views updated Jun 08 2018

Fatimid Shi'ite dynasty who claimed the caliphate on the basis of their descent from Fatima. The dynasty was founded by Said ibn Husayn. The Fatimids quickly overthrew the Sunni rulers in most of nw Africa. By ibn Husayn's death (934), the Fatimid Empire expanded into s Europe, and in 969 they captured Egypt and established the Mosque and University of Al-Azhar, one of the most influential educational establishments in contemporary Islam. By the end of the 11th century, Egypt was all that remained of the Fatimid Empire.


views updated May 18 2018

Fatimid. Islamic dynasty which ruled Egypt from 969 to 1171. In 969 it founded the city of Cairo, and built the monumental al-Azhar (960–73) and al-Hakim (990–1013) mosques, among many other great works of architecture, including palaces (destroyed).


Jane Turner (1996)