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Two conditions favoured the emergence of the Baḥrī Mamlūk Sultanate: the evolved state of the mamluk institution in the thirteenth century, and the nascent political hegemony of Egypt in the region and its vital role in a global trade system. For a thousand years, from the ninth until the nineteenth century, the mamlūk institution was a prominent feature of nearly all Islamic societies. The name Baḥrī derives from the Baḥrī regiment whose members dominated the political, economic and military structure of the empire during the last half of the thirteenth century and whose descendants continued to rule during most of the fourteenth. Early Mamlūk Egypt harboured a wide spectrum of Islamic religious expression, a range which included the remnants of Ismāʿīlī Shiʾism, but now increasingly Sunnism and Ṣūfīsm in all their variety. The Baḥrī Mamlūks embraced Sunnism and Ṣūfīsm out of both personal piety and political expediency.