Caliph Al-Amir Bi Ahkam Allah was the seventh Fatimid Caliph to rule Egypt. He was the son of Caliph Al-Musta'li Billah. He became Caliph at the young age of five. He was born in 1096 AD and was put on Fatmid throne 1101 AD, when he was only five years old. He was assassinated in 1129 AD in Roda. The Caliph Al-Amir ruled for 29 years and eight months and was assassinated in Roda in 2 Dhul-Qada 524 / 7 October 1130 AD.
It is known that during this era of Fatimid rule, power was actually in the hands of the vizier, Al-Afdal Shahinshah, son of Amir Al-Juyush (Badre Jamali), who was commander in chief during Calihp Mutansir Billah’s time. Son of Badre Jamail, Afdal and his son Kutaytafat were known as "Wazir by Sord or Wazir As Saif" in the history.
During his reign the First Crusade occurred. The famous Al-Aqmar Mosque in Cairo was built during his time.
Like his father al-Musta‘lī (1094–1101), al-Amīr was controlled by the regent al-Afdal Shahanshah and had little influence in political matters. However, after the overthrow of al-Afdal in 1121 he managed to gain control of government. His reign was marred by the loss of Tyre to the Crusaders, as well as by the continuation of the Ismā‘ilī Shī‘ah schism between the Nizārī and the Musta‘liyyah. This conflict climaxed in the assassination of al-Amīr on October 7, 1130 AD by the Hashshashins / Assassins of Hassan-i Sabbah, who was the staunch support and firm believer in the Imamat of Nizar.
Al-Amīr is the last Fatimid Caliph recognized as the direct linage from Hazrat Ali by the Musta‘liyyah. The Musta‘liyyah claim that Taiyab abi al-Qasim was al-Amīr's rightful successor as Imām. Al-Tayyib (al-Amir’s son) was only few months old was proclaimed his heir and was soon murdered and death from natural causes was soon announced by Al-Amir’s cousin and future successor the regent Abd Al Majid (the eldest member of the Fatimid family; he later acclaimed title of Al-Hafiz). Al-Hafiz acted as regent till the succession issue of Al-Amir is resolved. But Al-Hafiz was soon imprisoned by new Wazir, Abu Ali Ahmed ibn Al-Afdal, known as Kutaytafat, the son of Wazir Al-Afdal and became the de facto ruler of Egypt. He declared that since the direct linage from Fatimid dynasty had been extinguished, the Egyptian Empire was placed under the sovereignty of Hidden Imam (Imam in occultation). After a brief confusing period in Fatimid history, when Twelver Shi‘ism instead of Ismailism was adopted as the official religion of the Fatimid state by Afzal’s son Kutayfat who later killed by his guards. Abd al-Majid re-emerged on the scene in 526 AH/1132 CE, proclaiming himself as caliph and imam with the title of al-Hafiz le-Din Allah; and Ismailism was reinstated as the state’s religion.
The irregular proclamation of al-Hafiz as imam, whose father had not been imam previously, caused a major schism in Musta‘li Ismailism. As in the case of the Nizari-Musta‘li split, the Musta‘li da‘wa headquarters in Cairo endorsed the imamate of al-Hafiz, who claimed al-Amir had personally designated him. Therefore, it was also acknowledged by the Musta‘li Ismailis of Egypt and Syria as well as a portion of the Musta‘lis of Yemen. These Ismailis, who recognised al-Hafiz and the later Fatimid caliphs as their imams, became known as the Hafiziya. On the other hand, the Sulayhid queen of Yemen, al-Sayyida, who had already drifted away from Cairo, upheld Tayyib’s cause and recognised him as al-Amir’s successor to the imamate. As a result, the Musta‘li community of the Sulayhid state, too, recognised Tayyib’s imamate. These Musta‘li Ismailis of Yemen, with some minority groups in Egypt and Syria, initially known as the Ameriya, became later designated as the Tayyibiya. Hafiziya Ismailism disappeared completely soon after the collapse of the Fatimid dynasty and caliphate. The Ayyubid Salah al-Din, the last Fatimid vizier, ended Fatimid rule in 567 AH/ 1171 AD and thereafter persecuted the Ismailis of Egypt. Henceforth, Musta‘li Ismailism survived only in its Tayyibi form.
Tayyibi Ismalism found its permanent stronghold in Yemen, where it received the initial support of the Sulayhid queen al-Sayyida Arwa bint Ahmad bin Muhammed bin Al-Qasim al-Sulayhi — also known as Sayyida Hurra and the Little Queen of Sheba (was the ruler, first through her two husbands and then alone, of Yemen for over 50 years, from 1067 until her death in 1138. She was the greatest of the rulers of the Sulayhid Dynasty and was also the first woman to be accorded the prestigious title of “Hujja” in Isma'ili branch of Shi'a Islam by Al-Mustansir Billah) who had been looking after the affairs of the Musta‘li da‘wa there with the help of the da‘i Lamak b. Malik Hammadi and then his son Yahya. It was soon after 526 AH/1132 AD that the Sulayhid queen broke her relations with Cairo and declared Yahya’s successor Du’ayb b. Musa as the da‘i mutlaq, or da‘i with absolute authority, to lead the affairs of the Tayyibi Musta‘li da‘wa on behalf of Tayyib, who was thought to be in hiding. This marked the foundation of the Tayyibi da‘wa independently of the Sulayhid state. On Du’ayb’s death in 546 AH/1151 AD, Ibrahim Hamidi succeeded to the headship of the Tayyibi da‘wa as the second da‘i mutlaq. The Tayyibi da‘wa spread successfully in the Haraz region even though it did not receive the support of any Yemeni rulers after the death of the Sulayhid queen in 532 AH/1138 AD. After Ibrahim Hamidi, the position of da‘i mutlaq remained hereditary among his descendants until 605 AH/1209 AD when it passed to ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Walid of the Banu al-Walid al-Anf family of the Quraysh, and it then remained in this family, with minor interruptions, until 946 AH/1539 AD. The Tayyibi Ismailis are of the opinion that in the current period of satr, initiated by Tayyib’s own concealment, their imamate has been handed down among his descendants down to the present time. All these imams have remained in concealment, and in their absence the da‘i mutlaqs lead the affairs of the Tayyibi da‘wa and community.
1. The First Crusaders 1095-1131 by Jonathan Riley Smith
2. Ismaili History by Farhad Daftary
3. The Succession to the Fatimid Imam al-Āmir, the Claims of the Later Fatimids to the Imamate, and the Rise of Tayyibi Ismailism by S. M. Stern