The succession to the Caliph Musa al-Hadi (Harun al-Rashid)

R Kimber

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Harun al-Rashid succeeded his elder brother Musa al-Hadi to the caliphate in confused circumstances. It is clear that Musa had not wanted his brother to succeed him, but not whether in his short caliphate Musa had formally replaced Harun as heir apparent with his own young son. The open question is whether Harun succeeded to the caliphate by virtue of being heir apparent, or owing to a military intervention after Musa's sudden death. Al-Tabari clearly manipulates his textual evidence to prove the former case, and is greatly helped by an influential Barmakid tradition making both textual and numismatic evidence that Harun's caliphate was as much the creation of the army as was that of the first Abbasid caliph, Abu'l-Abbas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-448
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American Oriental Society
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


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