833-848: The Mihna

al-Maʾmūn (depicted left), the Madrid Skylitzes


The ʿAbbāsid Caliph al-Maʾmūn institutes a religious persecution known as the Mihna in 833. Scholars are imprisoned, flogged and even executed if they refuse to conform to the Muʿtazila doctrine and believe the Qurʾān is uncreated and co-eternal with God.


The persecution is called off 15 years later by the Caliph al-Mutawakkil. The Minha is one of the few instances of specifically religious persecution in Medieval Islam.