Abbasid Khilafah Of Egypt

Abbasid Khilafah Of Egypt

Abul Qasim Ahmad bin Zahir Billah and Abul `Abbas Ahmad Mustarshid Billah, the two members of the Abbasids family fled while Baghdad was being attacked and destroyed by Hulagu. Abul Abbas remained in Halab, but Abul Qasim reached Egypt in Rajab 659 H. Zahir Baibars was ruling Egypt during those days. He welcomed Abul Qasim and organized a court of notables in his honor. Qazi Tajuddin inquired and confirmed the authenticity of Abul Qassim’s lineage to the Abbasid family. Once confirmed, people took the oath of Khilafah on his hand. Thus after three years of destruction of Baghdad, the tradition of Khilafah began in Egypt once again.

Though Khilafah was established and religious honor was bestowed on the institution, it had no real power. Both decided that the Muslim forces attack the Tatars. Zahir spent more than ten hundred thousand Dinars on the preparation of war. Abul Qasim marched and attacked the Tatars on 30th Muharram 660 H. However, Muslim forces were defeated in the battle and Abul Qasim was killed.

After Abul Qasim’s death, Abul `Abbas was called from Halab. He was appointed Khilafah with the title Hakim Billah.

The Abbasids in Egypt were Khalifah for mere name sake, with no real power. The Khalifah, in actual sense, remained under the kings of Egypt and received fixed salary. Thus, it would be more appropriate here to mention just briefly about the names and the period of the Khalifah - for they played no major role in shaping Islamic history. After the destruction of Baghdad at the hands of the Tatars, the Abbassid Khalifah in Egypt were as follows:

1. Abul Qasim Mustansar (659-660 H)

2. Abul Abbas Hakim (660-700 H)

3. Mustakfi, the 1st (701-740 H)

4. Wathiq (740-741 H)

5. Hakim, the 2nd (741-753 H)

6. Mu`tazid, the 1st (753-763 H)

7. Mutawakkil (763-808 H)

8. Musta`een (808-815 H)

9. Mu`tazid, the 2nd (515-845 H)

10. Muktafi, the 2nd (845-854 H)

11. Qa’im (854-859 H)

12. Mustanjid (859-884 H)

13. Mutawakkil,the 2nd (884-903 H)

14. Mustamsik (903-920 H)

15. Mutawakkil,the second (920-923 H)

While Mutawakkil, the third, was the last Abbasids Khalifah in Egypt, Othmani Sultan Salim the First, conquered Egypt, Syrian and Arabia in 923H and annexed them into his empire.

The above is more or less a political history. The Islamic world made huge and lasting contributions to culture and civilization. If the infighting for political power is ignored (which is the lot of every nation), the Islamic world stands out as the most peaceful, progressive, and moral world that had its roots in intellectualism. These aspects shall be dealt with, with newer versions of this work, Allah willing.

(Source: Hamari Badshahi, `Abdus Salam Nadwi, Dar al-Musannifin, Azamgarh)