Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Fatimids led by al-Mahdi Billah is a custom civilization by TopHatPaladin, with contributions from TarcisioCM and danrell.

This mod requires Brave New World.


The Fatimids[]

The Fatimid Caliphate (909 - 1171) was the only Shi'a caliphate in Islamic history. They claimed descent from the prophet Muhammad's wife Fatimah, from whom they derived their name.

The Fatimid Caliphate originated in the region of Ifriqiya, in North Africa. After discovering that the Berber subjects of the Aghlabid emirate were restless, al-Mahdi Billah and his da'i Abu Abdallah Shi'i began proselytizing to them around 900; this mission was a resounding success, and in 909, al-Mahdi Billah conquered the Aghlabid capital of Raqqada. Upon this conquest, he declared himself Caliph, and his forces soon overran the rest of the Maghreb. The Fatimids also founded a series of capitals, including Mahdia (ca. 916) and al-Mansuriyya (ca. 946).

The fourth and longest-lasting of the Fatimid capitals, though, would be Cairo. Under the caliph al-Mu'izz and his general Jawhar, the Fatimids wrested Egypt from the Ikhshidid dynasty in 969, and founded Cairo near the city of Fustat. Under al-Mu'izz and his successors, the Fatimid Caliphate recentered around Egypt and the Levant. They developed a multiethnic army of Berbers, Turks, Africans, and Arabs, which served them well in many cases, but also became a political liability as the different groups in the army began feuding. The first of these instances came in the 1020s, when the African portion of the army rioted against the establishment of a Berber-Turk alliance in the army.

Throughout the eleventh century, Fatimid power would continue to decline. The Zirids, who had governed North Africa after the move to Cairo, declared their independence in 1049; meanwhile, Norman armies conquered Sicily from the Fatimids, over the three decades leading up to 1090. The Levant, meanwhile, would be threatened first by Turkic invaders and then by Frankish crusaders. By 1100, the Fatimids only controlled Egypt. Their last decades were a time of weakness, at times even being forced to pay tribute to Christian Jerusalem, until ultimately Nur ad-Din overran Egypt in 1169. This conquest paved the way for the rise of the Ayyubids under Saladin.

al-Mahdi Billah[]

LS PNG Billah

Art by TopHatPaladin

Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah was born in 873 AD, in the region of Khuzestan (today, southwestern Iran). He was the son of Radi Abdullah, the then-current Isma'ili Imam, forcing him to live in secret for his childhood; this state of affairs was only exacerbated after 881, when the death of Radi Abdullah forced al-Mahdi Billah to assume the imamate at a young age.

As the imam, al-Mahdi followed his father's lead in sending forth skilled da'is (a prestigious type of missionaries) to foment pro-Isma'ili sentiment in North Africa and the Levant. When this struck a particular chord with the Kutama Berbers of modern-day Algeria, al-Mahdi traveled to the region and began proselytizing himself in 905. He was subsequently imprisoned for several years by the Aghlabid emir, but in 909, the da'i Abu Abdallah Shi'i rescued al-Mahdi from prison, and the two established a new caliphate.

To commemorate his newfound empire, al-Mahdi founded a new capital - Mahdia - along the Tunisian coast. This city was built over the later 910s, and al-Mahdi began residing there in 920. During his reign, al-Mahdi also oversaw significant territorial expansion: the contiguous Fatimid caliphate stretched nearly from Morocco to Egypt, and the Fatimid navy also captured the island of Sicily. al-Mahdi also involved himself in diplomatic affairs, as the warring states of Bulgaria and Byzantium briefly competed for his alliance. al-Mahdi Billah would ultimately die in the spring of 934.

Dawn of Man[]

Salutations, al-Mahdi Billah, Isma'ili Imam and founder of the Fatimid Caliphate! Although in your childhood you were forced to conceal your faith from Sunni rule, you would go on to become the ruler of the world's only Shi'a caliphate. Through skilled proselytizing, your da'is would secure the loyalty of the Kutama Berbers, allowing you to overthrow the Aghlabid Emirate and become the dominant power in North Africa. From there, your influence would only grow: by the end of your reign, you would come to own most of Africa's Mediterranean coast, and your navy would lead you to be courted by foreign powers for alliance.

al-Mahdi Billah, your people yearn for the return of your inspiring leadership and military prowess. Can you conquer your rivals and earn the trust of their populations? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?

Introduction: Hail, traveler! You stand in the presence of Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah, imam and caliph. Have you come to pay homage?

Introduction: You are witnessing the dawn of the Fatimid Caliphate, the most righteous nation to ever exist. How auspicious for you!

Defeat: So be it. If I must die in defense of my faith, then I will.

Unique Attributes[]

The Fatimids (al-Mahdi Billah)
IconPNG Billah

Art by TopHatPaladin

Mission of the Da'i

Enemy units killed adjacent to a Greatperson Great Person may be converted to your side. All Greatperson Great People have +2 Movement.

IconPNG Kutama

Art by TopHatPaladin

Kutama (Knight)
  • Not slowed by rough terrain
  • +15% Strength Combat Strength when stacked with a Greatperson Great Person
IconPNG Shini

Art by TopHatPaladin

Shini (Galleass)
  • Has more Ranged Combat Strength (22) than the Galleass
  • Must set up before firing
  • Begins with the Great Generals I promotion
City List
  1. Mahdia
  2. Cairo
  3. Al-Mansuriyya
  4. Raqqada
  5. Fustat
  6. Bilbeis
  7. Barqa
  8. Tahert
  9. Tunis
  10. Damietta
  11. Qayrawan
  12. Balarme
  13. Ashir
  14. Sétif
  15. Mila
  16. Surt
  17. Adjabiyya
  18. Sousse
  19. Ushmuniyya
  20. Miliana
  21. Béja
  22. Médéa
  23. Baghai
  24. Tebessa
  25. Medjana
  26. Tinnis
  27. Zamalek
  28. Salamiyah
Spy List
  • Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i
  • Ghazwiyya
  • Husain
  • Abul Qasim
  • al-Qa'im
  • Isma'il
  • Radi Abdullah
  • al-Mansur
  • Abu Tahir
  • Abu al-Hasan


Peace Theme War Theme
Link Link
Agha by Mohamed Rouane Bouleria Nomade by Mohamed Rouane
IconPNG FatimidBillah

Mod Support[]

Additional Achievements[]

Call Me Isma'il

  • Win the game on any difficulty setting as al-Mahdi Billah.

The Kutamas Ride Again

  • As al-Mahdi Billah, convert the Holy City of a civ with whom you're at war.

Events and Decisions[]

Preach in Enemy Lands[]

Our nation originated with missionary efforts in a hostile, but restless, land. Now that war grips our nation, it would do us well to repeat that strategy and create turmoil in our enemy's heartland.


  • Player must be the Fatimids
  • Must be at war
  • Enemy must be Unhappiness Unhappy
  • May be enacted once per era


  • 200 CultureIcon Culture
  • 1 Magistrates Magistrate


  • Spawn up to three barbarians near the enemy's Capital Capital

Build a Raiding Fleet[]

Our sailors tell of a foreign city called Genoa, which when they sacked it yielded a fantastic amount of treasure. Perhaps we should establish a royal raiding fleet to get a cut of these riches.


  • Player must be the Fatimids
  • Must have entered the Medieval Era
  • May only be enacted once per game


  • 200 Gold Gold
  • Magistrates Magistrate


  • Receive a Shini that begins with the Volley and Bombardment I promotions

Unique Cultural Influence[]

"Our people are now subscribing to Isma'ilism and building their cities on reclaimed land. I worry that the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture."

Full Credits List[]

Civfanatics Download

Steam Workshop

Latest Version: v 3
Last Updated: 17 January 2019


  • TopHatPaladin: Design, Code, Art, Text
  • TarcisioCM: Civ Icon
  • danrell: Kutama Model
  • Mohamed Rouane: Music

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