The Baghdad Manifesto

This text purports to preserve the so-called “Baghdad Manifesto,” the Abbasid response to Fatimid claims. This version appears in a number of Arabic and Persian sources from the 11th-13th centuries; the discrepancies between the different versions are marked in text. The various versions all list the signatories at the end, including descendants of ‘Ali, plus a number of judges and jurists.

The one who has arisen (nājim) in Egypt, is al-Manṣūr b. Nizār with the laqab al-Ḥākim (may the judgement, ḥukm, of God upon him be one of destruction, annihilation and humiliation, eradication and exemplary punishment), the son of Maʿadd, the son of Ismāʿīl the son of ‘Abd al-Raḥmān the son of Saʿīd (may God give him no felicity, who having gone to the west was then called ‘Ubayd Allāh and took the laqab al-Mahdī’), and those who preceded him of his foul and impure predecessors, upon him and them the curse of God and the curse of all those who curse, are false claimants (adʿiyāʾ) and khawārij, who do not have lineage (nasab) amongst the sons of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, nor do they have any claim of [filial] attachment to him, and it [the lineage of ʿAlī] is free from their falsehood. What they claim in connection to this [lineage] is void and fabricated.

That they [the signatories] have no knowledge of anyone from the noble houses of the Ṭālibids who has ever ceased pronouncing statements that these khawārij are pretenders (adʿiyāʾ). [Absent in Abu’l-Fidā and al-Maqrīzī.]

That this refutation, concerning their lies and [false] claims is commonly known in the [lands] of the Two Sanctuaries (i.e., the ḥaramayn). [Absent in Abu’l-Fidā and al-Maqrīzī.] From the onset of their affair (amr) in the west, it was made public (muntashir) and spread. [Absent in Abu’l-Fidā and al-Maqrīzī.] [so as] to prevent their lie from deceiving anyone, or [prevent anyone from] embarking on a delusion that would lead to believing in them. [Absent in Juwaynī, Abu’l-Fidā and al-Maqrīzī.]

That this one who has arisen in Egypt, he and his predecessors, are infidels (kuffār), libertines (fussāq), debauchees (fujjār), deviators (mulḥidūn), and materialist Manicheans (zanādiqa muʿaṭṭilūn). They do not believe in Islam. And [they] follow as their creed the madhhabs of the Dualists and the Zoroastrians. [Absent in Juwaynī, Abu’l-Fidā, and al-Maqrīzī.]

They have abrogated the ḥudūd [of law], allowed sexual licentiousness, permitted [the drinking of] khamr, spilt blood, insulted the prophets, cursed the salaf, and proclaimed divinity.

This was written in [the month of] Rabīʿ al-Ākhir in the year 402 [14 November 1011].

Source, pp. 25-6.