The states of the disintegrated caliphate - History of the East

3.3. The states of the disintegrated caliphate

Depriving the Caliph of political power led to the situation of polycentricity in the Islamic Middle East. One after another, emirates and sultanates began to emerge on the site of the former unified state, the rulers of which claimed not so much for a comprehensive spiritual power within their country (especially for the sultans who recognized the authority of the Baghdad caliph in the religious sphere) to remain virtually unlimited rulers. But their claims to absolute power were combined with the objective circumstance that newly created emirates and sultanates were often fragile and in many cases random political formations, the rise and fall of which often depended on the abilities and success of one or another courtier, commander, or even ancestor from the lower classes, rabagulyama. The weakness and short duration of the emirates and sultanates, their political instability largely depended on the insufficient legitimacy of power. The caliphate held for centuries, for it had the supreme divine sanction for power. Emirates and the sultanates of the disintegrated caliphate did not have such sanction, with the formal existence of the Baghdad Caliph,. It is not surprising that in the eyes of the masses of subjects, and even of envious courtiers, emirs and sultans were impostors, whose power was held only on strength. At the first opportunity, any of the approximate emir or sultan, gaining some strength, could not resist the temptation to try to implement this force in their own interests. Hence the instability of power.

Political map of the Middle East region in the X-XIII centuries. was not only very variegated, but also varied with kaleidoscopic rapidity. New political formations were replaced by the newly formed ones, and they were increasingly layered with ethnic waves alien to the Near East. However, neither frequent political changes nor the emergence of new ethnic waves changed the essence of those cardinal parameters that characterized the Middle Eastern Islamic structure as a whole. In the sphere of agrarian relations , the absolute dominance of the state with the characteristic for it redistribution of surplus product flocking to the treasury was preserved, even under Islamic rulers. The forms of levying this product were still rent-tax (ushr, kharaj and other types of taxes), labor obligations, duties, the form of redistribution - payment from the treasury or from the treasury of the share of taxes as salaries to officials and soldiers, for the maintenance of rulers and privileged layers of the population from among relatives and close-knit rulers. Conditional ownership of the ikta type was a variation of such a salary and a modification of redistribution. Private landholdings such as mules were few, and with them, too, took the treasury tax. In cities in the sphere of crafts and trade , strict centralized control of power continued to prevail, with absolutely no formal or, more legally, stipulated freedoms or legal guarantees, let alone about privileges and privileges. Self-government in the cities did not go beyond the convenient for the authorities practice of conducting internal affairs within each of the numerous corporations whose heads unquestioningly obeyed the city administration in the person of the governor-hakim, the mayor of Raisa, , the guardian - muhtasib , the chief of the guard or the judge-kadi.

The state of the Bunds, which lost the power of the Caliph, existed for a relatively short time. Already in the 60-ies. X century. Samanidov fled to Afghanistan, where he founded the Sultanate of the Ghaznavids, , whose most prominent ruler, Mahmud Ghaznavi, who ruled in 998-1030, recaptured The Bunds are a significant part of their eastern possessions. Mahmud was a zealous Muslim. In his army, a considerable proportion were warriors-fanatics, fighters for faith ( gases , gazii ), with which he made several successful campaigns to Northern India. The death of Mahmud led to the decline of the Sultanate, and the nomination of the Seljuk Turks played a role here.

In the X century. many of the Turkic tribes who converted to Islam began to play an active political role. Thus, the Turkic dynasty of the Karakhanids in 999 replaced the Samanids in Central Asia, and a small tribe of Oguz Turks (Turkmens) led by the leader of the Seljuk family began to grow rich for account of the subordination of their power to the agricultural population of neighboring territories. In 1035, the Seljuk dynasty forced the descendants of Mahmud Gaznevi to give them part of Khorasan, in 1043 the Seljuk Turks conquered Khorezm. The Ghaznavids soon had to confine themselves to only a small area of ​​Afghanistan and the Punjab, while Oguzes began to spread their influence further, until in 1055 their leader, Togrul-bek , captured Baghdad, forcing the Caliph to give him the title Sultan of the East and the West.

Togrul-Bek's successors continued his successful conquests, uniting the lands of Iran and Iraq under his rule,

Transcaucasia, Syria and Palestine, even part of the Minor Asia conquered from Byzantium. But the internally expanded sultanate was weak, politically weakened. Not having centuries of worked out the administrative and political tradition and not attaching much importance to it, yesterday's nomads highly valued the tribal ties, which resulted in the practice of empowering members of the ruling house with semi-independent vassal possessions that quickly turned into autonomous political entities and new sultanates. In particular, already in the XI century. In the Seljuk State, the Kermansky and Rumsky Sultanates actually emerged, then the Khorassan and the Iraqi appeared. Towards the end of the 12th century. civil strife did its job: the state of the Seljuks finally disintegrated, which played a significant role in strengthening the ruler of Khorezm. At the beginning of the XIII century. the shahs of Khorezm united under their authority a significant part of Central Asia and Iran, Afghanistan and even Azerbaijan, but their political successes were stopped by the Mongol invasion.

In the 20-ies. XIII century. the Mongols defeated the troops of Khorezm and invaded Iran, destroying everything in their path. Encountering resistance, they continued the war for several decades, until in the middle of the 13th century. did not win. On the territory of Iran and the surrounding lands, the Mongolian state Ilkhanov, led by Hulagu, was established. Hulaguides ruled in Iran for about a century (1256-1353), and it was during their reign that the caliphs were forced to leave Baghdad, and the caliphate was virtually abolished. Unlike the Seljuk nomads of yesterday, the Mongols, also nomads, attached a strong bureaucratic administration a serious importance. Ilhan Gazan-khan (1295-1304) officially accepted Islam, made this religion state and conducted a number of important reforms.

The reforms of Gazan Khan contributed to the restoration of the economically destroyed economy of Iran. But the cities of the once rich and prosperous Iran, trampled by Mongolian horses and burned by the Mongols, even after half a century, under Ghazan Khan, could not give much. According to some reports, after the reconstruction of Ghazan Khan, Iran's economy was able to provide an annual income of 21 million dinars, whereas a century earlier this level was about 100 million dinars. And this is in spite of the fact that with the Mongolians the taxes on the population were increased due to the imposition of all the additional poll tax on the merchant

The western part of the former caliphate, where the conquerors-Mongols did not reach, had its own history, political events from the 10th century onwards. few intersect with those of which we have just been talking. In the west at the turn of the VIII-IX centuries. the separation from the caliphate of a number of emirates began, but this natural process there was considerably complicated by religious disputes and disagreements. Of course, something like this was in the east of the caliphate, as mentioned above in connection with the history of the Karmats. One can only add that along with the Carmatians, other sects of Ismaili , in particular Assassins

Suicide warriors from the specially cultivated supporters of this sect (also called , fedayinami) were deliberately oriented to death in the name of faith. Well-trained and supported in their bellicose excitement by considerable shares of hashish (from which the name of the sect is gashasins, fr. Assassins), the fedainas cleverly penetrated both the court of the unwanted emir and the camp of the Crusaders, doing their work there. At the end of the XI century. the center of the sect was the mountain castle Alamut , after which in the mountainous areas adjacent to the castle of Kukhistan, as well as in several other places, the original Ismaili state, independent of the Seljuk sultans and other Iranian rulers, was formed, which was defeated together with the castle only by the Mongols.

For all the political significance of the activities of the Ismailis (Karmatians and Assassins) in the eastern part of the caliphate, in the west, their role, and the role of other sectarians, primarily Shiite, proved to be much more significant. Suffice it to recall that the first of the emirates, separated from the caliphate, not counting Cordoba, was Shiite, i.e. not recognizing for fundamental reasons the sacred holiness and authority of the authority of the Sunnite caliph. The influence of the Shiites in the western part of the caliphate was very large from the very beginning of the Abbasid rule. It can be recalled that this part of the caliphate, the most remote from the capital, was generally inclined to the opposition. It was here, in Cordoba, the last of the Umayyads fled. Here appeared the first semi-independent emirates (the Aglabids in Algeria and Tunis, the Tulunids in Egypt), which, though not yet Shiite, and therefore recognized the spiritual authority of the caliph, became very politically very semi-independent from the caliphate. From the turn of the IX-X centuries. The situation in this regard began to change even more decisively.

All the Shiites believed that only holy imams, leading from the prophet, have the right to rule Muslims. Only these imams, and after the suppression of their direct line, their closest relatives, i.e. again the descendants of Muhammad, albeit on the lateral line, seyids , should be caliphs. Ismaili Imams (the term "imam" is very capacious, it stands for the leaders ahead of him, leaders) throughout the IX century. They carried out very active missionary work, which was most successful among the tribes inhabiting the Maghreb, particularly among the Berbers. At first it was mainly a religious sermon, but at the turn of the 9th-10th centuries. it resulted in an armed uprising. The imam of the Ismailis is a certain Ubaidallah, who declared himself a descendant of Fatima and also the Messiah -Mahdi, led this uprising and proclaimed himself caliph. Thus, the Ismaili Caliphate of the Fatimids , which existed for more than two and a half centuries (909-1171), was replaced by the state of Aglabid.

First he had only part of the Maghreb, Algeria and Tunisia, the Fatimid caliphate soon entered into a fierce struggle with the Abbasids for Egypt and Syria. Egypt since 905, after the fall of the emirate of the Tulunids, again became the possession of the Baghdad caliph. It was the richest province of the Abbasids, the majority of whose population at that time were the Coptic Christians, the descendants of the ancient Egyptians, who paid kharaf Kharaj and Jizia to the treasury. After the formation of the Bund state and the deprivation of the Baghdad caliph of political power, the situation in Egypt was favorable for the Fatimids, who led active religious propaganda in that country and engaged in political intrigues. A number of successful campaigns, culminating in the conquest of Egypt in 969, led to the annexation of this country to the Fatimid state. They moved their capital to Egypt, rebuilding it in the form of a new city Al-Qahira ("victorious city"), i.e. Cairo. Developing their successes, the Fatimids transferred military operations to the north and, in 970, annexed their caliphate and Syria.

The struggle for Syria aggravated the relations of the Fatimid Ismailis with another branch of Shia-Ismailis, Karmatians, some of whom lived in Syria, while the other founded the state in Bahrain. The Carmatians of Bahrain waited for the return to the earth as the Mahdi of the son of Imam Ismail and therefore did not recognize the power of the Fatimids. However, they did not act sharply against the Fatimid caliphs. The Syrian pockets are another matter. Being forced to react to the Fatimid invasion of Syria, they entered into an alliance with the Buids and won Damascus. But in 977 Syrian karmatas were forced to leave Syria, partially moving to Bahrain, and Syria went to the Fatimids, whose prestige in the Arab world as a result rose even higher. Fatimid caliphate at the turn of the X-XI centuries. was, perhaps, the strongest independent Arab-Islamic state entity of his time. Its influence reached Mecca and Medina, rather than in Cairo, they were highly valued.

Like Egypt, Syria was the richest province of the Arab caliphs, and its cities - the ancient centers of international trade and developed crafts. Its population, including the descendants of the Phoenicians, was prosperous enough. As in Egypt, there was a very noticeable stratum of Christians, although Arabic and Arabic-Muslim culture already prevailed. But perhaps the highest value of Syria - at least in the eyes of European Christians - was included in it Palestine with the "God's City" Jerusalem, where the Sepulcher was located.

As you know, this was the reason for the so-called crusades (XI-XIII centuries.), directly related to our topic. The Fatimid caliphate, like many other political entities of the Arab world that arose on the ruins of the Abbasid state, was internally weak primarily because of a lack of a reliable legitimate basis. Already in the middle of the XI century. the descendants of the first caliphs turned out to be a toy in the hands of Guards commanders from among the gulams of Turkic or Sudanese origin, with whom the leaders of the Berber tribes also competed. Under Caliphos Mustancere (1036-1094) this struggle ended with the extermination of some guardsmen, but the gulyamas took the upper hand, that in the 12th century, led to a noticeable weakening of the political power of the Fatimids. The Crusaders took Syria and Palestine from them, and the new Jerusalem King Amalrich visited the walls of Cairo in 1167. In the west, a significant part of the Maghreb was under the rule of the Almoravides, who captured in the second half of the 11th century. not only all the North African Arab possessions, but also partly the lands of Ghana, and then the Moorish Spain, where under the blows of Christians the Cordoba Caliphate fell at that time. In the middle of XII century. to replace the Almoravides in the Maghreb came to power Almohad, which was transferred to the heritage of the Almoravids, including the Muslim territories of Spain.

In 1171 the commander Salah-ad-din (Saladin) committed a coup in Cairo, proclaiming himself a sultan. The authority of the Fatimid caliphs fell, and the sultans of the new dynasty Ayyubid (1171-1250), being Sunnis, recognized the authority of the Baghdad caliph. Having united under their authority also Syria, where in the middle of the XII century. crusaders were forced to return Damascus to Muslims (the emir of Damascus was the Kurdish commander Ayyub, Saladin's father), and having concluded a peace with the annoying assassins who had twice assailed his life, Salah-ad-din sent all his extraordinary energy to fight the Crusaders. In 1187, he occupied Jerusalem and captured almost all the most important strongholds of the Christian army. True, after the third crusade, Richard the Lionheart concluded a profitable peace with Saladin, stipulating the right of Christians to come to Jerusalem for pilgrimage to holy places. But the crusaders could no longer achieve it.

I must say that the appearance of Saladin made an indelible impression on the Crusaders. Being, unlike most of the contemporary eastern rulers, a man not only generous, but also modest, Saladin drew attention to his personality. In the West European tradition, he appears as a noble knight, which was reflected primarily in the writings of minstrels.

After Salah-ad-din's death, his heirs waged an internecine struggle for the Sultanate, whose possession by this time covered not only Egypt and Syria, but also the Hijaz with Mecca and Medina and part of Mesopotamia. The internecine strife reinforced the role of the Mameluke Guards, which the rulers created from the slaves they had bought. It is not surprising that in 1250 the last of the Ayyubids was overthrown by one of the Mamluks, after which Egypt for two and a half centuries was under the rule of the Mamluks rulers who managed not only to retain their power, but also to successfully resist the Mongolian troops. After the abolition of the Baghdad Caliphate under the Khulaguids, one of the close relatives of the latter (the Mongol-killed) caliph arrived in Cairo. The Mamluks sultans recognized and sheltered him, which resulted in the transformation of Cairo into the seat of the caliphs. The descendants of this branch of the rulers of the Abbasid caliphate, not without benefit to the Mamluks, maintained their sacred authority among all Sunni Muslims until the 16th century when the Turkish sultans conquered Egypt as successors to this sacred authority.

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