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Mutawakkil, al-


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Tenth Abbasid caliph (r. 847–61). He brought to an end the Mihna, or “inquisition,” that had been instituted by the caliph al-Mamun to test scholars' conformity with the state-sponsored doctrine that the Quran was the created word of God. He patronized the nascent Sunni traditionists (ashab al-hadith) and persecuted the Mutazili theologians, the Shiis, and non-Muslims. He tried to curtail the growing power of the Turkish soldiers but in the end was assassinated by them.

Subjects: Islam.


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