Story of Tulunid Princess

08 Jul 2020  Wed

Qatar al-Nada was a Tulunid prince and the principal wife of the sixteenth Abbasid caliph, al-Mu'tadid.

Qatr al-Nada was offered by her father, Khumarawayh ibn Ahmad ibn Tulun, as part of a marriage alliance to seal an agreement with the Caliph al-Mu'tadid. The agreement concluded in spring 893, put an end to years of rivalry and fighting between the Tulunids and the Abbasid court, and recognized Khumarawayh as the hereditary ruler of Egypt and Syria, and autonomous from Baghdad in exchange for an annual tribute.

To seal the pact, Qatr al-Nada was originally intended for one of the Caliph's sons, Ali, but al-Mu'tadid chose to marry her himself. The Tulunid princess brought with her a million dinars as her dowry, a "wedding gift that was considered the most lavish in medieval Arab history.

According to a story, after a thorough search, al-Mu'tadid's chief eunuch could find only five ornate silver-and-gold candlesticks to decorate the palace, while the princess was accompanied by 150 servants each carrying such a candlestick. Thereupon al-Mu'tadid is said to have remarked "come let us go and hide ourselves, lest we are seen in our poverty".

Qatr al-Nada died soon after the wedding, on 8 July 900, and was buried in the caliphal palace at al-Rusafa. The above shown Dinar Dinar issued by her husband al-Mu'tadid in 285 AH.

Image Source:

Knowledge Base