Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.

The Dhimmis and their Role in the Administration of the Fatimid State

One of the most recurring questions today is the Islamic state's relationship with the dhimmis (Jews and
Christians living under early Muslim rule) and their status in the early days of Islam and up to the late days of the
Islamic Caliphate. This relationship may have been varying, swinging up and down. Perhaps the more legitimate
questions are: What were the factors that affected the nature of the Dhimmis relationship with the ruling power in
the Islamic state? What was the status of the Dhimmis and what roles did they play in the early Islamic states,
with the Fatimid Caliphate as a model? The Fatimid Caliphate rose up and centered in Egypt, which was then
home for Coptic Christians and Jews, living side by side with Muslims. That is why the author has chosen the
Fatimid State, in specific. Another driver for this selection is the fact that when the Fatimid Caliphate was ruling
in Egypt, the Europeans were launching their Crusades in Jerusalem, which placed such a relationship between
Muslims and Christians at stake.

Back to top