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This book is the most important primary source on the emergence of the Fatimid state in the early years of the tenth century. Its author, al-Qadi al-Nu’man, was an official historian of the Fatimids and an eminent exponent of Ismaili jurisprudence, as well as being perhaps the most prolific and versatile of all the Fatimid thinkers.
The Iftitah is al-Nu’man’s major historical work, and records in detail the background to the establishment of the Fatimid state, first in the Yemen and then in North Africa. It is based on official archival and biographical documents that were accessible to the author at the time, and which have not survived. It is thus a highly significant source on the religious, social and political conditions which prevailed when the Fatimids began to consolidate their rule. In charting the circumstances in which the Fatimid state came into being, this book will be of major interest and value to students of early medieval history and Islamic studies.
Subtitle: THE RISE OF AN EARLY ISLAMIC EMPIRE