Abbasid

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Abbasid

(əbă`sĭd, ă`bəsĭd) or

Abbaside

(–sīd, –sĭd), Arab family descended from AbbasAbbas
, d. 653, uncle of Muhammad the Prophet and of Ali the caliph. A wealthy merchant of Mecca, he was at first opposed to the religious movement initiated by his nephew Muhammad.
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, the uncle of Muhammad. The Abbasids held the caliphate from 749 to 1258, but they were recognized neither in Spain nor (after 787) W of Egypt. Under the UmayyadUmayyad
, the first Islamic dynasty (661–750). Their reign witnessed the return to leadership roles of the pre-Islamic Arab elite, and the rejuvenation of tribal loyalties. The Banu Ummaya constituted the higher stratum of the pre-Islamic Meccan elite.
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 caliphs the Abbasids lived quietly until they became involved in numerous disputes, beginning early in the 8th cent. The family then joined with the Shiite faction in opposing the Umayyads, and in 747 the gifted Abu MuslimAbu Muslim
, c.728–755, Persian leader of the Abbasid revolution. By political and religious agitation he raised (747) the black banners of the Abbasids against the ruling Umayyad family.
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 united most of the empire in revolt against the Umayyads. The head of the Abbasid family became caliph as Abu al-Abbas as-SaffahAbu al-Abbas as-Saffah
, d. 754, 1st Abbasid caliph (749–54). Raised to the caliphate by the armed might of Abu Muslim, he took the reign name as-Saffah [shedder of blood]. Most of the Umayyad family was exterminated, and the reign was one of massacre and force.
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 late in 749. The last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II, was defeated and killed and the Umayyad family nearly exterminated; one surviving member fled to Spain, where the Umayyads came to rule. Under the second Abbasid caliph, called al-Mansur (see Mansur, al-Mansur, al-
[Arab.,=the victorious], d. 775, 2d Abbasid caliph (754–75) and founder of the city of Baghdad. His name was in full Abu Jafar abd-Allah al-Mansur. He was brother and successor of Abu al-Abbas.
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, d. 775), the capital was moved from Damascus to Baghdad, and Persian influence grew strong in the empire. The early years of Abbasid rule were brilliant, rising to true splendor under Harun ar-RashidHarun ar-Rashid
[Arab.,=Aaron the Upright], c.764–809, 5th and most famous Abbasid caliph (786–809). He succeeded his brother Musa al-Hadi, fourth caliph, a year after the death of his father, Mahdi, the third caliph.
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, the fifth caliph, and to intellectual brilliance under his son al-Mamun (see Mamun, al-Mamun, al-
(Abu al-Abbas Abd Allah al-Mamun) , 786–833, 7th Abbasid caliph (813–33); son of Harun ar-Rashid. He succeeded his brother al-Amin after a bitter civil war, but was unable to enter Baghdad until 819.
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), the seventh caliph. After less than a hundred years of rule, however, the slow decline of the Abbasids began. Long periods of disorder were marked by assassinations, depositions, control by Turkish soldiers, and other disturbances, and from the beginning of their reign there were rival caliphs (see caliphatecaliphate
, the rulership of Islam; caliph , the spiritual head and temporal ruler of the Islamic state. In principle, Islam is theocratic: when Muhammad died, a caliph [Arab.,=successor] was chosen to rule in his place.
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). In 836 the capital was transferred to Samarra, remaining there until 892. Under the later Abbasids, the power of the caliphate became chiefly spiritual. Many independent kingdoms sprang up, and the empire split into autonomous units. The Seljuk Turks came to hold the real power at Baghdad. The conquests of Jenghiz Khan further lowered the prestige of the Abbasids, and in 1258 his grandson Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad and overthrew the Abbasid caliphate. The 37th caliph died in the disaster, but a member of the family escaped to Cairo, where he was recognized as caliph (see MamluksMamluk
or Mameluke
[Arab.,=slaves], a warrior caste dominant in Egypt and influential in the Middle East for over 700 years. Islamic rulers created this warrior caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys and training them as cavalry soldiers especially loyal to their
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). The Cairo line of the Abbasid caliphate, completely subordinated to the Mamluks, survived until after the Ottoman conquest (1517) of Egypt.

Bibliography

See M. A. Shaban, The Abbāsid Revolution (1970); H. Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate (1981).

References in periodicals archive ?
We have all heard about the Golden Age of Islam, spanning roughly from the 8th to 13th centuries CE, during which period the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates were beacons of learning and innovation.
In one historical composition, Gagik is represented visiting the Sajid emir of Azerbaijan, Yusuf, and discussing practical, theoretical and historical aspects of kingship in a manner recalling the intellectual, courtly culture of what has been termed the Iranian Intermezzo, that era between the decline of the 'Abbasid caliphate and the arrival of the Seljuks when Iranian dynasties flourished and New Persian or Farsi, written in Arabic script, emerged.
Andrews) describes the conflicts that raged over the succession to the Prophet, how Sunnism and Shi'ism evolved as different sects during the Abbasid caliphate, and how the rivalry between the Sunni Ottomans and Shi'i Safavids ensured that the split would continue into the modern age.
Shabestari then went on to describe a dress code for women as a distortion of Islam--one of many distortions that came into Islam during the Abbasid Caliphate that took power in 750 CE.
The Rafiqah Wall, which surrounds the city's historic heart, originally dates back to the late eighth century, when as capital of the Abbasid caliphate, Raqqa was briefly the center of the Islamic world.
His father Yahya was vizier to Emperor Haroun Al Rashid of the Abbasid Caliphate. Due to the high standing of his father, Ja'far was given an education at court, being very well read as he studied politics, history, geography, astronomy, and philosophy, among other subjects.
The political machinery which existed under the Abbasid Caliphate and was afterwards adopted either wholly or with some modifications by the states that came into existence on the breakup of the Arab Empire was founded by Mansoor and derived its character from his genius.24
(14) Second, he displays his own preference for the mahdi's Almoravid predecessor Ibn tashfin, "a good and conservative man," who chose symbolic deference to the remnant of the Abbasid Caliphate over openly flouting its authority.
The Kharijite rebellions began in the 7th century, against the Umayyad Caliphate, and persisted against the Abbasid Caliphate.
Nadia Maria El Cheikh is a historian of the Abbasid Caliphate and Byzantium, with research focus on women and gender.
The film tells the story of an Algerian journalist who decides to investigative the forgotten uprisings against the Abbasid Caliphate back in the 8 th -9 th century CE.
The Sunnis of Iraq feel disenfranchised and marginalized in a political geography where Sunni hegemony had been the norm since the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate in the ninth century.