What was the reasons for the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate?

1 Answer
Mar 26, 2016

The Abbasid Empire started magnificent, and fell destitute.


In the 9th century, when Harun al-Rashid was the caliph, the Abbasid Empire was at the pinnacle of its beauty and wealth. Al-Rashid lived an extravagant life, filled with riches, pleasures, and deceitful acts.

When al-Rashid died, a power struggle came forth: who would be the next caliph? Sons of the deceased caliph fought over the throne, until an al-Mamum came into power. After he died, his sons fought over the throne in another round of civil wars; the winner of this second round would form a bodyguard force to keep him safe from his other sons.

Turns out this bodyguard force goes from 4000 slave soldiers, to become a mercenary force of 70,000 warriors. These warriors would soon become the center of power in the Abbasid empire, and would oust the power of the caliphs.

This is when the Abbasid Empire starts to fall apart; heavy taxation, agrarian disorder, societal mishap, and revolts all play the Abbasid Empire into the hands of the Buyids, a Persian group that captures Baghdad, the capital, and controls the Abbasid for a few years. The event that really destroys the Abbasid Empire? The invasion of the Mongols, who sack Baghdad.

So to sum it up, the Abbasid Empire fell down due to these reasons:

  • Power struggles, and an unorganized method for succession
  • Invasions (alot of them)
  • Interior struggles with farmers and military
  • Incompetent leaders controlled by other forces