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As Aliden ( 'Alawīyūn ) refers to the descendants of 'Alī ibn Abi Talib , cousin and son-religious founder Mohammed . They represent a group within the so-called Tālibids ( Ṭālibīyūn ), the descendants of ʿAlī's father Abū Tālib ibn ʿAbd al-Muttalib . Since he was a grandson of Hāschim ibn ʿAbd Manāf , the Tālibids are also Hashimites . In addition to the Alides, the Tālibids also include the descendants of Ali's brothers ʿAqīl and Jaʿfar.

All of the children Ali fathered with his wives and concubines, as well as their descendants, belong to the Alids. A subgroup of the Aliden are those descendants who emerged from his marriage to Muhammad's daughter Fatima . In some Arabic sources they are referred to as Fatimids (Fāṭimīyūn) in contrast to the other Alids . The rulers of the dynasty of the same name also claimed to belong to this group. The descendants of Ali and Fatima are in turn subdivided into Hasanids (after al-Hasan ibn ʿAlī ) and Husainids (not to be confused with the homonymous but non-Alidian regional dynasty of Tunisia ) according to the names of their two sons (prophet 's grandsons ).

Hasan's descendants have been known as Sherif (Shurafa) since the 10th century , and Husain's descendants as Sayyids or Mirzas. The Shiite imams are also all Alides.

The Alides during the Umayyad period

Aliden played an important political role during the Umayyad period . So Ali's son took al-Husayn an uprising against the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I. Five years later, it came in the name of Ali's son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah the uprising of Mukhtar .

With the Abbasids , who were Hashimites like them, the Alids took part in the so-called daʿwa Hāšimiyya (Hashimite propaganda), an underground movement from the 720s onwards , which in the name of “the one from the house of Muḥammads who finds approval” ( ar-riḍā min āl Muḥammad ) worked towards the overthrow of the Umayyads. After the uprisings of the Husainid Zaid ibn Ali in 740 and his son Yahya in 743 had been suppressed, in 744 the Hasanid ʿAbdallāh ibn Hasan, who was the head of the Aliden at the time, forged plans to take over the rule of the Islamic Empire. After all, the da demwa Hāšimiyya brought the Abbasids to power after the uprising of Abu Muslim in 749.

Alidian uprisings among the Abbasids

After the Abbasid accession to power, the relationship between the Alids and Abbasids was initially relatively relaxed. ʿAbdallāh paid his respects to the first Abbasid caliph Abu l-Abbas as-Saffah and recognized his rule.

During the caliphate of al-Mansur , however, two sons of ʿAbdallāh, Muhammad an-Nafs al- Zakīya and Ibrāhīm, gathered supporters and contested the rule of the Abbasids. In 762 they undertook a large-scale uprising in Medina and Basra , in which they were supported by ʿĪsā, a son of Zaid ibn Ali, and his supporters, the Zaidites . In a letter to al-Mansour, Muhammad reproached the Abbasids that they owed their rule to the Alides: "Only through us you could lay claim to this power, with our party ( shīʿa ) you went out to gain it and because of us you received it. " However, the uprising between the two was put down a year later.

In 786, under the short caliphate of al-Hādīs , another Alide by the name of al-Husain ibn ʿAlī started a revolt in Medina, which ended in a debacle: he was defeated by Abbasid troops in Fachch near Medina. Under the caliphate of Hārūn ar-Raschīd , a third son of ʿAbdallāhs, Idrīs, managed to evade the western Maghreb and establish a Hasanid state there in 789 with the support of local Berber tribes . His descendants, the Idrisids , ruled over large areas of what is now Morocco until the beginning of the 10th century.

A fourth son of ʿAbdallāh, Yahyā, roamed Iraq and Persia and prepared an uprising against the caliph in Dailam in 792 . This uprising also received the support of the Zaidi. For example, the well-known Zaidite theologian Sulaimān ibn Jarīr from Raqqa is said to have paid homage to Yahyā . But after Yahyā had fallen out with his Zaidite followers, especially the Butriten, he accepted an offer of amnesty made to him by the Barmakide al-Fadl ibn Yahyā. The letter assuring him and 70 of his followers impunity should they arise was signed by the caliphs, legal scholars, qadis and prominent Abbasids. Yahyā then laid down his arms and was received in a festive manner by the caliph in Baghdad. The event was celebrated as a reconciliation between the Abbasids and Alides. Yahyā withdrew to Medina with his family. However, since he was not prepared to name the names of his 70 followers to whom the security guarantee was to apply, and since there were repeated rumors of conspiratorial activities by his followers, the caliph called together a group of legal scholars to ask them about the security guarantee to be declared invalid. While al-Shaibani refused to authorize this step and thus caused the anger of the caliph, the Qadi Abu l-Bakhtari Wahb ibn Wahb (d. 815) declared the letter invalid and tore it up. The caliph was thus able to have Yahyā arrested again, and Yahyā died in prison some time later.

Another Alidian uprising occurred in 814 after the Abbasid al-Ma'mun had defeated his brother al-Amin two years earlier and withdrew with his court to Merw . The power vacuum created in this way in the center of the Abbasid Empire was exploited by a certain Abū s-Sarāyā. He instigated a large-scale uprising in Iraq in the name of riḍā min āl Muḥammad , which was supported by various Shiite groups, again including the Zaidis . In Kufa , Basra , the Hejaz and Yemen, various Fatimid Alids seized power and drove the Abbasid governors from their positions. The uprising could not be finally put down until two years later.

Well-known Alidian dynasties in Islamic history



  • One of the most important Arabic sources on the Alidian uprisings of the Umayyad and Abbasid periods is the book Maqātil aṭ-Ṭālibīyīn by Abū l -Faraj al-Isfahānīi , which actually deals with the Talibids, but deals particularly intensively with the Alids.


  • Teresa Bernheimer: The 'Alids: The First family of Islam, 750-1200 . Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2013.
  • Chiara Formichi, R. Michael Feener: Shi'ism in Southeast Asia. 'Alid Piety and Sectarian Constructions. London 2015.
  • Francesco Gabrieli : Al-Maʾmūn e gli ʿAlidi . Leipzig 1929, OCLC 6211795 .

Individual evidence

  1. See Saleh Said Agha: The Revolution which toppled the Umayyads. Neither Arab nor Abbasid . Leiden 2005.
  2. See KV Zetterstéen: Art. "ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Ḥasan" in 'Encyclopaedia of Islam'. Second edition. Vol. I, p. 45b.
  3. See the articles on "Muhammad ibn Abdallah an-Nafs az-Zakiyya" and "Ibrahim ibn Abdallah" in the Encyclopaedia of Islam . Second edition. Vol. VIII, pp. 388-389 and Vol. III, pp. 983-985.
  4. On ʿĪsā ibn Zaid and his followers cf. Abū l-Faraǧ al-Isfahānī: Maqātil aṭ-Ṭālibiyyīn . Ed. as-Sayyid Ahmad Saqar. Beirut 1987, pp. 342-361.
  5. The letter is quoted in at-Tabarī Annales III 209: (here lines 15-17). Italian translation by Gabrieli 7.
  6. See Laura Veccia Vaglieri : Art. Art. "Ḥusain ibn ʿAlī, Ṣāḥib Fa khkh " in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition . Vol. III, pp. 615b-617b.
  7. See W. Madelung: Art. "Yaḥyā b. ʿAbdallāh" in Encyclopaedia of Islam . Second edition. Vol. XI, pp. 242-243.
  8. See Josef van Ess : Theology and Society in the 2nd and 3rd Century of the Hijra. A History of Religious Thought in Early Islam . 6 vols. Berlin: De Gruyter 1991-97. Vol. II, p. 472.
  9. Cf. Madelung in EI² Vol. XI, p. 242b.
  10. Cf. Madelung in EI² Vol. XI, p. 243.
  11. Cf. Gabrieli 10-23 and HAR Gibb: Art. "Abū s-Sarāyā" in Encyclopaedia of Islam . Second edition. Vol. I., pp. 149b-150a.