In the corridors of palaces lies the bare facts, where the caliph or the king simplifies with his entourage, his wives, his maidservants and his children lies an important scene from the scenes of decision-making, which is the control of women in the corridors of palaces from behind a curtain, and how we have seen in history countless examples of this fact! Some of them were written down and popular among the people, while others were not.
One of these examples began during the era of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutadid Billah, Ahmed bin Al-Muwaffaq Talha bin Al-Mutawakkil Allah (279-289 AH), and he was one of the caliphs who restored to the Abbasids their prestige and power again after their state entered a phase of weakness and disdain since the death of his grandfather, the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil on God. year 247 AH. Al-Mu’tadid had admired a Turkish slave-girl, and it was said that he was a Greek slave. Or the chiefs – who are the supervisors of the palaces and the conditions of the harem – to interfere in his succession or his management of state affairs.
But he also did not realize that fate has its rule, and that his death in 289 AH and his able son who was still in adolescence, a thirteen-year-old son, would push the state of Bani al-Abbas and their caliphate to another direction in which women control the necks of men, and even in the affairs of the state, large and small, ministers and leaders of the armies. The authors of the Diwans are below that, not only in Iraq and Baghdad, but also at the maximum power and authority that their hands can reach.
She was the heroine of this story, and she worked with all her strength, money, tyranny and influence to protect the authority of her son in every possible way, so she became the Caliph in truth, and the powerful queen in reality, so how did she control riots in the necks of the Abbasid state? And how was she able to protect her son from two real coups that almost killed him and expelled him from the Abbasid throne? And how was her end and the end of her son, the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir in God?
Ministers in the hands of a riot
If the Abbasid caliph had called his maidservant and the mother of his son a riot, her name was changed after her able son Jaafar assumed the caliphate to “The Lady.” The army, the ministry and even the judiciary. The first thing she cared about was that she set up a special bureau for herself, equal in importance to the bureau of the ministry. Its affairs were managed by an versed clerk named Ahmed ibn al-Abbas ibn al-Hassan, running the course of the minister. The other finances are from the lady’s property, so she carries out her orders, and receives the reins of delivering messages between her and the Caliph.
She also played a prominent role in appointing and dismissing ministers with the utmost ease and comfort. In the year following the assumption of al-Muqtadir Billah (specifically in the year 296 AH), a group of administrators, headed by Minister al-Abbas bin al-Hassan, orchestrated a coup plot to appoint a new caliph represented in the person of the Abbasid poet Ibn al-Moataz. And they actually managed to achieve this conspiracy, but for only one day, before the lady agreed with the seasoned administrator Abu Al-Hassan Ali bin Al-Furat and spent the money on the men and leaders who were able to quickly put down this coup attempt, and the arrest of the former minister Al-Abbas bin Al-Hassan, and the appointment of Ibn Al-Furat as the ministry ( He held the position three times at different times, the first of which was (296-299 AH / 908-912 AD) after that failed coup was ended..
However, riots realized the danger of the new vizier Ibn al-Furat, the man who can be described as the leader of the Abbasid bureaucracy at the time, and who is familiar with the corridors of offices and administrations, and who also enjoyed a prominent position among the leaders of the Abbasid army, an influence that could facilitate the success of any other coup against the able Caliph. Then the lady caused a riot against Minister Ibn al-Furat and confiscated his property, isolated him and looted his house under the pretext of the army commanders’ complaint about him, and appointed in his place a man more loyal to her, Muhammad bin Obaid Allah bin Khaqan, who offered her one hundred thousand dinars in exchange for the ministry, and she agreed to that, then Ibn Khaqan was not spared from being isolated and confiscated as well by the Lady Umm al-Khalifa.
And after him, the Abbasid cabinet, Ali bin Issa, was promoted, and he was a polite man, expert in the traditions of the ministry, and he used to send letters to her, and we received one of these messages, which he said in her chest, which indicates the extent of that lady’s stature: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The lady, and perpetuated her honor and support, bestowed His blessings upon her, increased his kindness to her, his beautiful talents, his many bounties, his blissful oaths, and his dental benefits with her, and reached her in our Master, the Commander of the Faithful – may God prolong his life, and perpetuate his honor, empowerment, victory and support – the purpose of her love and best wish. And he reached the days of her happiness with his health, and her joy at seeing him, and he protected her in him and in herself and in the princes, God entrusted them and gave them to them every forbidden and fearful evil, with his kindness and mercy..
Minister Ali bin Issa was one of the most educated and learned of the Abbasid ministers. Despite this, his isolation was a riot from the ministry for a trivial reason, and with the intervention of my female concubines and palace women. In the year 316 AH, the lady sent her Qahramana to the minister Ali bin Issa to agree with him on what he needs in the sanctuary of the house (the palaces of the caliphate) and the entourage on Eid al-Adha of clothes and expenses. An hour.” The Qahramanah, Umm Musa, got angry, and she transmitted the news to the Caliph al-Muqtadir, and his mother was the lady with him..
The power of money and the judiciary
Riot ministers, leaders and clerks were always vulnerable to confiscation of their money and property whenever it changed them, even if it was for easy reasons. For example, the lady seized the money of her clerk Muhammad bin Abdul Hamid after his death because he refused to take over the position of the ministry, and the amount seized was huge, estimated at one hundred thousand dinars, and she also did not hesitate to obtain money through bribery when appointing ministers, as we saw with Ibn Khaqan, and this is why the ministers resorted to it when calamities and disturbances occurred and the need for money increased.
Her political role emerged when she contributed to raising the threat to the capital, Baghdad, during the ministry of Ali bin Issa, when she donated a huge amount of five hundred thousand dinars (120 million dollars by the standards of our time) from her own money, to be spent on soldiers who were facing the danger of the Qarmatians at the time, and it was said that she donated With three million golden dinars ($720 million), it also intervened in solving some financial crises that hit the state’s finances with a large deficit, due to the lack of imports and the large number of expenditures, especially the expenses of the Caliphate House from the courtiers and servants.
She also interfered in the affairs of the judiciary, and the most amazing event was that for the first time in the history of Islam she appointed her female custodian (her maidservant) called “Shaml” to the position of the judiciary of grievances at the head of the witnesses in Baghdad. And the historian “Arib” says about that incident that occurred in the year 306 AH: “In this year, the lady Umm Al-Muqtadir ordered her Qahramana, known as Thamal, to sit in Rusafa (in Baghdad) for grievances, and look into people’s books (complaints) one day every Friday, but he denied it. The people resented that, and their reproaches and reproaches against him abounded, and she sat on the first day, and it was of no use to her, then she sat down on the second day, and she brought the judge Aba al-Hassan, so her matter was improved and he reconciled with her. They pushed him from her sitting and looking at him.”.
The army breaks a riot and her son
Not only did the riots interfere in the affairs of the ministry and the judiciary, but the leaders of the Abbasid army were subject to its influence and domination, and it was the cause of igniting the strife between her able son and the army commander, Mu’nis al-Mudhaffar, and Mu`nis was one of the most loyal people to her, and despite that she tried to get rid of him, but Mu`nis was smart and conscious. With this attempt, and perhaps the motive for the revolution of the soldiers against the caliphate, the historian Abu Al-Fida states that “the soldiers and the commanders denied the mighty man from taking over the affairs of women and servants, and the large amount of money they took.”.
In the last four years of the caliphate of al-Muqtadir by God, the financial situation of the state worsened, and the army revolted due to the lack of expenses and salaries, which prompted the army commander, Mu’nis, to demand the Caliph al-Muqtadir and his mother for the necessary funds to pay to the soldiers and leaders, and then the matter developed into armed rebellion (in the year 321 AH), and here al-Muqtadir entered Afraid of the revolution of Munis and the army against his mother, saying: “You may see what I fell into, and I do not have a dinar or a dirham, and I must have money with me, so help me with what you have.” After that, I had ammo, except what you can see. And I brought him fifty thousand dinars, so al-Muqtadir said: What is the value of these dinars for me? And what place do they stand for me in the greatness of what I receive? Then he said to her: As for me, I am going out (to meet the revolutionaries) how was I and what I could, and perhaps I am killed and I rest, but the matter is who remains after me.”.
The weak Muqtadir was killed by the swords and arrows of the Abbasid army first, and by the miserliness of his mother secondly, that caliph whose mother had controlled riots for a quarter of a century. , where she thwarted his coup against the caliphate four years before that moment, in the year 317 AH.
One of the maidservants says about some scenes of the lady’s torture in those difficult times: “In some of the houses of the caliphate there was a tree, by God, Umm al-Muqtadir was arrested and hung in that particular tree.”. She was beaten on her body, and even forced to dissolve her endowments, and they were finally able to access her treasures and ammunition, and then she passed away after that torture and humiliation in only ten days in the year 321 AH / 933 AH, thus ending another story of women’s control of politics and its affairs throughout our long history.
 The role of slave girls and women in the Caliphate House, p. 117.
 Mustafa Jawad: Ladies of the Abbasid Court, p. 88.
 Al-Sabi: Tuhfat Al-Wazir, p. 308.
 Ibn al-Atheer: The Complete History.
 Miskawayh: The Experiences of Nations 1/17.
 Arab: Link to the history of al-Tabari 11/67.
 Abu al-Feda: The Abbreviation of Akhbar al-Bishr.
 The link to the history of al-Tabari 11/155.