al-Muʿtamid ʿAlā ’llāh
(587 words)

, Abu ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. D̲j̲aʿfar, ʿAbbāsid caliph (256-79/870-92), son of al-Mutawakkil [q.v.] and a slave-girl from Kūfa called Fityān.

He seems to have had no political experience before being chosen as caliph in Rad̲j̲ab 256/June 870 on the death of his nephew al-Muhtadī [q.v.] and he was never able to build up an independent power base. For most of his reign he remained a figurehead in Sāmarrāʾ while effective power was exercised by his brother Abū Aḥmad, who took the quasi-caliphal title of al-Muwaffaḳ [q.v.]. Al-Muʿtamid was able to appoint his own wazīr , ʿUbayd Allāh b. Yaḥyā…

Cite this page
Kennedy, H., “al-Muʿtamid ʿAlā ’llāh”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 12 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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