المقتفي لأمر الله
Amir al-Mu'minin
Dinar of Al-Muqtafi, 905-906.jpg
Gold dinar of Al-Muqtafi minted in 905-906
31st Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate

Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad
Reign 17 August 1136 – 12 March 1160
Predecessor Al-Rashid
Successor Al-Mustanjid
Born 9 March 1096

Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate now Iraq
Died 12 March 1160 (aged 64)

Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate now Iraq
Consort Fatimah Khatun,

Issue Al-Mustanjid
Dynasty Abbasid
Father Al-Mustazhir
Mother Nasim
Religion Sunni Islam

Al-Muqtafi (1096 – 12 March 1160) (Arabic: المقتفي لأمر الله‎) was the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad from 1136 to 1160, succeeding his nephew ar-Rashid. The continued disunion and contests between Seljuk Turks afforded al-Muqtafi opportunity of not only maintaining his authority in Baghdad, but also extending it throughout Iraq.

Al-Muqtafi was able to defend the capital from various attacks. But he was ill-advised enough to support the rebellion of a son of Seljuk Sultan of Hamadan, who in response marched against Baghdad and forced the caliph to take refuge in the eastern quarter, initiating the Seljuk siege of Baghdad of 1157. Later the caliph was recalled by the sultan who needed him to quell a more serious rising in the East when Malik-Shah III took Hamadan. Al-Muqtafi again received favor by the Seljuks, who betrothed himself to one of his daughters.

During his caliphate, the Crusades were raging and Zengi, the atabeg of Mosul and founder of Zengid dynasty, obtained high distinction as a brave and generous warrior. At one time hard pressed, Zengi made urgent appeal for help to Baghdad. The sultan and the caliph dispatched 20,000 men in response. But in reality neither the Seljuks, nor the caliph, nor their emirs, had any enthusiasm for war against the Crusaders.

Al-Muqtafi is praised by early Muslim historians as virtuous, capable and brave. During his caliphate of twenty-five years, he conducted many minor expeditions against enemies throughout Iraq and Syria.

A charter of protection granted by al-Muqtafi in 1139 to the Nestorian patriarch ʿAbdishoʿ III was published in 1926 by the Assyrian scholar Alphonse Mingana.[1]

See also [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ Mingana, A. (1926). "A Charter of Protection Granted to the Nestorian Church in AD 1138 by Muktafi II, Caliph of Baghdad". Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 10 (1): 126–133. doi:10.7227/BJRL.10.1.6.

References [ edit ]

Cadet branch of the Banu Hashim
Born: 1096  Died: 12 March 1160
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by

Caliph of Islam

Abbasid Caliph

1136 – 12 March 1160

also claimed by Abd al-Mu'min of Almohad in 1147
Succeeded by


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