Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. The Fatimids Daniel 11: 7-8 (7) One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. (8) He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone.      This is very distinctive of the Fatimid Caliphate.  They built the Egyptian city of Cairo and made it their capital in 969.  They also derive their name from Muhammad’s daughter and the verse clearly indicates that the leader’s ancestry was traced to a female, which is unusual.  As I said, Fatimid died a few months after resisting Abu Bakr’s take-over, following her father’s death.  Later, her husband and both sons were murdered.  It is fitting that someone from her family line arise to take her place.        The Fatimid Caliphate was founded by Abdullah of Tunisia who legitimized his claim as Iman by tracing his ancestry to one of Husayn’s sons and therefore to Fatimah.  Recall that the men at Karbala were beheaded but not the women and children.  The Fatimids were Ismaili Shiites, which is the second largest sect behind the Twelver Shiites.  The two groups split because they disagreed on the rightful sixth Iman, Ismail or his younger brother.  Regardless, the Fatimids attacked the north and took control of the southern half of the empire.  They entered his fortress because a rebel general converted to Shiite and declared Fatimid rule in Baghdad for over a year.  It is likely that the valuable articles were seized and taken to Egypt during that time.  Their advancements stopped at that point but the Fatimids ruled the southern empire from Cairo for more than two centuries, from 909-1171.        They reached their peak around 1040 when they controlled Egypt, North Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Sicily (left).  As the empire declined, Turkish invaders took Syria and Christian Crusaders took Palestine.  Eventually, Fatimid territory was reduced to Egypt alone but in 1171, another dynasty took command and restored the southern empire.       In 1171, the sultan, Saladin, of Kurdish origin, took control of Cairo and founded the Ayyubid Caliphate.  Saladin was a skilled warrior and spent the next decade restoring the southern empire into Syria and Palestine (left).  Yet, he never attempted to conquer the Abbasids in Baghdad, which explains the last sentence of verse 8, which says, “for years, he will leave the king of the north alone”.  Saladin remained in Damascus to defend against the Turks while his brother, Adil, ruled Egypt.  Following Saladin’s death in 1193, the kingdom weakened and fell.        It is interesting that the leaders of the north and south both changed within a decade of each other.  Cairo was lost to the Mamluks in 1250 who became “king of the south”.  The Mongols defeated the Abbasids in 1258 and took Syria in 1260, securing their position as “king of the north” (next verse).  click to enlarge click to enlarge sitemap home
Ayyubid Caliphate Fatimid Caliphate who built Cairo in 909 Next Page: The Mongols Daniel 11: 9-10 this was: Page 5 on Daniel 11 click chart to enlarge
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