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April 27, 2021 - Baramouda 19, 1737

Martyrdom of the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim and his companions

This day also marks the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Elder the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, who was distinguished in the later half of the tenth century and early the eleventh century. He was also contemporary to Pope Philotheos, 63rd Patriarch, and from the Fatimid Caliphs, Al Emam Al-Azeez Be Allah, and his son Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah.

He was an Orthodox Archon, adhered to his faith, faithful to his church, and charitable. During his life, he never turned down anyone who asked him. Whenever he went through the streets riding and one asked him, he would extend the sleeve of his cloak and the one asking would find much good in it, and that to hide his virtue of giving.

This vizier was one of the powerful and influential men of the government during the Fatimid Rule. Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah appointed him head of all the scribes and department heads. He built the church of the martyr St. Mercurius in the present monastery of Anba Rowais, which was known then by Dair El-Khandaq.

It is documented in the History of the Patriarchs that when Al-Hakim Be-Amr Allah wanted to make the notable Coptic scribes apostatize their faith, the Vizier Fahd was one of the ten that was chosen for that purpose. He brought him and told him: 'You know that I have chosen and appointed you ahead of all the men in my government, then listen to me and be with me in my religion, so I will promote you more than what you are in now and be like a brother to me.' When he did not answer him, he ordered his neck to be cut off and to burn his body. The fire remained burning for three days and the body did not burn, and his right hand that he extended to give alms, was sound at all the time as the fire never touched it.

It was mentioned also in the book of El-Khetat El-Tawfikiah that the Vizier Abu Elaala Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was discussing the affairs of the government with the head of the army, El-Housain Ibn Gawhar, and El-Hakim was luring him to apostatize his faith with many promises. When Fahd refused, he ordered his head to be cut off and to burn his body but God protected his body from burning. He was buried in the southern corner of the church of St. Mercurius, which he built in Dair El-khandaq. El-Makrizi wrote in his manuscripts: 'Fahd Ibn Ibrahim was killed after he had remained as a chief minister of the government for five years, nine months and twelve days.'

God had took revenge severely from the wicked people that discredited Abu Elaala Fahd before the Caliph and changed his heart against him. Twenty-nine days after the departure of Fahd, the wicked man, Aly Ibn Omar Ibn El-addas, was killed, then his companion, Taher Mahmoud Ibn El-Nahawy, was killed.

The church also commemorates the rest of the ten chief ministers that the Governor asked them to apostatize their faith. When they refused and disobeyed him, he ordered to torture them. They were beaten with whips, and when the beating became cruel, four of them became Muslims, one of them died the same night, and the other three returned to their Christian Faith after the end of the time of persecution. The rest departed while they were being tortured and received the crown of martyrdom and acquired the eternal life.

Their blessings be with us. Amen.