Abbasid Caliphate

Abbasid Caliphate
For the Caliphate of Córdoba (Al-Andalus) dynasty see Abbadids; for the southwest Arabia Islamic sect, see Abādites.
Abbasid Caliphate
الخلافة العباسية
al-khilāfah al-‘abbāsīyyah



Abbasid Caliphate (light and dark green) at its greatest extent, c. 850. Territories in dark green were lost early on.
Capital Baghdad
Language(s) Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Berber languages, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Middle Persian, Oghuz Turkic,[1][2] Kurdish[3]
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Caliphate
Amir al-Mu'minin¹
 - 721–754 As-Saffah
 - 786–809 Harun al-Rashid
 - 1261–1262 Al-Mustansir
 - 1242–1258 Al-Musta'sim
 - Established 750
 - Disestablished 1258
Area 10,000,000 km2 (3,861,022 sq mi)
 -  est. 50,000,000 
     Density 5 /km2  (12.9 /sq mi)
Currency Abbasid Dinar
Today part of
¹ Amir al-Mu'minin (أمير المؤمنين), Caliph (خليفة)
History of the Arab League member states

The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids (Arabic: العبّاسيّون‎ / ISO 233: al-‘abbāsīyūn), was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region.

The Abbasid caliphate was founded by the descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad's youngest uncle, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, in Harran in 750 CE and shifted its capital in 762 to Baghdad. It flourished for two centuries, but slowly went into decline with the rise to power of the Turkish army it had created, the Mamluks. Within 150 years of gaining control of Persia, the caliphs were forced to cede power to local dynastic emirs who only nominally acknowledged their authority. The caliphate also lost the Western provinces of al-Andalus, Maghreb and Ifriqiya to an Umayyad prince, the Aghlabids and the Fatimid Caliphate, respectively.

The Abbasids' rule was briefly ended for three years in 1258, when Hulagu Khan, the Mongol khan, sacked Baghdad, resuming in Mamluk Egypt in 1261, from where they continued to claim authority in religious matters until 1519, when power was formally transferred to the Ottoman Empire and the capital relocated to Constantinople.



The Abbasid caliphs were Arabs descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (566–662), one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad, because of which they considered themselves the true successor of Muhammad as opposed to the Umayyads. The Umayyads were descended from Umayya, and were a clan separate from Muhammad's in the Quraish tribe. They won the backing of Shiites (i.e., the Hashimiyya sub-sect of the Kaysanites Shia) against the Umayyads by temporarily converting to Shia Islam[citation needed] and joining their fight against Umayyad rule.

Coin of the Abbasids, Baghdad, Iraq, 765.

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 Marw with the addition of the Yemeni faction and their Mawali".[4] 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 for the return of power to the family of Muhammad, the Hashimites, in Persia during the reign of Umar II.

During the reign of Marwan II, this opposition culminated in the rebellion of Ibrahim the Imam, the fourth in descent from Abbas. Supported by the province of Khorasan, Iran, he achieved considerable success, but was captured in the year 747 and died in prison; some hold that he was assassinated.[citation needed] The quarrel was taken up by his brother Abdallah, known by the name of Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah, who defeated the Umayyads in 750 in the Battle of the Zab near the Great Zab and was subsequently proclaimed caliph.

Immediately after their victory, Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah sent his forces to North Africa and Central Asia, where his forces fought against Tang expansion during the Battle of Talas (the Abbasids were known to their opponents as the: "Black robed Tazi" ("Tazi", Chinese: 大食 is borrowed from Persian.)[citation needed]). Barmakids, who were instrumental in building Baghdad; introduced the world's first recorded paper mill in Baghdad, thus beginning a new era of intellectual rebirth in the Abbasid domain. Within 10 years, the Abbasids built another renowned paper mill in the Umayyad capital of Córdoba in Spain.


The first change the Abbasids made was to move the empire's capital from Damascus, in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq. This was to both appease as well to be closer to the Persian mawali support base that existed in this region more influenced by Persian history and culture, and part of the Persian mawali demand for less Arab dominance in the empire. Baghdad was established on the Tigris River in 762. A new position, that of the vizier, was also established to delegate central authority, and even greater authority was delegated to local emirs. Eventually, this meant that many Abbasid caliphs were relegated to a more ceremonial role than under the Umayyads, as the viziers began to exert greater influence, and the role of the old Arab aristocracy was slowly replaced by a Persian bureaucracy.[5]

The Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians[citation needed] in their overthrow of the Umayyads. Abu al-'Abbas' successor, Al-Mansur, moved their capital from Damascus to the new city of Baghdad and welcomed non-Arab Muslims to their 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.

Abbasid coins during Al-Mu'tamid's reign

These fissures in their support led to immediate problems. The Umayyads, while out of power, were not destroyed. The only surviving member of the Umayyad royal family, which had been all but annihilated, ultimately made his way to Spain where he established himself as an independent Emir (Abd ar-Rahman I, 756). In 929, Abd ar-Rahman III assumed the title of Caliph, establishing Al Andalus from Córdoba as a rival to Baghdad as the legitimate capital of the Islamic Empire.

Golden Age

A manuscript written during the Abbasid Era.
"In virtually every field of endeavor -in astronomy, alchemy, mathematics, medicine, optics and so forth- Arab scientists were in the forefront of scientific advance."[6]

The Islamic Golden Age was inaugurated by the middle of the 8th century by the ascension of the Abbasid Caliphate and the transfer of the capital from Damascus to Baghdad.[7] The Abbassids were influenced by the Qur'anic injunctions and hadith such as "the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr" stressing the value of knowledge.[7] 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 in Baghdad; where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate and gather all the world's knowledge into Arabic.[7] 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.[7] During this period the Muslim world was a cauldron of cultures which collected, synthesized and significantly advanced the knowledge gained from the ancient Roman, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Egyptian, North African, Greek and Byzantine civilizations.[7]


Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

The reigns of Harun al-Rashid (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 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.[8] Harun al-Rashid's son, Al-Ma'mun (whose mother was Persian), is even quoted as saying:

"The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without them for an hour."[9]

A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule played a role in transmitting Islamic science to the Christian West. They contributed to making Aristotle known in Christian Europe. In addition, the period saw the recovery of much of the Alexandrian mathematical, geometric and astronomical knowledge, such as that of Euclid and Claudius Ptolemy. These recovered mathematical methods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars, notably by Persian scientists Al-Biruni and Abu Nasr Mansur.

Algebra 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,[10] although the Greek mathematician Diophantus has also been given this title. The terms algorism and algorithm are derived from the name of al-Khwarizmi, who was also responsible for introducing the Arabic numerals and Hindu-Arabic numeral system beyond the Indian subcontinent.

Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) developed an early scientific method in his Book of Optics (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 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. Bradley Steffens described Ibn al-Haytham as the "first scientist"[11] for his development of scientific method.[12][13]

Medicine in medieval Islam was an area of science that advanced particularly during the Abbasids' reign. During the ninth century, Baghdad contained over 800 doctors, and great discoveries in the understanding of anatomy and diseases were made. The clinical distinction between measles and smallpox was described during this time. Famous Persian scientist Ibn Sina (known to the West as Avicenna) 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 and The Book of Healing. The work of him and many others directly influenced the research of European scientists during the Renaissance.

Astronomy in medieval Islam was advanced by Al-Battani, who improved the precision of the measurement of the precession of the Earth's axis. The corrections made to the geocentric model by al-Battani[citation needed], Averroes[citation needed], Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Mo'ayyeduddin Urdi and Ibn al-Shatir were later incorporated into the Copernican heliocentric model[14]. The astrolabe, 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). A number of chemical processes such as distillation techniques were developed in the Muslim world and then spread to Europe.


The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights). The original concept is derived from pre-Islamic Iranian (Persian) prototype with reliance on Indian elements. It also includes stories from the rest of the Middle-Eastern and North African nations. The epic took form 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.[15] All Arabian 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.[15] This epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th century, first by Antoine Galland.[16] Many imitations were written, especially in France.[17] Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin, Sinbad and Ali Baba.

A famous example of Persian poetry on romance is Layla and Majnun,[18] dating back to the Umayyad era in the 7th century. It is a tragic story of undying love much like the later Romeo and Juliet.[19][dead link]

Arabic poetry reached its greatest heights 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 received their patronage from regional courts.


One of the common definitions for "Islamic philosophy" is "the style of philosophy produced within the framework of Islamic culture."[20] Islamic philosophy, in this definition is neither necessarily concerned with religious issues, nor is exclusively produced by Muslims.[20] Their works on Aristotle was 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. They also wrote influential original philosophical works, and their thinking was incorporated into Christian philosophy during the Middle Ages, notably by Thomas Aquinas.[citation needed]

Three speculative thinkers, al-Kindi, al-Farabi, and Avicenna, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam, and Avicennism was later established as a result. Other influential Muslim philosophers in the Caliphates include al-Jahiz, and Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen).


Coin of the Abbasids, Baghdad, Iraq, 1244.

In technology, the Muslim world adopted papermaking from China.[21] The knowledge of gunpowder was also transmitted from China via Islamic countries, where the formulas for pure potassium nitrate and an explosive gunpowder effect were first developed.[22][23]

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, and sugar cultivation was gradually adopted by the Europeans. Arab merchants dominated trade in the Indian Ocean until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. 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, Genoa and Catalonia. The Silk Road crossing Central Asia passed through Muslim states between China and Europe.

Muslim engineers in the Islamic world 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-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 and North Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia. These mills performed a variety of agricultural and industrial tasks.[21] Muslim 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.[24] Such advances made it possible for many industrial tasks that were previously driven by manual labour in ancient times to be 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.[25]

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.[26] The agricultural and handicraft industries also experienced high levels of growth during this period.[27]

Evolution of Islamic Identity

While the Abbasids originally gained power by exploiting the social inequalities against non-Arabs in the Umayyad Empire, ironically during Abbasid rule the empire rapidly Arabized. As knowledge was shared in the Arabic language throughout the empire, people of 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.[28]

Fracture and Revival of Central Authority

An anachronistic map of the various de facto independent emirates after the Abbasids lost their military dominance (c. 950).


  • Rift with the Shia

Abbasids found themselves at odds with the Shia 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 embraced Sunni Islam and disavowed any support for Shi'a beliefs. That led to numerous conflicts, culminating in an uprising in Mecca in 786, followed by widespread bloodshed and the flight of many Shi'a to the Maghreb, where the survivors established the Idrisid kingdom. The Abbasids also executed the direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad who were also the Shia Imams, which includes Imam Jafar Sadiq and other respected nobles.[citation needed] 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 and a little later the Tulunids and Ikshidids of Misr were effectively independent in Africa.

  • Conflict of Army Generals

The direct reason for the sudden deterioration of the Abbasid authority was: the conflicts which provoked between their Turkic Army generals during the reign of al-Radi, a thing that put the power of the Caliphate into decay, those dynasties that were already de-facto independent now quit paying the Caliphate, even provinces close to Baghdad began to seek local dynastic rule.

Fracture to Autonomous Dynasties

The Abbasid leadership had to work hard in the last half of the eighth century (750–800), under several competent caliphs and their viziers to overcome the political challenges created by the far flung nature of the empire, and the limited communication across it and usher in the administrative changes to keep order.[29] While the Byzantine Empire was fighting Abbasid rule in Syria and Anatolia, military operations during this period were minimal, as the caliphate focused on internal matters as local governors, who, as a matter of procedure, operated mostly independently of central authority. The problem that the caliphs faced was that these governors had begun to exert greater autonomy, using their increasing power to make their positions hereditary.[5]

At the same time, the Abbasids faced challenges closer to home. Former supporters of the Abbasids had broken away to create a separate kingdom around Khorosan in northern Persia. Harun al-Rashid (786–809) turned on the Barmakids, a Persian family that had grown significantly in power within the administration of the state and killed most of the family.[30] 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 away from the Abbasids.

Image of the Amir of Khorasan Isma'il ibn Ahmad on the Tajikistani somoni who exercised independent authority from the Abassids

Even by 820, the Samanids had begun the process of exercising independent authority in Transoxiana and Greater Khorasan, as had the Shia Hamdanids in Northern Syria, and the succeeding Tahirid and Saffarid dynasties of Iran. By the early 10th century, the Abbasids almost lost control of Iraq to various amirs, and the caliph al-Radi was forced to acknowledge their power by creating the position of "Prince of Princes" (amir al-umara). Shortly thereafter, the Persian faction known as the Buwayhids from Daylam swept into power and assumed control over the bureaucracy in Baghdad. According to the history of Miskawayh, they began distributing iqtas (fiefs in the form of tax farms) to their supporters.

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 Emirs that had gained control of Sindh and ruled the entire province from their capital of Mansura. [29] Mahmud of Ghazni took the title of sultan, as opposed to the "amir" that had been in more common usage, signifying the Ghaznavid Empire'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, or struck it off their coinage.[29]

The Ismaili Fatimid dynasty of Cairo contested the Abbasids for even the titular authority of the Islamic ummah. 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 Buwayhid and Saljuq eras. The Fatimids' white banners contrasted with Abbasids' black, and the challenge of the Fatimids only ended with their downfall in the 12th century.

Buayhid and Saljuq Military control (978-1118)


Despite the power of the Buwayhid amirs, the Abbasids retained a highly ritualized court in Baghdad, as described by the Buwayhid bureaucrat Hilal al-Sabi', and they retained a certain influence over Baghdad as well as religious life. As Buwayhid power waned after the death 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 fitna [disambiguation needed ]s in the capital, often contending with the ayyarun.


With the Buwayhid dynasty on the wane, a vacuum was created that was eventually filled by the dynasty of Oghuz Turks known as the Saljuqs. When the amir and former slave Basasiri took up the Shia Fatimid banner in Baghdad in 1058, the caliph al-Qa'im was unable to defeat him without outside help. Toghril Beg, the Saljuq 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 and Malikshah, as well as their vizier Nizam al-Mulk 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 Saljuq army in battle, he was nonetheless defeated in 1135 and assassinated. 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 Saljuqs in the siege of Baghdad (1157), thus securing Iraq for the Abbasids. The reign of al-Nasir (d. 1225) brought the caliphate to power throughout Iraq, based in large part on the Sufi futuwwa organizations that the caliph headed. Al-Mustansir built the Mustansiriya School, in an attempt to eclipse the Saljuq-era Nizamiyya built by Nizam al-Mulk.

Mongol invasion

Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad on 10 February 1258, causing great loss of life. Muslims feared that a supernatural disaster would strike if the blood of Al-Musta'sim, a direct descendant of Muhammad's uncle[31] and the last reigning Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, was spilled. The Shiites of Persia stated that no such calamity had happened after the deaths of the Shiite Imam (leader) Hussein; 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 Al-Musta'sim 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 of Hulagu.[32] According to Mongolian historians, the surviving son married and fathered children.[clarification needed]

The Abbasid in Bastak

Later in the 1280s, the surviving son of Al-Musta'sim, moved to Bastak, South Persia, where Bastak and many other small Sunni villages pledged loyalty to the Abbasid. The rulers of Shiraz at the time, the Atabak, gave him protection to pass through their lands as he escaped from the Moghols. Later on the Abbasids took permission from Atabak to establish a state of their own and rule Bastak and the surrounding villages and islands. It was said that a few Hashimites (descendants of Prophet Mohammed) moved to Bastak from Khonj where they had settled after leaving Iraq towards Persia. The Abbasids carried on the expansion of Bastak's rule until it included more than 60 villages and many islands in the Persian Gulf. Many alliances were formed between the Bastaki rulers and the Arab rulers The title Abbasid was changed to Khan (title) (Persian: خان , Arabic: الحاكم), a Persian translation for a sovereign or military ruler, and also has equivalent meanings such as commander or leader. Al Khan are also called Bastakis, from Bastak.

Under the Mamluks

In the 9th century, the Abbasids created an army loyal only to their caliphate, drawn mostly from Arab and Turkish slaves, known as Mamluks, with some Slavs and Berbers participating as well. This force, created in the reign of al-Ma'mun (813–833), and his brother and successor al-Mu'tasim (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 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 Mahommed bin Raik.

The Abbasids continued to maintain the presence of authority, yet it was confined to religious matters in Egypt, under the Mamluks.

End of Dynasty

The dynasty finally ended with Al-Mutawakkil III, who was taken away as a prisoner, by Selim I, to Constantinople where he had a ceremonial role until his death in 1543.

List of Abbasid Caliphs

Genealogic tree of the Abbasid family. In green, the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad. In yellow, the Abbasid caliphs of Cairo. Muhammad the Prophet is included (in caps) to show the kinship of the Abbasids with him.
Ruler Reign
Caliphs of Baghdad
Abu'l Abbas As-Saffah 750–754
Al-Mansur 754–775
Al-Mahdi 775–785
Al-Hadi 785–786
Harun al-Rashid 786–809
Al-Amin 809–813
Al-Ma'mun 813–833
Al-Mu'tasim 833–842
Al-Wathiq 842–847
Al-Mutawakkil 847–861
Al-Muntasir 861–862
Al-Musta'in 862–866
Al-Mu'tazz 866–869
Al-Muhtadi 869–870
Al-Mu'tamid 870–892
Al-Mu'tadid 892–902
Al-Muktafi 902–908
Al-Muqtadir 908–932
Al-Qahir 932–934
Ar-Radi 934–940
Al-Muttaqi 940–944
Al-Mustakfi 944–946
Al-Muti 946–974
At-Ta'i 974–991
Al-Qadir 991–1031
Al-Qa'im 1031–1075
Al-Muqtadi 1075–1094
Al-Mustazhir 1094–1118
Al-Mustarshid 1118–1135
Ar-Rashid 1135–1136
Al-Muqtafi 1136–1160
Al-Mustanjid 1160–1170
Al-Mustadi 1170–1180
An-Nasir 1180–1225
Az-Zahir 1225–1226
Al-Mustansir 1226–1242
Al-Musta'sim 1242–1258
Caliphs of Cairo
Al-Mustansir 1261–1262
Al-Hakim I (Cairo) 1262–1302
Al-Mustakfi I of Cairo 1303–1340
Al-Wathiq I 1340–1341
Al-Hakim II 1341–1352
Al-Mu'tadid I 1352–1362
Al-Mutawakkil I 1362–1383
Al-Wathiq II 1383–1386
Al-Mu'tasim 1386–1389
Al-Mutawakkil I (restored) 1389–1406
Al-Musta'in 1406–1414
Al-Mu'tadid II 1414–1441
Al-Mustakfi II 1441–1451
Al-Qa'im 1451–1455
Al-Mustanjid 1455–1479
Al-Mutawakkil II 1479–1497
Al-Mustamsik 1497–1508
Al-Mutawakkil III 1508–1517

See also

  • List of Sunni Muslim dynasties
  • Iranian Intermezzo


  1. ^ (Turkish) Abbasiler devrinde türklerin etkinliği ve hizmetleri
  2. ^ (Turkish) Abbasiler
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ira Lapidus. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge University Press. 2002 ISBN 0-521-77056-4 p.54
  5. ^ a b Applied History Research Group , University of Calgary, "The Islamic World to 1600", Last accessed 2008-10-30
  6. ^ Huff, Toby E., The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 48.
  7. ^ a b c d e Vartan Gregorian, "Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith", Brookings Institution Press, 2003, pg 26–38 ISBN 0-8157-3283-X
  8. ^ Hamilton Gibb. Studies on the civilization of Islam. Princeton University Press. 1982. ISBN 0-691-05354-5 p.66
  9. ^ Bertold Spuler. The Muslim World. Vol.I The Age of the Caliphs. Leiden. E.J. Brill. 1960 ISBN 0-685-23328-6 p.29
  10. ^ Ron Eglash(1999), p.61
  11. ^ Bradley Steffens (2006), Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, ISBN 1-59935-024-6.
  12. ^ Gorini, Rosanna (October 2003). "Al-Haytham the man of experience. First steps in the science of vision" (pdf). Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine 2 (4): 53–55. Retrieved 2008-09-25. "According to the majority of the historians al-Haytham was the pioneer of the modern scientific method. With his book he changed the meaning of the term optics and established experiments as the norm of proof in the field. His investigations are based not on abstract theories, but on experimental evidences and his experiments were systematic and repeatable." 
  13. ^ Robert Briffault (1928), The Making of Humanity, p. 190–202, G. Allen & Unwin Ltd:
    "What we call science arose as a result of new methods of experiment, observation, and measurement, which were introduced into Europe by the Arabs. [...] Science is the most momentous contribution of Arab civilization to the modern world, but its fruits were slow in ripening. [...] The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories; science owes a great deal more to Arab culture, it owes its existence...The ancient world was, as we saw, pre-scientific. [...] The Greeks systematized, generalized and theorized, but the patient ways of investigations, the accumulation of positive knowledge, the minute methods of science, detailed and prolonged observation and experimental inquiry were altogether alien to the Greek temperament."
  14. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Science: "Copernicus" by Sheila Rabin
  15. ^ a b John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Arabian fantasy", p 51 ISBN 0-312-19869-8
  16. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p 10 ISBN 0-87054-076-9
  17. ^ John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Arabian fantasy", p 52 ISBN 0-312-19869-8
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