The Killing of the Rulers of Damascus and Egypt


Before he comes, the inhabitants of Egypt and Sham will kill their rulers and their commanders... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 49)


This hadith draws attention to the fact that the rulers of Damascus and Egypt will be killed before the Mahdi comes.

In 1981, Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat (1970-81) was assassinated during a military review. Other Egyptian leaders who have been killed include the prime ministers Boutros Ghali (1910) and Mahmoud Nukrashy Pasha (1948).

The word "Sham" is not only used for Damascus, for it also means "left" and has long been used to refer to those countries to the left of the Hijaz (where the cities of Makka and Madina stand).6 Many leaders have been killed in the region, among them former Syrian prime ministers Salah al-Din Bitar (1920), Droubi Pasha (1921), and Muhsin al-Barazi (1949); King Abdullah of Jordan (1951); and the Lebanese Phalange leader Bashir Gemayel (1982).7

NewYork Times, September 15, 1982
(right below) Bashir Gemayel, Ahmed Maher Pasha



6. Ottoman-Turkish Dictionary (Istanbul: 2000), 896.
7. "Individual Murders and Assassinations inside Syria and Abroad," Syrian Human Rights Committee. Online at:

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