Ali az-Zahir

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ʻAlī az-Zāhir (20 June 1005 – 13 June 1036) (Arabic: الظاهر بالله‎) was the Seventh Caliph of the Fātimids (1021–1036). Az-Zāhir assumed the Caliphate after the disappearance of his father Tāriqu l-Ḥakīm bi Amr al-Lāh. According to the Hijri Calendar, his birth date is 3rd of Ramzaan 395 A.H.

Governance under the Seventh Caliph[edit]

At first, the government was conducted by Ḥakīm's sister Sitt al-Mulk, but after her death in 1023, a group of her favourites took power.

Under this regime, the Fātimid state slipped into crisis - in Egypt, famine and plague lead to anarchy in the years 1023-1025, and in Palestine and Syria, there was a revolt amongst the Bedouin (1024–1029). The coalition of rebels was fragmented by Fātimid diplomacy, after which General Anushtegin ad-Dizbiri was able to defeat it militarily.

Meanwhile, in 1028 one of the governing circle, ʻAlī ibn Ahmad Jarjarai, was able to eliminate his colleagues and take over the office of vizir, which he managed to retain until 1045. He enjoyed good relations with the Byzantine Empire, even though the suzerainty over Aleppo was constantly disputed, occasionally coming to arms. To improve relations with Byzantium and the Christian subjects of the realm, the rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, destroyed in 1009, was authorised under his caliphate in a treaty with the Byzantine Emperor Romanus III. Actual building work, funded by the Byzantines, was not undertaken until 1042.

Death and succession[edit]

The period of his Imaamate was sixteen years. After ʻAlī died of the plague 13 June 1036, his son became the eighth caliph under the throne name of al-Mustansir.

See also[edit]

Ali az-Zahir
Born: July 5, 1029 Died: January 10, 1094
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Caliph of the Fatimid Caliphate
1036-1094
Succeeded by
Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh