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Al-Muti (or Obedient to the Lord) was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 946 to 974. He had long aspired to the office. Between him and the previous Caliph, al-Mustakfi, bitter enmity existed, which led him to retire into hiding.

When the Buwayhids entered Baghdad, al-Muti came forth from his retirement and established himself at the new court. But even he, after he became caliph, was no longer allowed a voice in nominating the vizier. The office was shorn of every token of respect and dignity. Shi'a observances were set up, such as public mourning on the anniversary of Husayn's death, and rejoicing of the Prophet's supposed testimony in Ali's favor. On one occasion they went so far as to post upon the various mosques sheets inscribed with curses against the early Caliphs, and even against Aisha, Muhammad's favorite spouse. The city was exasperated by the insult, and the placards torn down by the infuriated mob.

Buwayhids maintained their hold on Baghdad over one hundred years. The material position of the Caliphs throughout the Buwayhid reign was at its lowest ebb. Buwayhid Sultan Muiz ud-Daula was only prevented from raising to throne a Shi'a Caliph by alarm for his own safety, and fear of rebellion, not in the capital alone, but all around. But the Caliphate of Baghdad, on its spiritual side, was still recognized throughout the Muslim world wherever the orthodox faith prevailed, except Spain. The Fatimid Caliphs, on the other hand, claimed spiritual supremacy not only in Egypt, but also contested the pulpits of Syria. In the East the spiritual dominance varied, but, except Persia and the Deilem , the balance clearly favored orthodoxy. The Turks were staunch Sunnis. The great Mahmud of Ghaznavid, of Eastern fame, held always a friendly attitude towards the Caliphs, and his splendid victories in the Indian Empire were accordingly announced from the pulpits of Baghdad in grateful and glowing terms.


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Abbasid Leader Succeeded by:

Last updated: 03-01-2005 21:48:46