Dr Shainool Jiwa on The Founder of Cairo

The city of Cairo was founded and named after Imam al-Muizz: Al-Qahira al-Muiziyya –the Victorious City of Al-Muizz.

Dr. Shainool Jiwa during her lecture at Simon Fraser University (Image: Simon Fraser University)
Dr. Shainool Jiwa during her lecture at Simon Fraser University (Image: Simon Fraser University)

The reign of the founder of Cairo, the fourth Fatimid Imam-caliph al-Mu‘izz li-Din Allah (953-975 CE) marks a watershed in the transformation of the Fatimid state from a regional North African dynasty to an expansive Mediterranean empire.

It was also under al- Mu‘izz that articulations of the supreme authority of the Fatimid Ismaili imamate were written and disseminated across various regions of Fatimid influence.

Interview with Dr Shainool Jiwa on The Founder of CairoThis twenty-three min interview with Dr Shainool Jiwa highlights the principles, policies and institutions of governance and learning founded during the reign of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-Mu‘izz li-Din Allah (953 – 975 CE) that came to play a vital role in the transformation of the Fatimid dynasty from a North African state to an expansive Mediterranean empire.

Dr Jiwa comments on the reign of Imam-Caliph al-Mui‘zz in the light of the writings of the 15th century Ismaili da‘i Idris ‘Imad al-Din’s (d.1468 CE) colossal work Uyun al-akhbar wa funun al-athar, the fountainheads of history.

Via The Institute of Ismaili Studies:


About Dr Shainool Jiwa 

Dr Shainool JiwaDr Shainool Jiwa is the Head of Constituency Studies at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Department of Community Relations from 2005 to 2012. She was also the founding coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Project at the IIS (2002-2005). Dr Jiwa is a specialist in Fatimid history, having completed her Master’s degree from McGill University and her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. As a senior faculty member, Dr Jiwa teaches on the IIS graduate programmes (GPISH & STEP) and contributes to the development of the IIS Secondary Curriculum.

Dr Jiwa is a member of the Board of Governors for Edinburgh Napier University. She has been involved with the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) since 1998 and has been their Chief Examiner for Islamic History since 2001.

Prior to joining the IIS, she worked as a counsellor and manager for Saheliya, a mental health project for Edinburgh’s ethnic minority women. She was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 as a part-time Commissioner for the Mental Welfare Commission in Scotland, leading to a listing in Who’s Whoin Scotland, where she has been noted since its 2000 publication.

Article by Dr Shainool Jiwa - Inclusive Governance: A Fatimid Illustration

Interview with Dr Shainool Jiwa on The Founder of Cairo - books

Dr Jiwa’s latest publication is titled: The Founder of Cairo: The Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-Muizz and his Era. This complements her earlier work titled Towards a Shi’i Mediterranean Empire, which she published in 2009. She has also contributed a chapter entitled Inclusive Governance: A Fatimid illustration to A Companion to the Muslim World.

Dr Jiwa is currently working on a monograph on the life and times of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-‘Aziz billah.


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