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Topic: The Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad


Analyse Ziya’ al-Din al Barani’s perspective.
Even though this text is from the Abbasid Empire or its period, it captures the dilemma that confronted Islamic rulers.
Could the early Abbasid caliphs still maintain the rigorous moral standard attributed to Prophet Muhammed and the early caliphs?
Is the Islamic ruler destined to adopt un-islamic ways?

Reaction papers should not summarize the source material but respond to it from your own point of view. They are designed to get you thinking and to give you an opportunity to reflect on the issues raised by the course. They are exercises in critical thinking and an opportunity to digest and synthesize course material—to formulate questions, suggest alternative interpretations and shape our discussion.

GOOD ANALYSIS: look at context of author, language used in each, and refer to a source with other viewpoints, state your personal perspective on this.

Pre-text brief background story (history):
Ummayd accepted Arabs where they were all equal, if your not ur differently treated & Islam was not linked to this.
Quaryash tribe – Ummayds + Hashim Family (Prophet Muahmmed, Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (his cousin), and Al-Abbas (his uncle))

Ummayd (661-749 BCE)
– Stated their identity through language and coins
– Caliphs indulged in luxury, built mosques, places, silk attire, wealthy
– Al-Abbas ended Ummayd
– Al-Abbas was Prophet Muhammed’s uncle and his sons became politically active, they believe that they should be a Calipha, they are more worthy since they carry on the Hashim legacy and they are better Muslims.
– The sons started their conflict in an area that hated Ummayds, in Iran and Iraq, where Mawali and Shi’3a are the groups.
– What would Abbas’s sons tell the societies so they can convince them to be on their side?
Mawali Group – Abbasids told Ummayds are treating you as second class citizens and its unfair, but if you listen to us we will give u high positions in the army and be treated equal
Shi’3a Group – Abbasids told them we’re all one family (blood relations) with Ali and reminded the killing of Hussien, Ali’s son, by the Ummayds and tell them that they will work hand in hand to make one from the house of Hashim to take the throne “al -afdal”
Kaharijj Group – Abbasids did not get close to them because they’re a small group.
– When they won the throne from the Ummayd, convinced the Mawali and Shi’3a that someone “al-afdal” from the Hashim family will take the throne. Al-Abbasi fooled the Shi’3a and Shi’3a felt betrayed and turned against the Abbasi family as they wanted someone from the descendants of Ali Ibn Abu Taleb to conquer/take the throne.
– Abbasi reused and replanted the throne seeds of Ummayds and built an empire.
– Everyone judged Ummayds and they beared the blame of living a wealthy life but later it socially accepted by other people.


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