Descent from Fatima

A 10th-century Description

This snippet is from Tabari’s history, a 10th-century account written in Arabic that fused Islamic and Iranian history. Here, he purports to preserve the words of the ‘Abbasid caliph Mansur as he spoke to an ‘Alid. Remember that Mansur was a descendant of the uncle of the Prophet.

My, how you pride yourself on kinship through women, as to delude the uncouth and the rabble! But God did not make women equal [in such matters] to uncles and fathers or [even] to paternal relations and guardians. God gave the uncle status equal to a father, giving him [legal] precedence in His book over the less significant mother… You are the descendants of [the Prophet’s] daughter, which is a close kinship. But it does not legitimate inheritance, nor does it bequeath [political and spiritual succession of authority], neither does it confer the [imamate] on her. So how could it be inherited from her?

Source, pp. 36-7.

A 12th-century Description

This passage is from a 12th-century Yemeni da’i, Sayyidna al-Khattab b. Hasan, explaining how the imamate reached the Fatimids.

Source, pp. 51-2.

A 13th-century Description

This passage was preserved in Ibn al-Jawzi’s 13th-century history. It purports to record the ‘Abbasid response to Fatimid claims of descent.

Source, pp. 24-5.