Caliph only for a day
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Saani in 296 AH, Abdullah ibn Mu'taz ibn Mutawakkil, was murdered at the age of 48 after a reign of a single day and night as caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. He was installed by a faction of the powerful Turkic slave guards following the death of al-Muktafi, the 17th self-styled Abbasid caliph, and then deposed the next day by the Vizier. He went into hiding, was found, and strangled to death by a servant of his relative, the 13-year old al-Muqtadir, who was now installed as caliph.
Abdullah lived a hedonistic life, writing poetry devoted to the pleasures of the immoral life he led. He was a son of Mu'taz, the 13th self-styled caliph, who during his brief 3-year reign – before being deposed, brutally beaten and murdered by the Turkic guards – martyred Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS), the 10th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Like the rest of the clan, Abdullah ibn Mu'taz was also notorious for his enmity towards the Prophet's blessed Ahl al-Bayt. He wrote an ode in praise of what he viewed as merits of the tyrannical and immoral Abbasids over the rest of the Bani Hashem. These superficial verses on the forged merits of the Abbasid usurpers were given a fitting answer in a brilliant piece of versified eulogy by the poet and scholar Ali ibn Mohammad at-Tannoukhi, who points to the God-endowed merits of the Ahl al-Bayt, whose virtues are praised in the holy Qur'an and Hadith.