Badr al-Mu'tadidi

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Abu'l-Najm Badr al-Mu'tadidi was the chief military commander of the Abbasid Caliphate during the reign of Caliph al-Mu'tadid (892–902). Originally a military slave ( ghulam or mawla ) who served under the future al-Mu'tadid in the suppression of the Zanj Rebellion, his ability and loyalty led him to become the Caliph's commander-in-chief, exercising considerable influence in the governance of the state throughout Mu'tadid's reign. He was executed on 14 August 902 due to the machinations of the ambitious vizier, al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah.

Abbasid Caliphate Third Islamic caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, from whom the dynasty takes its name. They ruled as caliphs for most of the caliphate from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after having overthrown the Umayyad Caliphate in the Abbasid Revolution of 750 CE (132 AH).

Al-Mutadid Abbasid caliph

Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Talha al-Muwaffaq, better known by his regnal name al-Mu'tadid bi-llah was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 892 until his death in 902.

Ghulam is an Arabic word meaning servant, boy, youth. It is used to describe young servants in paradise. It is also used to refer to slave-soldiers in the Abbasid, Ottoman, Safavid and to a lesser extent, Mughal empires, as described in the article Ghilman, which is the plural form of the word.



Badr was the son of one of Caliph al-Mutawakkil's freed slaves ( mawali ), whose name is uncertain (Khurr or Khayr). He began his career as an equerry under the stable-master of al-Muwaffaq, the virtual regent of the Caliphate during the reign of his brother al-Mu'tamid (r. 870–892) and father of the caliph al-Mu'tadid (r. 892–902). [1] [2] He then became one of a group of the military slaves or pages ( ghilman ) recruited by Mu'tadid for the campaigns against the Zanj Rebellion, and appears early on as one of the most prominent figures among this group. Like the other ghilman of Mu'tadid, his name is a "pet name" rather than a regular name, meaning "full moon". [3] Likewise, his kunya was Abu'l-Najm ("Father of the Star"), and he had a son called Hilal, "New Moon". [4] During the Zanj war, the ghilman, often with the young Mu'tadid at their head, played the main role in the fighting, providing the Abbasid armies with a professional core, filling leadership positions, and undertaking the most difficult assaults. [5]

Al-Mutawakkil caliph

Abu al-Faḍl Jaʽfar ibn Muḥammad al-Muʽtaṣim billāh, better known by his regnal name al-Mutawakkil ʽalá llāh was an Abbasid caliph who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861. He succeeded his brother al-Wathiq. His assassination on 11 December 861 by the Turkish guard with the support of his son, al-Muntasir, began the troubled period of civil strife known as "Anarchy at Samarra".

Abu Ahmad Talha ibn Ja'far, better known by his laqab as al-Muwaffaq bi-Allah, was an Abbasid prince and military leader, who acted as the de facto regent of the Abbasid Caliphate for most of the reign of his brother, Caliph al-Mu'tamid. His stabilization of the internal political scene after the decade-long "Anarchy at Samarra", his successful defence of Iraq against the Saffarids and the suppression of the Zanj Rebellion restored a measure of the Caliphate's former power and began a period of recovery, which culminated in the reign of al-Muwaffaq's own son, the Caliph al-Mu'tadid.

Al-Mutamid caliph

Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtamid ʿAlā ’llāh, was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 870 to 892. His reign marks the end of the "Anarchy at Samarra" and the start of the Abbasid restoration, but he was a largely a ruler in name only. Power was held by his brother al-Muwaffaq, who held the loyalty of the military. Al-Mu'tamid's authority was circumscribed further after a failed attempt to flee to the domains controlled by Ahmad ibn Tulun in late 882, and he was placed under house arrest by his brother. In 881, when al-Muwaffaq died, loyalists attempted to restore power to the Caliph, but were quickly overcome by al-Muwaffaq's son al-Mu'tadid, who assumed his father's powers. When al-Mu'tamid died in 892, al-Mu'tadid succeeded him as caliph.

Badr was one of the most trusted servants of Mu'tadid, and became all-powerful under the latter's patronage. Already on Mu'tadid's succession of his father as regent of the Caliphate in June 891, Badr was named as chief of security ( sahib al-shurta ) of Baghdad. [1] [6] When Mu'tadid succeeded to the throne in October 892, Badr became commander-in-chief of the army. Aside from leading numerous expedition in person as part the Caliph's campaigns of restoration of Abbasid power, he also came to wield enormous political power: he could exercise a veto on all important government decisions, while his daughter married one of Mu'tadid's sons, the future caliph al-Muqtadir (r. 908–932). [7] [8] He was a firm friend of Ubayd Allah ibn Sulayman ibn Wahb, the vizier for most of Mu'tadid's reign, whom he was often able to protect from the Caliph's outbursts of anger. Their smooth working relationship was instrumental in negating the friction between the military and the civil bureaucracy that had plagued earlier rulers. [9] As such, he was often eulogized by the court poets alongside the Caliph himself, particularly by Abu Bakr al-Suli. [10] At Baghdad, he was entrusted with the supervision of the reconstruction of the city's Great Mosque, originally established by al-Mansur (r. 754–775). He also built a palace for himself in the new palace district on the part of the city east of the Tigris, after which the nearby gate of Bab al-Khassa (Privy Gate) became known as the Bab Badr. [11]

Baghdad Capital of Iraq

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is approximately 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, and the second largest city in Western Asia.

A veto – is the power to unilaterally stop an official action, especially the enactment of legislation. A veto can be absolute, as for instance in the United Nations Security Council, whose permanent members can block any resolution, or it can be limited, as in the legislative process of the United States, where a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate may override a Presidential veto of legislation. A veto may give power only to stop changes, like the US legislative veto mentioned before, or to also adopt them, like the legislative veto of the Indian President, which allows him to propose amendments to bills returned to the Parliament for reconsideration.

Al-Muqtadir caliph

Abu’l-Faḍl Jaʿfar ibn Ahmad al-Muʿtaḍid , better known by his regnal name al-Muqtadir bi-llāh, was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 908 to 932 CE, with the exception of a brief deposition in favour of al-Qahir in 928.

When Ubayd Allah died in 901, his sponsorship was instrumental in securing the succession to the vizierate of Ubayd Allah's son, Qasim, but the latter did not display any gratitude for this. [10] Indeed, Qasim soon started intriguing against the Caliph and his sons, but when he tried to approach Badr to secure the support of the army, he was rebuffed with indignation. Qasim was saved from denunciation and execution by Badr's absence from the capital on campaign, and by Mu'tadid's sudden death in April 902. [10] [12] As Badr still represented a threat, Qasim moved quickly to defame the general to the new caliph, al-Muktafi (r. 902–908). His machinations quickly bore fruit, and Badr was forced to flee to Wasit. Qasim then enticed him to return to Baghdad by a guarantee of safe passage (aman), but on 14 August 902 at al-Mada'in, the vizier's agents attacked Badr while he was praying and cut off his head to send to the Caliph. The corpse was left behind, and later recovered by his relatives and sent for burial at Mecca. [10] [13]

Abu 'l-Husayn al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah was a senior official of the Abbasid Caliphate who served as vizier from April 901 until his own death in October 904.

Al-Muktafi Abbasid caliph

Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, better known by his regnal name al-Muktafī bi-llāh, was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 902 to 908. More liberal and sedentary than his militaristic father al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi essentially continued his policies, although most of the actual conduct of government was left to his viziers and officials. His reign saw the defeat of the Qarmatians of the Syrian Desert, and the reincorporation of Egypt and the parts of Syria ruled by the Tulunid dynasty. The war with the Byzantine Empire continued with alternating success, although the Arabs scored a major victory in the Sack of Thessalonica in 904. His death in 908 opened the way for the installation of a weak ruler, al-Muqtadir, by the palace bureaucracy, and began the terminal decline of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Al-Madain human settlement

Al-Mada'in was an ancient metropolis which lay between the ancient royal centers of Ctesiphon and Seleucia. It was founded during Sasanian rule, and was used as a synonym for Ctesiphon by the Arabs, and later by the Muslims.

The murder of Badr was criticized by the poets of the time, and even the Caliph, "who might have been expected to heave a sigh of relief at seeing the head of the once-powerful general", is said to have reproached Qasim for it. [10]

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  1. 1 2 Pellat 2004, p. 117.
  2. Bowen 1928, p. 43.
  3. Kennedy 2001, pp. 151–152.
  4. Rosenthal 1985, p. 106 (note 133).
  5. Kennedy 2001, pp. 153–154.
  6. Fields 1987, p. 168.
  7. Pellat 2004, pp. 117–118.
  8. Bowen 1928, pp. 43–44.
  9. Bowen 1928, p. 44.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 Pellat 2004, p. 118.
  11. Le Strange 1900, p. 270.
  12. Bowen 1928, pp. 57–58.
  13. Bowen 1928, p. 58.


International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Hugh Nigel Kennedy, FRSE, FRAS, FBA is a British medieval historian and academic. He specialises in the history of the early Islamic Middle East, Muslim Spain and the Crusades. From 1997 to 2007, he was Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of St Andrews. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London.