Al Musta'sim, the Last Abbasid Caliph

20 Feb 2020  Thu

Al Musta'sim was the 37th and last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad reigning from 1242 until his death. He was born in 1213, the son of al-Muntansir I. He succeeded his father on his death in 1242.

Incompetent himself and surrounded by advisers with conflicting opinions, al Musta'sim presented no strong defense against the Mongol conqueror Hulegu, grandson of Genghis Khan. Hulegu forced al-Musta'sim to lend him troops for the siege of Alamut in 1256, but in 1258 Hulegu turned on al- Musta'sim and besieged Baghdad. Al- Musta'sim sent Hulegu weak threats, refusing to negotiate.

When the Mongols conquered Baghdad, they did not want to shed royal blood, so they either wrapped al-Musta’sim up in a carpet or trampled him to death with horses, or they locked him in his treasure room without food or water. Either way, he died on 20 February 1258 as the city was sacked and 2,000,000 people massacred.

The above shown Dinar was issued under his reign. The obverse of a coin depicts the Arabic inscription ‘Al Imam al- Musta'sim Billah Amir Al Muminin’. On the other hand, the reverse a coin engraved ‘La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah’.

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