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The Fatimid Caliphate: Diversity of Traditions

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The Fatimids ruled much of the Mediterranean world for over two centuries. From the conquest of Qayrawan in 909 to defeat at the hands of Saladin in 1171, the Fatimid caliphate governed a vast area stretching, at its peak, from the Red Sea in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West. Their leaders - the Ismaili Shi`i Imam-caliphs - were distinctive in largely pursuing a policy of tolerance towards the religious and ethnic communities of their realm, and they embraced diverse approaches to the practicalities of administering a vast empire. Such methods of negotiating government and diversity created a lasting pluralistic legacy.

The present volume, edited by Farhad Daftary and Shainool Jiwa, brings together a series of original contributions from a number of leading authorities in the field. Based on analyses of primary sources, the chapters shed fresh light on the impact of Fatimid rule. The book presents little explored aspects of state-society relations such as the Fatimid model of the vizierate, Sunni legal responses to Fatimid observance, and the role of women in prayer. Highlighting the distinctive nature of the Fatimid empire and its legacy, this book will be of special interest to researchers in mediaeval Islamic history and thought.

Author: Jiwa Shainool
Publisher: TAURIS I.B.
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781788311335
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2018

Farhad Daftary is Co-Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, and Head of its Department of Academic Research and Publications. An authority on both Shi`i and Ismaili studies, he has lectured and published widely, with more than 200 articles, encyclopaedia entries, edited books and acclaimed monographs. Most recent of these are: Ismaili History and Intellectual Traditions (2017), Fifty Years in the East: The Memoirs of Wladimir Ivanow (2015) and The Study of Shi'i Islam (2014). Dr Daftary's books have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Gujarati, Chinese, Indonesian and numerous European languages.

Shainool Jiwa is a senior faculty member at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. As a specialist on the Fatimids, she has written and lectured extensively on medieval Islamic history and has edited and translated key medieval Arabic texts relating to Fatimid history, including The Founder of Cairo (2013) and Towards a Shi`i Mediterranean Empire (2009). Dr Jiwa is also the co-editor of The Shi`i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity (2015).

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