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In 1004, the Caliph al-Hakim bestowed the title of Kanz ad-Dawla upon the leader of the tribe for capturing the fugitive Abu Rakwa. In 1066, the Kanz ad-Dawla Nasir invaded Nobadia but was repulsed and had his lands raided instead. Still, the family became an important power in the region, gaining control of the Aswan region and achieving nominal independence before being defeated by the Ayyubids under Shams ad-Dawla Turanshah, Saladin's brother, in AD 1173.
Contrary to simplified accounts, the Banu Kanz never conquered Makuria, the largest medieval Christian state in Nubia, but were gradually married into the royal family. Because Makurian inheritance, like its Kushite model, passed matrilineally to the son of the king's sister, members of the Banu Kanz eventually inherited the throne of the kingdom in AD 1412.