Of the many pretenders to this dignity known in all periods of Moslem history the most famous was the first caliph of the Fatimite dynasty in North Africa, `Obaidallah al-Mandi, who reigned 909-933.
Not only was Syria thus weakened by being detached from the body of the Seljukian empire; it was divided by dissensions within, and assailed by the Fatimite caliph of Egypt from without.
A great religious difference divided the Fatimite caliph of Cairo, the head of the Shiite sect, from the Abbasid caliph of Bagdad, who was the head of the Sunnites.
970 by Jauhar, the general of the Fatimite Caliph Moizz, who captured Fostat and founded el Kahira, the present town of Cairo.
1045-1052) Nasir visited Mecca four times, and performed all the rites and observances of a zealous pilgrim; but he was far more attracted by Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and the residence of the Fatimite sultan Mostansir billah, the great champion of the Shia, and the spiritual as well as political head of the house of `Ali, which was just then waging a deadly war against the 'Abbaside caliph of Bagdad, and the great defender of the Sunnite creed, Toghrul Beg the Seljuk.
After his death, however, they quarrelled with the Fatimite rulers of Egypt (969) and began to lose their influence.
This reputation rose steadily; there were twenty copies (one of them written by Tabari's own hand) in the library of the Fatimite caliph `Aziz (latter half of the 4th century), whereas, when Saladin became lord of Egypt, the princely library contained 1200 copies (Maqrizi, i.
When the seat of the Fatimite Empire was removed to Egypt, the Zirites, a house of the Sanhaja Berbers, ruled as their lieutenants at Mandia, and about 1050 Mo`izz the Zirite, in connexion with a religious movement against the Shiites, transferred his very nominal allegiance to the Abbasid caliphs.
In the 10th century it suffered severely, being repeatedly pillaged in the wars of the Fatimite caliphs Al-Qaim and Abu Tahir Ismail el Mansur with the Sunnite leader Abu Yazid and the Zenata Berbers.
In 1171 on the death of the Fatimite caliph he was powerful enough to substitute the name of the orthodox caliph in all Egyptian mosques.
Seven princes of the Rustamite house succeeded Abdul Wahab at Tiaret, but in 909 the dynasty was overthrown by the Fatimite general al Shi`i.
The principal bazaar, the Khan-el-Khalil, marks the site of the tombs of the Fatimite caliphs.
Jauhar (Gohar) el-Kaid, the conqueror of Egypt for the Fatimite caliph El-Moizz, founded a new capital, A.D.
That following the old Tanitic channel is called the canal of Al-Moizz, the first Fatimite caliph who ruled in Egypt, having been dug by his orders, and the latter bears the name of the canal of Abu-l-Muneggi, a Jew who executed this work, under the caliph Al-Amir, in order to water the province called the Sharkia.
In 969 the country was conquered by Jauhar for the Fatimite caliph Moizz, who transferred his capital from Mahdia in the Maghrib to Cairo.
(b) Fatimite Caliphs, 357567 (9691171).
In the middle of the year 914 Egypt was invaded for the first time by a Fatimite force sent by the caliph al-Mahdi Obaidallah, now established at Kairawan.
The Mahdis son succeeded in taking Alexandria, and advancing as far as the Favflm: but once more the Abbasid caliph sent a powerful army to assist his viceroy, and the invaders were driven out of the country and pursued as far as Barca; the Fatimite caliph, however, continued to maintain active propaganda in Egypt.
The favor afterwards shown to Ibn Raiq at Bagdad nearly threw the Ikshid into the arms of the Fatimite caliph, with whom he carried on a friendly correspondence, one letter of which is preserved.
He is even said to have given orders to substitute the name of the Fatimite caliph for that of the Abbasid in public prayer, but to have been warned of the unwisdom of this course.
The Fatimite general Jauhar (variously represented as of Greek, Slav and Sicilian origin), who enjoyed the complete confidence of the Fatimite sovereign, was placed at the head of an army of 100,000 menif Oriental numbers are to be trustedand started from Rakkada at the beginning of March 969 with the view of seizing Egypt.
Almost immediately after the conquest of Egypt, Jauhar found himself engaged in a struggle with the Carmathians (q.v.), whom the Ikshidi prefect of Damascus had pacified by a promise of tribute; this promise was of course not held binding by the Fatimite general (Jafa.r b.
His North African possessions were maintained and extended by Ali, son of Bulukkin, whom Moizz had left as his deputy; but the recognition of the Fatimite caliph in this region was little more than nominal.
Nureddin loyally aided his deputy in dealing with Frankish invasions of Egypt, but the anomaly by which he, being a Sunnite, was made in Egypt to recognize a Fa~timite caliph could not long continue, and he ordered Saladin to weaken the Fatimite by every available means, and then substitute the name of the Abbasid for his in public worship. Saladin and his ministers were at first afraid lest this step might give rise to disturbances among the people; but a stranger undertook to risk it on the 17th of September 1171, and the following Friday it was repeated by official order; the caliph himself died during the interval, and it is uncertain whether he ever heard of his deposition.
(~) Ayyub-ite Period.Saladin by the advice of his chief Nureddin cashiefed the Fatimite judges and took steps to encourage the study of orthodox theology and jurisprudence in Egypt by the foundation of colleges and chairs.
The contentions between the Abbasid and Fatimite caliphs continued till 1072, when Palestine suffered its next invasion.
Next year Mecca was taken and plundered; even the sacred Black Stone was transported to Lahsa, where it remained till 339 (950), when by the express order of the Imam, the Fatimite caliph, it was restored to the Ka`ba.
But in the following year, 450, during his absence, the Shiites made themselves masters of the metropolis, and proclaimed the Caliphate of the Fatimite prince Mostansir.
Yemen had been subjected, and at Mecca and Medina his name was substituted in the public prayers for that of the Fatimite caliph.
The greatest event towards the end of his Caliphate was the conquest of Egypt by the army of Nureddin, the overthrow of the Fatimite dynasty, and the rise of Saladin.
His son and successor al-Mostadi' biamri'llah ("he who seeks enlightenment by the orders of God"), though in Egypt his name was now substituted in public prayers for that of the Fatimite caliph, was unable to obtain any real authority.
It was refounded in 912 by the first Fatimite caliph, 'Obaidallah-al-Mandi, after whom it was named.
He has made himself known to men by successive incarnations, of which the last was Hakim, the sixth Fatimite caliph.
He who judges by the command of God), sixth of the Fatimite caliphs (third in Egypt), began to reign; and during the next twenty-five years he indulged in a tyranny at once so terrible and so fantastic that little doubt can be entertained of his insanity.
Some allowance, too, must be made for the probability that Hamza's system owed something to doctrines Christian and other, with which the metropolitan position of Cairo brought Fatimite society into contact.
After renouncing his tribute to the Fatimite caliphs, he sent an expedition to Sicily under Nicetas (964-65), but was forced by defeats on land and sea to evacuate that island completely.