ABU AL-‘ALA’ FAHD IBN IBRAHIM. Abu al-‘Ala’ Fahd
ibn Ibrahim first acted as Coptic secretary to Barjawan, tutor of the
young caliph al-HAKIM. Barjawan at that time was at the zenith of
his power (in A.H. 387/A.D. 997). Fahd was given the honorary title
of al-ra‘is (president). His office itself enabled him to have close
contact with the caliph, especially during the mazalim (oppressions)
meetings. Fahd had no need to hide his religion because at that
period Christians were not yet persecuted. In A.H. 388/A.D. 998 he
was even officially present at the Coptic feast of Ghitas, and at
Easter the same year he received presents from the caliph. When the
great qadi Muhammad ibn al-Nu‘man died (Safar 388), he was
ordered to make an inventory of his possessions.
In 1000, restless under his tutorship, the caliph had Barjawan
assassinated. Summoned to the palace during the night, Fahd had
every reason to fear for his safety. But, on the contrary, the caliph
reassured him and confirmed him in his charge of secretary, but
henceforth in the service of Barjawan's successor, al-Husayn ibn al-
Jawhar, son of the celebrated general of al-Mu‘izz. He was solemnly
installed together with his new master, on 26 Jumada I 390/4 May
1000. His power and authority appear to have aroused jealousy, for
he was denounced to the caliph by two other functionaries, Mahmud
al-Nahwi and Ibn al-‘Addas.
The HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS by SAWIRUS IBN
AL-MUQAFFA‘ (Vol. 2, p. 123; trans., A. S. Atiya, 1943-1968, p.
186) relates that al-Hakim tried without success to get Fahd to
convert to Islam, and so had him decapitated. This was on 8 Jumada
II 393/14 April 1003. His brother Abu al-Ghalib, leader of the
Diwan al-Nafaqat (office of disbursement), hastened to bring the
victim's possessions—which, it was said, amounted to 500,000
dinars—to the caliph. Al-Hakim had them distributed to his heirs
saying, "We did not execute him because of his wealth." But Abu al-
Ghalib was himself put to death shortly afterward.
Fahd's place was taken by a Muslim, ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar ibn al-
‘Addas; at the same time a number of Christian officials were
imprisoned and their goods seized.
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