Al-Amin

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Muhammad ibn Harun al-Amin (787 - 813), Abbasid Caliph. He succeeded his father, Harun al-Rashid in 809 and ruled until he was killed in 813.

Harun al-Rashid had decided the succession to his sons during a pilgrimage to Mecca. Al-Amin, would receive the Caliphate and al-Ma'mun would become governor of Khurasan in eastern Iran. On al-Amin's death, according to Haroun's decision, al-Mamun would become Caliph.

Shortly after Haroun died in 809 and al-Amin was declared caliph, al-Amin announced that his son would inherit rather than al-Ma'mun, provoking the fourth civil war. Enmities amongst the brothers were further inflamed by their different mothers, as well as meddlesome ministers.

Al-Ma'mun, whose mother was Persian, received major support from Iran, and as governor, the military center of Khurasan. Playing himself as a champion of Persian liberties, the Iranian plateau united behind him. His faithful general, Tahir bin Husain (d. 822) led his armies into Iraq.

Al-Amin appealed to his mother, Zubaida, to arbitrate the succession and champion his cause as Aisha had done two centuries before. Zubaida refused to do so, and al-Amin retired in despair to Baghdad. In 813, Tahir took Baghdad, and al-Amin was beheaded.


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