Chapter

Family Ties: Women and Genealogy In Fatimid Dynastic History

Delia Cortese and Simonetta Calderini

in Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780748617326
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617326.003.0003
Family Ties: Women and Genealogy In Fatimid Dynastic History

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‘To our mothers we owe half of our lineage’. This affectionate and respectful laude by the famous Fatimid court poet Ibn Hani' al-Andalusi (d. 362/973) echoes the virtues and importance of the most noble of all mothers, Fatima, whom the poet repeatedly hails as the mother of the Fatimid imams. Within the context of tenth-century Sunni-Shi'i doctrinal debates, the Shi'is argued for the superiority of Fatima over 'A'isha, to be interpreted as mirroring the pre-eminence of 'Ali over Abu Bakr. This chapter focuses on women and genealogy in the history of the Fatimid dynasty. It first looks at female figures in Isma'ili pre-Fatimid genealogical history and then discusses the role of women in the Fatimid dynasty, with emphasis on North Africa and Egypt. It also examines the marriage between caliphs' sons and viziers' daughters; the Zirids, the Nizaris and the Sulayhids; and women in the high-ranking families at the service of the Fatimid dynasty.

Keywords: Fatimid dynasty; women; genealogy; Fatima; North Africa; Egypt; caliphs; viziers; marriage; Sulayhids

Chapter.  13117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

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