Timeline of 9th-century Muslim history

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9th century (801–900 CE / 184–288 AH)

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al-Amin 6th Abbasid caliph (r. 809–813)

Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Harun al-Rashid, better known by his Regnal name of al-Amin, was the sixth Arab Abbasid caliph from 809 to 813.

al-Mamun 7th Abbasid caliph (r. 813–833)

Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid, better known by his regnal name al-Ma'mun, was the seventh Abbasid caliph, who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. He succeeded his half-brother al-Amin after a civil war, during which the cohesion of the Abbasid Caliphate was weakened by rebellions and the rise of local strongmen; much of his domestic reign was consumed in pacification campaigns. Well educated and with a considerable interest in scholarship, al-Ma'mun promoted the Translation Movement, the flowering of learning and the sciences in Baghdad, and the publishing of al-Khwarizmi's book now known as "Algebra". He is also known for supporting the doctrine of Mu'tazilism and for imprisoning Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the rise of religious persecution (mihna), and for the resumption of large-scale warfare with the Byzantine Empire.

al-Mutasim 8th Abbasid caliph (r. 833–842)

Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaṣim biʾllāh, was the eighth Abbasid caliph, ruling from 833 until his death in 842. A younger son of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, he rose to prominence through his formation of a private army composed predominantly of Turkic slave-soldiers. This proved useful to his half-brother, Caliph al-Ma'mun, who employed al-Mu'tasim and his Turkish guard to counterbalance other powerful interest groups in the state, as well as employing them in campaigns against rebels and the Byzantine Empire. When al-Ma'mun died unexpectedly on campaign in August 833, al-Mu'tasim was thus well placed to succeed him, overriding the claims of al-Ma'mun's son al-Abbas.

al-Wathiq 9th Abbasid caliph (r. 842–847)

Abū Jaʿfar Hārūn ibn Muḥammad, better known by his regnal name al-Wāthiq bi-llāh, was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 842 until 847 CE.

al-Mutawakkil 10th Abbasid caliph (r. 847–861)

Abū al-Faḍl Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad al-Muʿtaṣim bi-ʾllāh, better known by his regnal name al-Mutawakkil ʿalā Allāh was the tenth Abbasid caliph. He succeeded his brother, al-Wathiq, and is known for expanding the empire to its maximum extent. He was deeply religious, and is remembered for discarding the Muʿtazila, ending the Mihna, and releasing Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He is also known for his tough rule, especially with respect to non-Muslim subjects.

al-Mutazz 13th Abbasid caliph (r. 866–869)

Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal title al-Muʿtazz bi-ʾllāh was the Abbasid caliph from 866 to 869, during a period of extreme internal instability within the Abbasid Caliphate, known as the "Anarchy at Samarra".

al-Mutamid 15th Abbasid caliph (r. 870–892)

Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtamid ʿalā ’llāh, was the caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 870 to 892. His reign marks the end of the "Anarchy at Samarra" and the start of the Abbasid restoration, but he was 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 891, 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.

al-Mutadid 16th Abbasid Caliph (r. 892–902)

Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Ṭalḥa al-Muwaffaq, 853/4 or 860/1 – 5 April 902, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaḍid bi-llāh, was the caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 892 until his death in 902.

Ahmad ibn Tulun was the founder of the Tulunid dynasty that ruled Egypt and Syria between 868 and 905. Originally a Turkic slave-soldier, in 868 Ibn Tulun was sent to Egypt as governor by the Abbasid caliph. Within four years Ibn Tulun had established himself as a virtually independent ruler by evicting the caliphal fiscal agent, Ibn al-Mudabbir, taking over control of Egypt's finances, and establishing a large military force personally loyal to himself. This process was facilitated by the volatile political situation in the Abbasid court and the preoccupation of the Abbasid regent, al-Muwaffaq, with the wars against the Saffarids and the Zanj Rebellion. Ibn Tulun also took care to establish an efficient administration in Egypt. After reforms to the tax system, repairs to the irrigation system, and other measures, the annual tax yield grew markedly. As a symbol of his new regime, he built a new capital, al-Qata'i, north of the old capital Fustat.

Abu Ja'far Ashinas was a general of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu'tasim. One of the earliest and most prominent members of al-Mu'tasim's Turkic guard, he rose to become one of the leading figures of the empire under al-Mu'tasim, serving as a commander in the Amorium campaign, and playing a leading role in the purge of the old Abbasid elites that followed. He was also governor of Egypt from 834, as well as of the Levant and Upper Mesopotamia from 838 on, although in practice he appointed deputies to govern in his stead. Under al-Mu'tasim's successor al-Wathiq, his powers were extended further into a virtual viceroyalty over all western provinces of the caliphate.

Abu Ahmad Talha ibn Ja'far, better known by his laqab as Al-Muwaffaq Billah, 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fourth Fitna</span> Abbasid-era Muslim civil war (811–819)

The Fourth Fitna or Great Abbasid Civil War resulted from the conflict between the brothers al-Amin and al-Ma'mun over the succession to the throne of the Abbasid Caliphate. Their father, Caliph Harun al-Rashid, had named al-Amin as the first successor, but had also named al-Ma'mun as the second, with Khurasan granted to him as an appanage. Later a third son, al-Qasim, had been designated as third successor. After Harun died in 809, al-Amin succeeded him in Baghdad. Encouraged by the Baghdad court, al-Amin began trying to subvert the autonomous status of Khurasan, and al-Qasim was quickly sidelined. In response, al-Ma'mun sought the support of the provincial élites of Khurasan and made moves to assert his own autonomy. As the rift between the two brothers and their respective camps widened, al-Amin declared his own son Musa as his heir and assembled a large army. In 811, al-Amin's troops marched against Khurasan, but al-Ma'mun's general Tahir ibn Husayn defeated them in the Battle of Ray, and then invaded Iraq and besieged Baghdad itself. The city fell after a year, al-Amin was executed, and al-Ma'mun became Caliph.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anarchy at Samarra</span> 861–870 crisis in the Abbasid Caliphate

The Anarchy at Samarra was a period of extreme internal instability from 861 to 870 in the history of the Abbasid Caliphate, marked by the violent succession of four caliphs, who became puppets in the hands of powerful rival military groups.

Ujayf ibn Anbasa was one of the senior-most military leaders of the Abbasid Caliphate under the caliphs al-Ma'mun and al-Mu'tasim.

Abu al-Husayn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim was a ninth-century official in the service of the Abbasid Caliphate. A member of the Mus'abid family, he was related to the Tahirid governors of Khurasan, and was himself a prominent enforcer of caliphal policy during the reigns of al-Ma'mun, al-Mu'tasim, al-Wathiq, and al-Mutawakkil.

Abu 'Abdallah Ahmad ibn Abi Du'ad al-Iyadi was an Islamic religious judge (qadi) of the mid-ninth century. A proponent of Mu'tazilism, he was appointed as chief judge of the Abbasid Caliphate in 833, and became highly influential during the caliphates of al-Mu'tasim and al-Wathiq. During his tenure as chief judge he sought to maintain Mu'tazilism as the official ideology of the state, and he played a leading role in prosecuting the Inquisition (mihnah) to ensure compliance with Mu'tazilite doctrines among officials and scholars. In 848 Ibn Abi Du'ad suffered a stroke and transferred his position to his son Muhammad, but his family's influence declined during the caliphate of al-Mutawakkil, who gradually abandoned Mu'tazilism and put an end to the mihnah.

Ja'far ibn Dinar ibn Abdallah al-Khayyat was a ninth-century military commander for the Abbasid Caliphate.

Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Malik, better known as Ibn al-Zayyāt, was a wealthy merchant who became a court official and served as vizier of the Abbasid caliphs al-Mu'tasim, al-Wathiq, and al-Mutawakkil, from 836 until his downfall and death by torture in 847.

The shākiriyya were a regular cavalry regiment of the Abbasid Caliphate in the "Samarra period" in the 9th century. Probably of Khurasani and Iranian origin, they were rivals of the Turkish guard, and played a major role in the court conflicts that marked the decade of the "Anarchy at Samarra" in the 860s.

Muḥammad ibn al-Muʿtaṣim was an Abbasid prince, the son of Caliph al-Mu'tasim. He was a contemporary of the caliph al-Wathiq and al-Mutawakkil. His son Ahmad became the twelfth Abbasid caliph as al-Musta'in. Muhammad was the first prince in the Abbasid history whose son became a caliph, no other Abbasid prince before him had this prestige.


  1. Kennedy, Hugh N. (2001). The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State . London and New York: Routledge. pp.  153-154. ISBN   0-415-25093-5.