This publication brings together a new critical edition of the Arabic text, an introduction and a fully annotated English translation of the Sīrat al-Ustādh Jawdhar. It contains oral statements, correspondence and other archival material from a period spanning over sixty years of Fatimid rule, providing a biographical account of one of the most prominent statesmen of the early Fatimid period, Ustādh Jawdhar.

Jawdhar was a confidant of the first four Fatimid Imam-caliphs who ruled in North Africa (910–973 CE). The author of the work, Abū ʿAlī Manṣūr al-ʿAzīzī al-Jawdharī, was a private secretary to Jawdhar. Manṣūr had access to archives held by Jawdhar, including letters he received from the imams, and was also a trusted associate. After Jawdhar’s death in 973 CE, the Fatimid Imam-caliph al-Muʿizz appointed Manṣūr to succeed him. The author cherished the memory of his mentor and wished to commemorate him. With this end in view, he compiled the Sīrat al-Ustādh Jawdhar during the time of Imam-caliph al-Muʿizz’s successor, Imam-caliph al-ʿAzīz billāh (r. 975–996 CE).

The publication also includes maps of North Africa and Sicily, genealogical charts of the Fatimids of Ifrīqiya and the Banū Abī al-Ḥusayn al-Kalbī of Sicily, a bibliography, indices in English and Arabic and a chronology summarising relevant events. This publication provides a unique insight into the private world and political ethos of one of the major Muslim dynasties of the medieval era, and will be of interest to academics and students alike.