Tag Archives: Fatimids

1095: Meanwhile in Egypt…

The year before Pope Urban II called for the first Crusade in Clermont, Egypt experienced two important deaths that led to another split in the Shi’ite world. Caliph al-Mustansir ruled for sixty years in Cairo, starting when he was only … Continue reading

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The Druze

In the later years of Caliph al-Hakim (see original entry here), two separate forces fused to create the Druze, the secretive cult/tribe based in Lebanon. This is another of those stories that’s hard to make out clearly because there are … Continue reading

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Anti-Semitism begins in Europe

Part of the countdown to the First Crusade… Before the year 1000, there’s no clear evidence of anti-Jewish actions. A small community of Jews had settled along the Rhine River in Roman days; there were some other small historic communities … Continue reading

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The Mad Caliph

By the late 900s, the Fatimid dynasty was in control of all of North Africa, Palestine, and the holy places in Arabia, Mecca and Medina. Sunni Muslims had been the norm in Egypt; now they were pressured to become Ismailis. … Continue reading

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Fatimid ideology

The IMAM: During the Abbasid years, Shi’ite believers had turned away from secular power in order to survive. Those who challenged the Caliph openly usually died. Those who developed the ability to go undercover while seeming loyal, survived. We hear … Continue reading

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Religious ideology in the early Middle Ages

When the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads, theology had been only lightly involved, just enough to get most Shi’ite sympathizers on their side while actually shifting power to Persians. These dynasties had been about pragmatic balance of power and maximizing tax … Continue reading

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The Shi’ite Revolution: Revenge of Fatima

Ever since the Battle of Karbala, true-believer Shi’ites kept track of a secret line of true Imams descended from one survivor. It was inevitable that someone would emerge to challenge Abbasid power, and to this end, the regime was constantly … Continue reading

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