Core territory administered by the Imamate in Green (c. 1390)
|Languages||Arabic, Persian, Georgian|
|Religion|| Sunni Islam|
|Government||Imamate under the Abbasid dynasty|
|Historical Era||Early Modern|
The Baghdad Imamate (Arabic: إمامة بغداد, Imāmah Baghdad) was a theocracy centered at Baghdad. Established during the collapse the Ilkhanate, the city of Baghdad served as a point of contension in the Ilkhan's western territories, with an unchecked revolt, led by Admiral Andalah Al-Ebrahimi, creating the base government for the territories of Persian Iraq. In 1305, the Baghdad Imamate would be formed, with Andalah Al-Ebrahimi serving as the first and only Imam of Baghdad. It is recorded that, upon the Imam meeting the Abbasid Caliph for the first time in Baghdad, he died due to excitement in 1329. Soon after, the Abbasid dynasty siezed power in Baghdad after migrating from Cairo, reforming the Imamate into a successor state of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Although there is little surviving records on the Baghdad Imamate, it era has been regarded as a period of turmoil, with the onset of the Taymiyyah revolution shortly after the return of the Caliphate in 1332. The Abbasid dynasty would be forced out of Baghdad in the early 15th century, returning to Cairo during the collapse of Timurid Iran.
Collapse of the Ilkhanate
During the early 14th century, the Ilkhanate would face unrelenting civil unrest following it's transition to Christianity, accompanied by their failed crusade against the Mamlukes. In the midst of the revolts across the Ilkhanate, an Imamate would be established in Baghdad, lead by warrior-general Andalah Al-Ebrahimi and the Ummah of Iraq. During it's original conception, the Imamate would be supported by the Abbasid Caliph in Cairo as a puppet for the Mamlukes, likely as an outlet to establish further puppet states across the Middle East.
In 1300, the Abbasid Caliph would call for Jihad against the Ilkhanate, which would be picked up by Ghazan's brother, Öljaitü, who had become enraged by his brother's defeat at the hands of Persian nobility in a power struggle with the Buddhist Ilkhan Baydu. Although Öljaitü had signed a treaty with Baydu in 1295, the military commander would exacerbate the treaty in 1305 with the establishment of the Sultanate of Mosul, which ensured protection for the Imamate of Baghdad and help achieve full independence later that year.
While Öljaitü would continue campaigns in Persia, Andalah Al-Ebrahimi would be appointed as Imam of Baghdad, and become the head of scholarly work in the region. At some point in these early years, Yazd would also fall under the authority of the Imamate.
During the reign of Andalah Al-Ebrahimi and following the end of the Ilkhanate, the Imamate would prosper for decades to come, with the House of Wisdom becoming active once again. Most of the major developments during this time revolved around astronomy.
The Imamate would ally with the Mamlukes during it's initial years, with some scholars even pointing towards it as a puppet government for the Mamlukes in mesopotamia. Regardless of whether the Imam al-Ebrahimi was a puppet or not, the Imamate would expand it's territory greatly in the Middle East. In 1317, the Imamate of Baghdad, backed by the Mamlukes, would declare war on Cicilia, led by General Gawdat Abdul-Hamid Al-Amin. After a brutal campaign that would last nearly six years, Cicilia would fall to the Imamate and the Mamlukes, with the Imamate expanding their territory into Anatolia. They would lose the territory of Cicilia in 1350 after a popular revolt.
In 1329, the Abbasid Caliph, al-Mustakfī I, would visit Baghdad after numerous invitations from Imam al-Ebrahimi. Although sources differ, it had been the goal of Imam al-Ebrahimi since 1305 to re-establish the Abbasid Caliphate to it's former glory. Upon Caliph al-Mustakfī I entering the gates of Baghdad and meeting the Imam, it is there that the Imam collapsed and died due to a heart attack. Within the next year, Caliph al-Mustakfī I would migrate the Abbasid dynasty from Cairo to Baghdad, re-establishing the Abbasid dynasty into power while legitimizing their control over Mesopotamia. By 1330, the Abbasid Caliphate had been reborn.
During the early years the Caliphate, the Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah would grow in prominence across the Levant, expounding his philosophy of complete iconoclasm against veneration of Islamic tombs. This would be known as the Taymiyyah Revolution, classified as a more conservative school of Sunni Islam. The disciples of Taymiyyah would move from the Levant to Cairo following the return of the Abbasids to Baghdad. The spread of Ibn Taymiyyah's ideology would shortly engulf the Middle East within decades, with many of the liberal denominations of Sunni Islam being ostracized from public discussion in Damascus, Medina and Alexandria, while moderate Islamic scholars that support Neoplatonic philosophy would be ridiculed by Taymiyyah's disciples in Egypt.
General Gawdat Abdul-Hamid Al-Amin would be sent to assist the Sultanate of Ifat against the Ethiopia Empire sometime in the late 1320s, but would return in 1330 after suffering major losses and the Ethiopian suzerainty of Ifat.
In 1330, the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustakfī I would declare his support for Taymiyyah Islam, ordering the Holy Guard to "purify Islam of apostates and the impious across the Caliphate", launching jihad against the false believers of the Caliphate. Within the decade following, the disciples of Ibn Taymiyyah would form the Taymiyyah Order, an Islamic military organization centered at Cairo. The Taymiyyah Order would expel many of the Mamluke hierarchy in 1332, forcing the Mamluke Sultan to embrace the school of Taymiyyah while also purging any idolotrous in the nation, destroying some Prophetic shrines and erasing people or animals from certain works of art. After the deposing of the Mamluke Sultan, the Taymiyyah Order would appoint the Sultan's cousin, Nasir Al-Din Muhammad, as the new Mamluke Sultan, as well as the aiding in the Caliphate's jihad against impiety.
Within a few years following Caliph al-Mustakfī I acceptance of the Taymiyyah Order, the trust between the Caliphate and the Order would be called into question by the invasion of Baghdad by the Shah of Iran, who defied the power of the Caliph while also claiming the territory of Tabriz and Iraq.
Under the Timurid Empire
Prior to the ascension of Caliph al-Mustakfī I, the Imamate operated exclusively over the region of Mespotamia, known to have supported a large field army in their conquest of the Levant. The Imam held political power over the territories of the Imamate, operating under an elective monarchy, with members of the Ummah acting as a commitee of devout scholars that held votes for the Imam roughly ninety days after the death of the previous Imam. Although the term "amir" is used as a dynastic term for princes, the Amir of the Imamate was regarded as the head of the Ummah, whom holds temporary power over the Imamate until a successor can be elected and appointed.
In 1329, after the death of Imam al-Ebrahimi, the Ummah appointed the residing Abbasid Caliph, al-Mustakfī I, as the successor to al-Ebrahimi, which resulted in the Abbasid dynasty siezing power in Baghdad. Shortly afterwards, the Ummah was reformed into the Ulema, and the Imamate was rebranded as the return of the Abbasid Caliphate.
|1||Andalah al-Ebrahimi||1305-1329 (24 years)||First and only Imam of Baghdad|
|42||al-Mustakfī I||1329-1340 (11 years)||First Caliph in Baghdad|
Supported the Taymiyyah Order
|43||al-Wāthiq I||1340-1350 (10 years)|
|44||al-Ḥākim II||1350-1352 (2 years)|
|45||al-Muʿtaḍid I||1352 – 1362 (10 years)|
|46||Al-Mutawakkil I||1362-1395 (33 years)||Deposed by Timur|
|47||Al-Wathiq II||1395-1407 (12 years)||Referred to as "The Puppet Caliph"|
Appointed by Timur
|48||Al-Musta'in||1407-1414 (7 years)|
|49||Al-Mu'tadid II||1414-1419 (5 years)||Last Caliph in Baghdad|
Abbasid dynasty relocates to Cairo
|13th century||14th century||15th century||16th century||17th century||18th century||19th century||20th century|