The First Part of “Conquest of Syria,” with the Marginal Commentary of “The Eye-pleasing Treasure on Egypt’s Rulers and Sultans”


Muhammad ibn ʻUmar al-Waqidi (747 or 748–823) was one of the earliest historians of Islam. He was born in Medina, in present-day Saudi Arabia, and later moved to Baghdad, where he was appointed a judge by Abbasid caliphs Harun al-Rashid and his son al-Ma'mun. Al-Waqidi is best known for his histories of early Muslim conquests, and for his detailed and well-organized accounts. The two-volume book presented here contains the first part of Futūḥ al-shām (The conquest of Syria), commonly ascribed to al-Waqidi. The main text is accompanied in the margins by a separate treatise, Tuḥfat al-nāẓirīn fī man waliya misr min al-wulāt wa al-salāṭīn (The eye-pleasing treasure on Egypt’s rulers and sultans), by ʿAbd Allah al-Sharqawi (circa 1737–circa 1813), who was the imam of al-Azhar during the French campaign in Egypt. In the main text, al-Waqidi recounts in 32 entries the events that surrounded the conquest of Syria during the rule of the first two Muslim caliphs, Abu Bakr (reigned 632–34) and ʿUmar (634–44). The entries begin with Abu Bakr’s request to the kings of Yemen to join the Syria campaign. Other entries include such major events as the Battle of Yarmuk (636) and the surrender of Jerusalem to ʿUmar. The entries end with the surrender of Antioch to the caliphate in 637. The marginal treatise by al-Sharqawi is a concise history of the rulers of Egypt, beginning with the Muslim conquest in 641. The treatise is organized as an introduction on the “virtues of Egypt” followed by three chapters. The first chapter covers the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Ikhshidid eras; the second the Fatimids, the Ayyubids, and the Mamluks; and the third the Ottoman Turks. The marginal treatise ends with the reign of al-Ashraf Khalil, the eighth Mamluk sultan (reigned 1290–93), which suggests that the publisher might have planned to publish more of both works. The book was published in Cairo by al-Meligiyah Press in 1912.

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Publication Information

al-Meligiyah Press, Cairo


Title in Original Language

الجزء الأول من فتوح الشام وبهامشه تحفة الناظرين فيمن ولى مصر من الولاة والسلاطين تأليف الإمام الشيخ عبد الله الشرقاوي

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Physical Description

2 volumes (180, 172 folios) ; 28 centimeters

Last updated: September 29, 2017