al-Muntasir

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Al-Muntasir (837 – 25 June 862) (Arabic: المنتصر‎) was the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad from 861 to 862, during the "Anarchy at Samarra". His pious title means He that Triumphs in the Lord.

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari records that in A.H. 236 (850-851) al-Muntasir led the pilgrimage. The previous year al-Mutawakkil had named his three son's heirs and seeming to favour al-Muntasir. However, this appeared to change and al-Muntasir feared his father was going to move against him. So, it seems he struck first. Al-Mutawakkil was killed by a Turkish soldier on December 11, 861.

Al-Muntasir succeeded smoothly to the throne of the Caliphate on that same day in December 861 with the support of the Turkish faction after the murder of his father by a Turkish soldier. Al-Muntasir was implicated in the crime. The Turkish party then prevailed on al-Muntasir to remove his brothers from the succession, fearing revenge for the murder of their father. In their place, he was to appoint his son as heir-apparent. On April 27, 862 both brothers, though al-Mu'tazz after a little hesitation, wrote a statement of abdication.

Al-Muntasir was lauded because, unlike his father, he loved the house of ʻAlī (Shīʻa) and removed the ban on pilgrimage to the tombs of Hassan and Hussayn. He sent Wasif to raid the Byzantines.

Al-Muntasir's reign lasted less than half a year; it ended with his death of unknown causes on June 7th or 8th 862. There are various accounts of the illness that carried him off, including that he was bled with a poisoned lancet. Al-Tabari (p. 222-3) states that al-Muntasir is the first Abbasid whose tomb is known, that it was made public by his mother, a Greek slave-girl and that earlier caliphs desired their tombs to be kept secret for fear of desecration. Joel L. Kraemer in his translation of al-Tabari notes on page 223:

"'Ayni comments, citing al-Sibt (b. al-Jawzi), that Tabari's statement here is surprising since the tombs of the Abbasid caliphs are in fact known, e.g., the tomb of al-Saffah is in Anbar beneath the minbar; and those of al-Mahdi in Masabadhan, Harun in Tus, al-Ma'mun in Tarsis, and al-Mu'tasim, al-Wathiq and al-Mu'tawakkil in Samarra."

Bibliography

Al-Muntasir
Born:  ? Died: 862
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Al-Mutawakkil
Caliph of Islam
861–862
Succeeded by
Al-Musta'in







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