Mu'nis al-Khadim

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Abu'l-Hasan Mu'nis (845/846–933/934), also commonly known as al-Muzaffar ("the Victorious"), was the commander-in-chief of the Abbasid army from 908 to his death in 933 CE, and virtual dictator and king-maker of the Caliphate during his latter years. He is called al-Khadim ("the Eunuch") in the sources to distinguish him from his contemporary colleague Mu'nis al-Fahl ("the Stallion").

Mu'nis was a eunuch slave, possibly of Greek origin. According to the account of al-Dhahabi, he was 90 years old at his death, indicating a birth ca. 845/846. He first appears during the suppression of the Zanj Rebellion in 880/881, and had risen to the position of chief of police (sahib al-shurta) in Caliph al-Mu'tadid's camp by 900. During the reign of al-Muqtadir he stopped a coup in 909. He led an army into Fars in 910, which resulted in the capture of the Saffarid amir Laith and ultimately the reincorporation of Fars into the caliphate. He saved Egypt from a Fatimid invasion in 915, for which he earned the laqab of al-Muzaffar. In 918 and 919 Mu'nis was in Azerbaijan. He eventually defeated and imprisoned its rebellious amir, the Sajid Yusuf Ibn Abi'l-Saj, although Azerbaijan was not restored to direct caliphal rule. In 920 he defeated a second Fatimid army sent to take Egypt.

Relations between Mu'nis and al-Muqtadir were not always friendly; at one point al-Muqtadir even plotted to assassinate his general. In 932 Mu'nis, fed up with the mismanagement of al-Muqtadir, marched on Baghdad. Al-Muqtadir met his forces but was defeated and killed. His replacement, al-Qahir, unfortunately proved to be just as bad as his predecessor. He imprisoned Mu'nis and ultimately had him killed.


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