The fall of Abbasid Dynasty
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 28th of the Islamic month of Moharram in 656 AH, Baghdad was sacked by the Buddhist army of the Mongol marauder, Hulagu Khan (grandson of the bloodthirsty Chingiz Khan), who had the 37th and last self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, al-Musta\'sem, rolled in a carpet and trampled to death under the feet of horses. The grand library of Baghdad, containing countless historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. It is said the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantity of books flung into the river.
Death counts vary widely and cannot be easily substantiated, running into estimates ranging from 200,000 to a million. The Mongols looted and destroyed mosques, palaces, libraries, hospitals and buildings that had been the work of generations, since the founding of Baghdad five centuries ago. So terrible was the sack that Baghdad lay desolate for several generations.
The incompetent Musta’sem, whose 16-year rule was confined to Iraq and some eastern parts of Syria, had neither raised an army to defend Baghdad nor did he attempt to negotiate with Hulagu, to whom two years earlier, he had supplied troops to conquer the Ismaili Nizari stronghold of Alamout (some 200 km west of modern Tehran).
It seems the Abbasid ruler not just paid the price of assisting infidels against fellow Muslims, but also the far more serious treachery of his great-grandfather, the 34th self-styled caliph, an-Naser-Billah, some 40 years ago, in inviting Chingiz to attack the empire of the Khwarezm Shah, because of personal dispute, some years before the Mongol invasion actually occurred.
The curtain thus came down on 524 lunar years of the Abbasid caliphate founded by Abu\'l-Abbas Saffah by hijacking the sentiments of the Arab and Iranian masses for the Ahl al-Bayt, thereby depriving once again the progeny of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) of their political right to rule the Islamic realm. The Abbasids exercised actual authority for only some 150 years, after which they became mere puppets in the hands of the Iranian and Turkic emirs, who nominally acknowledged their authority, while independent dynasties cropped up in all the provinces, except for the heartland Iraq.
The Abbasids never ruled Islamic Spain, where the remnants of the Omayyads held power, while the Maghreb (Morocco) was lost during the early days of Haroun Rashid to Idris, a great-grandson of the Prophet\'s elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS). Over a century later, all of North Africa, followed by Syria and the Hejaz, were taken over by the Fatemids, who also claimed descent from the Prophet.