The Fatimid Caliphate was a Shia Islamic caliphate that spanned a large area of North Africa, from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The dynasty of Arab origin ruled across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and ultimately made Egypt the centre of the caliphate. At its height the caliphate included in addition to Egypt varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz.
The Fatimids (Arabic: الفاطميون, translit. al-Fāṭimīyūn) claimed descent from Fatimah, the daughter of Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Fatimid state took shape among the Kutama Berbers, in the West of the North African littoral, in Algeria, in 909 conquering Raqqada, the Aghlabid capital. In 921 the Fatimids established the Tunisian city of Mahdia as their new capital. In 948 they shifted their capital to Al-Mansuriya, near Kairouan in Tunisia. In 969 they conquered Egypt and established Cairo as the capital of their caliphate; Egypt became the political, cultural, and religious centre of their empire that developed an indigenous Arabic culture.
The ruling class belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi'ism, as did the leaders of the dynasty. The existence of the caliphate marked the only time the descendants of Ali and Fatimah were united to any degree (except for the final period of the Rashidun Caliphate under Ali himself from 656 to 661) and the name "Fatimid" refers to Fatimah. The different term Fatimite is sometimes used to refer to the caliphate's subjects.
After the initial conquests, the caliphate often allowed a degree of religious tolerance towards non-Ismaili sects of Islam, as well as to Jews, Maltese Christians, and Egyptian Coptic Christians. However, its leaders made little headway in persuading the Egyptian population to adopt its religious beliefs.
During the late eleventh and twelfth centuries the Fatimid caliphate declined rapidly, and in 1171 Saladin invaded its territory. He founded the Ayyubid dynasty and incorporated the Fatimid state into the Abbasid Caliphate.
Evolution of the Fatimid state
|Religion||Islam (Ismaili Shia)|
• 909–934 (first)
• 1160–1171 (last)
|Historical era||Early Middle Ages|
|5 January 909|
• Foundation of Cairo
|8 August 969|
|969||4,100,000 km2 (1,600,000 sq mi)|
The Fatimid Caliphate's religious ideology originated in an Ismaili Shia movement launched in the 9th century in Salamiyah, Syria by the eighth Ismaili Imam, Abd Allah al-Akbar (766–828). He claimed descent through Ismail, the seventh Ismaili Imam, from Fatimah and her husband ‘Alī ibn-Abī-Tālib, the first Shī‘a Imām, whence his name al-Fātimī "the Fatimid". The eighth to tenth Ismaili Imams, (Abadullah, Ahmed (c. 813 – c. 840) and Husain (died 881), remained hidden and worked for the movement against the rulers of the period.
Together with his son, the 11th Imam Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah (lived 873–934), in the guise of a merchant, made his way to Sijilmasa, in present-day Morocco, fleeing persecution by the Abbasids, who found their Isma'ili Shi'ite beliefs not only unorthodox, but also threatening to the status quo of their caliphate. According to legend, 'Abdullah and his son were fulfilling a prophecy that the mahdi would come from Mesopotamia to Sijilmasa. They hid among the population of Sijilmasa, then an independent emirate, ruled by Prince Yasa' ibn Midrar (r. 884–909).
The dedicated Shi'ite Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i supported Al-Mahdi. Al-Shi'i started his preaching after he encountered a group of Muslim North African during his hajj. These men bragged about the country of the Kutama in western Ifriqiya (today part of Algeria), and the hostility of the Kutama towards, and their complete independence from, the Aghlabid rulers. This triggered al-Shi'i to travel to the region, where he started to preach the Ismaili doctrine. The Berber peasants, oppressed for decades under the corrupt Aghlabid rule, would prove themselves to be a perfect basis for sedition. Rapidly, al-Shi'i began conquering cities in the region: first Mila, then Sétif, Kairouan, and eventually Raqqada, the Aghlabid capital. In 909 Al-Shi'i sent a large expedition force to rescue the Mahdi, conquering the Khariji state of Tahert on its way there. After gaining his freedom, Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah became the leader of the growing state and assumed the position of imam and caliph.
Abdullāh al-Mahdi's control soon extended over all of the Maghreb, an area consisting of the modern countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, which he ruled from Mahdia. The newly built city of Al-Mansuriya,[a] or Mansuriyya (Arabic: المنصورية), near Kairouan, Tunisia, was the capital of the Fatimid Caliphate during the rule of the Imams Al-Mansur Billah (r. 946–953) and Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah (r. 953–975).
The Fatimid general Jawhar conquered Egypt in 969, where he built a new palace city, near Fusṭāt, which he also called al-Manṣūriyya. Under Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah, the Fatimids conquered the Ikhshidid Wilayah (see Fatimid Egypt), founding a new capital at al-Qāhira (Cairo) in 969. The name was a reference to the planet Mars, "The Subduer", which was prominent in the sky at the moment that city construction started. Cairo was intended as a royal enclosure for the Fatimid caliph and his army, though the actual administrative and economic capital of Egypt was in cities such as Fustat until 1169. After Egypt, the Fatimids continued to conquer the surrounding areas until they ruled from Tunisia to Syria, as well as Sicily.
Under the Fatimids, Egypt became the centre of an empire that included at its peak parts of North Africa, Sicily, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Red Sea coast of Africa, Tihamah, Hejaz, and Yemen. Egypt flourished, and the Fatimids developed an extensive trade network in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Their trade and diplomatic ties extended all the way to China and its Song Dynasty, which eventually determined the economic course of Egypt during the High Middle Ages. The Fatimid focus on long-distance trade was accompanied by a lack of interest in agriculture and a neglect of the Nile irrigation system.
Al-Mahdiyya, the first capital of the Fatimid dynasty, was established by the first caliph of the Fatimid dynasty, ʿAbdullāh al-Mahdī (297–322/909–934) in 300/912–913. The caliph had been residing in nearby Raqqada but chose a new and more strategic location to establish his dynasty. The city of al-Mahdiyya is located on a narrow peninsula along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, east of Kairouan and just south of the Gulf of Hammamet in modern-day Tunisia. The primary concern in the city's construction and locale was defense. With its peninsular topography and the construction of a wall 8.3 m thick, the city became impenetrable by land. This strategic location together with a navy that the Fatimids had inherited from the conquered Aghlabids, the city of Al-Mahdiyya became a strong military base where ʿAbdullāh al-Mahdī consolidated power and established the roots of the Fatimid caliphate for two generations. The city included two royal palaces – one for the caliph ‘Abdullāh al-Mahdī and one for his son and successor the caliph al-Qāʾim – a mosque, many administrative buildings, and an arsenal.
Al-Manṣūriyya was established between 334 and 336/945-8 by the third Fatimid caliph al-Manṣūr (334-41/946-53) in a settlement known as Ṣabra, located on the outskirts of Kairouan in modern-day Tunisia. The new capital was established in commemoration of the victory of al-Manṣūr over the Khārijite rebel Abū Yazīd at Ṣabra. Like Baghdad, the plan of the city of Al-Manṣūriyya is round, with the caliphal palace at its center. Due to a plentiful water source, the city grew and expanded a great deal under al-Manṣūr. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that there were more than 300 ḥammāms built during this period in the city as well as numerous palaces. When al-Manṣūr's successor, al-Muʿizz moved the caliphate to Cairo, his deputy stayed behind as regent of al-Manṣūriyya and usurped power for himself, marking the end of the Fatimid reign in al-Manṣūriyya and the beginning of the city's ruin (spurred on by a violent revolt). The city remained downtrodden and more or less uninhabited for centuries afterward.
Cairo was established by the fourth Fatimid caliph al-Muʿizz in 359/970 and remained the capital of the Fatimid caliphate for the duration of the dynasty. Cairo can thus be considered the capital of Fatimid cultural production. Though the original Fatimid palace complex, including administrative buildings and royal residents, no longer exists, modern scholars can glean a good idea of the original structure based on the Mamluk-era account of al-Maqrīzī. Perhaps the most important of Fatimid monuments outside the palace complex is the mosque of al-Azhar (359-61/970-2) which still stands today, though little of the building is original to its first Fatimid construction. Likewise the important Fatimid mosque of al-Ḥākim, built from 380-403/990-1012 under two Fatimid caliphs, has been rebuilt under subsequent dynasties. Cairo remained the capital for, including al-Muʿizz, eleven generations of caliphs, after which the Fatimid Caliphate finally fell to Ayyubid forces in 567/1171.
Unlike western European governments in the era, advancement in Fatimid state offices was more meritocratic than based on heredity. Members of other branches of Islam, like the Sunnis, were just as likely to be appointed to government posts as Shiites. Tolerance was extended to non-Muslims such as Christians and Jews, who occupied high levels in government based on ability, and tolerance was set into place to ensure the flow of money from all those who were non-Muslims in order to finance the Caliphs' large army of Mamluks brought in from Circassia by Genoese merchants. There were exceptions to this general attitude of tolerance, however, most notably by Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, though this has been highly debated, with Al-Hakim's reputation among medieval Muslim historians conflated with his role in the Druze faith.
The Fatimids were also known for their exquisite arts. A type of ceramic, lustreware, was prevalent during the Fatimid period. Glassware and metalworking was also popular. Many traces of Fatimid architecture exist in Cairo today; the most defining examples include the Al-Azhar University and the Al-Hakim Mosque. The madrasa is one of the relics of the Fatimid dynasty era of Egypt, descended from Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad. Fatimah was called Az-Zahra (the brilliant), and the madrasa was named in her honour. It was founded as a mosque by the Fatimid commander Jawhar at the orders of the Caliph Al-Muizz when he founded the city of Cairo. It was (probably on Saturday) in Jamadi al-Awwal in the year 359 A.H. Its building was completed on the 9th of Ramadan in the year 361 A.H. Both Al-'Aziz Billah and Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah added to its premises. It was further repaired, renovated, and extended by Al-Mustansir Billah and Al-Hafiz Li-Din-illah. Fatimid Caliphs always encouraged scholars and jurists to have their study-circles and gatherings in this mosque, and thus it was turned into a university that has the claim to be considered as the oldest still-functioning University.
Intellectual life in Egypt during the Fatimid period achieved great progress and activity, due to many scholars who lived in or came to Egypt, as well as the number of books available. Fatimid Caliphs gave prominent positions to scholars in their courts, encouraged students, and established libraries in their palaces, so that scholars might expand their knowledge and reap benefits from the work of their predecessors.
Perhaps the most significant feature of Fatimid rule was the freedom of thought and reason extended to the people, who could believe in whatever they liked, provided they did not infringe on the rights of others. Fatimids reserved separate pulpits for different Islamic sects, where the scholars expressed their ideas in whatever manner they liked. Fatimids gave patronage to scholars and invited them from every place, spending money on them even when their beliefs conflicted with those of the Fatimids.
There is the place known as "Al-Mashhad al-Hussaini" (Masjid Imam Husain, Cairo), wherein lie buried underground Twelve Fatimid Imams from 9th Taqi Muhammad to 20th Mansur al-Āmir. This place is also known as "Bāb Mukhallafāt al-Rasul" (door of remaining part of Rasul), where Sacred Hair  of Muhammad is preserved.
The Fatimid military was based largely on the Kutama Berber tribesmen brought along on the march to Egypt, and they remained an important part of the military even after Tunisia began to break away. After their successful establishment in Egypt, local Egyptian forces were also incorporated into the army, so the Fatimid Army were reinforced by North African soldiers from Algeria to Egypt in the Eastern North. (and of succeeding dynasties as well).
A fundamental change occurred when the Fatimid Caliph attempted to push into Syria in the latter half of the 10th century. The Fatimids were faced with the now Turkish-dominated forces of the Abbasid Caliph and began to realize the limits of their current military. Thus during the reign of Abu Mansur Nizar al-Aziz Billah and Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Caliph began incorporating armies of Turks and later black Africans (even later, other groups such as Armenians were also used). The army units were generally separated along ethnic lines, thus the Berbers were usually the light cavalry and foot skirmishers, while the Turks were the horse archers or heavy cavalry (known as Mamluks). The black Africans, Syrians, and Arabs generally acted as the heavy infantry and foot archers. This ethnic-based army system, along with the partial slave status of many of the imported ethnic fighters, would remain fundamentally unchanged in Egypt for many centuries after the fall of the Fatimid Caliph.
The Fatimids put all their military power toward the defence of the empire whenever it was menaced by dangers and threats, which they were able to repel, especially during the rule of Al-Muizz Lideenillah. During his reign, the Byzantine Empire was ruled by Nikephoros II Phokas, who had destroyed the Muslim Emirate of Chandax in 961 and conquered Tartus, Al-Masaisah, 'Ain Zarbah, and other places, gaining complete control of Iraq and the Syrian borders as well as earning the sobriquet, the "Pale Death of the Saracens". With the Fatimids, however, he proved less successful. After renouncing his payments of tribute to the Fatimid caliphs, he sent an expedition to Sicily, but was forced by defeats on land and sea to evacuate the island completely. In 967, he made peace with the Fatimids and turned to defend himself against their common enemy, Otto I, who had proclaimed himself Roman Emperor and had attacked Byzantine possessions in Italy.
While the ethnic-based army was generally successful on the battlefield, it began to have negative effects on Fatimid internal politics. Traditionally the Berber element of the army had the strongest sway over political affairs, but as the Turkish element grew more powerful, it began to challenge this, and by 1020 serious riots had begun to break out among the Black African troops who were fighting back against a Berber-Turk Alliance.
By the 1060s, the tentative balance between the different ethnic groups within the Fatimid army collapsed as Egypt suffered an extended period of drought and famine. Declining resources accelerated the problems among the different ethnic factions, and outright civil war began, primarily between the Turks under Nasir al-Dawla ibn Hamdan and Black African troops, while the Berbers shifted alliance between the two sides. The Turkish forces of the Fatimid army seized most of Cairo and held the city and Caliph at ransom, while the Berber troops and remaining Sudanese forces roamed the other parts of Egypt.
By 1072, in a desperate attempt to save Egypt, the Fatimid Caliph Abū Tamīm Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah recalled general Badr al-Jamali, who was at the time the governor of Acre, Palestine. Badr al-Jamali led his troops into Egypt and was able to successfully suppress the different groups of the rebelling armies, largely purging the Turks in the process. Although the Caliphate was saved from immediate destruction, the decade long rebellion devastated Egypt and it was never able to regain much power. As a result, Badr al-Jamali was also made the vizier of the Fatimid caliph, becoming one of the first military viziers ("Amir al Juyush", Arabic: امير الجيوش, Commander of Forces of the Fatimids) who would dominate late Fatimid politics. Al-Jam`e Al-Juyushi (Arabic: الجامع الجيوشي, The Mosque of the Armies), or Juyushi Mosque, was built by Badr al-Jamali. The mosque was completed in 478 H/1085 AD under the patronage of then Caliph and Imam Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah. It was built on an end of the Mokattam Hills, ensuring a view of the Cairo city. This Mosque/mashhad was also known as a victory monument commemorating vizier Badr's restoration of order for the Imam Mustansir. As the military viziers effectively became heads of state, the Caliph himself was reduced to the role of a figurehead. Badr al-Jamali's son, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, succeeded him in power as vizier.
In the 1040s, the Berber Zirids (governors of North Africa under the Fatimids) declared their independence from the Fatimids and their recognition of the Sunni Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad, which led the Fatimids to launch the devastating Banū Hilal invasions of North Africa. After about 1070, the Fatimid hold on the Levant coast and parts of Syria was challenged first by Turkic invasions, then the Crusades, so that Fatimid territory shrank until it consisted only of Egypt. The Fatimids gradually lost the Emirate of Sicily over thirty years to the Italo-Norman Roger I who was in total control of the entire island by 1091.
The reliance on the Iqta system also ate into Fatimid central authority, as more and more the military officers at the further ends of the empire became semi-independent.
After the decay of the Fatimid political system in the 1160s, the Zengid ruler Nūr ad-Dīn had his general, Shirkuh, seize Egypt from the vizier Shawar in 1169. Shirkuh died two months after taking power, and rule passed to his nephew, Saladin. This began the Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt and Syria.
After Al-Mustansir Billah, his sons Nizar and Al-Musta'li both claimed the right to rule, leading to a split into the Nizari and Musta'li factions respectively. Nizar's successors eventually came to be known as the 'Aga Khan. While Musta'li's followers eventually came to be called as the Dawoodi bohra
The Fatimid dynasty continued under Al-Musta'li until Al-Amir bi-Ahkami'l-Lah's death in 1132. Leadership was then contested between At-Tayyib Abu'l-Qasim, Al-Amir's two-year-old son, and Al-Hafiz, Al-Amir's cousin whose supporters (Hafizi) claimed Al-Amir died without an heir. The supporters of At-Tayyib became the Tayyibi Isma'ilis. At-Tayyib's claim to the imamate was endorsed by Arwa al-Sulayhi, Queen of Yemen. In 1084, Al-Mustansir had designated Arwa designated a hujjah (a holy, pious lady), the highest rank in the Yemeni Da'wah. Under Arwa, the Da'i al-Balagh (the imam's local representative) Lamak ibn Malik and then Yahya ibn Lamak worked for the cause of the Fatimids. After At-Tayyib's disappearance, Arwa named Dhu'ayb bin Musa the first Da'i al-Mutlaq with full authority over Tayyibi religious matters. Tayyibi Isma'ili missionaries (in about 1067 AD(460AH)) spread their religion to India, leading to the development of various Isma'ili communities, most notably the Alavi, Dawoodi, and Sulaymani Bohras. Syedi Nuruddin to Dongaon went to look after India's southern part and Syedi Fakhruddin to East Rajasthan.
In the course of the later eleventh and twelfth century, however, the Fatimid caliphate declined rapidly, and in 1171 the country was invaded by Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. He restored Egypt as a political power, reincorporated it in the Abbasid caliphate and established Ayyubid suzerainty not only over Egypt and Syria but, as mentioned above, temporarily over northern Mesopotamia as well.
Nevertheless, the Seljuqs of Syria kept the Crusaders occupied for several years until the reign of the last Fatimid Caliph al-Adid (1160–1171) when, in the face of a Crusade threat, the caliph appointed a warrior of the Seljuq regime by the name of Shirkuh to be his chief minister.
— Imperial house —
| Ruling house of Egypt
as Abbasid autonomy
|Titles in pretence|
| Caliphate dynasty
Abū Yazīd Mukhallad ibn Kayrād al-Nukkari (Arabic: أبو يزيد مخلد بن كيراد; 873 - 19 August 947), nicknamed Ṣāhib al-Himār "Possessor of the donkey", was a Ibadi Berber of the Banu Ifran tribe who led a rebellion against the Fatimid Caliphate in Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia and eastern Algeria) starting in 944. Abū Yazīd conquered Kairouan for a time, but was eventually driven back and defeated by the Fatimid Caliph al-Mansur Billah.Al-Muqtana Baha'uddin
Baha'uddin 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn ad-Dayf, also known as Al-Muqtana Baha'uddin, Baha'uddin al-Muqtana, Bahā'a ad-Dīn, Bahā'a ad-Dīn, Ali ibn Ahmad, Baha' al-Din, Ali ibn ad-Dayf, Ali b ad-Tai or Baha'u d-Din as-Samuqi (born 979 – died 1043 CE) was an 11th-century Ismaili, and founding leader of the Druze. He was born in a small village called Sammuqa near Aleppo in Syria and belonged to the Arab tribe of Tayy.Al-Muqtana is considered a founder of the Druze Faith, the primary exponent of the Divine call and author of several of the Epistles of Wisdom.Al-Musabbihi
Al-Amīr al-Mukhtār ʿIzz al-Mulk Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Abiʾl Qāsim ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Aḥmad ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Azīz al-Ḥarranī al-Musabbiḥī al-Kātib, commonly known simply as al-Musabbihi (4 March 977 – April/May 1030), was a Fatimid historian, writer and administrative official. He is known to have authored some 40,000 pages of manuscripts dealing with an array of topics, including history, psychology, law, grammar, sexology and cooking. Akhbār Miṣr, a contemporary chronicle of Egyptian history and news, was among al-Musabbihi's well-known works. However, like the vast majority of al-Musabbihi's works, only fragments of Akhbār Miṣr survived; most of his writings disappeared not long after his death.
Al-Musabbihi was a devout Sunni Muslim born in Fustat, where he lived most of his life and died. He was known to be loyal to the Fatimid government and maintained particularly close ties with Caliph al-Hakim (r. 996–1021). Early in his career, he served in the Fatimid military and was made a provincial governor in Upper Egypt before becoming a leading figure in the Fatimids' central administration in Cairo.Badr al-Jamali
Abū'l-Najm Badr ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Jamālī al-Mustanṣirī, better known as Badr al-Jamali (Arabic: بدر الجمالى) was a vizier and prominent statesman for the Fatimid Caliphate under Caliph al-Mustansir. His appointment to the vizierate in 1073 restored the fortunes of the Fatimid state, which had faced collapse in the previous decades, but also began a period where the vizierate was dominated by military strongmen who held power through their military strength, rather than through the Caliph's appointment. An Armenian, Badr al-Jamali initiated a wave of Armenian migration into Egypt, and was the first of a series of viziers of Armenian origin, who played a major role in the fortunes of the Fatimid Caliphate over the subsequent century.Battle of Ramla (1101)
The first Battle of Ramla (or Ramleh) took place on 7 September 1101 between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Fatimids of Egypt. The town of Ramla lay on the road from Jerusalem to Ascalon, the latter of which was the largest Fatimid fortress in Palestine. From Ascalon the Fatimid vizier, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, launched almost annual attacks into the newly founded Crusader kingdom from 1099 to 1107. It was thrice the case that the two armies met each other at Ramla.Battle of Yibneh
In the Battle of Yibneh (Yibna) in 1123, a Crusader force led by Eustace Grenier crushed a Fatimid army from Egypt sent by Vizier Al-Ma'mun between Ascalon and Jaffa.Battle of al-Babein
The Battle of al-Babein took place on March 18, 1167, during the third Crusader invasion of Egypt. King Amalric I of Jerusalem, and a Zengid army under Shirkuh, both hoped to take the control of Egypt over from the Fatimid Caliphate. Saladin served as Shirkuh’s highest-ranking officer in the battle. The result was a tactical draw between the forces, however The Crusaders failed to gain access to Egypt.Battle of the Straits
The Battle of the Straits (Arabic: waqʿat al-majāz) was fought in early 965 between the fleets of the Byzantine Empire and the Fatimid Caliphate in the Straits of Messina. It resulted in a major Fatimid victory, and the final collapse of the attempt of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas to recover Sicily from the Fatimids.Bayn al-Qasrayn
Bayn al-Qasrayn is the district and plaza between two palaces constructed by the Fatimid dynasty in mediaeval Islamic Cairo, within present day Cairo, Egypt. It is an element in the Fatimid Caliphate founding of the new city of Cairo.Buluggin ibn Ziri
Buluggin ibn Ziri, often transliterated Bologhine, in full Abu'l-Futuh Sayf al-Dawla Buluggin ibn Ziri ibn Manad al-Sanhaji (Arabic: أبو الفتوح سيف الدولة بلكين بن زيري بن مناد الصنهاجي; died 984) was the first ruler of the Zirids in Ifriqiya (972–984).
Buluggin was already given responsibility under the governorship of his father Ziri ibn Manad, during which time he founded the cities of Algiers, Miliana and Médéa. After Ziri's death in battle against renegade Berbers, Buluggin became governor of Algeria and defeated the Zanata tribe. The prisoners were resettled in great numbers in the settlement of Ashir.
When the Fatimids transferred their base from Mahdia to Egypt, Buluggin was appointed viceroy of Ifriqiya, and established his residence at Kairouan. The Fatimids had taken the treasury and fleet with them to Egypt, so the first priority of the Zirid government was to consolidate their rule. However the loss of the fleet meant loss of control over the Kalbids in Sicily. Buluggin advanced towards the Atlantic Ocean during a campaign in Morocco, where he also fought against the Bargawata. The Caliphate of Córdoba was however able to retain the fortresses of Ceuta and Tangiers.
Buluggin died in 984 whilst returning from this expedition. He was succeeded by his son al-Mansur ibn Buluggin (984-995).
Bologhine, a suburb in the city of Algiers, is named after him.Crusader invasions of Egypt
The Crusader invasion of Egypt (1154–1169) was a series of campaigns undertaken by the Kingdom of Jerusalem to strengthen its position in the Levant by taking advantage of the weakness of Fatimid Egypt.
The war began as part of a succession crisis in the Fatimid Caliphate, which began to crumble under the pressure of Syria and the Crusader states. While one side called for help from Nur ad-Din Zangi, the other called for Crusader assistance. As the war progressed however it became a war of conquest. A number of Syrian campaigns into Egypt were stopped short of total victory by the aggressive campaigning of Amalric I of Jerusalem. Even so, the Crusaders generally speaking did not have things go their way, despite several sackings. A combined Byzantine-Crusader siege of Damietta failed in 1169, the same year that Salah ad-Din, also known as Saladin in the West, took power in Egypt as vizier. In 1171 Saladin became Sultan of Egypt and the Crusaders thereafter turned their attention to the defence of their Kingdom, which, despite being surrounded by Syria and Egypt, held for another 16 years. Later crusades tried to support the Kingdom of Jerusalem by targeting the danger that was Egypt, but to no avail.House of Knowledge
Also, House Of Wisdom (Arabic: دار الحكمة, Dar al-Hikmah) or House of Knowledge (Arabic: دار العلم, Dar al-'Ilm) was an ancient university of the Fatimid Caliphate (today's Egypt), built in 1004 CE as a library and converted by the Fatimid Imam-Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah to a state university in the same year.
The library’s collection was so vast that historian, Ibn Abi Tayyi’ described it as a “Wonder of the world”. Another historian Ahmed Bin Ali Maqrizi says "The House of Wisdom in Cairo did not open its doors to the public except before the furnishing, decoration and beautification of all the doors and corridors, and a large number of servants were appointed. And the number of shelves in forty cabinets, each one of them could accommodate about eighteen thousand books. And (the shelves) were open, and books accessible to everyone. And one who wants a book, then the book can be easily found by him. If a book cannot be found by oneself, one can seek the help of hired handlers."
In keeping with the Islamic tradition of knowledge, the Fatimids collected books on a variety of subjects and their libraries attracted the attention of scholars from across the world. The Imam-Caliph al-Hakim was a great patron of learning and provided paper, pens, ink and inkstands without charge to all those who wished to study there.Ibn Hayyus
Al-Amir Muṣṭafa ad-Dawla Abī al-Fityān Muhammad, better known as Ibn Ḥayyûs (December 1003–January/February 1081), was an Arab poet from Syria. He was well known for writing panegyrics to the emirs and nobility of Syria, particularly the Mirdasids of Aleppo.Kutama
The Kutama (Berber: Iktamen) were a major Berber tribe in northern Algeria classified among the Berber confederation of the Bavares. The Kutama are attested much earlier, in the form Koidamousii by the Greek geographer Ptolemy.The Kutama played a pivotal role during the Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171), forming the Fatimid army which eventually overthrew the Aghlabids who controlled Ifriqiya, and which then went on to conquer Egypt and the southern Levant in 969–975. The Kutama remained one of the mainstays of the Fatimid army until well into the 11th century.List of Fatimid caliphs
This is a list of caliphs of the Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171).Siege of Ascalon
The Siege of Ascalon took place in 1153, resulting in the capture of that Egyptian fortress by the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.Siege of Jerusalem (1099)
The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade. The climax of the First Crusade, the successful siege saw the Crusaders take Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate and laid the foundations for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.Siege of Rometta
The Siege of Rometta was a siege of the Byzantine city of Rometta in northeastern Sicily by the Kalbids, on behalf of the Fatimid Dynasty in order to complete the Muslim conquest of Sicily.Siege of Taormina (962)
The Siege of Taormina in 962 was a successful siege by the Fatimid governors of Sicily of the main Byzantine fortress on the island, Taormina.