From Baghdad to Bukhara, from Ghazna to Delhi: The Khil‘a Ceremony in the Transmission of Kingly Pomp and Circumstance

  • Gavin R. G. Hambly
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Prior to his death in 193/809, the fifth ‘Abbāsid caliph, al-Rashīd, made an unusual disposition of the caliphate, bequeathing to his eldest son, al-Amīn, the caliphal office together with the western and central provinces, while endowing his second son, al-Ma’mūn, the offspring of a Persian slave-girl, with the great province of Khurasan north and east of the Iranian Dasht-i Lut and Dasht-i Kavir.2 This latter charge provided the fiscal and manpower resources for the younger son to challenge the elder, and after a protracted fratricidal struggle, al-Amīn was killed and al-Ma’mūn took his place (198/813). Recognizing the practical problems of administering Khurasan from Baghdad, he appointed his most trusted henchman, Ṭāhir b. al-Husayn, its governor in 205/821.


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© Stewart Gordon 2001

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  • Gavin R. G. Hambly

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