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Sultanate of Cyprus
سلطنة قبرص
S Cyprus(PM4) S Cyprus coat(PM4)
Flag Coat of Arms
PMIV Cyprus 1726
Sultanate of Cyprus in 1726
Capital Nicosia
Largest city Nicosia
Other cities Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos
Language
  official
 
Arabic
  others Greek
Religion
  main
 
Sunni Islam
  others Orthodox Christianity
Government Sultanate
Sultan Muffadal ibn Farid Ur-Marif
  Royal house: Abbasid Dynasty (Faridic branch)
Area 9,251 km²
Population 1,135,000 
Independence from Rashidun Caliphate
  declared 1718
Currency fils
The Sultanate of Cyprus (Arabic: سلطنة قبرص, Saltanat Qubrus) is an independent Muslim monarchy located on the island of Cyprus, and currently ruled by a cadet branch of the Abbasids. First an emirate under the Rashidun Caliphate, it became a vassal Sultanate in 1675, and gained its independence after the Second Arab-Ethiopian War.

History

Origin

Main article: Rashidun Caliphate

Under the Rashidun Caliphate, Cyprus was ruled by a cadet branch of the Abbasid Dynasty which survived the downfall of the main branch. The Emirate of Cyprus became the Sultanate of Cyprus in 1675 when the Emir Ahmad ibn Nadeem abn al-Karim was made Sultan of Cyprus, although he still remained vassal of the Caliphate.

Second Arab-Ethiopian War

Main article: Second Arab-Ethiopian War

When the Second Arab-Ethiopian War started, Sultan Farhan was unwilling to commit his ships and troops to helping the Caliphate. In April 1706, he was assassinated by his brother Jalil, who then took control of the island and became the new Sultan. Unlike his brother, Jalil had the intention to help the Caliphate, and sent troops and ships to help during the war. However, he also began to enjoy new autonomy which he was unwilling to surrender after the war. Thus, he made a deal with the Belkan Empire, who offered to ensure the full independence of Cyprus. After the Treaty of Cairo in 1718, Cyprus became an independent Sultanate.

Independent Cyprus under Jalil (1718-1748)

After the independence, Sultan Jalil worked to build the administration of his new independent state. In 1728, he began to focus on trade policies by ending trade taxes for foreign merchants, and began trading with India as he was helping the Caliphate trade there.

His main reforms came with the Mujtamae Reforms, which introduced the bureaucratic societies known as Mutamae in 1730. However, due to the lack of success from the initial implementation of the reforms, Jalil named a Grand-Vizier, Mu'Tamid al-Satter, to help him fix the various Mujtamae.

However, following a failed war against the Italian League and the Treaty of Damietta, Sultan Jalil began to adopt more conservative and anti-foreigners ideas, which made him clash with his more liberal heir Farid. This culminated in 1741, when Jalil tried to disinherit Farid, which triggered a popular uprising, the overthrow of Jalil and his conservative allies and finally the crowning of Farid as the new Sultan of Cyprus.

Farid's reign was short, however, due to the reactionary coup in Nicosia in 1743, sparking the Cypriot Abbasid Civil War, which would end in 1745 by the capture and execution of Farid and the crowning of Jalil by a Regency Council. For the next three years, political power would lowly fall into the hands of First Regent Rafeed Mu'sad Sarraf, until Jalil died in 1748 and his son Hasim ascended to the throne.

The overthrow and restoration of Jalil would be the first event of the Great Cypriot Struggle, which would oppose the offspring of his sons Hasim (conservatives) and Farid (reformists), later known as the Hasimic and Faridic branches of the Abbasid Dynasty.

Conservative Regime (1748-1755)

During the reign of Hasim, there was a constant struggle of power between the Sultan and Rafeed Mu'sad Sarraf, who was First Regent and Grand Vizier. Mu'sad Sarraf would be able to prevent the end of the Regency Council until 1749, when Hasim had finally enough support to dissolve it. Dissent also grew between them due to the support of the Lord Regent of Maghreb by Mu'sad Sarraf, who Hasim did not thrust. Although in 1750 a temporary alliance was made to stop the spreading of the Al'Iislahiat Waltantir (a book written by former Grand Vizier now exile Mu'Tamid al-Satter), the fire that spread in the palace in 1751 turned them into bitter enemies, which ultimately lead to the assassination of Hasim in 1753.

During this period, Hasim also put into affect harsh islamic laws, believing the Quran as the only book of laws. He created a 9th Mujtamae, the Mujtamae Altaqalid. This new Mujtamae advised on to lead a censorship campaign against many books, which only boosted the underground liberal movement.

After Hasim's death, Grand Vizier Mu'sad Sarraf was able to put Hasim's sixth son on the throne, an 11 year old named Yasser. With Yasser as his puppet, Mu'sad Sarraf would rule Cyprus as he pleased for two years, until in 1755 the Saif Revolution saw supporters of the Faridic branch take over the city of Larnaca, which was followed by the return of Farid's eldest son Saif on the island, widespread popular revolt and the overthrow of Yasser and Mu'sad Sarraf, who went into exile in Maghreb.

Reign of Saif (1755-1765)

After the Saif Revolution, Saif first attempted to put the division behind him. He gave a pardon to any old supporters of the conservative regime, and even lallowed the members of the religious elite to keep the same offices they had in the previous government. However, as time went on, he proved to be less of a reformist than his father. He kept most of the oppressing religious laws in place, and grew close to the religious elite, although he still supported the Faridic supporters and the liberal groups on the island.

In 1759, as the Sultan discovered old Abbasid documents from the 15th century while building a mosque in Nicosia. Mostly from the reign of Al-Najm the Great, those document talked about the Arab Renaissance in detail. He ordered the construction of a massive library for those document, which would become the Great Library of Nicosia.

With the help of the Muslim architect Shaheer Kazi, he took the budget of the state to build mosques, coastal forts, the Great Library of Nicosia and to renovate his palace. Although those constructions would be his legacy, it lead to budget cuts that made Saif incredibly unpopular. Added to that was his conservative views, which made him lose the support of his liberal allies.

By 1762, Admiral Mufeed el-Galla (the one responsible for the war with the Italian League in 1733) and others were plotting to overthrow the Sultan and put his brother Kamil in power. Although el-Galla was sold out by his co conspirators and executed in 1764, the plot still went on. The Coup of Sha`ban 2, which took place on January 24th, 1765, saw the palace guards and the liberal members of the court arrest Saif and his conservative allies and then giving the throne to his brother Kamil, still living in exile in Jaffarid Arabia.

Reign of Kamil (1765-1771)

Government

Sultan

The Sultan is the supreme authority in Cyprus. He rule the Sultanate as an absolute monarch, having to answer to no one and is able to do hatever he want. Part of the authority of the Sultan come from the fact that he is part of the Abbasid Dynasty, which is related to Mohammed, thus giving him a lot of legitimacy. The Sultan is also the supreme commander of the army.

When it comes to succession, the heir can be any of the sons of the current Sultan. The Sultan himself will usually chose who he want as his heir, either choosing the one he think the most competent or simply his favorite.

Grand Vizier

The Grand Vizier is the second highest office in the Sultanate of Cyprus, acting as the right hand and main advisor to the Sultan. He has the power to enact policies, although he need the approval of the Sultan for external policies. He also gain authority over the Sultan's Palace and its security. Finally, the Grand Vizier can stand as replacement on important trials and meeting if the Sultan is unable or unwilling to attend the event.

Unlike in other countries, the Cypriot Grand Vizier is an office rarely awarded, only given to the favorites of the Sultan or the most mereeting men. Up until it's independence, the office was only used once.

Mujtamae

The Mujtamae (Society in English) are bureaucratic organizations first created by the Mujtamae Reforms passed by Sultan Jalil in 1730. Each Mujtamae is ruled by a council (the number of council members can highly vary, from only ten up to 100), who write reports and political suggestions for the Sultan, as well as manage de administrative duties of their Mujtamae. Outside of advising the Sultan, a Mujtamae keep data, filter the requests for the ruling council and write ideas to improve the situation of their Mujtamae (although those improvements must be approved by the Sultan).

When the Mujtamae Reforms were made in February 1730, Sultan Jalil created 8 Mujtamae.

  • Mujtamae Altijara (Trade Society): Tasked of registering the foreign merchants, keeping track of the important trade deals on Cyprus and advising the Sultan on trade policies.
  • Mujtamae Albahriu (Naval Society): Tasked of advising the Sultan on its Navy and ships, as well as keep track of any data related to the Navy (supply, ships in need of repairs, locations of the fleets, members of the Navy, etc.)
  • Mujtamae Aljaysh (Army Society): In charge of keeping track of military supply, battle plans, divisions and any other useful data, as well as to advise the Sultan on new ideas to modernize the army.
  • Mujtamae Aleadala (Justice Society): Must keep track of complains and trials all over Cyprus, keep records of the laws in effect and write suggestions to the Sultan on improvements to the legal system.
  • Mujtamae Albina (Construction Society): In charge of keeping track of the buildings and monuments on the island, as well as of discuting the budget for constructing monuments and advising the Sultan where to spend it.
  • Mujtamae Almal (Money Society): Act as monetary authority (after the Sultan), keeping in check the value of coins, as well as advising the Sultan on anything related to the coinage and the value of the money.
  • Mujtamae Alhadariu (Urban Society): In charge of receiving the grievances and complaints of the urban population, of keeping track of the urban organization and city division and to advice the Sultan on how to improve the life in the cities.
  • Mujtamae Alriyfiu (Rural Society): In charge of receiving the grievances and complaints of the rural population, of keeping track of the rural organization and land division and to advice the Sultan on how to improve the life of the rural population.

In 1746, the Regency Council of Jalil created a 9th Mujtamae.

  • Mujtamate Altaqalid (Tration Society): It task is to protect the traditional beliefs and the conservative traditions of Cyprus by advising the Sultan on how to suppress liberal ideas on the island.

List of Sultans

Name Birth-Death Reign started Reign ended Notes
Ahmad ibn Nadeem abn al-Karim 1617-1691 September 2, 1675 March 22, 1691 Was Emir of Cyprus since 1651
Sabaah ibn Ahmad abn al-Qadir 1645-1699 March 22, 1691 July 13, 1699 First Son of Ahmad
Farhan ibn Sabaah abn al-Rahman 1670-1706 July 13, 1699 April 23, 1706
  • Second Son of Sabaah
  • Murdered by his brother Jalil
Jalil ibn Sabaah abn al-Aziz 1674-1748 April 23, 1706 May 20, 1741
  • Fourth Son of Sabaah
  • First independent Sultan
  • Was overthrown by his son Farid.
Farid ibn Jalil Abdur-Rashid 1709-1745 May 20, 1741 April 27th, 1745
  •  Faridic branch
  •  Third Son of Jalil
  • Executed after a civil war
Jalil ibn Sabaah abn al-Aziz 1674-1748 July 19, 1743 February 22, 1748
  • Restored after a reactionary coup.
Hasim ibn Jalil Sabah Ud-Din 1706-1753 February 22, 1748 March 12, 1753
  • Hasimic branch
  • First Son of Jalil
  • Assassinated
Yasser ibn Hasim Izz al-Din 1742- March 12, 1753 August 12, 1755
  • Hasimic branch
  • Sixth Son of Hasim
  • a puppet of Rafeed Mu'sad Sarraf
  • Overthrown in the Saif Revolution
Saif ibn Farid al-Zadur 1730-1766 June 30, 1755 January 24, 1765
  • Faridic branch
  • First son of Farid
  • Overthrown in the Coup of Sha`ban 2.
Kamil ibn Farid al-Zaer 1732-1771 January 24, 1765 October 18, 1771
  • Faridic branch
  • Second son of Farid
Muffadal ibn Farid Ur-Marif 1738- October 18, 1771
  • Faridic Branch
  • Third son of Farid

List of Grand Vizier of Cyprus

Name Birth-Death Time in Office Sultan
Abul-Fazl Ala al-Din 1631-1697 June 23, 1679 - September 30, 1686 Ahmad
Mu'Tamid al-Satter 1678-1763 April 3, 1731 - March 12, 1736 Jalil
January 19, 1742 - April 14, 1745 Farid
Umaar Taysid 1690-1756 July 25, 1743 - February 2, 1746 Jalil
Rafeed Mu'sad Sarraf 1692-1760

September 18, 1747 - August 12, 1755 

Jalil
Hasim
Yasser

Footnotes