Post-classical history

§ Factional Fighting among the Black Troops

Bad blood and dissension broke out among the black troops,20who comprised a large body of men. On one side were the Rayhaniya, who were the slaves of al-Hafiz. On the other side were the Juyushiya, Iskandraniya and Farahiya regiments. So the Rayhaniya were on one side and all of these other regiments were on the other side, allied against the Rayhaniya. A group of the royal bodyguard also joined the Rayhaniya. Both factions assembled a large body of men. Al-Hafiz was overwhelmed by all this,21 and his messengers went back and forth between them, for he was eager [7] to reconcile them. But the troops, who were in the same part of town as he was, would not agree to this. The next morning, the two sides fought in Cairo, and the Juyushiya and their companions were victorious over the Rayhaniya. Of this latter group a thousand men were killed in the market of Amir al-Juyush; their corpses blocked up the market street. As for us, we stayed armed night and day for fear the troops might turn against us – for they had done just such a thing before I came up to Egypt.

After the Rayhaniya were massacred, the populace assumed that al-Hafiz would condemn the action and set upon their murderers, but he was ill, on the verge of death. He died (may God have mercy upon him) two days later, and as a result not even two goats locked horns over it all.22

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