(955–996) () was the fifth Caliph
of the Fatimids
Since Abdallah, the heir to the throne, had died before his father Ma'ad al-Muizz Li-Deenillah
(953-975), his brother Abu Mansur Nizar al-Azizbillah acceded to the Caliphate
with the help of Jawhar as-Siqilli
. Under Al-Aziz the Fatimid Empire stretched as far as Palestine
(from 977/978). Mecca
also acknowledged the suzerainty of the Fatimids.
The reign of Al-Aziz was primarily significant for the strengthening of Fatimid power in Egypt and Syria, which had then only very recently been conquered (969). In 975 al-'Aziz took control of Baniyas
in an attempt to subdue the anti-Fatimid agitation of the Sunni Mahammad b. Ahmad al-Nablusi
and his followers. The bedouin Tayyi'
tribe was defeated in Palestine 982 and finally subjugated at Damascus
983. Towards the end of his reign Al-Aziz sought to extend his power to northern Syria
, focusing his attention on the Hamdanids
. The fact that they were under the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire
resulted in the outbreak of war with this great power, a conflict which would not be resolved until the reign of al-Hakim
Another notable development during al-Aziz's reign was the introduction of foreign slave armies. When the Berber
troops from the Maghreb
continued to be successful in the wars against the......