Of the many pretenders to this dignity known in all periods of Moslem history the most famous was the first caliph of the Fatimite dynasty in North Africa, `Obaidallah al-Mandi, who reigned 909-933.
Not only was Syria thus weakened by being detached from the body of the Seljukian empire; it was divided by dissensions within, and assailed by the Fatimite caliph of Egypt from without.
A great religious difference divided the Fatimite caliph of Cairo, the head of the Shiite sect, from the Abbasid caliph of Bagdad, who was the head of the Sunnites.
970 by Jauhar, the general of the Fatimite Caliph Moizz, who captured Fostat and founded el Kahira, the present town of Cairo.
1045-1052) Nasir visited Mecca four times, and performed all the rites and observances of a zealous pilgrim; but he was far more attracted by Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and the residence of the Fatimite sultan Mostansir billah, the great champion of the Shia, and the spiritual as well as political head of the house of `Ali, which was just then waging a deadly war against the 'Abbaside caliph of Bagdad, and the great defender of the Sunnite creed, Toghrul Beg the Seljuk.
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