Mutawakkel

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Mutawakkel Jafar Ibn Mu’tasem, Abbasid caliph (March 821 – December 861), who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861. He succeeded his brother al-Wāthiq and is known for putting an end to the Mihna "ordeal", the Inquisition-like attempt by his predecessors to impose a single Mu'tazili version of Islam. He was determined from the beginning to assert the independence of the caliph and to break the dominance of the Turkish military and the bureaucracy. He broke with the Mu’tazili position which had been the official dictrine of the Abbasid government ####since the caliph Ma’mun had introduced the “Mihna” (ordeal), the Inquisition-like attempt by his predecessors to impose a single Mu'tazili version of Islam. His murdur plunged the caliphate into anarchy. Mutawakkil's reign is remembered for its many reforms and viewed as a golden age of the Abbasids. He would be the last great Abbasid caliph; after his death the dynasty would fall into a decline. Mutawakkil continued to rely on Turkish statesmen and slave soldiers to put down rebellions and lead battles against foreign empires, notably the Byzantines, from who Sicily was captured. His minister, fath bin Khaqan, who was Turkish, was a famous figure of Al-Mutawakkil's era. His reliance on Turkish soldiers would come back to haunt him. Mutawakkil would have his Turkish commander-in-chief killed. This, coupled with his extreme attitudes towards the Shia, made his popularity decline rapidly. Mutawakkel was murdered by a Turkish soldier. Some have speculated that his murder was part of a plot hatched by his son, Muntasir, who had grown estranged from his father. Al-Muntasir feared his father was about to move against him and struck first. Mutawakkiil ordered Jews and Christians to wear different dress.They were forbidden to ride on animals other than donkeys.They could not build churches or synagogues.

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