Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

Ismaili History 581 - End of the Fatimid Caliphate

The Ayyubid ruler Saladin (d. 589/1193) at length, put an end of the Fatimid rule in 567/1171, and had the khutba read in Cairo in the name of Abbasid caliph al-Mustadi (d. 575/1180), thus proclaiming Abbasid suzerainty in Egypt. The helpless Adid, the last Fatimid ruler, died a few days later following an illness. Saladin had a vein of jealousy in his character for the Fatimids, and therefore, 'The Encyclopaedia of Islam' (Leiden, 1936, 3rd vol., p. 353) writes that, 'He had all the treasures of the palace, including the books, sold over a period of ten years. Many were burned, thrown into the Nile, or thrown into a great heap, which was covered with sand, so that a regular 'hill of books' was formed and the soldiers used to sole their shoes with the fine bindings. The number of books said to have disposed of varies from 120,000 to 2,000,000.' Thus, the Fatimid Caliphate founded in Maghrib in 297/909, embodying the greatest religio-political and cultural success of Shia Islam, had come to an end after 262 years, in which they ruled Egypt for 191 years.

Back to top