Presence of the Abbasids and Rescaling
Abbasid rule had a great role in the prosperity of Mesopotamia. On the political side, Baghdad became a city of great importance, to which all state institutions moved and it was visited by scholars, geniuses, intellectuals and poets, thus flourishing culture and all aspects of life. Persians achieved several gains for contributing to the fall of the Umayyad rule. When the Abbasid state arose, it adopted and arabized the Persian’s system of governance. The first minister of the Abbasids was the Persian Abū Salama al-Ḵh̲allāl. Rule became similar to what it was during the era of the Sasanian dynasty. The caliphs assigned guards from the Khorasani loyalists based on their high confidence in their loyalty to the Abbasids, in addition to the emergence of Persian fashion in the Abbasid court. This is an important observation regarding Diwan al-Tiraz and the extent of the impact thereon. Cross-fertilization of civilizations is not surprising as the beliefs and legislation approved by the true religion are not affected.
The most famous ministers of the first Abbasid era were from the Persian families, such as the Barmaki family, which became very famous so that its men were very influential and began to overwhelm the caliph’s prestige, along with Banu Suhail family.
However, to what extent did most of them achieve that confidence and status? History attributes that to the Persian discontent with the Umayyads, as mentioned by some sources, though this matter requires a pause to remove impurities that covered many facts, the essence of which is that the Umayyad state’s policy, which deprived the Persian loyalists of all their material privileges, caused unrest that led to the demise of their state. Economic discontent of the loyalists continued everywhere, where Khorasan loyalists were the most complaining.
The spread of Shu’ubiyya, which is a fanatical movement that favors the non-Arabs over the Arabs, emerged and the Persian affiliation became at the forefront of the political scene. That phenomenon later became one of the reasons for the fall of the Abbasid state entity, in addition to the emergence of the atheist Qarmatian sect that wreaked havoc and went too far, aided by the Persian element, until they battled the Arabs and the Turks over leadership positions. They reached a point where they issued orders of succession and dismissal. Political events overlapped, covered with sectarian and ethnic matters, which sparked chaos throughout the state, exploiting its resources and exhausting it economically.
Dispute between the Arab, Persian and Turkish race was a prominent feature in the Abbasid state, even in the Abbasid house itself. As for revolutions, they were largely religious, consumed the power of the Abbasid armies, where most of which were from Persia; such as the Sinbad revolution, Isaac Turk, Al-Muqanna, the Rwandans and Al-Zanadiqa. They rested on new religions and beliefs that were not known to Islamic world. Those who originated them wanted them to be mostly religions that combine Islam with the ancient religions of Persia, such as Zoroastrianism, Khurramism, and Mazdakism. This is in addition to racist wars that increased and spread among the Arab tribes, with intrigues and conspiracies that exhausted all parties despite the continuation of the conquests that targeted spreading the Islamic religion, as well as the exploitation of those conditions to establish small states within the Abbasid state. Such small states spread in the second era throughout the East and the West, with the spread of the Shiite sect in wearied groups, sects and creeds.
Among the mistakes committed by the Persians and their domination was the revival of the ancient heritage of Khorasan; that dream that restored the Sasanian presence with a veil of disguise to undermine Islam and Muslims.
Except for those pardoned by Allah Almighty…
They took advantage of the status of the Prophet’s family and their presence in the Abbasid revolution, without having any relationship therewith, which is confirmed by the fact that Jaafar bin Muhammad (al-Sadiq), the major figure of Prophet’s family at the time, as said, refused to participate in any political matter related to that revolution, especially when he learned that the entire matter is from Khorasan, assuming the approach of his father and grandfather in staying away and caring for knowledge and science.
Hence, he refused to interfere and pointed out that being from Khorasan is reason enough for them to stay at distance, keeping the Prophet’s family away from delving into these suspicions.