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Queens, Eunuchs and Concubines in Islamic History, 661-1257$
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Taef El-Azhari

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423182

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423182.001.0001

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Princesses, Concubines and Qahramanat under the ‘Abbasids: Gender and Politics, 749–1055

Princesses, Concubines and Qahramanat under the ‘Abbasids: Gender and Politics, 749–1055

(p.75) 2 Princesses, Concubines and Qahramanat under the ‘Abbasids: Gender and Politics, 749–1055
Queens, Eunuchs and Concubines in Islamic History, 661-1257

Taef El-Azhari

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, one examines the rise of concubines to power, and becomes de facto ruler of the empire as royal mothers. One analyse the authority of Queenship described by N. Abbott, and the term queen mother applied by H. Kennedy, which is more favourable. One see the power of concubine Khayzuran who killed her son, the caliph and replace him with another, al-Rashid. She became the de facto ruler for three years. Also the phenomenal concubine, Shaghab in 10th century who ruled in the name of her boy caliph. That is with the network of allies, like Qahramanas. For example, Um Musa who ousted the vizier, and Thumal who took the unprecedented judicial post of Nazar al-Mazalim. In addition, queen mother allied with the eunuch commander of the army to protect her son’s interests. One do criticize the gendered opinion of F. El-Mernissi who described the age as (revolution of the harem) which is far from historical analyses and facts. The chapter examines in detail, the changing opinion of rulers about the participation of women in politics, and how public in general, and chroniclers in particular perceived such role.

Keywords:   Royal mothers, N. Abbott, Rising power of concubines, Sexual politics, Qahramana, Ruling harem, Fatima El-Mernissi

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