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    * al-Mutawakkil *

    Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Jafar ibn al-Mutasim

    ابوالفضل جعفر متوکل ، المتوكل على الله جعفر بن المعتصم

    Al-Mutawakkil (March 821 – December 861) was an Abbasid caliph who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861. He succeeded his brother al-Wathiq and is known for putting an end to the Mihna "ordeal", the Inquisition-like attempt by his predecessors to impose a single Mutazili version of Islam which insisted on following logic and science instead of words of mouth that were attributed to saints of Islam, right or wrong. While al-Wathiq was caliph, the Vezir, ibn Abd al-Malik, had poorly treated al-Mutawakkil. On September 22, 847, al-Mutawakkil had him arrested. The former vizier's property was plundered and he was tortured in his own iron maiden. He finally died on November 2. The caliph had others who had mistreated him in the previous reign punished.In 849, al-Mutawakkil had the prominent military commander Itakh al-Khazari seized in Baghdad. Itakh was imprisoned and died of thirst on December 21. One Mahmoud ibn al-Faraj al-Naysaburi arose claiming to be a prophet. He and some followers were arrested in Baghdad. He was imprisoned, beaten and on June 18, 850 he died.In 851 Armenians rebelled and defeated and killed the Abbasid governor. Al-Mutawakkil sent his general Bugha al-Kabir to handle this. Bugha scored successes this year and the following year he attacked and burned Tbilisi, capturing Ishaq ibn Ismail. The rebel leader was executed. That year (A.H. 238) the Byzantines attacked Damietta.In 854 the commander in Homs killed a prominent person stirring an uprising. He was driven out. Al-Mutawakkil offered another commander. When the next year saw a revolt against this new commander, al-Mutawakkil had this firmly suppressed. Because Christians had joined in those disturbances, the caliph Christians expelled from Homs.The following year, people of African descent in Bujah, Upper Egypt revolted and refused to pay Jaziyah on their gold mines. They drove out Arabs. Al-Mutawakkil sent al-Qummi to restore order. Al-Qummi sent seven ships with supplies that enabled him to persevere despite the very harsh terrain of this distant territory. He retook the mines, pressed on to the Bujah royal stronghold and defeated the king in battle. The Bujah resumed payment of the tax.On February 23, 856, there was an exchange of captives with the Byzantines. A second such exchange took place some four years later.al-Mutawakkil's reign is remembered for its many reforms and viewed as a golden age of the Abbasids. He would be the last great Abbasid caliph; after his death the dynasty would fall into a decline.Al-Mutawakkil continued to rely on Turkish statesmen and slave soldiers to put down rebellions and lead battles against foreign empires, notably the Byzantines, from who Sicily was captured. His Vezir, Al-fath bin Khaqan, who was Turkish, was a famous figure of Al-Mutawakkil's era.His reliance on Turkish soldiers would come back to haunt him. Al-Mutawakkil would have his Turkish commander-in-chief killed. This, coupled with his extreme attitudes towards the Shia, made his popularity decline rapidly.Al-Mutawakkil was murdered by a Turkish soldier on December 11, 861 CE. Some have speculated that his murder was part of a plot hatched by his son, al-Muntasir, who had grown estranged from his father. Al-Muntasir feared his father was about to move against him and struck first.Al-Mutawakkil is said to have been slender, with a light tan complexion, a sparse beard and attractive eyes.Al-Mutawakkil was unlike his br

    Tags:Abbasid, African, Baghdad, Egypt, Inquisition, Islam, Jaziyah, Mutawakkil, Samarra, Shia, Tbilisi, Vezir, al-Mutawakkil

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