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For the 12th-century caliph, see Al-Muqtafi. For the Palestinian legal database, see Al-Muqtafi (legal and judicial).
Abû Ahmad “al-Muktafî bi-lah” ʿAlî ibn Ahmad al-Muʿtamid
أبو أحمد "المكتفي بالله" علي بن أحمد المعتمد
Dinar of al-Muktafi, AH 292.jpg
Gold dinar of al-Muktafî
17th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Reign 5 April 902 – 13 August 908
Predecessor Al-Mu'tadid
Successor Al-Muqtadir
Born 24 December 877
Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate, now Iraq
Died 13 August 908 (aged 31)
Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate, now Iraq
Issue Al-Mustakfi
Dynasty Abbasid
Father al-Mu'tadid
Religion Sunni Islam

Abû Ahmad ʿAlî ibn Ahmad al-Muʿtamid (Arabic: أبو أحمد علي بن أحمد المعتمد‎‎) (877/878 – 13 August 908), better known by his regnal name al-Muktafi bi-Allah (Arabic: المكتفي بالله‎‎, "Content with God Alone"[1]), was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 902 to 908. He was the son of the previous Caliph, al-Mu'tadid, by a Turkish slave-girl. In command of ar-Raqqah at the time of his father's death, he at once returned to the Capital, where he became a favorite of the people for his generosity, and for abolishing his father's secret prisons, the terror of Baghdad. During his reign of nearly seven years, the Empire was threatened by various dangers which he bravely met and overcame. Chief was that from the Carmathians, a race of fanatics which had sprung up during the late reign.

Hostilities prevailed more or less with the Byzantine Greeks, who were not slow to take advantage of the difficulties of the Caliphate. In 285 AH (898 AD) a Byzantine fleet was set on fire, and 3000 sailors decapitated. But there were reverses also. Tarsus was closely besieged by the Greeks, and the governor taken prisoner. Still worse, Egyptian rebels, to spite the Caliph, induced the Tulunid governor of Tarsus to burn the Muslim fleet of fifty vessels at anchor in their port. In consequence the Greeks were able to ravage the coasts at pleasure, both by land and sea, carrying vast numbers away captive. War was kept up with various fortune.

Ten golden crosses, each followed by 10,000 men, swept devastation and captivity along the Muslim shores; while, on the other hand, a Muslim fleet under a renegade Greek, and manned by Africans, ravaged the coast opposite Byzantium.

In 903, his forces under the command of Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Katib scored a crushing victory over the Carmathians of the Syrian desert. In 904, taking advantage of the feebleness of the Tulunids in Egypt, Muhammad ibn Sulayman invaded Syria and Egypt and ended the Tulunid regime, fully reincorporating these territories into the Caliphate.

Thus, after a stormy reign of between six and seven years, al-Muktafi could look around and find the Caliphate more secure than it had been since the days of al-Mu'tasim. One of his last acts was, on the death of the Samanid prince, to recognise the succession of his son in Khurasan, and forward to him a banner mounted by his own hand. In 295 AH (908 AD), he died at the early age of thirty-three, and left the throne to a minor brother, Abdallah ibn al-Mu'tazz.


  1. ^ Bowen, Harold (1928). The Life and Times of ʿAlí Ibn ʿÍsà: The Good Vizier. Cambridge University Press. p. 59. 


Born:  ? Died: 13 August 908
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Caliph of Islam
Abbasid Caliph
5 April 902 – 13 August 908
Succeeded by