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Extra resources for Abd al-Rahman (Makers of the Muslim World)
909-34) was known as aI-Mahdi, the messianic title with a long tradition among the Shi'is, which we have encountered as the title adopted by the Umayyad pretender Ibn al-Qitt. The second Fatimid caliph I~ 56 'ABD AL-RAHMAN III (r. 'im bi-amr Allah (the one who stands up for God's order). He was already known by that title in 912, when he was named heir to the throne. This was in order to counteract the proclamation ora rival Mahdi by the Berber Kutama, who were dissatisfied with the policies of the Fatimid imam who bore that name and whom they had helped become caliph.
At the same time, the Andalusi Umayyads did not acknowledge the 'Abbasid caliphs, who had put an end to the Umayyad caliphate and massacred most members of their family. For more than a century al-Andalus had thus been a sort of "no man's land" over the issue of the imam or legitimate political and religious leader of the Muslim community, as it would be again under the Party kings, when an unidentified and ambiguous" 'abd Allah omiT aI-mu'minin" (the Servant of God, the Commander of the Faithful) was acknowledged as imam.
Was it because he was afraid of qnother betrayal on the part of his army and thus of endangering his life again? Whatever the reason, the caliph who had fought thirteen campaigns in twenty years concentrated his efforts on the building of Madinat al-Zahra'. RELATIONSHIPSWITHTHE CHRISTIAN POLITIES l~ During the first three decades of his reign, 'Abd al-Rahman Ill's interventions in the frontier regions were always reactions to Navarran, Leonese, and Castilian activities. His aim was the defence and maintenance of his frontiers, without any .