The Habbari dynasty ruled the Abbasid province of Greater Sindh from 841 to 1024. The region became semi-independent under the Arab ruler Aziz al-Habbari in 841 CE, though nominally remaining part of the Caliphate. The Habbaris, who were based in the city of Mansura, ruled the regions of Sindh, Makran, Turan, Khuzdar and Multan. The Umayyad Caliph made Aziz governor of Sindh and he was succeeded by his sons Umar al-Habbari I and Abdullah al-Habbari in succession while his grandson Umar al-Habbari II was ruling when the famous Arab historian Al-Masudi visited Sindh. The Habbaris ruled Sindh until 1024 when Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated their last ruler and annexed the region under the Ghaznavid rule independent but loyal to the Abbasids.
The Habbaris have a history which goes back to pre-Islamic times. Initially they played an active role in the politics of Nejd in the Arabian Peninsula. Later they remained prominent during the rule of the Umayyads and the Abbasids in Syria and Iraq. The ancestors of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (not to be confused with the Umayyad Caliph of the same name), the founder of the Habbari emirate, came to Greater Sindh almost five or six generations earlier. The family acquired an agricultural estate in the village of Baniya, which later became an important town. Here the Habbaris engaged themselves in agriculture and in commerce and achieved a prominent status among the Arab settlers. They also established close relations with the Umayyad as well as Abbasid emirs.
Although the Habbaris were settled in Baniya for well over a century and even married locals, like many other Arab settlers in Sindh, they strictly maintained their Arab identity. They continued to follow the customs of traditional Arab tribal society, converse in the Arabic language and lead a life according to the teachings of Islam. The result was that after secession of Greater Sindh from the Caliphate, there was no basic change in the character of the regime and the newly established Habbari state continued to function on the lines set by the Umayyads and the Abbasids. The basic change was in the ruling hierarchy and in the administration of funds derived from the existing system of taxation.
The Habbari Emirate
The state established by the Habbaris came to be known as Mansura. In the period 855 C.E. to 1025 C.E. about ten members of the Habbari family held the offices of emirs in Mansura. The names of three of these rulers, Umar bin Abdul Aziz, his sons Abdur Rahman bin Umar and Abdullah bin Umar, appear in the coins found from the site of Mansura. The name Abul Munzir Umar bin Abdullah, who probably ruled Mansura in the period around 915 C.E., appears in the publication of Masudi. They were nominal vassals of Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids and Ghaznavids successively.
Note: the dates below are only approximate.
- Umar ibn'Abd al-Aziz al'Habbari (855-884)
- Abdullah bin Umar (884-913)
- Umar bin-Abdullah (913-943)
- Muhammad bin Abdullah (943-973)
- Ali bin Umar (973-987)
- Manbi ibn Ali bin Umar (987-1010)
- Khafif (1010-1025)
- P. M. (M.S. Asimov, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich Masson, Ahmad Hasan Dani, Unesco, Clifford Edmund Bosworth), The History of Civilizations of Central Asia, UNESCO, 1999, ISBN 81-208-1595-5, ISBN 978-81-208-1595-7 pg 293-294.
- P. M. ( Nagendra Kumar Singh), Muslim Kingship in India, Anmol Publications, 1999, ISBN 81-261-0436-8, ISBN 978-81-261-0436-9 pg 43-45.
- P. M. ( Derryl N. Maclean), Religion and society in Arab Sindh, Published by Brill, 1989, ISBN 90-04-08551-3, ISBN 978-90-04-08551-0 pg 140-143.