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Abbasid Caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate, which succeeded the Umayyad Caliphate, marked a significant period in Islamic history. Established in 750 CE, the Abbasids quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of the most influential and powerful dynasties in the Islamic world. Here is an outline of the main timeline of the Abbasid Caliphate:

  1. Establishment and Golden Age (750-945 CE)

    • The Abbasids overthrew the Umayyad Caliphate in 750 CE, moving the capital from Damascus to Baghdad.

    • This era witnessed an unprecedented cultural, scientific, and economic flourishing, known as the Golden Age of Islam.

    • The House of Wisdom in Baghdad became a symbol of this golden age, fostering advancements in various fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, and literature.

    • During this time, the Abbasids facilitated the translation of significant works from Greek, Persian, and Indian scholars, leading to a remarkable exchange of knowledge and ideas.

  2. Decline and Fragmentation (945-1258 CE)

    • The later period of the Abbasid Caliphate saw a decline in centralized power and the emergence of regional dynasties and emirates.

    • Political instability, coupled with external invasions, including those by the Seljuk Turks and Mongols, weakened the Abbasid Empire.

    • By the mid-13th century, the Mongols sacked Baghdad, leading to the end of the Abbasid Caliphate's political authority, although the institution of the caliphate continued to exist in other forms.

The Abbasid Caliphate was renowned for its significant contributions to various fields, showcasing the zenith of Islamic civilization. Notable achievements and inventions during this time included:

  • Advancements in Mathematics: Scholars like Al-Khwarizmi made significant strides in the field of algebra and introduced the numerical system that would later be known as the Arabic numerals.

  • Medicine and Science: Notable physicians like Al-Razi (Rhazes) and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) made groundbreaking contributions to medicine and science, which significantly influenced later European medical practices.

  • Literature and Philosophy: The Abbasid era witnessed the flourishing of Arabic literature and the translation of Greek philosophical works. Philosophers like Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi contributed significantly to the development of Islamic philosophy.

The remarkable achievements of the Abbasid Caliphate were facilitated by the environment of religious tolerance fostered by Islam. Islam, with its emphasis on knowledge, learning, and inquiry, encouraged the translation and preservation of classical works, regardless of their origins. The tolerance promoted by Islamic teachings allowed scholars of various religious and cultural backgrounds to contribute to the intellectual advancements of the time, creating a rich and diverse intellectual landscape that propelled the Abbasid Caliphate to greatness.


Timeline of events

Establishment and Golden Age (750-945 CE)

750 CE

762 CE

762-766 CE

786-809 CE

813-833 CE

Abbasids overthrew the Umayyad Caliphate.

Construction of Baghdad, the new capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, begins.


The establishment of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, a renowned center of learning and translation.

Reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, a period associated with cultural and economic prosperity, known as the "Golden Age" of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Caliph al-Ma'mun's reign witnesses significant advancements in science, philosophy, and mathematics.

Decline and Fragmentation (945-1258 CE)

945 CE

1055 CE

1258 CE

The Buyid Dynasty assumes control over Baghdad, marking the decline of Abbasid political power.

The Seljuk Turks capture Baghdad, leading to the establishment of the Sultanate of Rum.


The Mongol Empire, under Hulagu Khan, sacks Baghdad, leading to the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate's political authority.

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