Ismaili Hole * Fatimid Interval

“Imam Radi Abdullah (840-881) had sent his da’is in all directions from Syria to propagate Ismailism. One of the most acclaimed among them was Ibn Hawshab (d. 914), who was sent to Yamen in 880. He made a significant conversion and established an Ismaili rule. He took possession of the stronghold on the hillock and made it his headquarters. He hoisted the green banner at his headquarters, bearing the Koranic verse on it. Meanwhile, Abu Abdullah al-Shi’i (d. 911) conquered almost whole Maghrib and routed the Aghlabid rule of 112 yrs. He captured Raqada and manufactured it his headquarters on March 25, 909. He started the Fatimid khutba and struck coins. He hoisted most drastically the Fatimid banner. Ibn Hammad (d. 1230) writes in Akhbar al-Muluk Bani Ubayd wa Siyaratihim (Paris, 1927, pp. 7-8) that Abu Abdullah also got his slogans inscribed on banners, weapons, trapping and seals. The banner experienced an inscription on the Koranic verse: “Soon shall the hosts be routed, they usually shall flip their backs.” (54:45).
The Fatimids adopted green since the colour of their standard. According to American Educator (New York, 1973, 7:131), “Green is routinely discovered in Arab flags mainly because this colour was taken from the Fatimite dynasty, which ruled most of north Africa.” It can be also mentioned inside the New Encyclopaedia Britannica (4: 812) that, “Green was the colour from the Fatimid dynasty and eventually it became the colour of Islam.”
Makrizi (d. 1442) writes in al-Khitat (one:23) that, “During the Caliphate with the Fatimids, a individual department of constructing banners for unique occasions had been erected, known as khazinat al-bunud (retailer of banners). The word bunud (pl. of band) was used for banner or flag. These banners have been utilized in the course of battles and festive occasions, wherein the Koranic verses were published. The total expense of the department was 80,000 dinars for each yr.” The chief banner was known as “liwa’i hamd” which had been utilized by Ali bin Abu Talib in the battles, and was the favourite banner of the Fatimid Imams. Amongst the emblems of royal authority was the outfit (alah), the display of banners and flags.
The Fatimids divided their armies into smaller units. This arrangement was termed “the battle order” (ta’biyah). Before the Commander stood one particular army with its own battle traces, its personal common and flag. It was referred to as “the advance guard”. Then, for the correct of the location exactly where the Commander was, stood a different army, identified as “the appropriate flank”. The army on left aspect was named “the remaining flank”. Then, there was an additional army behind the whole armies, referred to as “the rear guard”(saqa). Separate from them and in front with the centre went the vanguard (jalishiya) with its possess commander and flag.
Ibn Hammad (p. 57) writes that Imam al-Mansur (946-952) returned to the capital in triumph soon right after the final defeat of Abu Yazid in 948. He was met in Kairwan by the notables mounted on high-quality horses and carrying drums and green flags.
When the Fatimid normal Jawhar produced his successful footing on the soil of Egypt on July 4, 969 for a conqueror, he sent his representative in advance in the city which has a white flag. Stanley Lane Poole writes in History of Egypt (London, 1914, p. 102) that, “Jawhar, like his learn, constantly disposed to some politic leniency, renewed his former promises, and granted a whole amnesty to all who submitted. A herald bearing a white flag rode as a result of the streets of Fustat, proclaiming the amnesty and forbidding pillage and on August 5, the Fatimid army, with whole pomp of drums and banners, entered the capital.”
Jawdhar al-Azizi (d. 974) writes in Sirat al-Ustadh Jawdhar (p. 83) that when Imam al-Muizz (952-975) ascended in 952, he delivered a sermon in his inaugural appearance that he and his individuals might be allowed to visit the tomb with the Prophet in Medina, to mount his minbar, to visit his house, to accomplish the pilgrimage to Mecca, and to stand with banners unfurled with the illustrious sacred areas.
In 977, when Imam al-Aziz (975-996) set out to conquer Syria, the outfit (alah) on the Fatimids was composed of five hundred banners and 500 trumpets. It absolutely was a grand procession before the Fatimid army when marching towards the enemies. B.J. Beshir writes in Fatimid Armed service Firm (Der Islam 55, 1978, pp. 51-2) that, “Spies and guerillas ended up for being sent in front of the army; when the army encamped, trenches were dug. Before marching, expectations, flags and emblems have been flown.”
Jaylam bin Shayban founded a Fatimid vassal condition in Sind with its base at Multan ahead of 968. He is reported to possess introduced the Fatimid coins, and recited the Fatimid khutba. He reported to Imam al-Muizz in Cairo, how he succeeded to establish the Fatimid vassal condition. The Imam replied him in 354/968. The letter in the Imam is cited in Uyun’l Akhbar (6:219). In the concluding paragraph from the letter, the Imam said, “We have sent you a number of our banners, which you can unfurl in scenario of require. Whenever they’re unfurled over the heads from the believers, God increases their glory through the banners and hails them with His guidance; within the other hand, whenever they are unfurled in excess of the heads of the unbelievers, the banners humiliate their pride and overwhelm them with the power of God, Who is our Benefactor.”
It is to generally be noted that 3 kinds of public holiday celebrations involved the participation from the Imam in Fatimid Egypt, like the standard Islamic holidays, Ismaili holidays and local Egyptian festivals from the agriculture calendar. The Ismaili holidays included Navroz, birthday of Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Hussain along with the Imam on the age; and Eid al-Ghadir. In all these occasions, the city of Cairo was decorated with green Fatimid flags and illuminations.
Makrizi (d. 1442), Ibn Taghribirdi (d. 1469) and Kalkashandi (d. 1418) had described the pomp in the Fatimid procession in which the Imam himself participated through the New Year’s Working day. From the descriptions, the procession was genuinely imposing, as well as the sight was fascinating when it advanced via the streets of Cairo with houses covered with spectators, with noise and commotion, which filled the city. The passage abounds in various expressions and names of distinct objects, varieties of cloth, ornaments, banners, etc. The procession included the display from the Fatimid banners. The issuing of all these articles for your procession was generally completed through the 28th in the thirty day period of Zul-hijja, and within the morning with the twenty ninth the Imam personally visited a special put at which his chargers have been produced for his inspection. He rode through the palace floor towards the gate known as Bab al-Mulk, wherever the inspection floor was situated, wherever a rehearsal of your procession was demonstrated right before the Imam. When the procession was finally fashioned, the governor of Cairo, with his men, cleared the streets through the crowd, to make sure that the procession could advance with no hindrance. Though riding while in the procession, the Imam had exclusive proper to get accompanied by two “banners of glory” because they have been identified as. They had been compact, designed of white silk embroidered with gold. They had been carried folded. There were being also twenty-one coloured banners, with inscriptions manufactured in colours various from your banner alone. They measured two by a single along with a half yards, and were being fixed on extensive spears.
But quite possibly the most important had been two special flags which had been carried in advance of all these flags, consisted of a hollow golden lion’s head with opened mouth, fixed in between two ends of a crescent the middle element of which fashioned the top of the spear. To the facet which constituted the neck in the lion’s head a long bag of yellow or red dibaj was affixed. Although riding from the wind, the air would pass by way of the mouth of the lion’s head and inflate the bag. These banners had been carried by two riding officials.

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