The 'Bay'ah' (Oath of Allegiance) of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil Ala Allah for his three Sons as Heirs Apparent to the Throne in 235 AH/850 AD A Study of the Causes, Goals, and Results

Modar Adnan Telfah

Abstract


This study aims at uncovering the reasons why the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil Ala Allah (232-247 AH/ 846-861 AD) had promised three of his sons to become his heirs apparent to the throne in Dhi al-Hijjah, 235 AH/July, 850 AD . It, also, sheds light on the intended goals of this 'Bay'ah' and its significance. This study shows that this 'Bay'ah' aimed at providing assurance to al-Mutawakkil that the Caliphate will be restricted to his sons and his offspring afterwards and excludes the other Abbasid families. With the aim of eliminating them for good, the 'Bay'ah' restrains the hegemony of the Turks in the military, the army leadership, the state administration, the security affairs, and the financial affairs. The study focuses on the role of this 'Bay'ah' in stirring up the conflicts among the Abbasids on the Caliphate as a result of transferring it to the family of al-Mutawakkil. However, the Turks army leaders, who were resentful by the Caliph intentions to get rid of them, utilized this weak link and came into alliance with the Crown Prince al-Muntaser bi Allah and killed the Caliph, al-Mutawakkil. As a result, the Turks imposed their direct dominance over the Caliphate Foundation and in administering the state affairs.

Keywords


the Caliph al-Mutawakkil, heir apparent, al-Muntaser bi Allah, and al-Mutaz bi Allah, the Turk leaders, and the Abbasid Shiite

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