Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn
Turkish: محمد علی پاشا المسعود بن آغا;
Arabic: محمد علي باشا / ALA-LC: Muḥammad ‘Alī Bāshā; Albanian:
Mehmet Ali Pasha; Turkish:
Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Paşa; 4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849) was an Albanian
commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli,
and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the
founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military,
economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the Egyptian
Revolution of 1952.
The spelling of Muhammad Ali's first
name in both Arabic, and Ottoman
Turkish was consistent: محمد (Muhammad). This is the name by which he was known to his
Egyptian subjects, and the name used uniformly in Egyptian, and Arab historical
scholarship. However, given his original status as a commander in the Ottoman
military, his first name is often rendered as Mehmed, which is the standard
rendition of that name in Ottoman
Turkish, or Mehmet (Modern Turkish).
Current English-language historical scholarship is divided as to which is
preferable, with the majority opinion favoring the former. Typically,
historians accentuating the Egyptian character of his rule opt for 'Muhammad',
whilst those accentuating the Ottoman character opt for 'Mehmed' or 'Mehmet'.
This distinction is an issue for those writing in the Latin alphabet, but not