Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

Women of the Fatimid era

books2.jpgOn the sunny day of January 23, 1958 a large crowd gathered in a colourful assembly in the National Stadium of Karachi. To the sound of music played by the tuxedoed musicians of the Prince Aly Khan Orchestra, women in gleaming and flowing attire, men wearing elaborate headgear and playful children awaited in trepidation on the stands. A handsome young man made his way towards the centre of the pitch where a pulpit had been built for the occasion.

Walking by the young man’s left side was a statuesque woman, with her head uncovered, wearing a stunning white sari, which further enhanced her mature beauty…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The court life at the Fatimid palaces is fairly well documented in a variety of written sources depicting caliphal splendour and impressive wealth and, at times, dwelling upon accounts of court ceremonies… Throughout the medieval Muslim world, court poetry, while entertaining, was intended as a device to communicate ideas to audiences both inside and outside the court, as well as a vehicle of power legitimisation.

Dependent for his livelihood upon patronage, the court poet worked for the ruler and against his enemies: he was an instrument of propaganda and an integral part of the palace machinery. In a nutshell, he was the court PR.

Excerpts from the book Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam published in Dawn, March 16, 2008.

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2 thoughts on “Women of the Fatimid era

  1. The excerpt from the “Women and The Fatimids in the world of Islam”, highlighting the role of women in every aspect of social lives in the Fatimid dynasty in particular and in the Muslim World in general, convinces one to read the whole book. It tells that empowerment of women is not just debate of the day rather it has been a tradition of the medieval period of Islam-the golden era of Fatimid dynasty, unfortunately not reflected in the Muslim world today…… It looks really interesting.

  2. People!! above piece of writing is a gate way to the world of aspiration.. Do read it!!! I also suggest you to have an intellectual walk through the IIS site. Its realy good for onez intellectual health.

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