Customs and traditions of Egyptian People's

Most remarkable Customs and traditions in Egypt
The secret key of Egyptian customs and traditions is the way that Egyptian mixed the ancient traditions that remain from Pharaohs period with the later come throughout the centuries, these strong traditions milt all other interfered nations traditions regardless they are residents or occupants, what makes Egypt seem advanced against some of the other neighbors, you still can find this pure nature of the local Egyptians rising during hard times, or whenever someone need help, or when they smile in your face! Visitors still get this warm feeling from Egyptian and this is the secret why Egypt is considered the most attractive country in the region for travelers. Plus mysteries of the place & stories behind stones all of these makes a visit to Egypt a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Egypt as a part from Middle East, one of the African countries, one of the Mediterranean countries, heart of Arab and Muslim world, & Capital for Eastern Christian orthodox world, Egypt toke the conducting keys from the first Arab-Muslims and educated several generations through ages, and nothing but mention it was the castle for the Christianity at her first steps out of Jerusalem, and the founder of Christian monastery system, in brief she kept the religious kindle lighted while others was totally in Dark, and she was very kind again to handle this light back to the world.
The Egyptians have one of the world insisted customs and traditions inherited from ancient time, and this seems clearly in the rituals of their daily lives and daily conduct, in addition to the displays to celebrate holidays and different occasions.. We will try to monitor some of these habits roots;
1- Marriage traditions & Rituals in Egypt;
- marriage authorized person or the one Egyptian called in Arabic "Mazzoon" and the seats decorated with flowers where The groom and bride setting in on wedding day which called in Arabic "Koshaa-?????? ", even the sound which women do for celebration during the wedding day " Zgrutta", all these rituals that we practice today came from pharaohs time, even the special cloths that authorized person has to wear on wedding day seem to be the same as authorized in charge of the Pharaonic Temple to hold sacred wedlock between the couple, and then write the marriage contract 3 copies - as occurs now completely - one for the newlyweds and the other authorized for the third to the National Archives so as not to lose the right of any one.
- the establishment of the wedding, the ancient Egyptians used to be a wedding in the bride or the groom's house as agreed, or, as is happening now in one of the major hotels if the groom was somewhat wealthy, or second-class clubs, or often at the roof of her house!! !
- As was the old couple were carrying out decorating the wedding hall, and the most important thing is used to decorate the hall is the blossom of jasmine, which in hieroglyphic language called same "Eliassmon," because they believed in heaven and blossom smell was the smell of paradise, and refers to the place where he was sitting bride and groom, "Kushaa," has evolved the name is now become "??????." , not only but also Wedding cake, which is keen on cutting the couple together, and each of them addressing a small part on the tip of the knife from the chef dedicated to the cake cutting, also keen women attending the wedding launching of the "joy" that reflect the joy of the wedding.
** Related to above issue are two things still make a lot of endless Disputes and controversy; Polygamy & Circumcision in Egypt.
-          Polygamy in Egypt
One of the funny things that we made a lot of jokes with foreigners who visited Egypt is they wonder how Egyptian men has the right to have several "ladies of course as wives", this plurality of wives is one of the controversial questions in the family system of Islam, and many of them said I wish I was Egyptian, but things not look like that simple, if you know why? Then know how or the requirements? You may feel the big responsibility you would face if you only thinking about it, Polygamy, like any other law, has its disadvantages and advantages on both the husband and the wife. Polygamy existed before the advent of Islam among several civilizations and religions. All that Islam has done is restricted it and make more organized and civilized. let us make a comparison with Egyptian Muslim and other religious in history of Polygamy in the middle east and Egypt, concerning this matter, first from the holy books;
- GENESIS 16:3
- DEUTERONOMY|21 • 21:15
- According to Charles Rubenstein polygamy was practiced by the Jews until the declaration
Against polygamy of the Sanhedrin in Paris in1805, later known as (Socially Imposed Monogamy).
- Ancient in the Middle East among them is Egyptian used to have several wives, and Concubines; 1 KINGS 11; 3 HE [SOLOMON] HAD SEVEN HUNDRED WIVES OF ROYAL BIRTH AND THREE HUNDRED CONCUBINES, AND HIS WIVES LED HIM ASTRAY.
The following are some phrases from the bible
- "He (Solomon) had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines..."
1 Kings 11:3
- "And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Genesis 4:19
- "if he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall her not diminish."
Exodus 21:10
- Quran says:
Several centuries later Islam but rules for that marriage, "not more than four", Islam avoided any utopian doctrine. In many of its laws, Islam keeps in mind the flexibility of the law and the realistic factors and circumstances. A law can not be 100% good for every person, or in different times, or countries. Islam also stresses the meaning of marriage; Allah said: “Fulfill your Agreements, with a meaning that never cheat on your partner.
- It is a fact that True Muslim never sacrifices his own women to has the second wife or for the Prisoners of war women of the enemy.
- Islam has emphasized that the basic objective of healthy marital life comes from mutual love and benevolence between the husband and the wife which normally can be found in the form of regular marriage - monogamy.
“And among His Signs is this. that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”(Quran 30: 21)”
- “And women (wives) shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is exalted in Power, Wise.” (Quran 2:28)
- "live with them (wife or wives) on a footing of kindness and equity” (Quran 4:19)
- Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said:
-”The best of your women are those: Who are loving and kindly; who look after their chastity; who are not arrogant or disobedient to their husbands; who are faithful to their husband in their absence.”
- "The best man among you is the best with his wife".
-The Messenger of God (P.B.O.H) said: “Muslims abide by the conditions of their contracts
- Imam Ali (A.S.) said:
"Be kind to your wife and treat her well. Kindness will change her for the better, will keep her satisfied and will preserve her health and beauty".
"By your chastity protect your wife from casting an evil eye on others stealthily and entertaining an idea of sin".
- Islam has emphasized that taking advantage of the permission of polygamy is conditional on the observance of several factors and circumstances, generally to understand Islam's wisdom of polygamy we have to take the following cases into consideration;
- Islam understand Polygamy could be a Natural and social need.
- Woman gets sick and need another woman to help her.
- What about the woman who is barren
- There are women who have no problem in marrying a man already having a wife especially if a marriage is in their interest; also there are women who can not find enough men in their society especially during wars, In this case where no enough men, do we tell those women just disregard your emotion and desire or just abuse yourself through unlawful acts like being Homosexual.
- What about the societies where women are much more than men especially during war period?
- When men need to give help to friend's family or if your best pass a way friend's family need help
- If the man lacks materials and moral conditions, some cases men need more than one wife, or not competent enough to satisfy all of them, and their wives have no problem with polygamy; also they will not be eligible to take more than one wife.
- It is a way to prevent men from cheating on their wives; Monogamy is a solution and is sufficient
- The power of proliferation of women ceases at a certain age, after which pregnancy is very rare case, whereas there is no such fixed age for men.
What if a woman does not accept polygamy?
Marriage in one of its phases is a documented and publicized contract between the wife and the husband guaranteed by Islamic Shariaa under jurisdiction of official courts . Partners have the right to add any condition to protect their future life. So, woman has the full right to announce her objection during the marriage contract as a condition and a right for a valid contract or else it will be nullified. In addition that husband has to commit to this wife requested condition or he would have no right to keep her as a wife if she decides to get divorced and was approved by the Islamic court, especially if divorcing the husband is controlled by the wife.
In case husband has previously committed in the marriage contract not to marry another woman, decides to have a second wife, his current wife has the right to ask for divorce and raise that issue to the court. But is it fair that the only thing the wife can do is to ask for divorce in this matter.
Still the most difficult question to answer is the matter  is not fair always for one party as long as each one has its own circumstances. But on the other hand; why husbands think about other women, why both partners have agreed to dysfunction polygamy in their marriage life. In this case and before divorcing, a social worker assigned by the Islamic Court has to study the case and judges it. For instance, may be the husband wants children and his current wife is barren but yet he still loves her and wants to keep her as a wife in addition to his new one. Furthermore, if the wife is the one who is controlling the divorce process -not the husband- then she can divorce her husband if that avails her. Anyhow, the facts still remain that Islam in its holy book told us about the fact that it is hard to be fair, as human nature involves jealousy and unshared love; since the woman likes to have full attention and full unshared love from her partner, less time with the husband; since his spare time is now shared between two or more wives, but spending less time with the wife might be because of other factors too, If the husband is so much occupied by his job, business, or studying for sure his wife will not get adequate attention, In this matter, Should we tell those kinds of husbands to divorce their wives or not to get married if there have not been married yet. Nevertheless, the wife should understand her husband circumstances. She should bear with him the side affect of marrying another wife since she did not from the beginning had objected about the idea of polygamy. Another problem is family face less money saved or given to the wife and children Overall, but same time it is a wide general problem and is not exclusively a result of polygamy. Moreover, it is because of unwise decisions and acts regardless of the size of the family.
Islam “Kill not your children for fear of want (poverty): We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin” Quran 17:31.
Same question would be asked. As an American is it fair that I can divorce my wife or she can divorce me at any time.
- Egyptian society understanding
Funny thing is that Egypt comedy several films and TV. Series giving several stories about polygamy and homosexuality, the funny thing is that Egyptian totally refuse the idea of homosexuality what ever from men or women, but in a same time they make jokes about the several wives husband, in several western countries and some American states legalizing homosexuality under the excuses of genetic and psychological problems or nature, but yet disregarding vehemently any excuse for polygamy. if you are traveling to Egypt it is recommended that never declare your interest in case of homosexuality as it is totally not acceptable here. Egyptian also understanding that homosexuality is against religious, nature, and society needs, jeopardizing the pure ordinary relation between any two people.
** Homosexuality makes a person’s live under the emergency of lust and desire which starts growing infinitely and calls for desire saturation, While in polygamy, the person is restricting him self to more responsibilities and commitments since he has to be just with his wives and treat them co-equally in everything: money, living, emotion, etc. By that, he is just establishing a bigger family and limiting him self to a clear honest accepted relation. Ordinary Egyptian all understand that Polygamy in Egypt must be under the acceptance of polygamy during or before the marriage contract. Equitable treatment for all the wives, Number of wives not to exceed four, only Egyptian government do not like polygamy as they afraid from results of Population problems, but still not banned
** Egyptian Muslims consider the husband as the main supervisor in the family though the wife has the real important supervisory role: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Quran 4. 34” It is the husband’s responsibility to find a job, work hard, make money, make the life of his wife and family comfortable, if the wife is working, the money that she makes will be her exclusively and has the full right not to spend it on the husband.
** Egyptian women are so jealous; in Egyptian society, the wife tends toward one-to-one exclusive loving relation. Her complex emotions make her more comfortable in being dedicated to one person i.e. one husband; especially if she feels that her husband is the person that can offer her protection, love, honesty, and tranquility. And that might me the explanation why usually women are more jealous than men. They, generally speaking, go crazy if they feel or even see the husband looking or talking kindly to another woman. 
2- Circumcision in Egyptian society past and present
Something related to Marriage issue is fertility, fertility always comes with Purity, for men, it is related more to fertility then hygiene & health, for women it is a way to maintain female sexual unacceptable behavior from society.
- Female circumcision in Egypt;
First let us say it was habit from ancient time, deep in Egyptian History back to pharaoh's era, The history of female circumcision is long before Islam, in Egypt they defined it as cutting the clitoris or part of it, the way called "pharaohs circumcision" is the worst which lead to women sexual relation's chill. While Islam did not recommend any of that! But! Mentioned the fact “And indeed we have honored the Children of Adam” [al-Isra’ 17:70] Islam order us only if necessary to remove part of the clitoral hood, the removal of part or the entire clitoris is not prescribed.
Now a day's Egyptian majorities refuse the female entire clitoris removal, also the law punished all who commits such things with obvious harm to females
- Men circumcision in Egypt;
Circumcision is the removal of the prepuce in the case of men, while female circumcision is a habit, men circumcision is a necessary religious request, for both healthy relation between wife and husband, and for men fertility and pleasure, the funny thing is Egyptians used to paint these acts on their old temples and tombs, also it became an issue to the entire family as it  celebrates her little baby circumcision considering him as a future stud, Egyptians used to do this in the first month of newborns babies, or after one year from birthday they used also to let boys ware white Galabia, , other children in the family singing happy songs, the family theow salt in order to avert the evil eyes of envious.
3- Egyptian funeral… is another Story
The habits of Egyptians during funerals are mostly heritage must be commended, these funerals of ancient Egyptian from tombs to preparation of the mummy, these funerals are divided into classes according to the standard of living fully, Egyptian always want even in grief to look with the best appearance, to let everyone remembers the anniversary of the death of their relatives.
Unfortunately, now no funerals are held like before, now people are satisfied by late ceremony cheap seats in any Hall just for three hours, although the mourning lasted three-day periods in the past.
The undertaker  who is in charge for the funerals called "Hanoty ??????", it Specializes in transporting the dead same as in Egypt ancient times, It is interesting to consider that Egyptian funerals according to level of
Family of the deceased have to hire a famous Quran chanter to recite the Koran in the consolation, which could be up wages in some cases to 20 thousand pounds in just two hours of the time, although some began to replace this command to run the cassette tape without having to pay this amount, as the Egyptian proverb says; "Death come with destruction of homes, or Strange that death brings its long bankruptcy"!, Egyptian families accustomed since ancient times to immemorial "Hanoty" specializes in burying their dead and clean their landfill
- In different parts of our beloved Egypt funeral customs has its different from province to province, and village to village in the same province, even though they meet at the end on one thing it is respecting sanctity of the dead. But what is most popular in most of Upper Egypt, is the skill of Egyptian women in the art of slapping on the cheeks, the art of showing sadness they feel, which boast by women in each funeral, where each woman individually scrambling to highlight her talent. Especially the art of Lamentations which was women arts in cases of the death, as women still used to chanting or shouting;
 "We had a lion that animals fear from, then he died and we will be eaten by hyenas"
 "We had a lion people fear from, then after died we become no value"
4- Egyptians Celebrating Prophet's Birthday
Egyptians generally like Prophet's Family, but their love of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the most, as they hold large religious ceremonies for his Family members, such as: Imam Hussain and Zainab, which are attended by millions of ordinary Egyptian people each year.
- The birthday of the Prophet (P.B.O.H) Remain, the favorable religious ceremony at all,Egyptian celebrate it by revival of Islamic rituals, eating candies, they mixed the birth of the Prophet (P.B.O.H) with the taste sweet, and not only this but they have created a bride "small Doll for Kids" mixed the solemnity of the occasion with the Sugar.
- Rulers of Egypt regardless they are Egyptian or foreigners races to exploit this privacy of Prophet Mohammad's birth celebration and tried to co-opt the attention by celebrating with other family members, ranging from the Fatimid Caliphs, who played on the religious feelings ably, and were able to extend their influence in many countries of the Islamic world.
The historian, "Abdel Rahman al-Jabarti," who lived at the time of the French campaign on Egypt, mentioned that "Napoleon Bonaparte" interested in the celebrate with Prophet Mohammad's birth occasion specially in the year 1213AH - 1798, by sending the expenses of the celebrations and 300 French Real to the home of Sheikh Bakri (Captain supervision in Egypt) in Uzbekia district in Cairo, and also sent to the huge drums and light torches.. At night, French set up the fireworks to celebrate the Prophet's birth, after one year Napoleon also in order to win the hearts of the Egyptians repeat the same celebration.
- Some argue that Egyptians are very interested in those religious holidays is a legacy of an ancient Egyptian roots deep in the Egyptian history, which has seen interest in the establishment of rituals and traditions King's sitting on the throne ceremony, king's birthday, and the harvest festival, fulfillment of the Nile, and then the Egyptians inherited from their ancestors interest in ritual ceremonies.
- The famous historian "AL-Maqrizy" mentioned in his [book of the plans] that Fatimid's most cared festivities are six-"name in Arabic Mawlid", birth of Imam Hussein (5 April), birth of Fatima Zahra (20 Jumada II), birth of Imam Ali (13 July), birth of Imam Hassan (15 Ramadan), birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) ( in March), and finally the birth of 'Caliph al-Hakim' the ruler of the country.
- Has been described by one British traveler, a "Mark Jerash", which witnessed the birth of the Prophet in Egypt as the bride bright colors are placed in closed ranks, and dressed like a bride transparent real.
- The Maqrizi mentioned that the candy Doll of the most mentioned celebration were made of sugar in, and her hands be placed in the waist and decorated with colored papers and shape like fan from behind. The historical evidence confirms that this shape of bride has a link with the tradition bride of the Nile in the era of the ancient Egyptians. But for sure it is a purely Egyptian-born bride, there is no word comma in this matter; because many of the customs and traditions continues from Egyptian civilization over thousands of years.
Recently That kind of candy bride start to face numerous challenges; warnings by doctors because of their adverse impact on children's teeth and dangerous dyes used in their manufacture, which led to the reluctance of parents to purchase for children, but emerged in the form of plastic fabrics adorn the transparent color with big fan in background and multiple sizes.
5-Celebrating Ashurah day and secrets behind that;
- One of the traditions of Shi'it Ashura (also spelled Aashurah, ‘Ashurah) but The way Egyptians celebrated reflects Egyptian style attributes of rationality, calmness and renouncing violence of the Egyptians people, which is different from the nature of the our neighbors. Ashurah is an Islamic holiday observed on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year. The word Ashura means "10," denoting the date of the holiday. Shortly after transferring "Hegira" to Madina in 622 A.D., Muhammad designated Ashura as a day of fasting from sunrise to sunset, perhaps patterned on the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Traditionally, Ashura commemorates two events: the day Nuh (Noah) left the ark and the day Musa (Moses) was saved from Pharaoh  by Allah. After years Ashura become a voluntary fast day, as it has remained among Sunnis' entered the Egyptians
Then years later number of cities in upper Egypt due to migration of Alayeen "who supported Ali", Advocates of Shiism, these Migration was a result of that Shiites fleeing from the face of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid then Mamluk rulers later, then cities like Aswan, Esna, Edfu and Armant become safe centers, The Cairo was the center of the Shiism as the capital of the Fatimid state then after that the Shiite cities in Upper Egypt was triggered by the revolutions against Salah al-Din also set off a revolution against the other Mamelukes and Ottomans. Whoever the celebration of day Ashurah come with joy and plenty of food not as neighbors in Iraq or others do by express public expressions with mourning and grief on the street. Or even extreme mourning by flagellating themselves on the back with chains, or beating their head or ritually cutting themselves, Egyptian still far from this.
6- Celebrating by lanterns on the street during Ramadan
Saladin changed the sad memory of Ashourah day to the memory of happy and Egyptians continued to celebrate it in their own way, as well as another celebration of the anniversary of the night name "half of Shaaban Month" which still remains celebrated by Sufi today, Islamic New Year's Eve celebrations, and for sure acquisition of Ramadan lanterns hanged & played by boys in the streets which came from Fatimid traditions which also still practiced in Ramadan and moved from Egypt to other countries.
7- Traditional at the level of Names
The name of "master AL-SAIID ?????" still named widely in Egypt. This tradition continues to be the name given to elders, chiefs of the people honored here. Said to master or Mrs. and so, which reflect in fact how Egyptian feel ceremonial status for master, especially in supervising associate Ahl-Al-Bayt profit's family members are not a name for every body but supervise only, represented in several names like precious master or Ms. Zainab, or al-Husain or Mr. or even famous teachers like Mr. Omar Makram & Al-Tahtawi. In addition the most common name of Egyptian are; Mohamed, Ali, Hassan and Hussein for men, while for women there are Fatima and Zeinab, Sekina, khadiga, however these days Egyptian use movie stars, football players names for good luck.
It is very contrasting that Egyptians like these names same as Shiites, however give Shiites standing insults every day in their daily speech coming as the result their common folk talk without understanding its meaning by saying of anger from someone, "O son rejectionist" as they want to say They insult derived from the name Shiites as they are Rejected from the community.