A Greater Dar al-Islam and an Ever Shrinking Dar al-Harb / a resurgent Islam TL

The Splintering of the Bulgar Khanate
The Splintering of the Bulgar Khanate

In the years following the peace of 801 CE between the Romans and the Bulgars, the separatist state of Omurtag Khan spread its authority to the north and west. Based in Singidunon, Omurtag’s early reign was fuelled by the plunder of the neighbouring Slavic tribes; the khan’s followers had lost their traditional lands to the southeast, so it was necessary to compensate them and prove that they had made the right choice in supporting Omurtag. The constant raiding did have unintended consequences though. Many Slavic tribes abandoned their land and migrated northwards toward the Carantanians and the Avars. Consequently the inconsistent taxation of agricultural produce returned declining revenues, which in turn encouraged further raiding as the solution. Omurtag Khan was no fool however and knew that his rule was growing perilous. His ultimate goal was the reunification of the Bulgar Khanate, but his army and economy were woefully ill-prepared for such a venture. During his reign Omurtag had not failed to notice the regular Muslim raids emanating from what merchants were beginning to call Ruma al-Gharbiya. From the very same merchants the khan learned that the Muslim territory was a major centre for the slave trade across the Mediterranean. Thus the Bulgar khan began to formulate a plan to save his khanate.

By contrast, Dilyarek Khan’s realm centred in Preslav was flourishing. Even though there was discontent among many boilas (nobles) towards the khan over the presence of Christian missionaries, the peace with the Romans had led to the resumption of trade between the two states. Artisanal handicrafts such as brickwork, textiles, jewellery, and ceramics were popular among the Romans, as were exports of slaves and salt. The Bulgar Khanate also acted as an entrepot for goods arriving from the Avar Khaganate and the nomadic tribes of the Eurasian steppe. As a result the urbanisation of Bulgar society steadily progressed throughout the period. Concurrent with urbanisation was Christianisation. Although most of the semi-nomadic Bulgar boilas continued to worship Tengri, the Turkic sky god of the steppe, the ethnically heterogeneous urban populations gradually turned to Christianity. The main reason for this was their increasing integration through trade into the Roman-dominated Christian world. Dilyarek’s capital of Preslav became the centre of this new Bulgarian Christianity, which encouraged the Bulgar boilas to treat the much-reduced Pliska as the unofficial capital of the khanate. As a consequence there was simmering discontent towards Dilyarek Khan from the nobility as Christianity appeared to be a Roman imposition, an image that was only exacerbated by the Christians’ use of the Greek language and script. Some boilas even began to question whether they had made the right choice in supporting Dilyarek over Omurtag.

In 815 CE Omurtag Khan decreed that raiding within the boundaries of his state was henceforth prohibited; instead, official raiding parties would range further north and west, capture slaves, and take them to Ruma al-Gharbiya to sell directly to the Muslims. The proceeds of the raids would be transferred straight to the khan’s treasury and then distributed to the boilas; there was some initial opposition from the nobility but Omurtag responded swiftly and mercilessly, executing a few of the weaker but most-outspoken boilas. The policy turned out to be a success however. The Dar al-Islam’s insatiable thirst for slaves delivered large revenues to Omurtag’s treasury which in turn placated the Bulgar nobility. In addition, the reprieve from regular raiding within Omurtag’s khanate allowed the land and its tillers to recover, leading to an increase in taxation both for the state and the boilas. Both the khan and his nobility used their newfound wealth to fund the construction of new palaces, forts, and temples. Though the economic boom wasn’t as pronounced as that occurring in Dilyarek’s realm, it was still notable and enough to induce envy in the neighbouring Avar and Slavic tribes. The increased supply of slaves in Ruma al-Gharbiya would also in time solve the province’s military concerns. The wali’s two most trusted advisors, Tahir ibn al-Husayn and al-Fadl ibn Marwan (an Arab Christian from Iraq), established an army of Avar, Slav, and German ghilman, collectively known as Saqaliba.
 
Omurtag Khan
Seems Bulgaria is changing too, with their Romans Southern Neighboor influencing them maybe too much of their like(with their religion) but seems they found in Muslim of Ruma a reliable trading partner, wonder if Islam Later on would influence Bulgaria too.
 
That's certainly a possibility.
Yeah, that leave that space specially as balkans are still wide open in both sides and would be different is the Muslim Influences come now from Ruma than the other side of Anatolia. And would be an Unique Butterfly too, specially as some Bulgars will start to feel Sieged by the Greco- Romans/ERE in that regard.
 
Rise of the Banu al-Munajjim
Rise of the Banu al-Munajjim

Soon after the peace negotiations between the Roman Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate were concluded in 820 CE, the latter state’s wazir al-Fadl ibn Sahl ibn Zadanfarrukh succumbed to old age. Many in the government expected al-Fadl’s younger brother al-Hasan to succeed him, but the elderly Caliph al-Hakim instead appointed the court astrologer (al-munajjim) Firishtah-i Firuzan.[1] He was however still a Zoroastrian and so converted to Islam under the name Yahya ibn Abu Mansur in order to deflect criticism from the increasingly influential ulema (the clergy); Yahya’s father had also been an astrologer for Caliph al-Mansur. Even though Yahya had joined the court under the direction of al-Fadl ibn Sahl he did not share his patron’s political beliefs, that is to say he did not consider the restoration of caliphal control over the insubordinate western governors to be a priority. With the khalifah’s old age and the expenditures for the war against the Romans, the administration was not in a position to bring the western governors to submission even if that was its goal. Besides, while the wali of al-Sham forwarded only a pittance in revenues, he had yet to take the overtly seditious action of cutting off trade from the Mediterranean. Thus, Yahya ibn Abu Mansur’s governance in the last years of al-Hakim’s reign focused on domestic policies for the territory that was under firm khilafah control. This mostly manifested in the continued upkeep and expansion of irrigation works in southern Iraq by utilising imported slave labour from eastern Africa.

Caliph al-Hakim finally died in 823 CE. Upon being informed of his father’s demise Abdallah, wali of Khurasan, embarked upon a journey to Baghdad accompanied by a cavalcade of courtiers, bureaucrats, scholars, and soldiers. Before his departure the new khalifah appointed Ahmad ibn Asad ibn Saman as his successor to govern Khurasan; the appointment of another non-member of the abna al-dawla only entrenched the western governors’ rapidly declining opinion of the Abbasid dynasty. After arriving in Baghdad, Abdallah adopted the regnal name al-Qahir. While he was the wali of Khurasan al-Qahir had proven to be a capable and popular ruler. However this could be attributed to his status as the replacement for the tyrannical governance of Ali ibn Isa ibn Mahan and the subsequent reconciliatory nature of al-Qahir’s rule. This same advantage was not present for the caliph during his reign in Baghdad; the Khurasanis he brought with him dominated his court and were dispersed throughout the city, rather than settled in their own district like many incoming groups previously had. The ever-permeable bureaucracy adapted to this new influx, but the abna al-dawla and the Arabs in the surrounding areas became alienated and so were disaffected towards al-Qahir’s rule. Wazir Yahya ibn Abu Mansur recognised this to be a problem and tried to counsel the caliph on the importance of placating all of the major political factions. Al-Qahir ignored the advice and continued to favour his Khurasani courtiers. At the customary shura the caliph eschewed a conciliatory attitude and had his young son Sulayman elected as the second heir to the khilafah; the absence of the western governors and the prominent amirs from their territories was a grim reminder of the Abbasid Caliphate’s problems.

Tensions in Baghdad came to a head a year after al-Qahir’s accession to the khilafah. A new Khurasani landlord of an estate in the Shammasiya district had an Arab stable hand flogged for a seemingly minor infraction; the other Arab workers of the estate exploded in anger, killing the landlord and his Khurasani guards. They proceeded to riot, join up with more disaffected Arabs, and kill more Khurasani landlords. The violence swept across the Tigris into the Harbiya district, where the abna al-dawla allied with the Arabs and targeted Khurasani residents. The city’s shurta, comprised mostly of abna al-dawla, killed their Khurasani sahib after he ordered them to suppress the rioting. The caliph, inspired by his father’s example from a decade earlier, personally went out to confront the rioters while accompanied by his Khurasani guards; wazir Yahya ibn Abu Mansur’s warning against such a rash action was vindicated by the mob’s unhesitating slaughter of al-Qahir and his retinue. The caliphal administration would have collapsed into infighting and indecision if not for Yahya’s swift response to the caliph’s death. Aided by the Persians and abna al-dawla he began by purging the government of the most egregious Khurasanis, sacking or imprisoning them, and appointing in their place members of the former two groups who were loyal to him. Yahya then dispatched messengers to Azarbayjan to inform Abu Ishaq Muhammad ibn Harun al-Abbasi of recent events and summon him to Baghdad. Instead of suppressing the rioters as many of his colleagues urged him to do, Yahya waited for their zeal to dissipate and for them to return to their homes. A few of the ringleaders of the riot were later tracked down and executed long after calm had returned to the city.

Abu Ishaq Muhammad ibn Harun al-Abbasi arrived in Baghdad after the tumult had subsided and was hurriedly enthroned as the new khalifah; he took the regnal name al-Mu’tasim. His conduct during the swiftly-convened shura was unprecedented: al-Mu’tasim convinced the gathered amirs to demote the young Sulayman ibn al-Qahir from the position of first heir to second. Despite its controversial nature the motion proved to be popular among those gathered, as the previous caliph’s son was deemed to be too young to be competent at the time. Once again the western governors and amirs were absent, but the prince’s demotion piqued their interest in the new caliph. For the position of first heir, al-Mu’tasim promoted the candidacy of Musa ibn al-Abbas ibn Abdallah ibn Ja’far ibn al-Mansur due to the bravery and skill he demonstrated during the recent war with the Romans. Wazir Yahya ibn Abu Mansur was worried about the nomination of such an overtly hawkish choice, but he remained silent on the matter and so Musa ibn al-Abbas was elected with little opposition.

Caliph al-Mu’tasim had arrived in Baghdad accompanied by his private army of Turkish ghilman. At this juncture the Abbasid khalifah had at his command two main armies: the regular, salaried standing army, dominated by the abna al-dawla and Arabs from the eastern provinces; and the feudal-like army of noble Iranian cavalry and their attendants. The ghilman were relatively small in number but well-trained and ostensibly loyal only to al-Mu’tasim. Consequently they were a potentially destabilising force in the already fractious Abbasid political scene. Thus the caliph learned from the mistakes of his predecessor and decided to build a new garrison city for his ghilman to the north of Baghdad. A site was chosen on the banks of the Tigris and construction began in 825 CE. At the urging of the wazir, al-Mu’tasim promised not to relocate his capital though that did not stop him from constructing a palace for himself.[2] The city was officially named Surra Man Ra’a, though many of its residents referred to it by the name of the nearby abandoned ancient city of Samarra. Governance of the new city was entrusted to the most prominent commanders of the ghilman, Abu Ja’far Ashinas and Wasif al-Turki. Caliph al-Mu’tasim split his time evenly between Baghdad and Samarra, allowing wazir Yahya ibn Abu Mansur to oversee most of the minutiae of ruling the caliphate.

The new caliph did have another great project in mind though: the reintegration of the western provinces back within caliphal authority. Humayd ibn Abd al-Hamid al-Ta’i had been succeeded as wali of al-Sham by his nephew Mahdi ibn Asram, leading to tension between the latter and Humayd’s son Muhammad. Wali Khuzayma ibn Khazim ibn Khuzayma al-Tamimi of Misr had since been killed during a tax-related revolt by Coptic Christians; he was succeeded by one of his trusted subordinates, Abu Nasr ibn al-Sari al-Balkhi. The perennially unstable wilaya of Ifriqiya was governed by Nasr ibn Hamza ibn Malik al-Khuza’i after his uncle’s death. Prosperous, home to the major Muslim fortifications against the Romans, and bordering the caliphate’s loyal territory, the province of al-Sham was the logical first step in al-Mu’tasim’s plan. The bureaucracy’s spies and informants had learned of the breakdown in relations between the al-Ta’i cousins. Yahya ibn Abu Mansur proposed the subtle approach of helping Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Ta’i take power, preferably through a palace coup. On the other hand Itakh al-Khazari, the ghulam commander of the haras (the caliphs’ bodyguard unit), argued that an invasion of al-Sham would allow the caliph to assert complete control of the province and strike fear into the other two governors. After much consideration, al-Mu’tasim assented to the wazir’s plan. Spies were dispatched to Dimashq laden with gold dinars; in return for increasing the revenues forwarded to Baghdad and submitting to the caliph’s authority on foreign affairs, Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Ta’i would retain domestic autonomy and have the final say over the appointment of governors for the wilaya. The soon-to-be governor agreed to the terms and set to planning his coup. Mahdi ibn Asram al-Ta’i was murdered in his sleep while simultaneously his most loyal courtiers and appointees were also hunted down and killed. The wilaya of al-Sham was back within caliphal control by 826 CE.

During his tenure as wazir, Yahya ibn Abu Mansur had been quietly grooming his sons to be prepared to take his place after his death. All of the sons held prominent positions within the diwan al-jund, the diwan al-barid (the postal service), and the diwan al-kharaj (the tax office). Like their father they had also converted to Islam upon joining the bureaucracy, yet they maintained their contacts with the Persian notables of Fars, both Muslim and Zoroastrian. One of the sons, Muhammad, was secretly an Ismaili da’i; his career as a katib (secretary/scribe) in the diwan al-barid served his religious brethren well. Yahya ibn Abu Mansur was struck down by illness in 830 CE and, to the surprise of no-one, al-Mu’tasim appointed Sa’id ibn Yahya ibn Abu Mansur as the new wazir. The new head of the caliphate’s administration was like his father in many ways: he preferred domestic development over expensive conquests; he supported the careful balancing of the various ethnic and social groups at court; and he supported patronising the cultural output of institutions like the Bayt al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom). The point on which he differed from his father though was in how he communicated with others. Sa’id was abrasive and did not mince his words; when he had an opinion on policy, he would boldly state it heedless of the consequences. Unsurprisingly this did not endear him to potential friends or allies, least of all the khalifah.

[1] His name on Wikipedia appears as Bizist, but I don’t know of that being a Persian name so I’ve tentatively decided that it’s a misspelling of Firishtah.
[2] IOTL obviously al-Mu’tasim did relocate his capital to Samarra. Arguably as a younger man and with the western provinces out of his control, he would be less inclined to go against the powerful bureaucracy.
 
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So we got a new caliph and wazir and as nailed before, the new management want More control of the western provinces...that Is another caliphate shaping event coming soon
 
INTERLUDE: A Glimpse Into a Possible Future, No. 2
Interlude: A Glimpse Into a Possible Future, No. 2

The ‘war’ was not proceeding as smoothly as planned. The maharaja’s forces were being driven back, but at too slow a pace. The Inqelabi Fauj-i Khural (Revolutionary Military Council) believed that the maharaja was receiving arms and 'volunteers' from the reactionary states to the west. Reactionary. Qoshundar [colonel] Krishna Khan Datta smiled as he used the word without a second thought. The qoshundar was a career soldier and before the revolution words like ‘reactionary’ and ‘means of production’ would have been completely foreign to him. If he was being honest they still were mostly foreign to him, but he was a soldier and so was content to follow orders.

The ‘war’ in question was not officially a war. There was no declaration, no exchange of diplomats, just an outbreak of hostilities between the soldiers stationed on the border. When the old padishah was overthrown the new revolutionary ishtiraki [socialist] state unofficially inherited, despite its claims of a clean break, the international standing and diplomatic problems of the old regime. This included the strip of territory that was now being violently disputed by the neighbouring maharaja. At that moment Krishna Khan’s tovachi [political officer/commissar], Gulbuddin Ferdaus, entered the busy command tent: “The reactionaries have started another offensive,” he announced. As a tovachi, Gulbuddin Ferdaus was responsible for the morale of the soldiers, their education in ishtiraki theory, and relaying complaints about their officers to the Inqelabi Fauj-i Khural. The qoshundar checked his Rao & Badayuni Model 19 pistol and replied, “Well, let’s get to it then.”
 
Well damn with a more developed MENA and the repercussions of that to India...could that mean the revolutionary state in this fast-forward sits on a pretty industrialized core?

Also huh the word for the socialist current is Uzbek(?), unlike the Persian one in the mod this TL is inspired by.
 
Well damn with a more developed MENA and the repercussions of that to India...could that mean the revolutionary state in this fast-forward sits on a pretty industrialized core?

Also huh the word for the socialist current is Uzbek(?), unlike the Persian one in the mod this TL is inspired by.
Ishtiraki is Arabic and used in OTL. I think the root of the word means 'to share'.

I've decided for a while that India will be the location of the first successful socialist revolution in a sort-of Russia analogue in that it's not part of the modernised/industrialised centre of the world where people would expect a socialist revolution. Though to clarify, India will be considerably more industrialised ITTL than OTL Russia was.
How is South Asia is in this Timeline?
Currently (early ninth century) most of the former caliphate province of Sindh (Sindh proper and Multan) is under the control of a Shia Imamate which has the support of the local Indian rulers within the former province; the population is gradually converting to Shi'ism. Indeed, Shi'ism is likely to become the main Muslim denomination in India. The rest of India is pretty much the same as OTL so far.
 
I've decided for a while that India will be the location of the first successful socialist revolution in a sort-of Russia analogue in that it's not part of the modernised/industrialised centre of the world where people would expect a socialist revolution. Though to clarify, India will be considerably more industrialised ITTL than OTL Russia was.
This is very telling, how India seems avoid several OTL pitfall but the class consicious and struggle ended up being bigger(and make sense, Indian Caste legacy is one amplified those). Very nice Vignet buddy
 
This is very telling, how India seems avoid several OTL pitfall but the class consicious and struggle ended up being bigger(and make sense, Indian Caste legacy is one amplified those). Very nice Vignet buddy
Well, without colonial European interference in India (and perhaps aided by their own colonial enterprise) the economic trends from OTL could certainly see India becoming one of the industrial centres of the world in this TL.
 
Well, without colonial European interference in India (and perhaps aided by their own colonial enterprise) the economic trends from OTL could certainly see India becoming one of the industrial centres of the world in this TL.
Yeah even at the point of the TL, Europe will not be the same as OTL, that means Colonialism was we knew it, Has been butterflied away. Again seems India got an unique development helped it to become closer to the WW1 Tsarist Russia(maybe a full fledge oligarchy overstresed the working class too much?) still that left us talking a lot buddy
 
Currently (early ninth century) most of the former caliphate province of Sindh (Sindh proper and Multan) is under the control of a Shia Imamate which has the support of the local Indian rulers within the former province; the population is gradually converting to Shi'ism. Indeed, Shi'ism is likely to become the main Muslim denomination in India. The rest of India is pretty much the same as OTL so far.
I have a feeling that something like Ahmediya might emerge out of India like in OTL but on a bigger scale
 
Would Christianity be perceived by TTL medieval historians as a continuation of the Eastern mystery cults that proliferated throughout the Roman Empire and later post-Roman Europe, only for the light of true religion to illuminate it? Assuming that Christianity is snuffed out as a majority religion in most parts of Europe.
 
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