: Fall of Baghdad

17-02-2013, 08:08 AM
Hulagu met with his military advisers in one of the most important war councils held in the history of the Tatars, for in it the decision was taken to invade Baghdad, the capital (of the Islamic caliphate). This war council was held in the Persian city of Hamadan, about 450 kilometers north-east of Baghdad, where Hulagu decided to divide his army into three divisions:

The middle part and the main body of the army, under his direct leadership; the left wing of the Tatarian army, under the leadership of Kitbuqa, the best of Hulagu's leaders; and the third division, which was stationed on the borders of Anatolia, presently North of Turkey, under the leadership of the great Tatarian leader, Baiju.
Neither the Caliph nor his leaders took heed of the movements of the Tatarian armies until they were at a distance of 50 kilometers from Baghdad, i.e. after they had marched thousands of kilometers, most of which was inside Islamic territories, without being vulnerable to any attack, irritation or even reconnaissance on the part of the Islamic intelligence, which seemed to have been totally non-existent.
Finally, Baghdad was besieged by the Tatars, and the Caliph was put to confusion; what should he do given that he was not accustomed to such confrontations? The disloyal vizier, Muayyid Ad-Deen, suggested to him to surrender. But at that moment, two of his men stood and proposed Jihaad, and the Caliph agreed accordingly, despite the fact that he had no previous experience in, nor ever thought about, nor even got ready for Jihaad.

Of course, the bitter defeat and almost complete extermination were the lot of this weak force, which Mujaahid Ad-Deen Aybak (the army leader) was able to mobilize. The Caliph, who was not accustomed to Jihaad, nor did he know the concept of honor and dignity, had no way but to give in to those who led him to destruction. Thus, he responded to the treacherous advice of Ibn Al-Alqami that he should go by himself to hold negotiations with Hulagu.
The Caliph came out to meet Hulagu, who put the condition that he should bring with him all the learned scholars, commanders, Imaams, merchants, eminent personalities and the children of the Caliph. When they came, all were taken to be killed, save the Caliph, along with 17 from among the delegate members, including a child belonging to the Caliph, as his other two children were killed before his very own eyes. Al-Mustasim, the Caliph, was then driven in fetters to guide the Tatars to the places of riches, treasures and all precious and valuable things in the palaces. Then, Hulagu commanded that Baghdad should be desecrated for 40 days, during which men were killed, women were captured and raped, infants were murdered, and possessions were robbed. The harvest of such desecration was one million victims.
After that, Hulagu ordered that the Caliph should be killed by being kicked to death, so that his end would be as humiliating as his life.
A group of the wicked among the Tatars went to do a very atrocious crime, i.e. to ruin the great library of Baghdad, the grandest library on the surface of earth at that time. It was the house that contained the juice of Muslim thought throughout more than 600 years. It gathered all branches of science, literature and art.
The Tatars threw the efforts of the previous centuries into the Tigris, to the extent that the water of the river turned black because of the ink of the books, and a Tatarian horseman was able to cross over the huge volumes from one bank to another!
This was not only anti-Muslim, but also an anti- humanistic crime!
All the Tatarian army then left Baghdad in order not to be afflicted with plague, because of the dead bodies that were widespread throughout Baghdad. Real safety was declared publicly in Baghdad: no Muslim should be killed randomly after those forty days. However, this safety was granted by the Tatars to give the opportunity to Muslims to come out of their hiding places and bury their dead. Hulagu commanded that Muayyid Ad-Deen Al-Alqami, the Shiite, be the head of the ruling council of Baghdad appointed by the Tatars, on condition that he should be put under Tatarian guardianship.

Of course, Muayyid Ad-Deen was no more than a puppet, whereas the Tatars were the actual rulers. Moreover, things worsened later, and the new head, Muayyid Ad-Deen Al-Alqami, was directly humiliated by the Tatars, not at the hands of Hulagu, but even at the hands of the low-ranking soldiers in the Tatarian army. The aim was to destroy his spirits and make him inferior to the Tatars.

A Muslim woman saw him riding his mount, with the Tatarian soldiers rebuking him to go faster, and beating his mount with a stick. This was a humiliating condition for the new governor of Baghdad. The intelligent Muslim woman said to him: "Did the Abbasids used to treat you like this?"

It seemed that the words of this prudent Muslim woman had a great impact on Muayyid Ad-Deen Al-Alqami. He went home in a state of anxiety and disgrace, where he remained in seclusion, and was seized by apprehension, distress and discomfort. The treacherous vizier was no longer able to endure the new conditions. A few days after his anxiety and depression, he died at home! He died after a few months, in the same year the Tatars entered Baghdad, i.e. in 656 A.H / 1258 A.D., before he enjoyed any rule or kingship, or any fruit of betrayal; rather, he was a lesson to be learnt for every traitor: {And thus is the Seizure of your Lord when He Seizes the cities while they are committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure is painful and severe.} [Quran 11:102]

The son of Muayyid Ad-Deen Al-Alqami, who inherited betrayal from his father, was appointed by the Tatars as the governor of Baghdad. But, exalted be Allaah! A short time after his appointment, he died, in the same year Baghdad fell, i.e. in 656 A.H. / 1258 A.D.

Hulagu left a Tatarian garrison round Baghdad and soon started to seriously think about the next step. Undoubtedly, the next step after Iraq would be Syria (Shaam). So, he started to study the situation in this region.
Whilst making this study and determining the points of weakness and strength in those Islamic regions, some Muslim emirs began to confirm their allegiance to the Tatars, and official delegates were sent in succession to the Tatarian leader, seeking alliances and treaties with this new friend, the man of war and peace, Hulagu!

Although no long time had passed since the killing of the million Muslims, those Muslim emirs saw no harm to ally themselves to Hulagu, since the gap between them and him was too wide to fill, as they claimed, and it was better, in their view, to gain anything rather than to lose everything, or, at least, to neutralize him and feel safe from his evil.

That is the significance of the Statement of Allaah the Almighty (which means): {And indeed, there is among you he who lingers behind; and if disaster strikes you, he says, "Allaah Has Favored me in that I was not present with them."} [Quran 4:72]
There is no doubt that there were some opportunist scholars, who supported their steps, blessed their movements, and urged their peoples to follow them, and be satisfied with their deeds.
The brave leaders came to renew the treaties with Hulagu, the friend:

To continue................