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Noureddin and the Persian Woman

By |2017-07-25T22:00:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

A pile of gold coins Here's another of the stories Sheherazade told the king: Once the sultan had two viziers, a good one (Khacan) and a bad one (Saouy). Naturally Saouy hated Khacan. One day the two viziers were talking with the sultan in the garden, and they began talking about slave girls. Saouy said that [...]

The Umayyads – Early Islamic History

By |2017-07-25T17:04:54+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Tomb of Ali, the first Imam and the fourth caliph, in Iraq (it was rebuilt about 1500 AD by the Safavids) Mohammed died in 632 AD. His second wife's father, a rich man named Abu Bakr, took over as caliph. He became the leader of the new religion of Islam, and of the newly united Arab [...]

Who were the Fatimids? – Medieval Islam

By |2018-05-07T12:51:59+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History, Islam|

Fatimids built Bab Zuweila (Cairo, 1092 AD) Overthrowing the Abbasids in Egypt In 908 AD, a new family rose up in Egypt and took control of Egypt from the Abbasids. This family was called the Fatimids, after Mohammed's daughter Fatima, because they claimed to be descended from her. The Fatimids were Shiites The family began as leaders of [...]

Medieval Islamic government

By |2017-07-23T17:38:00+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Government, Islam, West Asia|

The Umayyad caliph Muawiya From the beginning, the Islamic Empire was a monarchy like the Roman Empire or the Sassanian Empire before it. One man ruled the Islamic Empire.  In the beginning, people called this man a caliph (KAY-liff), and his assistant was a vizier (vizz-EER). Those were Arabic words for leaders and their assistants. Under them were governors for each province of [...]