Book

Caliph of Cairo

Paul E. Walker

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163289
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970207 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774163289.001.0001
Caliph of Cairo

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One night in the year 411/1021, the powerful ruler of Fatimid Cairo, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, rode out of the southern gates of his city and was never seen again. Was the caliph murdered, or could he have decided to abandon his royal life, wandering off to live alone and anonymous? Whatever the truth, the fact was that al-Hakim had literally vanished into the desert. Yet al-Hakim, though shrouded in mystery, has never been forgotten. To the Druze, he was (and is) God, and his disappearance merely indicated his reversion to non-human form. For Ismailis, al-Hakim was the sixteenth imam, descended from the Prophet, and infallible. Jews and Christians, by contrast, long remembered him as their persecutor, who ordered the destruction of many of their synagogues and churches. This book presents a biography of this fascinating individual.

Keywords: Fatimid Cairo; al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah; royalty; Druze; God; Ismailis; Jews; Christians; Prophet

Book.  352 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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