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Dirham of al-Muhtadi, AH 255-256.jpg
Dirham of al-Muhtadi, minted in Wasit in 868/9
14th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Reign 9 July 869 — 21 June 870
Predecessor al-Mu'tazz
Successor al-Mu'tamid
Died 21 June 870
Dynasty Abbasid
Father al-Wathiq
Mother Qurb
Religion Islam

Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn al-Wāṯiq (died 21 June 870), better known by his regnal name al-Muhtadī bi-'llāh (Arabic: المهتدي بالله‎‎, "Guided by God") was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 869 to 870, during the "Anarchy at Samarra".

Al-Muhtadi's mother was Qurb, a Greek slave.[1]

After the death of al-Mu'tazz, the Turks chose his cousin, al-Muhtadi as the new Caliph. Al-Muhtadi turned out to be firm and virtuous compared to the last few Caliphs.[citation needed] If he had come earlier, he might have restored life to the Caliphate; however, by now the Turks held more power.

Under him, the Court soon saw a transformation. Singing girls and musicians were expelled; justice was done daily in open court; wine and games were prohibited. He set Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, the Umayyad Caliph, as his model and exemplar.

His reign, however, lasted less than a year. After some disagreements and conspiracies, he was killed by the Turks in 256 AH (June 870); he was thirty-eight then. The early Arab writers praise his justice and piety; and had he not been killed so soon, he could have been placed among the best of Abbasid Caliphs.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Kennedy 2006, p. 173.


Born:  ? Died: 870
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Caliph of Islam
Abbasid Caliph
869 – 870
Succeeded by