Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Abbasid Caliphate Part I

Coins that were used during the reign of Al-Saffah

The Abbasid Caliphate reign started from 132 until 656 A. H (After Hijrah) / 750 – 1258 A. D. The caliphate was the second big caliphate after the fall of Umayyad Caliphate. Well it can be calculated that the Abbasid Caliphate existed in the world history about more than 500 YEARS ! ! That’s quite amazing right. I never take an interest about the history of Abbasid before this but after I take ‘The Abbasid Caliphate’ subject I am craving to know more about this caliphate because the history of this caliphate is SOOO INTERESTING ! ! The Abbasid Caliphate started from the Abbasid movement who was founded by Muhammad b. Ali, the great grandson of Ali b. Abi Talib. This movement started at Khurasan which is now modern day of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. This place was the centre of this movement as it gained supporters from the people of Khurasan, Persians, Shiahs, Khawarij and Yemenites. The movement was founded because many Muslims in these places were not satisfied with Umayyad Caliphate who ruled the Muslim caliphate at that time. The Umayyad caliphs (leaders) were weak and many corruptions happened in the administration itself. Hence, the Abbasid movement thought that it is time to take over the Umayyad caliphate and restore the Muslim empire into its glory back. The Abbasid movement adopted the concept of Ahl-Bayt (believe that the caliphate only belongs to the family of the Prophet Muhammad) so it was easy for them to gain supporters from the Khurasan people because many of them uphold the Ahl-Bayt concept. So a great Battle of Zab between the Abbasid movement and Umayyad Caliphate happened and the Abbasid won this battle. However, Muhammad b. Ali was killed during in this battle. (If I’m not mistake laa. Klu salah pliz correct me k). So it was decided that Abdullah b Abbas or Abu Abbas al-Saffah to become the first caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Abu Abbas al- Saffah was called as Al-Saffah because it means “the Shedder of Blood”. Some people interpreted this because he killed so many Umayyad during the Battle of Zab but some claimed this title means generous man because he liked to help people and did charity. He proclaimed the Abbasid Caliphate at Kufa in 132 AH/750 CE. Since Kufans were traditional followers of the house of Ali (the capital of Caliph Ali) he chose Baghdad as the capital because Baghdad was a more suitable place. Evidently if u guys looked the location of Baghdad in Iraq, it is located on the mid-way between the east and west of the caliphate. So it was easy for the caliphs to control the caliphs because it was located in the middle of the Caliphate. Besides, Baghdad was already known for the home of the cradle civilization of Mesopotamia. Baghdad is the ancient village and market center on the bank of Tigris river. Locally it was known as “The Gift of the God”. At first, the caliph renamed Baghdad into Madinat al-Salaam but later many people still prefer to call the city Baghdad. The real construction of the city as the capital of the caliphate started in 146 AH/ 762 AD by the successor of al-Saffah, Abu Ja’far al Mansur.
The Map of Baghdad
Baghdad was first built in a round shape – 1700 metres and was dubbed as the “Round City” too. It had three concentric walls and four gates. The gates were North Gate (Bab al-Sham), South Gate (Bab al-Basra), East gate (Bab al-Khurasan) and West Gate (Bab al-Kufa). The mosque and palace of the Caliph were located at the centre of town. It is important to take note that during all Muslim caliphates that the mosque must be located at the centre of the capital of caliphate. It is clearly that the Muslims regarded the mosque as the heart of Muslims’ building because it is the house of Allah and a place for Muslims to worship Him. Let’s take a recap. The Nabawi Mosque located at the centre of Madinah, The Masjidil Haram built at the centre of Makkah (in fact at at the center of the world too!), The Umayyad Mosque located at the heart of Damascus (during the Umayyad reign), The Baghdad Mosque (there are too many of them so I do not know yg mana satu betul2 dianggap sbg main mosque) located at the center of Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate mosque and The famous Blue Mosque or Suleimeniya Mosque located at centre of Istanbul during the Ottoman period. See smua mosque kat tengah2 bandar caliphate. Soo barula aku taw nape UIA letak masjid dier kat tgh2 kat u dier. Actually I just realized about this thing when I studied about the mosque location in the Abbasid caliphate. Other than that, there were a large number of mosques, schools, libraries, hospitals and medical schools. Hundreds of roads and lanes were also built and the biggest road was the road lead to the Caliph palace (23 meters wide). The roads were paved with tar (petroleum) too. Main roads were illuminated with oil lamps at night. The streets were also cleaned with regular rubbish collection. There were 11 major canals which supplying water to every quarter in the city and every house in it. The inhabitants were divided into quarters and each quarter had 1 supervisor to look after the services of his area.
The facade of The Abbasid Palace
Moreover, an asylum and orphanage were built for the insane and orphans respectively. Every poor man who fell ill was maintained out of royal funds until he recovered. The was no social classes or castes system like the European people practiced in their countries because Islam kan practiced equality among its followers. Besides klu korg tgk sejarah Crusades the Christians were kinda shocked when they came to East pasal takder feudal system. But the most brilliant period of Baghdad was during the period of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Baghdad attracted people who amuse or entertain at court and palace. Even Baghdad was claimed as the city of splendor, luxurious style of living. It also became the centre for culture and learning and was known as the “Golden Age” of Islamic civilization. Muslim scholars made important contributions in both the sciences and humanities; medicine, maths, astronomy, chem., literature and more. Proffessional men and scholars enjoyed Caliph al-Ma’mun’s period because he gave patronage to these scholars. He even built the famous education institution in the Islamic civilization, the Baytul Hikmah (House of Wisdom). Oh btw UIA juga amik nama ni n paste kat nama library dier pasal nk bg resemble kegemilangan dier time Abbasid dlu. Hehe. There were departments of library and translation. Also a hospital was built for the school of medicine and an observatory for the school of astronomy. There were accommodation proided for professors and students of Baytul Hikmah. Actually, banyak lagi splendor n kegemilangan n kemegahan Baghdad as the capital city of Abbasid Caliphate but I think ckup la kot smpi sni je aku citer pasal dah tak larat nk taip byk2 lak. Papepon Baghdad mmg rocks!

p/s: I noe dis sound crazy but klu diberi opportunity utk visit certain places in the world I want to go to Baghdad. Mmgla Baghdad skang dah mcm 'neraka' as most of people described (watch The Hurt Locker, menang Oscar tu!Wlupon org kata citer ni lembap borink n slow tapi aku suka gak r tgk citer ni. At least kiter ley nmpk cmner keadaan US soldiers yg merana kat Iraq) since the stupid American invasion but this city is rich with history since Mesopotamian civilization. There are sooo many things to ponder and look at this city. I hope someday Baghdad will become peace again and I will have the opportunity to visit this historical city.

p/ss: Kpd KWN SKOLA, terima kasih wat segala2nya. Aku tau ko mmg dr dlu ader masalah nk caya kat aku klu bab2 simpan rahsia ni patu nk ragu2 lak n pkir aku g jaja citer ko kat org len pasal aku slalu citer pasal kwn2 skola kiter len kat ko dlu dr org len. Kan aku dah ckp dr dlu yg aku tak penah citer pasal ko kat org len tapi ko masih meragui gak dgn aku wlupon dah lebey 5 thn kiter kawan. Tolongla percaya kat aku. Susah sgt ke nk bg trust kat aku dr ko tu selamba je kasi trust kat org len smpi muka sndri kena tenyeh dgn org yg ko anggp s0-called best fren tu. Mmgla mulut aku ni bedah tapi aku tau batas aku. Yew aku tau aku salah aku g comment yg bukan2 kat status ko tapi bukan org len baca pon n kwn bek ko je yg komen status ko tu n ko pon sempat je nk padam pon. Dahla aku mmg dah byk sabar dgn ko pon dr dlu. Slalu aku je yg tatang ko lbey2. Neway terima kaseh skali ag for everything that y hve done to me . .

Pepet r ko ! !


  1. hey aku mabik abbasid caliphate dgn prof arshad islam okk!!!!

    my god!!! teach me history!

  2. azam!!
    td mak ak g seminar kt UM n die kate cmni, "azam mesti suke g seminar tu..pasal darurat, komunis sume tu.."
    hahhaa..mak ak asal history je, die mmg igt kat ko sorg je...

    p/s: i think i know that kawan skola.

  3. Haha..tak sgka lak mak ko ley ingt aku ea..hebat gak aku ni..hee.oh ko tau ea?cptlaa teka bgtau aku..xpn nt ko bgtau aku time kiter jumpa bile2 ea..hehe


HaaA Ngomel JAngan TAk NgomeL !


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