The Info List - Al-Musta'sim

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5 December 1242 – 20 February 1258 (15 years 2 months 15 days)

Predecessor al-Mustansir

Successor al-Mustansir as Abbasid Caliph in Cairo

Born 1213

Died 20 February 1258 (aged 45)

Consort Qurrat al-Ayn

Dynasty Abbasid

Father al-Mustansir

Religion Sunni Islam

Hulagu (left) imprisons Caliph Al-Musta'sim among his treasures to starve him to death. Medieval depiction from "Le livre des merveilles", 15th century.

Al-Musta'sim Billah (full name: al-Musta'sim-Billah Abu-Ahmad Abdullah bin al-Mustansir-Billah; Arabic: المستعصم بالله أبو أحمد عبد الله بن المستنصر بالله‎; 1213 – February 20, 1258) was the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad; he ruled from 1242 until his death.


1 Biography 2 Abbasid Caliph in Cairo 3 References 4 Sources

Biography[edit] Al-Musta'sim succeeded his father in late 1242. He is noted for his opposition to the rise of Shajar al-Durr to the Egyptian throne during the Seventh Crusade. He sent a message from Baghdad to the Mamluks in Egypt that said: "If you do not have men there tell us so we can send you men."[1] However, Al-Musta'sim had to face the greatest menace against the caliphate since its establishment in 632: the invasion of the Mongol forces that, under Hulagu Khan, had already wiped out any resistance in Transoxiana and Khorasan. In 1255/1256 Hulagu forced the Abbasid to lend their forces for the campaign against Alamut. In 1258, Hulagu invaded the Abbasid domain, which then consisted of only Baghdad, its immediate surroundings, and southern Iraq. In his campaign to conquer Baghdad, Hulagu Khan had several columns advance simultaneously on the city, and laid siege to it. The Mongols kept the people of Abbasid Caliphate in their capital and executed those who tried to flee. Baghdad was sacked on February 10 and the caliph was killed by Hulagu Khan soon afterward. It is reckoned that the Mongols did not want to shed "royal blood", so they wrapped him in a rug and trampled him to death with their horses. Some of his sons were massacred as well; one of the surviving sons was sent as a prisoner to Mongolia, where Mongolian historians report he married and fathered children, but played no role in Islam thereafter. The Travels of Marco Polo reports that upon finding the caliph's great stores of treasure which could have been spent on the defense of his realm, Hulagu Khan locked him in his treasure room without food or water, telling him "eat of thy treasure as much as thou wilt, since thou art so fond of it."[2][3] Abbasid Caliph in Cairo[edit] The Mamluk Sultans and Syria later appointed an Abbasid Caliph in Cairo, but they were even more symbolic than the by-now marginalized Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad. Even though they kept the title for about 250 years more, other than installing the Sultan in ceremonies, these Caliphs had little importance. After the Ottomans conquered Egypt in 1517, the Abbasid Caliph of Egypt, Al-Mutawakkil III was transported to Constantinople, and Sultan Selim I announced himself to be a Caliph. References[edit]

^ Al-Maqrizi, p.464/vol1 ^ Yule-Cordier Edition ^ Ibn al-Furat; tranlated by le Strange, 1900, pp. 293–300


Al-Maqrizi, Al Selouk Leme'refatt Dewall al-Melouk, Dar al-kotob, 1997. Ibn al-Furat; le Strange (1900). "The Death of the Last Abbasid Caliph, from the Vatican MS. of Ibn al-Furat". JRAS. 32: 293–300. 

Al-Musta'sim Abbasid dynasty Cadet branch of the Banu Hashim Born: 1213 Died: 20 February 1258

Sunni Islam titles

Preceded by Al-Mustansir Caliph of IslamAbbasid Caliph 5 December 1242 – 20 February 1258 Vacant Mongol sack of Baghdad Title next held by Al-Mustansir

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Abbasid Caliphs

Caliphs of Baghdad (749–1258)

as-Saffah al-Mansur al-Mahdi al-Hadi Harun al-Rashid al-Amin Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi[B] al-Ma'mun al-Mu'tasim al-Wathiq al-Mutawakkil al-Muntasir al-Musta'in al-Mu'tazz al-Muhtadi al-Mu'tamid al-Mu'tadid al-Muktafi al-Muqtadir Abdallah ibn al-Mu'tazz[B] al-Qahir ar-Radi al-Muttaqi al-Mustakfi al-Muti at-Ta'i al-Qadir al-Qa'im al-Muqtadi al-Mustazhir al-Mustarshid ar-Rashid al-Muqtafi al-Mustanjid al-Mustadi al-Nasir az-Zahir al-Mustansir al-Musta'sim (Mongol conquest)

Caliphs of Cairo (1261–1517)

al-Mustansir al-Hakim I al-Mustakfi I al-Wathiq I al-Hakim II al-Mu'tadid I al-Mutawakkil I al-Musta'sim al-Mutawakkil I al-Wathiq II al-Musta'sim al-Mutawakkil I al-Musta'in al-Mu'tadid II al-Mustakfi II al-Qa'im al-Mustanjid al-Mutawakkil II al-Mustamsik al-Mutawakkil III al-Mustamsik al-Mutawakkil III (Ottoman conquest)

[B] indicates ephemeral caliphs recognized in the ci