The assassination of Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil

11 Dec 2020  Fri

Al-Mutawakkil ala Allah was the 10th caliph of Abbasid dynasty under whom the Abbasid Empire reached its territorial height. His assassination on 11 December 861 by the Turkic guard with the support of his son, al-Muntasir, began the troubled period of civil strife known as "Anarchy at Samarra".

He succeeded his brother al-Wathiq. Deeply religious, he is known as the caliph who ended the Mihna (persecution against many Islamic scholars), released Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and discarded the Mu?tazila, but he has been also subject of criticism for being a tough ruler towards the non-Muslim citizens.

Al-Mutawakkil was less successful in dealing with external enemies. He constantly had to dispatch expeditions to deal with rebellions in the provinces, although he suffered no important losses of territory. Warfare against the Byzantines continued its intermittent course and was likewise indecisive.

Al-Mutawakkil continued the dangerous policy of depending upon Turkish soldiers, who eventually murdered him at the instigation of his eldest son, al-Muntasir, who had become estranged from him and feared to lose the succession.

Depicted here is a gold Dinar issued under his reign from Egypt mint.

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