Muʿizz, al-

▪ Fāṭimid caliph
in full  al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allah, original name Abū Tamīm Maʿad  
born c. 930
died 975

      the most powerful of the Fāṭimid caliphs, whose armies conquered Egypt (Egypt, ancient) and who made the newly founded al-Qāhirah, or Cairo, his capital in 972–973.

      He was about 22 years of age when he succeeded his father, al-Mansur, in 953 with the title of al-Muʿizz. His authority was acknowledged over the greater part of the region now comprising Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and he soon took the island of Sicily. In the years 958–959 he sent his general Jawhar westward to reduce Fès and other places where the authority of the Fāṭimid caliph had been repudiated; after a successful expedition Jawhar advanced to the Atlantic.

      As early as 966 a fresh invasion of Egypt was prepared; but it was delayed, it is said, at the request of the caliph's mother, who wished to make a pilgrimage to Mecca first; and her honourable treatment by the local ruler, Kafūr, when she passed through Egypt induced the caliph to postpone the invasion until after Kafūr's death in 968. In any event, his general Jawhar succeeded where the generals of the founder of the Fāṭimid dynasty had failed, and he conquered Egypt in 969. A few years after the conquest al-Muʿizz resolved to transfer the centre of Fāṭimid power to Egypt, and he entered Cairo, the new capital founded by Jawhar just to the north of the old city of al-Fusṭāṭ, in 972 or 973, leaving behind in North Africa as surrogate his lieutenant general Yusuf ibn Ziri. (The original North African dominion became a province called al-Maghrib, or “the West.”)

      Under al-Muʿizz and his son al-ʿAziz (reigned 976–996) the momentum of the conquest of Egypt was sufficient to carry the Fāṭimid armies into Syria, most of which remained in their hands until the second half of the 11th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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