Tahirid dynasty

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Tahirid Dynasty
طاهریان

821–873
Provinces governed by the Tahirids.
Capital Merv, later Nishapur
Languages Persian(Informal)[1]
Arabic(Literature/Poetry/Science)[2]
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Emirate
Emir
 -  821 Tahir ibn Husayn
Historical era Medieval
 -  Established 821
 -  Disestablished 873
History of Iran
History of Iran
ANCIENT PERIOD
Proto-Elamite 3200–2700 BCE
Elam 2700–539 BCE
Mannaeans 850–616 BCE
IMPERIAL PERIOD
Median Empire 678–550 BCE
  (Scythian Kingdom 652–625 BCE)
Achaemenid Empire 550–330 BCE
Atropatene 320s BC – 3rd century AD
Seleucid Empire 312–63 BCE
Parthian Empire 247 BCE – 224 CE
Sasanian Empire 224–651
MEDIEVAL (EARLY ISLAMIC) PERIOD
Umayyad Caliphate 661–750
Abbasid Caliphate 750–1258
  Minor dynasties of northern Iran
Dabuyids 642–760 Bavandids 651–1349
Masmughans
of Damavand
651–760
Paduspanids 665–1598
Justanids 791–974
Alids of northern Iran 864–14th century
  Iranian Intermezzo 821–1062
Tahirid dynasty
821–873
Samanid dynasty
819–999
Saffarid dynasty
861–1002
Ziyarid dynasty
930–1090
Sallarid dynasty
919–1062
Sajid dynasty
889/890–929
Buyid dynasty
934–1062
Ilyasids
932–968
Ghaznavid Empire 977–1186
Kakuyids 1008–1141
Ghurid dynasty 1011–1215
Nasrids 1029–1236
Great Seljuq Empire 1037–1194
Khwarazmian Empire 1077–1231
Atabegs of Yazd 1141–1319
Mihrabanids 1236–1537
Kurt dynasty 1244–1396
Ilkhanate Empire 1256–1335
Chobanid dynasty
1335–1357
Muzaffarid dynasty
1335–1393
Jalayirid dynasty
1336–1432
Sarbadars
1337–1376
Injuids 1335–1357
Afrasiyab dynasty 1349–1504
Marashis 1359–1596
Timurid Empire 1370–1405
Qara Qoyunlu
1406–1468
Timurid dynasty
1405–1507
Agh Qoyunlu
1468–1508
Kia'i dynasty 1389–1592
EARLY MODERN PERIOD
Safavid Empire 1501–1736
  (Hotaki dynasty 1722–1729)
Afsharid Empire 1736–1747
Zand dynasty
1750–1794
Afsharid dynasty
1747–1796
Qajar dynasty 1785–1925
MODERN PERIOD
Pahlavi dynasty 1925–1979
Interim Government 1979–1980
Islamic Republic 1980–present
Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran
Until the rise of modern nation-states
Pre-modern

The Tahirid dynasty (Persian: سلسله‏ی طاهریان‎) was a dynasty, of Persian[3] dihqan[4] origin, that governed the Abbasid province of Khorasan from 821 to 873, and the city of Baghdad from 820 until 891. The dynasty was founded by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general in the service of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. Their capital in Khorasan was initially located at Merv, but later moved to Nishapur. The Tahirids enjoyed a high degree of autonomy in their governance of Khorasan, although they remained subject to the Abbasid caliphate and were not independent rulers.[5]

Governors of Khorasan[edit]

Rise[edit]

The founder of the Tahirid dynasty was Tahir ibn Husayn, a general who had played a major role in the civil war between the rival caliphs al-Amin and al-Ma'mun. He and his ancestors had previously been awarded minor governorships in eastern Khorasan for their service to the Abbasids.[6] In 821, Tahir was made governor of Khorasan, but he died soon afterwards. The caliph then appointed Tahir's son, Talha, whose governorship lasted from 822–828.[7] Tahir's other son, Abdullah, was instated as the wali of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, and when Talha died in 828 he was given the governorship of Khorasan. Abdullah is considered one of the greatest of the Tahirid rulers,[8] as his reign witnessed a flourishing of agriculture in his native land of Khorasan, popularity among the populations of the eastern lands of the Abbasid caliphate and extending influence due to his experience with the western parts of the caliphate.[9]

Fall[edit]

Abdullah died in 845 and was succeeded by his son Tahir II. Not much is known of Tahir's rule, but the administrative dependency of Sistan was lost to rebels during his governorship. Tahirid rule began to seriously deteriorate after Tahir's son Muhammad ibn Tahir became governor, due to his carelessness with the affairs of the state and lack of experience with politics. Oppressive policies in Tabaristan, another dependency of Khorasan, resulted in the people of that province revolting and declaring their allegiance to the independent Zaydi ruler Hasan ibn Zayd in 864.[10] In Khorasan itself, Muhammad's rule continued to grow increasingly weak, and in 873 he was finally overthrown by the Saffarid dynasty, who annexed Khorasan to their own empire in eastern Persia.[11]

Governors of Baghdad[edit]

Besides their hold over Khorasan, the Tahirids also served as the military governors (ashab al-shurta) of Baghdad, beginning with Tahir's appointment to that position in 820. After he left for Khorasan, the governorship of Baghdad was given to a member of a collateral branch of the family, Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, who controlled the city for over twenty-five years.[12] During Ishaq's term as governor, he was responsible for implementing the Mihna (inquisition) in Baghdad.[13] His administration also witnessed the departure of the caliphs from Baghdad, as they made the recently constructed city of Samarra their new capital.[14] When Ishaq died in 849 he was succeeded first by two of his sons, and then in 851 by Tahir's grandson Muhammad ibn Abdallah.[15]

Abdallah played a major role in the events of the "Anarchy at Samarra" in the 860s, giving refuge to the caliph al-Musta'in and commanding the defense of Baghdad when it was besieged by the forces of the rival caliph al-Mu'tazz in 865. The following year, he forced al-Musta'in to abdicate and recognized al-Mu'tazz as caliph, and in exchange was allowed to retain his control over Baghdad.[16] Violent riots plagued Baghdad during the last years of Abdallah's life, and conditions in the city remained tumultuous after he died and was succeeded by his brothers, first Ubaydallah and then Sulayman.[17] Eventually order was restored in Baghdad, and the Tahirids continued to serve as governors of the city for another two decades. In 891, however, Badr al-Mu'tadidi was put in charge of the security of Baghdad in place of the Tahirids,[15] and the family soon lost their prominence within the caliphate after that.[18]

Members of the Tahirid dynasty[edit]

Map of Tahirid Khurasan
Governor[15] Term
Governors of Khurasan
Tahir ibn Husayn 821-822
Talha ibn Tahir 822-828
Abdallah ibn Tahir al-Khurasani 828-845
Tahir (II) ibn Abdallah 845-862
Muhammad ibn Tahir (II) 862-873
Governors of Baghdad
Tahir ibn Husayn 820-822
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Mus'abi 822-849
Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim 849-850
Abdallah ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim 850-851
Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tahir 851-867
Ubaydallah ibn Abdallah ibn Tahir 867-869
Sulayman ibn Abdallah ibn Tahir 869-879
Ubaydallah ibn Abdallah (again) 879-884
Muhammad ibn Tahir (II) 884-890
Ubaydallah ibn Abdallah (again) 890-891

Family tree[edit]

Bold denotes a Tahirid that served as governor of Khorasan; italics denotes an individual who served as governor of Baghdad.[19]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mos'eb
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Husayn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tahir I
821–822
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ibrahim
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Talha
822–828
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Abdallah
828–845
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ishaq
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tahir II
845–862
 
Muhammad
 
Ubaydallah
 
Sulayman
 
Muhammad
 
Abdullah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
862–872
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Introduction:the Turko-Persian tradition, Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in Historical Perspective, ed. Robert Leroy Canfield, (Cambridge University Press, 1991), 6.
  2. ^ Language situation and scripts: Arabic, S. Blair, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. IV, ed. C.E. Bosworth and M.S. Asimov, (Motilal Banarsidass, 2003), 340.
  3. ^ The Tahirids and Saffarids, C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, ed. Richard Nelson Frye, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 91.
  4. ^ Sectarian and national movements in Iran, Khurasan and Transoxanial during Umayyad in early Abbasid times, F. Daftary, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. IV, 57.
  5. ^ The Tahirids and Saffarids, C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, p. 90.
  6. ^ The Tahirids and Saffarids, C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, 91.
  7. ^ Tahirids, C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. X, ed. P. J. Bearman, T. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, (Brill, 2000), 104.
  8. ^ Tahirids, C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. X, 104.
  9. ^ Hammuda, Abdul Hamid, H. The History of Independent Islamic States:Tarikh Adduwal Al-Islamiyyah Al-Mustaqillah, al-Dar al-Thaqafiyyah lil-Nashr, Cairo, 2010, p.30-40
  10. ^ Tahirids, C.E.Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. X, 105.
  11. ^ see Hammuda
  12. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996), The New Islamic Dynasties, New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 168-9.
  13. ^ Turner, John P., "Ishaq ibn Ibrahim," in Medieval Islamic Civilization, Volume 1, Ed. Josef W. Meri (Routledge 2006), p. 402.
  14. ^ Gordon, Matthew S. (2001), The Breaking of a Thousand Swords: A History of the Turkish Military of Samarra (A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E.), Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, p. 47 ff.
  15. ^ a b c Bosworth, New Islamic Dynasties, pp. 168-9.
  16. ^ Kennedy, Hugh (2001), The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State, London: Routledge, pp. 135-9.
  17. ^ Yar-Shater, Ehsan (1985-2007), The History of al-Tabari, Vols. 1-40, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, v. XXXV p. 124 ff.; v. XXXVI pp. 3-5, 13 ff.
  18. ^ Tahirids, C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. X, 105.
  19. ^ Kraemer, Joel L (1989), Foreword, in Ehsan Yar-Shater (Ed.), The History of al-Tabari, Volume XXXIV: Incipient Decline, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, p. xxviii.

See also[edit]