Harun al-Rashid

Harun al-Rashid (/hɑːˈrn ɑːlrɑːˈʃd/; Arabic: هَارُون الرَشِيد Hārūn Ar-Rašīd, "Aaron the Just" or "Aaron the Rightly-Guided"; 17 March 763 or February 766 – 24 March 809 CE / 148–193 AH)[1][clarification needed] was the fifth Abbasid Caliph. His birth date is debated, with various sources giving dates from 763 to 766. His epithet "al-Rashid" translates to "the Orthodox", "the Just", "the Upright", or "the Rightly-Guided". He ruled from 786 to 809, traditionally regarded to be the beginning of the Islamic Golden Age.

Harun al-Rashid
هَارُون الرَشِيد
Gold dinar of Harun al-Rashid dated AH 171 (787-788 CE)
5th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Reign14 September 786 – 24 March 809
Born17 March 763 or February 766
Ray, Jibal, Abbasid Caliphate
(in present-day Tehran Province, Iran)
Died24 March 809(809-03-24) (aged 43)
Tus, Khorasan, Abbasid Caliphate
(in present-day Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran)
Tomb of Harun al-Rashid in Imam Reza Mosque, Mashhad, Iran
Harun al-Rashid ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi
ReligionSunni Islam

Harun established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma ("House of Wisdom") in Baghdad in present-day Iraq, and during his rule Baghdad began to flourish as a world center of knowledge, culture and trade.[2] During his rule, the family of Barmakids, which played a deciding role in establishing the Abbasid Caliphate, declined gradually. In 796, he moved his court and government to Raqqa in present-day Syria.

A Frankish mission came to offer Harun friendship in 799. Harun sent various presents with the emissaries on their return to Charlemagne's court, including a clock that Charlemagne and his retinue deemed to be a conjuration because of the sounds it emanated and the tricks it displayed every time an hour ticked.[3][4][5] Portions of the fictional One Thousand and One Nights are set in Harun's court and some of its stories involve Harun himself.[6] Harun's life and court have been the subject of many other tales, both factual and fictitious.