The Qarāmiṭa scare: Public sentiment and political reactions

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The horrific attacks of a group of militant Ismāʿīlīs called the Qarāmiṭa in 311/924- 319/931 underscored the Abbasid regime's weakness and inability to govern. However, it is precisely because the regime was so weak that the populace was forced to react - be it by fighting, escaping or demonstrating against the ruling elite. This essay examines the emotions and actions of the inhabitants of Baghdad and southern Iraq during the Qarāmiṭa attacks. It asks whether the threats and fear that the populace experienced fragmented society or united it. Although the answer is complex, it is possible to discern that in the long run the Qarāmiṭa scare caused the deterioration of Sunni and Shi'i relations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)161-182
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Abbasid Studies
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • History from below
  • Ismāʿīlīs
  • Qarāmiṭa
  • Shi'i relations
  • Sunni
  • history of emotions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History


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