Photo Gallery: Ramadan lanterns adorn Cairo's streets

Photo Gallery: Ramadan lanterns adorn Cairo’s streets

According to historical accounts, the tradition of using lanterns as a decoration in Ramadan originated during the Fatimid Caliphate, primarily centered in Egypt, where Caliph Al-Muez Li-Din Allah was greeted by people carrying lanterns to celebrate his rule. From that time, lanterns were used to light mosques, houses and streets throughout the capital city of…

Fatimid coins among hoard of Viking coinage

Fatimid coins among hoard of Viking coinage

An ancient Viking gold coin collection was unearthed by two amateur archaeologists from a muddy ploughed field in Bornholm. Frank Pelle and Bent Gregersen made the unique discovery after long hours of toil by using metal detectors. The coin discovery was a priceless experience for the young archaeologists and they searched hundred hours for the…

Moez Ledin Allah Street in Cairo

Moez Ledin Allah Street in Cairo

Excerpt: The Moez Ledin Allah Street is one of Cairo’s oldest. It was built by the Fatimid leader Jawhar al-Siqili who moved the capital from Tunisia in the west to Egypt in the east in the ninth century AD. Chairman of the Chamber of Goods and Antiquities: $1.5bn loss in activity during 2013 – The…

Cairo’s Al-Muizz Street gets new look

Cairo’s Al-Muizz Street gets new look

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—“It was first decided to impose a car ban because the street is specially designated for pedestrians . . . it is in actual fact an open-air museum.” This was the opinion of the officials from the Cairo governorate who are now supervising the renovations of the city’s famous Al-Muizz Street, situated at the heart of…

BBC Radio: The Islamic Golden Age, Fatimid Caliph-Imam Al Hakim

BBC Radio: The Islamic Golden Age, Fatimid Caliph-Imam Al Hakim

By Dr. Simonetta Calderini and Dr. Delia Cortese Radio 3’s twenty part essay series on the Islamic Golden Age continues its exploration through this five hundred year period of empire, innovation, religious turmoil, scientific discovery and major advances in philosophical thought. In this evening’s essay, we hear about the controversial Egyptian Imam-caliph, Al Hakim and…

Project: Fatimid Cairo

Project: Fatimid Cairo

The Fatimid Caliphate was a Shia caliphate. Its sovereignty 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 … The dynasty ruled across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and ultimately made Egypt the center of the caliphate. At…

Mummified bodies of Makurian Christian Kings excavated - Kingdom held good relationship with Islamic Fatimid neighbors

Mummified bodies of Makurian Christian Kings excavated – Kingdom held good relationship with Islamic Fatimid neighbors

A 900-year-old medieval crypt, containing seven naturally mummified bodies and walls covered with inscriptions, has been excavated in a monastery at Old Dongola, the capital of a lost medieval kingdom that flourished in the Nile Valley. Old Dongola is located in modern-day Sudan, and 900 years ago, it was the capital of Makuria, a Christian…

The Fatimid lantern: A Ramadan legacy

In Fayoum’s famous commercial street, Ramla, you cannot miss Darwish al-Shamy’s sons’ workshop which makes the Fatimid lantern with its different shapes and sizes. The Egyptian tradition of purchasing and lighting lanterns in Ramadan must be the strongest in the Islamic world. This tradition dates back to the Fatimid era when the lanterns were made…

Al-Azhar and The Demise of Islamic Centres of Moderation

Excerpt: Since it was established by the Fatimids in 972 to promote Ismaili doctrine, and then turned to a university three years later, Al-Azhar has been involved in Egyptian affairs under the watchful eyes of the state. Abbas Hilmi, the last Khedive of Egypt, demanded that Al-Azhar refrain from political activism, “riots” and “chaos of…

New Book: The Founder of Cairo: The Fatimid Imam-Caliph Al Mu’izz and his Era

Author: Dr Shainool Jiwa The Founder of Cairo provides the first annotated English translation of the extensive chapter on al- Mu‘izz in the ‘Uyun, which remains a vital yet relatively unknown Ismaili source. The introduction to this work not only outlines the salient features of al-Mu‘izz’s reign but also examines Idris’ purpose and approach to…

The Ismailis and the Qur’an: Is there an Ismaili Ta’wil? – A lecture by Dr. Omar Ali-de-Unzaga

Dr. Omar Ali-de-Unzaga, Research Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Part of the conference “Reflections on Ismaili Studies: Standing on Poonawala’s Shoulders.” One of the many subjects covered by Professor Ismail Poonawala in his long and fruitful career has been the Ismaili’s interaction with the Qur’an. This is a topic that, however, continues to…

Al-Rihla al-Ismailiyya: Reflections on Ismailis in Ismaili Studies – A lecture by Dr. Sumaiya Hamdani

Dr. Sumaiya Hamdani, Associate Professor, History and Art History Dept., George Mason University. Part of the conference “Reflections on Ismaili Studies: Standing on Poonawala’s Shoulders.” The rihla or journey is a rite often attributed to scholars of distinction in Islam’s past. In the case of Dr. Ismaili Poonawala, and other Ismaili scholars of his generation,…