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Al-Qa'im (Arabic: القائم‎; 1001 – 2 April 1075), fully al-Qa'im bi-amri 'llah (القائم بأمر الله, "he who carries out the command of God"), was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 1031 to 1075. He was the son of the previous Caliph al-Qadir.

al-Qa'im bi-amri 'llah
القائم بأمر الله
Amir al-Mu'minin
Dinar minted with Al-Qa'im and Tughril name with the Kalima in Isfahan 448AH/1056/7 AD. (Citing Al-Qa’im as overlord over Seljuk Sultanate)
26th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad
Reign29 November 1031 – 2 April 1075
Died2 April 1075 (aged 73–74)
ConsortKhadija Arslan Khatun
IssueMuhammad Dhakirat
ReligionSunni Islam



During the first half of al-Qa'im's long reign, hardly a day passed in the capital without turmoil. Frequently the city was left without a ruler; the Buwayhid ruler was often forced to flee the capital. While the Seljuk dynasty's influence grew, Chaghri Beg married his daughter, Arslan Khatun Khadija,[1] to Al-Qa'im in 1056.[2]

The Seljuk ruler Toghrül overran Syria and Armenia. He then cast an eye upon Baghdad. It was at a moment when the city was in the last agony of violence and fanaticism. Toghrül, under cover of intended pilgrimage to Mecca, entered Iraq with a heavy force, and assuring the Caliph of pacific views and subservience to his authority, begged permission to visit the capital. The Turks and Buwayhids were unfavorable, but Toghrül was acknowledged as Sultan by the Caliph in the public prayers. A few days after, Toghrül himself — having sworn to be true not only to the Caliph, but also to the Buwayhid amir, al-Malik al-Rahim, made his entry into the capital, where he was well received both by chiefs and people.

Kakwayhids Gold Coin minted with Al-Qa'im's name in Isfahan. (Citing
Al-Qa’im as overlord over Kakwayhids)

During this and the previous caliphs' period, literature, especially Persian literature, flourished under the patronage of the Buwayhids. The famous philosopher al-Farabi died in 950; al-Mutanabbi, acknowledged in the East as the greatest of Arabic poets, and himself an Arab, in 965; and the greatest of all, the Iranian Abu Ali Husayn ibn Abdallah ibn Sina (Avicenna) in 1037.

In 1058 in Bahrain, a dispute over the reading of the khutba in Al-Qa'im's name between members of the Abd al-Qays tribe and the millenarian Ismaili Qarmatian state prompted a revolt led by Abu al-Bahlul al-Awwam that threw off Qarmatian rule and led to the unravelling of the Qarmatian state which finally collapsed in al-Hasa in 1067.[3]


Al-Qa'im died in 1075 at the age of 73–74. He was succeeded by his grandson Al-Muqtadi as the twenty-seventh Abbasid Caliph.


  1. ^ The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World, C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5, ed. J. A. Boyle, (Cambridge University Press, 1968), 48.
  2. ^ Dailamīs in Central Iran: The Kākūyids of Jibāl and Yazd, C. E. Bosworth, Iran, Vol. 8, (1970), 86.
  3. ^ Curtis E. Larsen. Life and Land Use on the Bahrain Islands: The Geoarchaeology of an Ancient Society University Of Chicago Press, 1984 p65


  • Bosworth, C. E. (1968). "The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World (A.D. 1000–1217)". In Frye, R. N. (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Saljuq and Mongol periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–202. ISBN 0-521-06936-X.
  • This text is adapted from William Muir's public domain, The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall.
Al-Qa'im (caliph)
Born: 1001 Died: 2 April 1075
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Caliph of Islam
Abbasid Caliph

29 November 1031 – 2 April 1075
Succeeded by