Mamluk Cairo – Through the Life of Ibn al-Hajj

Dislcaimer: All views expressed in this presentation are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the teachings, views, and opinions of Darul Qasim.

Mamluk Cairo – Through the Life of Ibn al-Hajj

Professor Manar Darwish | Bryn Mawr College

Friday, October 9th 2020 | 8:00 PM CDT


While classified as a Maliki fiqh text, al-Madkhal of Ibn al-Hajj (c. 1256-1336) contains, in large part, criticism of what Ibn al-Hajj considered bad habits and traditions among his contemporaries. In doing this, he offers a vivid description of thirteenth century Cairene society under the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad. Ibn al-Hajj’s eclectic magnum opus will be utilized to reconstruct  the cultural and sociological life of everyday people. Through his alarms and warnings, the bustle of life in medieval Cairo can be heard: still images become animated and various scents tickle the reader’s nose. Our journey with Ibn al-Hajj in the Cairo of his time will cover various themes such as its marvelous markets, characterizations of women and architecture, and connecting these themes to our contemporary lives.


Manar Darwish graduated from the American University in Cairo and did her graduate work at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her passion for the last fifteen years she has been teaching Arabic to college students. Her teaching experience includes Islam and Gender Studies, and the Media and Culture of Middle Eastern Countries, especially Egypt. The study of the Qur’an and Classical and Modern Arabic Literature are amongst her scholarly pursuits.

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