What Events Led to the Fall of the Abbasid Empire?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the various events that led to the fall of the Abbasid Empire. We’ll examine the political, economic, and military factors that contributed to the Empire’s decline, and we’ll see how these events ultimately led to its fall in 1258.

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The Abbasid Caliphate was the third Islamic caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Abbasid caliphate was founded by descendants of Muhammad’s uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, from whom the dynasty takes its name. It lasted for over five centuries, from 750 CE to 1258 CE, making it one of the longest-lasting empires in history. In that time, many changes took place within the empire which contributed to its eventual demise. These include: economic instability, religious and political conflict, invasions from outside forces, and rebellion from within.

Reasons for the Abbasid Empire’s Decline

In 750 CE, the Abbasid Caliphate was established as the second Islamic Caliphate. The Abbasid Caliphate reached its peak in the 9th and 10th centuries. However, by the 13th century, the Abbasid Caliphate was in decline. There are several reasons for the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate. In this article, we will explore some of the main reasons for the Abbasid Empire’s decline.

The Mongol Invasion

In 1258, the Mongols captured Baghdad, and the Abbasid Caliphate was dealt a crippling blow. The Mongols were not content with simply conquered territories—they wanted to annihilate the Abbasids and destroy their empire completely. The Mongol leader Hulagu Khan laid siege to Baghdad for 45 days, and when the city finally fell, he ordered that every person in it be killed. The Grand Library of Baghdad, which contained countless priceless works of literature and knowledge, was destroyed. The Mongols killed so many people in Baghdad that the Tigris River ran red with blood, according to some reports. This was one of the single most devastating blows in Abbasid history, and it effectively ended their reign as a powerful empire.

The Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term “Crusades” is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons, such as the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At other times, Crusaders enlisted to fight in wars that had nothing to do with religion, such as those against the Finns or Lithuanians. One notable Christian group that did not fight under papal authority was the Knight templar.

The Abbasid Empire, like all Muslim dynasties, faced internal religious strife from its inception. The Umayyad Dynasty that preceded the Abbasids was largely responsible for Black people being brought into Muslim territories as slaves. As these slaves were converted to Islam, they quickly assimilated into society and began competing with Arab Muslims for jobs and status. This led to feelings of resentment among Arab Muslims towards Black Muslims, which persisted even after the Abbasid Dynasty came into power.

During the 11th century, there was an increase in contacts and tensions between Christians in Europe and Muslims in the Mediterranean world. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a Crusade to liberate Jerusalem from Islamic rule. The stated goal of this Crusade was to protect Christian pilgrims going to Jerusalem and other holy sites in the Levant (modern day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan). However, many historians believe that other factors played a role in motivating Europeans to embark on this quest, such as economic opportunities and a desire for glory and adventure.

The First Crusade was successful in capturing Jerusalem from Islamic rule in 1099; however, subsequent Crusader attempts to expand their territory or hold onto what they had conquered were unsuccessful. By 1200 CE most of Crusader territory had been retaken by Muslim armies. Muslims also began launching their own counterattacks against Crusader strongholds in Europe (such as Spain), which eventually led to Christian reconquest of those areas as well.

While Muslim defeat of Christian armies in battle was one contributing factor to the decline of Crusader states in the Levant , it is important to note that there were many other factors involved as well. For instance, after centuries of warfare much of the once-fertile land inOutremer had been reduced topractically uninhabitable wasteland; thus making it difficult for European settlers to sustain themselves economically . In addition , power struggles within European monarchies ledto additional divisions among Christiansand sapped resources away fromthe crusading effort . Ultimately ,the lossof interest amongst Europeansin pursuingthe Crusadesledto crusaderstatesbecomingincreasinglyisolated . This made themmorevulnerableto attack from Muslim forcesas wellas from indigenouspeoples who had never Accepted them as legitimate rulers .

The Rise of Regional Dynasties

In the 9th and 10th centuries, a number of Muslim states emerged in the western, eastern, and southern peripheries of the Abbasid Caliphate. In the west, the Aghlabids established their rule in Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia) in 800. The Tulunids controlled Egypt from 868 to905, while the Ikhshidids ruled from Cairo from 935 to969. In lower Mesopotamia, the Saffarids (861–1003) and later the Hamdanids (911–1004) were independent of Abbasid authority. Meanwhile, in Iran and Central Asia, a series of native Muslim dynasties such as the Samanids (875–999), Tahirids (821–873), Saffarids (861–1003), Ghaznavids (962-1187), Seljuks(1037 – 1194), and Gurkani dynasty emerged. Although these states paid nominal allegiance to the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, they were effectively independent.

The rise of regional powers ended the era of Muslim unity and signaled the beginning of a new era known as that of “fragmentation” or “Anarchy at Samarra.” This period is variously dated from 861 to 1258. It was during this time that Persia began to reassert its independence from Arab rule with the founding of Persian Shia dynasties like Tahirids(821-873) ,Saffarids(861-1003), Ghaznavids(962-1187) ,Seljuks(1037 – 1194) ,and Gurkani dynasty .

The Fall of the Abbasid Empire

The Abbasid Caliphate, which ruled from 750 to 1258, was the second Muslim dynasty of the Caliphate. The Abbasid period was marked by economic growth, technological advances, and a flourishing of arts and culture. However, the Abbasid Empire ultimately fell due to a number of factors, including internal rebellion, external invasion, and economic decline.

The Siege of Baghdad

In 1258, the Mongols under Hulagu Khan besieged Baghdad, sacking the city and massacring most of its inhabitants. The Abbasid Caliph Al-Musta’sim was killed during the siege. The event marked the end of Abbasid rule and the Islamic Golden Age.

The Death of the Last Abbasid Caliph

The Abbasid Empire reached its height under the rule of Caliph al-Ma’mun, who ascended the throne in 813 CE. However, following his death in 833 CE, the empire began to decline. This was due, in part, to the increasing power of regional governors (who were often turbaned military leaders) and their private armies. In addition, the Abbasid Caliphs were increasingly challenged by Shi’ite Muslims (those who believed that Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was his rightful successor), who claimed that the Caliphs were usurpers. The Shi’ites eventually rose up in rebellion against the Abbasids and established their own dynasties in Iran and Iraq.

The final blow to the Abbasid Empire came in 1258 CE when Mongols invaded Baghdad and sacked the city, killing Caliph al-Musta’sim along with most of his family. The Mongols then installed a puppet Caliph, but real power now rested in their hands. The Abbasid Empire was effectively finished and would never again pose a threat to its neighbors.


In conclusion, the fall of the Abbasid Empire was caused by a combination of internal and external factors. The Abbasids lost the support of the people due to their oppression, extravagance, and lack of religious legitimacy. At the same time, they faced challenges from powerful external forces such as the Seljuks and Crusaders. The final straw came in 1258 when the Mongols sacked Baghdad, leading to the demise of the Abbasid Caliphate.

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