Al-Amir bi-Ahkami'l-Lah

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Manṣūr ʾAbū ʿAlī
Arabic: الآمر بأحكام الل‎‎
al-Āmīr bi'Aḥkāmi’l-Lāh
Predecessor al-Musta'li
Successor al-Hafiz Hafizi
At-Tayyib Abu'l-Qasim Taiyabi Ismaili
Born 31 December 1096
Cairo
Died Tuesday, 3rd Zu-l-qada, 524 AH / 7 October 1130 (aged 34)
Issue at-Tayyib Abu'l-Qasim
Full name
ʾAbū ʿAlī Manṣūr al-Āmīr
Father al-Musta'li

Manṣūr al-Āmir bi'Aḥkāmi’l-Lāh (Arabic: منصور الآمر بأحكام الله ‎‎; 31 December 1096 – 7 October 1130 (3rd Zulqada 524 AH, Tuesday[1]) was the tenth Fatimid Caliph (1101–1130) and was recognised as the 20th Isma'ili Imam by the Mustaali sect of Shia Islam.

Like his father al-Musta'li (1094–1101), al-Amir was controlled by the regent al-Afdal Shahanshah (1094–1121) and had little influence in political matters. However, after the assassination of al-Afdal in 1121 AD he managed to gain control of government. His reign was marred by the loss of Tyre to the Crusaders as well as by the continuation of the schism between the Nizari and the Mustaali. This conflict climaxed in the assassination of al-Amir on Tuesday, October 7, 1130 (3rd Dhu al-Qi'dah, 524 AH).

Birth of son and Amir Assassination[edit]

According to the chronicle of Ibn al-Muyassar (d. 1278): "In Rabi al-awwal [of 524 AH] Qasim al-Tayyib was born to al-Amir;... Cairo was decorated. New suits of clothes were issued to the troops...at the 'aqiqa ceremony... in the presence of al-Amir... the child was brought in, and Chief Qadi Ibn al-Muyassar was given the honour of holding it...the palace was filled with fruits and other sweets[.]"[2]

Al-Amir was assassinated and Da'i Ibn Madyan supported the Imamate of the young child while his half-uncle, al-Hafiz, was entrusted as regent. This arrangement did not last much, al-Afdal Shahanshah expressed his enmity to al-Hafiz and aimed to take over the Caliphate. He imprisoned al-Hafiz.[3]

It is said that the guardian of Tayyib was Ibn Madyan,[4] who have hidden him in a mosque. The infant son of al-Amir was supposedly carried in a basket of reeds by Abu Turab in which were vegetables ("dishes of cooked leeks and onions and carrots"), and the baby wrapped in "swaddling clothes was on the bottom with the food above him, and he brought him to the cemetery and the wet nurse suckled him in this mosque, and he concealed the matter from al-Hafiz until the baby grew up and began to be called Kufayfa, 'little basket'."[5] The following quote narrate the further story.

"The supposed infant son of al-Amir is named, Tayyib, about two and half years old, but De Lacy O'Leary holds however that when al-Amir's wife was delivered, her child was a daughter (op. cit., p. 223). Anyhow, the chief guardian of Tayyib was Ibn Madyan, who is said to have hidden the minor Tayyib in a mosque called Masjid ar-Rahma. Makrizi tells that the infant son of al-Amir was carried in a basket after wrapping it up and covering it over with vegetables. Here in the mosque, a wet nurse cared for him. And all of this was done without Hafiz knowing anything about it. Makrizi also writes that Tayyib was arrested and killed. The followers of Tayyib (in Yamen at that time and exist now all over the world) believe that he was hidden in 524/1130 and his line exists even today in concealment."[6]

Ibn Madyan and the four leaders of the dawah, Naslaan, al-Azizi, Raslan and Qunis, who safeguarded Tayyib were slain. There was unrest amongst al-Amir's follower. Emir Yanis 'organized resistance, and found a great response, especially among the soldiers of the Kutama, 'the hereditary mainstay of Fatimid rule'. On 16 Muharram, 526 AH, Al-Afdal Shahanshah was 'killed while riding outside the city' and al-Hafiz 'fetched from his prison' and 'restored as regent(Wali) of Imam Tayyib'. The event was commemorated annually, right to the end of the Fatimid dynasty, named as 'Eid al-Nasr' held on that date. This is expressly stated by al-Maqrizi(cf. al-Maqrizi, Khitat, I, 357, 490), and is confirmed by a 'coin struck in Alexandria in 526, bearing the old legend: 'Abd al-Majid wali-ul-ahd (representative) al-muslimyn'.[7]

Later, al-Hafiz claimed the Imamate himself not accepting Tayyib as Imam. In the meantime, Da'i Abu Ali (brother-in-law of ibn Madyan) had managed to go into "hiding with Imam Al-Tayyib and followers toward the westward land".[8] The Taiyabi Ismaili claim that Tayyib, the son of al-Amir, was the rightful successor to the Imamate (and the Caliphate). They exist even today and did not accept al-Hafiz as Fatimid Caliphate/Imam.

See also[edit]

Al-Amir bi-Ahkami'l-Lah
Born: 31 December 1096 Died: 7 October 1130
Regnal titles
Preceded by
al-Musta'li
Fatimid Caliph
1101–1130
Succeeded by
al-Hafiz
Preceded by
al-Musta'li
Imam
1101–1130
Succeeded by
al-Hafiz or at-Tayyib Abu'l-Qasim

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Succession to the Fatimid Imam al-Amir.., S.M.Stern, p.198, footnote p.195
  2. ^ Stern, Samuel Miklos (1951). The Succession to the Fatimid Imam Al-Āmir, the Claims of the Later Fatimids to the Imamate, and the Rise of Ṭayyibī Ismailism. pp. 196–7. 
  3. ^ The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines; By Farhad Daftary; p.283-4
  4. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - Yemen". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  5. ^ Williams, Caroline (1985). "The Cult of Alid Saints in the Fatimid Monuments of Cairo Part II: The Mausolea". Muqarnas. 3: 39–60. doi:10.2307/1523083. JSTOR 1523083. 
  6. ^ "NIZAR I (487-490/1095-1097), 19TH IMAM". ismaili.net. 
  7. ^ The succession of the Fatimd Imam al-Amir; by: S M Stern;p.206,7
  8. ^ The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines; By Farhad Daftary; p.283,284