Tulunid Dynasty(868 – 905 AD) 

Tulunid Dynasty (868 – 905 AD) 


Tulunid Dynasty(868 – 905 AD) The dynasty was founded by Ahmed ibn Tulun, an able and witted Turkish who had been raised in the Abbasid court. Egypt was ruled by governors appointed by Baghdad, and one of them, Ahmad ibn Tulun, made himself independent and founded a short-lived dynasty.


 Egypt was independent but enjoyed a nominal following with the Abbasid caliphate. Ahmad ibn Tulun was born on 220 AH in Baghdad, His father, Tulun, was a Turk from a locality known in Arabic sources as full moon. 

In the year 815/6 (200 AH) Tulun, the father, was taken captive along with other Turks, and sent as part of the tribute to the Caliph alMa’mun.

 In 854/5, Tulun died, and his mother is commonly held to have married a second time, to the Turkish general Bayakbak or Bakbak. The young Ahmad ibn Tulun received a thorough education, involving military training at the new Abbasid capital of Samarra and studies in Islamic theology at Tarsus When al-Mu’tazz gave Bakbak charge of Egypt in 868, Bakbak in turn sent his stepson Ahmad as his lieutenant and resident governor. 

Ahmad ibn Tulun entered Egypt in 868 AD. 

While at Tarsus, Ibn Tulun fought in the frontier wars with the Byzantine Empire. There he also met another senior Turkish leader, Yarjukh, whose daughter, variously given as Majur or Khatun, became his first wife and the mother of his eldest son, Abbas. 

Yarkukh was appointed as the Wali of Egypt by the Abbasid caliph as well.

As governor of Fustat he oversaw the province’s garrison and was the head of the Muslim community as recognized in his title of “overseer of the army and the Friday prayer”, but the fiscal administration, in particular the collection of the land tax (kharāj) was in the hands of the powerful veteran administrator Ibn al-Mudabbir who started a conflict with him. 

One of his early actions was to found a great army composed of foreign slaves. With this army he conquered Syria in 878 A.D. Ibn Tulun built the city of Al-Qatar’ (the wards) to the north of the Arab capital of Al-Fustat. Each of the ethnic groups of his army settled in a separate quarter in the new capital city. 

Ibn Tulun built his great mosque in 879 A.D, The mosque is one of the biggest and oldest Islamic monuments in Egypt.

 Ibn Tulun’s rule was benevolent and Egypt became a rich state under his wise dominion. 

Money began to flow to the treasury. Tax collectors were strictly controlled, Thus the populaces were satisfied with the authority and the most important thing is that Egypt became a prosperous land.

Ibn Tulun died in 884 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Khumaraweih. Khumaraweih expanded the Egyptian rule to as far as the Euphrates.

Tulunid Dynasty
Tulunid Dynasty

 The Abbasids had to recognize him as a ruler. Moreover, relations improved between Khumaraweih and the Abbasid caliph by a political marriage. 


sent his daughter, Qatr Al-Nada (dewdrop) to marry the son of the Abbasid caliph who decided to marry himself to her. The ceremony was legendary, and cost the Egyptian economy a lot.

Khumaraweih was killed in 896. He was succeeded by weak rulers who had no task but to plunder the empire’s treasure and weaken its army. In 905, the Abbasids recaptured Egypt. They raised Al-Qatae’ to the ground. The whole city was wholly devastated except the mosque of ibn Tulun. 

Ahmed Ibn Tulun established his independent state from the Abbasid state and was known for his humility and justice. He founded the first hospital in Islamic Egypt, later called Al-Bamaristan, and founded his famous mosque, which is the oldest Islamic monument in Islamic Egypt, and a stable and a palace in the middle of his capital.

Tulunid Dynasty

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