The founding of the Fatimid state in North Africa in 297 AH / 910 CE led to the establishment of a Shi‘i Ismaili caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean. From 297-361 AH / 910-972 CE, the Fatimid state was centred in the North African province of Ifriqiya (present day Tunisia and Algeria), its borders extending from the shores of the Atlantic in the west to Libya and Sicily in the East. The move to Egypt in 361 AH / 972 CE marked the transformation of the Fatimid state from a regional polity to a Mediterranean Empire that came to include Syria and parts of Arabia. It was from Egypt and their newly founded capital of al-Qahira al-Mu‘izziya (Cairo) that the empire reached its zenith over the following century, eventually meeting its demise in 567 AH / 1171 CE.
Dr Shainool Jiwa is the Head of Constituency Studies and a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Department of Community Relations from 2005 to 2012. She was also the founding coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Project at the IIS (2002-2005).