On this day, 20 February 1258, Al-Musta’sim, the last Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad was executed after the 10 days of the fall of the Abbasid capital to the Mongols. Along with the caliph, more than 3000 Abbasid officials and notables were also put to death. The majority of Baghdad’s population was erased from existence.
Baghdad fell to the Mongols on February 10, 1258, after a 2-week long siege. Three days later on February 13, the Mongols entered the city, and Baghdad was subject to a week of sack and pillage. After around a week of imprisonment, the Caliph was finally put to death on February 20.
Abbasid rose to the power after overthrowing the Umayyads in 750 CE. Between 750 and 833 (also known as Abbasid Golden Age), the Abbasids raised the prestige and power of the empire, promoting commerce, industry, arts, and science, particularly during the reigns of Caliphs al-Mansur (r. 754 – 775), Harun al-Rashid (r. 786 – 809), and al-Maʾmun (r. 813 – 833).
The city of Baghdad was founded by Caliph al-Mansur in 762 CE and became the capital of the Abbasid dynasty afterwards. Once the centre of the great Islamic civilisation, the city was now burned down and would never recover its former glory.
Read more about the siege of Baghdad here: Siege of Baghdad 1258
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