Yemen was ruled by the Rasulid Empire whichnurtured Yemen's commercial links with India and Far East. The economy also boomed due to the agricultural development programs instituted by the kings who promoted massive cultivation of palms. It was during this period that coffee became a lucrative cash crop in Yemen. The Rasulid sultans built numerous Madrasas in order to solidify the Shafi'i school of thought amongst Yemenis. Under their rule, Ta'izz and Sana'a became major international centers of Islamic learning.The Kings themselves were learned men in their own right who not only had important libraries but who also wrote treatises on a wide array of subjects, ranging from astrology and medicine to agriculture and genealogy.
The reign of the House of Rasulid brought prosperity and peace to the kingdom, but the Kingdom eventually fell in the chaos that arose following a rebellion by many disgruntled family members to take control. In the end however, the land fell victim to Mamluk warriors who then ruled the land with an iron first for 25 years before being ousted in the aftermath of a rebellion. The Tahiride Sultanate soon took over to bring back Yemen from the state it had fallen to and under the Tahirides, Yemen was able to achieve stability. It was during this period that the Christian Kingdom of Alexandria was able to achieve total domination over the Straits of Mandeb and Gulf of Aden by using Yemeni weakness to their advantage and capturing strategically located parts of Yemen
Peace and stability continued until a group of Munafiq led by a Fake Prophet led a major rebellion against the Tahiride Sultanate. Initially considered a minor threat, the Fake Prophet was able to soon however defeat the Yemeni military at the Battle of Harbazl and finally in the Siege of Sana'a, the once powerful Tahiride Sultanate fell into the claws of the Fake Prophet. On his orders, the entire House of Tahiride was massacred. The Fake Prophet continued his tyrannical rule over Yemen for 12 years and during this period, he had many people executed or had their tongues pull out merely because he did not like their name or their appearance. Under his orders, Yemen invaded Mecca but by the Grace of Allah, the Fake Prophet and his army were defeated and in the battle that ensued, he was killed. When news reached Yemen, the people celebrated for the tyranny had finally come to an end. The secret police of the Fake Prophet was disbanded and Usman al Mahri bin Fadhle, an old Cleric was elected the new Monarch. The 71 year old ruled over Yemen for 4 years, trying his best to bring back peace to the land before he finally died; allowing his eldest son, Ahmad bin Usman al Mahri bin Fadhle to take the Crown. During this period, Yemen was able to flourish and the living standards of the people increased. The military was equipped with modern firearms and Yemen was able to vassalize the Sultanate of Iritriya and the Emirate of al-Somal whilst establishing ideal relationships with the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia and the once hostile, Sultanate of Damascus and Mansurriyya.
For other uses, see List of rulers of Yemen
The Yemeni government is in its essence an absolute hereditary monarchy, however, it still retains the Majlis e Shura a parliament consisting of 40 Muslim clerics. The Majlis e Shura however has little influence over the Sultan's actions unless the action performed by the Sultan contradicts with Islam.
The Sultanate of Yemen itself is divided into Twelve Administrative Governorates called Muhafazah and Eleven Governors from the Royal House of Fadhle have been appointed to administer their respective governorates for life, unless stripped of the position by the Sultan. The first governorate is controlled by the Sultan himself thus bestowing him the Title of the the First Governor
- Urdustan Empire
- Mansurriyya Sultanate
- Suri Empire
- Kingdom of Ethiopia
- Tsardom of Croatia
- Turkish Sultanate
Nations not mentioned do not have significant relations with the Sultanate of Yemen