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The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids (Arabic: al-‘abbāsīyūn), was the thi rd of the Islamic caliphates

. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, wh o built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from a ll but the al-Andalus region. The Abbasid caliphate was founded by the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad's y oungest uncle, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, in Kufa in 750 CE and shifted its capita l in 762 to Baghdad. It flourished for two centuries, but slowly went into decli ne with the rise to power of the Turkish army it had created, the Mamluks. Withi n 150 years of gaining control of Persia, the caliphs were forced to cede power to local dynastic emirs who only nominally acknowledged their authority. The cal iphate also lost the Western provinces of al-Andalus, Maghreb and Ifriqiya to an Umayyad prince, the Aghlabids and the Fatimid Caliphate, respectively. The Abbasids' rule was briefly ended for three years in 1258, when Hulagu Khan, the Mongol khan, sacked Baghdad, resuming in Mamluk Egypt in 1261, from where th ey continued to claim authority in religious matters until 1519, when power was formally transferred to the Ottoman Empire and the capital relocated to Constant inople. Rise The Abbasid caliphs were Arabs descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (566–662), one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad, because of which they considered themse lves the true successor of Muhammad as opposed to the Umayyads. The Umayyads wer e descended from Umayya, and were a clan separate from Muhammad's in the Quraish tribe. Abbasids also distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their mora l character and administration in general. According to Ira Lapidus, "The Abbasi d revolt was supported largely by Arabs, mainly the aggrieved settlers of Marw w ith the addition of the Yemeni faction and their Mawali". The Abbasids also appe aled to non-Arab Muslims, known as mawali, who remained outside the kinship-base d society of the Arabs and were perceived as a lower class within the Umayyad em pire. Muhammad ibn 'Ali, a great-grandson of Abbas, began to campaign for the re turn of power to the family of Muhammad, the Hashimites, in Persia during the re ign of Umar II. During the reign of Marwan II, this opposition culminated in the rebellion of Ib rahim the Imam, the fourth in descent from Abbas. Supported by the province of K horasan, Iran, he achieved considerable success, but was captured in the year 74 7 and died in prison; some hold that he was assassinated. The quarrel was taken up by his brother Abdallah, known by the name of Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah, who de feated the Umayyads in 750 in the Battle of the Zab near the Great Zab and was s ubsequently proclaimed caliph. Immediately after their victory, Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah sent his forces to Nort h Africa and Central Asia, where his forces fought against Tang expansion during the Battle of Talas (the Abbasids were known to their opponents as the: "Black robed Tazi" ("Tazi"). Barmakids, who were instrumental in building Baghdad; intr oduced the world's first recorded paper mill in Baghdad, thus beginning a new er a of intellectual rebirth in the Abbasid domain. Within 10 years, the Abbasids b uilt another renowned paper mill in the Umayyad capital of Córdoba in Spain. Power The first change the Abbasids made was to move the empire's capital from Damascu s, in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq. This was to both appease as well to be closer t o the Persian mawali support base that existed in this region more influenced by Persian history and culture, and part of the Persian mawali demand for less Ara b dominance in the empire. Baghdad was established on the Tigris River in 762. A new position, that of the vizier, was also established to delegate central auth

the most important of these being those of (A-bo-l o-ba) Abul Abbas. it alienated many of the ir Arab supporters. the builder of Bagdad. best known. Arab Caliph Harun al-Rashid established an alliance w ith China. m edicine. Al-Mansur. the founder of the new dynasty. are known in Chinese history as the Heh-i Ta-shih. The Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians in their overthrow of the Umayyads. " The Black-robed Arabs. Harun al-Rashid's son. and that of ( A-lun) Harun al-Rashid." as they were commonly cal led. which had been all but annihilated. Indian. While this helped integrate Arab and Persian cultures. Abd ar-Rahman III assumed the title of Caliph. is even quoted as saying: . alchemy. Science The reigns of Harun al-Rashid (786–809) and his successors fostered an age of grea t intellectual achievement.ority. which relied on the assertion of the superiority of Arab culture as part of its claim to legitimacy. Eventually. It is well established that t he Abbasid caliphs modeled their administration on that of the Sassanids. this meant that many Abbasid caliphs were relegated to a more ceremonial role than u nder the Umayyads. After the wa r. Many classic works of antiquity that would otherwi se have been lost were translated into Arabic and Persian and later in turn tran slated into Turkish. Egyptian. Hebrew and Latin. In 756. In large part. were not destroyed. During this period the Muslim world was a cauldron of cultures which collected. Several embassies from the Abbaside Caliphs to the Chinese Court are recorded in the T'ang Annals. particularly the Khorasanian Arabs who had supported them in their battles against the Umayyads. The Abbasides or " Black Flags. philosophy. 756). Greek and Byzantine civilizations. as the viziers began to exert greater influence. wh ere both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate and gather all the w orld's knowledge into Arabic. Chinese. The Abbasid Caliph Al-Mansur sent over 4. In 929. During this period the Muslim world became an intellec tual center for science. N orth African. Persian. " Al-Rashid sent embassies to the Chinese Tang dynasty and established good rela tions with them. they remained in China. mathematics. of whom more must be said immediately. These fissures in their support led to immediate problems." The Islamic Golden Age was inaugurated by the middle of the 8th century by the a scension of the Abbasid Caliphate and the transfer of the capital from Damascus to Baghdad. Arabian Nights. The Abbassids were influenced by the Qur'anic injunctions and hadith such as "the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr" stressin g the value of knowledge.Arab scientists were in the forefront of scientifi c advance. perhaps. moved their capital from D amascus to the new city of Baghdad and welcomed non-Arab Muslims to their court. medicine and education as the Abbasids cham pioned the cause of knowledge and established the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. this was the result of the schismatic forces that had undermined the Umayyad regime. Golden Age "In virtually every field of endeavor -in astronomy. and even greater authority was delegated to local emirs. establishing Al Andalus from Córdo ba as a rival to Baghdad as the legitimate capital of the Islamic Empire. The only surviving member of the Umayyad royal family. and the role of the old Arab aristocracy was slowly replaced by a Persian bureaucracy. Al-Ma'mun (whose mother was Persian). in modern days through the popular work.000 Arab mercenaries to assist the Chinese Tang dynasty in the An Shi Rebellion against An Lushan. Abu al-'Abbas' successor. synthesized and significantly advanced th e knowledge gained from the ancient Roman. and the Abb asids' welcoming of support from non-Arab Muslims. that of (A-p'u-ch'a-fo) Abu Ja far. ultimately made his way to Spain whe re he established himself as an independent Emir (Abd ar-Rahman I. The Umayyads. optics and so forth. while o ut of power.

The astrolabe. Ibn al-Ha ytham's empirical proof of the intromission theory of light (that is. All Arabian f . particularly the writ ings attributed to Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber). Famous Persian scientist Ibn Sina (known to the West as Avicenna) pro duced treatises and works that summarized the vast amount of knowledge that scie ntists had accumulated. and subsequently brought to medieval Europe. Astronomy in medieval Islam was advanced by Al-Battani. who improved the precisi on of the measurement of the precession of the Earth's axis. In addition. from which t he term algebra is derived. which began among Muslim scientists. and great discoveries in the understanding of anatomy and diseases were m ade. They contributed to making Aristotle known in Christian Europe. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without t hem for an hour. such as that of Euclid and Claudius Ptolemy. although the Greek mathematician Diophantus has also been given this titl e. that light rays entered the eyes rather than being emitted by them) was particularly impor tant. Bradley Steffens described Ibn al-Haytham as the "first scientist" for his development of scientific method. geometric and astronomical knowled ge. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. During the ninth century. notably by Pe rsian scientists Al-Biruni and Abu Nasr Mansur. The work of him and many others direc tly influenced the research of European scientists during the Renaissance. These recovered mathematical me thods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars. The epic took form in the 10th century and reached its final form by the 14th century. It also includes stor ies from the rest of the Middle-Eastern and North African nations. and was very influential through his encyclopedias."The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. Kitab al-Jabr wa-l-Muqabala. the nu mber and type of tales have varied from one manuscript to another. The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. The terms algorism and algorithm are derived from the name of al-Khwarizmi. w ho was also responsible for introducing the Arabic numerals and Hindu-Arabic num eral system beyond the Indian subcontinent. Medicine in medieval Islam was an area of science that advanced particularly dur ing the Abbasids' reign. The corrections mad e to the geocentric model by al-Battani. The clinical distinction between measles and smallpox was described during this time. The original concept is derived from pre-Islamic Ira nian (Persian) prototype with reliance on Indian elements. Muslim alchemists influenced medieval European alchemists. Mo'ayye duddin Urdi and Ibn al-Shatir were later incorporated into the Copernican helioc entric model." A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule played a role in transmitting Islamic science to the Christian West. A number of chemical processes such as distillation techniques were developed in the Muslim world and then spread to Eu rope. Algebra was significantly developed by Persian scientist Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī during this time in his landmark text. Literature The best known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and O ne Nights (Arabian Nights). the period saw the reco very of much of the Alexandrian mathematical. Averroes. Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) developed an early scientific method in his Book of Opt ics (1021). was deve loped further by Islamic astronomers and engineers. Baghdad contained over 800 do ctors. The most important development of the scientific method was the use of experiments to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally empirical orientation. though originally developed by the Greeks. He is thus considered to be the father of algebra by some.

re gardless of whether they appeared in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. in thi s definition is neither necessarily concerned with religious issues. Kalam. Writers like Abu Tammam and Abu Nuwas were closely connected to the caliphal court in B aghdad during the early 9th century. Crops such as almonds and citrus fruit were brought to Europe through a l-Andalus. Muslim engineers in the Islamic world made a number of innovative industrial use s of hydropower. the Muslim world adopted papermaking from China. and Avicenni sm was later established as a result. Th is epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th cen tury. Illuminationist philosophy. Sinbad and Ali Baba. and petro leum (notably by distillation into kerosene). and Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen). encouraging a lively debate in the spirit of i jtihad. from al-Andalus and North Africa to the Middle East an d Central Asia. Technology In technology. and early industrial uses of tidal power. along which Muslim coun tries traded with each other and with European powers such as Venice. combined Aristote lianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam. especially before the loss of central authority and the rise of the Persianate dynasties." Islamic philosophy. The industrial uses of watermills in the Islamic world date back to the 7th century. every province throughout the Islamic worl d had mills in operation. and their thin king was incorporated into Christian philosophy during the Middle Ages. Other influential Muslim philosophers in t he Caliphates include al-Jahiz. wind power. while others such as al-Mutanabbi received their patronage from regional courts. first by Antoine Galland. and Avicenna. Avicennism. By the time of the Crusades. The knowledge of gunpowder was also transmitted from China via Islamic countries. Averroism. notably by Thomas Aquinas. and sugar cultivation was gradually adopted by the Europeans. Advances were made in irrigation and farming. Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in W estern culture. al-Kindi. Hormuz was an important center for this trade. Arab me rchants dominated trade in the Indian Ocean until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. al-Farabi. It is a tragic story of undying love much like the later Romeo and Juliet. A famous example of Persian poetry on romance is Layla and Majnun. using new technology such as the w indmill. They often corrected the philosopher. especially in Fran ce. and Transcendent Theosophy One of the common definitions for "Islamic philosophy" is "the style of philosop hy produced within the framework of Islamic culture. while horizontal-wheeled and vertical-wheeled water mills were both in widespread use since at least the 9th century. dating back t o the Umayyad era in the 7th century. Many imitations were written. The Silk Road crossing Central Asia passed through Muslim states betw een China and Europe. They also wrote influential original philosophical works. where the form ulas for pure potassium nitrate and an explosive gunpowder effect were first dev eloped. These mills performed a variety of agricultural and industrial t . There was al so a dense network of trade routes in the Mediterranean. Genoa and Catalonia. Their works on Aristotle was a key step in the tran smission of learning from ancient Greeks to the Islamic world and the West. Philosophy Further information: Logic in Islamic philosophy. Arabic poetry reached its greatest heights in the Abbasid era. such as Aladdin.antasy tales were often called "Arabian Nights" when translated into English. Three speculative thinkers. nor is excl usively produced by Muslims.

It has been argued that the industrial use of waterpowe r had spread from Islamic to Christian Spain. and p aper. and used dams to p rovide additional power to watermills and water-raising machines. paper mills.asks. employed gears in mills and water-raising machines. sugar. i ncluding early industries for textiles. Latin translations of the 12th century passed on knowledge of chemistry an d instrument making in particular. Evolution of Islamic Identity While the Abbasids originally gained power by exploiting the social inequalities against non-Arabs in the Umayyad Empire. people of different nationalities and religions began to speak Arabi c in their everyday lives. . The agricultural and handicraft industries al so experienced high levels of growth during this period. and a unique Islamic identity began to form that fused previous cu ltures with Arab culture. Such advances made it possible for many industrial tasks that were previously driven by manual labour in ancient times to be mechanized and driven by machinery instead in the medieval Islamic world. As knowledge was shared in the Arabic language throughout the empire. Resources from other languages began to be translated into Arabic. silk. Muslim engineers also developed machines (such as pumps) incorporating cra nkshafts. rope-making. ironically during Abbasid rule the emp ire rapidly Arabized. where fulling mills. A number of industries were generated during the Arab Agricultural Revolution. creating a level of civilization and knowledge that wa s considered a marvel in Europe. matting. and forge mills were recorded for the first time in Catalonia.