Home Video Lesson Plans Timeline Glossary Resources About
Over 1400 years of Islamic history at your fingertips

560-661   661-750   751-983   984-1289   1290-1918   1914-2005

1530-2006 (Islam in America)
The Abbasids: 751-983

751 Battle of Talas River. Abbasids defeat the Chinese in Central Asia. A decisive battle which placed Muslim influence and civilization over that of the Chinese in the region.

756 Abd al-Rahman I ad-Dakhil defeats the governor of al-Andalus (southern part of Iberian Peninsula). Establishes the Umayyad Dynasty of Spain with Cordoba as its capital. Construction on the Great Mosque of Cordoba begins.

762 The new city of Baghdad is founded as the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate.

775 Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Mahdi becomes Khalifa. His viziers (high-ranking advisors) are of the Barmakid family, which aid in his peaceful and prosperous reign.

c.776 Jabir ibn Haiyan becomes one of the leading scientists in Kufa while practicing medicine and alchemy. He is also known as the "father of chemistry" for his major works on classifying the elements and testing their properties.

778 Spain. Charlemagne leads an unsuccessful campaign against the Muslims.

785 Musa al-Hadi succeeds his father as Khalifa.

786 Harun al-Rashid becomes Khalifa. His reign is at the height of Abbasid rule. Noted as a munificent patron of arts and letters. Hisham I succeeds Abd al-Rahman I as Emir of Cordoba.

788 The first Shi'ite dynasty, the Idrisid Dynasty, is founded by Idris I. He is the first Arab to rule all of Morocco.
801 The death of Rabi'ah al-Adawiyyah, a noted female Sufi teacher and poet.

803 The fall of the Barmakids, viziers and supporters of the Abbasid Caliphate.

805 Harun al-Rashid establishes a public hospital in Baghdad. A pharmacy is contained within the hospital and its patients are divided into wards. Medical schools utilize the hospital for the teaching of their students. Hospitals soon spread throughout the Islamic world.

809 The death of Harun al-Rashid. Al-Amin becomes khalif upon father's death. Al-Mamun challenges his brother Caliphate.

817 The revolt against al-Hakam I in Cordoba. Part of the population migrates to Fez, creating the city's "Anadalusian quarter."

821 The Tahirid emirs, formerly Abbasid governors, are granted rule of Khurasan by Khalifa Al-Mamun.

822 The musician Ziryab arrives in Cordoba and establishes a grand style and refinement of the arts of living and socializing.

827 The Aghlabids defeat the Byzantines at Sicily. Sicily blooms under Islamic rule. New crops are introduced, such as citrus fruits, cotton and date palms, made possible by new irrigation methods brought in by the new rulers. Other industries also grow, namely silk and papermaking which enters Europe through Sicily.

830 The Bayt al-Hikma (House of Wisdom) is established in Baghdad. Scholars from all cultures and religions were recruited and supported at this academy, where learning and research flourished. The transcription of Greek manuscripts of scientific and philosophical works was one of the most important tasks, without which may have been lost to the modern world. Mohammad al-Khawarizmi, mathematician, astronomer, and geographer, completes "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing." Due to his major contributions to Algebra, he is also known as the "father of Algebra."

831 Palermo is conquered.

833 Al-Mutasim becomes Khalifa upon the death of al-Mamun. He creates an army of Turkish slave-soldiers.

846 Al-Wathiq succeeds his father to the Caliphate. The Turkish armies gain power during his reign.

847 Al-Mutawakkil becomes Khalifa.

856 The height of the Aghlabid dynasty.

861 Turkish armies assassinate Khalifa Al-Mutawakkil. Muntasir, supported by the Turks, becomes Khalifa.

862 Musta'in becomes Khalifa. The Turks are in full control of the Caliphate.

866 The Turks select Mu'tazz as the next Khalifa.

869 Al-Muhtadi becomes Khalifa; he is noted as a just and pious ruler during his short reign.

870 Al-Mu'tamid becomes Khalifa upon the assassination of al-Muhtadi by the Turks. Malta is conquered. Arabs introduce irrigation machines to the islands and Maltese language and culture is greatly influenced by Arab rule. The death of Muhammad al-Bukhari; he compiled one of the six canonical collections of hadith (the reported sayings and actions of the Prophet.

871 Ya'qub ibn Layth al-Saffar founds the Saffarid dynasty in Persia.

874 Independent rule of the Samanids in Persia. Native rulers who help renew Persian traditions and language.

c.895 Al-Razi begins to study medicine. He comes to be a renowned physician, mathematician and chemist. He is the first to write an extensive book on medicine, COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON MEDICINE. He discovered sulfuric acid and ethanol and developed its use in medicine. His numerous books greatly influenced European science and medicine.

898 The Zaydi (sect of Shi'ism) State is established in Yemen.

909 The Shi'i Fatimids seize power from the Aghlabids in Tunisia and establish the Fatimid dynasty.

c.920 Mathematician and astronomer al-Battani writes BOOK OF TABLES, a major work on astronomy which includes developments in trigonometry. He is the first to calculate the length of the solar year to the second. His work in astronomy set the foundation for future astronomical observation.

929 The rise of the Hamdanids, they establish independent rule of Syria and Iraq. Great patrons of scholars, poets, philosophers, and historians. Emir of al-Andalus, Abd al-Rahman III, proclaims himself Khalifa, breaking ties with Syrian and Egyptian Caliphates.

935 Muhammad ibn Tugh founds the Ikshid dynasty, which rules over Hijaz (northwestern Saudi Arabia), Egypt and Syria.

936 The palace city of Medinat az-Zahra is founded at Cordoba by Abd al-Rahman III.

969 The Fatimids take Egypt and establish the new city of Cairo.

969- 1027 The height of Cordoba. Unrivalled achievements and significant advances in medicine, surgery, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, language, and translation take place in what is believed to be the largest and most sophisticated cultural city in the world.

983 Al-Azhar University, a center for religious and academic learning, is established in Cairo. It is also known as the oldest university in the world.