The Consolidation of Abbasid Power: Al-Manṣūr and Al-Mahdī (754–785)

Andrew Marsham

in Rituals of Islamic Monarchy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780748625123
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653157 | DOI:
The Consolidation of Abbasid Power: Al-Manṣūr and Al-Mahdī (754–785)

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This chapter discusses the consolidation of Abbasid power. Al-Mansūr ruled for only twenty-one years and much of his reign was marked by continued upheavals and conflicts. Rebellions in the name of the Prophet broke out in Medina and Basra, and syncretist revolts and unruly Abbasid army punctuated the al-Mansūr caliphate. His reign was directed not only at legitimating a dynasty that had just seized power, but also at containing and directing religious enthusiasm among the troops who installed it. Rivalry also marked the al-Mansūr caliphate. His accession was challenged by his paternal uncle and his nephew ،Isa b. Mūsā b. Muhammad b. ،Ali, who was formally nominated as al-Mansūr's successor. The first section of the chapter discusses the rearrangement of the Abbasid succession. It discusses the taking of bay،ato al-Mahdi (al-Mansūr's son), which placed him ahead of his cousin, Isa b. Mūsā in the succession. The second section focuses on the promulgation of the pledge in the provinces. It discusses the pledge of allegiance of the wider constituency of Muslims in provinces, and the patronage of coinage. The third section discusses the awarding of the bay،a to al-Mahdi in 768. This renewal of pledge of allegiance marked the reconciliation of the rest of the Abbasid family to the promotion of al-Mahdi. The fourth chapter discusses the death of al-Mansūr and the accession of al-Mahdi. Unlike the accession of his father, the accession of al-Mahdi has been fixed for over ten years. The final chapter discusses the succession to Musa al-Mahdi, al-Mahdi's son.

Keywords: consolidation; Abbasid power; Al-Mansūr; al-Mahdi; Abbasid succession; bay،a

Chapter.  10891 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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