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The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third
caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
to succeed the
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God in Islam, God's message on Earth and to serve as models of ideal human behaviour. So ...
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
. It was founded by a
dynasty A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in republic ...
descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib (566–653 CE), from whom the
dynasty A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in republic ...
takes its name. They ruled as
caliphs A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
for most of the caliphate from their capital in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
in modern-day
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, after having overthrown the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
in the
Abbasid Revolution The Abbasid Revolution, also called the Movement of the Men of the Black Raiment, was the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE), the second of the four major Caliphates in early History of Islam, Islamic history, by the third, the A ...
of 750 CE (132  AH). The Abbasid Caliphate first centered its government in
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates, Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000. Currently, Kufa ...
, modern-day Iraq, but in 762 the caliph
Al-Mansur Abū Jaʿfar ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Manṣūr (; ar, أبو جعفر عبد الله بن محمد المنصور‎; 95 Anno hegirae, AH – 158 AH/714 Common Era, CE – 6 October 775 CE) usually known simply as by his laqab Al-Man ...
founded the city of
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
, near the ancient Babylonian capital city of
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bāvel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babi ...
. Baghdad became the center of
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
,
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
and
invention An invention is a unique or novelty (patent), novel machine, device, method, composition, idea or process. An invention may be an improvement upon a machine, product, or process for increasing efficiency or lowering cost. It may also be an ent ...
in what became known as the Golden Age of Islam. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, including the
House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom ( ar, بيت الحكمة, Bayt al-Ḥikmah), also known as the Grand Library of Baghdad, refers to either a major Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid public academy and intellectual center in Baghdad or to a large private library be ...
, as well as a multiethnic and multi-religious environment, garnered it a worldwide reputation as the "Center of Learning". The Abbasid period was marked by dependence on
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
n bureaucrats (such as the Barmakid family) for governing the territories as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the ''
ummah ' (; ar, أمة ) is an Arabic word meaning "community". It is distinguished from ' ( ), which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. It is a synonym for ' ...
'' (Muslim community). Persian customs were broadly adopted by the ruling elite, and they began patronage of artists and scholars. Despite this initial cooperation, the Abbasids of the late 8th century had alienated both non-Arab '' mawali'' (clients) and Persian bureaucrats. They were forced to cede authority over
al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
(current
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
and
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
) to the
Umayyads Umayyads may refer to: * Umayyad dynasty, a Muslim ruling family of the Caliphate (661–750) and in Spain (756–1031) * Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) :* Emirate of Córdoba (756–929) :* Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031) {{dab ...
in 756,
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to A ...
to the Idrisids in 788,
Ifriqiya Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previously ...
and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
to the
Aghlabids The Aghlabids ( ar, الأغالبة) were an Arab dynasty of emirs from the Najdi tribe of Banu Tamim, who ruled Ifriqiya and parts of Southern Italy, Sicily, and possibly Sardinia, nominally on behalf of the Abbasid Caliph, for ab ...
in 800, Khorasan and
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
to the
Samanid The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, Sāmāniyān) also known as the Samanian Empire, Samanid dynasty, Samanid amirate, or simply as the Samanids) was a Persianate society, Persianate Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim empire, of Iranian peoples, Ira ...
s and
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
to the Saffarids in the 870s, and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
to the
Isma'ili Isma'ilism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah) is a branch or sub-sect of Shia Islam Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messe ...
-
Shia Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
caliphate of the
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
s in 969. The political power of the caliphs was limited with the rise of the Iranian Buyids and the
Seljuq Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
, who captured Baghdad in 945 and 1055, respectively. Although Abbasid leadership over the vast
Islamic empire This article includes a list of successive Islamic state, Islamic states and History of Islam, Muslim dynasties beginning with the time of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570–632 CE) and the early Muslim conquests that Spread of Islam, spread Isla ...
was gradually reduced to a ceremonial religious function in much of the Caliphate, the dynasty retained control of its
Mesopotamian Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
domain during the rule of Caliph Al-Muqtafi and extended into
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
during the reign of Caliph
Al-Nasir Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn al-Hassan al-Mustadi' ( ar, أبو العباس أحمد بن الحسن المستضيء) better known by his laqab Al-Nasir li-Din Allah ( ar, الناصر لدين الله; 6 August 1158 – 5 October 1225) or simply as A ...
. The Abbasids age of cultural revival and fruition ended in 1258 with the sack of Baghdad by the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , , ; ; russian: Монголы) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to Mongolia, Inner Mongolia in China and the Buryatia, Buryatia Republic of the Russia, Russ ...
under
Hulagu Khan Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü or Hulegu ( mn, Хүлэгү/ , lit=Surplus, translit=Hu’legu’/Qülegü; chg, ; Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Se ...
and the execution of
Al-Musta'sim Abu Ahmad Abdallah ibn al-Mustansir Billah (; 1213 – 20 February 1258), better known by his laqab, regnal name al-Musta'sim Billah ( ar, المستعصم بالله, al-Mustaʿṣim billāh, label=none) was the 37th and last caliph of the Abbasi ...
. The Abbasid line of rulers, and
Muslim culture Islamic culture and Muslim culture refer to cultural practices which are common to historically Islamic people. The early forms of Muslim culture, from the Rashidun Caliphate to the early Umayyad period and the early Abbasid period, were predomi ...
in general, re-centred themselves in the
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke ...
capital of
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, ) is the capital of Egypt and its largest city, home to 10 million people. It is also part of the largest urban agglomeration in Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East: The Greater Cairo me ...
in 1261. Though lacking in political power (with the brief exception of Caliph Al-Musta'in of Cairo), the dynasty continued to claim religious authority until a few years after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, with the last Abbasid caliph being
Al-Mutawakkil III Al-Mutawakkil III () (died 1543) was the seventeenth Abbasid caliph of Cairo for the Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk Sultanate from 1508 to 1516, and again in 1517. Life He was the last caliph of the later Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Egyptian-b ...
.


History


Abbasid Revolution (750–751)

The Abbasid caliphs were
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
descended from
Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib Al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib ( ar, ٱلْعَبَّاسُبْنُ عَبْدِ ٱلْمُطَّلِبِ, al-ʿAbbās ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib;  Common era, CE) was a paternal uncle and Sahaba, Sahabi (companion) of Muhammad, just three ye ...
, one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad and of the same
Banu Hashim ) , type = Quraysh, Qurayshi Arab clan , image = , alt = , caption = , nisba = al-Hashimi , location = Mecca, Hejaz Middle East, North Africa, Horn of Africa , descended = Hashim ibn Abd Manaf , parent_tribe ...
clan. The Abbasids claimed to be the true successors of Muhammad in replacing the Umayyad descendants of
Banu Umayya Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads ( ar, الأمويون, al-Umawiyyūn) were the ruling family of the Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institu ...
by virtue of their closer bloodline to Muhammad. The Abbasids also distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their moral character and administration in general. According to Ira Lapidus, "The Abbasid revolt was supported largely by Arabs, mainly the aggrieved settlers of
Merv Merv ( tk, Merw, ', مرو; fa, مرو, ''Marv''), also known as the Merve Oasis, formerly known as Alexandria ( grc-gre, Ἀλεξάνδρεια), Antiochia in Margiana ( grc-gre, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐν τῇ Μαργιανῇ) and ...
with the addition of the Yemeni faction and their Mawali". The Abbasids also appealed to non-Arab Muslims, known as '' mawali'', who remained outside the kinship-based society of the Arabs and were perceived as a lower class within the Umayyad empire. Muhammad ibn 'Ali, a great-grandson of Abbas, began to campaign in
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
for the return of power to the family of Muhammad, the
Hashemites The Hashemites ( ar, الهاشميون, al-Hāshimīyūn), also House of Hashim, are the Dynasty, royal family of Jordan, which they have ruled since 1921, and were the royal family of the kingdoms of Kingdom of Hejaz, Hejaz (1916–1925), Ar ...
, during the reign of Umar II. During the reign of
Marwan II Marwan ibn Muhammad ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam ( ar, مروان بن محمد بن مروان بن الحكم, Marwān ibn Muḥammad ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; – 6 August 750), commonly known as Marwan II, was the fourteenth and last caliph of ...
, this opposition culminated in the rebellion of , the fourth in descent from Abbas. Supported by the province of Khorasan (Eastern Persia), even though the governor opposed them, and the Shia Arabs, he achieved considerable success, but was captured in the year 747 and died, possibly assassinated, in prison. On 9 June 747 (15 Ramadan AH 129), Abu Muslim, rising from Khorasan, successfully initiated an open revolt against Umayyad rule, which was carried out under the sign of the Black Standard. Close to 10,000 soldiers were under Abu Muslim's command when the hostilities officially began in
Merv Merv ( tk, Merw, ', مرو; fa, مرو, ''Marv''), also known as the Merve Oasis, formerly known as Alexandria ( grc-gre, Ἀλεξάνδρεια), Antiochia in Margiana ( grc-gre, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐν τῇ Μαργιανῇ) and ...
. General Qahtaba followed the fleeing governor Nasr ibn Sayyar west defeating the Umayyads at the Battle of Gorgan, the Battle of Nahāvand and finally in the Battle of Karbala, all in the year 748. The quarrel was taken up by Ibrahim's brother Abdallah, known by the name of Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah, who defeated the Umayyads in 750 in the battle near the Great Zab and was subsequently proclaimed
caliph A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
. After this loss, Marwan fled to
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
, where he was subsequently killed. The remainder of his family, barring one male, were also eliminated. Immediately after their victory,
As-Saffah Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Saffāḥ ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن محمد السفّاح‎; 721/722 – 8 June 754, Anbar (town), al-Anbar) usually known as Abūʾl-ʿAbbās as-Saffāḥ or simply by ...
sent his forces to
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
, where his forces fought against Tang expansion during the
Battle of Talas The Battle of Talas or Battle of Artlakh (; ar, معركة نهر طلاس, translit=Maʿrakat nahr Ṭalās, Persian language, Persian: Nabard-i Tarāz) was a military encounter and engagement between the Abbasid Caliphate along with its ally, ...
. The noble Iranian family Barmakids, who were instrumental in building
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
, introduced the world's first recorded
paper mill A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags, and other ingredients. Prior to the invention and adoption of the Fourdrinier machine and other types of paper machine that use an endless belt, ...
in the city, thus beginning a new era of intellectual rebirth in the Abbasid domain. As-Saffah focused on putting down numerous rebellions in Syria and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
. The Byzantines conducted raids during these early distractions.


Power (752–775)

The first change made by the Abbasids under
Al-Mansur Abū Jaʿfar ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Manṣūr (; ar, أبو جعفر عبد الله بن محمد المنصور‎; 95 Anno hegirae, AH – 158 AH/714 Common Era, CE – 6 October 775 CE) usually known simply as by his laqab Al-Man ...
was to move the empire's capital from
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
to a newly founded city. Established on the
Tigris River The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...
in 762,
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
was closer to the Persian ''mawali'' support base of the Abbasids, and this move addressed their demand for less Arab dominance in the empire. A new position, that of the wazir, was also established to delegate central authority, and even greater authority was delegated to local emirs. Al-Mansur centralised the judicial administration, and later,
Harun al-Rashid Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi ( ar , أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (; or 766 – 24 March 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid ( ar, هَارُون الرَشِيد, translit=Hārūn ...
established the institution of Chief Qadi to oversee it. This resulted in a more ceremonial role for many Abbasid caliphs relative to their time under the Umayyads; the viziers began to exert greater influence, and the role of the old Arab aristocracy was slowly replaced by a Persian bureaucracy. During Al-Mansur's time, control of
Al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
was lost, and the Shia revolted and were defeated a year later at the Battle of Bakhamra. The Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians in their overthrow of the Umayyads. Abu al-'Abbas' successor Al-Mansur welcomed non-Arab Muslims to his court. While this helped integrate Arab and Persian cultures, it alienated many of their Arab supporters, particularly the Khorasanian Arabs who had supported them in their battles against the Umayyads. This fissure in support led to immediate problems. The Umayyads, while out of power, were not destroyed; the only surviving member of the Umayyad royal family ultimately made his way to Spain where he established himself as an independent
Emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politi ...
( Abd ar-Rahman I, 756). In 929, Abd ar-Rahman III assumed the title of Caliph, establishing
Al Andalus Al-Andalus DIN 31635, translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber languages, Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, ...
from Córdoba as a rival to Baghdad as the legitimate capital of the Islamic Empire. The Umayyad empire was mostly Arab; however, the Abbasids progressively became made up of more and more converted Muslims in which the Arabs were only one of many ethnicities. In 756, Al-Mansur sent over 4,000 Arab mercenaries to assist the Chinese
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
in the An Shi Rebellion against
An Lushan An Lushan (; 20th day of the 1st month 19 February 703 – 29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty and is primarily known for instigating the An Lushan Rebellion. An Lushan was of Sogdian and Göktürks, Göktürk origin,Yang, Zhijiu, ...
. The Abbasids, or "Black Flags" as they were commonly called, were known in Tang dynasty chronicles as the ''hēiyī Dàshí'', "The Black-robed Tazi" () ("Tazi" being a borrowing from Persian '' Tāzī'', the word for "Arab"). Al-Rashid sent embassies to the Chinese
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
and established good relations with them. After the war, these embassies remained in
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
with Caliph
Harun al-Rashid Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi ( ar , أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (; or 766 – 24 March 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid ( ar, هَارُون الرَشِيد, translit=Hārūn ...
establishing an alliance with China. Several embassies from the Abbasid Caliphs to the Chinese court have been recorded in the T'ang Annals, the most important of these being those of Abul Abbas al-Saffah, the first Abbasid caliph; his successor Abu Jafar; and
Harun al-Rashid Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi ( ar , أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (; or 766 – 24 March 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid ( ar, هَارُون الرَشِيد, translit=Hārūn ...
.


Abbasid Golden Age (775–861)

The Abbasid leadership had to work hard in the last half of the 8th century (750–800) under several competent caliphs and their viziers to usher in the administrative changes needed to keep order of the political challenges created by the far-flung nature of the empire, and the limited communication across it. It was also during this early period of the dynasty, in particular during the governance of Al-Mansur, Harun al-Rashid, and
al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
, that its reputation and power were created. Al-Mahdi restarted the fighting with the Byzantines, and his sons continued the conflict until
Empress Irene Irene of Athens ( el, Εἰρήνη, ; 750/756 – 9 August 803), surname Sarantapechaina (), was Eastern Roman empress, Byzantine empress consort to Emperor Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the childhood of their son Constantine VI from 7 ...
pushed for peace. After several years of peace,
Nikephoros I Nikephoros I or Nicephorus I ( gr, Νικηφόρος; 750 – 26 July 811) was Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD, which marks the conventional start of the Byzantin ...
broke the treaty, then fended off multiple incursions during the first decade of the 9th century. These attacks pushed into the
Taurus Mountains The Taurus Mountains (Turkish language, Turkish: ''Toros Dağları'' or ''Toroslar'') are a mountain range, mountain complex in southern Turkey, separating the Mediterranean Region, Turkey, Mediterranean coastal region from the central Anatolia# ...
, culminating with a victory at the Battle of Krasos and the massive invasion of 806, led by Rashid himself. Rashid's navy also proved successful, taking
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
. Rashid decided to focus on the rebellion of Rafi ibn al-Layth in Khorasan and died while there. Military operations by the caliphate were minimal while the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
was fighting Abbasid rule in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
and
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
, with focus shifting primarily to internal matters; Abbasid governors exerted greater autonomy and, using this increasing power, began to make their positions hereditary. At the same time, the Abbasids faced challenges closer to home. Harun al-Rashid turned on and killed most of the Barmakids, a Persian family that had grown significantly in administrative power. During the same period, several factions began either to leave the empire for other lands or to take control of distant parts of the empire. Still, the reigns of al-Rashid and his sons were considered to be the apex of the Abbasids. After Rashid's death, the empire was split by a
civil war A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change go ...
between the caliph
al-Amin Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو موسى محمد بن هارون الرشيد, Abū Mūsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd; April 787 – 24/25 September 813), better known by his laqab of Al-Amin ( ar, الأمين, al-Amī ...
and his brother
al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
, who had the support of Khorasan. This war ended with a two-year siege of Baghdad and the eventual death of
Al-Amin Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو موسى محمد بن هارون الرشيد, Abū Mūsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd; April 787 – 24/25 September 813), better known by his laqab of Al-Amin ( ar, الأمين, al-Amī ...
in 813.
Al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
ruled for 20 years of relative calm interspersed with a rebellion in
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
by the Khurramites, which was supported by the Byzantines. Al-Ma'mun was also responsible for the creation of an autonomous Khorasan, and the continued repulsing of Byzantine forays.
Al-Mu'tasim Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd ( ar, أبو إسحاق محمد بن هارون الرشيد; October 796 – 5 January 842), better known by his laqab, regnal name al-Muʿtaṣim biʾllāh (, ), was the eighth Abbasid Caliphate ...
gained power in 833 and his rule marked the end of the strong caliphs. He strengthened his personal army with Turkish mercenaries and promptly restarted the war with the Byzantines. Though his attempt to seize
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopo ...
failed when his fleet was destroyed by a storm, his military excursions were generally successful, culminating with a resounding victory in the
Sack of Amorium The Sack of Amorium by the Abbasid Caliphate in mid-August 838 was one of the major events in the long history of the Arab–Byzantine Wars. The Abbasid campaign was led personally by the Caliph al-Mu'tasim (), in retaliation to a virtually unop ...
. The Byzantines responded by sacking Damietta in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
, and
Al-Mutawakkil Abū al-Faḍl Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad al-Muʿtaṣim bi-ʾllāh ( ar, جعفر بن محمد المعتصم بالله; March 822 – 11 December 861), better known by his laqab, regnal name Al-Mutawakkil ʿalā Allāh (, "He who relies on God" ...
responded by sending his troops into
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
again, sacking and marauding until they were eventually annihilated in 863.


Fracture to autonomous dynasties (861–945)

Even by 820, the
Samanid The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, Sāmāniyān) also known as the Samanian Empire, Samanid dynasty, Samanid amirate, or simply as the Samanids) was a Persianate society, Persianate Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim empire, of Iranian peoples, Ira ...
s had begun the process of exercising independent authority in
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
and
Greater Khorasan Greater Khorāsān,Dabeersiaghi, Commentary on Safarnâma-e Nâsir Khusraw, 6th Ed. Tehran, Zavvâr: 1375 (Solar Hijri Calendar) 235–236 or Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, wikt:خراسان, خراسان ), is a historical eastern region in ...
, and the succeeding
Saffarid dynasty The Saffarid dynasty ( fa, صفاریان, safaryan) was a Persianate dynasty of eastern Iranian peoples, Iranian origin that ruled over parts of Persia, Greater Khorasan, and eastern Makran from 861 to 1003. One of the first indigenous Persians, ...
of Iran. The
Saffarids The Saffarid dynasty ( fa, صفاریان, safaryan) was a Persianate dynasty of eastern Iranian peoples, Iranian origin that ruled over parts of Persia, Greater Khorasan, and eastern Makran from 861 to 1003. One of the first indigenous Persians, ...
, from Khorasan, nearly seized Baghdad in 876, and the Tulunids took control of most of Syria. The trend of weakening of the central power and strengthening of the minor caliphates on the periphery continued. An exception was the 10-year period of
Al-Mu'tadid Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Ṭalḥa al-Muwaffaq ( ar, أبو العباس أحمد بن طلحة الموفق), 853/4 or 860/1 – 5 April 902, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaḍid bi-llāh ( ar, المعتضد بالله, link=no ...
's rule ( r. 892–902). He brought parts of Egypt, Syria, and Khorasan back into Abbasid control. Especially after the " Anarchy at Samarra" (861–870), the Abbasid central government was weakened and centrifugal tendencies became more prominent in the Caliphate's provinces. By the early 10th century, the Abbasids almost lost control of
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
to various
amir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politi ...
s, and the caliph al-Radi was forced to acknowledge their power by creating the position of "Prince of Princes" ('' amir al-umara''). Al-Mustakfi had a short reign from 944 to 946, and it was during this period that the Persian faction known as the Buyids from
Daylam Daylam, also known in the plural form Daylaman (and variants such as Dailam, Deylam, and Deilam), was the name of a mountainous region of inland Gilan, Iran. It was so named for its inhabitants, known as the Daylamites. The Church of the East est ...
swept into power and assumed control over the bureaucracy in Baghdad. According to the history of
Miskawayh Ibn Miskawayh ( fa, مُسْکُـوْيَه Muskūyah, 932–1030), full name Abū ʿAlī Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Miskawayh was a Persian people, Persian chancery official of the Buyid dynasty, Buyid era, and Early Islamic philoso ...
, they began distributing
iqta An iqta ( ar, اقطاع, iqṭāʿ) and occasionally iqtaʿa ( ar, اقطاعة) was an Islamic practice of Farm (revenue leasing), tax farming that became common in Muslim Asia during the Buyid dynasty. Iqta has been defined in Nizam al-Mulk, Niz ...
s (
fief A fief (; la, feudum) was a central element in medieval contracts based on feudal law. It consisted of a form of property holding or other rights granted by an Lord, overlord to a vassal, who held it in fealty or "in fee" in return for a for ...
s in the form of tax farms) to their supporters. This period of localized secular control was to last nearly 100 years. The loss of Abbasid power to the Buyids would shift as the
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
would take over from the Persians. At the end of the eighth century, the Abbasids found they could no longer keep together a polity, which had grown larger than that of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
, from Baghdad. In 793 the Zaydi-Shia dynasty of Idrisids set up a state from Fez in Morocco, while a family of governors under the Abbasids became increasingly independent until they founded the Aghlabid Emirate from the 830s.
Al-Mu'tasim Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd ( ar, أبو إسحاق محمد بن هارون الرشيد; October 796 – 5 January 842), better known by his laqab, regnal name al-Muʿtaṣim biʾllāh (, ), was the eighth Abbasid Caliphate ...
started the downward slide by utilizing non-Muslim mercenaries in his personal army. Also during this period, officers started assassinating superiors with whom they disagreed, in particular the caliphs. By the 870s, Egypt became autonomous under
Ahmad ibn Tulun Ahmad ibn Tulun ( ar, أحمد بن طولون, translit=Aḥmad ibn Ṭūlūn; c. 20 September 835 – 10 May 884) was the founder of the Tulunid dynasty that ruled Egypt in the Middle Ages, Egypt and Bilad al-Sham, Syria between 868 and 905. Ori ...
. In the East, governors decreased their ties to the center as well. The
Saffarids The Saffarid dynasty ( fa, صفاریان, safaryan) was a Persianate dynasty of eastern Iranian peoples, Iranian origin that ruled over parts of Persia, Greater Khorasan, and eastern Makran from 861 to 1003. One of the first indigenous Persians, ...
of Herat and the
Samanids Samanid Empire, People Iranian people by period, Samanid People by former country, Samanid People of the medieval Islamic world by state, Samanid ...
of
Bukhara Bukhara (Uzbek language, Uzbek: /, ; tg, Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, seventh-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 280,187 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region around Bukhara ...
began breaking away around this time, cultivating a much more Persianate culture and statecraft. Only the central lands of Mesopotamia were under direct Abbasid control, with Palestine and the Hijaz often managed by the Tulunids. Byzantium, for its part, had begun to push
Arab Muslims Arab Muslims ( ar, العرب المسلمون) are adherents of Islam who Identity (social science), identify Natural language, linguistically, Culture, culturally, and Genealogy, genealogically as Arabs. Arab Muslims greatly outnumber other Ethn ...
farther east in
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
. By the 920s,
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
was lost to the
Fatimid dynasty The Fatimid dynasty () was an Isma'ilism, Isma'ili Shia Islam, Shi'a dynasty of Arabs, Arab descent that ruled an extensive empire, the Fatimid Caliphate, between 909 and 1171 CE. Claiming descent from Fatimah, Fatima and Ali, they also held the Is ...
, a Shia sect tracing its roots to Muhammad's daughter
Fatimah Fāṭima bint Muḥammad ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد}, 605/15–632 CE), commonly known as Fāṭima al-Zahrāʾ (), was the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Khadija. Fati ...
. The Fatimid dynasty took control of Idrisid and Aghlabid domains, advanced to Egypt in 969, and established their capital near
Fustat Fusṭāṭ ( ar, الفُسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ''), also Al-Fusṭāṭ and Fosṭāṭ, was the first List of historical capitals of Egypt, capital of Egypt under Muslim rule, and the historical centre of modern Cairo. It was built adjacent ...
in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, ) is the capital of Egypt and its largest city, home to 10 million people. It is also part of the largest urban agglomeration in Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East: The Greater Cairo me ...
, which they built as a bastion of Shia learning and politics. By 1000 they had become the chief political and ideological challenge to
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
and the Abbasids, who by this time had fragmented into several governorships that, while recognizing caliphal authority from Baghdad, remained mostly autonomous. The Caliph himself was under 'protection' of the Buyid Emirs who possessed all of
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
and
Western Iran Western Iran consists of Armenian Highlands, Northern Zagros and the rich agricultural area of the Khuzestan Plain in the south. It includes the provinces of Kordestan, Kermanshah Province, Kermanshah, Ilam Province, Ilam, Hamadan Province, Hamad ...
, and were quietly Shia in their sympathies. Outside Iraq, all the autonomous provinces slowly took on the characteristic of de facto states with hereditary rulers, armies, and revenues and operated under only nominal caliph suzerainty, which may not necessarily be reflected by any contribution to the treasury, such as the Soomro
Emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politi ...
s that had gained control of
Sindh Sindh (; ; ur, , ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the Administrative units of Pakistan, four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the Geography of Pakistan, southeastern region of the country, Sindh is the third-largest province of ...
and ruled the entire province from their capital of Mansura.
Mahmud of Ghazni Yamīn-ud-Dawla Abul-Qāṣim Maḥmūd ibn Sebüktegīn ( fa, ; 2 November 971 – 30 April 1030), usually known as Mahmud of Ghazni or Mahmud Ghaznavi ( fa, ), was the founder of the Turkic peoples, Turkic Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 998 ...
took the title of sultan, as opposed to the "amir" that had been in more common usage, signifying the
Ghaznavid Empire The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''Ġaznaviyān'') was a culturally Persianate society, Persianate, Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic peoples, Turkic ''mamluk'' origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Persia, ...
's independence from caliphal authority, despite Mahmud's ostentatious displays of Sunni orthodoxy and ritual submission to the caliph. In the 11th century, the loss of respect for the caliphs continued, as some Islamic rulers no longer mentioned the caliph's name in the Friday
khutba ''Khutbah'' ( ar, خطبة ''khuṭbah'', tr, hutbe) serves as the primary formal occasion for public sermon, preaching in the Islamic tradition. Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools. The Islamic t ...
, or struck it off their coinage. The
Isma'ili Isma'ilism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah) is a branch or sub-sect of Shia Islam Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messe ...
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
dynasty of Cairo contested the Abbasids for the titular authority of the Islamic
ummah ' (; ar, أمة ) is an Arabic word meaning "community". It is distinguished from ' ( ), which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. It is a synonym for ' ...
. They commanded some support in the Shia sections of Baghdad (such as Karkh), although Baghdad was the city most closely connected to the caliphate, even in the Buyid and Seljuq eras. The challenge of the Fatimids only ended with their downfall in the 12th century.


Buyid and Seljuq control (945–1118)

Despite the power of the
Buyid The Buyid dynasty ( fa, آل بویه, Āl-e Būya), also spelled Buwayhid ( ar, البويهية, Al-Buwayhiyyah), was a Shia Islam, Shia Iranian peoples, Iranian dynasty of Daylamites, Daylamite origin, which mainly ruled over Iraq and central ...
amirs, the Abbasids retained a highly ritualized court in Baghdad, as described by the Buyid bureaucrat Hilal al-Sabi', and they retained a certain influence over Baghdad as well as religious life. As Buyid power waned with the rule of Baha' al-Daula, the caliphate was able to regain some measure of strength. The caliph al-Qadir, for example, led the ideological struggle against the Shia with writings such as the '' Baghdad Manifesto''. The caliphs kept order in Baghdad itself, attempting to prevent the outbreak of fitnas in the capital, often contending with the '' ayyarun''. With the Buyid dynasty on the wane, a vacuum was created that was eventually filled by the dynasty of
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
known as the Seljuqs. By 1055, the Seljuqs had wrested control from the Buyids and Abbasids, and took any remaining temporal power. When the amir and former slave Basasiri took up the Shia
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
banner in Baghdad in 1056–57, the caliph al-Qa'im was unable to defeat him without outside help. Toghril Beg, the Seljuq sultan, restored Baghdad to Sunni rule and took Iraq for his dynasty. Once again, the Abbasids were forced to deal with a military power that they could not match, though the Abbasid caliph remained the titular head of the Islamic community. The succeeding sultans
Alp Arslan Alp Arslan was the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk (warlord), Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty. He greatly expanded the Seljuk territory and consolidated his power, defeating rivals to the south and no ...
and Malikshah, as well as their vizier
Nizam al-Mulk Abu Ali Hasan ibn Ali Tusi (April 10, 1018 – October 14, 1092), better known by his honorific title of Nizam al-Mulk ( fa, , , Order of the Realm) was a Persians, Persian scholar, jurist, Political philosophy, political philosopher and Vizier ...
, took up residence in Persia, but held power over the Abbasids in Baghdad. When the dynasty began to weaken in the 12th century, the Abbasids gained greater independence once again.


Revival of military strength (1118–1258)

While the Caliph al-Mustarshid was the first caliph to build an army capable of meeting a Seljuk army in battle, he was nonetheless defeated and assassinated in 1135. The Caliph al-Muqtafi was the first Abbasid Caliph to regain the full military independence of the Caliphate, with the help of his vizier Ibn Hubayra. After nearly 250 years of subjection to foreign dynasties, he successfully defended Baghdad against the Seljuqs in the siege of Baghdad (1157), thus securing Iraq for the Abbasids. The reign of
al-Nasir Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn al-Hassan al-Mustadi' ( ar, أبو العباس أحمد بن الحسن المستضيء) better known by his laqab Al-Nasir li-Din Allah ( ar, الناصر لدين الله; 6 August 1158 – 5 October 1225) or simply as A ...
(d. 1225) brought the caliphate back into power throughout Iraq, based in large part on the
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
futuwwa organizations that the caliph headed. Al-Mustansir built the Mustansiriya School, in an attempt to eclipse the Seljuq-era Nizamiyya built by Nizam al Mulk.


Mongol invasion (1206–1258)

In 1206,
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr /> Mongol script: ''Chinggis Qa(gh)an/ Chinggis Khagan'' , birth_name = Temüjin , successor = Tolui (as regent) Ögedei Khan , spouse = , issue = , house = Borjigi ...
established a powerful dynasty among the
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , , ; ; russian: Монголы) are an East Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Inner Mongolia, officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is an Autonomous regions of Chin ...
s of
central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
. During the 13th century, this
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
conquered most of the Eurasian land mass, including both China in the east and much of the old Islamic caliphate (as well as
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rusʹ, also known as Kyivan Rusʹ ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , ; Old Norse: ''Garðaríki''), was a state in Eastern Europe, Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.John Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Hist ...
) in the west.
Hulagu Khan Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü or Hulegu ( mn, Хүлэгү/ , lit=Surplus, translit=Hu’legu’/Qülegü; chg, ; Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Se ...
's destruction of Baghdad in 1258 is traditionally seen as the approximate end of the Golden Age. Mongols feared that a supernatural disaster would strike if the blood of
Al-Musta'sim Abu Ahmad Abdallah ibn al-Mustansir Billah (; 1213 – 20 February 1258), better known by his laqab, regnal name al-Musta'sim Billah ( ar, المستعصم بالله, al-Mustaʿṣim billāh, label=none) was the 37th and last caliph of the Abbasi ...
, a direct descendant of Muhammad's uncle
Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib Al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib ( ar, ٱلْعَبَّاسُبْنُ عَبْدِ ٱلْمُطَّلِبِ, al-ʿAbbās ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib;  Common era, CE) was a paternal uncle and Sahaba, Sahabi (companion) of Muhammad, just three ye ...
, and the last reigning Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, was spilled. The Shia of
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
stated that no such calamity had happened after the death of
Husayn ibn Ali Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar, أبو عبد الله الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب; 10 January 626 – 10 October 680) was a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad and a ...
in the
Battle of Karbala The Battle of Karbala ( ar, مَعْرَكَة كَرْبَلَاء) was fought on 10 October 680 (10 Muharram in the year 61 Hijri year, AH of the Islamic calendar) between the army of the second Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad Caliph Yazid I a ...
; nevertheless, as a precaution and in accordance with a Mongol taboo which forbade spilling royal blood, Hulagu had Al-Musta'sim wrapped in a carpet and trampled to death by horses on 20 February 1258. The Caliph's immediate family was also executed, with the lone exceptions of his youngest son who was sent to Mongolia, and a daughter who became a slave in the
harem Harem (Persian: حرمسرا ''haramsarā'', ar, حَرِيمٌ ''ḥarīm'', "a sacred inviolable place; harem; female members of the family") refers to domestic spaces that are reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim Muslims ...
of Hulagu.


Abbasid Caliphate of Cairo (1261–1517)

In the 9th century, the Abbasids created an army loyal only to their caliphate, composed of non-Arab origin people, known as
Mamluks Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke ...
. This force, created in the reign of
al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
(813–833) and his brother and successor
al-Mu'tasim Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd ( ar, أبو إسحاق محمد بن هارون الرشيد; October 796 – 5 January 842), better known by his laqab, regnal name al-Muʿtaṣim biʾllāh (, ), was the eighth Abbasid Caliphate ...
(833–842), prevented the further disintegration of the empire. The Mamluk army, though often viewed negatively, both helped and hurt the caliphate. Early on, it provided the government with a stable force to address domestic and foreign problems. However, creation of this foreign army and al-Mu'tasim's transfer of the capital from Baghdad to
Samarra Samarra ( ar, سَامَرَّاء, ') is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Saladin Governorate, north of Baghdad. The Abbasid Samarra, city of Samarra was founded by Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid Caliphate, Calip ...
created a division between the caliphate and the peoples they claimed to rule. In addition, the power of the Mamluks steadily grew until al-Radi (934–941) was constrained to hand over most of the royal functions to Muhammad ibn Ra'iq. Similarly to how a Mamluk Army was created by the Abbasids, a Mamluk Army was created by the Egypt-based
Ayyubid dynasty The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; ) was the founding dynasty of the medieval Sultan of Egypt, Sultanate of Egypt established by Saladin in 1171, following his abolition of the Fatimid Caliphate, Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt. A Sunni ...
. These Mamluks decided to directly overthrow their masters and came to power in 1250 in what is known as the
Mamluk Sultanate The Mamluk Sultanate ( ar, سلطنة المماليك, translit=Salṭanat al-Mamālīk), also known as Mamluk Egypt or the Mamluk Empire, was a state that ruled medieval Egypt, Egypt, the Levant and the Hejaz (western Arabia) from the mid-13 ...
. In 1261, following the devastation of Baghdad by the Mongols, the Mamluk rulers of Egypt re-established the Abbasid caliphate in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, ) is the capital of Egypt and its largest city, home to 10 million people. It is also part of the largest urban agglomeration in Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East: The Greater Cairo me ...
. The first Abbasid caliph of Cairo was Al-Mustansir. The Abbasid caliphs in Egypt continued to maintain the presence of authority, but it was confined to religious matters. The Abbasid caliphate of Cairo lasted until the time of
Al-Mutawakkil III Al-Mutawakkil III () (died 1543) was the seventeenth Abbasid caliph of Cairo for the Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk Sultanate from 1508 to 1516, and again in 1517. Life He was the last caliph of the later Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Egyptian-b ...
, who was taken away as a prisoner by
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman ...
to Constantinople where he had a ceremonial role. He died in 1543, following his return to Cairo.


Culture


Islamic Golden Age

The Abbasid historical period lasting to the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258 CE is considered the Islamic Golden Age. The Islamic Golden Age was inaugurated by the middle of the 8th century by the ascension of the Abbasid
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
and the transfer of the capital from
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
to Baghdad. The Abbasids were influenced by the
Qur'an The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
ic injunctions and
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approva ...
, such as "the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr", stressing the value of knowledge. During this period the Muslim world became an intellectual center for science, philosophy, medicine and education as the Abbasids championed the cause of knowledge and established the
House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom ( ar, بيت الحكمة, Bayt al-Ḥikmah), also known as the Grand Library of Baghdad, refers to either a major Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid public academy and intellectual center in Baghdad or to a large private library be ...
in Baghdad, where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate and gather all the world's knowledge into
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
. Many classic works of antiquity that would otherwise have been lost were translated into Arabic and Persian and later in turn translated into Turkish, Hebrew and Latin. During this period the Muslim world was a cauldron of cultures which collected, synthesized and significantly advanced the knowledge gained from the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter ...
, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Egyptian, North African,
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
and
Medieval Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek, Byzantine Greek, or Romaic) is the stage of the Greek language between the end of classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Fall of Co ...
civilizations. According to Huff, " virtually every field of endeavor—in astronomy, alchemy, mathematics, medicine, optics and so forth—the Caliphate's scientists were in the forefront of scientific advance."


Science

The reigns of
Harun al-Rashid Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi ( ar , أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (; or 766 – 24 March 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid ( ar, هَارُون الرَشِيد, translit=Hārūn ...
(786–809) and his successors fostered an age of great intellectual achievement. In large part, this was the result of the schismatic forces that had undermined the Umayyad regime, which relied on the assertion of the superiority of
Arab culture Arab culture is the culture of the Arabs, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. The various religions the Arab ...
as part of its claim to legitimacy, and the Abbasids' welcoming of support from non-Arab Muslims. It is well established that the Abbasid caliphs modeled their administration on that of the
Sassanids The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
. Harun al-Rashid's son,
Al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
(whose mother was Persian), is even quoted as saying: A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule played a role in transmitting
Islamic science Science in the medieval Islamic world was the science developed and practised during the Islamic Golden Age under the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads of Córdoba, the Abbadid dynasty, Abbadids of Seville, the Samanid Empire, Samanids, the Ziyarid d ...
to the Christian West. In addition, the period saw the recovery of much of the
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Founded in by Alexander the Great, Alexandria ...
n mathematical, geometric and astronomical knowledge, such as that of
Euclid Euclid (; grc-gre, Wikt:Εὐκλείδης, Εὐκλείδης; BC) was an ancient Greek mathematician active as a geometer and logician. Considered the "father of geometry", he is chiefly known for the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements'' trea ...
and Claudius
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-gre, wikt:Πτολεμαῖος, Πτολεμαῖος, ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific Treatise, treatis ...
. These recovered mathematical methods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars, notably by Persian scientists
Al-Biruni Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) commonly known as al-Biruni, was a Khwarazmian Iranian peoples, Iranian in scholar and polymath during the Islamic Golden Age. He has been called variously the "founder of Indolog ...
and
Abu Nasr Mansur Abu Nasri Mansur ibn Ali ibn Iraq ( fa, أبو نصر منصور بن علی بن عراق; c. 960 – 1036) was a Persian people, Persian Mathematics in medieval Islam, Muslim mathematician and astronomer. He is well known for his work with the s ...
.
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
(particularly
Nestorian Nestorianism is a term used in Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as ...
Christians) contributed to the Arab Islamic Civilization during the Umayyads and the Abbasids by translating works of Greek philosophers to
Syriac Syriac may refer to: *Syriac language, an ancient dialect of Middle Aramaic *Sureth, one of the modern dialects of Syriac spoken in the Nineveh Plains region * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages a ...
and afterwards to
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
. Nestorians played a prominent role in the formation of Arab culture, with the Academy of Gondishapur being prominent in the late
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
,
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institut ...
and early Abbasid periods. Notably, eight generations of the Nestorian Bukhtishu family served as private doctors to caliphs and sultans between the eighth and eleventh centuries.
Algebra Algebra () is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics. Roughly speaking, algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols in formulas; it is a unifying thread of almost all of mathem ...
was significantly developed by Persian scientist Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī during this time in his landmark text, '' Kitab al-Jabr wa-l-Muqabala'', from which the term ''algebra'' is derived. He is thus considered to be the father of algebra by some, although the Greek mathematician
Diophantus Diophantus of Alexandria ( grc, Διόφαντος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; born probably sometime between AD 200 and 214; died around the age of 84, probably sometime between AD 284 and 298) was an Alexandrian mathematician, who was the aut ...
has also been given this title. The terms algorism and
algorithm In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm () is a finite sequence of rigorous instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific Computational problem, problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are used as specificat ...
are derived from the name of al-Khwarizmi, who was also responsible for introducing the
Arabic numerals Arabic numerals are the ten numerical digits: , , , , , , , , and . They are the most commonly used symbols to write Decimal, decimal numbers. They are also used for writing numbers in other systems such as octal, and for writing identifiers ...
and
Hindu–Arabic numeral system The Hindu–Arabic numeral system or Indo-Arabic numeral system Audun HolmeGeometry: Our Cultural Heritage 2000 (also called the Hindu numeral system or Arabic numeral system) is a positional decimal The decimal numeral system (also called ...
beyond the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
.
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, ...
scientist
Ibn al-Haytham Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham, Latinization of names, Latinized as Alhazen (; full name ; ), was a medieval Mathematics in medieval Islam, mathematician, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, astronomer, and Physics in the medieval Islamic world, ...
(Alhazen) developed an early
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...
in his ''
Book of Optics The ''Book of Optics'' ( ar, كتاب المناظر, Kitāb al-Manāẓir; la, De Aspectibus or ''Perspectiva''; it, Deli Aspecti) is a seven-volume treatise on optics and other fields of study composed by the medieval Arab scholar Ibn al- ...
'' (1021). The most important development of the scientific method was the use of experiments to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally
empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
orientation, which began among Muslim scientists. Ibn al-Haytham's empirical proof of the intromission theory of light (that is, that light rays entered the eyes rather than being emitted by them) was particularly important. Alhazen was significant in the
history of scientific method The history of scientific method considers changes in the methodology of scientific inquiry, as distinct from the history of science itself. The development of rules for scientific reasoning has not been straightforward; scientific method has been ...
, particularly in his approach to experimentation, and has been referred to as the "world's first true scientist". Medicine in medieval Islam was an area of science that advanced particularly during the Abbasids' reign. During the 9th century, Baghdad contained over 800 doctors, and great discoveries in the understanding of anatomy and diseases were made. The clinical distinction between
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by Measles morbillivirus, measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Initial symptoms typically include fever, often ...
and
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Ali Maow Maalin#Maalin's case, last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World ...
was described during this time. Famous Persian scientist
Ibn Sina Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
(known to the West as
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
) produced treatises and works that summarized the vast amount of knowledge that scientists had accumulated, and was very influential through his encyclopedias, ''
The Canon of Medicine ''The Canon of Medicine'' ( ar, القانون في الطب, italic=yes ''al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb''; fa, قانون در طب, italic=yes, ''Qanun-e dâr Tâb'') is an Medical literature, encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Pe ...
'' and ''
The Book of Healing ''The Book of Healing'' (; ; also known as ) is a Islamic science, scientific and Early Islamic philosophy, philosophical encyclopedia written by Avicenna, Abu Ali ibn Sīna (aka Avicenna) from medieval Persia, near Bukhara in Maverounnahr. He ...
''. The work of him and many others directly influenced the research of European scientists during the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
.
Astronomy in medieval Islam Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
was advanced by
Al-Battani Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī aṣ-Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī ( ar, محمد بن جابر بن سنان البتاني) (Latinization (literature), Latinized as Albategnius, Albategni or Albatenius) (c. ...
, who improved the precision of the measurement of the
precession Precession is a change in the orientation (geometry), orientation of the rotational axis of a rotation, rotating body. In an appropriate frame of reference, reference frame it can be defined as a change in the first Euler angles, Euler angle, ...
of the Earth's axis. The corrections made to the
geocentric model In astronomy, the geocentric model (also known as geocentrism, often exemplified specifically by the Ptolemaic system) is a superseded description of the Universe with Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...
by al-Battani,
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
,
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Tūsī ( fa, محمد ابن محمد ابن حسن طوسی 18 February 1201 – 26 June 1274), better known as Nasir al-Din al-Tusi ( fa, نصیر الدین طوسی, links=no; or simply Tusi in the West ...
, Mo'ayyeduddin Urdi and Ibn al-Shatir were later incorporated into the Copernican heliocentric model. The
astrolabe An astrolabe ( grc, ἀστρολάβος ; ar, ٱلأَسْطُرلاب ; persian, ستاره‌یاب ) is an ancient astronomical instrument that was a handheld model of the universe. Its various functions also make it an elaborate inclin ...
, though originally developed by the Greeks, was developed further by Islamic astronomers and engineers, and subsequently brought to medieval Europe. Muslim alchemists influenced medieval European alchemists, particularly the writings attributed to Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber).


Literature

The best known fiction from the Islamic world is ''
One Thousand and One Nights ''One Thousand and One Nights'' ( ar, أَلْفُ لَيْلَةٍ وَلَيْلَةٌ, italic=yes, ) is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the ''Arabian ...
'', a collection of fantastical folk tales, legends and parables compiled primarily during the Abbasid era. The collection is recorded as having originated from an Arabic translation of a Sassanian era Persian prototype, with likely origins in Indian literary traditions. Stories from
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
, Persian, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian folklore and literature were later incorporated. The epic is believed to have taken shape in the 10th century and reached its final form by the 14th century; the number and type of tales have varied from one manuscript to another.. All Arabian
fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy ...
tales were often called "Arabian Nights" when translated into English, regardless of whether they appeared in ''The Book of One Thousand and One Nights''. This epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th century, first by
Antoine Galland Antoine Galland (; 4 April 1646 – 17 February 1715) was a French orientalist and archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological ...
. Many imitations were written, especially in France. Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as
Aladdin Aladdin ( ; ar, علاء الدين, ', , Aarne–Thompson–Uther Index, ATU 561, ‘Aladdin') is a Middle-Eastern Fairy tale, folk tale. It is one of the best-known tales associated with One Thousand and One Nights, ''The Book of One Thousan ...
, Sinbad and Ali Baba. A famous example of Islamic poetry on romance was ''
Layla and Majnun ''Layla & Majnun'' ( ar, مجنون ليلى ; Layla's Mad Lover) is an old story of Arab origin, about the 7th-century Bedouin poet Qays ibn al-Mulawwah and his ladylove Layla bint Mahdi (later known as Layla al-Aamiriya). "The Layla ...
'', an originally
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
story which was further developed by Iranian, Azerbaijani and other poets in the Persian, Azerbaijani, and Turkish languages. It is a tragic story of undying love much like the later ''
Romeo and Juliet ''Romeo and Juliet'' is a Shakespearean tragedy, tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about the romance between two Italian youths from feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetim ...
''. Arabic poetry reached its greatest height in the Abbasid era, especially before the loss of central authority and the rise of the Persianate dynasties. Writers like Abu Tammam and Abu Nuwas were closely connected to the caliphal court in Baghdad during the early 9th century, while others such as
al-Mutanabbi Abū al-Ṭayyib Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Mutanabbī al-Kindī ( ar, أبو الطيب أحمد بن الحسين المتنبّي الكندي; – 23 September 965 Anno Domini, AD) from Kufa, Abbasid Caliphate, was a famous Abbasid Caliphat ...
received their patronage from regional courts. Under Harun al-Rashid, Baghdad was renowned for its bookstores, which proliferated after the making of paper was introduced. Chinese papermakers had been among those taken prisoner by the Arabs at the
Battle of Talas The Battle of Talas or Battle of Artlakh (; ar, معركة نهر طلاس, translit=Maʿrakat nahr Ṭalās, Persian language, Persian: Nabard-i Tarāz) was a military encounter and engagement between the Abbasid Caliphate along with its ally, ...
in 751. As prisoners of war, they were dispatched to
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top:Registan square, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, view inside Shah-i-Zinda, ...
, where they helped set up the first Arab paper mill. In time, paper replaced parchment as the medium for writing, and the production of books greatly increased. These events had an academic and societal impact that could be broadly compared to the introduction of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
in the West. Paper aided in communication and record-keeping, it also brought a new sophistication and complexity to businesses, banking, and the civil service. In 794, Jafa al-Barmak built the first paper mill in Baghdad, and from there the technology circulated. Harun required that paper be employed in government dealings, since something recorded on paper could not easily be changed or removed, and eventually, an entire street in Baghdad's business district was dedicated to selling paper and books.


Philosophy

One of the common definitions for "Islamic philosophy" is "the style of philosophy produced within the framework of Islamic culture." Islamic philosophy, in this definition is neither necessarily concerned with religious issues, nor is exclusively produced by Muslims. Their works on
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
were a key step in the transmission of learning from ancient Greeks to the Islamic world and the West. They often corrected the philosopher, encouraging a lively debate in the spirit of
ijtihad ''Ijtihad'' ( ; ar, اجتهاد ', ; lit. physical or mental ''effort'') is an Islamic legal term referring to independent reasoning by an expert in Islamic law, or the thorough exertion of a jurist's mental faculty in finding a solution to a le ...
. They also wrote influential original philosophical works, and their thinking was incorporated into Christian philosophy during the Middle Ages, notably by Thomas Aquinas. Three speculative thinkers, al-Kindi, al-Farabi, and
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam, and Avicennism was later established as a result. Other influential Abbasid philosophers include al-Jahiz, and
Ibn al-Haytham Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham, Latinization of names, Latinized as Alhazen (; full name ; ), was a medieval Mathematics in medieval Islam, mathematician, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, astronomer, and Physics in the medieval Islamic world, ...
(Alhacen).


Architecture

As power shifted from the Umayyads to the Abbasids, the architectural styles changed also, from Greco-Roman tradition (which features elements of Hellenistic and Roman representative style) to Eastern tradition which retained their independent architectural traditions from Architecture of Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia and Persia. The Abbasid architecture was particularly influenced by Sasanian architecture, which in turn featured elements present since ancient Mesopotamia. The Christian styles evolved into a style based more on the Sasanian Empire, utilizing mud bricks and baked bricks with carved stucco. Another major development was the creation or vast enlargement of cities as they were turned into the capital of the empire, beginning with the creation of Baghdad in 762, which was planned as a walled city with four gates, and a mosque and palace in the center. Al-Mansur, who was responsible for the creation of Baghdad, also planned the city of Raqqa, along the Euphrates. Finally, in 836, al-Mu'tasim moved the capital to a new site that he created along the Tigris, called Samarra. This city saw 60 years of work, with race-courses and game preserves to add to the atmosphere. Due to the dry remote nature of the environment, some of the palaces built in this era were isolated havens. Al-Ukhaidir Fortress is a fine example of this type of building, which has stables, living quarters, and a mosque, all surrounding inner courtyards. Other mosques of this era, such as the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia, while ultimately built during the Umayyad dynasty, were substantially renovated in the 9th century. These renovations, so extensive as to ostensibly be rebuilds, were in the furthest reaches of the Muslim world, in an area that the Aghlabids controlled; however, the styles utilized were mainly Abbasid. In Egypt, Ahmad Ibn Tulun commissioned the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Ibn Tulun Mosque, completed in 879, that is based on the style of Samarra and is now one of the best-preserved Abbasid-style mosques from this period. Mesopotamia only has one surviving mausoleum from this era, in Samarra. This octagonal dome is the final resting place of al-Muntasir. Other architectural innovations and styles were few, such as the four-centred arch, four-centered arch, and a dome erected on squinches. Unfortunately, much was lost due to the ephemeral nature of the stucco and luster tiles.


Foundation of Baghdad

The Caliph al-Mansur founded the epicenter of the empire,
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
, in 762 CE, as a means of disassociating his dynasty from that of the preceding Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads (centered at Damascus) and the rebellious cities of Kufa and Basrah. Mesopotamia was an ideal locale for a capital city due to its high agricultural output, access to the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers (allowing for trade and communication across the region), central locale between the corners of the vast empire (stretching from Egypt to Afghanistan) and access to the Silk Road and Indian Ocean trade routes, all key reasons as to why the region has hosted important capital cities such as Ur,
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bāvel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babi ...
, Nineveh and Ctesiphon and was later desired by the British Empire as an outpost by which to maintain access to India. The city was organized in a circular fashion next to the Tigris River, with massive brick walls being constructed in successive rings around the core by a workforce of 100,000 with four huge gates (named Kufa, Basrah, Khorasan and Syria). The central enclosure of the city contained Mansur's palace of in area and the great mosque of Baghdad, encompassing . Travel across the Tigris and the network of waterways allowing the drainage of the Euphrates into the Tigris was facilitated by bridges and canals servicing the population.


Glass and crystal

The Near East has, since Roman times, been recognized as a center of quality glassware and crystal. 9th-century finds from Samarra show styles similar to Sassanian forms. The types of objects made were bottles, flasks, vases, and cups intended for domestic use, with decorations including molded flutes, honeycomb patterns, and inscriptions. Other styles seen that may not have come from the Sassanians were stamped items. These were typically round stamps, such as medallions or disks with animals, birds, or Kufic inscriptions. Colored lead glass, typically blue or green, has been found in Nishapur, along with prismatic perfume bottles. Finally, cut glass may have been the high point of Abbasid glass-working, decorated with floral and animal designs.


Painting

Early Abbasid painting has not survived in great quantities, and is sometimes harder to differentiate; however, Samarra provides good examples, as it was built by the Abbasids and abandoned 56 years later. The walls of the principal rooms of the palace that have been excavated show wall paintings and lively carved stucco Dado (architecture), dadoes. The style is obviously adopted with little variation from Sassanian art, bearing not only similar styles, with harems, animals, and dancing people, all enclosed in scrollwork, but the garments are also Persian. Nishapur had its own school of painting. Excavations at Nishapur show both monochromatic and polychromatic artwork from the 8th and 9th centuries. One famous piece of art consists of hunting nobles with falcons and on horseback, in full regalia; the clothing identifies them as Tahirid, which was, again, a sub-dynasty of the Abbasids. Other styles are of vegetation, and fruit in nice colors on a four-foot high dedo.


Pottery

Whereas painting and architecture were not areas of strength for the Abbasid dynasty, pottery was a different story. Islamic culture as a whole, and the Abbasids in particular, were at the forefront of new ideas and techniques. Some examples of their work were pieces engraved with decorations and then colored with yellow-brown, green, and purple glazes. Designs were diverse with geometric patterns, Kufic lettering, and Arabesque (Islamic art), arabesque scrollwork, along with rosettes, animals, birds, and humans. Abbasid pottery from the 8th and 9th centuries has been found throughout the region, as far as Cairo. These were generally made with a yellow clay and fired multiple times with separate glazes to produce metallic luster in shades of gold, brown, or red. By the 9th century, the potters had mastered their techniques and their decorative designs could be divided into two styles. The Persian style would show animals, birds, and humans, along with Kufic lettering in gold. Pieces excavated from Samarra exceed in vibrancy and beauty any from later periods. These predominantly being made for the Caliphs use. Tiles were also made using this same technique to create both monochromatic and polychromatic lusterware tiles.


Textiles

Egypt being a center of the textile industry was part of Abbasid cultural advancement. Copts were employed in the textile industry and produced linens and silks. Tinnis was famous for its factories and had over 5,000 looms. Examples of textiles were ''kasab'', a fine linen for turbans, and ''badana'' for upper-class garments. The kiswah for the kaaba in Mecca was made in a town named Tuna (Egypt), Tuna near Tinnis. Fine silk was also made in Dabik and Damietta. Of particular interest are stamped and inscribed fabrics, which used not only inks but also liquid gold. Some of the finer pieces were colored in such a manner as to require six separate stamps to achieve the proper design and color. This technology spread to Europe eventually.


Technology

In technology, the Abbasids adopted papermaking from China. The use of paper spread from China into the caliphate in the 8th century CE, arriving in
al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
(Islamic Spain) and then the rest of Europe in the 10th century. It was easier to manufacture than parchment, less likely to crack than papyrus, and could absorb ink, making it ideal for making records and copies of the Qur'an. "Islamic paper makers devised assembly-line methods of hand-copying manuscripts to turn out editions far larger than any available in Europe for centuries." It was from the Abbasids that the rest of the world learned to make paper from linen. The knowledge of gunpowder was also transmitted from China via the caliphate, where the formulas for pure potassium nitrate and an explosive gunpowder effect were first developed. Advances were made in irrigation and farming, using new technology such as the windmill. Crops such as almonds and citrus fruit were brought to Europe through
al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
, and sugar cultivation was gradually adopted by the Europeans. Apart from the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, navigable rivers were uncommon, so transport by sea was very important. Navigational sciences were highly developed, making use of a rudimentary sextant (known as a kamal). When combined with detailed maps of the period, sailors were able to sail across oceans rather than skirt along the coast. Abbasid sailors were also responsible for reintroducing large three masted merchant vessels to the Mediterranean. The name caravel may derive from an earlier Arab ship known as the ''qārib''. Arab merchants dominated trade in the Indian Ocean until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. Ormus, Hormuz was an important center for this trade. There was also a dense network of trade routes in the Mediterranean, along which Muslim countries traded with each other and with European powers such as Venice or Genoa. The Silk Road crossing Central Asia passed through the Abbasid caliphate between China and Europe. Engineers in the Abbasid caliphate made a number of innovative industrial uses of hydropower, and early industrial uses of tidal power, wind power, and petroleum (notably by distillation into kerosene). The industrial uses of watermills in the Islamic world date back to the 7th century, while horizontal-Water wheel, wheeled and vertical-wheeled water mills were both in widespread use since at least the 9th century. By the time of the Crusades, every province throughout the Islamic world had mills in operation, from
al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
and North Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia. These mills performed a variety of agricultural and industrial tasks. Abbasid engineers also developed machines (such as pumps) incorporating crankshafts, employed gears in mills and water-raising machines, and used dams to provide additional power to watermills and water-raising machines. Such advances made it possible for many industrial tasks that were previously driven by manual labour in ancient times to be Mechanization, mechanized and driven by machinery instead in the medieval Islamic world. It has been argued that the industrial use of waterpower had spread from Islamic to Christian Spain, where fulling mills, paper mills, and forge mills were recorded for the first time in Catalonia. A number of industries were generated during the Arab Agricultural Revolution, including early industries for textiles, sugar, rope-making, matting, silk, and paper. Latin translations of the 12th century passed on knowledge of chemistry and instrument making in particular. The agricultural and handicraft industries also experienced high levels of growth during this period.


Status of women

In contrast to the earlier era, women in Abbasid society were absent from all arenas of the community's central affairs. While their Muslim forbears led men into battle, started rebellions, and played an active role in community life, as demonstrated in the Hadith literature, Abbasid women were ideally kept in seclusion. Conquests had brought enormous wealth and large numbers of slaves to the Muslim elite. The majority of the slaves were women and children,Morony, Michael G. Iraq after the Muslim conquest. Gorgias Press LLC, 2005 many of whom had been dependents or harem-members of the defeated Sasanian Empire, Sassanian upper classes.Abbott, Nabia. Two queens of Baghdad: mother and wife of Hārūn al Rashīd. University of Chicago Press, 1946. In the wake of the conquests an elite man could potentially own a thousand slaves, and ordinary soldiers could have ten people serving them.Concubines were expected to be treated well, treating them poorly would have been deviation from Islamic ethics however some from the ruling class engaged in acts of disbelief and deviancy behind closed doors with and without their harem's It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that Muhammad said: "There is no man whose two daughters reach the age of puberty and he treats them kindly for the time they are together, but they will gain him admittance to Paradise." "Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink, and clothes them from his wealth; they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.'" Even so, slave courtesans (qiyans and jawaris) and princesses produced prestigious and important poetry. Enough survives to give us access to women's historical experiences, and reveals some vivacious and powerful figures, such as the Sufi mystic Rabia of Basra, Raabi'a al-Adwiyya (714–801 CE), the princess and poet 'Ulayya bint al-Mahdi (777–825 CE), and the qiyan, singing-girls Shāriyah (–870 CE), Fadl Ashsha'ira (d. 871 CE) and Arib al-Ma'muniyya (797–890 CE). Each wife in the Abbasid harem had an additional home or flat, with her own enslaved personals staff of eunuchs and maidservants. When a concubine gave birth to a son, she was elevated in rank to umm walad and also received apartments and (slave) servants as a gift.


Treatment of Jews and Christians

The status and treatment of Jews, Christians, and non-Muslims in the Abbasid Caliphate was a complex and continually changing issue. Non-Muslims were called dhimmis. Dhimmis did not have all of the privileges that Muslims had and commonly had to pay jizya, a tax for not being a Muslim. One of the common aspects of the treatment of the dhimmis is that their treatment depended on who the Caliph was at the time. Some Abbasid rulers, like
Al-Mutawakkil Abū al-Faḍl Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad al-Muʿtaṣim bi-ʾllāh ( ar, جعفر بن محمد المعتصم بالله; March 822 – 11 December 861), better known by his laqab, regnal name Al-Mutawakkil ʿalā Allāh (, "He who relies on God" ...
(822–861 CE) imposed strict restrictions on what dhimmis could wear in public, often yellow garments that distinguished them from Muslims. Other restrictions al-Mutawakkil imposed included limiting the role of the dhimmis in government, seizing dhimmi housing and making it harder for dhimmis to become educated. Most other Abbasid caliphs were not as strict as al-Mutawakkil, though. During the reign of
Al-Mansur Abū Jaʿfar ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Manṣūr (; ar, أبو جعفر عبد الله بن محمد المنصور‎; 95 Anno hegirae, AH – 158 AH/714 Common Era, CE – 6 October 775 CE) usually known simply as by his laqab Al-Man ...
(714–775 CE), it was common for Jews and Christians to influence the overall culture in the
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
, specifically in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
. Jews and Christians did this by participating in scholarly work It was common that laws that were imposed against dhimmis during one caliph's rule were either discarded or not practiced during future caliphs' reigns. Al-Mansur and al-Mutawakkil both instituted laws that forbade non-Muslims from participating in public office. Al-Mansur did not follow his own law very closely, bringing dhimmis back to the Caliphate's treasury due to the needed expertise of dhimmis in the area of finance. Al-Mutawakkil followed the law banning dhimmis from public office more seriously, although, soon after his reign, many of the laws concerning dhimmis participating in government were completely unobserved or at least less strictly observed. Even Al-Muqtadir (), who held a similar stance as al-Mutawakkil on barring non-Muslims from public office, himself had multiple Christian secretaries, indicating that non-Muslims still had access to many of the most important figures within the Caliphate. Past having a casual association or just being a secretary to high-ranking Islamic officials, some of them achieved the second highest office after the caliph: the vizier. Jews and Christians may have had a lower overall status compared to Muslims in the Abbasid Caliphate, but dhimmis were often allowed to hold respectable and even prestigious occupations in some cases, such as doctors and public officeholders. Jews and Christians were also allowed to be rich even if they were taxed for being a dhimmi. Dhimmis were capable of moving up and down the social ladder, though this largely depended on the particular caliph. An indication as to the social standing of Jews and Christians at the time was their ability to live next to Muslim people. While al-Mansur was ruling the Caliphate, for instance, it was not uncommon for dhimmis to live in the same neighborhoods as Muslims. One of the biggest reasons why dhimmis were allowed to hold prestigious jobs and positions in government is that they were generally important to the well-being of the state and were proficient to excellent with the work at hand. Some Muslims in the Caliphate took offense to the idea that there were dhimmis in public offices who were in a way ruling over them although it was an Islamic state, while other Muslims were at time jealous of some dhimmis for having a level of wealth or prestige greater than other Muslims, even if Muslims were still the majority of the ruling class. In general, Muslims, Jews, and Christians had close relations that could be considered positive at times, especially for Jews, in contrast to how Jews were being treated in Europe. Many of the laws and restrictions that were imposed on dhimmis often resembled other laws that previous states had used to discriminate against a minority religion, specifically Jewish people. Romans in the fourth century banned Jewish people from holding public offices, banned Roman citizens from converting to Judaism, and often demoted Jews who were serving in the Roman military. In direct contrast, there was an event in which two viziers, Ibn al-Furat and Ali ibn Isa ibn al-Jarrah, argued about Ibn al-Furat's decision to make a Christian the head of the military. A previous vizier, Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Bazuri, had done so. These laws predated al-Mansur's laws against dhimmis and often had similar restrictions, although Roman emperors were often much more strict on enforcing these laws than many Abbasid caliphs. Most of History of the Jews in Baghdad, Baghdad's Jews were incorporated into the Arab community and considered
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
their native language. Some Jews studied Hebrew in their schools and Jewish religious education flourished. The united Muslim empire allowed Jews to reconstruct links between their dispersed communities throughout the Middle East. The city's Talmudic institute helped spread the rabbinical tradition to Europe, and the Jewish community in Baghdad went on to establish ten rabbinical schools and twenty-three synagogues. Baghdad not only contained the tombs of Muslim saints and martyrs, but also the tomb of Joshua in Islam, Yusha, whose corpse had been brought to Iraq during the first migration of the Jews out of the Levant.


Arabization

While the Abbasids originally gained power by exploiting the social inequalities against non-Arabs in the Umayyad Empire, during Abbasid rule the empire rapidly Arabized, particularly in the Fertile Crescent region (namely
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
and the Levant) as had begun under Umayyad rule. As knowledge was shared in the Arabic language throughout the empire, many people from different nationalities and religions began to speak Arabic in their everyday lives. Resources from other languages began to be translated into Arabic, and a unique Islamic identity began to form that fused previous cultures with Arab culture, creating a level of civilization and knowledge that was considered a marvel in Europe at the time.


Holidays

There were large feasts on certain days, as the Muslims of the empire celebrated Christian holidays as well as their own. There were two main Islamic feasts: Eid al-Fitr, one marked by the end of Ramadan; the other, Eid al-Adha, "the Feast of Sacrifice". The former was especially joyful because children would purchase decorations and sweetmeats; people prepared the best food and bought new clothes. At midmorning, the caliph, wearing Muhammad's thobe, would guide officials, accompanied by armed soldiers to the Great Mosque of al-Mansur, Great Mosque, where he led prayers. After the prayer, all those in attendance would exchange the best wishes and hug their kin and companions. The festivities lasted for three days. During those limited number of nights, the palaces were lit up and boats on the Tigris hung lights. It was said that Baghdad “glittered ‘like a bride." During Eid al-Adha, “the Feast of Sacrifice.”, sheep were butchered in public arenas and the caliph participated in a large-scale sacrifice in the palace courtyard. Afterward, the meat would be divided and given to the poor. In addition to these two holidays,
Shia Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
s celebrated the birthdays of
Fatimah Fāṭima bint Muḥammad ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد}, 605/15–632 CE), commonly known as Fāṭima al-Zahrāʾ (), was the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Khadija. Fati ...
and Ali ibn Abi Talib. Matrimonies and births in the royal family were observed by all in the empire. The announcement that one of the caliph's sons could Qira'at, recite the Koran smoothly was greeted by communal jubilation. When Harun developed this holy talent, the people lit torches and decorated the streets with wreaths of flowers, and his father, Al-Mahdi, freed 500 slaves. Of all the holidays imported from other cultures and religions, the one most celebrated in Baghdad (a city with many Persians) was Nowruz, which celebrated the arrival of spring. In a ceremonial ablution introduced by Persian troops, residents sprinkled themselves with water and ate almond cakes. The palaces of the imperial family were lit up for six days and nights. The Abbasids also celebrated the Persian holiday of Mihraj, which marked the onset of winter (signified with pounding drums), and Sadar, when homes burned incense and the masses would congregate along the Tigris to witness princes and viziers pass by.


Military

In Baghdad there were many Abbasid military leaders who were or said they were of Arabs, Arab descent. However, it is clear that most of the ranks were of Iranian origin, the vast majority being from Khorasan Province, Khorasan and
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
, not from western Iran or Azerbaijan. Most of the Khorasani soldiers who brought the Abbasids to power were Arabs. The standing army of the Muslims in Khorosan was overwhelmingly Arab. The unit organization of the Abbasids was designed with the goal of ethnic and racial equality among supporters. When Abu Muslim recruited officers along the Silk Road, he registered them based not on their tribal or ethno-national affiliations but on their current places of residence.The Cambridge History of Iran
p. 62
Ed. Richard N. Frye. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Under the Abbasids, Iranian peoples became better represented in the army and bureaucracy as compared to before. The Abbasid army was centred on the Khurasan Abna al-dawla infantry and the Khurasaniyya heavy cavalry, led by their own semi-autonomous commanders (qa'id) who recruited and deployed their own men with Abbasid resource grants. al-Mu‘tasim began the practice of recruiting Turkic slave soldiers from the
Samanids Samanid Empire, People Iranian people by period, Samanid People by former country, Samanid People of the medieval Islamic world by state, Samanid ...
into a private army, which allowed him to take over the reins of the Caliphate. He abolished the old ''jund'' system created by Umar and diverted the salaries of the original Arab military descendants to the Turkic slave soldiers. The Turkic soldiers transformed the style of warfare, as they were known as capable horse archers, trained from childhood to ride. This military was now drafted from the ethnic groups of the faraway borderlands, and were completely separate from the rest of society. Some could not speak Arabic properly. This led to the decline of the Caliphate starting with the Anarchy at Samarra. Although the Abbasids never retained a substantial regular army, the caliph could recruit a considerable number of soldiers in a short time when needed from levies. There were also cohorts of regular troops who received steady pay and a special forces unit. At any moment, 125,000 Muslim soldiers could be assembled along the Byzantine frontier,
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
, Medina,
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
, Rayy, and other geostrategic locations in order to quell any unrest. The cavalry was entirely covered in iron, with helmets. Similar to medieval knights, their only exposed spots were the end of their noses and small openings in front of their eyes. Their foot soldiers were issued spears, swords, and pikes, and (in line with Persian fashion) trained to stand so solidly that, one contemporary wrote "you would have thought them held fast by clamps of bronze." The Abbasid army amassed an array of siege equipment, such as catapults, mangonels, battering rams, ladders, grappling irons, and hooks. All such weaponry was operated by military engineers. However, the primary siege weapon was the manjaniq, a type of siege weapon that was comparable to the trebuchet employed in Western medieval times. From the seventh century onward, it had largely replaced Torsion siege engine, torsion artillery. By Harun al-Rashid's time, the Abbasid army employed fire grenades. The Abbasids also utilized field hospitals and ambulances drawn by camels.


Civil administration

As a result of such a vast Empire, the caliphate was decentralized and divided into 24 provinces. In keeping with Persian tradition, Harun's vizier enjoyed close to unchecked powers. Under Harun, a special "bureau of confiscation" was created. This governmental wing made it possible for the vizier to seize the property and riches of any corrupt governor or civil servant. In addition, it allowed governors to confiscate the estates of lower-ranking officials. Finally, the caliph could impose the same penalty on a vizier who fell from grace. As one later caliph put it: "The vizier is our representative throughout the land and amongst our subjects. Therefore, he who obeys him obeys us; and he who obeys us obeys God, and God shall cause him who obeys Him to enter paradise." Every regional metropolis had a post office and hundreds of roads were paved in order to link the imperial capital with other cities and towns. The empire employed a system of relays to deliver mail. The central post office in Baghdad even had a map with directions that noted the distances between each town. The roads were provided with roadside inns, hospices, and wells and could reach eastward through Persia and
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
, to as far as China. The post office not only enhanced civil services but also served as intelligence for the caliph. Mailmen were employed as spies who kept an eye on local affairs. Early in the days of the caliphate, the Barmakids took the responsibility of shaping the civil service. The family had roots in a Buddhist monastery in northern Afghanistan. In the early 8th century, the family converted to Islam and began to take on a sizable part of the civil administration for the Abbasids. Capital poured into the caliphate's treasury from a variety of taxes, including a real estate tax; a levy on cattle, gold and silver, and commercial wares; a special tax on non-Muslims; and customs dues.


Trade

Under Harun al-Rashid, Harun, maritime trade through the Persian Gulf thrived, with Arab vessels trading as far south as Madagascar and as far east as China, Korea, and Japan. The growing economy of Baghdad and other cities inevitably led to the demand for luxury items and formed a class of entrepreneurs who organized long-range caravans for the trade and then the distribution of their goods. A whole section in the East Baghdad suq was dedicated to Chinese goods. Arabs traded with the Baltic region and made it as far north as the British Isles. Tens of thousands of Arab coins have been discovered in parts of Russia and Sweden, which bear witness to the comprehensive trade networks set up by the Abbasids. Offa of Mercia, King Offa of Mercia (in England) minted gold coins similar to those of the Abbasids in the eighth century. Muslim merchants employed ports in Bandar Siraf, Basra, and Aden and some Red Sea ports to travel and trade with India and South East Asia. Land routes were also utilized through
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
. Arab businessmen were present in China as early as the eighth century. Arab merchants sailed the Caspian Sea to reach and trade with
Bukhara Bukhara (Uzbek language, Uzbek: /, ; tg, Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, seventh-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 280,187 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region around Bukhara ...
and
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top:Registan square, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, view inside Shah-i-Zinda, ...
. Many caravans and goods never made it to their intended destinations. Some Chinese exports perished in fires, while other ships sank. It was said that anybody who made it to China and back unharmed was blessed by God. Common sea routes were also plagued by pirates who built and crewed vessels that were faster than most merchant ships. It is said that many of the adventures at sea in the Sinbad the Sailor, Sinbad tales were based on historical fiction of mariners of the day. The Arabs also established overland trade with Africa, largely for gold and Trans-Saharan slave trade, slaves. When trade with Europe ceased due to Arab–Byzantine wars, hostilities, Jews served as a link between the two hostile worlds.


Decline

Abbasids found themselves at odds with the
Shia Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
Muslims, most of whom had supported their war against the Umayyads since the Abbasids and the Shias claimed legitimacy by their familial connection to Muhammad. Once in power, the Abbasids disavowed any support for Shia beliefs in favor of Sunni Islam. Shortly thereafter, Berber Kharijites set up an independent state in North Africa in 801. Within 50 years, the Idrisids in the Maghreb and Aghlabids of
Ifriqiya Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previously ...
and soon the Tulunids and Ikshidids of History of Muslim Egypt, Misr were effectively independent in Africa. The Abbasid authority began to deteriorate during the reign of al-Radi when their Turkic Army generals, who already had de facto independence, stopped paying the caliphate. Even provinces close to Baghdad began to seek local dynastic rule. Also, the Abbasids found themselves to be often at conflict with the Umayyads in Spain. The Abbasid financial position weakened as well, with tax revenues from the Sawād decreasing in the 9th and the 10th centuries.


Separatist dynasties and their successors

The following list represents the succession of Islamic dynasties that emerged from the fractured Abbasid empire by their general geographic location. Dynasties often overlap, where a vassal emir revolted from and later conquered his lord. Gaps appear during periods of contest where the dominating power was unclear. Except for the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt, recognizing a Shia succession through Ali, and the Andalusian Caliphates of the Caliphate of Córdoba, Umayyads and Almohad Caliphate, Almohads, every Muslim dynasty at least acknowledged the nominal suzerainty of the Abbasids as Caliph and Commander of the Faithful. * (Maghrib al Aqsa or Extreme Maghreb) Morocco: Idrisid dynasty, Idrisids (788–974) → Almoravid dynasty, Almoravids (1040–1147) → Almohads (1120–1269) → Marinid dynasty, Marinids (1472–1554) → Wattasid dynasty, Wattasids (1472–1554) → Saadi Sultanate, Saadis (1510–1659) → 'Alawi dynasty *
Ifriqiya Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previously ...
(modern Tunisia, eastern Algeria and western Libya):
Aghlabids The Aghlabids ( ar, الأغالبة) were an Arab dynasty of emirs from the Najdi tribe of Banu Tamim, who ruled Ifriqiya and parts of Southern Italy, Sicily, and possibly Sardinia, nominally on behalf of the Abbasid Caliph, for ab ...
(800–909 CE) →
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
s (temporaly in Kairouan) (909–973 CE) → Zirids (at their collapse) (973–1148) → Almohads (1148–1229) → Hafsids (1229–1574) → Husainid dynasty (1705–1957) → Kingdom of Tunisia * Egypt and Palestine: Tulunids (868–905 CE) → Ikhshidid dynasty, Ikhshidids (935–969) → Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171) →
Ayyubid dynasty The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; ) was the founding dynasty of the medieval Sultan of Egypt, Sultanate of Egypt established by Saladin in 1171, following his abolition of the Fatimid Caliphate, Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt. A Sunni ...
(1171–1250) → Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluks (1250–1517) * Al-Jazira (caliphal province), Al-Jazira (modern East Syria and Western Iraq): Hamdanid dynasty, Hamdanids (890–1004 CE) → Marwanids (Diyar Bakr), Marwanids (990–1085) and Uqaylids (990–1096) →
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
(1034–1194) →
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
and the Ilkhanate (1231–1335) * Southwest Iran: Buyid dynasty, Buyids (934–1055) →
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
(1034–1194) →
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
→ Injuids (1335–1357) → Muzaffarids (Iran), Muzaffarids (1314–1393) * Khorasan (modern Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan): Tahirid dynasty, Tahirids (821–873) → Saffarid dynasty, Saffarids (873–903) →
Samanids Samanid Empire, People Iranian people by period, Samanid People by former country, Samanid People of the medieval Islamic world by state, Samanid ...
(903–995) → Ghaznavids (995–1038) →
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
(1038–1194) → Ghurid dynasty, Ghurids (1011–1215) → Khwarazmian dynasty, Khwarazmians (1077–1231) →
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
and the Ilkhanate (1231–1335) *
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
(modern
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
):
Samanids Samanid Empire, People Iranian people by period, Samanid People by former country, Samanid People of the medieval Islamic world by state, Samanid ...
(819–999) → Karakhanids (840–1212) → Khwarazmian dynasty, Khwarazmians (1077–1231) →
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
and the Chagatai Khanate (1225–1687) *(Maghrib al Awsat or Central Maghreb) Algeria: Emirate of Tlemcen → Sulaymanid dynasty, Sulaymanids Dynasty → Rustamid dynasty, Rustamids → Zirid dynasty (apogee) → Ifranid dynasty → Abd al-Mu'min (Almohad founder from Nedroma) → Zayyanid dynasty and Marinid dynasty (from Biskra Province, Zibans in Algeria) → Sultanate of Tuggurt → Kingdom of Beni Abbas → Kingdom of Kuku → Emirate of Abdelkader *Indus Valley: Habbari dynasty (841–1025) and Emirate of Multan (855–1010) → Ghaznavid Empire (995–1038)


Dynasties claiming Abbasid descent

Centuries after the ''Abbasids'' fall, several dynasties have claimed descent from them, as "claiming kinship relation with Muhammad", that is, claiming an affiliation to the 'People of the House' or the status of a sayyid or sharif, has arguably been the most widespread way in Muslim societies of supporting one's moral or material objectives with genealogical credentials." Such claims of continuity with Muhammad or his Hashemite kin such as the Abbasids foster a sense of "political viability" for a candidate dynasty, with the intention of "serving an internal audience" (or in other words, gaining legitimacy in the view of the masses). The Wadai Empire which ruled parts of modern-day Sudan also claimed Abbasid descent, alongside the Khairpur (princely state), Khairpur and Bahawalpur (princely state), Bahawalpur states in Pakistan and the Khanate of Bastak. A common trope among Abbasid claimant dynasties is that they are descended from Abbasid princes of Baghdad, "dispersed" by the Mongol invasion in 1258 CE. These surviving princes would leave Baghdad for a safe haven not controlled by the Mongols, assimilate to their new societies, and their descendants would grow to establish their own dynasties with their Abbasid 'credentials' centuries later. This is highlighted by the origin myth of the Bastak khanate which relates that in 656 AH/1258 CE, the year of the fall of Baghdad, and following the sack of the city, a few surviving members of the Abbasid dynastic family led by the eldest amongst them, Ismail II son of Hamza son of Ahmed son of Mohamed migrated to Southern Iran, in the village of Khonj and later to Bastak where their khanate was established in the 17th century CE. Meanwhile, the Wadai Empire related a similar origin story, claiming descent from a man by the name of Salih ibn Abdullah ibn Abbas, whose father Abdullah was an Abbasid prince who fled Baghdad for Hijaz upon the Mongol invasion. He had a son named Salih who would grow to become an "able jurist" and a "very devout man". The Muslim ulama on pilgrimage in Mecca met him and, impressed by his knowledge, invited him to return with him to Sennar. Seeing the population's deviation from Islam, he "pushed further" until he found the Abu Sinun mountain in Ouaddaï highlands, Wadai where he converted the local people to Islam and taught them its rules, after which they made him sultan, thus laying the foundations of the Wadai Empire. With regards to the Bastak khanate, Shaikh Mohamed Khan Bastaki was the first Abbasid ruler of Bastak to hold the title of "Khan" after the local people accepted him as a ruler ( Persian: خان,
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
: الحاكم), meaning "ruler" or "king", a title which was reportedly bestowed upon him by Karim Khan Zand. The title then became that of all the subsequent Abbasid rulers of Bastak and Jahangiriyeh, and also collectively refers in plural form – i.e., "Khans" ( Persian: خوانين) – to the descendants of Shaikh Mohamed Khan Bastaki. The last Abbasid ruler of Bastak and Jahangiriyeh was Mohamed A’zam Khan Baniabbassian son of Mohamed Reza Khan "Satvat al-Mamalek" Baniabbasi. He authored the book ''Tarikh-e Jahangiriyeh va Baniabbassian-e Bastak'' (1960), in which is recounted the history of the region and the Abbasid family that ruled it. Mohamed A’zam Khan Baniabbassian died in 1967, regarded as the end of the Abbasid reign in Bastak.


See also


References


Notes


Citations


Sources

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External links

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