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|Title: ||The Caliphate and the Turks, 232-256 / 847-870 : a political study|
|Authors: ||Al-Haideri, Salah Abdul Hadi Mustafa|
|Supervisors: ||Kennedy, H.|
|Issue Date: ||1979|
|Abstract: ||Under the Umayyads, Muslims came into direct contact with Turks
in their homeland which lay east of Khurasän and Transoxania. However,
after the Turks had submitted to the Islamic state, the Caliphs, in
particular the Abbasid Caliphs, began to employ them in various roles
such as guards and soldiers. They served alongside the veteran Arabs
and Iranians, because the Turks, unlike these others, did not so pride
themselves on their nationality that they behaved exclusively. The
Turks were valued for their bravery and fidelity. The Caliph Mu'tasim,
in fact, increased their number, and his reliance on them was a result
of his needs and of certain other circumstances.
After the death of Mu'tasim, the Turks rose to positions of
considerable importance in all the affairs of state. They had an
even greater influence on the running of the Caliphate when they began
to interfere in the appointing of the Caliph, which they did for the
first time in the case of Mutawakkil. Nevertheless, none of the
Abbasid Caliphs from Mutawakkil onwards seemed to acquiesce readily
in Turkish control, and indeed they resisted the Turks vigorously.
They tried to eliminate them and their power entirely, and to restore
the dignity of the Abbasid Caliphate.
As the first step in escaping the interference of the Turks,
the Caliphs decided to move the state capital. But when the Turks
realized the Caliphs' intentions, they began to plot against them and
to assassinate them. In the course of this struggle between the Turks
and the Caliphate the civil war of 251 H occurred. As a result,
government authority weakened, particularly in those outlying regions
furthest from its power and influence. Therefore, popular movements
and attempts to gain independence emerged in many provinces, such
as Hijaz, Armenia, Syria and Iran. In fact, most of these movements
were not aimed against the Caliphate itself, but against the
Turks who dominated affairs of state. At the same time the power
of the (Wazir) minister of state began to diminish, and his remaining
in office was closely linked with the desires of the Turks. In
addition, the Turks attempted to take over the Vizirate itself.
Therefore, some of them, such as Waif and Autamish, occupied this
office although they were quite unqualified for it.
In consequence, the Vizirate deteriorated and became powerless,
just as the Caliphate had done.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Mediaeval History Theses|
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