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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection : Marble inscribed funerary tombstone
Marble inscribed funerary tombstone - MS.270
Circa: 11 th Century AD

Style: Abbasid Period

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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The Abbasid Dynasty was second of the two great dynasties of the Muslim Empire of the Caliphate. It overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in 750 AD and reigned as the ?Abbasid caliphate until destroyed by the Mongol invasion in 1258. The name derived from the uncle of the Prophet Mu?ammad, al-?Abbas (died c. 653). Under the ?Abbasids the caliphate entered a new phase. Instead of focussing, as the Umayyads had done, on the West—on North Africa, the Mediterranean, and southern Europe—the caliphate now turned eastward. The capital was moved to the new city of Baghdad, and events in Persia and Transoxania were closely watched. For the first time the caliphate was not coterminous with Islam; in Egypt, North Africa, Spain, and elsewhere, local dynasties claimed caliphal status. With the rise of the ?Abbasids the base for influence in the empire became international, emphasizing membership in the community of believers rather than Arab nationality. Since much support for the ?Abbasids came from Persian converts, it was natural for the ?Abbasids to take over much of the Persian (Sasanian) tradition of government. Between 750 and 833 the ?Abbasids raised the prestige and power of the empire, promoting commerce, industry, arts, and science, in particular. The present slab has been decorated by an Islamic inscription on which appears in repetition a reference to the Angel Maalik together with the name of the God. Maalik is defined in the Qu'ran as being the warden of Hell. - (MS.270)


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