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Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam$
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Delia Cortese and Simonetta Calderini

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748617326

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617326.001.0001

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Family Ties: Women and Genealogy In Fatimid Dynastic History

Family Ties: Women and Genealogy In Fatimid Dynastic History

(p.43) Chapter 2 Family Ties: Women and Genealogy In Fatimid Dynastic History
Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam

Delia Cortese

Simonetta Calderini

Edinburgh University Press

‘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

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