Towards a Shi‘i Mediterranean Empire: Fatimid Egypt and the Founding of Cairo

I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili StudiesBook by Shainool Jiwa Towards a shii mediterranean empire fatimid egypt

By Dr Shainool Jiwa

Al-Muʿizz li-Din Allah (341-365 AH/ 953-975 CE), the fourth Fatimid Imam-caliph, transformed the Fatimid state from a North African regional power to a Mediterranean empire which, at its height, extended from present-day Morocco in the west to Syria and Yemen in the east. His vision and dynamism contributed to the high watermark of Fatimid achievement to establish a Shi‘i state, which contributed to the cultural and intellectual efflorescence of the Muslim world. Among the crowning achievements of this Ismaili imam-caliph was the peaceful conquest of Egypt, a cherished goal of the Fatimids, which they ruled for over two centuries. Al-Muʿizz’s successful move to Egypt and the founding of Cairo marked a high point of the Fatimid Empire, fostering an enduring legacy in the region. The reign of this illustrious Fatimid sovereign, as narrated by al-Maqrizi, is the focus of this work. It provides the first annotated translation of the chapter on al-Muʿizz from the only complete history of the Fatimids written by a mediaeval Sunni historian.

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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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