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Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Ḥāfiẓ (1149–1171), better known by his regnal name al-ʿĀḍid li-Dīn Allāh (Arabic: العاضد لدين الله‎‎, "Support of God's Faith"), also known as al-Azid and al-Athid, was the fourteenth and last Caliph of the Fatimid dynasty, reigning from 1160 to 1171. He became Caliph as a minor following the death of his brother al-Faiz (r. 1154–60). Fatimid rule was so weak and divided by this time that the Crusaders were able to begin their invasions of Egypt. Al-Adid was the last Arab ruler in Egypt and Syria, and according to Michael Haag, "the once imperial Arabs were now governed by Turks and Kurds".[1]

Shawar, a former Fatimid governor of Upper Egypt, who, amid the empire's power struggle turned to Nur ad-Din Zangi, ruler of the Zengids in Syria, and was able to establish himself as vizier in Egypt (1163–1169), and he was the effective ruler of the land. Through careful seesaw diplomacy between Crusaders and Zengids, Shawar maintained a fragile grip on power. First, with the help of Syrian troops under Shirkuh and Saladin, Shawar's forces were able to fight off the Crusader incursions.

A remarkable alliance was struck in 1167 between his caliphate and the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, against the Zengids. The crusader Arabic-speaking envoys, Hugh Grenier, a Knight Hospitaller, and Geoffrey Fulcher, a Knight Templar, arrived at his palace in Cairo, which was lavishly described by William of Tyre based on their impressions.[2]

Eventually, however, Shirkuh killed Shawar and took his place in 1169. After Shirkuh's death two months later, Shirkuh's nephew Saladin became vizier of Egypt. When al-Adid died of natural causes in 1171, the Fatimid dynasty ended to make way for the Ayyubids (1171–1260), a dynasty named for Saladin's father Ayyub.

Al-Adid was believed by the Hafizi Ismaili Muslims to be an Imam and was succeeded by his son Daud surnamed Al-Hamidlillah as Imam. The Hafizi sect continued with Abu Sulayman Daud Al-Hamidlillah who died in 1207 appointing his son Sulayman Badruddin as Imam, d. 1248. Sulayman Badrudddin died without issue and the Hafizi Ismaili bloodline died out. The Hafizi sect lived on into the 14th century AD with adherents in Northern Egypt and Syria but had died out by the 15th century AD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haag, Michael (2009). The Templars : history & myth. London: Profile. p. 165. ISBN 9781846681530. 
  2. ^ William of Tyre, 319ff.


Preceded by
Fatimid Caliph of Egypt
End of Fatimid rule
Saladin establishes Ayyubid dynasty