Al-Qa'im (Fatimid caliph)

Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh (Arabic: أبو القاسم محمد ابن عبد الله; c. 893 – 17 May 946), better known by his regnal name al-Qāʾim (القائم) or al-Qāʾim bi-Amr Allāh (القائم بأمر الله) was the second Caliph of the Fatimid dynasty, ruling in Ifriqiya from 934 to 946. He was the 12th Isma'ili Imam, succeeding his father Abd Allah al-Mahdi Billah (r. 909–934).

al-Qāʾim bi-Amr Allāh
Gold dinar of al-Qaim, AH 322-334.jpg
Gold dinar of al-Qāʾim
ImamCaliph of the Fatimid Dynasty
Reign3 April 934 – 17 May 946
Predecessoral-Mahdi billah
Successoral-Mansur bi-Nasr Allah
BornApril 893
Died17 May 946 (aged 53)
Issueal-Mansur bi-Nasr Allah
Kunya: Abu'l-Qasim
Given name: Muhammad
Laqab: al-Qa'im bi-Amr Allah
Fatheral-Mahdi Billah
ReligionShia Islam


Al-Qa'im was born in Salamiyah in Syria in 895 with the name Muhammad. After his father Abd Allah al-Mahdi Billah (910-934) seized power in Ifriqiya he was named heir to the throne in 912, and helped put down several revolts. However, campaigns into Egypt (in 914–915 and 919–921) faltered against the resistance of the Abbasid Caliphate, with heavy casualties.

In 934 Al-Qa'im succeeded his father as Caliph, after which he never again left the royal residence at Mahdia. Nevertheless, the Fatimid realm became an important power in the Mediterranean. After the re-conquest of Sicily the Byzantine province of Calabria and the Ligurian coast was plundered and the city of Genoa sacked.

From 944 to 947 the realm was plunged into crisis by the revolt of Abu Yazid, who had united the Kharijite Berber tribes of the Aurès Mountains of eastern Algeria and overrun Ifriqiya. Imam Al-Qa'im was able to hold out in Mahdia with the help of the navy for over a year, but died (13th Shawwal 334 AH (Mahdiyya)/17 May 946) before the revolt could be put down.

He was succeeded by his son Ismail al-Mansur (r. 946–953).


He was married already at an early age, before his family left Salamiya. His wife, Umm Habiba, apparently was still a child when she accompanied him to the Maghreb.[1] He also had six known concubines, of which one, Karima, became the mother of his successor al-Mansur.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Halm 2015, p. 99.


  • Brett, Michael (2001). The Rise of the Fatimids: The World of the Mediterranean and the Middle East in the Fourth Century of the Hijra, Tenth Century CE. The Medieval Mediterranean. Vol. 30. Leiden: BRILL. ISBN 9004117415.
  • Halm, Heinz (1991). Das Reich des Mahdi: Der Aufstieg der Fatimiden [The Empire of the Mahdi: The Rise of the Fatimids] (in German). Munich: C. H. Beck. ISBN 978-3-406-35497-7.
  • Halm, Heinz (2015). "Prinzen, Prinzessinnen, Konkubinen und Eunuchen am fatimidischen Hof" [Princes, Princesses, Concubines and Eunuchs at the Fatimid Court]. In Pomerantz, Maurice A.; Shahin, Aram A. (eds.). The Heritage of Arabo-Islamic Learning. Studies Presented to Wadad Kadi (in German). Leiden and Boston: Brill. pp. 91–110. ISBN 978-90-04-30590-8.
  • J. J. Saunders. "The Turkish Irruption". A History of Medieval Islam. Routledge. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
Al-Qa'im (Fatimid caliph)
Born: March/April 893 Died: 17 May 946
Regnal titles
Preceded by Fatimid Caliph
Succeeded by
Shia Islam titles
Preceded by 12th Isma'ili Imam
Succeeded by