Chapter

Abbasid Documents for Caliphal Accession

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625123.003.0021
Abbasid Documents for Caliphal Accession

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This chapter discusses the Abbasid documents for caliphal succession. It focuses on al-Tabari's accounts of al-Muntasir's coup in 861 and the outbreak of the civil war in 865 which include two extant copies of documents written for the accessions of specific caliphs. The first was composed for the accession of al-Muntasir in 861 and the second was for the accession of his brother al-Mu،tazz in 865. These two documents are believed to have been written by Sa،id b. Humayd, the chief scribe of al- al-Muntasir's vizier. Included in this chapter as well is a document script for a contract to be delivered orally and affirmed by a handclasp. The document closely follows the scheme the dispositive agreements for the succession, and the amans that they resemble; that is, it follows the established forms for a contract in public law. The chapter also examines the parallels with the fragments of eighth- and ninth-century Abbasid documents for the pledge of allegiance in the largely unpublished manuscripts of Ibn Abi ،ahir ،ayfur's Book of Poetry and Prose, as well as other parallels in the Qur،an and hadith, in the historical tradition and in other legal documents and legal treatises.

Keywords: Abbasid documents; caliphal succession; al-Tabari; Sa،id b. Humayd; dispositive agreements; amans; pledge of allegiance; hadith

Chapter.  6411 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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