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The Mamluk al-Nasr Muhammad ("Victory of Muhammad", born 1295, died 1341) was sultan of Egypt from December 1293, with two interruptions to his death in 1341. The son of Qalawun, he was only eight-years-old when he succeeded his elder brother Khalil. His reign was in three stages, marked by temporary depositions, the first but a year after he first came to the throne. In 1298 he was back in power, but was deposed again in 1298 - 1308, after which his long reign marked the apogee of Mamluk power and the high-water mark of culture in Egypt since Ptolemaic Alexandria.
Extraordinary public works were set in motion. He redug the canal once again connecting Alexandria with the Nile: it was opened to traffic in 1311 and required workforces on a Pharaonic scale. He also erected an aqueduct to conduct water from the Nile to the citadel of Cairo. He built thirty mosques, among the most splendid examples of Islamic architecture, in addition to madrassahs and magnificent public baths. His own mosque in the Citadel (1318) was decorated with stone brought in triumph from the ruined cathedral of Akko, the Crusaders' "Acre", which had fallen to Qalawun's forces in 1291.
Perhaps the greatest and most vicious of the Mamluk sultans, al-Nasr Muhammad was revered as a powerful leader. In 1366 he added to his father's complex of structures Cairo's first sabeel, a fountain for the use of all, especially welcome to the poor who might not have access to a well.
His prominence was such that he received a Mongol princess and the great-great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan, Tulubiyya, in marriage. His eldest son and chosen successor, Anuk, predeceased him in 1339. al-Nasr Muhammad skipped over the next son, Ahmad (who's mother was a dancing girl named Bayad), considering him too frivolous. His choice fell on his son al-Mansur Abu Bakr . Ultimately however, no less than 8 of his sons would become sultans:
1. al-Mansur Abu Bakr
2. al-Ashraf Kuchuk
3. al-Nasr Ahmad
4. al-Salih Ismail
5. al-Kamil Shaban
6. al-Muzzafar Hajji
7. al-Nasr Hasan
8. al-Salih Salih
- Stewart, Desmond, Great Cairo: Mother of the World
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