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Abu Ja'far Ashinas (Arabic أبو جعفر أشناس) was a general of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim.

According to al-Tabari, he was purchased by Abu Ishaq, the future al-Mu'tasim, in Baghdad during the reign of al-Ma'mun, along with Itakh al-Khazari and Wasif.

Al-Tabari mentions that in 819 Abu Ishaq commanded a force sent against some Kharijite rebels. During this campaign, one of the Turkish ghilmān placed himself between a Kharijite lancer and the future caliph, shouting, "Recognize me!" (in Persian "ashinas ma-ra"). To express his appreciation, Abu Ishaq on that same day granted this man the name "Ashinas".[1] Ashinas played a leading role under al-Mu'tasim.

During the Amorium campaign of 838, he led the vanguard of the army, and was one of the chief commanders during the siege of the city.[2][3] In the aftermath of Amorium's fall, he played a major role in the discovery of a conspiracy by the dissatisfied traitional elites against al-Mu'tasim, involving two of his own deputy commanders, Amr al-Farghani and Ahmad ibn al-Khalil ibn Hisham. Growing suspicious of their behaviour, Ashinas had them placed under house arrest. One of Amr's young servants, whom he had warned to stay inside his tent in case of disturbances, then went to the Caliph, and the plot was quickly uncovered. Ashinas took the lead in discovering and arresting the conspirators, along with his fellow Turks, Itakh and Bugha the Elder. This led to a major purge of the Iranian establishment that had served the Abbasids until then, with over 70 commanders being executed.[4][5][6] The Turks in turn profited from the affair, and Ashinas most of all: in 839, his daughter, Utranja, was wed to the son of al-Afshin, and in 840, al-Mu'tasim appointed him as his deputy during his absence from Baghdad, and when he returned, he publicly placed him on a throne and had him crowned. In the same year, Ashinas was appointed to a super-governorate over the provinces of Egypt, Syria, and the Jazira. When Ashinas participated in the ḥajj of 841, he received honours on every stop of the route.[7][8]


  1. ^ Bosworth 1987, pp. 67–68.
  2. ^ Bosworth 1991, pp. 97–117.
  3. ^ Vasiliev 1935, pp. 144–172.
  4. ^ Bosworth 1991, pp. xv, 121–134.
  5. ^ Gordon 2001, pp. 48–49, 76–77.
  6. ^ Kennedy 2006, pp. 224–227.
  7. ^ Gordon 2001, p. 77.
  8. ^ Bosworth 1991, p. 178.