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'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."
- Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, History v. 34 "Incipient Decline," transl. Joel L. Kraemer, SUNY, Albany, 1989
- William Muir public domain, The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall.
Al-MuntasirBorn: ? Died: 862
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