The final area of importance for us in The Eastern Question is Käm il's discussion of the 'Uräbi Revolution. For him this topic is much easier to deal with than the Syrian imbroglio, since the role of the villain is now ready-made. He begins the account by saddling the Khedive Ism ä'il with the responsibility for the ruinous state of the country's affairs that led to foreign intervention. He then traces the steadily increasing influence of Great Britain on Egyptian administration— D israeli's purchase of Egyptian shares in the Suez Canal; the appoint­ m ent of Englishmen to positions in the Egyptian government; the Anglo-Egyptian anti-slavery agreement of 1877, which allowed British w arships to patrol the Red Sea and, if necessary, to stop and search Egyptian vessels; and finally, Anglo-French supervision of Egyptian governm ental expenditures.75 He laments, as we have seen, the Egyptian-Circassian rivalry in the army, claiming that this and all other 161

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m anifestations of disunity were exploited by "foreign conspirators" (ashàb al-dasa'is).lb Colonel 'Urâbî, he maintains, was too intransigent and should not have insisted on budgetary review. He sees ‘Urâbî as a basically honest man who was politically too naive to foresee the tragic consequences of his acts. Similarly, the Khedive Tawfiq is in Kämil's eyes no "traito r," since he began to work hand-in-glove with the British only after it had become clear to him that both the Ottomans and the 'U rábists were trying to depose him .77 Regarding, finally, the "M as­ sacre of A lexandria," Kämil blames the British for the entire incident. Citing mainly from speeches made in the House of Commons and the Cham bre des deputes, he establishes that a Mr. Cookson (British consul in Alexandria) supplied arms to three or four thousand Europeans, thus opening the way for the subsequent slaughter.78 W hatever one may think of Kámil's interpretation of events, he did succeed in writing the kind of history that we would nowadays call m odem . The Eastern Question as a historical study is far removed from the chronicle, whose complete demise came only with the appearance of so-called "nationalist historians" like M ustafà Kamil. Compared to such illustrious predecessors as Mubárak, Sam i and Sarhank, Kámil's weak point is probably his documentation, but he did not have their privileged access to archival materials. He nevertheless succeeded in exam ining a wide variety of sources, ranging from the London Times to transcripts of the Ankara trials of Armenian separatists (1893).79 His history was evaluative and conceptual, if rather unbalanced. He sum­ med up British occupationary policy, for example, in a way totally alien to the older tradition and regarded it as being based on five main principles: (1) elim ination of all foreign, non-British influence in Egyp­ tian affairs, (2) sapping of the khedive's powers and weakening of the links between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, (3) supervision of crucial Egyptian governmental agencies by Englishmen, (4) creation of "d is­ turbances" (idtiräbät) designed to prolong the presence of the occupa­ tionary governm ent, and (5) dissemination of misinformation in Europe about the true state of affairs in Egypt.88 Such a conceptualiza­ tion adm ittedly contained some truth, but it also contained much of Kamil him self. There was in other words a "personal equation," which alw ays has an elem ent of risk. The important point, however, is that the analytic approach itself was new to Egyptian historiography, and in this sense Kamil and the other nationalist writers did Egyptian historical w riting a great service.

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N otes 1. No author, "A Valuable Library in Cairo," The Moslem World 7 (1917): 202. 2. Jamál al-Din al-Shayyäl, "Abdullah Nadim, 1845-1896," Al-Kitdb 1 (1949): 90. (Al-Nadim's name is frequently spelled without the Arabic article.) 3. Ibid., pp. 78-79. 4. Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, pp. 108, 198. According to Muhammad 'Abduh, the membership of Mipr al-Fatdh consisted mainly of Levantine Christians and Jewish merchant families rather than Egyptians. Ibid. 5. Ibid., pp. 118-19, 161, and Sa'd Zahrân, "Al-Ta'àlïm al-Lïbràliyyah fi'lThawrah al-'Uràbiyyah," Al-Majallah, no. 108 (1965), p. 84. 6. Muhammad Anís, "Wathä'iq al-Thawrah al-'Uràbiyyah," Al-Kdtib, no. 103 (1969), p. 162, and Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, p. 256. 7. Unless otherwise indicated, biographical information on al-Nadim has been taken from al-Shayyäl, "'Abdullah Nadim," pp. 80-85,88-91. 8. Even Muhammad $abri, who is generally not at all averse to Egyptian nationalist claims, calls al-Nadim "an extremist." Sabiy, L'esprit national égyptien, p. 106. 9. For a study of the ideas found in al-Ustädh, for example, see Ahmad Husayn al-Çâwi, "Ta'rikh Harajât Çahifah Miçriyyah: Al-Ustädh," Al-Hiliü, no. 10 (1966), pp. 74-89. 10. Badr, Tatawwural-RiwdyahftMifr, pp. 31-32. 11. For an extensive listing of al-Nadün's writings, see Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, p. 329 n. 194. 12. Fahmi's work was discussed in the preceding chapter. See pp. 132-33 above. Al-Naqqäsh was of Syrian origin and will be dealt with in Chapter X. See pp. 188-91 below. 13. 'Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i, Muftafà Kdmil: Bd'itít al-Harakah al-Wataniyyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahçlah al-Miÿriyyah, 1962), pp. 19,23-24,34-36. 14. Ibid., p. 36. 15. Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr., "The Egyptian Nationalist Party: 1892-1919," Polit­ ical and Social Change in Modem Egypt, pp. 311-12. 16. Kamil went to Europe on three separate occasions in 1894 and continued to make one or more trips annually until 1897. He went also in 1899 and again in 1901. Al-Rafi'i, Mu?,tafi Kdmil, passim. 17. The three trips in 1894 were all for Kamil's law examinations, of which he took the first and second series in the summer and the final third-year examinations in October. The irregularity of such a stepped-up time-table induced the University of Paris to reject Kamil's petition for final examinations, and he graduated instead from the University of Toulouse at the age of twenty. Al-Râfi'i, Muçtafà Kdmil, pp. 38-41. 18. For Kamil's political activities abroad see al-Räfi'i, Muftafá Kdmil, pp. 49,52, 54-57,6 3 -1 1 4 et passim. 19. Shaft], for example, claimed that Kamil went to Europe "with the khedive's encouragement" and that on his return in 1895 was taken under 'Abbas' wing and given financial support. The khedive then organized a group of men to oppose the British in Egypt, with Kamil himself acting as chief spokesman. See by Ahmad Shafiq, "Yacpat al-Shu'úr al-Qawmi mundhu Awä'il al-Qam al-Tàsi' 'Ashar Uà'1-Àn," AI-Hildl 48 (19%)): 690-91. Additional information on Kamil's relationship with 'Abbas can be found in Shafiq's MudhaUdräti ft N iff Qam and in Rashid Riga's Ta’rikh al-lmdm al-Shaykh Mu­

hammad 'Abduh. 20. Abbas Mahmud al-'Aqqäd, "Mupjafà Kàmil ka-mà 'Araftuhu," Al-Majallah, no. 69 (1962), pp. 7-8 . 21. In a documentary study containing, among other things, thirteen previously unpublished letters from Kamil to 'Abd al-Rahim Ahmad ('Abbäs' Assistant Director few Arab Affairs), Muhammad Anis maintains that the evidence is still inconclusive on whether or not 'Abbäs actually paid for Kämil's study at the University of Toulouse. See by Anis, Sapait Mafwiyyah min Ta’rikh al-Za'mt Muftafá Kdmil (Cairo: Maktabat alAnjilù'1-Miÿriyyah, 1962), pp. 9-11. Arthur Goldschmidt, on the other hand, is less


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt hesitant and claims that Kâmil went to Paris in May, 1895, "amply fortified with Palace funds." Goldschmidt, 'T h e Egyptian Nationalist Party," p. 313. 22. Ahmed, Egyptian Nationalism, p. 80. 23. Goldschmidt, 'T h e Egyptian Nationalist Party," p. 319. 24. Anis, $afahât Mahviyyah, pp. 16-19. 25. Ibid., p. 16. 26. The Egyptian University has already been discussed. For more on the activi­ ties of the Club, see p. 204 below. 27. Kamil's first strong stand in favor of a constitution dates from 1902, belying the frequent accusation that he really favored the khédivial autocracy and began only belatedly and opportunistically to advocate a constitution. Fritz Steppat, "Nationalis­ mus und Islam bei Muptafà Kâmil: Ein Beitrag zur Ideengeschichte der ägyptischen Nationalbewegung," Die Welt des Islams 4 (1955): 330-32. By 1914 most newspapers were demanding both a constitution and a parliament, but al-Uuti' still stood out as the most consistent advocate of such measures. Shañq, "Yaq?at al-Shu'úr al-Qawmi," p. 693. 28. Al-RàfiX Mu$taß Kâmil, pp. 195-97; and Shafiq, "Yaq^at al-Shu'úr alQ aw m i," p. 690. 29. Al-Ráfi'í, Mustaß Kâmil, pp. 243, 260ff. It is this period of Kâmil's life which scholars like Nadav Safran are thinking of when they refer to him as an agitator rather than a thinker. Safran, Egypt in Search of Political Community, pp. 85-90. But Kamil could think too, as this chapter will try to show. His activity as an agitator cannot of course be denied and, according to Ahmad Shafîq at least, al-LnvtV sometimes obliquely endorsed political crimes. Shafiq, "Yaq^at al-Shu ur al-Qawmi," p. 692. For further details, see p. 170 below. 30. Salámah Músa, 'Ta'rikh al-Wataniyyah al-Mi?riyyah: Nushú'uhá wa Tafawwuruhâ," AI-Hilâl 36 (1928): 269-71. Luffi al-Sayyid criticized Kâmil for continual­ ly arousing public emotions to fever pitch— a tactic that he felt would lead only to frustration or, worse, to British reprisals against the population. Kâmil's followers in turn accused the Party of the Nation of conniving at the British presence in Egypt. Many of the party's members did enjoy friendly relations with top British officials, and Lord Cromer went so far as to call them "the natural allies of the European reformers." Ahmed, Egyptian Nationalism, pp. 70,72,96. 31. Steppat, "Nationalismus und Islam bei Mu$fafà Kâmil," pp. 279-81. 32. On the other hand, we should not forget the shock and dismay with which Muslims greeted Atatürk's abolition of the caliphate. If we are to believe Naguib Mahfú? and the portrait he paints of Egyptian society after the First World War, the common people in Egypt were still very much attached to the institution of the caliphate. See FawzI al-'Ant0, "Al-Mujtama' al-Miçrï ka-mâ Tu$awwiruhu Riwäyat Bayn al-Qaprayn," Al-Majallah, no. 15 (1958), p. 103. 33. It was thus with particular relish that in 1904 he wrote his history of Japan. Japan had just defeated Russia in a war, which Kâmil interpreted to mean that "Oriental civilization" was not dead after all. The Japanese case, he maintained, could become a model for all Orientals. Mu?fafà Kâmil, Ál-Shams al-Mushriqah (Cairo: Matba'at al-Liwä', 1904), 1,3 -5 . Kâmil was, incidentally, not the only one to find a source of inspiration in the Japanese victory. Egyptian poets, led by Hàfi? Ibrâhîm, also regarded it as a fascinating subject. Ahmed, Egyptian Nationalism, p. 65. 34. It may be that Muhammad 'Abduh first called Kâmil's attention to this fact. According to Charles Wendell, 'Abduh's thought was still strongly pan-lslamic as late as 1886. Charles Wendell, The Evolution of the Egyptian National Image: From Its Origins to Ahmad Luffi al-Sayyid (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 186,192-94. 35. Unless otherwise indicated, the information contained in the last paragraph has been taken from Steppat, "Nationalismus und Islam bei Muptafà Kâmil," pp. 258-59, 287-88,306-7,309. 36. Ibid., pp. 271-78, 284-85, 288-89, 333^35. This last statement sounds ex­ treme. It is not, however, an invitation to set up a Hegelian state but simply a call to arms against the British. 164

The Nationalist Historians: I 37. Steppat's view is more or less accepted by other historians of the period. Anis, for example, maintains that Kamil was willing to cooperate with anyone and everyone who would take a stand against the British occupation. Anis, {¡afahät M atwiyyah, pp. 13-15. Goldschmidt also feels that the Islamic appeal of the National Party was "tactical" and purely for domestic consumption. Goldschmidt, 'T h e Egyptian Nationalist Party," pp. 311-12. 38. Músá, 'Ta'rikh al-Wataniyyah al-Mi?riyyah," p. 269. 39. Al-'Aqqàd, "Muptafà Kámil," p. 7. 40. Steppat, "Nationalismus und Islam bei Mu?fafà Kámil," p. 257. Steppat also fèels that Kamil's advocacy of religious toleration helped draw many Copts to his cause. Ibid., pp. 267-69. I am inclined to doubt the existence of any groundswell of Coptic support for Kámil's party, although it is true that Kámil was trying to forge a united front against the British. He condemned "racial antagonisms" (tabäghud jinsf) such as those of the 'Urábi period, realizing that they could split his own movement or even be used directly against him and certain of his 'Turco-Circassian" (rather than Coptic) followers. 41. #Abbäs Mahmud al-'Aqqäd, "Kitäb Mu$tafà Kámil," Al-Risûlah, no. 294 (1939), pp. 337-38. 42. Concerning Kámil's whole movement one author writes: "The fact that Egypt had long been a separate political unit accounts for the emergence of a parochial Egyptian nationalism, separate from the general Pan-Arab revival." Hazem Zaki Nuseibeh, The Idea o f Arab Nationalism (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1956), pp. 145-46. We noted this same phenomenon as far back as Mamluk times. 43. Goldschmidt, "The Egyptian Nationalist Party," p. 319. Cf. Bruno Aglietti, "Mu?Jafá Kámil (1874-1908): Fondatore del Partito Nazionalista Egiziano," Oriente Mo­ derno 22 (1942): 308-10. 44. Ahmed, Egyptian Nationalism, p. 61. 45. Al-Râfi'î, M uçtafà Kámil, pp. 22, 36, 39, 187. Cf. Steppat, "Nationalismus und Islam bei Mu$tafá Kámil," pp. 252-53. 46. Al-RâfiX M uçtafà Kámil, p. 119. The edition I have seen is a 1909 reprint. 47. Ibid., p. 45. 48. Mu^fafá Kámil Pasha, Al-Mas'alah al-Sharqiyyah (Cairo: Mafba'at al-Liwá', 1909), 1, 1-2. In this edition The Eastern Question appears as Vols. VII-VUI of A ll Fahmi Kámil's M uçtafà Kûmil Bûshû ft 34 Rabí'án. 49. ibid., pp. 3-4. 50. Ibid., pp. 4 -5 . 51. Ibid., pp. 31-65. 52. Ibid., pp. 66-70,161-62,214. 53. Ibid., p. 74. Cf. L. S. Stavrianos who daims that Alexander Ypsilantis was a major-general in the Russian army with many important Russian connections in high places yet denies that the Russian government was secretly supporting him. L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966), pp. 282-83. 54. Al-M as'alah al-Sharqiyyah, 1, 77-118. The question of alleged atrodties com­ mitted by Muslims against Christians is an issue to which Kámil returns time and again. He notes, for example, that when the Ottomans retook Athens in June of 1827, they were lenient with the Greek population, in spite of the long and bitter war that lay behind them. Ibid., p. 107. Wherever possible, he tries to document fully the other side of the coin and supplies much detailed information on Christian atrodties committed against Muslims. Ibid., 1,215,242-55; II, 186ff. 55. Ibid., 1 ,1-2. 56. Phrases such as al-manäsib al-sámiyyah wa'1-wazä'if al-'aliyyah and dalfl sáti' wa burhân qâtt, for example, recur at various points throughout the book. Al-Mas'alah al-Sharqiyyah, \, 6. 57. Ibid., pp. 9-10. 58. Ibid., p. 135. 59. Ibid., p. 151. 165

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 60. Ibid., II, 2-3. 61. Ibid., pp. 92-93. 62. Ibid., pp. 56,102,111-12,177. 63. Ibid., 1 ,5-6 . 64. Ibid., II, 108. 65. Ibid., 1 ,14-15,22-23; II, 176. 66. CÍ. pp. 15-18 above. 67. Steppat, “Nationalismus und Islam bei M u lata Kamil," pp. 298-300. 68. Kámil apparently believed that education should not be directed exclusively at the acquisition ot' knowledge but also at the inculcation ot patriotic teeling in students. Ibid. But lest such a position once again sound more extreme than it actually was, let us not forget that (1) at that time foreigners were in control of Egyptian education and (2) there are even now few educational systems that do not in most ways serve the same ends. Moreover, it would be Islamic solidarity and not Egyptian nationalism that would be best served by the appearance of The Eastern Question. 69. Ai-M as'alan al-Sharqiyyah, 1 ,126. 70. Ibid., pp. 127-28. 71. He rescues the Egyptian pasha, however, by citing his correspondence with Louis Philippe, which proves that Muhammad Ali s ambitions did not run to quite this extent. Ibid., pp. 148-50,154-60. 72. Ibid., pp. 149-50. 73. Ibid., II, 143. 74. Ibid., pp. 114-15. 75. Ibid., pp. 47-50. 76. Ibid., pp. 50-53,67. 77. Ibid., pp. 66-72,112-13. 78. Ibid., pp. 77-79. 79. Ibid., pp. 58ft., 184ft. 80. Ibid., p. 119.


C hapter ¡X _____________________________________

The Nationalist Historians: II Muhammad Farid

i n the preceding chapter we discussed the possibility that the pan-Islam ic aspects of M ustafà Kamil's politics may not have been taken seriously enough by scholars. No conclusion on this m atter was draw n, how ever, since some of the pieces of the puzzle were still m issing. In particular, the life and ideals of Kámil's friend, disciple and eventual successor to leadership of the National Party— Muhammad Farid (1868-1919)— m ust be considered. Farid tried to carry on the work of the party as Kämil him self would have done, had he lived. We find a definite continuity of thought between the two men, and Farid's ideas will therefore help us in trying to decipher Kám il's own political posi­ tion. Muhammad Farid's ancestors were Turks and, according to al-Râfi ï, one of his forefathers had come to Egypt as an accountant (kdtib al-u m lah) with the original Ottoman conquest. Farid's father, Ahmad (b. 1836), was educated in the state school system, in particular the M ilitary Academy. He later entered the Department of Railroads, at­ taining managerial status, but was dismissed in 1877 when the Depart­ m ent was placed under direct British control. After that he occupied various provincial governmental positions and in 1886 reached his most prestigious rank as Director of the Royal Domain (al-Dd'irah alSaniyyah). He had in the meantime been promoted to pasha and then in 1888 to beylerbey. In 1892 he received the al-M ajidi Medal of Honor. He rem ained Director of the Royal Domain till 1894, when he was dis­ m issed by Núbár Pasha apparently for having opposed transfer of certain royal properties to a foreign com pany.1 About the early life of Afanad Farid's son, Muhammad, very little is known. In 1887 he received a law degree from the School of Adm inistration (Madrasat al-ldârah, formerly Madrasat al-AIsun). Prob167

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

ably as a result of his father's connections, he then obtained a good position in the judicial branch of the Department of the Royal Domain, w here he remained until 1896. In that year, however, he became in­ volved in the so-called 'Telegraph A ffair," in which Shaykh 'Alï Yüsuf was accused by the government of revealing certain military secrets. In his capacity as prosecuting attorney in the Court of Appeals {¡vakil niyabah bi'1-isti'näf), Farid came to Yúsuf's defense and, as punishment for this act, was "transferred" to Maghäghah. Rather than accept such a hum iliating dem otion, Farid decided to go into private practice.2 Al­ though this period of Farid's life is still rather obscure, it is thought that he practiced law for the next seven to ten years. Farid's first meeting with Mustafá Kámil came in 1893, but the friendship between the two men did not actually solidify until the sum m er of 1895, when they saw each other again in Paris.3 This was Farid's first trip to Europe, and like Kámil, he soon developed a "real yen for trav el."4 He visited Norway, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, shuttled back and forth between Europe and Egypt for the next fifteen years, and from about 1910 till his death nine years later was constantly travelling around Europe and the Ottoman Empire.5 For a long time the biography of 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Rafi'i (cited in n .l) was virtually our only source of information on Farid. More recently, however, the publication of his memoirs has given us much greater insight into his career and political philosophy, and it now appears that what so many scholars had long suspected— that alR áfi'í's study cannot entirely be trusted— is in fact the case.6 Contrary, for exam ple, to what al-R äfi'i suggests, Farid travelled relatively slowly along the road to political radicalism. Both he and his father had held privileged positions in the Egyptian government. They were part of the political and social elite and stood to lose much by associating them­ selves with anti-khedivial populist movements. Accordingly, as late as 1891 Farid was heard to praise the financial reforms achieved under the British. He offered the following evaluation of Occupation policy in general: Until now the English have not done anything deserving of our hatred. They treat the people with kindness and gentility. Love of the fatherland obliges us of course to hope that they will leave our beloved Egypt, with the proviso that w e do not revert to the Ottoman Empire. In reality, [however, ] I must confess entirely off the cuff (bi-düna mubàlâh) that we need the help of the English fora period of not less than fifteen years, in order to advance our own knowledge and civilization to the point where we can run affairs for ourselves.7 168

The Nationalist Historians: U

Later the same year Farid's position apparently began to hard­ en. He criticized Tawfiq for worrying too much about his throne, and his m inisters for trying too hard to please the British and thereby retain their own high positions.8 In 1892 he came out in support of the new ru ler's policy of "passive resistance" to the Occupation on the one hand and the strengthening of Ottoman-Egyptian ties on the other. His history of the Ottoman Empire appeared in 1894, and in it he stressed the im portance of the Porte's role as defender of the D âral-Islâm . In the sam e year, how ever, he somewhat incongruously added his backing to the Law of November 17, which called for removal of certain "aristo­ cratic" Turco-Circassian provincial governors. He was a strong sup­ porter of the Turkish war effort against G reece in 1897 and frequently m easured Egyptian patriotism solely in terms of loyalty to the Ottoman Em pire. The crucial question once again is whether these pronounce­ m ents reflected any deep-seated beliefe or were rather "tactical" diver­ sionary m easures, designed merely to embarrass the British.9 Farid's activity during the years 1897-1904 remains somewhat o f a m ystery. N one of his memoirs for these years has been found,10and al-R afi'i tells us only that he went into private practice. To judge from a letter he w rote to al-Liw ä' in May, 1905, he was not very successful as a lawyer and gave the profession up with considerable bittem ess.11 In addition to his law practice, he had begun publishing in 1898 a bi­ m onthly scientific magazine (al-M awsü at), but in this area too he seems to have had only limited success. He him self wrote numerous articles for the m agazine, m ost of which were on historical topics. Topics included England and France in Africa, England in West Africa, how the Hawaiian Islands lost their independence, England and the Transvaal, England in South Africa, Russia in Asia, and the Siberian Railroad. M ost of these articles appeared between 1899 and 1901. In 1902 Farid also brought out a short history of Rome to the end of the Punic W ars.12 From 1904 to 1908 Farid worked closely with the National Party. H e accom panied Kamil on several trips to Europe, financed personally m any of the party's political activities, and was involved with the publication of al-U m Ï in its Arabic, French, and English versions.13 W hen Kamil died suddenly in 1908, Farid was elected to succeed him as leader o f the National Party. But lacking "th e intelligence, decisiveness and personal magnetism of his predecessor," his leadership role was inaugurated amid much suspicion and infighting. From the beginning Farid felt that Kam il's brother, 'Ali Fahmi Kämil, was intriguing with the khedive's help to w rest leadership from his hands.14 169

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

The next three years were full of troubles for Farid. In his new capacity as party director, he appointed Shaykh Abd al-'Aziz Shàwïsh as editor of al-U wâ'. Shàw ïsh was at the time inspector of religious instruction in the M inistry of Education and regarded by many to be more o f a pan-Islam ist than an Egyptian nationalist.15 He and Farid did increase general party strength, but they also got al-Uwâ' into deep w ater by alienating important party supporters like 'Umar Sultan and T al'at Harb. M ounting fears of violence eventually led Prime M inister Butrus G hâlï to reim pose the stringent Press Law of 1881, and G häli's subsequent assassination by an admitted member of the National Party made Farid's clique even more suspect in the eyes of the British.16 A dispute over the ownership of al-Liwâ' in March, 1910, prompted Farid to withdraw from the paper's management and to set up his own rival paper, al-'Alam. Although the paper was immediately proscribed by the governm ent, Farid continued to publish it by simply altering its name ( a l- í tidal, a l-S h a b and al-'Adl) now and again. In June, 1910, however, press slander was made a criminal offense, and Farid, fearing for his safety, left immediately for Europe.17 From then on Farid spent almost all of his time abroad, writing and speaking on the question of British evacuation. He attended several international conferences: the Stockholm Peace Conference of August, 1910, the Brussels conference in Septem ber of the same year, the G eneva Peace Conference in Septem ber, 1912, and the Hague Peace Conference in August, 1913. In each case his purpose was to marshal support in Europe for the Egyptian nationalist cau se.18 Returning to Egypt in December, 1910, he was promptly imprisoned for about six m onths. H e w as exiled in March, 1912, and in August and November of the sam e year al-Liw á’ and a l-‘A lam were permanently closed dow n.19 O ne after the other, the bases of Farid's support were being under­ m ined. The heyday of the National Party itself was also fast coming to an end. Deprived of the home audience, Farid endeavored to continue his party activities abroad. He developed contacts with Muslim stu­ dents In Europe and tried to help them organize secret political soci­ etie s.20 His memoirs for these years are full of bittem ess and recrimina­ tion ,21 and like Lenin and so many other frustrated revolutionaries, he now began to see enem ies on all sides and to despair of finding anyone w ho would take him seriously. His interest in Ottoman-Egyptian co­ operation, how ever, had not flagged, and in February 1913 he was instrum ental in setting up the Islamic Progress Society (Jam'iyyat Ta170

The Nationalist Historians: ll

raqqfl-Islam ), whose goal was to promote closer ties between the vari­ ous Muslim countries.22 In Istanbul he made a reconciliation with the deposed khedive, Abbäs Hilmi, and succeeded in getting pro forma support from the Committee o f Union and Progress for his fight against the O ccupation. An attem pt to recruit Sa d Zaghlúl to the National Party's ranks had in the meantime failed, and Farid's memoirs indicate a certain envy o f Sa'd 's rising popularity in Egypt.23 Farid's own effectiveness as a politician w as in any case at an end, and he died in almost total obscurity in Berlin in November of 1919. His memory eclipsed by the m eteoric rise of Zaghlúl and the Wafd, his contribution to lx)th politics and historiography m ight never have been appreciated were it not for the influential biography of Abd al-Rahmän al-Räfi'i. Farid was him self of Turkish ancestry, and pan-lslam ic pro­ clivities are often apparent in his political activities. The evidence that can be gleaned from his political career alone is even more fragmen­ tary than in the case of Kämil, however, and it is fortunate that, like his m entor before him, Farid was not only a politician but a historian as w ell. In addition to the shorter studies cited above, Muhammad Farid wrote two m ajor historical works, one on Egypt under Mu­ hammad 'A li and the other on the Ottoman Empire. Each book tilled w hat was then a large gap, since no work devoted entirely to either subject had previously been available. Farid's contribution to Egyptian historiography was a significant one, although his books, like those of Kamil, did have their shortcomings. Farid's study of the reign of Muhammad 'Ali—Kitäb al-Bahjah al-Tawfiqiyyah f i Ta'rikh Mu'assis al-'Â ’ilah al-Khudaywiyyah— first ap­ peared in 1891.24 Farid states that the book's purpose was to enlighten Egyptians as to their country's recent past and especially as to the accom plishm ents of the founder of the Muhammad 'Alid line. It was also a result of Farid's love of his fatherland and the debt of gratitude he felt he owed for his own success and prosperity. The Prophetic tradition "Hubb al-W atan min al-lm ân" was inserted rather perfunctor­ ily towards the beginning of the book, justifying its existence in the eyes of the m ore devout Egyptian reader.25 Having drawn aside the curtain of romantic nationalism con­ tained in Farid's introductory declaration, the reader soon discovered that al-Bahjah al-Tawfiqiyyah was essentially a military history of Mu­ hammad 'Alt's reign. The chapter titles alone— "The H ijäz W ar," "The Conquest of al-D ar'iyyah," "The Surrender of 'AbduUâh b. Su 'ù d ," 171

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

"T h e Conquest of the Su d an," "T h e Greek W ar," "The Syrian W ar," 'T h e Conquest of A cre"— indicate the strong preponderance of mili­ tary affairs. O nly in the final chapter did Farid move on to other areas, outlining for his readers Muhammad 'A ll's many reform measures. Although brief, Farid's treatm ent of these measures was surprisingly com prehensive and included a wide range of topics, viz., schools, hospitals, educational m issions abroad, shipyards and naval reform, border fortifications, textile m ills, irrigation, telegraph lines, etc. He summed up the chapter by saying that the Egyptian people's approval of these m easures was beside the point as they were both necessary and beneficial.26 The rest of the book, as we have said, was mainly concerned w ith Muhammad 'A ll's conquests in the Sudan, Arabia, the Morea (Peloponnesus), and Syria. The general pattem for Farid's account of these incidents was a detailed, blow-by-blow description of the cam­ paigns, supplemented by encomiums of Egyptian valor. Only occa­ sionally did he discuss motives. He claimed for example, that the Sudan had been invaded for several reasons: (1) to protect commerce along the N ile, (2) to recruit the filmed Nubian soldiers to Muhammad 'A ll's army, (3) to do away with many of the Albanian regulars, (4) to end Mamluk resistance to Muhammad 'A ll's rule, and (5) to prospect for gold. Farid referred to the Sudanese as "barbarians" but in contrast praised the Nubians for their "brave resistance" to the advancing Egyptian arm ies.27 Farid began his account of Muhammad 'A ll's war against the W ahhäbls by outlining the W ahhabi creed with complete impartiality. (M uch of his inform ation had been drawn from an article in the journal A siatique.)M He continued rather incongruously with the assertion that it w as God who sent Muhammad 'AU to fight the Wahhabis. The narrative ended with a glowing description of Ibrahim Pasha's return from the Arabian campaign (December 9,1819): H is fame and renown filled every quarter, together with the renown of the Egyptian arm ies which under his command had demonstrated their ability to defend the homeland (watan) as lions in the jungle and to conquer the countries through which they passed. [This was possible] as long as their leaders were responsible men, noble [of purpose], loving our dear home­ land and putting general well-being ahead of individual interests.29

N one of this is particularly enlightening. The detailed chrono­ logy o f battles in Arabia might supply some students with a few inter172

The Nationalist Historians: II

esting facts, but otherw ise Farid's description of events in Arabia and in the Sudan has little value. In contrast, the discussions of the Greek and Syrian campaigns, although containing some of the earlier flaws, are m uch m ore adeptly handled. In both cases Farid demonstrates a firm grasp of the intricacies of European diplomacy. His account of the conflicting interests of the European Powers and of the mainsprings of their foreign policy relative to Egypt and the Near East shows great insight and is for die m ost part constructed fairly.30 Although he dis­ counts m ost of the stories of Egyptian atrocities committed against the G reeks, he is reluctant to pass final judgm ent in the face of the many conflicting reports.31 In his treatm ent of the Egyptian interregnum in Syria, Farid com es out solidly on Egypt's side. He praises the valor of the Egyptian soldiers, who fought like "ferocious lions with a force irresistible to man or b ea st."32 He defends the harsh occupationary policies of Ibra­ him Pasha, claiming that they were necessary in order to halt "spread­ ing corruption" (nashr al-fosad).33 Finally, he describes the withdrawal of the Egyptian forces from Syria in somber, elegiac tones, noting in conclusion that the evacuation resulted in the country's reversion to its form er chaotic condition of Druze-Christian civil war under ineffectual O ttom an ru le.34 Following the Egyptian evacuation of Syria, Farid finds little that draws his interest. At the end of the chapter on Syria, although the topic is totally irrelevant here, he inserts a brief note on Muhammad 'A ll's decision to send a group of students to Paris.35 The rest of the book (except for the final fifteen pages on Muhammad 'A ll's reforms) is unexpectedly devoted to the Duc de M ontpensier's visit to Egypt and to the travels of Ibrahim Pasha in Europe.36 There is no organizational justification for these passages; the only possible reason for their in­ clusion is that Farid already had the relevant information at hand. A l-Bahjah al-Tazufiqh/yah is clearly not so much a history of Muhammad 'A ll's reign as an apology for his rule. Farid's only crite­ rion for judging Muhammad 'Ali is the raw force Egypt wielded under him , which resulted in victory after victory on the battlefield. He ad­ m its that the Egyptian people resisted Muhammad 'All's taxation and conscription policies but adds that what they sowed, later generations w ere to reap, and that long centuries of oppression had caused them to forget they had a homeland (watan) to "d efen d ."37 Concerning the Syrian revolt against Egyptian rule in 1834, Farid claims that it would


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

never have happened had the Syrians realized that under Egyptian rule lives and property would be so safe that the population would not need to carry arm s!38 The idea that Muhammad 'Ali could do no wrong runs through­ out al-Bahjah. Ibrâhîm Pasha is referred to as "Egypt's h ero," and even lesser members of the royal family, such as Prince Túsún, are elo­ quently eulogized.39 Farid's interpretation of events borders at times on the ludicrous; for example, he refuses to believe the reports of friction betw een Colonel de Sèves and Ibrahim Pasha. Both men, he claims, w ere too "g reat" to succumb to any feelings of personal rivalry, and if indeed there was any misunderstanding between them, it must have been a result of "th e envy and slander" of others (hasad al-hàsiditi wa w ashy al-w dshm ).40 Since al-Bahjah al-Tawfiqiyyah first appeared in 1891 it must have been w ritten during the loyalist phase of Farid's life, when he still occupied a relatively high position in the Department of the Royal Dom ain. The book may have been written at Tawfiq's behest; if not, Farid m ust at least have been aware of the kind of boost such a book could give to his career. W hatever the case, loyalty to Egypt's ruling family became the leitm otif of what in the final analysis was more of a saga than a history of Egypt. Moreover, the work lacked Kamil's criti­ cal appraisal of the motives of different historical figures or the co­ gency of various historical argum ents.41 Kämil never allowed national­ ism to impinge on his history to the extent of nullifying its value, but in Farid's case it ultimately blotted out all other considerations. Apart from its strong flavor of partis pris, Farid's history of Muhammad 'Ali had other deficiencies. Stylistically, it was far supe­ rior to the work of the Encyclopedists and the Neo-Chroniclers but failed to attain anything approaching the smooth elegance of Kamil's The Eastern Question. The idiom of al-Bahjah was in itself dated, and Farid frequently used words like darasa ("to die out, be obliterated") and dünanämah ("fleet") rather than their more modem equivalents of idm ahalla (or khdra) and ustul. Oddly enough, there was probably no nineteenth-centuiy Egyptian historian who could match Farid's ability to use say', w hich in his hand became at times so perfectly balanced and tightly knit as to be almost poetry.42 His prose, however, repre­ sented a throwback to the strictly chronological, "m aterialistic" ap­ proach of an earlier era. Taken in conjunction with his memoirs, which are allegedly full of grammatical errors,43 we may find here further confirm ation for our earlier thesis, namely, that linguistic deficiencies 174

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can lead to the shallow, atomistic treatment of events that is so typical of the chronicle. Farid's record w ith respect to documentation was better than average and may be a sign of the privileged access his high position gave him to important records collections. For information on the early years of Muhammad 'A ll's reign he acknowleges his dependence on al-Jabarti's history, although without proper footnoting procedures it is difficult to say when al-Jabarti has left off and Farid himself has taken over again.44 In addition he consulted the works of Clot Bey, H am ont, Mubärak and M engin, as well as several published collec­ tions o f European docum ents.45 O ne intriguing aspect of al-Bahjah is its large number of biographies of leading European personalities such as Admiral N elson, the father of Colonel de Sèves, de Sèves himself, the Duke of W ellington, Champollion, Lord Byron, Guizot, Palmer­ ston, M etternich, Thiers, and Lady Stanhope. Farid does not reveal the source of this inform ation, but he could have obtained an encyclo­ pedia or som e contemporary European Who's Who quite easily during one of his m any visits to Europe. Unlike the rest of al-Bahjah, these sections contain no personal commentary whatsoever on the indi­ viduals concerned, some of whom he presumably found quite dis­ tasteful. This apparent anomaly underlines the probability that he sim ply translated the inform ation intact from some readily available European reference w ork.46 Farid's only other m ajor historical work was his History o f the Ottoman Empire (Ta'rikh al-Dawlah al- Aliyyah al-'Uthmäniyyah), which first appeared in 1894. In the three years following the publication of al-B ahjah, Farid must have decided that it was no longer necessary to cast the title in saj\ The History o f the Ottoman Empire seems to have enjoyed greater popularity than the study of Muhammad Ali, since it had gone through three editions by 1912. As the work is only mar­ ginally concerned with the history of Egypt it is, strictly speaking, outside the dom ain of the present inquiry. Its importance for us is that it provides further insight into Farid's historical technique and his political philosophy. The H istory o f the Ottoman Empire covers the period from the reign of Osm an I— founder of the dynasty— up to 1878 and the sign­ ing of the Treaty of Berlin. O f its 415 pages, more than half deal with the nineteenth century. In the third edition, which is the one I con­ sulted, Farid added a short introduction (38 pages) on Islamic history from the Ràshidün caliphs up to the reign of Osman and a final and 175

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

rather hastily contrived section (10 pages) on events from 1878 to 1909.47 Fand claim s that the book's purpose is twofold. Its general aim is like that of any historical work— to promote greater understanding o f nations, peoples, laws, causes of prosperity and decline, etc. What is m ore significant is the book's specific purpose, which is to record for posterity a section of the glorious history of “the Islamic community" (al-ummah al-isläm iyyah)— a history in which the Arabs, like all other M uslim s, have shared.48 Farid states that the Islamic community has had two m ain branches, the Arabs and the Turks. The Arabs have received much attention from historians but the Turks have been largely ignored, he says, in spite of the fact that it was they who “set the community back on its feet" (lanrnia shaathahu) and restored the centuries-old Muslim “hegem ony" (isaytarah).49 The History o f the Otto­ man Empire would serve, therefore, to reaffirm old “allegiances'' {rawäbit al-tab'iyyah) between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, to “strengthen the religious community" (taztz al-jâm i‘ah al-milliyyah) and to dem onstrate to every Oriental (sharqi), whether Muslim or not, that he should strive to preserve the Em pire's integrity.50 This is pretty strong stuff, if indeed it is to be taken seriously. But is it not even more preposterous to suggest that Farid did not really m ean any of this and undertook a massive research effort of this kind simply as a temporary expedient? It is one thing to advocate O ttom an-Egyptian unity in a few hastily prepared speeches, but it is quite another to devote years to the writing of a monograph on the subject of Arab-Turkish solidarity. It is therefore more cogent to view Farid's History o f the Ottoman Empire as a serious ideological statement o f the first m agnitude. It testifies to his own rethinking of the ideas he had expressed in al-Bahjah as well as to an even more fundamental realignm ent of Egyptian foreign policy during these years. A num ber of different forces, both foreign and domestic, com­ bined to produce this change. In the international arena, for example, new alliance system s w ere starting to form. Ottoman Turkey during the 1880's w as moving away from her traditional friendship with G reat Britain toward closer ties with Germany, thereby eliminating die single m ost important obstacle to improved Ottoman-Egyptian relations.51 W ith the signing of the Franco-Russian Entente in 1894, France too had to be regarded as an enemy of the Empire, whose job it then becam e to convince Egypt's ruling circles that professions of good w ill toward them by the French were as specious as those of Britain 176

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toward the Turks. Britain and France were of course not yet formally allied at this tim e, although they had by 1890 resolved most of their outstanding colonial disputes. Egypt's hopes of using France as a counter to British influence were thus beginning to fade, and there w as no com pelling reason why they should have contested the logic of the Ottom an argum ents. The way had in fact been prepared for a new kind of Ottom an-Egyptian understanding, based on age-old religious ties and the strong sense of loyalty all Muslims still felt toward the caliphate. It was with this in mind that Sultan Abdûlhamid II decided to launch a new and vigorously pan-Islamic Ottoman foreign policy. The changes that had occurred within Egypt proper during this sam e period were no less dramatic. Tawflq had always seen to it that Britain's wishes were respected, and Farid was only following in his ruler's footsteps when he issued his 1891 verdict on the positive aspects of the British occupation.52 But with the accession of 'Abbas in the following year, all of the old assumptions had to be thrown out, and it did not take Egyptians long to realize that in the new ruler they had a true champion of the national cause. The khedive and Cromer clashed alm ost immediately, and as a high official in the Egyptian governm ent, Farid must have known of 'Abbas' plans to organize a nucleus of national resistance to the British. Caution was necessary of course, since Cromer and the British did not trust 'Abbas and would have interpreted any overt cooperation between him and the National Party (or later on, between him and the Ottomans) as treasonable and thus sufficient grounds for his deposition.53 Everything would have to be done surreptitiously, through intermediaries if possible, to avoid the British suspecting that a complex network of Ottoman-Egyptian relations was being built up. O ne of 'Abbäs' first moves was to pardon 'Abdulläh al-Nadim, w ho then returned to Cairo to begin publishing the ultra-nationalistic al-U städh. Al-Nadim immediately took Kamil under his wing but was exiled again for his journalistic extremism. He then turned up, sur­ prisingly enough, as a paid official of the sultan's government in Istan­ b u l.54 The firebrand pan-Islam ist, Jamal al-Din al-Afghâni, was also at this tim e a guest of Sultan Abdûlhamid II, and al-Afghäni's "d isciple," Muhammad 'Abduh, enjoyed a similar position at the Egyptian court. A l-A fghani was reportedly becoming concerned about the dangers of Russian expansionism in Turkish Central Asia, which was coinciden­ tally the same subject of many articles Muhammad Farid was then publishing in the Egyptian press.55 Farid had of course already met 177

The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

M ustafa Kamil in 1893, while he was still a high official in 'Abbäs' governm ent; by 1895, if not earlier, the two men had become dose friends. Farid's History o f the Ottoman Empire had in the meantime been published, proclaiming the virtues of Arab-Turkish solidarity under the sultan's aegis. That a Cairo-Istanbul axis was clearly developing during these years helps to explain how M ustafà Kämil could in 1906 have come out in support of renunciation of Egyptian national territory in favor of the su ltan.56 The evidence is tantalizingly incomplete, however, and m any intriguing questions are left unanswered. Why, for example, did Farid have to retire into almost total obscurity in 1897, only to reem erge in 1904 just as Kämil and 'Abbas were dissolving their own previously close ties? Did 'Abbäs keep 'Al! Yúsuf in tow simply as an additional option in case the mercurial Kämil could not always be controlled? W ere Farid's fears that the khedive and Kämil's brother w ere conspiring against him justified, and, if so, why were they? Was Farid's appointm ent of Shaykh Sháwísh as editor of al-Liwà' an in­ dication of continuing cooperation between the National Party and court circles? And finally, did 'Abbäs really decide to break with Kämil in 1904 and, if so, why? The answ ers to such questions probably lie buried somewhere in the O ttom an, Egytian and/or British archives. For the moment we can only speculate that Farid was deeply committed to the resistance effort (whatever its exact form) and that his Ottoman history was but one phase of the overall offensive. Initially at least he probably felt that he w as throwing in his lot to a greater extent with Egypt's ruler than w ith a political unknown like Kämil. But whether or not he later on had no choice in the m atter or whether he actually fell under the sway o f the charism atic Kämil is difficult to say. W hatever the case may be, he had of course eventually to share in Kämil's fate. Although Farid probably began his association with Kämil be­ fore he had developed strong political convictions of his own, he was not necessarily a mere w ill-o'-the-w isp, ready to change his political ideas w henever circum stances demanded it. His earlier connivance at the British occupation may in fact have been reluctant, and the acces­ sion of 'Abbäs would therefore have been a welcome opportunity to vent his true em otions. Farid's later efforts on behalf of his party were, as w e have seen, tireless, and he devoted a substantial part of his own fortune to the Egyptian national cause. If his Ottoman history is any 178

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indication of his feelings, he did indeed opt wholeheartedly for K àm il's own peculiar brand of pan-Ottom anism . Kam il's feelings that Europeans were ultimately to blame for all o f Islam 's troubles find clear echoes in Farid's History o f the Ottoman Empire. In a discussion of the Treaty of Tilsit (1807), for example, Farid reveals the true extent of his bitterness toward Europeans: It is therefore apparent to the reader that any promise [made] by a foreigner to an Oriental is specious and a deceptive mirage which the thirsty man thinks is w ater.57 Their professions of good will and friendship are [made] only in order to further their own ends and to succeed with their own plans. An intelligent person never clings to their pledges and is not taken in by die idea that a European state ever means well or desires reform for an Oriental state or nation. The historical events which have been and still are to be covered in this book are the best evidence [of this]. May they act as a warning to those who take heed of them .58

A t another point in his Ottoman history Farid claims that "no European state rejects the use of fraud and deceit in politics, so that the term 'politics' for them has become synonymous with lies and falsen ess." O rientals, however, do not know such behavior.59 The O ttom an Em pire, he states, is only one among many Muslim powers that have been victimized by Christian religious fanaticism (ta'assub),*° w hose unmitigated virulence Farid contrasts with the Islamic tradition of toleration for other faiths.61 Every day, he claims, the world hears of fresh atrocities committed by European Christians, whereas the O tto­ m an Empire has been known historically as a place of refuge for op­ pressed peoples.62 Farid's affection for the Ottoman Empire obviously runs very deep, but does this necessarily mean that he favored an on-going connection betw een Cairo and Istanbul? He answers this question for us him self in his account of the Syrian war. In sharp contrast to his pro-Egyptian treatm ent of the same subject in al-Bahjah al-Tawftqiyyah, in his Ottom an history Farid discusses the events of the war in abso­ lutely neutral tones. H e prefaces the discussion, however, with the follow ing unambiguous statem ent: "Egypt is and, God willing, will forever remain part of the Ottoman Em pire."63 If I have seemed to belabor these points, it is only because my ow n conclusions about Kám il's, Farid's and indeed the whole National Party's conception of an Ottoman-Egyptian tie differ so greatly from those of scholars like Steppat and Goldschmidt. It does not seem to 179

The Writing o f History in Nineteetith-Cetitury Egypt

me far-fetched at the time for Kamil and Farid to have envisaged some sort of Islamic federation under the caliph's headship. In Egyptian eyes this was in fact proof of their radicalism— not of the reactionary religiosity imputed to them by outside observers— since unlike Lutfi al-Sayyid and Qäsim Amin, they totally rejected all Western ties and stressed instead the only kind of political accommodation that, if ef­ fected, could really have spelled trouble for the W est. Scholars often overlook the fact that even during World War I many more Arabs fought with the Turks than against them— and did so in spite of the misguided CUP policies of Turkification and, conversely, the honeycoated promises of the Allies for an independent Arab state after the w ar.64 It is easy to forget too how very worried the British were about O ttom an assaults on their base at Suez, which with just a little more luck could conceivably have pushed the date of the 1919 Revolution a few years ahead. Muhammad Farid was at that very moment trying to form an Ottom an-Egyptian alliance around the deposed but still popular 'Abbas Hilmi and may have pictured himself with the khedive at the head of an Ottoman "arm y of liberation." Given the advantage of hindsight, this idea seems fanciful. But it is safe to say that at the tim e such a force would have been greeted with cries of joy by the Egyptian people. As the war in fact turned out, it meant the end of any such dream s. Kemalist Turkey renounced her Islamic connections, the Em pire had been destroyed, and the new Arab states of the Levant saw things very differently from the way the National Party had. The N ational Party was accordingly obliged during the postwar period to shift its em phasis to the single-minded goal of evacuation, which, w hile politically unassailable, was now shorn of the broader, more idealistic notion of Muslim solidarity under the Ottoman aegis. Evacu­ ation was a purely negative goal, not in itself enough to win any m ass following for the party. The older, constructive party appeal for Ottom an-Egyptian unity against Europe had had cogency in Kamil's and Farid's time but was not appropriate to postwar conditions. It was in fact being slowly eroded away by the new ideal of Arab nationalism, w hich ultimately came to have for Egyptians somewhat the same ro­ m antic, visionary appeal that the National Party's prewar pan-Islamic stance had had. The National Party itself, however, proved unable to adapt to the changed times. Throughout his entire life, for example, 'Abd al-Rahm än al-Räfi'i, who was one of the party's last prominent spokesm en, ignored the goal of Arab nationalism. O f course al-Ráfi'i, like everyone else, ceased to talk of Islamic solidarity, which had by 180

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then become an unrealistic goal. But it is significant that the National Party continued to attract Egypt's most devout Muslims to its ranks right up until the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood.65 Until now we have been using Farid's Ottoman history pri­ m arily as a source of insight into his political views. But, taken purely as a historical work, the to o k has a considerably higher standing than al-Bahjah al-Tawfîqiyyah. Farid once again cribbed numerous biog­ raphies from som e handy European reference work, but his documen­ tation for the Ottom an history was in general far superior to that of its predecessor. All relevant treaties and edicts were quoted in full, a process that must have entailed extensive translation from Turkish sources.66 As secondary source materials Farid consulted, among other w orks, al-K hitat al-Tawfîqiyyah, Tärikh-i Jevdet, al-Jabarti, Phillip Jalläd 's study of landownership and Kanz al-Raghâ'ib fi Muntakhabät al-Jaw â'ib. As in al-Bahjah, he demonstrated thorough familiarity with the m odem history of Europe and its bearing on developments within the Ottom an Empire. The pre-nineteenth-century section of the book resem bled an elegant chronicle and may in fact have been derived from ju st such a source. But for the later period Farid's approach becam e progressively more analytical, and the style, albeit once again falling short of the brilliance of Kämil, had a smoothness and clarity that w ere lacking in the works of both the Encyclopedists and the N eo-Chroniclers. W hatever their shortcomings, M ustafà Kamil and Muhammad Farid brought Egyptian historiography decisively into the modem era. H istory acquired an immediacy and a relevance in their hands, even if the perspective they brought to the subject was often one-sided. Ar­ dent nationalists that they were, they did not consider historical writ­ ing to be one of life's basic ends but saw it as one element in the struggle for independence. Both men devoted their entire lives to this cause. They felt strongly about their country and resented deeply its treatm ent by the W est. History, as they understood it, was a means of defending Egypt and the Islamic world against injustice— and they did not hesitate to use it.

Notes 1. Al-Ràfi'ï rather naively supplies this final piece of information as evidence Ahmad's "patriotic sentiment," which, if we are to judge from his long career in high office, cannot have been too outspoken. AI-Rafi'i also reveals at another point that

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

Ahmad's son, Muhammad, was writing anonymous articles tor 'AH Yusufs magazine,

al-Àdûb, in 1887-88. It seems that out of fear for his son's well-being (and probably for his own as well) Ahmad had forbidden him to mix in politics. Al-Ráfi'I, Muhammad Farid, pp. 16-18,20 ,2 7 . 2. Ibid., pp. 9 -10,22. 3. Ibid., p. 39. Al-Ráfi'I does not say that Kamil and Farid were intimate as early as 1893, as alleged by the authors of a recent article in al-Kätib. See by Ra'úf 'Abbás, Sayyid Mu^fafá Sálim, Muhammad Anis and Mahmúd Ismä'il, "Muhammad Farid wa Mu­ dhakkiratuhu," Al-Kätib, no. 104 (1969), pp. 29-30. Al-Râfi'i says simply that they met in 1893. 4. "Wa kàna lahu wala kabirbi'l-siyahah" Al-Ráfi'i, Muhammad Farid, p. 31. 5. Ibid., pp. 3 1 ,208ff. 6. The publication of Farid's memoirs at first generated considerably more heat than light. They appeared originally in the newspaper al-Akhbûr, whose editors had been given access to them by Farid's son, 'Abd al-Khäliq Farid. Professor Muhammad Anis of the University of Cairo thereupon leveled a bitter attack against al-Akhbûr, asking that the State confiscate Farid's papers and declare them "property of the nation." In this way, Anis maintained, "true" scholars, and not just amateur reporters, would have access to them. See by Anis, "Da'wah li'l-Wataniyyah, la Da'wah li'1-lhtikár," Al-Jumhûriyyah, 30 July 1964. Apparently 'Abd al-Khâliq Farid had in the past allowed anyone who was interested to see his father's papers, and some of Anis' own students had already availed themselves of the opportunity. See Müsà Çabri, "Hätu liyya Habibï," Al-Akhbûr, 5 August 1964. This did not affect the outcome of the dispute, however. Anis won his case in the same year, and Farid's memoirs became the property of the National Historical Docu­ ments Center (Dûr al-Wathû'iq al-Ta'rikhiyyah al-Qawmiyyah), which was headed by Anis himself. 'Abbás et a i, "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu," p. 20. Anis' earlier warning— lû da'wah lïl-ihtikûr— now became somewhat ironic, since as head of the National Historical Documents Center it was entirely within his prerogative to refuse access to Farid's papers by anyone of whom he personally disapproved. Regarding the alleged unreliability of al-Ráfi'i's biography of Farid, 'Abbás, Sálim, Anis and Ismá'il claim that al-Räfi'i altered parts of Farid's correspondence and eliminated some of it altogether, especially in the case of the papers dealing with Farid's earUer years (ca. 1891-97). Moreover, al-Ráfi'i is supposed to have added words to the text of some letters, corrected Farid's grammatical errors, underlined portions, etc. Ra'úf 'Abbás claims that 'Abd al-Khália Farid, in an interview in the summer of 1964, told him that all the "marginal notes" (ishûrût) found in Farid's papers were al-Räfi'i's and not Farid's own, which, if true, would mean that 'Abd al-Khäliq was willing to denigrate the reputation of his own father. 'Abbás etal., "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu," pp. 19-20,31 . It is difficult to know just how many of these allegations are true, since access to Farid's papers can now be had only by "authorized persons." The series of articles on Farid's memoirs published in al-Kätib (which, incidentally, was considered a "legitimate" journalistic scoop) seems to be both scholarly and fair and, as such, is a valuable addition to our knowledge of Farid's life. An older biography of Farid, written by Ahmad Shawqi al-Muhämi, was published by al-Liwd' Press in 1949. It is highly romanticized, however, and of little use to the historian. 7. 'Abbás et al., "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu," p. 27. 8. This was during one of the "subservient" ministries of Mu^Jafà Fahmi (189193). Cf. above, p. 120. 9. Information concerning Farid's activities between 1892 and 1894 is taken from 'Abbás et al., "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu," pp. 28-29. 10. Ibid., pp. 21-22. 11. Al-Ráfí i, Muhammad Farid, p. 38. 12. Ibid., pp. 30-33. 13. Ibid., pp. 44-48; and Goldschmidt, "The Egyptian NationaUst Party, " p. 320. 14. Goldschmidt, "The Egyptian Nationalist Party," pp. 322-23. 182

The Nationalist Historians: ll 15. This was, I submit, precisely why Fand appointed him and not, as Gold­ schmidt claims, simply in order to develop a mass base for the party. As we shall soon see, Farid's own pan-Islamic sentiments fitted in well with Sháwlsh's views on this subject. 16. Goldschmidt, "The Egyptian Nationalist Party," pp. 323-26. As it turns out, these suspicions were not at all misplaced. Farid's recently published memoirs indicate that he considered assassination and violence as legitimate tactics. The National Party quite possibly had a part in the attempts on the lives of the khedive (1911) and of Lord Kitchener (1913). See by Mahmud Ismâ'il 'Abd al-Ráziq, "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu, August 2 7 ,190¿-August 27,1914," Al-Kdtib, no. 107(1970), p. 156. Cf. ‘Abd al-Ráziq's follow-up article on Farid's memoirs in al-Kdtib, no. 108 (1970), p. 168. 17. Al-Ráfi i, Muhammad Farid, pp. 189, 203, 208. Muhammad Anis feels that Farid left not so much out of fear but as part of a preconceived plan. According to Anis, the hostility of the court, the Occupation, certain non-Wafam nationalist circles and even members of his own party convinced Farid that further progress in Egypt would be impossible. Muhammad Anis, "Kifäb fi'1-Manfà: Muhammad Farid," ATfumhüriyyah, 16 October 1969. Needless to say, these same reasons could have made Farid fear for his safety. 18. Al-Râfi'i, Muhammad Farid, pp. 230ff., 331-33,366-67. 19. Ibid., pp. 257,273-81,344-45. 20. Anis, "Kifáh fï'1-Manfà," n.p. 21. 'Abd al-Ráziq, "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu, August 27, 1904August 27,1914," pp. 156-57. 22. Al-Ráfi'i, Muhammad Farid, pp. 364-65. 23. Mahmúd Ismà'il 'Abd al-Ráziq, "Muhammad Farid wa Mudhakkiratuhu— V: July 2 4 ,1913 to the Beginning of March, 1 9 U /’ al-Kdtib, no. 108 (1970), pp. 168-70. 24. A rough English translation of the title might be "The Grandeur Most Divine in the Account of the Founder of the Khédivial Line." 25. Muhammad Farid, Kitab al-Bahjah al-Tawpqiyyah fi Ta'rikh Mu'assis al-'A'ilah al-Khudayuñyyah (Búláq: Al-Matba'ah al-Amîriyyah, a . h . 1308), pp. 2-3. 26. Ibid., pp. 183-95. 27. Ibid., pp. 63-64. 28. Ibid., pp. 18-20. 29. Ibid., pp. 578-79. 30. Ibid., pp. 70-90, 103-4, 118-22, 141ff. Farid does occasionally make some rather absurd claims. On the attitude of the Powers toward Egyptian rule in Syria, for example, he remarks that only France was interested in helping other countries attain their freedom! Ibid., p. 119. France was indeed Egypt's only European supporter in this venture, but it is difficult to see how the Egyptian conquest of Syria was relevant to either Egyptian or Syrian freedom, unless of course it be that of conquest. 31. Ibid., pp. 78,85. 32. Ibid., p. 112. 33. Ibid., p. 110. 34. Ibid., pp. 150-52,156. 35. Ibid., pp. 159-60. 36. Ibid., pp. 163-82. 37. Ibid., pp. 68,92-93. 38. Ibid., pp. 105-6. 39. Ibid., pp. 2 -3 ,4 2 ,5 6 ,1 9 5 -2 0 1 . 40. Ibid., p. 92. 41. Farid's analysis was generally superficial, whereas Kamil's could be quite devastating. In The Eastern Question, for example, Kamil notes the overall favorable reaction that the (Russian-inspired) Greek Revolution met with in England and the fact that it was seen as a struggle for freedom against Ottoman oppression. He then puts the shoe on the other foot and asks what Britain's attitude would have been if a group of her own subjects (Irish, Scottish, Welsh) had started a revolution with the support of, say, France or Germany. AI-Mas'alah al-Sharqiyyah, 1 ,11. 42. See, for example, his long eulogy of Muhammad 'Ali. Al-Bahjah al-Tawpqiyy ah , pp. 195-201. 183

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

43. S e e p . 182n.6above. 44. See, for example, al-Bahjah al-Tawfùpyyah, pp. 9 ,1 3 -1 4 ,2 0 -2 2 ,2 6 ,3 0 ,4 2 . 45. Ibid., pp. 3 6 ,153,183-86,190,193. 46. Farid makes one tell-tale slip in this regard. During the regular course of the narrative he consistently refers to Istanbul as " Islám b ú l Ibid., pp. 9 ,2 5 ,2 8 ,1 4 4 ,1 8 1 . By chance, however, the word crops up in his biography of Lady Stanhope, and he writes it here as "Istanbul." Ibid., p. 133. 47. Muhammad Farid, Ta'rikh al-Dawlah al-'Aliyyah al-‘Uthmdniyyah (Cairo: Matba'at al-Taqaddum bi-Miçr, 1912), p. 5. Considering that Farid was politically active in Istanbul at precisely this time, it seems more than mere coincidence that the name of this press resembles so closely that of the C.U.P. Could it be that the latter financed the printing of his book? 48. Ibid., pp. 3 -4 . 49. Ibid., p. 4. We should note that Farid does not include the Persians here. Is this because they were not adherents of Sunni Islam, or because it was unlikely tactically that they could aid Egypt in her national struggle? The "tactical thesis" does not carry much weight. We should also remember that Farid's own origins were Turkish. In his Ottoman history he makes it clear that the notion of Egyptian allegiance to the Empire is based on Ottoman possession of the caliphate, not the sultanate. The frontispiece of the book contains a photograph of Sultan Mehmed V (1909-18) with the caption "Muslim Caliph and Ottoman Sultan" [my italics]. The Persians could thus be excluded on the grounds that they did not recognize the caliphate. 50. Ta'rikh al-Dawlah al-'Uthmmiyyah, pp. 5 ,7 . 51. We will recall that Muÿfafà Kamil complained about how long it took for the Ottomans to realize that Britain was the real enemy. See p. 159 above. 52. Seep . 168above. 53. 'Abbäs was in fact deposed in 1914 when the British could no longer afford the luxury of being in doubt about his loyalties. He then went to Istanbul and, as we have mentioned, consented to a "reconciliation" (or perhaps "reunion"?) with Farid. 54. See p. 148 above. 55. On al-Afghànï see Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 111. For Farid's articles see p. 169 above. 56. S e ep . 155above. 57. Cf., Koran XXIV: 39. 58. Ta'rikh al-Dawlah al-'Uthmdniyyah, p. 1%. Prophetic words indeed, con­ sidering the Arab revolt during World War I. 59. Ibid., p. 200. 60. Ibid., p. 4. 61. Al-Bahjah al-Tawfiqiyyah, pp. 69-70. 62. Ta'rikh al-Dawlah al-ilthmdniyyah, p. 7. 63. Ibid., p. 233. The war itself is discussed on pp. 233-37. 64. According to Bernard Lewis, "The overwhelming majority of Arabs remained faithful to the Ottoman Empire until it was destroyed. . . . Even the British-sponsored revolt in Arabia was neither as successful in its appeal nor as whole-hearted in its purposes as the official legends suggest." Bernard Lewis, The Middle East and the West (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Harper Torchbooks, 1964), p. 87. 65. Al-RafiT himself is a case in point. He was extremely devout and wrote countless articles for journals on such subjects as the Prophet, Islam, the meaning of

Rama4dn,etc. 66. Farid's fluency in Turkish was obviously a tremendous asset. Shafiq Ghurbäl,

Minhaj Mufa&al li-Durûs fVl- 'Awdmil al-Ta'rikhiyyah fiBind’ al-Ummah al-'Arabiyyah ‘old md Hiya ‘alayhi al-Yawm (Cairo: Center for Arabic Studies of the Arab League, 1961), p. 119. Ghurbäl feels, incidentally, that Farid's Ottoman history was a commendable book for its time. Ibid. 184

C hapter X _________________________________________

The Syrian Egyptian Historians

J . his study would hardly be complete without some mention of a substantial group of m en, Syrian by birth and Egyptian by adop­ tion, who contributed immeasurably to the intellectual growth of their new hom eland.1 M ost of these Syrian Egyptians were highly educated C hristians, whose geographical and ethnic origins enabled them to m aintain more open channels of communication with the W est. They w ere therefore often quicker than their Egyptian counterparts to en­ dorse and use W estern concepts. Tending as a group to go into the field of journalism , their importance as disseminators of new ideas w as out of all proportion to their numbers. They were part of the vanguard of the entire literary and intellectual renaissance (nahdah).2 Although the half-century from 1870 to about 1920 was clearly the heyday of Syrian intellectuals in Egypt, the influence of these men on Egyptian government and society goes all the way back to Mu­ hammad 'A li. Many of them had fled to Europe after the French evacuation in 1801, but they began filtering back into the country as soon as Muhammad 'A ll's regime had achieved some measure of sta­ bility. They w ere particularly valuable in the new educational system, since, unlike the French and Italian instructors, they were proficient both in Arabic and in the necessary European languages. Father A nton Rafael Zakhür is but one example. Zakhür had been the only O riental in N apoleon's Academy and a member of the governing council of Jacques Menou. He lived in France from 1803 until 1816, w hen he returned to Egypt to take up a teaching position in the School o f Engineering. The first book ever printed by the Bûlàq Press may w ell have been Zakhür's Italian-Arabic dictionary.3 Toward the end of Ism a'fl's reign and during the period of the British Occupation, Syrian immigration to Egypt rose more sharply. 185

The W riting o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

M ost o f the newcomers were dedicated to the W esternization process and began to have a strong influence on the climate of opinion in Egypt. As editor of al-M uqtataf, for example, Ya'qùb Çarrùf (18521927) defended rationalism and, along with Shibl! Shumayyil, tried to introduce Egyptian audiences to the ideas of Darwin. Farah Antün (1861-1922), editor o f al-Jäm i ah, introduced his readers to French liter­ ature and, in particular, to the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Ernest Rénan. He also preached absolute freedom of inquiry and flirted in his writings with what were then still very new ideas, e.g ., socialism and even communism. Ju rjl Zaydän (1861-1914) promoted W estern standards of literary and historical criticism as well as W est­ ern m odes of expression. He and other Syrians contributed much to the developm ent of a new literary style, shorn of the artificial em­ bellishm ents and the ornate prose (inshä') of earlier eras.4 It is not unusual even now for the talented journalist to allow som e of his literary gifts to spill over into the field of historical writing, and Syrian w riters of the late nineteenth century were no exception. They made important contributions to "Egyptian" historiography, al­ though their w ritings on the whole breathed a spirit slightly different from that of the writings of native Egyptians. Perhaps because they w ere self-conscious about their religion and their status as "probation­ ary g u ests," they tried to infuse into their history a more neutral tone.5 This w as quite feasible, provided they adhered to quasi-annalistic m ethods incorporating the new statistical, documentary approach of w riters like 'A li Mubärak and Amin Sam i. More than a few Syrians found this an appealing combination: it was respectable and yet safe. Although this chapter is concerned mainly with the Syrian Egyptians and their contributions, the career and historical method­ ology of Ya'qùb Arfin make it imperative that he be included here. A rtin was an Armenian Egyptian who had been educated in Europe and later held several important positions in the Egyptian govern­ m ent. In 1873 he was appointed tutor to Ismá'lTs children; in 1879 he becam e the khedive's secretary for European affairs and in 1884 his D eputy M inister (wakü) of Education. Education was in fact Artin's passion, and Lord Cromer considered him "by far the highest Egyp­ tian authority on educational m atters."6 Artin w as him self so steeped in French culture that he probab­ ly could not even have written history in Arabic. All of his historical works were in French and, apart from two major studies, included a num ber of shorter articles written mostly for the scholarly French-


The Syrian Egyptian Historians

language journal, Bulletin de l'Institut Egyptien.1 His two principal works were L'instruction publique en Egypte (Paris, 1890), translated into Arabie by 'Al! Bahjat as Ai-Qawl al-Tâmm fil-T a lîm al- Amm, and la propriété foncière en Egypte (Cairo, 1908), translated into Arabie by Sa'id Ammün as Al-Ahkäm al-M ariyyah f i Sha'n al-A rädi al-M isriyyah. Both books are scholarly, original studies based mainly on official govern­ m ental archives.8 Since he wrote only in French, Artin was admittedly a rather unusual case. Like Mubärak and Sam i, he was reluctant to offer any interpretation of events, choosing instead to let graphs, statistics and m athem atical com putations tell his story. Syrian writers like Phillip Jalläd and Jirjis Hunayyin also found this method congenial. Jalläd was bom in Jaffa but settled in Egypt while still young and enjoyed a long career in various judicial posts in the Egyptian governm ent. H is only published work was the Administrative and Judi­ cial Dictionary (Qàmùs al-ldärah w a’l-Qadä'), a five-volume study of landownership and property taxes in Egypt which appeared in 1891. The book consists mainly of documents and statistics, arranged chronologically w ith little accompanying analysis.9 In the sam e tradition as Jalläd's work and of equal importance to students of Egyptian social and economic history was Jirjis Hunayyin's Land and Taxation in Egypt (Al-Atydn wa'1-Dará'ib fil-Q u tr alM isrt), published in 1904. Hunayyin had for some time been super­ intendent of the Egyptian treasury, and he wrote the book specifically to defend the governm ent against the charges of its critics.10 Because of its propagandistic intent, it m ust be used with caution— especially since it purports to be a wholly “objective" statistical study drawn from governm ent archives. H unayyin's sources are the usual statutes, decrees and governm ent records of all kinds, and the 1880 report of Butrus G häli to the Commission on Tax Reform plays ju st as important a role here as it did in Jalläd's work. Unlike Jalläd, however, Hunayyin also m akes occasional use of more general works such as Ya'qúb Axtin's study of Egyptian landownership and Jurji Zaydän's history of Islam ic civilization.11 But the organization of the materials is poor, and the book cannot be said to accomplish what it sets out to do. In the introduction, for example, Hunayyin states that he will examine all types of taxation in Egypt,12 but the book itself devotes 704 pages to land taxes and only 15 pages to taxes of other kinds. Hunayyin also entitles his first chapter "G eneral Historical and Geographical Intro­ duction" ('Tamhtd 'Umümi Jughräfi Ta'rikhi), but except for a few re­


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

m arks on such disparate themes as 'Amr b. al-'Ä s and Muhammad 'A li, the reader looks in vain for any information on events prior to 1880.13 Given these lim itations, Hunayyin's work acts as a useful ref­ erence for the economic history of the period around the turn of the tw entieth century. N either Hunayyin nor Jalläd, however, can really be considered historians; they were, rather, mere compilers of statis­ tical inform ation. Both men understood the "m odem ” insistence on careful and thorough documentation, and their works cannot be faulted on that account. But they were either unable or unwilling to provide the statistical data with any m eaning.14 Much more significant than either Jalläd or Hunayyin and of a slightly different stamp was the Syrian author Salim al-Naqqäsh (d. 1884), from the prominent al-Naqqàsh merchant family of Beirut. AlN aqqäsh had immigrated at an early age to Egypt, drawn by Ism ä'3's establishm ent of the Egyptian opera and European-style theaters dur­ ing the nahdah. He actually performed professionally in the Alexandria theater from 1876 on and, in addition, cooperated with his Syrian friend Adib Ishaq, in the publication of several newspapers—al-'A sr al-Jadïd, al-M ahrüsah and al-T ijârah,ls Generally presumed to have been one of 'U räbi's strongest supporters, he wrote a massive account of the revolutionary period, called Egypt for the Egyptians (M isr li’lM isriyyin). As originally planned, the work was to consist of nine heavy volumes: three on Egypt from Muhammad 'All to the end of the reign of Ism ä'3, three on the reign of Tawfiq and the events of the revolution itself, and three on the trials of the revolutionary leaders. Although a truly monumental intention, worthy of the Mubärakian tradition, al-Naqqäsh never completed the first three vol­ um es (unless they were lost or perhaps confiscated and destroyed). H e did, however, write the other six, which were published in 1884 shortly before al-N aqqäsh's death. According to Jurji Zaydän, they com prise about three thousand pages in a ll,16 providing an incredible w ealth of detail on virtually every subject. The historical sections per se are contained in Volumes IV -V I, which are arranged as follows: Vol­ ume IV— from the accession of Tawfiq in 1879 to the bombardment of Alexandria on June 11, 1882; Volume V— from the bombardment of Alexandria to the fall of Cairo and the surrender of Uräbl on Septem ­ ber 15, 1882; Volume VI— from the fall of Cairo to the end of 1884. Volum es VII-IX deal as al-Naqqàsh had intended with the trials of the revolutionaiy leaders. 188

The Syrian Egyptian Historians

Egypt fo r the Egyptians is perhaps one of the most underesti­ m ated and under-utilized Egyptian historical works of the entire nine­ teenth century. The documentation in itself is unbelievably thorough and will stand comparison with anything else written during this peri­ od. Al-Naqqäsh made good use of archival materials— Ottoman fir­ m ans, khédivial decrees, budgetary reports, army regulations, British and French diplomatic correspondence, loan arrangements, debt set­ tlem ent contracts, etc. Uràbï's public addresses as well as speeches made by delegates to the Chamber (Majlis al-Nuwwäb) are reprinted in full. Al-Naqqäsh relates the events surrounding the Bombardment of Alexandria not only from the side of the Uräbists themselves but also from the perspective of Germ an, Greek, English and Russian ob­ servers. H e details the amounts and types of armaments used by the British and totals up the casualties to each side during the conflict. At tim es so much diplomatic correspondence is presented that it almost com pletely overshadows al-N aqqäsh's own narrative.17 For one allegedly so devoted to 'U räbi's cause, al-Naqqäsh's own view of the revolution is surprisingly cool and detached. The large numbers of documents he has included often tell their own story of course, but al-Naqqäsh does not seek to preserve his anonymity by hiding behind them. 'U räbi's initial popularity, he claims, was strong­ est am ong certain "p atriotic" army officers for whom the burning issue was increased pay and more liberal vacation benefits.18 The burning of Alexandria he blames on 'Uräbi's own men, who thought that such a crude scorched-earth policy would be as effective against the British as it had been earlier in the century against Napoleon in Russia. Atrocities in the city occurred, according to al-Naqqäsh, be­ cause the 'U räbists deliberately inflamed the religious fanaticism of "street scum " (ru a and siflah) against foreigners and Christians in general. He refers rather bluntly to these incidents as outright "crim es" (jarä'im) .19 Was al-Naqqäsh in fact an 'Uräbist? He does occasionally level a mild rebuke at the British, such as his claim that "th e numerous prom ises that British m inisters pledged to keep several months after the cessation of hostilities were only a form of equivocation (darb min al-m uw ärabät)."20 But statem ents like this one are rare compared to his anti-'U räbi declam ations. Al-Naqqäsh probably started out as an 'U räbist but later became disillusioned and, like al-Jabarti in Ajâ'ib, cam e full circle to supporting at least some aspects of the British oc­ cupation. A fter all, during the final phase of the 'Uräbi Revolution 189

The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

(1881-82), many newspapers had been closed down; the Egyptian people had been made aware of how extensive European and Levan­ tine landholdings were in their country; Syrian journalist friends of al-N aqqäsh like the Taqlás, Adib Ishaq, and Hamza Fathalláh had turned against 'Uräbi; Levantines had been massacred in several Delta tow ns; and the whole tone of the revolution had become stridently Islam ic.21 All of this would have been more than sufficient to produce a change of heart in al-Naqqäsh. Accordingly, M isr li'1-Misriyyïn reads not at all like an 'Uräbist tract but rather like the typical product of a Syrian Christian émigré writer, aloof from the nationalistic currents of the time because of their invariably Islamic undertones. Apart from its value for the political historian, al-Naqqäsh's w ork is also revealing for the student of Egyptian social and economic history. Volume VI in particular contains a mine of information on such m atters as the financial condition of the country and the mission of Lord Dufferin, activities of the Bedouin tribes, the slave trade, the plague of 1883, and banditry in the countryside.22 We should bear in m ind that al-Naqqäsh was himself eye-witness to many of the events o f this period and was thus able to offer interesting asides such as the threat of punishm ent for Egyptians who after the revolution persisted in selling liquor to British soldiers in return for weapons or even just clothing.23 The proceedings of the trials themselves, as contained in Vol­ um es V II-IX , have yet to be plumbed. Al-Naqqäsh provides a wealth o f inform ation on the motives and movements of the various revolu­ tionary actors, who were surprisingly candid in their answers to inter­ rogation. The records seem at first glance to be complete and accurate enough, although the absence of colloquialisms in the testimony of the accused is strikingly evident. If, indeed, they were all edited out, the entire proceedings would be somewhat suspect. For the modem reader, who is so far removed from the events themeselves, the pen­ chant of governm ent prosecutors for establishing the exact hourly m ovem ents of revolutionaries who had already proudly confessed to all of their “crim es" seems little less than ludicrous. Al-N aqqäsh's style of writing is as interesting as the content of his work since it provides valuable insight into the problems of transi­ tional literature. Seen overall, his style is so simple and direct that it becom es alm ost monotonous to read. His training as a journalist was probably in part responsible, since he often indulged in such expres­ sions as "th e afore-m entioned" (sàbiq al-dhikr, ättif al-dhikr, al-mu190

The Syrian Egyptian Historians

naivwah ilayhi, al-münta' ilayhi) and the use of the objective-sounding passive voice. However, he was not quite able to divorce himself from the older saj' tradition and, to lend elegance to certain introductory sections, he resorts to such alliterative combinations as "sayr al-alnoal al-m àdiyyah alà m m atihà al-ma'rüf iva nasaqihâ al-m ahüd" or "bïl-ïdàh al-w äfi iva'l-bayán al-shäfi."2* Al-Naqqásh's effort to conform to a new set of stylistic standards unfortunately resulted in a very mediocre blend of disharmonious elem ents. Al-Naqqäsh, the man, remains something of an enigma. What w as his actual connection, if any, with 'Uràbï?25 And why has his im pressive contribution to Egyptian historiography gone more or less unappreciated? Is it because his writings, like those of Artin, Shárúbím , and the Syrian Christians in general, do not contain the same national perspective as those of Muslim Egyptian writers? If so, much the sam e can be said of the work of Jurji Zaydán (1861-1914), although in his case lack of nationalistic feeling did not in the least consign him to historical obscurity. Rather the opposite, for Zaydán was one of the best known figures of late nineteenth-century Egypt and has with considerable justification been called "th e dean of the Syrian Egyptian h isto rian s."26 Ju rji Zaydán was bom in Beirut, where as a young man he entered the American University to study medicine. He did not com­ plete his studies but came instead to Egypt, hoping to continue his m edical education at the Qasr al-'Ayni school. At this point, however, he developed a strong interest in literature and particularly in the classical Arabic heritage. After supervising publication of the maga­ zine al-Z aim n for about a year, in 1884 he accompanied the Egyptian expedition up the Nile as interpreter for the intelligence division (mukhàbaràt). Returning briefly to Beirut to study Hebrew and Syriac, he visited London in 1886 and then returned to Egypt, where he re­ m ained for the rest of his life. He was associated for a while with the publication of al-M uqtataf but left it to found his own highly successful m agazine, al-H iläl, in 1892.27 By 1897 his fame extended beyond Egypt proper, and he was made a member of the Royal Asiatic Society.28 Zaydän's literary production was nothing short of astounding. H is tim e-consum ing job as editor of al-H iläl did not prevent him writ­ ing, in little more than a decade, all of the following historical works: 1. "A ncient Arab G enealogies" Ansàb al-'Arab al-Qudamà’ (Cairo, n .d .) 191

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

2. "H istory of England" Ta'rtkh Injilterii (Cairo, 1899) 3. "T h e Historical Past From First to Last" Al-Ta'rîkh al-'Ämm mundhu'l-Khaliqah ilà’l-Àn (Vol. I. Beirut, 1890)29 4. "G eneral History of Freem asonry" Ta'rtkh al-M âsûniyyah al'Ämm (Cairo, 1889) 5. "T h e Pre-Islam ic A rabs" A l-A rab qabl al-Isläm (Cairo, 1908) 6. "H istory of Islamic Civilization" Ta'rtkh al-Tamaddun al-lslâm ï (5 vols., Cairo, 1902-6) 7. "H istory of Arabic Literature" Ta'rtkh Ädäb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah (4 vols., Cairo, 1911) 8. "M odem History of Egypt From the Islamic Conquest to the Present" Ta'rtkh M isr al-Jadtd min al-Fath al-lslâm i ilà'l-Àn (2 vols., Cairo, 1911) 9. "Biographies of Nineteenth-Century Muslim N otables" Tarajim M ashâhiral-Sharq ftl-Q om al-Tâst ‘Ashar (2 vols., Cairo, 1907) 10. "H istory of the Arabic Language" Ta'rtkh al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah 11. "N ational G roups" Tabaqât al-Umam.30 Although this list alone would constitute a tremendous output, Zaydän also w rote an unbelievable total of eighteen novels in his series on Islam ic history and four modem historical rom ances.31 His activity as a w riter must have continued until his very last days. Even assuming that his staff at al-H ilâl helped with some of these projects, Zaydän's almost superhuman prolificacy raises serious doubts about the originality of his work. The contemporaneity of the topics in his Tarajim M ashâhir al-Sharq and in Volume IV of his History o f A rabic Literature probably precludes the possibility that they were taken from som e ready-made reference work, and nothing about them suggests that they are not original. But we are less certain that Zaydän knew much about British history or Freemasonry, even though he w rote on both these areas in great detail. There is no question that Zaydän was well informed on Arab and Islam ic history. His many historical novels alone, in which he tried to recreate bygone eras, testify to his thorough study of the relevant historical records, and we can safely assume that he had a firm grasp on all eras of the Islamic past. Yet it was during these same years that European O rientalists were producing highly sophisticated studies on Arab history that antedated but closely resembled Zaydän's historical works in both content and method. Zaydän was more famil192

The Syrian Egyptian Historians

iar than m ost w ith these writings and indicated as much in the section devoted to European O rientalists in his History o f Arabic Literature.32 Both Louis Cheikho and 'Umar al-Dusúqi claim that this work was itself extracted largely from Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen L iteratu r33 M oreover, for his History o f Islamic Civilization Zaydän ap­ parently borrowed extensively from Gustav Le Bon's L'histoire de la civilisation arabe and even more from von Krem er's Kulturgeschichte des O rients.34 Sédillot's history of Arabic literature (Paris, 1877) and the w orks of Huart on Arabic literature and history would also have been easily available. W ithout assembling all of the potential European ref­ erences and then comparing them to Zaydän's own books we cannot be certain as to which ones he consulted, but to read his history gives a strong im pression that it has been directly "inspired" by European works on the sam e areas. Footnoting and source-citation procedures may still not have been in regular use and yet almost all post-Tahtäw i Egyptian historians were more conscientious than Zaydän about indi­ cating the source of their information. Zaydän's work thus becomes doubly suspect, since he, more than any of his predecessors, should have been aware of his obligation to cite references. If w e can overlook this shortcoming, Zaydän's history does have certain redeem ing qualities. His main purpose in writing was to popularize the subject of history, and he could never have achieved this aim through adherence to Brockelmann's historical methods. Zaydän consequently w rote romantic novels based on actual historical events, trying in the process to give his history a more palatable format for the average reader. His use of European standards of criticism, even if borrowed directly, was more consistent than that of previous authors, and as a result many of his books still today have a slightly m odem ring.35 To the professional they may seem somewhat super­ ficial, but then Zaydän was not writing for professionals.36 A close look at one of his books will give us a clearer under­ standing of Zaydän's approach to history. O f his many historical studies, only the M odem History o f Egypt is directly relevant to the period we are considering. It is particularly appropriate that it will be the last m ajor work we discuss, since, in our entire survey, it is the only book w ritten specifically and deliberately on "m odem Egypt." It needed a man of Zaydän's familiarity with modem historical method­ ology to conceive of and carry out such a project. Unlike so many previous authors, Zaydän does not start out by paying homage to a ruler or to "h is beloved fatherland" but says 1 93

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

instead that he has written the book to satisfy a very specific need: the M odem History o f Egypt, he hopes, will be of use to both scholar and laym an alike and may even be found suitable as a classroom text.37 As Zaydän points out, no book of this kind has previously existed.38 Under "m odem history" Zaydän subsumes a much greater period of time than would nowadays be the case. Volume I deals with Egyptian history from pharaonic times down to the Ottoman con­ quest, with the lion's share going of course to the Islamic period (a . d. 640-1517).39 Volume II contains about 70 pages on Ottoman Egypt, after which Zaydän devotes him self to the truly modem period (1798ca. 1905) in a section covering some 270 pages. Zaydän is careful to present a brief bibliographical section at one point, alluding to the most important source-materials for the study of Egyptian history, in Arabic and in W estern languages. The Arabic sources include al-M aqñzi, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn Khaldún, al-Ishàqî, al-M as'üdî, al-Jabarti, Ibn Iyäs, 'Ali Mubärak, Salim al-Naqqäsh and Na'üm Shuqayr. Under European sources he lists a small number of secondary works— m ost important of which is Q o t Bey's study— and even recommends to his readers the Encyclopaedia Britannica.40 These materials are obviously quite insufficient for the undertaking Zaydän has in mind, and since he never again alludes to sources and provides no footnotes, we are left wondering exactly what were his reference works. Zaydän apparently led a very cautious life, especially where politics were concerned. He never took sides in political disputes, never engaged in any political activity of his own, and even refrained from all m ention of politics or of living statesm en in his magazine al-H ildl.41 The M odem History o f Egypt was written during the heyday of "scientific history" in Europe, and this may have re-enforced its author's natural tendency towards absolute neutrality in political mat­ ters. The hallmark of Zaydän's history is, in any case, its constant pursuit of "objectivity," together with avoidance of all controversial issues. Zaydän can never be accused of being unfair or biased, but neither is he very profound or critical. In his account of the Syrian war during Muhammad 'A ll's time, for example, he describes each cam­ paign blow-by-blow but ignores completely such aspects as causes, results and motives. The nearest he ever comes to historical analysis is w hen he m aintains that Muhammad 'Ali precipitated the war out of "a desire to expand his kingdom and to found an independent state" (m atäm i f l tawsi mamlakatihi wa inshà' dawlatin mustaqillatin).42 In dealing with the reign of 'Abbäs I, who would presumably

The Syrian Egyptian Historians

have been a very unlikable figure for someone of Zaydän's inclina­ tions, Zaydän again manages to maintain complete equilibrium by restricting the narrative to isolated events and trivia such as 'Abbäs' fondness for equestrian sports, the new rail connection between Cairo and Alexandria, the laying of the foundation stone for the Sayyidah Zaynab M osque, telegraph lines, and the sending of an Egyptian con­ tingent to help the Ottom ans during the Crimean W ar.43 The íürábl Revolution is treated similarly, with Zaydän sidestepping neatly be­ tw een the various factions and blaming no one. The final portion of the book gives a brief description of the British occupation, and once again Zaydän avoids anything at all contentious. He does little more, in fact, than list the various Egyptian cabinets from 1891 to 1910, appending a highly technical resume of Occupation reforms in ad­ m inistration, agriculture and finance.44 Although the M odem History o f Egypt has fundamental defects, it filled what was at the time a real need. As one of the few impartial books available, it would indeed have been suitable for use in the Egyptian school system . Eminently readable, it has an attractive layout and exposes the reader to most of the m ajor areas of historical concern. Contrary to Zaydän's expectations, however, his hypercautious na­ ture deprived it of much color and substance, and for that reason it probably would not have held the interest of the average reader. The list of contributions by Syrians to Egyptian historiography is a long one, and even now we have not exhausted it. llyäs Zakhürah also deserves mention: a contemporary of Zaydän's, in 1897 he brought out his M irror o f the Times in the History and Portraits o f Great M en. Zakhúrah's intent seems to have been to create an up-dated version of the tabaqat*5 and possibly also to curry favor among court circles. His style is a little ornate, especially in the biographies of m em bers of the royal family or of Egypt's nobility, which are for the m ost part em pty, uninformative eulogies. Oddly enough, however, in the passage on Colonel 'Urâbî, the style changes abruptly, and a highly detailed and informative account of both the man and his m ovem ent follow s.46 Another very capable Syrian author was Na'üm Shuqayr, whom we have not discussed because he lived in Egypt but wrote on Sudanese history. His History o f the Sudan (Ta'rikh al-Südân, Cairo, 1903) has been acclaimed by Peter Holt as ''a very good work in­ d e ed ,"47 and he is also responsible for a history of China and a fasci­ nating anthology of Arabic proverbs.48 Taken as a w hole, the Syrian Egyptians' contribution to the 195

The W riting o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

enrichm ent of Egyptian cultural life was a valuable one. They were in general m ore familiar with and sympathetic to the W est than their native Egyptian counterparts and acted as the vanguard of the mod­ ernization m ovem ent. Especially active in the field of journalism , they helped spread new lines of thinking among their readers. Their con­ tribution to Egyptian historiography was also an important one, and it continued after the First World War with the detailed historical studies of m en like Ilyas al-Ayyübï. By that time, however, the native-born Egyptian had caught up educationally with his more advanced Syrian neighbor, and the heyday of the Syrian Egyptians came to an end.

N otes 1. "Syrian" is used here in the historical and geographical sense, which would nowadays take in both Lebanon and Israel. 2. In this chapter we will concentrate on the historical writings of these men. For further details on their journalistic activities, see Chapter XI. 3. Al-Shayyál, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah, pp. 73-77. For information on other Syrians who held important posts under Muhammad 'Ali, see the same work, pp. 83-92. 4. Information taken from Moussa, "Intellectual Currents in Egypt," p. 268; and Badr, Tataw w ural-Riw âyahftM içr, p. 37. 5. A similar phenomenon was apparent in the work of Shárúbim, the Copt. See pp. 134-35 above. 6. Earl of Cromer, M odem Egypt (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909), II, 529. Cromer's admiration for Artin was due in part at least to Artin's endorsement of the British-backed scheme to phase out Arabic in favor of more foreign-language in­ struction in the Egyptian school system. Abdel-Malek, L'Egypte moderne, pp. 360,365. 7. Artin was a dedicated researcher and wrote some highly specialized studies, for instance on the siyàq script of Egyptian Coptic clerks, See N. A., "Le Siyák en Egypte et en Turquie," Revue du Monde Musulman 30 (1915): 33. 8. On Artin's life and works very little has been written. See, for example, el-Shayyal, A History o f Egyptian Historiography, pp. 64, 100. Cf. Ahmad Ahmad alHittah, "M aráji' Ta'rikh al-Zirâ'ah al-Mi^riyyah fi *Ahd Muhammad 'All, 1805-1848," À l-M ajallah al-Ta'rtkhiyyah al-M isriyyah 1 (1948): 244-45. 9. On Jalläd's life see al-Shayyàl, Al-Ta'rtkh wa'1-Mu'arrikhün, p. 228. On the importance of his writings see al-Hittah, "Maráji' Ta'rikh al-Zirá'ah," p. 241. 10. Jirjis Hunayyin Bey, Al-Atyàn wa'l-Qarà'ib fi'l-Q utr al-M i$ri (Búláq: AlMafba'ah al-Kubrà al-Amiriyyah, 1904), p. i. (The pages in Hunayyin's introduction are unnumbered. I have assigned numbers to them, beginning with the first page of the text itself.) 11. Il?id., p. iv. 12. Ibid., p. ii. 13. Ibid., pp. 1-97. 14. Hunayyin inadvertently sheds some light on the way European techniques were beginning to affect the format of Egyptian historical writings. He announces with obvious pride that to make the book more readable, he has included two "indices" (fahàris): (1) to indicate the various subjects contained in the narrative and (2) to list the titles of the different chapters. Ibid., p. v. Hunayyin's second "index" is of course what we would nowadays call a table of contents. 196

The Syrian Egyptian Historians 15. Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, p. 304 n.294. 16. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Adab al-Lughah a l-4Arabiyyah, IV, 287. 17. Salim Khalil al-Naqqàsh, M isr li'l-Mi$riyyin (Alexandria: Mafba'at alM ahmsah, 1884), IV, passim; V, 67-91. 18. Ibid., IV, 82-88. This went hand in hand with resentment of the privileged position of Turco-Circassian army commanders. Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, pp. 11, 1 6 1 ,200ÍÍ., 265. 19. Al-Naqqäsh, Mi$r li'l-M ifriyyin, V, 73. 20. Ibid., VI, 22. 21. Schölch, Ägypten den Ägyptern, pp. 160-61, 223, 242, 244, 246, 268. 22. Al-Naqqâsh, Mi?r lïl-M ifriyyin, VI, 97-1 0 5,154ft., 225-27. 23. Ibid., pp. 11-12. 24. Ibid., tam hiá, tanbïh. Shorn of their saj' rhyme, these phrases are roughly equivalent in English to (a) "the course of events" and (b) "full clarification." 25. Even Schölch's Ägypten den Ägyptern, which is the most thorough recent study of the Uräbi Revolution, never succeeds in attaching al-Naqqâsh to any particular faction. 26. "Kabir al-mu'arrikhin al-süriyyin pM isr." Al-Shayyäl, Al-Ta'rikh wa'l-Mu'arrikhûn, p. 185. 27. Ibid. 28. Thomas Philipp, "The Role of jurji Zaydan in the Intellectual Development of the Arab Nahda from the Beginning of the British Occupation of Egypt to the Out­ break of World War I" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1971), p. 57. Philipp has done the most recent scholarship on Zaydan. For more infor­ mation on Zaydän's life see his thesis, pp. 13-76. Cf. Thomas Philipp, "Language, History, and Arab National Consciousness in the Thought of Jurji Zaydan (1861-1914)," International Journal o f M iddle Eastern Studies 4 (1973): 3-22; and also Philipp's expansion of his earlier research into a monograph: Gurgî Zaidân: His Life and Thought (Beirut: Orient-Institut der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1979), in which Philipp mentions that Zaydän's Muslim contemporaries refused to consider him a "scholar" and that, as a consequence, he almost gave up the study of history altogether. Ibid., p. 118. 29. This is the only instance of rhyme in any of Zaydän's titles, indicating once again that by 1900 the practice had been abandoned. 30. This list is taken from al-Shayyäl, Al-Ta'rikh wa'1-Mu'arrikhün, pp. 185-86. However, al-Shayyäl forgot to include Zaydän's "History of the Arabic Language" (Item no. 10) and his "National Groups" (Item no. 11), for which I have found no publication dates. On the former book see Zaydan himself, Ta'rikh Ädab al-Lughah al-Ä rabiyyah, IV, 325. The latter work is mentioned in Philipp, Gurgi Zaidân, p. 229. Zaydän's oeuvre was so great that there is rarely complete agreement on the total number of books attribu­ table to him. 31. Or, according to Thomas Philipp, about one per year from 1891 on, Philipp, "T h e Role of Jurji Zaydän," p. 56. 32. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Ä däbal-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 157-83. 33. Al-Dusúqi, FVl-Adab al-H adith 1, 385. Cheikho's opinion is cited by Philipp, who originally regarded it as unfair. Philipp, "The Role of Jurji Zaydän," p. 62. In his more recent book, however, Philipp says nothing about "unfairness" and admits that, except for Vol. IV, much of Zaydän's History o f Arabic Literature was taken "more or less directly" from Brockelmann. Philipp, Gurgi Zaidân, p. 227-28. 34. Philipp, "The Role of Jurji Zaydan," p. 127. In his earlier thesis Philipp rather feebly tried to salvage some originality for Zaydän by pointing out that he rejected (1) von Kremer's feeling about the finality of Arab "decline" and (2) Le Bon's racist theories. Ibid. This attempt to rescue Zaydän was once again suppressed in Philipp's later book, where he admitted that "it would be difficult to claim much scholarly merit for Zaidän's work." He went on to say that Zaydan's studies in Arab history and literature were adapted from the works of Western Orientalists and, more specifically, that Zaydän's Jabaqät al-Umam was very similar to Keane's The World's People, Philipp, G urgi Zaidân, p. 229. 197

The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt 35. Ghurbál, "Ma^ádir al-IIhám md Ba'd al-Mu'arrikhin," p. 44. 36. Gibb, "Contemporary Arabic Literature," p. 759. 37. Jurji Zaydán, Kitäb Ta'rikh M ifr ai-Hadlth (Cairo: Mafba'at al-Hilàl, 1925), I, 4. This must be the third edition, which is in itself some indication of the book's popu­ larity. According to Philipp, the first edition came out in 1889 and the second in 1911. The former was organized according to rulers and dynasties, but in the 1911 edition Zaydàn added chapters on educational and economic reforms and the nahdah. Philipp, 'T h e Role of Jurji Zaydàn," p. 127. By educational and economic reforms Philipp prob­ ably means Zaydän's chapter on the British occupation, which was rather hastily con­ trived. 1 have taken Philipp's word for it that the book first appeared in 1889, although al-Shayyäl gives the 1911 date for the first edition. See p. 192 above. 38. Philipp states that Zaydän's hopes were later realized when the book was in fact adopted as a text in Egyptian schools. Unfortunately, however, he provides no details concerning its use. Philipp, "The Role of Jurji Zaydàn," p. 51. 39. The pharaonic sections must have been appended to the 1925 edition, since the title of the 1911 (1889?) edition reads "From the Islamic Conquest to the Present." The word "jadtd" has also been changed to "hadith" in the 1925 edition. See p. 192 above. 40. Ta'rikh M ifr al-H adith, 1,77-79. 41. Philipp, "The Role of Jurji Zaydàn," pp. 342, 367. Cf. Philipp, Gurgt ZaidOn, p. 119. Because all the heroes of Zaydän's novels were either non-Arabs or nonSunnites, 'Abd al-Muhsin Tahà Badr concluded that Zaydán was anti-Arab. Zaydán was in fact a staunch defender of his brand of non-lslamic "Arabness" but was acutely uncomfortable with the tendency on the part of Egyptians to view "Arabness" as some­ thing subordinate to, rather than separate from, Islam. Ibid., 94-95,100,102 et passim. 42. Ta'rikh Mi$r al-H adith, 11,167-72. 43. Ibid., pp. 201-2. 44. Ibid., pp. 337,345-52. 45. This aim is apparent from the introduction. See by Zakhurah, M ir’dt al-'A$r ft Ta'rikh waRusum Akdbiral-Rijdi (Cairo: n.n., 1897), pp. 6-7. 46. Ibid., pp. 99-124. 47. P. M. Holt, "The Coming of the Funj," Studies in the History o f the Near East (London: Frank Cass and Co., Ltd., 1973), p. 81. 48. Al-Shayyál, "Al-Mu'anikhún al-Sùriyün fi Mi$r," p. 64.


C hapter X I

Egypt on the Threshold of Professionalization

L l-Jabarti was clearly not the only nineteenth-century Egyptian historian of note. He did not stand alone but had many w orthy continuators, each of whom made a contribution to the further progress of the historical discipline. Kamil, Mubarak, and the other figures we have looked at in preceding chapters were, moreover, of interest not simply as writers of history— a role that was in most cases ancillary to their many other activities— but also in a more general sense as representatives of their particular epoch and mirrors of a rapidly changing society. Their lives and their writings have, it is true, show n us how Egyptian historiography evolved during the nineteenth century, but even more important, they have made it possible to re­ capture some of the flavor of an entire era. In this chapter we will draw together all the various strands of nineteenth-century Egyptian history and assess the nature and extent o f the national metamorphosis that took place between 1798 and 1922. W e will need to consider several related elem ents that, like the formal educational system , played a vital role in the dissemination and popu­ larization of historical knowledge. The development of the press, the proliferation of learned societies, and the pioneering research efforts of European O rientalist circles, for example, all had an enormous im­ pact on historical writing and on intellectual activity in general, and each will have to be looked at in turn. We will conclude our study by taking a broader view of Egyptian society and seeing how the pro­ found changes we traced in historiographical techniques during the nineteenth century were but symptomatic of what was happening to the country as a whole. The tide of Westernization had in effect be­ com e irreversible, and historiography, like any other facet of intel­ lectual life, was simply being pulled along with the current. 199

The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

In spite of the many obstacles to historical studies in the nine­ teenth century, Egypt produced a fascinating array of w riters, whose skills w ere improving with each generation. None was paid or even encouraged to write history, and those who did labored under hard­ ships that would have seemed intolerable to contemporary W estern practitioners of the art. Archives, to take but one example, were either nonexistent or else in a state of alm ost complete chaos at a time when the task of assem bling historical source m aterials had been going on in Europe for so long that by 1850 tremendous collections of documents w ere readily available.1 By 1912 Friedrich Dahlmann in Germany had published a com plete catalog of every German-language book that had ever appeared on m odem Germ an history, and Dahlmann was only slightly ahead of similar research efforts in France and G reat Britain.2 Such achievem ents, needless to say, would to the Egyptian historian have seem ed inconceivable. The basic impedimenta to historical writing in nineteenthcentury Egypt w ent beyond the whims of rulers, the lack of a m odem educational system and the need for usable, well-stocked libraries, orderly archival establishm ents, and the provision of funds for re­ search. Improvements in all these areas were indispensable to the future of historiography, and, as we have seen, Egypt did make sub­ stantial progress in these directions. But it was also necessary to create a new clim ate of opinion in the country and to arouse among literate circles of society an interest in history for its own sake. The fact that history eventually won a respected position within the curriculum of Egyptian schools was in itself a m ajor advance, although the overall success of the discipline was far broader and cannot be measured sim ply in curricular terms alone. It would be difficult to think of a more fundamental deterrent to historical w riting (and to any writing) than lack of a printing-press, yet this is precisely the kind of obstacle that history in Egypt faced during the greater part of the nineteenth century. It was not until 1821 that Egypt acquired her first printing press— the Búláq Press, which later w ent on to become the largest Arabic press in the world.3 For printing books a paper mill was also a handy thing to have, yet the first Egyptian m ill did not become operational until as late as 1834-35.4 Coptic Egypt got its first printing press only in 1860, and the first private Muslim press— used to print the newspaper W âdfl-Ntl and al-T ahtäw f s journal Rawdat al-M adäris— dates from 1866. Not until the late nineteenth century did things improve, when printing presses


Egypt on the Threshold o f Professionalization

had proliferated to such an extent that even to list them would be an arduous undertaking.5 The relatively early establishm ent of the Bùlàq Press did not greatly benefit historical writing per se, since it was kept busy during the entire first half of the ninetenth century turning out technical and scientific m aterials.6 O nly during the reign of Ismä'O was this policy relaxed, and Bùlâq then began to print books on history, language, literature, and religion, as well as technical works. Most of the fine Bùlàq editions of Arabic classics date from the last thirty years of the nineteenth century.7 O nce the press had acquired a little momentum, the role it played in the dissem ination of historical knowledge was probably m ore vital than that of the formal educational system itself. Egypt had been exposed to "new spapers" for the first time during the French occupation, w hen both La décade égyptienne and Le courrier de l'Egypte w ere published. La décade égyptienne contained the results of the Aca­ dem y's scientific researches, whereas Le courrier de l'Egypte was the official spokesm an for the occupationary regime. Both were in French, how ever, and can have had Utile interest for the Egyptian reader. N either paper is even mentioned in al-Jabarti's history.8 th e first Arabic-language Egyptian newspaper was the official gazette, al-Waqä't al-M isriyyah, founded in 1828 by order of Mu­ hammad 'AU.9 Originally pubUshed in Turkish, it later adopted a bilingual Arabic-Turkish format and eventually eliminated Turkish al­ together. It has continued to exist until very recently, and no other Arabic new spaper has yet been able to match its record for longevity. Since it has been throughout its existence a court organ, however, its usefulness and popular appeal have from the beginning been severely im paired. Muhammad Ali him self set the precedent in this respect, aUowing no issue of al-Waqâ'i' to be marketed prior to rigid govern­ m ental censorship.10 As late as 1863 Egypt had had only a single newspaper, and during the reigns of Abbâs I and Sa ïd even al-W atfi'i' was forced to close dow n.11 From such beginnings, the Egyptian press came into full bloom under Ismä'O and the British occupationary regime. Many new papers appeared under Ismä'O, although m ost of them had short lives, either because of financial difficulties or because they had somehow incurred the khedive's disfavor. The first of them w as al-Y asüb, a monthly medical journal dating from 1865. The first political paper was Abû'1-Su ud's W adtl-N il, which enjoyed what w as,


The Writing o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

for its tim e, the relatively long life of thirteen years (1866-1878).12 During both the reign of Ismä'Ü and the early years of the Occupation the more im portant publishing houses were owned by Syrian immi­ grants, who had flocked to Egypt in great numbers and managed to get a virtual monopoly on the Egyptian press. Isma il himself wanted to attract Arab intellectuals to his country, and he encouraged the Syrians in these efforts. The first Syrian-Egyptian paper was al-Kawkab al-Sharqî, established in 1873 in Alexandria but short-lived. The more celebrated al-Ahräm was founded in 1876 by Salim and Bishärah Taqlä, both students of Butrus al-Bustäni, and ultimately became known as the Times of the Middle E ast.13 Adib Ishaq and Salim al-Naqqäsh co­ operated in setting up al-M ahrüsah in Alexandria in 1880, which later appeared daily in Cairo too. A l-M uqtataf was another relatively longlived Syrian paper; originating in Beirut in 1876, it was transferred to Cairo ten years later under the editorship of Ya'qüb §arrùf and Färis N im r. Shibli Shumayyil began publishing td-Shifä' in 1886, and his brother, Am in, brought out al-Huqüq during the same year. The maga­ zine al-H iläl, initiated in 1892 by Ju rji Zaydän, achieved a brilliant su ccess.14 In term s of sheer numbers the progress of the Egyptian press under Ismä'Ü and especially during the Occupation years was truly spectacular. Under Ismä'Ü the press blossomed in spite of the khedive, w ho, like his Ulustrious grandfather, always kept a heavy hand ready for any journalist who stepped out of lin e.13 The British, however, w hatever their other faults, gave Egypt probably the freest press it has ever know n.16 W hen Lord Cromer arrived in Egypt in 1882, only a handful of new spapers survived, but by 1904 (three years before his retirem ent) there were 176 in Cairo alone!17 Every political party had its ow n new spaper, and the Cairo press had long since surpassed all other M iddle Eastern cities. During the period 1892-1900 alone, about 150 new new spapers and periodicals were launched, i.e ., as many as during the entire previous sixty-three years.18 Most papers were by then in native Egyptian hands, the Syrian monopoly of the press having been broken. The Egyptian press continued to thrive until 1910, when the "ex cesses" of som e papers like al-U wa', together with the recent assas­ sination of Butrus G hâlî, convinced Sir Eldon G orst that certain free­ dom s would have to be curtailed.19 Censorship remained in effect during the war years, but following independence in 1922 the press resum ed its forward m arch. By 1926 the population of Egypt stood at


Egypt on the Threshold o f Professionalization

about fourteen m illion, of which less than one million were literate. For such a sm all reading audience the press may even have been overexpanded: the country then had more than four hundred news­ papers and reviews of various kinds.20 The phenom enal growth of the press had two significant im­ plications for historical studies. First of all, by the end of the nine­ teenth century the press had become the vanguard of a vast move­ m ent of intellectual ferm ent that touched all aspects of Egyptian cul­ ture: The thirty years which followed the British occupation were marked by an am azingly rapid development of the material basis of literature. The restora­ tion and expansion of its commercial prosperity and the relative freedom of expression w hich Egypt enjoyed, contrasted with the increasingly repres­ sive regime in Syria, gave to Egypt an uncontested primacy in the Arab world. Scholars, men of letters, journalists, all flocked out of Syria into Egypt, and w ith the union of the two parent stocks thus consummated, there is no cause for wonder that a plentiful progeny of journals, societies, and printing-presses should have sprung up everywhere, and have every­ w here found material to keep them in constant activity.21

H ence, the press was rapidly disseminating information in all areas, not the least of which was history. A journal like Rawdat alM adàris carried articles of historical interest, and al-Tahtàw ï's biog­ raphy of the Prophet appeared there originally in serialized form .22 By the end of the nineteenth century historical articles in newspapers and journals had become quite common, and more than a few historians, such as Ju rji Zaydán and M ustafà Kàmil, were also very active as journalists. Ju rji Yanni published in the Cairo journal Jinân a history of the Franco-Prussian W ar, which in 1911 came out as a separate vol­ um e,23 and the pages of al-H ilâl, al-Liwû', al-Ahräm and al-Akhbär pub­ lished numerous articles of historical interest. Another service rendered by the Egyptian press to history (and in fact to literary pursuits in general) was the evolution of a style conducive to m odem historical writing. We have already discussed this subject in detail and have seen how Egyptian historians struggled throughout the nineteenth century to find an acceptable style. Mus­ tafà Kamil and Qasim Amin were mentioned earlier as advocates of the so-called direct style of w riting,24 but they were by no means the only m en interested in linguistic reform. Al-Tahtawi was also an im­ portant stylistic innovator,25 as was Muhammad 'Abduh who, as edi­ tor o f al-Waqd't al-M isriyyah, insisted that careful attention be paid to


The W riting o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

sty le.26 By the late nineteenth century a more sober, factual style had been evolved, as can be seen in the writings of men like Bishärah Taqlä and Ju rji Zaydán.27 Although newspapers probably made the greatest contribu­ tion to bringing history before a wider audience, the large numbers of political, educational and charitable associations that sprang up in Egypt in the late 1800's also deserve m ention. Jamal al-Din alA fghani's presence in Egypt horn 1871 to 1879 acted as a catalyst for such organizations, and they proliferated rapidly both during and after the Uràbï period.28 M any such societies, although not devoted entirely to history, w ere at least interested in historical research as well as in the more general goal of increasing historical awareness among the people. The m ost im portant research-oriented society was probably the Geograph­ ical Society (al-Jam'iyyah al-Jughráfiyyah al-Khudaywiyyah), established in 1875. As its name implies, its main work was in geography, but it also made valuable studies in Egyptian history. The Educational As­ sociation (Jam'iyyat al-M a'arif), established in 1868 and directed by Ibrâhîm al-M uwaylihi, financed the printing of important books in history, geography and Islamic law, such as Ibn al-A thir's Asad alG hdbah. The Islam ic Charitable Foundation (al-Jam'iyyah al-Khayriyyah al-lsldm iyyah), founded in Alexandria in 1878 and presided over by Abdullàh al-Nadün, held evening meetings in which discussion re­ volved around historical and scientific topics. The Arabic Book Print­ ing Company (Shirkat Tab' al-Kutub al-'Arabiyyah) was established in 1898 w ith such famous members as Ahmad Taymür and 'Ali Bahjat. It printed inter aim historical classics like al-Balädhuri's Futûh al-Buldán and a biography of Çalàh al-Din. Finally, a very important group was the Club For Higher Education (N adi al-M adäris al-'Ulyä), opened in 1905 by M ustafà Kamil to promote contacts (and, incidentally, national resistance to the British) among graduates of Egyptian institutions of higher learning. The Q u b sponsored speeches and lectures in all fields but especially in history and literature. According to Abd al-Rahmán al-R àfi'ï, who was at the time a youthful follower of Kämil, much more could be learned about Egyptian history from the Q ub than from any form al study of the su bject.29 The press, the school system , and the growing numbers of community associations of various kinds were all helping to stimulate interest in history and to bring the subject before an ever wider audi­ ence. O pportunities for the advanced student too were greater than


Egypt on the Threshold o f Professionalization

ever before, and it was no longer necessary to make the difficult and costly trek to Europe, as al-Tahtàwï had done, to become familiar with the m ost recent European scholarship. By the end of our period, it was enough simply to browse through the Cairo book market, which con­ tained the m ost well-known European works on Islamic history as w ell as European-edited Arabic texts by scholars such as Quatremère, W üstenfeld, Becker, Le Bon, Sédillot, de G oeje and M argoliouth.30 Fam ous European O rientalists like Ignazio Guidi and Carlo Alfonso N allino w ere then teaching at the Egyptian University (Guidi from 1909 to 1914 and Nallino from 1909 to 1912).31 Angelo Sammarco taught Islam ic history at the Italian lycée from 1922 on and was also part of the docum ent-gathering effort organized by King Fu'âd I.32 G erm an scholars such as Littmann, Bergstrasser, Schacht, Finkler and Graum ann w ere all at various tim es members of the Faculty of Arts of the Egyptian University, and in Littm ann's classes had sat none other than Tahà H usayn.33 If we consider the total picture, it should come as no surprise to leam that Egyptian historiography really took off after 1922. The country was by then supplied w ith what may have been a glut, rather than a shortage, of printing presses. The educational system was alm ost fully evolved, and history had been granted its proper place w ithin that system . A plethora of newspapers, magazines, and jour­ nals carried articles of historical import on a daily basis, and commun­ ity associations also were active in promoting historical consciousness. Egyptian historiography itself had matured considerably and had progressed alm ost as far as it could go in the hands of amateurs. The Islam ic chronicle was for all practical purposes dead, and Egyptians w ere instead turning m ore and more to the well-documented, analytic sort of history which was in that early stage regarded as "W estern." This in turn brought them squarely up against the problem of bias in historical w riting— a problem for which the W est itself had still found no real solution, although it had of course wrestled with it much longer and w as therefore better able to understand the nature of the difficulty. By 1922 the purpose of Egyptian historical writings had also becom e m ore open-endedly heuristic, as evidenced by the work of Shárübim , Sarhank, Zaydän and even Kämil, who in his admittedly am ateurish way was nevertheless systematically combing through the historical record for evidence to support the national claims of Egypt and the O ttom an Empire. Finally, in stylistic terms, Egyptians had by now com pletely abandoned the heterogeneous content, the simplistic


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

narrative, and the poetic flourishes of former times, choosing instead to develop a more conceptually sophisticated version of what press circles referred to as "th e direct style." In every sense of the word, therefore, Egyptian historiography was becoming "m odem ." Only professionalization was wanting and that came right after the attain­ m ent of "independence" in 1922. The changes that historiography had undergone during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were but an integral part of the process of development in Egyptian society as a whole. By the end o f our period knowledge and appreciation of W estern ways were no longer restricted to a court elite, to be ridiculed and even despised by the populace at-large. No longer was a Tahtäwi to be regarded as som e sort of dangerous mutation; rather, it was a Mustafà al-Manfalü tï (1876-1924) w ho, by refusing all his life to adopt Western dress and by seeking to redirect Egyptians back toward the indigenous cul­ tural tradition, was looked upon as something of an oddity.34 "W estem izers" had become the rule, "traditionalists" the exception. The number of Europeans actually resident in Egypt grew steadily throughout the nineteenth century. In technical fields Egypt had had to depend on such men ever since the reign of Muhammad 'A li,35 but during Ism a'fl's time even more technicians were recruited from the W est, and the country was thrown wide open to Western influence in non-technical areas as w ell.36 In 1878 there were 68,653 Europeans living in Egypt. By 1882 this number had increased to 90,886, and it soared to 112,526 in 1897. Since these foreigners were concentrated in the large cities and for the most part held high posi­ tions, their influence was out of all proportion to their numbers.37 By the turn of the century knowledge of one or more European languages had become essential to every "educated" Egyptian. Ever since Muhammad 'A ll's time Egypt had been drawing most of her cultural inspiration from France— a state of affairs that changed grad­ ually under Cromer and his successors in the late nineteenth cen­ tu ry .38 The Occupation deliberately sought to upgrade the position of English by a series of m easures, the first of which was 'Ali Mubärak's decision in 1888 to have natural science, history and geography taught in either French or English rather than Arabic. In 1891 Mubärak fur­ th er stipulated that only mathematics would be taught in Arabic, and in 1897 that too was finally removed from the Arabic-language part of the curriculum . Virtually eveiy subject was taught in either French or English from 1897 to 1907 when Sa'd Zaghlùl, at the head of a new 206

Egypt on the Threshold of Professionalization

"A rabization program/' once again moved all disciplines except na­ tural science, histoiy and geography back into Arabic. The French language was dealt a severe blow by Sa'd, who felt that a knowledge of English had become absolutely essential to anyone wishing to work in business or governm ent.39 In spite of such measures and of the presence of the Occupa­ tion itself, the French language managed to hold its own until well into the tw entieth century. It was still dominant during the days of Mustafà Kam il's legal training.40 Along with Arabic and Italian, it was one of three official languages in the Mixed Courts until 1905, when Crom er won approval from the Powers to include English on an equal footing. The first judgm ent in English was not handed down until 1913, how ever.41 As late as 1892 Wilfrid Blunt maintained that it was "a rare accom plishm ent" for an Egyptian to speak English as well as French.42 Even in 1926 the enrollment in French-language schools in Egypt stood at more than 42,000 and was higher than that of any other foreign-language institutions.43 Efforts to escape the necessity of for­ eign-language instruction continued after World War I, but owing to a shortage of qualified teachers and of Arabic reading materials, these initiatives did not have much success. In 1928 the Director of the Egyptian University, Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid, complained that it had thus far been im possible to make Arabic the university's official lan­ guage of instruction, except to a limited extent in the Faculty of Law.44 From the reign of the Khedive Ism á'íl on, the entire face of Egypt was changing at a startling pace. Determined to make his coun­ try "p art of Europe," Ism à'ïl adopted French as his language of ad­ m inistration and ordered the introduction of "m odem " Western legal codes to replace the Shari ah .45 In 1868 he opened a modem secondaiy school (Ecole gratuite, libre et universelle) in Alexandria, with the aim of prom oting greater contacts between Egyptians and Europeans. A sim ilar school was established in Cairo in 1873.46 Ismá'íl encouraged large-scale immigration of "W esternized" Syrians to Egypt and opened the gates to Europeans desiring to set up foreign schools in the country.47 He built a "W estern" opera house, opened a school for girls, encouraged the dramatic efforts of Ya'qub Çannù'—who was busy translating European theatrical works into Arabic for Egyptian audiences— and set up a European-style cabinet and legislative assem­ bly.48 Finally, he tried to give the cities of Cairo and Alexandria a new look w ith European-style buildings, tree-lined boulevards, a modem harbor and street lam ps.49


The Writing o f History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

The visible exterior of the country was changing no more rap­ idly than the Egyptian psyche itself. Over the course of the nineteenth century literary tastes had evolved almost beyond recognition, and the new w riters w ere men who were only marginally heirs to the classical tradition and had for the most part "drunk from other springs" and looked "a t the world with different ey es."50 A quasi-traditional work like H äfiz Ibrähim 's Layält Sätih, appearing in 1907, suffered heavy criticism by the "m odernists," who opposed the older saj' conven­ tions; the birth of the modem Egyptian novel was by then only seven years aw ay.51 Homes, gardens, streets, and museums now had to be built strictly along European lines, and Egyptians were beginning to insist that, like Europeans, they wear suits, eat at tables, and sit in ch airs.52 During World War I imports of alcoholic beverages increased 200% , and by December, 1919, there were in Cairo alone 687 public establishm ents selling liquor.53 Contrary to Islam or not, alcohol was considered W estern, and W estern was "m odem ." A fter World War I the pace quickened. 'All Abd al-Raziq at­ tacked the institution of the caliphate. The Egyptian Civil Code was enacted, containing little, if any, of the traditional religious pre­ scrip ts.54 Al-'Aqqäd and al-Mäzim ridiculed "traditional" poets like Shaw qi and H äfiz, who were by then in any case faced with the new school of 'Ali Mahmud Tahà and Ibrahim Näji. In this same period Tahà Husayn was trying to lift the halo of sanctity from the entire classical Arabic literary heritage.55 The pages of newspapers like alBalägh and al-Siyâsah regularly published translations of tire works of Chekhov, de M aupassant, Tolstoi, Shaw, H. G . W ells, Ibsen, and H ardy, among others.56 Even music— that most culturally resistant of all artistic media— was coming under attack as too stale and oldfashioned.57 Considering the torrent of W estern ideas that was flooding Egypt, it is little wonder that historiography underwent dramatic changes; in fact it is somewhat surprising that it held on to traditional Islam ic m ethodology for so long. But by the end of our period the traditionalist of whatever stamp had been put in an untenable posi­ tion, and, for better or worse, "th e nationalist school" of historiog­ raphy had trium phed. Were we to continue our survey beyond 1922, w e would find that the original criteria set up to evaluate Egyptian historical w ritings were totally inadequate. Egypt had arrived at a clearly articulated sense of national consciousness, and every Egyptian historian after 1922 was a nationalist! 208

Egypt on the Threshold o f Professionalization

This is not to say that Egyptian historiography after 1922 de­ generated into m ere polemic: attention to the careful studies cited in the footnotes of this work will show that the reverse is true. Nor is it to derogate from the earlier achievem ents of nineteenth-century w riters, who worked in an entirely different milieu and demonstrated by their careers and their writings a desire equally to serve their country and to preserve the memory of its past. In general they succeeded in both, carrying the art of historical writing far into m odem times. All that was w anted was for the first professional Egyptian historian to make an appearance, w hich appropriately enough occurred in 1919. Muham­ mad Sabri was a graduate of the Sorbonne and had studied under A lbert Aulard. His La revolution égyptienne marked the beginning of professional Egyptian historiography.

Notes 1. Robert C. Binkley, Realism and Nationalism, 1852-1871, Harper Torchbooks: The Rise of Modem Europe (New York, Evanston and London: Harper and Row, Pub­ lishers, 1963), p. 50. 2. Harry Elmer Bames, A History o f Historical Writing, 2nd ed. rev. (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1%2), p. 400. 3. Al-Dusûqï, Fri-A dab al-H adith, 1, 40. The most detailed study of the Búláq Press is Abü'1-Futüh Ridwän's Ta’rikh M afba'at Buldq (Cairo, 1953). 4. Al-Shayyäl, Ta'rikh al-Tarjamah, p. 197. 5. Zaydän, Ta'rikh A däbal-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 61. 6. We should also remember that Arabic did not replace Turkish as the official governmental language until S a id 's time. Sabry, L’esprit national égyptien, p. 119. 7. Al-Dusúqi, Fïl-A dab al-H adith, 1,42. 8. Khalil Çàbàh, "AI-Tibä'ah fi Mi?r khiläl al-Hamlah al-Faransiyyah, 17981801," M ajallat Kulliyyatal-A däb Jämi'at al-Qdhirah 21 (1959): 65. 9. As mentioned, al-Tahtâwî was for a time editor of this paper. See p. 73 above. 10. Al-Dusúqi, FTl-Adab al-H adïth, 1,42-43. 11. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Adäb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 63. 12. Ibid., p. 68. 13. Jacques Tagher, "La naissance et le développement du journal 'Al-Ahram'," Cahiers d'histoire égyptienne 4 (1952): 237. 14. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Adäb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 65,68,73. 15. Ibid., p. 68. 16. With the possible exception of the period 1922-52, when Egypt enjoyed quasi-free parliamentary government. Much credit is due Cromer and the British care­ taker government in this respect, although Egyptians are understandably loath to recog­ nize it. Something can be said for the British colonial system when men like Cromer and Muhammad 'Abduh could maintain amicable relations, and Qäsim Amin could declare that "Egypt enjoyed during the Occupation [more] justice and freedom than at any previous tim e." Badr, Tatavmmr al-Rhôàyah fl M ifr, p. 36. Badr himself, incidentally, condemns the Occupation out-of-hand. Ibid. It is of course correct to want independence for one's country. At the same time,


The W riting o f H istory in Nineteenth-Century Egypt however, the historian is obliged to ask what other nation in the history of imperialism has allowed such freedom of expression to an occupied people. 17. Al-Dusüai, FTl-Adab al-H adith, II, 67-69. 18. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Ädäb al-Lughah ai-'Arabiyyah, IV, 70. Many of these were also short-lived, but the activity of the Egyptian press is no less astounding for that. By 1911 there were in Egypt eighty-four daily newspapers, twenty-nine literary reviews, three Arabic legal periodicals, five medical journals, fourteen religious newspapers, three women's journals, four Arabic historical reviews and two humorous magazines. George Swan, "The Moslem Press in Egypt," The Moslem World 1 (1911): 149-52. 19. Zaydän, Ta'rikhAdûbal-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 70 -71. 20. G. Robb, Egyptian M iscellany, as cited in "The Press in Egypt," The Moslem World 16 (1926): 403. 21. Gibb, "Contemporary Arabic Literature," pp. 755-56. 22. See p. 73 above. 23. Haddad, "M odem Arab Historians," p. 38. 24. See p. 21 above. 25. See pp. 7 3 ,80-81 above. 26. Ahmed, Egyptian Nationalism, pp. 39-40. 27. On Taqlá see Tagher, "Le journal 'A1 Ahram'," p. 244. For a brief discussion of stylistic developments in general, see 'Abd al-Latif Hamzah, Adab al-M aqälah alßuhufiyyah ft M i$r (Cairo: Där al-Fikr al-'Arabi, 1958), 1,86ff. 28. Zaydän, Ta'rikh Addb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 91-92. 29. A bd al-Rahmàn al-Ràfi'ï, M udhakkiräti, 1889-1951 (Cairo: Där al-Hiläl, 1952), pp. 8 ,1 0 -1 1 . Information on the other societies was taken from Zaydän, Ta'rikh Adâb al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah, IV, 90-97. 30. Ziada, "Modem Egyptian Historiography," pp. 268-69. 31. Murád Kámil, "Italiyá wa'l-Diräsät al-'Arabiyyah," Al-M ajallah, no. 30 (1959), pp. 24-25. 32. Ettore Rossi, "In Memoriam: Angelo Sammarco (1883-1948)," Oriente Mod­ em ) 28 (1948): 198. 33. Murad Kámil, "Al-'Ulamä' al-Almän wa'l-Diräsät al-'Arabiyyah," AlM ajallah, no. 89 (1964), p. 51. 34. Al-Tahfäwi's trip to Paris was considered immoral by many of his con­ temporaries, who felt he would return contaminated by exposure to pork, wine and loose women. Badawi, A l-Jahfätoi, pp. 139-40. For the life and writings of al-Manfalûtï, see by Nevill Barbour, "Al-Manfalûtï— An Egyptian Essayist," Islamic Culture 7 (1933): 491; and the continuation of the same article in Islamic Culture 9 (1935): 362. 35. For the Western role under Muhammad All see 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'ltm ft 'Aßr Muhammad 'Ali, pp. 1 ,5 2 -5 3 ,6 7 -7 3 ,7 7 ,85,89,91,121-22,191,658. 36. A few examples will suffice. Directors of the Medical School under Ismâ'il included such names as Clot, Amoux, Vambery, and Burguières, with professors like Figari, Colucci, and Espinassi. Dor-Bey was Inspector-General of Schools; the Veterin­ ary School was under Lyonar; the School of Administration under Vidal; the Industrial School (M adrasat al- Amaliyyât) under Guigon. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 3 2 1 ,3 5 0 ,3 5 4 -5 5 , 357. Thirty to forty American officers were employed in the Egyptian army. Sabry, L'esprit national égyptien, p. 114. 37. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 343-44. 38. Al-Dusûqï, FTl-Adab al-H adith, 1,357. 39. This information has been taken from the following three sources, all of whom are in substantial agreement: (1) 'Abd al-Karim, Ta'rikh al-Ta'lim ft ‘A$r M uhammad 'All, pp. 656-57, (2) Abdel-Malek, L'Egypte moderne, p. 360, and (3) alDusuqï, Ffl-A dab al-H adith, II, 37,47. 40. Badr, Tataum m ral-RiwàyahftM içr, p. 38. 41. M. H., "Mitteilungen: Egypten," Die Welt des Islams 1 (1913): 39. 42. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, My Diaries: Being a Personal Narrative o f Events, 18881914 (London: Martin Seeker, 1919), 1 ,78. Cf. al-Dusûqï, who points out that knowledge of French was so widespread that Egyptians could write books and compose poetry in it,


Egypt on the Threshold o f PmfessioniaUzatkm whereas they were incapable of doing so in Arabic. Al-Dusúqi, FFl-Adab al-H adlth, 1, 386* II 11 ' 43. Al-Dusüqi, FFl-Adab al-H adlth, II, 11. 44. Tawfiq Habib, "Al-Jámi'ah al-Misriyyah fi Tshrin Sanah," Al-Hiläl 36 (1928): 574. 45. Safran, Egypt in Search o f Political Community, p. 34. 46. Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 416-18. 47. Cf. pp. 95,202 above. For further details see Steppat, "Education Projects in Egypt," p. 283; and Heyworth-Dunne, Education in M odem Egypt, pp. 406,423. 48. Shawqi Payf, Al-Adab al-'Arabi al-M u'dfir ft M ifr, Maktabat al-Diräsät alAdabiyyah, no. 24 (Cairo: Dar al-Ma arif, 1961), pp. 15,24-25. 49. See pp. 92-93 above. 50. Gibb, "Contemporary Arabic Literature," p. 746. 51. Muhammad Husayn Haykal's Zaynab appeared in 1914. H. A. R. Gibb, "Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature: IV. The Egyptian Novel," BSOAS 7 (193335): 6 -8 . 52. These changes first began to occur during the reign of Ismá'fl. See alShayyäl, A T Jahtäw i, p. 20. 53. S. M. Zwemer, "The G ty of Cairo According to the Census of 1917," The M oslem World 10 (1920): 270. 54. Anwar Ahmad Qadri, "European Impact on Law Reforms in the Middle East," The Voice o f Islam 16 (1968): 591,593. 55. Badr, Tafawwur al-Rmxh/ah ftM ifr, pp. 47-48. 56. T. Khemiri, "The Egyptian Press Today," The Moslem World 18 (1928): 399. 57. The title song of the first Egyptian talkie— Unshüdat al-Fu'dd (1932)—was a traditional sort of chant that was no longer popular. Jacques Berque, "Etapes de la société égyptienne contemporaine," Studia Islámica 22 (1965): 107.



Books in A rabic 'Abd al-Karim, Ahmad 'Izzat. Ta'rikh al-T a'lm fi 'Apr Muhammad ‘Alt. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi?riyyah, 1938. ----------. Ta’rikhal-T a'lim fiM ipr.V o1. II. Cairo:Matba'atal-Nasr, 1945. 'Abd al-Karim, Muhammad. ‘A li Mubarak: Hayâtuhu iva M a'äthiruhu. Cairo: Ma.tba at al-Risálah, n.d. 'Abduh, Ibrâhîm. A'iâm al-$ihàfah al-'Arabiyyah. Cairo: Maktabat al-Ádáb bi'l- Jamämiz, 1944. 'Ammárah, Muhammad, ed. Al-A'mâl al-Kdmilah li-R ifi'ah Râfi' al-Jahtâw i. Vol. I: AlTamaddun wa'l-Hadârah wa'l-'Umràn. Beirut: Al-Mu'assasah al-'Arabiyyah li'lDiräsät wa'I-Nashr, 1973. Anis, Muhammad. M adrasat al-Ta'tHch al-M ipri fCl-'Asr al-'Uthmáni. Publication of the Center For Arabic Studies of the Arab League. Cairo: Där al-Jil li'1-Tibä'ah, 1962. ----------. $afahàt M atwiyyah min Ta'rikh al-Z aim Muptafà Kamil. Cairo: Maktabat alAnjilû'l-Miÿriyyah, 1962. 'Awad, Louis. A l-M u’aththirat al-Ajnabiyyah fTl-Adab al-'Arabi al-Hadith. Vol. II: Al-Fikr al-S iyâsi w a’l-ljtim â'i. Publication of the Center For Advanced Arabic Studies of the Arab League. Cairo: Där al-Ma'rifah, 1966. Badawi, Ahmad Ahmad. R ifi'ah Râfi' al-Jahtâw i. Cairo: Matba'at Lajnat al-Bayân al'Arabi, n.d. Badr, 'Abd al-Muhsin Taha. Tatawwural-Riwâyah al-'Arabiyyah al-Hadithah fiM i$r, 18701938. Maktabat al-Diräsät al-Adabiyyah, no. 32. Cairo: Daral-Ma arif, 1963. Al-Baqli, Muhammad Qandil, ed. Al-M ukhtär min Ta'rikh al-Jabarti. Kitâb al-Shal), no. 27. Cairo: Matäbi' al-Shal), 1958. D àral-K u tu bfi 'Ahdal-Thaw rah, 1952-1962. Cairo: Matba'at Där al-Kutub, 1962. Payf, Shawqi. A l-Adab al-'Arabi al-M u'âfir f i Mipr. Maktabat al-Diräsät al-Adabiyyah, no. 24. Cairo: Där al-Ma'ärif, 1961. Al-Dusúq¡, 'Umar. FVl-Adab al-H adith. 2 vols. Cairo: Där al-Fikr al-'Arabi, 1966. Fahmi, Mahmud al-Muhandis. A l-Bahr al-Zàkhir f i Ta'rikh al-'Àlam wa Akhbâr al-Awà'il wa'l-Awäkhir. Vol. I. Cairo: Al-Matba'ah al-Amiriyyah bi-Büläq, 1312 A.H. Al-Falaki, Mahmud, Risälah 'an al-lskandariyyah al-Qadimah. Revised by Muhammad 'Awäd Husayn. Alexandria: Där Nashr al-Thaqäfah, 1966. Farid, Muhammad. Kitäb al-Bahjah al-Tawfiqiyyah f i Ta'rikh Mu'assis a l-’À'ilah alKhudaywiyyah. Büläq: Al-Matba'ah al-Amiriyyah, 1308 A.H. --------- . Ta'rikh al-D awlah al-'Aliyyah al-'Uthmäniyyah. Cairo: Matba'at al-Taqaddum biMi?r, 1912. Ghurbäl, Shafíq. M inhaj Mufappal li-Durüs fTl-'Aivâmil al-Ta’rikhiyyah fi Bina' al-Ummah al-'Arabiyyah 'alà mä Hiya 'alayhi al-Yawm. Cairo: Center For Arabic Studies of the Arab League, 1961.


Bibliography Al-Hakim, Tawfiq. 'Awdat al-R üh. Vol. II. Cairo: Maktabat al-Ádáb, n.d. Hamzah, 'Abd al-Latit. Adah al-M aqálah al-Suhufiyyah f i Mipr. Vol. I. Cairo: Dàr al-Fikr al-'Arabi, 1958. Hunayyin, Jirjis. Al-Atyán wa'1-Qarà’ib fTl-Q utr al-M ipri. Bûlàq: Al-Matba'ah al-Kubrà al-Amiriyyah, 1904. Ibn al-Athir, 'izz al-Din. Al-Kämil fTl-Ta’rikh. Vol. XII. Beirut: Dar $ádir and Dâr Bayrút, 1966. Kämil, Mu^tafà. Al-M as'alah al-Sharqiyyah. 2 vols. Cairo: Mafba'at al-Liwà', 1909. --------- . A l-Shams al-M ushriqah. Vol. I. Cairo: Matba'at al-Liwâ', 1904. Khalafullàh, Muhammad Ahmad. ‘A li Mubàrak wa Àthàruhu. Cairo: Maktabat alAnjilû'1-Miÿriyyah, n.d. Mubarak, A li. A l-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyyah al-jadidah li-M ipr al-Qáhirah wa Mudunihâ wa Bilâdihà al-Qadimah wa'1-Mashhùrah. 20 vols. Búláq: Al-Matba'ah al-Kubrà alAmiriyyah, 1306 a . h . Al-Naqqàsh, Salim Khalil. Mipr li'I-Mipriyyin. 6 vols. Alexandria: Matba'at al-Mahrüsah, 1884. Al-Qabbànï, Ismâ'il Mahmûd. Siyàsat al-T alim fi Mipr. Cairo: Matba'at Lajnat al-Ta'lîf wa'l-Tarjamah wa'l-Nashr, 1944. Al-Ràfi'ï, ‘Abd al-Rahmàn. Ta'rîkh al-Harakah al-Qawmiyyah fi Mipr al-Qadimah. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahçlah al-Mi$riyyah, 1963. --------- . Ta’rîkh al-H arakah al-Qawmiyyah. 2 vols. Cairo: Matba'at al-Nahdah, 1929. --------- . 'Açr M uhammad ’A li. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi?riyyah, 1951. --------- . ‘Apr Ismâ'il. Vol. I. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Mi$riyyah, 1948. ----------. Mipr w a’l-Südàn fi Awâ'il ‘A hd al-lhtilàl. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah alMiÿriyyah, 1942. --------- . Muptafà Kâmil: Bà'ith al-Harakah al-W afaniyyah. Cairo: Maktabat al- Nahdah alMiÿriyyah, 1962. ----------. M uhammad Farid: Rana al-lkhlàp w a’l-Tadhiyyah. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah alMi$riyyah, 1961. --------- . F i A'qàb al-Thawrah al-M ipriyyah. Vol. 111. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah alMisriyyah, 1951. ----------. M udhakkiràti, 1889-1951. Cairo: Dâr al-Hilâl, 1952. Sâlim, al-Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz. A l-Ta’rikh wa'l-Mu'arrikhùn al-'Arab. Cairo: Dâr al-Kâtib al-'Arabi li'1-Tibä'ah wa'l-Nashr, 1967. Sâml, Amin. Taqwim al-N il. 6 vols. Cairo: Matba'at Dàr al-Kutub al-Miÿriyyah bi'lQâhirah, 1916-36. --------- . Al-Ta'lïm f i Mipr fi Sanatay 1914 wa 1915 iva Boyan Tafpili li-Nashr al-T alim alA w w alïw a'l-lbtidà’ibi-A nhà' al-D iyâr al-M ipriyyah. Cairo: Matba'at al-Ma'àrif, 1917. --------- . M ipr toa’l-N il min Fajr al-Ta'rikh ilà'l-An. Cairo: Matba'at Dàr al-Kutub alMi?riyyah, 1938. Sarhank, Ismâ'il. Haqà'iq al-A khbàr 'an Duwal al-Bihàr. 3 vols. Cairo: Matba'at al-Amiriyyah bi-Bülâq and privately printed, 18%, 1898 and 1923. Sharif, Muframmad Badï'; al-Mahàsini, Zaki; and 'Abd al-Karim, Ahmad 'Izzat. Dirâsât Ta'rtkhiyyah fi’l-N ahdah al- 'Arabiyyah al-H adithah. Cairo: Matba'at al-Risâlah, n.d. Al-Sharqâwi, Mahmûd. Mipr fTl-Q am al-Thàmin ‘Ashar. Vol. I: 'Abd al-Rahmàn al-fabarti. Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilú'1-Misriyyah, 1962. Al-Sharqâwi, Mahmûd, and al-Mashadd, 'Abdullàh. A li Mubàrak: Hayàtuhu wa Da w atuhuw a Àthàruhu. Cairo: Maktabat al-Anjilù'l-Mi?riyyah, 1962. Shârûbim, Mikhâ'il. A l-Kàfi fi'l-Ta'rikh Mipr al-Qadim wa'l-Hadith. 4 vols. Bûlàq: AlMatba'ah al-Kubrà al-Amiriyyah, 1898-1900. Shaybûb, Khalil. 'Abd al-Rahmàn al-fabarti. Iqrâ' Series, no. 70. Cairo: Dâr al-Ma'àrif li'1-fibá'ah wa'l-Nashr, 1948. Al-Shayyàl, Jamâl al-Din. Rifà'ah Râfi' al-Jahfàw i. Nawàbigh al-Fikr al-'Arabi, no. 24. Cairo: Dàr al-Ma'àrif bi-Mi$r, 1958. --------- . Ta'rikh al-Tarjam ah wa'l-Harakah al-Thaqàfiyyah fi 'Apr Muhammad ‘A li. Cairo: Dàr al-Fikr al-'Arabi, 1951. ----------. A l-Ta’rikh w a’l-M u'arrikhùn fi Mipr fi"l-Qam al-Tàsi' 'Ashar. Al-Maktabah alTa'rikhiyyah, no. 3. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahdah al-Miçriyyah, 1958. 214

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Bibliography 'Ali, 1805-1848." A l-M ajallah al-Ta'rikhiyyah al-M ißriyyah 1 (May and October, 1948) . Kämil, Muräd. "Al-'Ulamä' al-Almän wa'1-Dirását al-'Arabiyyah." Al-M ajallah, no. 89 (May, 1964). --------- . "Italiyä wa'l-Diräsät al-'Arabiyyah." Al-M ajallah, no. 3 0 (June, 1959). Músa, Salämah. "Ta'rikh al-Wataniyyah al-Migriyyah: Nushú'uhá wa Tajawwuruhá." A l-H iläl 36 (January, 1928). Review of Taqwim al-N il, by Amin Sämi. A l-M uqtataf73 (July, 1928). $ábáh, Khalil. "Al-Tibä'ah fi Mi?r khiläl al-Hamlah al-Faransiyyah, 1798-1801." M ajallat Kulliyyat al-À dàb Jàmi'at al-Q àhirah 21 (December, 1959). --------- . "M atba'at Bùlâq fi Ahdihâ al-Tháni, 1841-1882." M ajallat Kulliyyat al-Àdàb Jàmi‘at al-Q àhirah 24 (May,1962). $abrï, Músá. "Hâtu liyya Habibi." Al-Akhbär, August 5,1964. Sämi, Amin. "Tatawwuruná fi Arba'in ‘Aman: Al-Tarbiyah wa'1-Ta'lïm." Al-Hiläl 40 (November, Í931). --------- . "Lamina Kuntu Mu'allimán." Al-Hiläl 45 (April, 1937). --------- . "Al-Madáris fi Rub' Qam : Min Sanat 1875-1900." Al-M tuftataf 38 (May, 1936). AI-$äwi, Ahmad Husayn. "Ta'rikh Haraját Sahifah Mi?riyyah: Al-Ustádh." Al-Hiläl, no. 10 (October, 1966). Shafiq, Ahmad. "Yaq?at al-Shu'ür al-Qawmi mundhu Awä'il al-Qam al-Tâsi' 'Ashar ilà'1-Àn." A l-H iläl 48 (April, 1940). Al-Sharqäwi, Mahmud. "'Ali Mubàrak wa'1-Thawrah al-'Urâbiyyah." Al-M ajallah, no. 41 (May, 1960). Al-Shayyäl, Jamäl al-Din. "Abdullah Nadim, 1845-18% ." Al-Kitäb, no. 1 (January, 1949) . ----------. "Al-Mu'arrikhûn al-Süriyün fi Mi$r fí'l-Qam al-Tási' A shar." Al-M ajallah, no. 23 (November, 1958). ----------. "Duktúr Birrún (Perron) wa'1-Shaykhán Muhammad Ayyâd al-Tantàwi wa Muhammad 'Umar al-Túnisi." M ajallat Kulliyyat al-Àdàb fäm idt Färüq al-Annual 2 (1944). Zahrán, Sa'd. "Al-Ta'älim al-Libiráliyyah fi'l-Thawrah al-'Urâbiyyah." Al-M ajallah, no. 108 (December, 1%5). Zaytún, Muhammad Mahmud. "Jàmi'at Fu'äd al-Awwal." Al-Risálah, no. 893 (August, 1950) . ----------. "Fa'I-Nahdimu al-Jämi'ah." Al-Risálah, no. 894 (August, 1950).

Books in W estern Languages Abdel-Malek, Anouar. Idéologie et renaissance nationale: L'Egypte moderne. Paris: Editions Anthropos, 1969. Ahmed, Jamal Mohammed. The Intellectual Origins o f Egyptian Nationalism. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1960. Baer, Gabriel. A H istory o f Landoumership in Egypt, 1800-1950. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1%2. Barnes, Harry Elmer. A History o f Historical Writing. 2nd ed. rev. New York: Dover Publicatiçns, Inc., 1%2. Binkley, Robert C. Realism and Nationalism, 1852-1871. Harper Torchbooks: The Rise of Modem Europe. New York, Evanston and London: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1963. Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen. M y Diaries: Being a Personal Narrative o f Events, 1888-1914. Vol. I. London: Martin Seeker, 1919. Brown, L. Carl. The Tunisia o f Ahmad Bey, 1837-1855. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974. Butterfield, Herbert. Man On His Past. Boston: Beacon Press, 1960. Carr, Edward Hallett. What Is History? New York: Random House, Inc.; Vintage Books, 1% 7. 216

Bibliography Collingwood, R. G . The Idea o f History. London, Oxford and New York: Oxford Univer­ sity Press, 1956. --------- . Essays in the Philosophy o f History. Edited with an introduction by William Debbins. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1966. Creasy, Edward. History o f the Ottoman Turks. Beirut: Khayats; Oriental Reprints, no. 1, 1961. Cromer, Earl of. M odem Egypt. Vol. II. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909. Djilas, Milovan. The Unperfect Society: Beyond the New Class. Translated by Dorian Cooke. New York: Harcourt, Brace St World, Inc., 1969. Fitzsimons, Matthew A.; Pundt, Alfred G .; and Nowell, Charles E., eds. The Develop­ ment o f Historiography. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, Inc., 1967. Gibb, H. A. R. M odem Trends in ¡slam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947. --------- . Arabic Literature. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1963. Gran, Peter. Islam ic Roots o f Capitalism: Egypt, 1760-1840. Austin St London: University of Texas Press, 1979. Grant, Michael. The Ancient Historians. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970. Hale, J. R., ed. The Evolution o f British Historiography: From Bacon to Namier. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Co.; Meridian Books, 1964. Heyworth-Dunne, J. An Introduction to the History o f Education in M odem Egypt. London: Luzac and Co., 1939. Higham, John; Krieger, Leonard; and Gilbert, Felix. History. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965. Hourani, Albert. Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Laroui, Abdallah, The Crisis o f the Arab Intellectual. Trans, from the French by Diarmid Cammell. Berkeley, Los Angeles St Toronto: University of California Press, 1974. Lewis, Bernard. The M iddle East and the West. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers; Harper Torchbooks, 1964. Mahdi, Muhsin. Ibn Khaldun's Philosophy o f History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Phoenix Books, 1964. Margoliouth, D. S. Lectures on Arabic Historians. Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1930. Moreh, S. Al-Jabarti's Chronicle o f the First Seven Months o f the French Occupation o f Egypt. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975. Nuseibeh, Hazem Zaki. The Ideas o f Arab Nationalism. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1956. Philipp, Thomas. C urgi Zaidän: His Life and Thought. Beirut: Orient-Institut der deut­ schen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1979. Rosenthal, Franz. A History o f Muslim Historiography. 2nd ed. rev. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1968. ----------. The Technique and Approach o f Muslim Scholarship. Analecta Orientalia, no. 24. Rome: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum, 1947. Sabry, M. La genèse de l'esprit national Égyptien (1863-1882). Thèse principale de Doctorat ès Lettres présentée à la Faculté des Lettres de l'Université de Paris. Paris: Vu et permis d'imprimer; le recteur de l'Académie de Paris, 1924. Safran, Nadav. Egypt in Search o f Political Community. Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard Uni­ versity Press, 1961. Schölch, Alexander. Ägypten den Ägyptern! Die politische und gesellschaftliche Krise der fahre 1878-1882 in Ägypten. Zurich and Freiburg: Atlantis Verlag, 1972. El-Shayyal, Gamal el-Din. A History o f Egyptian Historiography in the Nineteenth Century. Faculty of Arts, no. 15. Alexandria: Alexandria University Press, 1962. Smith, Page. The Historian and History. New York: Random House; Vintage Books, 1966. Stavrianos, L. S. The Balkans Since 1453. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. Stem , Fritz, ed. The Varieties o f History. Qeveland and New York: The World Publishing Co.; Meridian Books, 1956. Taylor, A. J. P. Englishmen and O thers. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1956. Tignor, Robert. M odernization and British Colonial Rule in Egypt, 1882-1914. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966.


Bibliography Wales, A. P., ed. International Library Directory. 3rd ed. London: The A. P. Wales Organi­ zation, 1968. Wendell, Charles. The Evolution o f the Egyptian National Image: From Its Orgins to Ahmad Luffi al-Sayyid. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1972. The World o f Learning. 24th ed. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications, Ltd., 1973.

A rticles In W estern Languages Abdul Mu'id Khan, Muh. “Modem Tendencies in Arabic Literature." Islamic Culture 15 (July, 1941). Adams, C. C. "Mohammed Abduh, The Reformer." The Moslem World 19 (1939). Aglietti, Bruno. "Mustafa Kamil (1874-1908): Fonda tore del Partito Nazionalista Egiziano." Oriente M oderno 22 (August, 1942). van Arendonk, C. "Ibn Hadjar al-'Askalani." The Encyclopedia o f Islam (1913). Ayalon, David. "T h e Historian al-Jabarti and His Background." Bulletin o f the School o f Oriental and African Studies 15 (1953). This journal will hereafter be referred to as BSOAS. --------- . "Studies on the Structure of the Mamluk Army— I." BSOAS 15 (1953). Baer, Gabriel. "'A li Mubarak's Khitat as a Source For the History of Modem Egypt." In Political and Social Change in M odem Egypt: Historical Studies From the Ottoman Con­ quest to the United Arab Republic. Edited by P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1968. Barbour, Nevill. "Al-Manfaluti— An Egyptian Essayist." Islamic Culture 1 (July, 1933). --------- . "Al-Manfaluti— An Egyptian Essayist." Islamic Culture 9 (April, 1935). Bellamy, James. "Cairo University." M iddle Eastern Affairs 6 (June-July, 1955). Berque, Jacques. "Etapes de la société égyptienne contemporaine." Studia Islámica 22 (1965). Björkmann, Walther. "Probleme des ägyptischen Bildungswesens." Die Welt des Islams 22(1940). Bouvat, L. "La presse égyptienne." Revue du Monde Musulman 1 (December, 1906). Boyle, John Andrew. "Rashid al-Din: The First World Historian." Islamic Culture 44 (January, 1970). Brockelmann, C. "Al-Makrizi." The Encyclopedia o f Islam (1913). --------- . "A l-Suyuti." The Encyclopedia o f Islam (1913). Brundage, Burr C. "The Birth of Qio: A Resume and Interpretation o f Ancient Near Eastern Historiography." In Teachers o f History: Essays in Honor o f Laurence Bradford Packard. Edited by H. Stuart Hughes. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1954. Chejne, Anwar G . "The Use of History By Modem Arab Writers." The M iddle East Journal 14 (Autumn, 1960). --------- . "The Concept of History in the Modem Arab World." Studies in Islam 4 (January, 1967). Chemoul, Maurice. "Rifa'a Bey." The Encyclopedia o f Islam (1913). Coulton, G. G . "Som e Problems in Medieval Historiography— Raleigh Lectures on History." Proceedings o f the British Academy 18 (1932). Duri, A. A. "The Iraq School of History to the Ninth Century— A Sketch." In Historians o f the M iddle East. Edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. --------- . "Al-Zuhri: A Study on the Beginnings of History Writing in Islam." BSOAS 19 (1957). Farah, Caesar E. "The Impact of the West on the Conflict of Ideologies in the Arab W orld." Islamic Culture 35 (April, 1961). Gibb, H. A. R. "Ta'rikh." In Studies on the Civilisation o f Islam. Edited by Stanford Shaw and William R. Polk. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962. --------- . "Problems of Middle Eastern History." In Studies on the Civilization o f Islam. Edited by Stanford Shaw and William R. Polk. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962. --------- . "Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature." BSOAS 4 (1926-28).


Bibliography --------- . “Studies in Contemporary Arabic Literature: IV. The Egyptian Novel." BSOAS 7 (1933-35). Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr. "The Egyptian Nationalist Party: 1892-1919." In Political and Social Change in M odem Egypt: Historical Studies From the Ottoman Conquest to die United Arab Republic. Edited by P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1968. H. L. "Mitteilungen: Egypten." Die Welt des Islams 2 (1914). Haddad, George M. "Modem Arab Historians and World History." The Muslim World 51 (January, 1961). --------- . "The Historical Work of Niqula el-Turk, 1763-1828." journal o f the American Oriental Society 81 (1961). Heyworth-Dunne, J. "Rifa ah Badawi Rafi' al-Tahtawi: The Egyptian Revivalist." BSOAS 10 (1940-42). Holt, P. M. "Al-Jabarti's Introduction to the History of Ottoman Egypt." BSOAS 25 (1962). --------- . "The Beylicate in Ottoman Egypt During the Seventeenth Century." BSOAS 24 (1961). --------- . "Tire Coming of the F u nj." In Studies mtAc/iisAwy of fAe Near Eosf by P. M. Holt. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1973. Hourani, Albert. "Historians of Lebanon." In Historians o f the M iddle East. Edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Inalcik, Halil. "Som e Remarks on the Study of History in Islamic Countries." The M iddle East Journal 7 (Autumn, 1953). Kazemzadeh, Firuz. "Iranian Historiography." In Historians o f the M iddle East. Edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Khemiri, T. "The Egyptian Press Today." The Moslem World 18 (1928). Kuran, Erdiment. "Ottoman Historiography of the Tanzimat Period." In Historians o f the M iddle East. Edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Laoust, Henri. "Introduction à une étude de l'enseignement arabe en Egypte." Revue des Etudes Islamiques 7 (1933). Lewis, Bernard. "History-Writing and National Revival in Turkey." M iddle Eastern Af­ fairs 4 (June-July, 1963). --------- . "The Muslim Discovery of Europe." BSOAS 20 (1957). Lichtenstadter, Use. "Arabic and Islamic Historiography." The Moslem World 35 (April, 1945). M. H. "Mitteilungen: Egypten." Die Welt des Islams 1 (1913). Macdonald, D. B. "Al-Djabarti." The Encyclopedia o f Islam (1913). Marçais. "A l-‘A ini." The Encyclopedia oflslam (1913). Moosa, Matti I. "The Development of Modem Arabic Fiction." The Islamic Quarterly 13 (July and September, 1969). Moreh, S. "Reputed Autographs of Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti and Related Problems." BSOAS 28 (1965). Morrison, S. A. "El Azhar Today and Tomorrow." The Moslem World 16 (1926). Moussa, Salama. "Intellectual Currents in Egypt." M iddle Eastern Affairs 2 (August-September, 1951). N. A. "L eSiy ak en Egypte et en Turquie." Revue du Monde Musulman 30 (1915). Obermann, Julian. "Early Islam ." In The Idea o f History in the Ancient Near East. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1955. Pérè6, Henri. "L'Institut d'Egypte et l'oeuvre de Bonaparte jugés par deux historiens arabes contemporains." Arabica 4 (May, 1957). Philipp, Thomas. "Language, History, and Arab National Consciousness in the Thought of Jurji Zaydan (1861-1914)." International Journal o f M iddle Eastern Studies 4 (1973). Poonawala, Ismail K. "The Evolution of al-Jabarti's Historical Thinking As Reflected in the MuzAir and the 'AJa'ib." Arabica 15 (October, 1968). 219

Bibliography 'T h e Press in Egypt" The Moslem World 16 (1926). Qadri, Anwar Ahmad. "European Impact on Law Reform in the Middle East." The Voice o f Islam 16 (May, 1968). Richter, G . "Medieval Arabic Historiography." Islamic Culture 34 (April, 1960). Rossi, Ettore. "In Memoriam: Angelo Sammarco (1883-1948)." Oriente Moderno 28 (October-December, 1948). Sékaly, Achille. "L'université d'el-Azhar et ses transformations." Revue des Etudes Islamicfues 1 (1927). El-Shayyal, Gamal el-Din. "Historiography in Egypt." In Historians o f the M iddle East. Edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Steppat, Fritz. "National Education Projects in Egypt Before the British Occupation." In Beginnings o f Modernization in the M iddle East: The Nineteenth Century. Edited by William R. Polk and Richard L. Chambers. Publications of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, no. 1. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1968. --------- . "Nationalismus und Islam bei Mustafa Kamil: Ein Beitrag zur Ideengeschichte der ägyptischen Nationalbewegung." Die Welt des Islams 4 (1955). Swan, George. "The Moslem Press in Egypt." The Moslem World 1 (1911). Tagher, Jacques. "Mohammed Ali étudiât l'histoire et rédigeait des mémoires." Cahiers d'Histoire Egyptienne 2 (December, 1949). --------- . "La naissance et le développement du journal 'Al Ahra m ." Cahiers d'Histoire Egyptienne A (October, 1952). J. T. [Jacques Tagher]. "La création d'écoles populaires, selon un projet de Rifaa Ratée." Cahiers d ’H istoire Egyptienne 1 (1949). Vagliere, Laura Veccia. "Notizie sulle Universita Egiziane." Oriente Moderno 30 (JanuaryMarch, 1950). "A Valuable Library in Cairo." The Moslem World 7 (1917). Ziada, M. Mostafa. "Modem Egyptian Historiography." M iddle Eastern Affairs 4 (August-September, 1953). Zwemer, S. M. "The City of Cairo According to the Census of 1917." The Moslem World 10(1920).

Unpublished Materials Khalidi, Tarit. "Mas'udi's Theory and Practice of History." Ph.D. dissertation, Univer­ sity of Chicago, 1970. Philip, Thomas. "The Role ot Jurji Zaydan in the Intellectual Development ot the Arab Nahda From the Beginning ot the British Occupation ot* Egypt to the Outbreak of World War 1." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1971. Verdery, Richard. " 'Abd al-Rahmán al-Jabarti as a Source for Muhammad 'All's Early Years in Egypt (1801-1821)." Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1967.



N ote: historical works are indexed under title rather than author throughout. 'Abbas I (Egyptian ruler), 71-72,92,98, 110-11,140,194-95, 201 Abbâs II "H ilm i" (Egyptian ruler): and Abdullah al-Nadim, 148; educational policy of, 95; and Lord Cromer, 149; and national movement, 177-78; and National Party, 149-51,171,180,183 n.16 al-A bbásiyyah (secondary school). See Qa$r al-A ynt Abduh, Muhammad, 89,97,101; and literary style, 203; and Lord Cromer, 209 n.16; and Pan-Islam, 164 n .3 4 ,177 Abdülhamid II (Ottoman sultan), 148, 154,155,177 Abú'1-Su'úd, 73,201 al-Afgháni, Jamâl al-Din, 97,177,204 Agriculture, 75-78,114, 117,187,196 n.8 al-Ahrânt (newspaper), 149,151,156,202, 203 A'jab mà Kâna ft'l-Riqq 'indal-Rümàn (Mustafa Kamil), 156 A jâ'ib al-À thàr fi'1-Tarájint wa'l-Akhbàr (alJabartî), 45—50, 52—56,60—61 A khbàrï. See Khobar Alant al-D ïn (Ali Mubârak), 114-15 Alcoholic beverages, 208 Alexandria, 117, 207; bombardment of 1882, 140,144 n.23,188ff. Amin, Qásim, 21-22,102,152,180,203, 209 n.16 Ammàrah, Muhammad: on al-Tahtäwi, 82-86 Analysis, historical. See Interpretation and bias, historical Anglo-French Entente of 1904,150-51 Anis, Muhammad, 18,102; on OttomanEgyptian historiography, 42 n.52, n.54;

and publication of Muhammad Farid's memoirs, 182 n.6; scholarship of, on alJabarti, 62 n.22 Annal. See Chronicle Antún, Farah, 186 Anwár Tawfiq al-jalil fi Akhbâr M isr wa Tawthiq Bant Ismà'il (al-Jahtáwi), 74,79, 94,128 n.69 al-'Aqqàd, Abbas Mahmud, 150,154,156, 208 Arab unity, 181 Arabic Book Printing Company, 204 Arabic language, 21-22, 35,101,206,209 n.6 "Arabization program," 207 Archives, 122,189, 200 Artin, Ya'qub, 119,186-87 Àsif, Muhammad, 146 al-'Asqaläni, Ibn Hajar, 33,34 al-'Asr al-Jadid (newspaper), 188 Associations, religious, educational and cultural, 204 al-Attàr, Hasan (Shaykh), 45,65 n .69,69 al-Atyàn wa'1-Qarà'ib fH -Q utral-M isri (Jirjis Hunayyin), 187 Augustine, St., 19 Aulard, Albert, 209 Ayalon, David: on al-Jabarti, 43, 61-66 al-Ayyúbi, Ilyas, 1% al-Azhar University, 37, 39,69,87-89,100 Baer, Gabriel: on Mubarak's K hitaf, 12728 al-Bahjah al-Tawfîqiyyah fi Ta'rikh Mu'assis al-A 'ilah al-Khudaywiyyah (Muhammad Farid), 171-76,179,181 Bahjat, All, 130-31,187, 204 al-Bahr al-Zâkhir ft Ta'rikh a l-Alant wa Akhbâr al-Awâ'il wa'1-Awákhir (Mahmud Fahmi), 132-33,143 n.7


Index al-Balàdhuri, 3 1 ,6 6 n.82 al-Balágh (newspaper), 208 Baring, Evelyn. See Cromer, Lord al-Bàrûdï, Mahmûd Sâmî, 112,147 Biography: in "AK Mubârak, 117-18; in alJabarti, 46, 5 0 -5 1 ,5 5 -5 6 ; in medieval Islamic historiography, 32; in Muham­ mad Farid, 175, 181; in OttomanEgyptian historiography, 42 n .5 5 ,64 n.61; fabaqat genre of, 2 9 ,3 2 ,3 4 ,5 8 ,1 9 5 Blunt, Wilfrid, 207 Bonaparte, Napoleon. See French Occu­ pation of Egypt Books: availability in Cairo, 205 British Occupation of Egypt: and Egyp­ tian press, 202-4; impact on Egyptian education, 95-97; Ismá'il Sarhank Pasha on, 140-41; Muhammad Farid on, 168-71,172-80; Mu?tafà Kamil's view of, 149-55, 158-62; Salim alNaqqäsh on, 189; Westernization as a result of, 185-86,206-7; Jurji Zaydán on, 195 Bùlâq Press, 46,94,1 3 8 ,1 8 5 ,2 0 0 -2 0 1 Bulletin de l'Institut Egyptien (journal), 187 Cairo, 116-17,207 Caliphate, 3 6,65 n .6 9 ,164 n .3 2 ,208 Censorship, governmental, 127 n.36,

201-2 Chronicle, 14-15, 2 3 ,3 0 ,3 2 ; demise of, in Egypt, 78,162, 205; in Mamluk Egypt, 34-35; in medieval Islamic historiog­ raphy, 30-31; in medieval Western historiography, 40 n.22; in Ottoman Egypt, 37-39; in Syrian-Egyptian writ­ ings, 186. See also under names o f indi­ vidual authors Club for Higher Education, 151,204 Committee of Union and Progress, 171, 1 7 9 -8 0 ,184n.47 Cookson, Mr. (British consul), 162 Copts, 9 5 ,1 3 3 ,1 6 5 n.40, 200 Le courrier de l'Egypte (newspaper), 201 Cromer, Lord: and Abbás II, 149; and education, 96,186; and Egyptian national movement, 149,164 n .3 0 ,177; and Egyptian press, 202; and Mixed Courts, 207 D äral-K utub (Egyptian National Library), 99-100,112 Dàr al-M ahfüzât (Egyptian Archives), 122 D àral-'U lùm (Egyptian Teachers' Col­ lege), 9 4 ,9 9 ,1 0 1 -2 ,1 1 2 ,1 1 9


Darbal-Jamàmîz (secondary school). See Q açral-A ynï La décade égyptienne (newspaper), 201 Dinshawäy incident, 151 Dor Bey, Edouard, 96-97,107 n .8 1 ,119, 210 n.36 Dreyfus Affair, 153 Dunlop, Douglas, 151 Economic history, 136,141,187-88,190 Education, 87-108; and Arabic language, 1% n.6, 206-7; and al-Azhar, 87-89; during British Occupation, 95-97; European language instruction in, 96, 1% n .6 ,206-7; and history curriculum, 90,94,97,200; primary level, 90-95,97, 106 n.60, n.62; secondary level, 90-91, 94-97,106 n.60, n .6 2 ,206-7; and students sent on missions abroad, 9 7 99; Westernization of curriculum in, 8 8 8 9 ,9 1 -9 5 ,9 7 -9 8 ,1 0 2 -3 ,1 % n .6 ,206-7. See also under names o f individual educa­ tional institutions and Egyptian rulers Education Act of 1868,93-94, 111 Educational Association, 204 Egyptian Civil Code, 208 Egyptian National Library, 99-100,112 Egyptian Teachers' College, 94,99,101-2, 112,119 Egyptian University, 102-3,105 Egyptiens et anglais (Muçfafà Kámil), 156 Egyptologists, 118,130-31 Engineering, School of, 94,110 English language, 206-7 Enlightenment, French, 20 Europeans in Egypt, 95,206 Fahmi, Mahmûd, 113,132-33,148 Fahmî, Muçtafà, 120 al-Falaki, Mahmûd, 110,130 Farid, Abd al-Khäliq, 182 n.6 Farid, Muhammad, 167-84; and 'Abbás II, 171, 180; chronicle in writings of, 17475,181; early life of, 167-68; and his­ torical purpose, 171,175-76; interpre­ tive elements in, 171-75,179-81; literary style of, 174,181; memoirs of, 182 n.6; and Muçfâfà Kámil, 168,177-78; na­ tionalism in, 171-74,181; Pan-Islamic proclivities of, 152,169-71,175-81; political activities of, 169-71; source materials used by, 181; travels and ac­ tivities abroad of, 168,170-71; use of sa j' by, 174-75 Fath al-Andalús (Muçfafà Kámil), 156

Index Fathalláh, Hamza, 190 Footnotes and tootnoting, 23,175,193 French language, 206-7 French Occupation of Egypt, 13,70,201; al-Jabarti on, 4 5 -5 6 ,5 9 -6 1 ; Ismail Sarhank Pasha on, 139; Mikhá'il Shárúbim on, 134 Fu'äd I (Egyptian ruler), 37,205 al-F u sfàt, 130-31 Gazette, Official, 69, 71,73,201,203 Geographical Society, 204 Ghàlï, Butrus, 170,187,202 Gorst, Sir Eldon, 202 Haqä'iq al-A khbâr *an D uw alal-Bihär (Ismá'íl Sarhank Pasha), 137-43 Harb, Ja l'a t, 170 Herodotus, 116 al-H iläl (journal), 191-92,194,202-3 Historians, 9 ,1 6 ,2 0 9 ; as journalists, 186, 203 Historical purpose, 18-20,28, 205 Historical style. See Style, historical Historiography, 9-10; Greek and Roman, 20, 24 n .l, 26 n.34; Herbert Butterfield's view of, 10; Marxist-Leninist, 19-20, 26 n.47; modem versus traditional, 13-23; Q usfanfin Zurayq on, 18; "revolution­ ary ," 112-13,146-48 Historiography, medieval Islamic, 27-39; and biography, 32; and the Crusades, 40 n .l l ; forms of, 31-39; vs. medieval Western, 28; and Prophet Muhammad, 28; religious characteristics of, 28-29; saj' in, 2 1 ,2 9 ,3 5 ,4 1 n.31; and tabaqät literature, 32,34; Turkish influence on, 35-39. See also Chronicle History, in Egyptian curriculum, 90,94, 97,200 H izbal-U m m ah (Party of the Nation), 152 al-H izb al-W atani (National Party), 147, 1 5 1 -5 5 ,1 6 9 -7 0 ,1 8 0 -8 1 ,1 8 3 nn. 16-17 Hourani, Albert, 17-18; on al-Jahtäw i's M anähij al-Albäb, 75,84 n.54 Hunayyin, jirjis, 119,187-88 al-H uqûq (newspaper), 202 Husayn, f ahà, 152,205,208 Ibn abl Diyáf, Ahmad, 66 n.82 Ibn al-Athir, 1 9 ,3 0 ,3 2 ,5 3 -5 5 ,1 4 3 n.14 Ibn Hishám, 28 Ibn Ishaq, 28 Ibn Khaldun, 29, 31,124,129 n .8 5 ,132, 142

Ibn al-Zubayr, 'Urwah, 28 Ibrähim, Háfi?, 208 Ibrahim Pasha (Egyptian ruler), 71,92, 172-74 Indexes, 196 n. 14 L'Instruction publique en Egypte (Ya'qub Artïn), 187 Interpretation and bias, historical, 15-18, 205-6, 208-9. See also under names of individual authors Ishäq, Adib, 188,190, 202 al-Islám wa U?ül al-Hukm (All Abd alRäziq), 152, 208 Islamic Charitable Foundation, 147, 204 Islamic Progress Society, 170-71 Islamic solidarity. See Pan-Islam Ismá'il (Egyptian ruler): and AH Mubarak, 111-14,117; educational policy of, 88, 92-95,99; and Egyptian press, 201-2; and immigration of Syrians to Egypt, 185-86, 202,207; students sent abroad by, 98; and al-Tahtäwi, 72-73; Western­ ization during the reign of, 92-95, 18586,188, 206-7; and Ya'qùb Artïn, 186 Isnäd (chain of authorities), 30-31 Italian language, 207 Italo-Turkish War of 1911,152

al-Jabarti, Abd al Rahman, 43-56; and biographical tradition, 50-52, 55-56,60; and chronicle, 51-56,60-61; vs. his contemporaries, 56-60; early life of, 4 4 45; on the French, 46-48, 52-55,60-61, 80; historical objectivity of, 54-55; his­ torical purpose of, 49; historical repu­ tation of, 43,49; interpretive elements in, 5 4-55,60-61,133,141; literary style of, 56; on Mamluks, 47-48, 55; and medieval Islamic historical tradition, 27; as memorialist, 32,61 n.3; on Muham­ mad AH, 46,48-49,55; on Ottomans, 46-48; vs. Salim al-Naqqásh, 189; as source for later authors, 143 n .1 5 ,144 n .2 7 ,175,181; and tabaqát literature, 56; and al-Tahtáwi, 81-82; on 'ulamä', 47, 55; use of saj' by, 56-57,60 Jalläd, Phillip, 119,181,187 al-Jàmi'ah (journal), 186 al-jámi'ah al-Mi$riyyah (The Egyptian University), 102-3, 210 n.36 al-Jam'iyyah al-fughrafiyyah al-Khudaywiyyah (Geographical Society), 204 al-Jam'iyyah al-Khayriyyah al-Islämiyyah (Islamic Charitable Foundation), 147, 204


Index Jam 'iyyatal-M a'árif, 204 Jam 'iyyat TaraqqVl-lslám (Islamic Progress Society), 170-71 al-Jaridaft (newspaper), 152,155 al-Jazzär Pasha, 154,139,160-61 Jevdet Pasha, Ahmed, 5 9,66 n .8 2 ,181 Jinan (journal), 203 al-K äfift Ta'rfkh M i?r al-Qadim wa'l-Hadith (Míkhá'íl Shárúbim), 133-36 Kamäl, Ahmad, 130-31 Kámil, A ll Fahmi, 169 Kámil, M uçtafà, 146-66; and 'All Mubárak, 127 n .3 6 ,149; on the British, 158- 62; and Club tor Higher Education, 151,204; and constitutional movement, 151; early life of, 149-50; and educa­ tion, 9 6 ,1 0 7 -8 n.88; and Egyptian Uni­ versity, 102; European contacts of, 150; and historical purpose, 156,181; in­ fluence of 'Abdulláh al-Nadim on, 1464 7 ,1 4 9 -5 0 ; interpretive elements in, 15 9 - 62,174; journalistic activities of, 149,156, 203; literary style of, 21-22, 158-59,174,181; minor works of, 150, 156; and Muhammad 'All, 160; and Muhammad Farid, 168; and National Party, 151-52; nationalism in works of, 153-56, 159-62, 174, 181; and PanArabism, 155; Pan-Islam in, 152-61, 167,184 n.51; political activities of, 14856,177-78; sources used by, 162; on 'Urábi Revolution, 154,159,161-62; use o is a j' by, 158 Kàna wa Yakùnu (‘Abdullah al-Nadim), 148 Katàtib, 90, 93, % , 106 n.62, n.60 al-Kaw kab al-Sharqi (newspaper), 202 Khobar (tribal report), 2 8 ,3 0 -3 2 ,4 9 ,1 3 2 al-Khashshäb, Ismâ'il, 45,58 K hitaf literature, 32; of A li Mubârak, 109, 115-19; of al-Maqrizi, 36,116; of Mu­ hammad Kurd 'All, 127 n.47 al-K hitaJ al-Tawfiqiyyah al-Jadidah li-M i$r al-Q áhirah wa M udunihá toa Biládihá alQadimah al-M ashhùrah (Ali Mubárak), 109,116-19,181 Kitàb Ta'rikh Mi?r al-H adith (Jurjl Zavdán), 193-95 Kurd A ll, Muhammad, 127 n.47 Kuttáb, 9 0 ,9 3 ,9 6 ,1 0 6 n.60, n.62 Ld’ihat Rajab (Education Act of 1868), 9 3 94,111 Language reform, 21-22,203


Languages, European, 9 5 -% , 100,1% n .6 ,206-7 LayàiiSàtilf (Háfi? Ibrahim), 208 al-Laythl, Ali, 149 Levantines, 190 Libraries, 99-101 Literary style. SeeSaj'; Style, historical al-Uwd’ (newspaper), 151-52,155,169-70, 178,202-3 Lutfi al-Sayyid, Ahmad, % , 103,152,15556,164 n .3 0 ,180,207 al-M adrasah (journal) 149,156 Madrasat al-Aisun (School of Languages), 7 1 ,7 2 ,9 0 -9 2 ,9 4 Madrasat al-Mu 'allimin al-M arkaziyyah, 94, 99,101-2,112,119 Madrasat al-T a’rikh wa'1-Jughräfiyä (School of History and Geography), 74 Mahhiz, Naguib, 164 n.32 al-M ahnisah (newspaper), 188,202 Makáryüs, Shähln, 153 Mamluk Egypt, 33-37 Mandhij al-Albáb al-M ifriyyah fi M abáhij alÂdab al-'A$riyyah (al-Tah(áwi), 74-79, 128 n.60, n.69 al-Manfalútí, Mu$tafà, 206 al-Maqrizi, Taqi'1-Dín, 32,36,116,124,127 n .5 2 ,131 Marxist historiographv, 19-20,25-26 n.33, n.47 al-Ma$'alah al-Sharqiyyah (Mustafà Kámil), 156-62 al-Mas'údi, 29-32,35,142; vs. al-Jabarti, 66 n.82; as memorialist, 32,55 al-Mawsù'àt (journal), 169 M azhar al-Tacjdis bi-Dhaháb Dawlat alFaransis (al-Jabarti), 45-49,52,68 al-Mäzini, 208 Medievalists, 130-31 Memoirs, 32,61 n .3 ,132 Menou, Jacques, 47-48,58,64 n.57 "Mirrors of Princes" literature, 26 n.47, 29,85 n.71 Mi$r li'l-Mi$riyyin (Salim al-Naqqàsh), 188-91 Mixed Courts, 207 al-Mu'ayyad (newspaper), 151-52,156 Mubärak, AH, 109-19; and ‘Abbás 1, Hü­ l l ; and Arabic language, 206; and Dar al-Kutub, 99,112; and Dàr al-'Ulûm, 1012; early life of, 109-10; educational reforms of, 93-94,110-11,114; and historical purpose, 115-16; and Ismâ'il, 111-12,114; and ismâ'il Sarhank Pasha, 138,142; literary style of, 118,125;

Index minor works of, 114-15; and M u la ta Kamil, 127 n .4 6 ,149; nationalism in, 113-14; official positions held by, 11013; political philosophy of, 112-15; and Sa'id, 111; as source for later authors, 175; and Syrian-Egyptian historians, 187; and fabaqdt literature, 118; and alJah täw i, 71-73; transitional character of works of, 131; and 'Uràbï Revolu­ tion, 112-14; and Westernization, 11112,206 Muhammad 'Ali (Egyptian ruler): ‘All Mubärak on, 129 n.95; Amin Sami on, 123,129 n.95; educational policy of, 8 8 91 ,9 9 ; hostility toward al-Jabarti, 61 n.4; interest in history of, 67-68,74; Ismä'il Sarhank Pasha on, 139-40; al-Jabarti on, 4 6 -4 8 ,5 5 ; Mikhä'il Shárübim on, 134,136; modernization efforts of, 185; Muhammad Farid on, 171-73; Muÿfafà Kämil on, 160-61; alJa h fa w i on, 76-79,81; and al-W aqà'ï al-M i$riyyah, 201 M uhandiskhdnah (School of Engineering), 94,110 al-M uqattam (newspaper), 153 al-M uqtataf (journal), 186,191,202 Músa, Salämah, 154,156 Music, 208 al-Muwaylihi, Ibrahim, 127 n .4 1 ,204 N ádial-M adáris td-U lyä (Qub for Higher Education), 1 5 1 ,2Ö4 al-Nadim, ‘Abdullah, 112-13,146-50, 177,204 N ah4ah (Egyptian renaissance), 72,92-93, 1 8 5 ,1 8 8 ,2 0 1 -2 ,2 0 6 -7 Näji, Ibrähim, 208 al-Najjär, Husayn Fawzi, 22 Napoleon Bonaparte. See French Occupa­ tion of Egypt al-Naqqäsh, Salim, 148,188-91,202 Nationalism: in Egypt, 1 7 ,3 6 ,8 5 n.63, 149-5 1 ,1 6 5 n .4 2 ,177-78; in Egyptian historiography, 17-18,208-9; in histor­ ical writings, 23; in modem Middle Eastern history, 18, 85 n.64; in SyrianEgyptian history, 186,191; in Western history, 17. See also under names o f mdividual authors National Party, 147, 151-55, 1 6 9-70,18081,183 n n .Í6 -1 7 Newspapers, 201-4. See also under indivi­ dual names Nihâyat al-ljâz fi Sirat Sàkin al-H ijâz (al-Tah(âwi), 7 4 ,8 0 ,2 0 3

Nile River, 114-17,119-21,123-24 Nimr, Fàris, 153,202 Nizami schools, 90-97 Novels, historical, 192-93,198 n.41 Nübär Pasha, 112-13,167 Nukhbat al-Fikr fi Tadbir Nil Mi$r ('All Mubärak), 114 Numismatics, 117 Objectivity, historical, 14-18,23. See also under names o f individual authors Opera, 93,188,207 Orientalists, European, 192-93,199,205 Ottoman-Egyptian solidarity. See PanIslam Palace School (Istanbul), 39 Pan-Arabism, 181. See also under names o f individual authors Pan-Islam, 146,164 n .3 2 ,179-80,190; and Muhammad Farid, 169-71,175-81; and Muçtatà Kamil, 153-61,167,184 n.51 Paper mills, 200 Party of the Nation, 152 PhUikeHetairia, 157 Poetry, 29,164 n .33,208 Press, Egyptian, 17,185,199,205 Press Law (1881), 170 Primary schools, 90-97 Printing presses, 200-201,205 La propriété foncière en Egypte (Ya'qub Artïn), 187 Proverbs, 195 Purpose, historical, 18-20,28,205. See also under names o f individual authors Qalam al-Tarjamah (Translation Depart­ ment), 71-72,90-92 Qámüs al-idárah iva'1-Qadá' (Phillip Jallád), 187 Q afral-'A yni(secondary school): and 'Ali Mubarak, 109-12; and Dáral-Kutub, 99; history curriculum in, 94; and Ismä'il Sarhank Pasha, 136; and Jurji Zaydän, 191; al-Tah(äwi's history studied in, 90 Qur'an schools (katàtib), 90,93,96,106 n.60, n.62 al-Räfi'i, 'Abd al-Rahmàn, 141; on Arab nationalism, 180-81; on al-Jabarti, 66 n.84; and Muhammad Farid's memoirs, 182 n.6 Ràs al-Tin (secondary school), 90,94 Rashid al-Din, 32 Rawdat al-M addris (journal), 73,112,200, 203


Index La revolution égyptienne (Muhammad §abrï), 209 Rhyme, 2 0 -2 1 ,2 9 -3 0 ,3 5 ,3 9 ,4 1 n .3 1 ,208. See also under names o f individual authors Riyàçl Pasha, 112-13,126 n.27 Russo-Japanese War (1904), 164 n.33 Russo-Turkish Wars, 157 $abri, Ismâ'îl, 149 $abri, Muhammad, 141,209 de Sacy, Silvestre, 70,81 Sa id (Egyptian ruler) 71 -7 2 ,9 2 ,9 8 , 111,

201 Sa'id, Hasan, 102 S aj' (rhymed prose), 2 0 -2 1 ,2 9 -3 0 ,3 5 ,3 9 , 41 n .3 1 ,208. See also under names o f indi­ vidual authors Sami, Amin: career of, 119-20; and his­ torical purpose, 120-22; literary style of, 122,125; minor works of, 123-24; political philosophy of, 119-20; rela­ tionship to Egypt's ruling family, 12324,129 n.95; sources used by, 122-24; transitional character of works of, 131; use of saj' by, 122 $annù', Ya'qüb, 207 Sarhank Pasha, Ismá'il: career of, 136-37; and historical purpose, 139; influence of 'Ali Mubarak on, 138,142; sources used by, 138; use of saj‘ by, 142,144 n.31 Sarrúf, Ya'qüb, 153,186,202 al-Sayyid, Ahmad Lutfl, 9 6 ,103,152, 155-5 6 ,1 6 4 n .3 0 ,180,207 School of Engineering, 94,110 School of History and Geography, 74 School of Languages, 7 1 ,7 2 ,9 0 -9 2 ,9 4 Schools. See Education; Individual insti­ tutions Selim III (Ottoman sultan), 4 6,6 7 de Sèves, Colonel, 72,174,175 al-Sham s al-M ushriqah (Mu$)afà Kámil), 164 n.33 Sharif Pasha, 112-13,135,147 al-Sharqäwi, 'Abdullah (Shaykh), 48, 5758 al-Sharqäwi, Mahmud: on al-Jabarti, 53 Shärübim, M ikhail, 133-36,191,196 n.5 Sha wish, 'Abd al-'Aziz (Shaykh), 170, 178 al-Shayyäl, jamäl al-Din: on Ismá'il Sar­ hank Pasha, 137 al-Shifá' (newspaper), 202 Shirkat Ja b ‘ al-Kutub al- ‘A rabiyyah, 204 Shumayyil, Shibli, 186,202 Shuqayr, Na'úm, 195


Statistics: used by 'Ali Mubärak, 118; used by Amin Sàmi, 121-22,124,128 n.71; used by Ismá'il Sarhank Pasha, 138, 140,142; used by Syrian Egyptian his­ torians, 186-88 Steppat, Fritz: on Muÿtafà Kami), 153-55 Style, historical, 20-23,205-6; and "direct style," 21-22,203; in late medieval Ottoman historiography, 21; in medi­ eval Islamic historiography, 20-21; in modem Egyptian historiography, 2122; in modem Iranian historiography, 26 n.43; and Muhammad 'Abduh, 203; in Ottoman-Egyptian historiography, 37,39; press influence on, 203-4; in Syrian-Egyptian historiography, 18687; in Western historiography, ¿1-21. See also under names o f individual authors Suez Canal, 92,117,180 Sultan, 'Umar, 170 al-Suyufi, 33,34 Syrian Egyptian historians, 185-% ; chronicle in writings of, 186; and Egyptian press, 202-3; Muptafà Kamil on, 153; nationalism in writings of, 186; and Westernization of Egypt, 185-86, 207 Jabaqât literature, 29,3 0 ,3 2 ,3 4 ,5 8 ,1 9 5 . See also under names o f individual authors al-Tabari, 28-29,32, 3 5 ,66n.82 Tahà, 'Ali Mahmud, 208 al-Jahtàwi, Rifá'ah Ráfi', 67-86; and 'Abbäs I, 71, HO; and 'Ali Mubárak, 7 1 73; career of, 69-74,92; compared with al-Jabarti, 81-82; and education, 90,92; historical objectivity of, 77-78; and his­ torical purpose, 76,78-80,83 n.37; in­ terpretive elements in writings of, 7 5 78,118,141-42; and Ismá'il, 71-73; liter­ ary style of, 22,80-81,203; and M admsat al-Alsun, 71; modem vs. traditional elements in writings of, 76-82; and Mu­ hammad 'Ali, 69,7 0 ,7 4 ,7 6 ,7 7 -7 9 ,8 1 ; nationalism in writings of, 75-79,83 n.37; Pan-Arabism in writings of, 75,77; personal estate of, 70-71; and Qalam alTarjamah, 71,90-91; and Shaykh Hasan al-'A((ár, 69; and Sa'id, 71-72; and Saint-Simonism, 75; as student in alAzhar, 69; in Sudan, 71-72,110; as translator, 70-72; travel to France, 6 9 71,210 n.34; use of saj' by, 80-81; and alW aqà'ï al-M ifriyyah, 71,73 a l-Ja ’if (newspaper), 147 Takhlip al-lbriz fiTalkhip B àm (al-Tahtäwi),

Index 6 9 ,7 1 ,7 4 , 79-81 al-T ankit wa'1-Tabkît (newspaper), 147,148 Taqlä, Bishärah, and Salim, 149,190,202, 204 Ttufimm al-N tl (Amin Sami), 119-25 Ta’rikh al-D awlah al-'Aliyyah a l-‘Uthmâniyyah (Muhammad Farid), 175-81 Ta'rikh M i$r al-H adith, 193-95 Ta'rikh M uddat al-Fanm sts bi-M i$r (alJabarti), 45 Ta'rikh al-Rusul wa'1-Mulùk (al-Tabari), 32 Ta’rikh-i G häzäni (Rashid al-Din), 32 Tawfiq (Egyptian ruler): Ali Mubarak on, 113,126 n.27; educational policy of, 95; Ismä'il Sarhank on, 140; Muhammad Farid on, 169; Mu$tafà Kamil on, 162; and national movement, 148-49,162, 177 Taxation, 9 6 ,1 3 4 ,1 7 3 ,1 8 7 Taymúr, Ahmad, 204 Teachers' College, 9 4 ,9 9 ,1 0 1 -2 ,1 1 2 ,1 1 9 'Telegraph Affair" (1876), 168 Theater, 188,207 al-Tijdrah (newspaper), 188 Tilsit, Treaty of, 179 Translation Department, 71-72,90-92 Tuhfat al-N àzirin ('Abdulláh al-Sharqáwi), 57-58 al-Tûnisi, Muhammad b. 'Umar, 56-57 al-Turk, Niqúlá, 59-61 Turkish influence: on Egyptian Mamluk historiography, 35; on Middle East, 33; on Ottoman-Egyptian historiography, 36-39 Turkish language, 2 1 ,3 5 -3 7 ,2 0 1 ,2 0 9 n.6 Turks, Ottoman, 37 -3 8 ,4 7 -4 8 Túsún, 'Umar (Prince), 1 0 6 n .6 7 ,174 'Uräbi, Ahmad, 146-47 'Uräbi Revolution: 'Abdulláh al-Nadim in, 146-48; 'Ali Mubarak on, 112-14; and Egyptian education, 95; Ilyás Zakhürah on, 195; Ismâ'il Sarhank Pasha on, 140; Mahmud Fahmi on, 132-33;

Mikhä'il Shärübim on, 135-36; Muÿtafà Kàmil on, 154,159-61; and Pan-Islam, 189; Salim al-Naqqäsh on, 188-90 al-Ustádh (newspaper), 148-49 WadFl-NO (newspaper), 200,201-2 Yiafd (political party), 171 al-W aqâ'ï al-M ifriyyah (newspaper), 69, 71,73,201,203 Westernization of Egypt, 199-209; in British Occupation, 206-7; and Egyptian school system, 89-91,93-98,102-3,112; in historical writings, 1% n.14; in reign of Ismá'il, 92-95,206-7; resident Orientalists on, 205; and Syrian writers, 185-86 Women, 80,93,102-3,119,152,210 n.34 Yanni, Jurji, 203 al-Ya'sùb (journal), 201 Young Turks, 171,179-80,184n.47 Ypsilantis, Alexander, 157,165 n.53 Ypsilantis, Dimitri, 157,165 n.53 Yüsuf, Ali (Shaykh), 151,168,178 Zaghlúl, Sa'd, 96,102,171,206-7 Zakhúr, Anton Rafael, 185 Zakhúrah, Ilyás, 195 ai-Zamdn (journal), 191 Zaydän, Jurji: historical purpose of, 19394; interpretive elements in, 194-95; journalistic activities of, 203; literary style of, 21, 204; minor works of, 19193; nationalism in, 191; objectivity in, 194-95; originality of, 192-93; PanArabism in, 198; political philosophy of, 194-95; sources used by, 194; use of saj' by, 197 n.29; and Westernization of Egypt, 186 al-Zuhri, Ibn Shiháb, 28 Zurayq, Qustantin: on nationalism and bias in historical writings, 24 n .10,85 n.64