This eventually led to creation of multiple Persian power centers within the Caliphate: In Baghdad, the Buyids
, claiming decent from the Sassanids and having a Shiite sympathy, rose to power, while in the northeast the Samanids ruled through the tenth century claiming decent from Bahram Chubineh, a famous Sassanid general.
By the fourth/tenth century, the Abbasid empire had broken up into small states, some of which were Arab in character, such as the Hamdanids, and others Persian, such as the Buyids
. (99) The categories of "inside" and "outside" cease to be as clear-cut as Arab Muslim vs.
The practice of hiring mercenaries and armies from peripheral regions, mainly of Turkic origin, eventually proved fatal to the 'Abbasids, as in the case of the Aghalibs, Buyids
, and Tulunids.
Going the other direction, however, armies from Iran conquered lower Iraq on at least seven occasions: the Abbasid Revolution of 750, the civil war between Harun al-Rashid's sons al-Amin and al-Ma'mun following his death in 809, the takeover of the Abbasid capital of Baghdad by the Buyids
in 945, the eviction of the Buyids
from Baghdad by the Seljuq sultan Tughril Beg in 1055, the Mongol invasion commanded by Genghiz IChan's grandson Hulagu in 1258, the invasion of Timur (Tamerlane) in 1401 and the annexation to the newly rising Safavid Empire in 1508.
When in 945 the Shi'i Buyids
took control of the capital at Baghdad, the caliphate had already fragmented into several rival political entities, such as the Fatimids in Egypt and the Umayyads in Spain, both of which declared their own autonomous caliphates.
1200 Caliph an-Nasir ends more than 200 years of "secular" military domination, first under the Buyids
and then the Seljuqs, and attempts to reconcile Sunnis and Shias.
(12) This refers to the subsequent story of how 'Adud al-Dawla ordered Ibrahim to write a history of the Buyids
, al-Kitab al-taji; the calamity came when the amir heard that the disgruntled writer had called the whole project a pack of lies.
This Islamic legal fiction of the caliphs' remaining the font of legitimate political authority could no longer be maintained, however, once the Seljuqs came upon the scene--first, because they were "much too powerful to masquerade as governors," (5) and second, and more importantly, because after "liberating" the caliphs from the control of the Shi (') ite Buyids
and their generals, the Seljuqs themselves discarded the fiction of governorship that had held sway since the ninth century.
in the East to the ascendancy of the Buyids
and Saljuqs), Arab children
(36.) Over the course of the fifth and sixth centuries C.E., "a series of Sunni warrior states, including most prominently the Seljuks, the Zangids, and the Ayyubids, reconquered most of the Islamic world under the control of Shiite dynasties between the mid-tenth and mid-eleventh centuries: The Seljuks ousted the Buyids
, who had ruled over most of Iran and Iraq, capturing Baghdad in 447 A.H./1055 C.E.: they and the Zangids conquered Fatimid territories in Syria; Salat) al-Din eventually ousted the last Fatimid Caliph, after having served as vizier under him, in 567/1171." Stewart, "Maqamat," 211.
Ibn 'Abbad subsequently played a prominent role in the negotiations between the Buyids
and their main rivals in the east, the Samanids.
Part two covers the early caliphal band under the Umayyads (661-750) and 'Abbasids until 847, and the Diwan al-Barid in the middle 'Abbasid period, including the postal systems of the Buyids
, Saljuqs, Fatimids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, international merchants, and Muslim philosophers.