The Abbasid Dynasty, known to its supporters as the ‘blessed dynasty’, which imposed its authority on the Islamic empire in 132/750, claimed to inaugurate a new era of justice, piety and happiness. The dynasty ruled the Islamic Caliphate from 750 to 1258 AD, making it one of the longest and most influential Islamic dynasties. For most of its early history, it was the largest empire in the world, and this meant that it had contact with distant neighbors such as the Chinese and Indians in the East, and the Byzantines in the West, allowing it to adopt and synthesize ideas from these cultures.
The replacement of the Umayyads by the Abbasids in the leadership of the Islamic community was more than a mere change of …show more content…
Abbasid administration was a development of that of the late Umayyads, and Mansur openly admitted his great debt to the Umayyad Caliph Hisham in the organization of the state. It no longer based on racial administration and exclusiveness.
A new position that of the vizier (wazir) was also established to delegate central authority, he was next to the Caliph. This office was an Abbasid innovation, possibly of Persian origin. Eventually, this meant that many Abbasid caliphs were relegated to a more ceremonial role than under the Umayyads, as the viziers began to exert greater influence, and the role of the old Arab aristocracy was slowly replaced by a Persian bureaucracy. A dictum of the Abbasids said that he who obeys the vazir has obeyed the caliph and he who obeys the caliph has obeyed God!
One of the most important departments of the administration was the Department of Taxation. A significant feature of the Abbasid government was the postal department, of which was called Sahib al-barid. Interestingly enough, one of the functions of the post Office was intelligence service. Perhaps the only difference was that the Abbasid chief of the intelligence used a large number of old women in his service. Other departments of administration were audit, chancery and police. One of the functionaries of the Police Department was the muhtasib, who was in charge of public morals and religious observance.