When was Egypt referred to as "Misr"?

Question

Can you please help me in finding out when the first mention of Misr in regards to Egypt was recorded in Hadith literature. Are there any texts which refer to Egypt as Misr at the time of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or was it named Misr after our Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed away?

Answer

You seem to want to ascertain when was Egypt referred to as Misr. Egypt is referred to as Misr approximately five times in the Holy Quran:

1) Surah 2 verse: 61

2) Surah 10 verse: 87

3) Surah 12 verse: 21

4) Surah 12 verse: 99

5) Surah 43 verse: 61

 

Egypt is also referred to as Misr in the Sirah of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

(See Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 371)

 

‘Allamah Yaqut Al Hamawi (rahimahullah) mentions that Misr is named after the third descendant of Nuh (‘alayhis salam).

(Mu’jamul Buldan, vol. 5 pg. 160)

 

This shows that the area was called Misr from ancient times. However, the geographical boundaries of Misr is bound to have changed through the passage of time.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar