Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿAbdallāh al-Ma'mūn ibn Hārūn ar-Raschīd ( Arabic أبو العباس عبد الله المأمون بن هارون الرشيد, DMG Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh al-Maʾmūn bin Hārūn ar-Rašīd ; born around 786; died on August 9, 833 in al-Budandūn ), al-Ma'mūn for short , known in Western Europe as the Almanon , was the seventh caliph (813-833) of the Abbasids . Under him the Abbasid caliphate reached its cultural climax.
Youth and Succession
Al-Maʾmūn was born in Baghdad in September 786 as the son of Hārūn ar-Raschīd and his Persian slave Marādschil. The mother probably died shortly after his birth, so that al-Maʾmūn was raised by Zubaida, al-Amin's Arab mother .
In 799 al-Ma'mun was included in the succession plan by his father and made the second heir to the throne after his brother al-Amin. During the pilgrimage of the year 802 this regulation of the succession to the throne was extended by various points and a protocol was drawn up, which was recorded in the Kaaba in Mecca. According to this, al-Amin was to become a caliph and reside in Baghdad. His two brothers al-Maʾmūn and al-Muʾtamin were to follow him one after the other and take over the governorship of two key provinces during his reign: the former in Khorasan , the latter in the Jazīra to lead the fight against the Byzantine Empire.
In 803 al-Ma'mūn got the two brothers al-Fadl ibn Sahl and al-Hasan ibn Sahl as advisors. They came from a Zoroastrian family and had previously served the Barmakids . In 808 al-Maʾmūn moved with his father to Khorasan to put down an uprising by Umayyad partisans. During this campaign, his father died in March 809 in the Chorasan city of Tus, while al-Maʾmūn and his troops were already in Merw .
As governor and caliph in Merw
The brotherly dispute between al-Amīn and al-Ma'mūn
After the death of his father, al-Ma'mūn made Merw his residence and pacified the border areas of his partial empire. However, tensions soon arose with his brother al-Amīn when he wanted to exclude him from the agreed regulation of succession and instead designate his underage son as his successor.
The rupture occurred in 811 when al-Amin invaded Iran . Al-Ma'mun sent his commander Tāhir ibn Husain, who defeated al-Amīn's commander ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā at Hamadan in the same year . Al-Ma'mūn then declared himself caliph in Merw in March 812 and appointed al-Fadl ibn Sahl as double commander-in-chief (ذو الرئاستين / Ḏu r-Riʾāsatain ) with civil and military skills. After Tāhir had enclosed Baghdad with his troops in August 812, al-Ma'mūn was recognized as a caliph in most of the empire's provinces. On the night of September 25, 813, al-Amin finally surrendered; Tāhir captured him and had him beheaded the next morning. While al-Ma'mun himself remained in Merw, he transferred the government in Iraq to al-Hasan ibn Sahl. Tāhir was appointed governor of the western provinces and was assigned the old palace city of ar-Raqqa as a residence.
The uprising of the Alides
The power vacuum created in the center of the empire was exploited by a certain Abū s-Sarāyā, who instigated a large-scale uprising in Iraq in the name of "the one from the house of Muḥammad who finds approval" ( ar-riḍā min āl Muḥammad ), which was instigated by various Shiite groups , especially the Zaidites , was supported. In Kufa, Basra, the Hejaz and Yemen, various Fatima descendants seized power and drove the Abbasid governors from their positions. In Mecca, on New Year's Day of the year 200 of the Hijra (August 11, 815 C.E.), the Kaaba was clad in yellow and white cloths to symbolically indicate that a new age had begun.
The Pro-Alidian Interlude and the Baghdad Counter Caliphate
Under the impression of the Alida uprising, which could not be finally suppressed until two years later, al-Ma'mūn reflected on the principles of the Hashimite Daʿwa and tried to unite the lines of the Abbasids and Alids . In March 817 he proclaimed the Hussainid ʿAlī ibn Mūsā to be his successor. The text of the document in which al-Ma'mūn affirmed this decision and announced it to the public has survived. On this occasion, ʿAlī was also given the nickname ar-Ridā ("pleasure"), with which al-Maʾmūn directly referred to an idea of the Hashimite Daʿwa, because this had been carried out in the name of ar-riḍā min āl Muḥammad . The Abbasid black banners were replaced with the green banners of the Prophet's house, and all state officials were instructed to wear green clothing.
Copies of al-Ma'mun's decree were sent to Medina, Iraq, and Egypt. In Medina the decree was read publicly at the tomb of the Prophet. When the same thing happened in Iraq in July 817, the Abbasid princes excluded from the line of succession revolted and proclaimed al-Ma'mūn's uncle, Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mahdī , to be the counter-caliph. This counter-caliph, who assumed the throne name al-Mubārak, was able to bring Kufa under his control in addition to Baghdad and was also recognized by the governor in Egypt. From al-Wasit, al-Hasan ibn Sahl retained control over southern Iraq with the city of Basra. To save the situation, al-Maʾmūn decided in January 818 to relocate his court to Baghdad and set out west. On the way, in February 818, he had his vizier al-Fadl ibn Sahl , who was considered a symbol of his pro-Alidian politics, murdered. ʿAlī ar-Ridā, who accompanied him, died in September 818 near Tūs , the Shiites accused al-Maʾmūn of having murdered him.
After the Baghdad Gegenkaliph had abdicated in June 819, al-Ma'mūn made a triumphant entry into Baghdad on August 11th. This largely ended the political unrest, which together are also known as the fourth Fitna .
As a caliph in Baghdad
Enforcement of central authority
Even after he moved to Baghdad, al-Ma'mun was still involved in fighting insurrections. The territory of the Jazira had been under the control of the Arab tribal leader Nasr ibn Shabath, who was an opponent of the Abnāʾ , the Iranian military elite on which the Abbasids relied, since the time of his brother al-Amīn . Al-Ma'mūn's governor of the western provinces, Tāhir ibn Husain, led the fight against Nasr since 814. When he became governor of Khorasan in 821, his son ʿAbdallāh ibn Tāhir replaced him in this task. In 824/25 he succeeded in persuading Nasr ibn Shabath to give up.
Revolts in Egypt (825–828 / 829–832) were also suppressed. On the other hand, al-Ma'mūn was less successful in fighting the Churramite Bābak , who rose up in Azerbaijan in 816 . Two military leaders who al-Maʾmūn sent against Bābak were repulsed by him.
Continuation of pro-Alidian politics in a weakened form
At the urging of his courtiers and servants, al-Ma'mūn returned to dressing Abbasid black just a week after his relocation to Baghdad, but he clung to certain Shiite elements of politics. So he decreed in 826 that the Fadak estate, which Abū Bakr had taken from the Prophet's daughter Fātima, was returned to the Aliden as their descendants. In the same year he had a herald proclaimed that whoever spoke of Muʿāwiya in good faith or preferred him to any of the companions of the Prophet was losing his civil rights. In the summer of 827 he officially declared ʿAlī ibn Abī Tālib to be “the most excellent of all men after the Messenger of God” ( afḍal an-nās baʿda rasūl Allāh ). He also endeavored to tie the seven-year-old son of ar-Ridās, Muhammad al-Jawād , closely to the ruling dynasty by promising him one of his daughters; the marriage was concluded in 830. By using the title Imam , which was preferred by the Alides, for himself, he also made it clear that he did not recognize their Imamate.
Al-Maʾmūn's former governor in Baghdad, al-Hasan ibn Sahl, withdrew from public life, but Ahmad ibn Abī Chālid, a man who had close contact with him, became the caliph's secretary. Al-Maʾmūn himself married Būrān , a daughter of al-Hasan ibn Sahl , in the winter of 825/826 to express his attachment to the Sahlid family .
Promotion of the Muʿtazila and the sciences
Al-Ma'mun had a Muʿtazilite scholar in his entourage, Thumāma ibn al-Ashras, a disciple of Bishop ibn al- Muamtamir, since he moved to Merw . During the Baghdad period he drew several other Muʿtazilites to his court, including Bishr al-Marīsī, Ibn Abī Duwād and Abu l-Hudhail . These scholars understood the Koran as a revelation created by God. In the summer of 827, al-Maʾmūn declared the doctrine of the creation of the Koran to be a state doctrine, in the same proclamation in which he raised ʿAlī ibn Abī Tālib to be "the most excellent of all men".
Just a few months before his death in 833, he had the lawyers and religious scholars of the capital, especially those who held public office, take an oath on the doctrine of the creation of the Koran. With this he started the Mihna , which was maintained under his two successors.
Al-Ma'mūn was personally very interested in the sciences and had numerous Greek (and also some Middle Persian ) works on logic , mathematics , medicine and astronomy translated into Arabic and determined the circumference of the globe with a more precise value than Christopher Columbus . The center of the Greek-Arabic translation activities was the Caliphary Library in Baghdad, which, following Sasanian tradition, was called the House of Wisdom .
The Shiite tradition ascribes a treatise on medicine to ʿAlī ar-Ridā , which he is said to have written for al-Ma'mūn. However, this tract, which has come to be known as the "Golden Epistle " ( risāla ḏahabīya ), is unlikely to be authentic.
The lunar crater Almanon is named after him.
- Nahide Bozkurt: "The caliph Maʿmūn and the doctrine of the createdness of the Qurʿān" in Martin Tamcke: Christian doctrine of God in the Orient from the rise of Islam to the present . Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg, 2008. pp. 101-112.
- Michael Cooperson: Al-Ma'mun. Oneworld Publications, Oxford 2005.
- Josef van Ess : Theology and society in the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Hijra. A History of Religious Thought in Early Islam . 6 vols. De Gruyter, Berlin 1991–97.
- Francesco Gabrieli : Al-Ma'mūn e gli Alidi . Leipzig 1929.
- Dimitri Gutas: Greek Thought, Arabic Culture. The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early ʿAbbāsid Society (2nd-4th / 8th-10th centuries). London 1998, pp. 75-104.
- Gerhard Hoffmann : Al-Amīn, al-Ma'mun and the "rabble" of Baghdad in the years 812/13. In: Journal of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft , Vol. 143, 1993, pp. 27-44
- M. Rekaya: Art. Al-Ma'mūn . In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition . Vol. VI, pp. 331-339.
- Dominique Sourdel: “La politique religieuse du calife ʿAbbaside al-Ma'mūn” in: Revue des Études Islamiques 30 (1962) 27-48.
- Hans Ferdinand Uhrig: The caliphate of al-Ma'mūn: translated from the annals of aṭ-Ṭabarī and explained in detail using the other important sources. Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1988, ISBN 978-3631406205
- See Rekaya 331a.
- See Rekaya p. 331.
- See Cooperson 53f.
- See Rekaya 333b-334a.
- See Josef van Ess: Theology and Society in the 2nd and 3rd Century Hijra . Vol. III, pp. 150-154, and Gabrieli 23-29.
- Cf. Gabrieli 38-43 and Patricia Crone , Martin Hinds: God's Caliph. Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam. Cambridge 1986. pp. 133-139.
- Cf. van Ess III, 155.
- See Uhrig 78f.
- See Crone / Hinds 133.
- See van Ess III, p. 155.
- See Rekaya 335-336.
- See Uhrig 124.
- Cf. CE Bosoworth: Art. "Naṣr ibn Sh aba th " in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition Vol. VII, p. 1016b.
- See Uhrig 126.
- See Laura Veccia Vaglieri : Art. "Fadak" in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition Vol. II, pp. 725–727, here 726b.
- cf. van Ess III 446.
- Cf. at-Tabarī Annales III 1099 ( online ) lines 10-11 and Gabrieli 60.
- cf. van Ess III 199.
- See Rekaya p. 336a.
- See Gabrieli 54.
- Cf. van Ess TuG III 162.
- Cf. van Ess III 446f.
- Gotthard Strohmaier : Avicenna. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-41946-1 , p. 157.
- Cf. Gutas 53-60 and Cooperson 84.
- Cf. Fabrizio Speziale: Il Trattato Aureo sulla medicina attribuito all'imām ʿAlī ar-Riḍā . Officina di Studi Medievali, Palermo, 2009. pp. 26f.
- See Uhrig 286, 288 298.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Abu l-Abbas Abdallah al-Ma'mun ibn Harun ar-Raschid|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||seventh Abbasid caliph (813–833)|
|DATE OF BIRTH||at 786|
|DATE OF DEATH||August 9, 833|
|Place of death||al-Budandūn|