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Islam in Egypt

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:P

 

yes it is a sign, and there are lots of signs every day, but how many of us think and learn from these signs......

 

:D

 

:D

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Salaam Brothers and Sisters,

i dont mean to break your post.

I am wanting to travel to egypt next year and was wondering if you have any advice or comments you can give me about your country.

It would be much appreciated.

WaSalaam

Sister Verity :D

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essalamu alikumu

 

welcome insha Allah sister, well i guess u'll be doing lots of site seeing down here insha Allah.

 

ofcourse u know about the pharonic histroy and this is all over egypt from north to south, so u'll have plenty to see if u r intersted.

 

Islamic site seeing is loctaed mainly in cairo, there's also loads of that, but plz take care of the masjeds that have graves in it, cuz there r lots around the old city.

 

If ur coming in the summer time, well . . . u must be used to hot weather, humidity and polution :D and also u'll find lots of resorts in both the med. sea and the red sea.

 

U'll enjoy oriental food . . . I've been living here all my life and still enjoying it.

 

hope that would help u. and if u need any more information, plz search the net :D just kidding, if u want to know anything that I have information about, i'll be glade to help.

 

essalamu alikumu

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:D

 

 

The Islamic revival in Egypt

 

By Magdi Abdelhadi

BBC Arab affairs analyst

 

 

The call to prayer billowing out of loudspeakers atop of Cairo's Masjids five times a day has become a landmark of the city's soundscape.

 

Even the smallest Masjid is nowadays equipped with a loudspeaker - a major culprit in the city's ever rising noise pollution.

 

At times, you could hear raucous voices coming at you from all directions against the constant cacophony of car honks, street vendors and general street noise in one of the world's most densely populated metropolises.

 

Gone are the days when the call to prayer came from a mellifluous tenor or baritone unaccompanied by the crackle of a rusty loudspeaker. It used to be the beauty of the voice that was part of the seduction to pray.

 

 

The magnified call to prayer, the building of Masjids are all symptoms of a relentless rise of Islamist politics

 

 

 

It is not only volume which has gone up over the years in Egypt, but numbers too.

During the early 1970s when I studied in Egypt, I used to walk by a man with a long beard on the corner of a busy street in downtown Cairo, a loudspeaker in hand urging passers-by to donate money to build yet more Masjids.

 

Nearly 30 years later, I found him still standing there. His beard is now grey, but little else has changed. I wonder how many Masjids he has collected money for!

 

Palpable transformations

 

Estimates of how many new Masjids have been built in Egypt over the past few decades vary a lot, from tens to hundreds of thousands, depending on whom you ask: the government or its critics, who say it has done little or nothing to stem the tide of Islamism sweeping across the country.

 

The magnified call to prayer, the building of Masjids are both symptoms of a relentless rise of Islamist politics and general religiosity over the past three decades.

 

 

The government has dealt decisively - some would say brutally - with the militant Islamist threat during the 1980s and 90s, but left the ideological march totally unchallenged.

As a result, the social landscape has undergone some palpable transformations, which raises the question whether that is only a prelude to a more comprehensive change yet to come.

 

Remaining faithful to tradition

 

Writing in the semi-official Al-Ahram, a regular columnist reproaches today's Egyptians for failing to commemorate an ancient Pharaonic ritual of thanksgiving to the Nile.

 

Egyptians should remain faithful to this tradition, she writes, not least because "Egypt is the gift of the Nile" as the great Greek historian, Herodotus, once wrote, but more importantly because the Nile was mentioned in the holy Koran.

 

The argument epitomises a common view in Egypt now - the need to justify and sanction all forms of human endeavour - from the socially trivial to the deadly serious - within a Koranic framework.

 

This has long been a byproduct of the Islamist discourse, but the tendency has gained unprecedented proportions over the years.

 

Even the usual Egyptian "hello" and "goodbye" (ahlan, ma'a al-salama) appear to be giving way to "There is No God but Allah", a phrase used only in religious contexts before.

 

Return of the veil

 

Probably nothing characterises this change in the Egyptian social landscape more graphically than the re-emergence of the veil.

 

Some 80 years ago, about the same time the founding father of the modern Islamist revival in Egypt, Hasan Al-Banna, was recruiting the first cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian women staged their rebellion against the veil.

 

 

A combination of market forces and doctrinal flexibility have given birth to a new fashion: the Islamic headscarf

 

 

By the 1960s the veil was a thing of the past in Egypt. Now more and more professional and well educated women - doctors, broadcasters, engineers, lawyers - say they have donned the "veil" voluntarily.

They are not the usual suspects: poor women from society's lower classes, long thought to be traditional recruiting ground for Islamist activists. These women come from well-off families, speak foreign languages and have very clear ideas about their choices.

 

The Islamist march has made new inroads into social environments which had in the past remained immune to its campaign.

 

But the veil worn by Egyptian women today is not the austere black cover worn by their grandmothers, and is still worn by women in the Gulf.

 

Drowning out liberal voices

 

A combination of market forces and doctrinal flexibility (on the part of the Islamist ideologues) have given birth to a new fashion: the Islamic headscarf, which you see advertised on huge billboards in Cairo and is clearly very popular.

 

 

The few voices of secular and liberal opposition are to remain drowned out by the loudspeakers

 

 

Wherever you go, most of the women you are most likely to see in public places are wearing a colourful headscarf with a Western-style dress that covers the whole body.

The combination suggests that the effort to forge a compromise between the adamantly secular and Muslim values has entered a new stage.

 

However, in the absence of a grassroot liberal or secular political movement in Egypt, the politics of Islamist discourse - deriving legitimacy for one's own ideas and behaviour from the Koran and Islamic tradition - is set to continue to dominate the scene in Egypt.

 

Meanwhile, the few voices of secular and liberal opposition are to remain drowned out by the loudspeakers for some time to come.

 

What do you think of the author's comments? Send your responses using the form below.

 

 

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

 

 

The secular voice is dead and the cultural war has been lost

Ginan Rauf, USA

 

The religious revival in Egypt is really quite distressing and it marks an abysmal failure to promote secular values. Nobody seems to be interested in discussing anything other than religion or the return to the traditional hijab. I for one am totally fed up with this issue and fail to understand how the religious revival can actually solve Egypt's problems. After all, the loudspeakers and head-scarves have hardly made the country less corrupt or more ethical. Complaints against dishonesty are legion. The secular voice is dead and the cultural war has been lost. A great civilization is being reduced to a narrowly defined religiosity that is gradually suffocating our greatest traditions. I for one mourn the loss. We are captives of this foolish idea that all traditions- regardless of their intrinsic worth- must be defended at all costs. Let's face it, every culture has harmful traditions that must be questioned. To question those traditions is not to lose one's identity as so many believe.

Ginan Rauf, USA

Indeed, on the surface, Egypt is tending towards a movement of Islamization. However, after living in Cairo for a year, I have concluded that the donning of the veil and other expressions of Islam are not a political response or 'ideological march', but a social reaction. Many women wear the veil in order to avoid harassment. The bottom line is the majority of the population is Muslim; there should not be unnecessary alarm when the people seek to find refuge in their religion. The danger arises when the more powerful Mubarak regime aggressively pursues oppression of religion, alienating the masses and giving extremists a reason to fight back.

Natasha, USA

 

 

Orthodox Judaism shares much of the same social concerns as Islam

israel Dalven, israel

 

If the author's concern is with the potential of Islamic zeal to turn violent, he should have mentioned this more specifically. It would seem his concern is against Islamic social tradition itself. Well, other people do have other ways of life and not all want to mimic the West, even if it means less material wealth. Orthodox Judaism shares much of the same social concerns as Islam, and I applaud the choice of Islamic women to chose a traditional and modestly-dressed path in their private life.

israel Dalven, israel

I agree with the author, but there is a major component to this currently delicate situation in Egypt worth mentioning, and that is of the relationship between Muslims and the country's 12-15% Coptic Orthodox Christians. The author ought to at least mention the struggle they are facing which ranges from mere discrimination in the workplace to outright persecution! This is also seen as something that has started with the growing popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood.

George, USA

 

 

I hope Egypt can continue to find a balance between the secular and religious

Patty, USA

 

I had to smile when reading this article. I have two sisters-in-law who embody exactly what you describe. They are very independent women who wear the veil voluntarily but who choose to adapt their dress (and their hijab) to more colorful Western styles. I, too, when living in Cairo do the same. I hope Egypt can continue to find a balance between the secular and religious (as women seem to be doing with their manner of dress) so show the world that it is possible to have a country which is predominantly Muslim yet respectful of other faiths as well as other political and philosophical views.

Patty, USA

The examples of Egypt and other countries, including those in Europe and North America, show that Islamic elements like the headscarf and praying in the Masjid are gaining ground not among the 'poor, uneducated and easily brainwashed' masses, but also among educated professionals who have made these decisions consciously. Liberals and secularists should welcome and facilitate this modern Muslim revival. To oppose it would be to contradict their very raison- d'etre, their values of freedom, equality and justice.

Ali Ahmed, Canada

 

The awareness of rights given to women by Islam is rising and as such empowering women. The headscarf ihas become for some a political symbol but for the majority it is simply a religious practice. The more the western world antagonises and demonises, the more these people become aware and curious. What is happening in Egypt is a combination of socio-economic-political and religious factors. In many ways it resembles the struggle of African Americans during the 1950s and 1960s.

John, UK

 

This is wonderful. Those who are against Islam should take note that it is not only the poor who are religiously observant. Hijab is not oppression, rather it is freedom. Unfortunately, however, you will have liberals who blast such movements while claiming themselves to stand for freedom. Egypt is showing the free will of the people. This fact alone confuses those who are anti-Islam.

Ibrahim, USA

 

 

Western critics always draw a picture as if these changes are pushed by a hidden evil power which will make things worse for its citizens and dangerous for Westerners!

Hegab, Japan

 

I am not sure if this is a news story describing a phenomenon in a country or an article written to express the author's opinion, as I see he is mixing his observations with his personal attitudes! Many of the phenomena mentioned in his comments are true but his attitude is a bit biased. His biases - unfortunately - are shared with many of the Western critics of the rise of the Islamism in Egypt. They all get irritated to see some people are making their own choice to go closer towards their religion. So, they will always draw a picture as if these changes are pushed by a hidden evil power which will definitely make things worse for its citizens and dangerous for Westerners!

Hegab, Japan

I just came back from visiting Egypt after a long nine year absence. I was astonished to witness the exponential increase of the number of women who wore the veil. I have to admit, if Egyptians were confused between Islamic and Western values, they sure have found a middle ground!

Tarek, USA

 

The usual Egyptian 'hello' and 'goodbye' (ahlan, ma'a al-salama)" appear to have given away to "Al Salam Aleekom" (May Peace be with you), which has Islamic roots, as the end words of all prayers. As a Muslim native Egyptian and Arabic speaker, I assure you that no salutation exists as mentioned "There is No God but Allah" (La Illah ela Allah). The author's exaggeration has diminished the factual insights and rendering on this social/religious trend.

Ashraf Moftah, Cairo, Egypt

 

To understand Islam and the Islamic culture, you should be more polite and civilised. Dig deeper into other religions and you will understand that Islam is not a religion, it calls on a particular mode of life, when the clergy and secular society are separated, but not at odds. That's the might of Islam and its edge over other religions (except for 'northern' Buddhism, maybe). For myself, an atheist, Islam means the only fundamental foundation for everything you are about to create.

Israfil, Azerbaijan

 

When I visited Egypt five years ago Islam was evident everywhere. But the thing that was also evident was the religious tolerance: there was a Christian minority, and nobody had a problem with that. On the other hand, I visited the upper Nile, around Luxor - a long way, geographically and politically from Cairo.

Simon Richardson, UK

 

A major factor in the revival of Islam in many countries like Egypt is the sense of arrogance against the West. It concerns a search for self identity as people feel more and more insecure with the West. And in the end they realise that showing that they are Muslims is what their identity is.

Anis Hoda, USA

 

 

Story from BBC NEWS:

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/talking_point/special/Islam/3136154.stm"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/talk...lam/3136154.stm[/url]

 

Published: 2003/09/26 11:08:23 GMT

 

© BBC MMV

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There will be an exhibition in a museum here in Sweden which they will have 2 oil paintings of a couple having sexual intercourse and the surat al-fatiha is written on it.. This Tuesday!! :D :D :D

 

So please brothers and sister we would like to tell the whole world muslims to stop this people to put it out for the show.

 

The email for those responsibile people are :

 

Hakan.thorn[at]varldskulturmus

et.se

jette.sandahl[at]varldskulturm

seet.se

 

kontakt number: 0046 31-63 27 30

 

 

PLease pass this to as many muslims throughout the world as possible.

 

wsalam

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:D

where is this happening???

:D

Edited by Mohammad ibn Naeem

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Salaam Brothers and Sisters,

i dont mean to break your post.

I am wanting to travel to egypt next year and was wondering if you have any advice or comments you can give me about your country.

It would be much appreciated.

WaSalaam

Sister Verity :D

 

Wa alaikum as-salaam sos Verity,

 

Oh! Lucky you, you are going to Egypt? I was just there - last month in fact. I had such a great time there, and I really recommend you to visit Cairo, with its old Masjids, the Al-Azhar, big market (khan al-khalili), the Pyramids and I could go on and on. Be sure to also see other places as well in Egypt - Aswan, Luxor..and I heard Alexandria also was nice (although I didn't get to see that place).

 

I really want to return, as I loved Egypt from the first moment I was there. Insha'Allah I will be able to go back and take an Arabic course over there at the Fajr institute.

 

I also felt very safe travelling in Egypt. People are really friendly and helpful (but just beware of sneeky taxi drivers and sellers that try to trick you to pay more than you should).

 

Happy travelling!

 

Fiamanillah :smile:

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Assalamu Alaykum,

 

Interesting discussion about egypt. If anyI visited Egypt roughly 2 years ago. It was a lovely trip! advice for anyone visiting egypt, don't use the local camels to go the pyramid!!! Can you imagine, they priced the trip to the pyramid at about 500 Egyptian pounds- long tour, 350 medium tour and about 200 short tour. They even said out of 'kindness' they will take us on a medium tour for the price of short.

 

The funny thing is, from the location we set off with the camels, we could see the pyramid, but they took we went on camel and horse back into the desert, then back near the set off location to the pyramids. Of course they knew we will be tired and thirsty on the way, so they took care of that by making us buy Turbans and cold drinks on the way. It's not like we had a choice!!! it was blazing hot and from nowhere, one will be handed a chilling coke bottle.

 

Then by the time we arrived to the pyramids, the sphinx, they knew we will be too exhausted and hence they will not need to give us a tour kind of talk!!! We spent hours to the pyramid, then like magic on the way back, we were back in the location we set off in just a few minutes!

 

B4 all that, our tour guide took us to a so called museum, 'The papyrus..' something. We went in, and they allowed us to go in for 'free' as they said. I was surprised how small the museum was, with no mummies or anything like that, but full of papyrus portraits. they even offered us 'free drinks' and gave us a short history about the 'museum and papyru'. Then they went straight to business and said, now which papyrus portraits are you buying. It was a shop not a museum after all!!! we were expected to buy atleast something for their 'hospitality'.

 

Then our tour guide said he would take us to the 'Grand Bazaar'. He took us to a local corner shop, and we only realised how fixed the prices were when we later went to a market.

 

What about the great stuff in Egypt??? Hmm, Sheraton Cairo we lodged in was great!!! The food, espcially the breakfast and the morrocan restaurant.

The malls were not bad, considering we were in Africa!!!Ice skating and the nile cruise were great. Visit to Al-Azhar was great too.

 

Actually we went to Egypt bcos i planned to go to school there. I badly wanted to learn arabic (and still badly want to learn it) so i decided to school in Egypt. I went over to American University cairo, but didn't want to stay there. I went to Al-azhar see if i can get to study arabic for a year, then buzz off. We got to meet the Big Sheikh of al-azhar, and he said i could come on scholarship. We met a guy who was suppose to assist me back in me homecountry, nut when we went back he was never there!!! so the arrangements looked dodgy, and now here i am, in a pre-university course- The International Baccaulareate (IB). I don't plan to go to study in egypt anymore, but insha Allah i plan to study arabic by the side to whichever university i go.

 

Hope you enjoyed the story of me trip to Egypt!!! :D :D :D

 

Ma'assalam

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Salamu alaikum

 

I live in Hurghada, I moved from the states (NJ) here in the summer of 2002. I lived in Alex before here, near Agamy.

 

Yea, unfortunately Islam in Egypt leaves alot to be desired.

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Assalamu Alaykum

 

I found an interesting article about Islam in Egypt titles 'Air-conditioned Islam'

 

Here is the link for those who want to read it;

 

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.islamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/English/artculture/2005/02/article04.shtml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.islamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/English/artcult...article04.shtml[/url]

 

By the way, i've been hearing lately a lot about Amr Khaled. Can someone please tell me more about him. I've seen him on TV several times, but he speaks in Arabic.

 

Ma'assalam

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essalamu alikumu

 

i think he has a site some where, and i'm not sure it has english in it or no.

 

essalamu alikumu

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As-salaamu alaikum Farouk,

 

*lol* u are so right...these camel-guys are soo tricky! Actually I would say that before ever taking a camel ride, getting into a taxi, or trying something - always ask for the price before hand! AND make sure they are talking about EGYPTIAN pounds, and NOT British..*sight*..that's the only part I found irritating in Egypt..all the people trying to trick u for all the money u had...actually I am quite disappointed about this, because this is a country where most people would consider themselves to be Muslims, yet there are so many people lying to you. Even when I was right outside al-azhar, this religious looking man who was selling Qur'ans, tried to trick me into paying 20 times more than it was really worth..I didn't buy from him, because it was so expensive..and then later on I found another man selling Qur'ans, and they were so cheap in comparison...uhm....

 

Btw: I went all over Egypt...but the last week I stayed in Hurghada..and Farouk: I had the same experience u had with the camels. We asked them to drive us into the sentrum, and they drove for what they said was 13 km...*lol*....but what happened was that in the end of the week we stayed there, while walking around in the city, we all of a sudden found a route where u just walked right around the corner, and u were on the main street where our hotel was...it was basically a 60 meter trip - not 13 km! Can u believe that! Oh, we couldn't stop laughing after we discovered that...really, you are so vulnerable and dumb as a tourist when u don't know the place...

 

Ma'a salaama,

sis Iman

 

Assalamu Alaykum,

 

Then by the time we arrived to the pyramids, the sphinx, they knew we will be too exhausted and hence they will not need to give us a tour kind of talk!!! We spent hours to the pyramid, then like magic on the way back, we were back in the location we set off in just a few minutes!

Edited by Wardatul Islam

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essalamu alikumu

 

i think he has a site some where, and i'm not sure it has english in it or no.

 

essalamu alikumu

 

Assalamu Alaykum

 

I read in this thread that Amr Khaled is on exile in the UK!!! So what lies for him ahead in the future. Will he start tlak shows there, write books or stay silent and disappear.

 

Btw, his website is amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) i think. There are some english translations of his talks.

 

Ma'assalam

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essalamu alikumu,

 

its true that u have to ask for the price of anything before u get it, and its better to ask anyone but the seller or the service provider first , maybe u can ask someoner passing by :D

 

brother farouk any scholer in egypt that's trying to guide muslims to the right path is exiled, so its a fact, and there are more locked also.

 

and i guess from what i have heard the he is some where either in lebanon or in a gulf country, and i also think that he's having a talk show.

 

essalamu alikumu

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Guest amani

Assalaamu 'alaikom,

 

Please be aware this section is only to discuss Islam in different countries in the different countries of the world. One should not be posting topics, replies, or articles pertaining to politics in the country or anything that is not Islamically related.

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:D

 

Can some tell me the real deal about wearing niqab there? Some people say it's "allowed", others say it's banned? or is it just that people think you're an "extremist"? And the same about the beard?

 

Amr Khalid is just a daee, not a shaykh, with some mistakes. May Allah guide us all, ameen.

Edited by ummammaar

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essalamu alikumu

 

you are right , u would be considered extremist, and also some governmental and private sector compaines or agencis would not allow niqabee women to work there or it could only restrict them for a certain kind of job, that aplies also for hijab, and that also goes for the beard.

 

essalamu alikumu

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:D

 

What about a sister who doesn't work? They don't get arrested or anything for wearing it, do they?

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we alikumu essalam

 

not that i am awar of, but i'm sure if she is a member in a group or something, she would be in this situation someday, allahom mahfzom we iyana

 

essalamu alikum

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Salam!

 

I am seriously considering going to live in Egypt in the future inshallah. I wanted to know what Egyptian's reactions would be to someone coming from abroad? I live in England and the moment, but am Lebanese by origin. I'm also practising and wear hijab alhamdulillah. Would these be seen as positive things? I really would love so much to live in Egypt. Masr om el donya :D

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Salam

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essalamu alikum

 

yea masr om el donia for real :D u'd be very welcomed here, I know that all egyptians love forignres, and u have a very good combination :D lebanese, english, hijab and practising masha Allah, so u'll mingle along very well here.

 

So u dont have to worry at all, just pack and take a filght to cairo airport

 

 

essalamu alikum

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:D

 

Just thought I'd share what I have been told by reliable people. Al Fajr Center in Cairo is really good, although not free. Someone else, however, said that Alex. is better. Also, I forgot what city but the masjid where Shaykh Usama Qoosee teaches is good. He teaches in fusha.. and it's free, i.e. if you want to study the deen there.

 

aslamu alaykum

do u attend to shek qousee sis?

i got questions i'd like to ask if u do or anu body.

jazakum Allah kayran.

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essalamu alikum

 

everybody is welcomed here in egypt, i'm sure if u ask anyone who visited before, he'll tell u how ppl here r very welcoming :D

 

essalamu alikum

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:D

 

Qa9eroshawQe, no, and I just saw I had a typo there.

I meant Shaykh Usama Qudsi. The one I wrote in my post from november is a different shaykh.

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