Syria and Egypt next fell before him; he became master of the holy cities of Islam; and, most important of all, he induced the last Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty formally to surrender the title of caliph (q.v.), as well as its outward emblems, viz.
The dignity with which the Ottoman sultans have thereby become invested lends them that prestige throughout the Mussulman world which is of such importance to the present day, and which has thrown into oblivion the condition that the caliph ought to be an Arab of the tribe of Koreish.
At this period the religion of Mahomet was spreading over the east, and in 637 the caliph Omar marched on Jerusalem, which capitulated after a siege of four months.
Gold coins (dinars) of this caliph are extant on which al Reza's name appears with the title of heir-apparent.
It was under the name of al-mandi that Mokhtar proclaimed `Ali's son Mahommed as the opponent of the caliph Abdalmalik, and, according to Shahrastani, the doctrine of the mandi, the hidden deliverer who is one day to appear and fill the oppressed world with righteousness, first arose in connexion with a belief that this Mahommed had not died but lived concealed at Mount Radwa, near Mecca, guarded by a lion and a panther.
Of the many pretenders to this dignity known in all periods of Moslem history the most famous was the first caliph of the Fatimite dynasty in North Africa, `Obaidallah al-Mandi, who reigned 909-933.
Hadrian's policy in this respect was matched later on by the edict of the caliph Omar (c. 638), who, like his Roman prototype, prevented the Jews from settling in the capital of their ancient country.
Already under Charlemagne this development is noticeable; in his generous treatment of the Jews this Christian emperor stood in marked contrast to his contemporary the caliph Harun al-Rashid, who persecuted Jews and Christians with equal vigour.
Firdousi next repaired to Bagdad, where he made the acquaintance of a merchant, who introduced him to the vizier of the caliph, al-Qadir, by presenting an Arabic poem which the poet had composed in his honour.
The vizier gave Firdousi an apartment near himself, and related to the caliph the manner in which he had been treated at Ghazni.
But Mahmud had by this time heard of his asylum at the court of the caliph, and wrote a letter menacing his liege lord, and demanding the surrender of the poet.
In this connexion Yaqui tells a curious story of the opening of one of the tombs by the caliph, which in spite of fabulous incidents, recalling the legend of Roderic the Goth, shows some traces of local knowledge.
The fanaticism of the caliph Hakim destroyed the church of the Sepulchre and ended the Frankish protectorate (Ioio); and the patronage of the Holy Places, a source of strife between the Greek and the Latin Churches as late as the beginning of the Crimean War, passed to the Byzantine empire in 1021.
Not only was Syria thus weakened by being detached from the body of the Seljukian empire; it was divided by dissensions within, and assailed by the Fatimite caliph of Egypt from without.
A great religious difference divided the Fatimite caliph of Cairo, the head of the Shiite sect, from the Abbasid caliph of Bagdad, who was the head of the Sunnites.
The crusading princes were well enough aware of the gulf which divided the caliph of Cairo from the Sunnite princes of Syria; and they sought by envoys to put themselves into connexion with him, hoping by his aid to gain Jerusalem (which was then ruled for the Turks by Sokman, the son of the amir Ortok).
1 But the caliph preferred to act for 1 Thus already on the First Crusade the path of negotiation is attempted simultaneously with the Holy War.
The Latin power thus established and organized in the East had to face in the north a number of Mahommedan amirs, in the south the caliph of Egypt.
Into the vicissitudes of the fight it is not necessary here to enter; but in the issue Nureddin won, in spite of the support which Manuel gave to Amalric. Nureddin's Kurdish lieutenant, Shirguh, succeeded in establishing in power the vizier whom he favoured, and finally in becoming vizier himself (January 1169); and when he died, his nephew Saladin (Sala-ed-din) succeeded to his position (March 1169), and made himself, on the death of the caliph in 1171, sole ruler in Egypt.
Moawiya, the first Omayyad caliph, chose Damascus for his residence; but in 750 the capital of the empire was removed by the Abbasids to Bagdad.
As the designation of a high official person, as is the case in the title caliph (whence the rendering in the margin of the Revised Version, Great orator "); but the adoption of an Arabic idiom is not probable.
Notwithstanding the losses that the city had sustained, `Amr was able to write to his master, the caliph Omar, that he had taken a city containing "4000 palaces, 4000 baths, 12,000 dealers in fresh oil, 12,000 gardeners, 40,000 Jews who pay tribute, 400 theatres or places of amusement."
`Amr told him that it was not in his power to grant such a request, but promised to write to the caliph for his consent.
About the year 646 `Amr was deprived of his government by the caliph Othman.
He next turned against the Mameluke rulers of Egypt, crushed them, and entering Cairo as conqueror (1517), obtained from the last of the Abbasid caliphs,' Motawakkil, the title of caliph (q.v.) ' After the fall of the caliphs of Bagdad (1258), descendants of the Abbasids took refuge in Cairo and enjoyed a purely titular authority under the protection of the Egyptian rulers.
One day a poet whose name was Thalibi [Footnote: Thal i'bi.] came to the caliph and recited a long poem.
"Which would you rather have" asked the caliph, "three hundred pieces of gold, or three wise sayings from my lips?"
The caliph smiled, and said, "Very well, then, listen to my first wise saying: When your coat is worn out, don't sew on a new patch; it will look ugly."
The caliph smiled again.
"Wait, and I will tell you," said the caliph; and he smiled again.
The caliph laughed outright, and so did every one that heard him.
The caliph, Al Mansur, lived nearly twelve hundred years ago.
One day the caliph, Haroun-al-Raschid, [Footnote: Haroun-al-Raschid (_pro._ ha roon' al rash'id).] made a great feast.
In the midst of the feast the caliph called upon the poet, Abul Atayah, [Footnote: A'bul Ata'yah.] and said, O prince of verse makers, show us thy skill.
The poet rose and began: "Live, O caliph and enjoy thyself in the shelter of thy lofty palace."
"Good! good!" said the caliph, "Go on."
The poet bowed his head and obeyed: "But when the hour of death comes, O my caliph, then alas! thou wilt learn that all thy delights were but a shadow."
The caliph wished you to amuse him with pleasant thoughts, and you have filled his mind with melancholy.
There was a caliph of Persia whose name was Al Mamoun. [Footnote: Al Mam'oun] He had two sons whom he wished to become honest and noble men.
When the caliph heard of this he sent for Al Farra and asked him, "Who is the most honored of men?"
Al Farra bowed low, but said nothing; and the caliph went on.
There was once a caliph of Cordova whose name was Al Mansour.
The caliph was so well pleased with these jewels that he bought them and paid the merchant a large sum of money.
"O Caliph," he said, "here are a few jewels which I had reserved as a present for my wife.
The next morning the caliph called ten of his officers before him.
The caliph at once gave orders for the gardener to be brought before him the next day.
As soon as he entered the hall the caliph went to meet him.
"Well, then," said the caliph, "why did you not return it to us at once?"