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FATIMITES

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 54 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FATIMITES. M. J. de Goeje, Memoire sur les Carmathes du Bahrain et les Fatimides (Leiden, 1886). conquered Damascus and other cities. Moktafi led his troops in person, and his general, Mahommed b. Suleiman, gained a signal victory. Three of their chiefs were taken and put to death. But, to avenge their defeat, they lay in wait for the great pilgrim caravan on its return from Mecca in the first days of 294 (906), and massacred 20,000 pilgrims, making an immense booty. This horrible crime raised the whole Moslem world against them. Zikriya their chief was defeated at last and perished. After the defeat of the Syrian Carmathians, Mahommed b. Suleiman was sent by the caliph to Egypt, where he overthrew the dominion of the Tilinids. 'Isa b. Mahommed al-Naushari was made governor in their stead (905). The war with the Byzantines was conducted with great energy during the reign of Moktafi. In the year 905 the Greek general Andronicus took Marash, and penetrated as far as Haleb (Aleppo), but the Moslems were successful at sea, and in 907 captured Iconium, whilst Andronicus went over to the caliph's side, so that the Byzantine emperor sent an embassy to Bagdad to ask for a truce and an exchange of prisoners. 18. Reign of Moqtadir.—The sudden death of Moktafi, Dhu'1-ga'da 295 (August 908), was a fatal blow to the prestige of the Caliphate, which had revived under the successive governments of Mowaffaq, Motadid and himself. The new caliph, al-Moqtadir billah (" the powerful through God "), a brother of Moktafi, was only thirteen years of age when he ascended the throne. Owing to his extreme youth many of the leading men at Bagdad rebelled and swore allegiance to Abdallah, son of the former caliph Motazz, a man of excellent character and of great poetical gifts; but the party of the house of Motadid prevailed, and the rival caliph was put to death. Moqtadir, though not devoid of noble qualities, allowed himself to be governed by his mother and her ladies and eunuchs. He began by squandering the 15,000,000 dinars which were in the treasury when his brother died in largesses to his courtiers, who, however, merely increased their demands. His very able vizier, the noble and disinterested Ali b. 'Isa, tried to check this foolish expenditure, but his efforts were more than counterbalanced by the vizier Ibn abi']-Forat and the court. The most shameless bribery and the robbery of the well-to-do went together with the most extravagant luxury. The twenty-four years of Moqtadir's reign are a period of rapid decay. The most important event in the reign was the foundation of the Fatimite dynasty, which reigned first in the Maghrib and then in Egypt for nearly three centuries (see FATIMITES and EGYPT: History, " Mahommedan "). Far more dangerous, however, for the Caliphate of Bagdad at the time were the Carmathians of Bahrein, then guided by Abu Tahir, the son of Abu Sa'id Jannabi. In 311 (A.D. 923) they took and ransacked Basra; in the first month of the following year the great pilgrim caravan on its return from Mecca was overpowered; 2500 men perished, while an even larger number were made prisoners and brought to Lahsa, the residence of the Carmathian princes, together with an immense booty. The caravan which left Bagdad towards the end of this year returned in all haste before it had covered a third of the way. Then Kufa underwent the fate that had befallen Basra. In 313 (A.D. 926) the caravan was allowed to pass on payment of a large sum of money. The government of Bagdad resolved to crush the Carmathians, but a large army was utterly defeated by Abu Tahir in 315 (927), and Bagdad was seriously threatened. 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. In 317 (929) a conspiracy was formed to dethrone Moqtadir, to which Minis, the chief commander of the army, at first assented, irritated by false reports. Very soon he withdrew, and though he could not prevent the plundering of the palace, and the proclamation as caliph of another son of Motadid with the title al-Qahir billah (" the victorious through God "), he rescued Moqtadir and his mother, and at the same time his imprisoned friend Ali b. 'Isa, and brought them to his own house. A few days later, a counter-revolution took place; the leaders51 of the revolt were killed, and Moqtadir, against his wish, was replaced on the throne. In 320 (A.D. 932) Minis, discovering a court intrigue against him, set out for Mosul, expecting that the Hamdanids, who owed to him their power, would join him. Instead of doing this, they opposed him with a numerous army, but were defeated. Minis took Mosul, and having received reinforcements from all parts, marched against Bagdad. The caliph, who wished nothing more than to be reconciled to his old faithful servant, was forced to take arms against him, and fell in battle Shawwal 320 (October 932), at the age of 38 years. His reign, which lasted almost twenty-five years, was in all respects injurious to the empire. 19. Reign of Qahir.—After the victory Minis acted with great moderation and proclaimed a general amnesty. His own wish was to call Abu Ahmad, a son of Moktafi, or a son of Moqtadir, to the Caliphate, but the majority of generals preferring Qahir because he was an adult man and had no mother at his side, he acquiesced, although he had a personal dislike for him, knowing his selfish and cruel character. Qahir was a drunkard, and derived the money for his excesses from promiscuous confiscation. He i11-treateltl the sons of Moqtadir and Abu Ahmad, and ultimately assassinated his patrons Minis and Yalbak, whose guardianship he resented. In Jomada I. 322 (April 934) he was dethroned and blinded, and died in poverty seven years later. During the last years of Moqtadir and the reign of Qahir a new dynasty rose. Biya, the chief of a clan of the Dailam, a warlike people who inhabit the mountainous country south-west of the Caspian Sea, had served under the Samanids, and found a footing in the south of Media (Jabal), whence his three sons—well known under the titles they assumed at a later period: 'Imad addaula (" prop of the dynasty "), Rokn addaula (" pillar of the dynasty "), and Mo'izz addaula (" strengthener of the dynasty ")—succeeded in subduing the province of Fars, at the time of Qahir's dethronement (see PERSIA: History). 20. Reign of Radi.—Moqtadir's son, who was then proclaimed caliph under the name of ar-Radi billah (" the content through God "), was pious and well-meaning, but inherited only the shadow of power. The vizier Ibn Mogla tried to maintain his authority at least in Irak and Mesopotamia, but without success. The treasury was exhausted, the troops asked for pay, the people in Bagdad were riotous. In this extremity the caliph bade Ibn Raiq, who had made himself master of Basra and Wasit, and had command of money and men, to come to his help. He created for him the office of Amir al-Omara, " Amir of the Amirs," which nearly corresponds to that of Mayor of the Palace among the Franks.' Thenceforth the worldly power of the Caliphate was a mere shadow. The empire was by this time practically reduced to the province of Bagdad; Khorasan and Transoxiana were in the hands of the Samanids, Fars in those of the Biyids; Kirman and Media were under independent sovereigns; the Hamdanids possessed Mesopotamia; the Sajids Armenia and Azerbaijan; the Ikshidites Egypt; as we have seen, the Fatimites Africa, the Carmathians Arabia. The Amir al-Omara was obliged to purchase from the latter the freedom of the pilgrimage to Mecca, at the price of a disgraceful treaty. During the troubles of the Caliphate the Byzantines had made great advances; they had even taken Malatia and Samosata (Samsat). But the great valour of the Hamdanid prince Saifaddaula checked their march. The Greek army suffered two severe defeats and sued for peace. 21. Reign of Mottaqi.—Radi died in Rabia I. A.H.3 29 (December 940). Another son of Moqtadir was then proclaimed caliph under the name of al-Mottaqi billah (" he who guards himself by God "). At the time of his accession the Amir al-Omara was the Turkish general Bajkam, in whose favour Ibn Raiq had been obliged to retire. Unfortunately Bajkam died soon after, and his death was followed by general anarchy. A certain Baridi, who had carved out for himself a principality in the province of Basra, marched against Bagdad and made himself master of the capital, but was soon driven out by the Dailamite general 1 See Defremery, Memoire sur les Emirs al-Omara (Paris, 1848). Kurtakin. Ibn Raiq came back and reinstated himself as Amir al-Omara. But Baridi again laid siege to Bagdad, and Mottaqi fled to Nasir addaula the Hamdanid prince of Mosul, who then marched against Bagdad, and succeeded in repelling Baridi. In return he obtained the office of Amir al-Omara. But the Dailamite and Turkish soldiery did not suffer him to keep this office longer than several months. Tuzun, a former captain of Bajkam, compelled him to return to Mosul and took his place. Mottaqi fled again to Mosul and thence to Rakka. The Ikshid, sovereign of Egypt and Syria, offered him a refuge, but Tuzun, fearing to see the caliph obtain such powerful support, found means to entice him to his tent, and had his eyes put out, Saphar 333 (October 944). 22. Reign of Mostakfi.—As successor Tuzun chose al-Mostakfi billah (" he who finds full sufficiency with God "), a son of Moktafi. This prince, still more than his predecessors, was a mere puppet in the hands of Tuzun, who died a few months later, and his successor Ibn Shirzad. Such was the weakness of the caliph that a notorious robber, named Hamdi, obtained immunity for his depredations by a monthly payment of 25,000 dinars. One of the Buyid princes, whose power had been steadily increasing, marched about this time against Bagdad, which he entered in Jomada I. A.H. 334 (December 945), and was acknowledged by the caliph as legal sovereign, under the title of Sultan. He assumed at this time the name of Mo'izz addaula. Mostakfi was soon weary of this new master, and plotted against him. At least Mo'izz addaula suspected him and deprived him of his eyesight, Jomada II. A.H. 334 (January 946). There were thus in Bagdad three caliphs who had been dethroned and blinded, Qahir, Mottaqi and Mostakfi. 23. Reign of Moti.—Mo'izz addaula soon abandoned his original idea of restoring the title of caliph to one of the descend-ants of Ali, fearing a strong opposition of the people, and also dreading lest this should lead to the recovery by the caliphs of their former supremacy. His choice fell on a son of Moqtadir, who took the title of al-Moti' billah (" he who obeys God "). The sultan, reserving to himself all the powers and revenues of the Caliphate, allowed the caliph merely a secretary and a pension of 5000 dirhems a day. Though in public prayers and on the coins the name of the caliph remained as that of the supreme authority, he had in reality no authority out of the palace, so that the saying became proverbial, " he contents himself with sermon and coin." The Hamdanid prince of Mosul, who began to think his possessions threatened by Mo'izz addaula, tried without success to wrest Bagdad from him, and was obliged to submit to the payment of tribute. He died in 358 (A.D. 969), and ten years later the power of this branch of the Hamdanids came to an end. The representative of the other branch, Saif addaula, the prince of Haleb (Aleppo), conducted the war against the Byzantines with great valour till his death in 356 (A.D. 967), but could not stop the progress of the enemy. His descendants maintained themselves, but with very limited power, till A.H. 413 (A.D. 1022). Mo'izz addaula died in the same year as Saif addaula, leaving his power to his son Bakhtiyar `Izz addaula, who lacked his father's energy and loved pleasure more than business. While the Abbasid dynasty was thus dying out in shame and degradation, the Fatimites, in the person of Mo'izz li-din-allah (or Mo'izz Abu Tamin Ma'add) (" he who makes God's religion victorious "), were reaching the highest degree of power and glory in spite of the opposition of the Carmathians, who left their old allegiance and entered into negotiations with the court of Bagdad, offering to drive back the Fatimites, on condition of being assisted with money and troops, and of being rewarded with the government of Syria and Egypt. The former condition was granted, but the caliph emphatically refused the latter demand, saying: " Both parties are Carmathians, they profess the same religion and are enemies of Islam." The Carmathians drove the Fatimites out of Syria, and threatened Egypt, but, notwithstanding their intrepidity, they were not able to cope with 'their powerful rival, who, however, in his turn could not bring them to submission. In 978–979 peace was made oncondition that the Carmathians should evacuate Syria for an annual payment of. 70,000 dinars. But the losses sustained by the Carmathians during that struggle had been enormous. Their power henceforward declined, and came to an end in A.H. 474 (A.D. ro8i). Mo'izz addaula, as we have seen, professed a great veneration for the house of Ali. He not only caused the mourning for the death of Hosain and other Shi'ite festivals to be celebrated at Bagdad, but also allowed imprecations against Moawiya and even against Mahomet's wife Ayesha and the caliphs Abu Bekr, Omar and Othman, to be posted up at the doors of the mosques. These steps annoyed the people and the Turkish soldiery, who were Sunnites, and led at last to an 'insurrection. Moti was compelled to abdicate, and Bakhtiyar was driven out of Bagdad Dhu'l-qa'da 363 (August 974). 24. Reign of Tai.—Moti left the empty title of caliph to his son al-Ta`i li-amri'llak (" the obedient to the command of God "). The Turks who had placed him on the throne could not maintain themselves, but so insignificant was the person of the caliph that `Adod addaula, who succeeded his cousin Bakhtiyar in Bagdad, did not think of replacing him by another. Under this prince, or king, as he was called, the power of the Buyids reached its zenith. His empire stretched from the Caspian to the Persian Sea, and in the west to the eastern frontier of Syria. He did his best to remedy the misery caused by the intestine wars, repaired the ruined mosques and other public edifices, founded hospitals and libraries—his library in Shiraz was one of the wonders of the world—and improved irrigation. It was also he who built the mausoleum of Hosain at Kerbela, and that of Ali at Kufa. But after his death in the year 372 (A.D. 983), his sons, instead of following the example of their predecessors, the three sons of Buya, fought one against the other. In 380 (A.D. 990) the youngest of them, Baha addaula, had the upper hand. This prince, who was as avaricious as he was ambitious, wishing to deprive the caliph Ta'i of his possessions, compelled him to abdicate A.H. 381 (A.D. 991). 25. Reign of Qadir.—A grandson of Moqtadir was then made caliph under the name of al-Qadir billah (" the powerful through God "). The only deed of power, however, that is recorded of him, is that he opposed himself to the substitution of a Shi'ite head cadi for the Sunnite, so that Baha addaula had to content himself with giving to the Shiites a special judge, to whom he gave the title of naqib (superintendent). During this caliphate the Buyid princes were in continual war with one another. Meanwhile events were preparing the fall of their dynasty. In 350 (A.D. 961) a Turkish general of the Samanids had founded for himself a principality in Ghazni, acid at his death in 366 (A.D. 976) his successor Sabuktagin had conquered Bost in Sijistan and Qosdar in Baluchistan, beaten the Indian prince Diaya Pala, and been acknowledged as master of the lands west of the Indus. At his death in 387 his son Mahmud conquered the whole of Khorasan and Sijistan, with a great part of India. He then attacked the Buyids, and would have destroyed their dynasty but for his death in the year 421 (A.D. 1030). In 389 (A.D. 999) Ilek-khan, the prince of Turkistan, took Bokhara and made an end to the glorious state of the Samanids, the last prince of which was murdered in 395 (A.D. roo5). The Samanids had long been a rampart of the Caliphate against the Turks, whom they held under firm control. From their fall dates the invasion of the empire by that people. The greatest gainer for the moment was Mahmud of Ghazni. In Mesopotamia and Irak several petty states arose on the ruins of the dominions of the Hamdanids and of the Abbasids. Qadir died in the last month of A.H. 422 (November 1031). He is the author of some theological treatises. 26. Reign of Qaim.—He was succeeded by his son, who at his accession took the title of al-Qaim bi-amri'llah (" he who maintains the cause of God "). During the first half of his long reign took place the development of the power of the Ghuzz, a great Turkish tribe, who took the name Seljuk from Seljuk their chief in Transoxiana. Already during the reign of Mahmud large bodies had passed the Oxus and spread over Khorasan and the adjacent countries. In the time of his successor the bulk of the tribe followed, and in the year 429 (A,D. 1038) Toghrul Beg, their chief, beat the army of the Ghaznevids and made his entry into Nishapur. Thenceforth this progress was rapid (see SELJUKS). The situation in Bagdad had become so desperate that the caliph called Toghrul to his aid. This prince entered Bagdad in the month of Ramadan A.H. 447 (December 1055), and overthrew finally the dynasty of the Buyids 1 In 449 (A.D. 1058) the caliph gave him the title of " King of the East and West." But in the following year, 450, during his absence, the Shiites made them-selves masters of the metropolis, and proclaimed the Caliphate of the Fatimite prince Mostansir. They were soon overthrown by Toghrul, who was now supreme, and compelled the caliph to give him his daughter in marriage. Before the marriage, however, he died, and was succeeded by his nephew Alp Arslan, who died in 465 (25th December) (A.D. 1072). Qaim died two years later, Shaaban A.11. 467 (April 1075). In the year 440 Mo'izz b. B delis, the Zeirid ruler of the Maghrib, made himself independent, and substituted in prayer the name of the Abbasid caliph for that of Mostansir. In order to punish him, the latter gave permission to the Arab tribes in Egypt to cross the Nile, and granted them possession of all the lands they should conquer. This happened in 442 (A.D. 1050) and was of the greatest significance for the subsequent fate of Africa. 27. Reign of Moqtadi.—In the first year of the Caliphate of al-Mogtad% bi-amri'lldh (" he who follows the orders of God "), a grandson of Qaim,. the power of the Seljuk empire reached its zenith. All the eastern provinces, a great part of Asia Minor, Syria. with the exception of a few towns on the shore, the main part of West Africa acknowledged the caliph of Bagdad as the Imam. Yemen had been subjected, and at Mecca and Medina his name was substituted in the public prayers for that of the Fatimite caliph. But after the death of Malik-Shah a contest for the sultanate took place. The caliph, who had in 1087 married the daughter of Malik-Shah, had been compelled two years after to send her back to her father, as she complained of being neglected by her husband. Just before his death, the Sultan had ordered him to transfer his residence from Bagdad to Basra. After his death he stayed and supported the princess Turkan Khatun. This lost him his life. The day after Barkiyaroq's triumphant entry into Bagdad, Muharram 487 (February 1094), he died suddenly, apparently by poison. 28. Reign of Mostazhir.—Al-Mostazhir billah (" he who seeks to triumph through God "), son of Moqtadi, was only sixteen years old when he was proclaimed caliph. His reign is memorable chiefly for the growing power of the Assassins (q.v.) and for the first Crusade (see CRUSADES). The Seljuk princes were too much absorbed by internal strife to concentrate against the new assailants. After the death of Barkiyaroq in November 1104, his brother Mahommed reigned till April 1118. His death was followed about four months later by that of Mostazhir. 29. Reign of Mostarshid.—Al-Mostarshid billah (" he who asks guidance from God "), who succeeded his father in Rabia II. 512 (August 1118), distinguished himself by a vain attempt to re-establish the power of the caliph. Towards the end of the year 529 (October 1134) he was compelled to promise that he would confine himself to his palace and never again take the field. Not long after he was assassinated. About the same time Dobais was killed, a prince of the family of the Bann Mazyad, who had founded the Arabian state of Hillah in the vicinity of the ruins of Babel in 1102. 30. Reign of Rashid.—Al-Rashid billah (" the just through God") tried to follow the steps of his father, with the aid of Zengi, the prince of Mosul. But the sultan Masud beat the army of the allies, took Bagdad and had Rashid deposed (August 1136). Rashid escaped, but was murdered two years later. 31. Reign of Mogtafi.—His successor Al-Moqtafi li-amri'llah (" he who follows the orders of God "), son of Mostazhir, had better success. He was real ruler not only of the district of Bagdad, but also of the rest of Irak, which he subdued by force. ' Henceforward the history of the Caliphate is largely that of the Seljuk princes (see SELJuKS).53 He died in the month of Rabia II. 555 (March 1160). Under his reign the central power of the Seljuks was rapidly sinking. In the west of Atabeg (prince's guardian) Zengi, the prince of Mosul, had extended his dominion over Mesopotamia and the north of Syria, where he had been the greatest defender of Islam against the Franks. At his death in the year 541 (A.D. 1146), his noble son, the well-known Nureddin, who was called " the just king," continued his father's glorious career. Transoxiana was conquered by the heathen hordes of Khata, who towards the end of 535 (A.D. 1141) under the king Ghurkhan defeated the great army of the Seljuk prince and compelled the Turkish tribes of the Ghuzz to cross the Oxus and to occupy Khorasan. 32. Reign of Mostanjid: Al-Mostanjid billah ("he who invokes help from God "), the son of Moqtafi, enlarged the dominion of the Caliphate by making an end to the state of the Mazyadites in Hillah. His allies were the Arabic tribe of the Montafiq, who thenceforth were powerful in southern Irak. 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. He was killed by his major-domo in Rabia II. 566 (December 1170). 33. Reign of Mostadi.—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. By the death of Nureddin in 569 (A.D. 1174) Saiadin's power became firmly rooted. The dynasty founded by him is called that of the Ayyubites, after the name of his father Ayyub. Mostadi died in the month of Dhu`l-ga`da 575 (March 1180). 34•Reignof Nasir.—Quite a different man from his father was his successor al-Nasir li-d%ni'llah ("lie who helps the religion of God"). During his reign Jerusalem was reconquered by Saladin, 27 Rajab 583 (October 2nd, 1187). Not long before that event the well-known Spanish traveller Ibn Jubair visited the empire of Saladin, and came to Bagdad in 58o, where he saw the caliph himself. Nasir was very ambitious; he had added Khuzistan to his dominions, and desired to become also master of Media (Jabal, or Persian Irak, as it was called in the time of the Seljuks). Here, however, he came into conflict with the then mighty prince of Khwarizm (Khiva), who, already exasperated because the caliph refused to grant him the honours he asked for, resolved to overthrow the Caliphate of the Abbasids, and to place a descendant of All on the throne of Bagdad. In his anxiety, Nasir took a step which brought the greatest misery upon western Asia, or at least accelerated its arrival. In the depths of Asia a great conglomeration of east Turkish tribes (Tatars or Mongols), formed by a terrible warrior, known under his honorific title Jenghiz Khan, had conquered the northern provinces of China, and extended its power to the frontiers of the Transoxianian regions. To this heathen chief the Imam of the Moslems sent a messenger, inducing him to attack the prince of Khwarizm, who already had provoked the Mongolian by a disrespectful treatment of his envoys. Neither he nor the caliph had the slightest notion of the imminent danger they conjured up. When Nasir died, Ramadan 622 (October 1225), the eastern provinces of the empire had been trampled down by the wild hordes, the towns burned, and the inhabitants killed without mercy. 35. Reign of Zahir.—Al-Zahir bi amri'llah (" the victorious through the orders of God ") died within a year after his father's death, in Rajab 623 (July 1226). He and his son and successor are praised as beneficent and just princes. 36. Reign of Mostansir.—Al-Mostansir billah (" he who asks help from God ") was caliph till his death in Jomada II. 640 (December 1242). In the year 624 (1227) Jenghiz Khan died, but the Mongol invasion continued to advance with immense strides. The only man who dared, and sometimes with success, to combat them was Jelaleddin, the ex-king of Khwarizm, but after his death in 628 (A.D. 1231) all resistance was paralysed. 37. Reign of Mostasim.—Al-Mosta`Iim billah (" he who clings to God for protection "), son of Mostansir, the last caliph of Bagdad, was a narrow-minded, irresolute man, guided moreover by bad counsellors. In the last month of the year 653 (January 1256) Hulaku or Hulagu, the brother of the great khan of the Mongols, crossed the Oxus, and began by destroying all the strongholds of the Isma'ilis. Then the turn of Bagdad came. On the 11th of Muharram 656 (January 1258) Hulaku arrived under the walls of the capital. In vain did Mostasim sue for peace. Totally devoid of dignity and heroism, he ended by surrendering and imploring mercy from the barbarian victor. On the 4th of Saphar (February loth) he came with his retinue into the camp. The city was then given up to plunder and slaughter; many public buildings were burnt; the caliph, after having been compelled to bring forth all the hidden treasures of the family, was killed with two of his sons and many relations. With him expired the eastern Caliphate of the Abbasids, which had lasted 524 years, from the entry of Abu'l-Abbas into Kufa. In vain, three years later, did Abu'l-Qasim Ahmad, a scion of the race of the Abbasids, who had taken refuge in Egypt with Bibars the Mameluke sultan, and who had been proclaimed caliph under the title al-Mostansir billdh (" he who seeks help from God "), make an effort to restore a dynasty which was now for ever extinct. At the head of an army he marched against Bagdad, but was defeated and killed before he reached that city. Then another descendant of the Abbasids, who also had found an asylum in Egypt, was proclaimed caliph at Cairo under the name of al-Hakim bi-amri'llah (" he who decides according to the orders of God "). His sons inherited his title, but, like their father, remained in Egypt without power or influence (see EGYPT: History," Mahommedan period "). This shadow of sovereignty continued to exist till the conquest of Egypt by the Turkish sultan Selina I., who compelled the last of them, Motawakkil, to abdicate in his favour (see TURKEY: History). He died at Cairo, a pensionary of the Ottoman government, in 1538. Another scion of the Abbasid family, Mahommed, a great-grandson of the caliph Mostansir, found at a later period a refuge in India, where the sultan of Delhi received him with the greatest respect, named him Makhdumzadeh, " the Master's son," and treated him as a prince. Ibn Batuta saw him when he visited India, and says that he was very avaricious. On his return to Bagdad the traveller found there a young man, son of this prince, who gained a single dirhem daily for serving as imam in a mosque, and did not get the least relief from his rich father. It seems that this Mahommed, or his son, emigrated later to Sumatra, where in the old Samara the graves of their descendants have been lately discovered. (M. J. DE G.)
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