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Dirham of al-Muttaqi.jpg
Silver dirham of al-Muttaqi, including the names of both the Caliph and amir al-umara Bajkam
21st Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad
Reign15 December 940 – 26 August 944
Baghdad, Abbasid Empire now Iraq
DiedJuly 968 (aged 60)
MotherKhalub or Zahrah
ReligionSunni Islam

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn al-Muktafi, better known by his regnal title al-Muttaqi (908 – July 968, Arabic: المتقي‎) was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 940 to 944. His reign marked the start of the 'later Abbasid period' (940-1258). His Predecessor Ar-Radi was the last Caliph of the early Abbasid period.

Of such little importance the Caliphate had become by now that when the previous Caliph ar-Radi died, Bajkam, amir al-umara (Amir of Amirs), contented himself with despatching to Baghdad his secretary, who assembled the chief men to elect a successor. The choice fell on the deceased Caliph's brother al-Muttaqi, who assumed the office after it had been some days vacant; and whose first act was to send a banner and dress of honor to Bajkam, a needless confirmation of his rank.

Bajkam, before returning to Wasit, where he now held his court, went out on a hunting party, and met his death at the hands of a band of marauding Kurds. The Capital again became the scene of renewed anarchy. Muhammad ibn Ra'iq, Caliph's amīr al-umarāʾ, persuaded the Caliph to flee with him to Mosul.

Al-Muttaqi was welcomed there by the Hamdanid dynasty, who organized a campaign to restore him to the capital. But their ends were purely selfish; they assassinated Ibn Ra'iq, and having added his Syrian government to their own, turned their ambition towards Baghdad. The Hamdanid chief, with the title of Nasir al-Dawla, advanced on Baghdad with the Caliph.

But however powerful the Hamdanid chiefs were at home amongst their Arab brethren, and splendid their victories over the Greeks, they found it a different thing to rule at Baghdad, due to foreign mercenaries and the well-organised Turkish forces in the city.

And so in less than a year, the Hamdanid chieftains had to return to Mosul; for a Turkish general called Tuzun, entered Baghdad in triumph, and was saluted as amir al-umara. But fresh proceedings against his enemy obliged Tuzun to quit the capital; and during his absence a conspiracy broke out which placed the Caliph in danger, and obliged him again to appeal to the Hamdanid prince for help. Troops sent in response enabled him to escape; he fled to Mosul and after that to Nusaybin.

Shortly after, peace being restored between Tuzun and the Hamdanid chiefs, al-Muttaqi took up his residence at Raqqa — a fugitive in the city which had so often been the proud court of his illustrious ancestors.

Later, al-Muttaqi threw himself into the hands of Tuzun, who swore with the most sacred oaths that he would render true and faithful service. But he soon after deposed him from the Caliphate, and had his sight destroyed.

The same day, Tuzun installed the blinded Caliph's cousin as his successor, with the title of al-Mustakfi, "For whom the Lord suffices".


Born: 908 Died: July 968
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Caliph of Islam
Abbasid Caliph

15 December 940 – 26 August 944
Succeeded by