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The Abbasid Caliphate

p. 178-179

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1The last years of the first century AH/beginnings of 8th Century AD, witnessed the development of Abbasid political activity, which aimed at the destruction of the Umayyad Caliphate and the establishment of the Abbasid state in its place. This was realized in 132 AH/750 AD. The Abbasid state survived for more than five centuries, until it was destroyed by the Mongols in 656 AH/1258 AD. It represents the longest duration of any Islamic Caliphate system.

2The undercover phase of the political activity of the Abbasids took 28 years (100 - 128 AH/718 - 745 AD) and the principal role was played by Muhammad Ibn Ali. The first Abbasids began their activities from Al Humayma, in the Sharah Mountains, southern Jordan (fig. IV.8). It was chosen by the Abbasids because of its isolated location as a small, relatively unknown village. It was attached to the Umayyad Wali (governor) of Damascus. However, its proximity to the Sham Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) route allowed the Abbasids to communicate with their relatives in Al Hijaz, and with their supporters, when they made the hajj to Mecca.

3In 750, the Abbasids established their capital in Bagdad, leaving the area south of Bilad al-Sham as marginal to the Empire. The Abbasids were perpetually fighting the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the Seljuks from Turkey.

Figure IV.8 — The Abbassid Caliphate and its fragmentation.

Image 1.jpg
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