The reason Sphinx and pyramids escaped destruction at the hands of early Muslims

Aug 2014
1,273
pakistan
They simply could not destroy it or the monuments were buried under sand at that time.

Al-Zarkali (1029–1087) was asked about the Pyramids and the Sphinx etc: Did the Sahaabah who entered Egypt see them?

He said: They were mostly covered with sand, especially the Sphinx.


The caliph al-Ma’moon (786 – 833) wanted to destroy the Pyramids in Egypt and he gathered workers but he could not do it.

At the end of the twelfth century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf, Saladin's son and heir, attempted to demolish the pyramids starting with Menkaure's pyramid. The workmen who Al-Aziz had recruited to demolish the pyramid found it almost as expensive to destroy as to build. They stayed at their job for eight months. They were not able to remove more than one or two stones each day at a cost of tiring themselves out utterly. Some used wedges and levers to move the stones while others used ropes to pull them down. When it fell it would bury itself in the sand requiring extraordinary efforts to free it. Wedges were used to split the stones into several pieces and a cart was used to carry it to the foot of the escarpment, where it was left. Far from accomplishing what they intended to do they merely spoiled the pyramid by leaving a large vertical gash in its north face







References:


https://islamqa.info/en/20894


https://books.google.com.pk/books?id=X3YoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA217&dq=Al-Aziz+destroy+pyramid&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirupXR-MvYAhUQ46QKHaYoBxEQ6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=Al-Aziz%20destroy%20pyramid&f=false
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,606
Italy, Lago Maggiore
With a quite not politically correct humor someone commented that "Allah is great for sure, but the pyramids don't joke as well!".

The point is about how persons imagine the "divine intervention" in real life. Also some Christians imagine that divine providence will do this or that ...

Eh ... no ... human history is human and humans can do only what their muscles and their brain allow them to do.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,606
Italy, Lago Maggiore
To be more comprehensive ... it's not only about the pyramids.

Not a few Ancient Egyptian temples show odd signs of interventions to erase the figures of the deities on their walls ... no way, those figures are still there, ruined by a malicious activity of chiselling, but they are still there].
 
May 2016
974
Nabataea
The caliph al-Ma’moon (786 – 833) wanted to destroy the Pyramids in Egypt and he gathered workers but he could not do it.
a source for that statement. Al-Ma'mun sent a scientific expedition inside the great pyramid on the intent of discovering the interior of the structure. He opened an entrance which is the one in use today. It's not unusual conduct of him, if you're familiar with his reign. He is generally remembered as an enlightened ruler.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,933
Western Eurasia
indeed al-Ma'mun was driven by scholarly interest, he also hired a specialist to decipher the hierogliphs but he was unsuccessful in that, it was long forgotten by that time.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,549
Malaysia
Perhaps it is Allah's will that the Sphynx & the Pyramids remain. For some greater purpose.
 
Mar 2016
819
Eindhoven
Is there a campaign of destruction by early Muslims? Can you give some more examples?
 
Apr 2017
758
Lemuria
The Sphinx and the pyramids are completely unrelated. The Sphinx were to the Pharaohs what the pyramids are to us in term of time scale. If not more so.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,128
Bulgaria
Is there a campaign of destruction by early Muslims? Can you give some more examples?
I suppose you meant early caliphates who controlled this land: Umayyads, Abbasids and Fatamids. First ruler who try to destroy the pyramids is sultan Al-Aziz Uthman from kurdish Ayyubid dynasty as Azad67 mentioned in OP. Also there is a tale why Sphinx’s nose is missing. I read that ottomans tried to break into cheops pyramid and used cannons for this purpose / because they believed there were gold inside, not because of religious zeal.
 
Aug 2014
1,273
pakistan
Perhaps it is Allah's will that the Sphynx & the Pyramids remain. For some greater purpose.
Allah's will is destruction of idols, according to Quran and Hadith. So it was puzzling for me why some of the ancient statues have survived in Muslim countries to this day. The answers is that companions of Prophet, who were more driven to destroy idols than any one else due to fresh zeal, did not see great sphinx (a statue) as it was buried in sand at that time, and that most of the statues that we see today , were excavated in last two centuries by Europeans. If Sahaba (early companions of Prophet) knew that pyramids were tombs, they might have attempted to destroy it. Another explanation might be that they were too preoccupied in wars with Rumis (Byzantines) and civil wars within 30 years after death of the Prophet. These early Muslims destroyed Library of Alexandria , so would have been of mindset to destroy awe-inspiring Pyramids (they destroyed some Persian gardens and palaces because they were awe-inspiring for simple Bedouins of Arabia). The Salafis erased historical monuments in Saudi Arabia, also recently in Iraq, because they literally follow the teachings and actions of Prophet and his companions.

Later attempts of destroying Pyramids might be due to other reasons than religion, like curiosity, greed of treasure, for stones etc
 
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