From the Civil War to Samarra (809–847)

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:
From the Civil War to Samarra (809–847)

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In 809, Hārūn Al-Rashīd died at the Khurasani city of Tūs. After his death the brothers took pledge of allegiance from the notables and soldiers at Baghdad and Marw. However, al-Rashīd's death also marked the impending disagreement between his heir al-Amīn and his second successor al-Ma،mūn. In the following two years, the already strained relationship between al-Amīn in Iraq and al-Ma،mūn in Khurasan collapsed. Conflicts on the succession severed the ties of the two brothers. The tension was furthered by the autonomy of the Khurasan from the imperial control. As an autonomous province, al-Ma،mūn controlled and limited Khurasani barid's communication of information to Iraq, withheld tax and tribute, obstructed Iraqi messengers and agents, and asserted his own independent authority. All of these were seen as a rebellion against his brother. Furthering the severed ties of the brothers was the deliberate attempt of al-Amīn to ignore al-Ma،mūn's right to succession by naming his son as a future heir. These tensions led to the war between Iraq and Khurasan in March 811 wherein Baghdad was besieged and al-Amīn was killed hence transferring the insignia of caliphate to al-Ma،mūn. This chapter discusses the aftermath of the war between Iraq and Khurasan. It first discusses the Marw caliphate and the nomination of ،Alī al-Ridā as walī al-ahd. It then discusses the restoration of the caliphate to Iraq and the accession of al-Mu،tasim. Under the rule of al-Mu،tasim, a new capital city was built, Samara. The final section discusses the accession of al-Mu،tasim's son, al-Wāthiq wherein the tensions between the old caliphal city of Baghdad and the new city of Samara remained.

Keywords: Hārūn Al-Rashīd; allegiance; al-Amīn; al-Ma،mūn; Marw caliphate; walī al-ahd; Iraq; accession

Chapter.  7115 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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