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Seljuks, Mongols and Ottomans

  • Geoff Simons

Abstract

The Abbasids had been the most glorious dynasty in the history of the caliphate; but now, as they came increasingly under foreign sway, their power was dissipated as the empire began to fragment. The Isma’ilians (Ismailis or ‘Seveners’) had spread throughout the empire their message that the son (Mohammad) of Ismail (the seventh descendant of Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law) would return as the Mahdi. Secret cells were formed to spread the word to all the oppressed classes of the Abbasid empire. In consequence, the Isma’ilians were accused of supporting a communist philosophy that included the common ownership of women.1 The movement was increasingly successful: in 901 the rulers of Yemen were won over, and in 908 the Isma’ilians installed their own caliph in Tunisia, so beginning the Fatimid dynasty (after Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter and wife of Ali). In 969 the Fatimids came to power in Egypt and founded Cairo, where they established the al-Azhar University — to become one of the great centres of Islamic learning. Baghdad, now in decline, was briefly occupied by a Fatimid general in 1056.2

Keywords

Middle East Hate Crime Muslim World Islamic Learning Oppressed Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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    N. M. Penzer, The Harem, Harrap, London, 1936, pp. 135–6 (‘… eunuchs were employed in Assyria … the “religious” eunuch was gradually moved westward — from Mesopotamia to Syria, from Syria to Asia Minor, and from Asia Minor to Europe’).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Geoff Simons 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoff Simons

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