Definitions for fatimidˈfæt ə mɪd; -ˌmaɪt
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A member of a Muslim dynasty in North Africa and Egypt (Approx CE 900-1200).
The Fatimid Caliphate was a Shia Islamic caliphate that spanned a large area of North Africa, from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The dynasty ruled across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and ultimately made Egypt the centre of the caliphate. At its height the caliphate included in addition to Egypt varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz. The Fatimids claimed descent from Fatima bint Muhammad, the daughter of Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Fatimids conquered North Africa and their Fatimid state took shape among the Kutama, in the West of the North African littoral, particularly Algeria, in 909 conquering Raqqada, the Aghlabid capital. In 921 the Fatimids established the Tunisian city of Mahdia as their new capital. In 948 they shifted their capital to Al-Mansuriya, near Kairouan in Tunisia. In 969 they conquered Egypt and established Cairo as the capital of their caliphate - Egypt became the political, cultural, and religious centre of their empire. The ruling class belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi'ism, as did the leaders of the dynasty.
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