After the Prophet Mohammed’s death in 632 d. C was named the first caliph or religious leader of Islam, who is considered the successor of Muhammad, envoy of Allah. In this sense, the caliphate is a form of government of the Muslim community in which politics and religion are combined . Abbasid Caliphate
The Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258)
The Abbasid dynasty considered itself a descendant of the Abbas, one of the uncles of the prophet Mohammed. In the eighth century there was dissatisfaction with the Umayyad dynasty. After a period of revolts, the Abbasids defeated the Umayyads and established a new caliphate inspired by Sunni tradition. During their long rule in Muslim territory the caliphs imposed themselves on other trends in Islam, especially the Shiites.
The period of the Abbasid caliphs has the following characteristics:
1) a stage of growth and development of urban life,
2) the flowering of philosophy and science,
3) an intense commercial and artisanal activity,
4) new irrigation systems to improve crops.
For the Abbasids, the caliph represented all authority, as he was a religious leader and at the same time judge and administrator of the Muslim community. To facilitate the caliphate’s control over the vast territories, various regional and administrative powers were created, such as the office of vizier, diwan, or emir.
One of the most famous Abbasid caliphs was Harun al-Rashid, a legendary leader who maintained diplomatic relations with Charlemagne and became a character in the tales of “The Thousand and One Nights.”
The power of the Abbasids did not cover all Muslim territory at the time, as there were practically independent states (among them, the Umayyad Emirate of Al-Andalus should be highlighted). One of the provincial governors (the emirs) who ruled Al-Andalus, Abderrahman III, proclaimed himself caliph and thus disassociated himself from the Abbasid caliphate.
The end of the Abbasid dynasty
From the 9th century onwards, the Abbasid caliphate began a slow phase of decline, as the caliphate power could not control all conflicts in its territories (independent emirates, the situation of Al-Andalus and the small regional dynasties). In time, only the caliph retained a purely symbolic power.
Finally, the last caliph of the Abbasids was assassinated in 1258 by order of the khan of the Mongols, who occupied the city of Baghdad.