Baqt Treaty

Baqt Treaty was a treaty between muslim Egypt and Christian Nubia, that regulated relation between the two regions for 600 years. The term baqt comes from the Greek word pakton meaning agreement.


The treaty originated from an agreement between the Umayyad governor of Egypt ‘Abdallah ibn Sa’id ibn Abi Sarhand and the Nubian king of Makouria in 652 CE , after Egypt had attempted but failed to subdue the Christian region. During the Fatimid period, a request was made for immediate payment. By this time the Baqt was not paid for fifteen years. Makouria apparently sent numerous gifts and very friendly relations was resumed with Fatimid Egypt. For the remaining Fatimid period and Ayyubid period, nothing was said on the Baqt.

Under Mamluk Egypt, the Baqt Treaty was strictly enforced. Between 1276 and 1323, Christian Nubia was invaded by Mamluk Egypt eight times, for the purpose of installing a puppet on Makouria's throne, who would pay the Baqt. After 1323, an Arab Muslim tribe, Banu Alkanz, took Makouria's throne in Dongola. With muslim rulership, the Baqt was nullified. 

Treaty Stipulations

The following are the various stipulations from the various written sources:
  1. promise of safe passage of Egyptian and Nubian citizens in each other's land
  2. promise of no wars or ceasing of conflict
  3. establishment of a mosque in Dongola and protection of mosque
  4. Nubia was exempt from war by muslims(dar al-harb ,the community of nations at war with Islam), unusual for a non-muslim region.
  5. initially an annual tribute of 300 slaves per year was stipulated, later it became 360 every 3 years
  6. return of all escape slaves and muslim fugitives back to Egypt