|21st Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate|
Abbasid caliph in Baghdad
|Reign||15 December 940 – 26 August 944|
|Died||July 968 (aged 60)|
|Mother||Khalub or Zahrah|
Of such little importance the Caliphate had become by now that when the previous Caliph ar-Radi died, Bajkam, amir al-umara (Amir of Amirs), contented himself with despatching to Baghdad his secretary, who assembled the chief men to elect a successor. The choice fell on the deceased Caliph's brother al-Muttaqi, who assumed the office after it had been some days vacant; and whose first act was to send a banner and dress of honor to Bajkam, a needless confirmation of his rank.
Bajkam, before returning to Wasit, where he now held his court, went out on a hunting party, and met his death at the hands of a band of marauding Kurds. The Capital again became the scene of renewed anarchy. Muhammad ibn Ra'iq, Caliph's amīr al-umarāʾ, persuaded the Caliph to flee with him to Mosul.
Al-Muttaqi was welcomed there by the Hamdanid dynasty, who organized a campaign to restore him to the capital. But their ends were purely selfish; they assassinated Ibn Ra'iq, and having added his Syrian government to their own, turned their ambition towards Baghdad. The Hamdanid chief, with the title of Nasir al-Dawla, advanced on Baghdad with the Caliph.
But however powerful the Hamdanid chiefs were at home amongst their Arab brethren, and splendid their victories over the Greeks, they found it a different thing to rule at Baghdad, due to foreign mercenaries and the well-organised Turkish forces in the city.
And so in less than a year, the Hamdanid chieftains had to return to Mosul; for a Turkish general called Tuzun, entered Baghdad in triumph, and was saluted as amir al-umara. But fresh proceedings against his enemy obliged Tuzun to quit the capital; and during his absence a conspiracy broke out which placed the Caliph in danger, and obliged him again to appeal to the Hamdanid prince for help. Troops sent in response enabled him to escape; he fled to Mosul and after that to Nusaybin.
Shortly after, peace being restored between Tuzun and the Hamdanid chiefs, al-Muttaqi took up his residence at Raqqa — a fugitive in the city which had so often been the proud court of his illustrious ancestors.
Later, al-Muttaqi threw himself into the hands of Tuzun, who swore with the most sacred oaths that he would render true and faithful service. But he soon after deposed him from the Caliphate, and had his sight destroyed.
The same day, Tuzun installed the blinded Caliph's cousin as his successor, with the title of al-Mustakfi, "For whom the Lord suffices".