Introduction

Shia and the Fall of Baghdad
August 16, 2022
Chapter One – The catastrophe of Baghdad and the collapse of the caliphate
August 19, 2022

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Introduction

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

All praises are due to Allah, the Alternator of the night and day, the One who alternates the times, and the One who crushes empires. May salutations and peace be on His choicest, selected, and chosen creation, upon his family and Companions, and upon all those who are on his path till the Day of Judgment.

After praise and salutations:

Certainly, scholars, thinkers, and leaders have devoted themselves circumstantially to the study of history and its incidents, and their devotion was not a mere pastime which yielded no benefit but rather became a means of realising the importance of history.

It is said:

Study history as there are lessons in it.

Many a nation went astray due to not having knowledge.

 

So, as it appears, history is definitely a study everyone can benefit from but more importantly, it sheds light on the current situation and provides a significant idea of what may occur in the future.

Therefore, from this point, with the permission of Allah, we will begin to study an important incident from the incidents of Islamic history: the fall of Baghdad at the hands of the Mongols.

Certainly, the reasons of this dreadful collapse are diverse and many of which require an intensive study to gain historical benefit. In this discussion, however, I would like to present one reason from the many reasons and it is:

Two individuals played an undeniable role in this catastrophe and they were Nasir al Din al Tusi—the minister of Halaku (ruler of Baghdad)—and Muhammad ibn al ‘Alqami—the minister of the Khalifah. Not to mention the influence of their creed, the Ithna ‘Ashari Shia creed, and its role in this catastrophe. The astonishing thing was that the ministers of the two fighting countries were of a single religion even though the religions of both the countries differed from that of the ministers. The Mongols were idolaters whereas the ruler of the Islamic empire was a Sunni Muslim.

As for the reason prompting me to write this treatise, the Shia government has adopted a new methodology in Iran after the Khomeini Revolution, giving rise to great hostility towards the Ahlus Sunnah. This led to what was termed as “exporting of the revolution.” However, after it failed in changing the demographics in the Arab world, in particular the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, they changed their policies, consciously working for political change, their “Secret Plan” as they call it. They are well aware that this plan will never become apparent in an official capacity, but the political landscape today attests to this change. We find the Shia opposition in the Gulf states—for example—making deals with those very countries they were opposed to, attending their meetings and appearing alongside each other in the papers, demonstrating eagerness for patriotic unity, freedom, etc. We are more eager than them for unity and hope they are truthful; however, lessons from our history and the fundamentals tenets of the Shia creed force us and our leaders to remain apprehensive.

It is for these reasons that I felt it necessary to elaborate on this incident and the role of these two individuals in it, and their link to the fundamental tenets of the Shia, hoping it be a means of guidance for the general masses and those in authority.

I begin, seeking help from Allah.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter One – The catastrophe of Baghdad and the collapse of the caliphate

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

Introduction

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

All praises are due to Allah, the Alternator of the night and day, the One who alternates the times, and the One who crushes empires. May salutations and peace be on His choicest, selected, and chosen creation, upon his family and Companions, and upon all those who are on his path till the Day of Judgment.

After praise and salutations:

Certainly, scholars, thinkers, and leaders have devoted themselves circumstantially to the study of history and its incidents, and their devotion was not a mere pastime which yielded no benefit but rather became a means of realising the importance of history.

It is said:

Study history as there are lessons in it.

Many a nation went astray due to not having knowledge.

 

So, as it appears, history is definitely a study everyone can benefit from but more importantly, it sheds light on the current situation and provides a significant idea of what may occur in the future.

Therefore, from this point, with the permission of Allah, we will begin to study an important incident from the incidents of Islamic history: the fall of Baghdad at the hands of the Mongols.

Certainly, the reasons of this dreadful collapse are diverse and many of which require an intensive study to gain historical benefit. In this discussion, however, I would like to present one reason from the many reasons and it is:

Two individuals played an undeniable role in this catastrophe and they were Nasir al Din al Tusi—the minister of Halaku (ruler of Baghdad)—and Muhammad ibn al ‘Alqami—the minister of the Khalifah. Not to mention the influence of their creed, the Ithna ‘Ashari Shia creed, and its role in this catastrophe. The astonishing thing was that the ministers of the two fighting countries were of a single religion even though the religions of both the countries differed from that of the ministers. The Mongols were idolaters whereas the ruler of the Islamic empire was a Sunni Muslim.

As for the reason prompting me to write this treatise, the Shia government has adopted a new methodology in Iran after the Khomeini Revolution, giving rise to great hostility towards the Ahlus Sunnah. This led to what was termed as “exporting of the revolution.” However, after it failed in changing the demographics in the Arab world, in particular the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, they changed their policies, consciously working for political change, their “Secret Plan” as they call it. They are well aware that this plan will never become apparent in an official capacity, but the political landscape today attests to this change. We find the Shia opposition in the Gulf states—for example—making deals with those very countries they were opposed to, attending their meetings and appearing alongside each other in the papers, demonstrating eagerness for patriotic unity, freedom, etc. We are more eager than them for unity and hope they are truthful; however, lessons from our history and the fundamentals tenets of the Shia creed force us and our leaders to remain apprehensive.

It is for these reasons that I felt it necessary to elaborate on this incident and the role of these two individuals in it, and their link to the fundamental tenets of the Shia, hoping it be a means of guidance for the general masses and those in authority.

I begin, seeking help from Allah.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter One – The catastrophe of Baghdad and the collapse of the caliphate