Caliph: Muhtadi Billah

Abu Ishaq Muhammed ibn al-Watiq (died 870), better known by his regnal name al-Muhtadi billah (المهتدي بالله‎‎, "Guided by God") was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 869 to 870, during the "Anarchy at Samarra". Al-Muhtadi's mother was Qurb, a Greek slave. After the death of al-Mu'tazz, the Turks chose his cousin, al-Muhtadi as the new Caliph. Al-Muhtadi turned out to be firm and virtuous compared to the last few Caliphs. If he had come earlier, he might have restored life to the Caliphate; however, by now the Turks held more power. Under him, the Court soon saw a transformation. Singing girls and musicians were expelled; justice was done daily in open court; wine and games were prohibited. He set Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, the Umayyad Caliph, as his model and exemplar. His reign, however, lasted less than a year. After some disagreements and conspiracies, he was killed by the Turks in June 870; he was thirty-eight then. The early Arab writers praise his justice and piety; and had he not been killed so soon, he could have been placed among the best of Abbasid Caliphs.

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