334-447 A.H.   /   946-1055 A.D.

Buweihid dynasty, 334-447 A.H.

THE Buweihids had every advantage on their side. Borne along by a brave Deilemi following, trained on the south­east shore of the Caspian in protracted warfare, they spread rapidly over the provinces to the east of Bagdad, and at last, as we have seen, entered in triumph the Capital itself, distracted as it was by the rivalries of Turkish captains, wild licence of the soldiery, misrule, anarchy, and want. The only adversary at all likely to oppose them was the Hamdanid house of Mosul, which without much difficulty could be held in check. And so the Buweihids maintained their hold on Bagdad over one hundred years. But their rule was weakened by family quarrels, and by the Shi'a tendencies of the race. For the Deilemi troops as well as their masters had imbibed those doctrines on the Caspian shore from the 'Alid rulers under whom they served; while the Turkish soldiery, as well as the populace of Bagdad, were devoted to the orthodox faith. The city was thus continually rent by dissensions ending in outbursts of violence between the two factions, which eventually paved the way for the fall of the Buweihids and the entrance of the Seljuk conquerors.

Position of Caliphate under it.

The material position of the Caliphs throughout the Buweihid reign was at its lowest ebb. Abject dependents, they were often carried in their master's train while fighting at a distance from the Capital. So inclined, moreover, was Mo'izz ad-Daula (strengthener of the dynasty), the first Buweihid prince, to the Shi'a faith that he was only


prevented from raising to the Caliphate a scion of the house of 'Ali by alarm for his own safety, and fear of rebellion, not in the capital alone, but all around. For the Caliphate of Bagdad, on its spiritual side, was still recognised throughout the Muslim world wherever the orthodox faith prevailed, excepting always Spain. The Fatimid Caliphs, on the other hand, claimed spiritual supremacy not only in Egypt, but, as Shi'a, contested the pulpits of Syria also, and on one occasion even those of Bagdad. In the East the spiritual dominance varied, but, Persia and the Deilem excepted, the balance clearly favoured orthodoxy. The Turkomans were staunch Sunnis. The great Mahmud, 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 Bagdad in grateful and glowing terms. The pages of our antialists are now almost entirely occupied with the political events of the day, in the guidance of which the Caliphs had seldom any concern, and which therefore need no mention here. We shall notice only the few occasions on which we hear them spoken of.

Muti' 334-363 A.H. 946-974 A.D.

The next Caliph, son of Al-Mutadir, called Al-Muti' or Obedient to the Lord, had long aspired to the office. Between him and Al-Mustakfi bitter enmity existed, which led him to retire into hiding. When the Buweihids entered Bagdad, he came forth from his retirement, and, establishing himself at the new Court by his sinister influence contributed to his cousin's fall. When this occurred and he succeeded to the Caliphate, the Amir made over his cousin to him; and it was while under his custody that the wretched Al-Mustakfi had his eyes put out. But neither did Al-Muti' gain much by his subserviency to the new rulers. He was no longer allowed a voice in nominating the Wazir. A mere pittance doled out for his support, 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 Al-Hosein's death, and rejoicing on that of the Prophet's supposed testimony in 'Ali's favour.1 On one occasion they went so far as to post

1 Namely, 18th Dhu'l-Hijja. The received tradition is that on that day, coming home from the Farewell Pilgrimage, Mohammad gathered his followers at the pool Khumm, and addressed them on their various


upon the various mosques sheets inscribed with male­diction of the early Caliphs, and even of 'Aisha, Mohammad's favourite spouse. The city was exasperated by the insult, and the placards torn down by the infuriated mob.

Muti' abdicateds

Such outbursts occurred from time to time; and after one of them, the Caliph who had held office for nearly thirty years, and now suffered from paralysis, was forced to abdicate in favour of At-Tai' his son.

Tai' 363-381 A.H. 974-991 A.D.

During the Caliphate of At-Tai', of whom personally, and of his official life we hear next to nothing, Syria was torn by contending factions — Fatimid Turkish, and Carmathian; while the Buweihid house was split up into parties which fell to fighting among themselves. After holding the office seventeen years, At-Tai' was deposed and cast into durance, with the view of gaining his property which was coveted by the Buweihid ruler.

381-422 A.H. 991-1031 A.D.

In place of the deposed Caliph, his cousin Al-Kadir, grandson of Al-Muktadir, was chosen. Banished from the Capital for designs upon the Caliphate, he was now recalled and appointed to the office he had long desired, and which he was destined to hold for two score years. It was during his Caliphate that Mahmud of Ghazna arose, threatening the West; and but for the dissensions that broke out in the family upon his death, the Buweihid kingdom, paralysed by internecine war, would have been swallowed up by hordes of Turkomans. Of Al-Kadir there is hardly anything told excepting that he succeeded in establishing an orthodox doctor as supreme judge, while the Buweihid was content with a Shi'a Nakib, or descendant of 'Ali, to determine cases for that sect. He died eighty-seven years of age, and was succeeded by his son.

During the first half of Al-Kaim's long reign, hardly a day passed in the unfortunate Capital without tumult and

obligations. Referring to 'Ali, he said, — "Whosoever loveth me, will choose 'Ali also for his Friend. The Lord be with them that support him, and forsake them that oppose him." 'Ali had just been appointed to command in the Yemen, to the discontent of many, and to stop their murmuring this was said. The word maulą signifies both "friend" and "master," and the Shi'a make the most of it in this latter sense. 'Ali himself referred to the words as in his favour, when, as Caliph at Al-­Kufa, he was contending with Mu'awiya.


bloodshed between the opposing factions still embittered by religious hate.

Kaim, 422-467 A.H. 1031-1075 A.D.

Frequently the city was left without a ruler, the Buweihid being often obliged to fly for safety from his Capital. Meanwhile the Seljuk house arose; and Toghril Beg, with countless hordes issuing from the east, overran Syria and Armenia.

Entry of the Seljuks, 447 A.H. 1055 A.D.

At last he cast an eye upon Bagdad. It was at a moment when the city was in the last throes of violence and fanaticism. The chief officers also were at variance with one another. The Deilemi captain Al-Basasiri accused the Wazir of making overtures to the Seljuks; while the Wazir accused Al-Basasiri of seeking to supplant the Caliph by the Egyptian anti-Caliph. The populace rose against Al-Basasiri and the Buweihid prince, Melik Rahim, at the Caliph's entreaty, sent him away in exile. Just then Toghril Beg, under cover of intended pilgrimage to Mecca entered Al-'Irak with a heavy force, and assuring the Caliph of pacific views and all subservience to his authority, begged permission to visit the Capital. The Turks and Buweibids were averse; but the Caliph himself was only too glad to give him leave. On this the great Conqueror was acknowledged as Sultan by the Caliph in the public prayers and a few days after, Toghril Beg himself, — having sworn to be true not only to the Caliph, but also to the Buweihid, Melik Rahim, made his entry into the Capital, where he was well received both by chiefs and people.

During this period literature, especially Persian literature, flourished under the patronage of the Buweihids. The philosopher Al-Farabi, of Turkish descent died in 950 A.D.; Al-Mutanebbi, acknowledged in the East as the greatest of Arabic poets, and himself an Arab, in 965 A.D.; Al-Khwarizmi (from whose name our word "logarithm" is derived) in 992 A. D.; and the greatest of all, Al-Hosain ibn 'Abdallah ibn Sina (Avicenna) in 1037 A.D.

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