Yaqub Ibn Killis

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Ibn Killis, Fatimid vizier; 930-991. By origin a Jew, he embraced Islam in 967 and entred the service of “Mu’izz al-Din Allah, the last caliph of the Fatimid dynasty of Africa, whom he encouraged to conquer Egypt. Fatimids was a Shi’i dynasty connected with Ismailis, which traced their to Ali and Fatemeh (daughter and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad). He was an able administrator and the Fatimid caliph Aziz appointed him vizier in 977. Under his tenure of office, the Fatimid empire saw its greatest territorial expansion. There was a nice relationship ####between Yaqub Ibn Killis and the caliph Aziz. He also had good relationship with the scholars; there were many jurists, physicians and poets in the court of Fatimids. Although he was interested in science but this relationship had political reasons as well. In the last years of his ministry, Qazanfar Ibn Naser al-Dawleh Hamdani who had been before defeated by Azud al-Dawleh Daylami and escaped to Fatimid area, fought against Qassam (Alp Takin’s successor. Alp Takin was a Turkish slave commander who ruled in Ghazna. He was killed in 963 by order of Yaqub Ibn Killis) for ruling over Damascus, after a short time Qazanfar was killed and Qassam could not rule over Damascus either. The most important action taken by Yaqub Ibn Killis was making “al-Az’har”, which was before one the principal mosques of Cairo, as a scientific centre.

There are left some works of him, as follows:
1- On reciting
2- On religions
3- On the Prophet’s morals
4- On the knowledge of body
5- The ministry treatise
6- Rites of hajj

The book “Ministry Treatise” is his most significant work. By teaching this book, he was going to organize Fatimid dynasty based on his own perception of Ismaili (Ismailis as a major section of Shia, also known not quite accurately, as the Seveners) jurisprudence.


Islamic encyclopedia


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