Harun al-Rashid Biography
Birthday: March 17, 763 (Pisces)
Born In: Jibal
Harun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid caliph who ruled from 786 to 809. He ruled during the Islamic Golden Age and was one of the most popular figures during that period. The fifth caliph established the Grand Library of Baghdad (Bayt al-Hikma), which is also referred to as the House of Wisdom. This started off a movement which later established the city as a center of culture and education. He encouraged cultural and religious practices during his rule. During the golden age, a fictional Arabic tale was composed, titled ‘One Thousand and One Nights.’ Some of the parts of the tale were set in his court and a few featured him as well. Harun al-Rashid was also featured in many other such popular folklores. Al-Rashid’s era saw the ‘Barmakids’, a popular Iranian family which helped establish the Abbasid Caliphate, gradually lose their popularity and eventually come to an end. The caliph formed a great relationship with Charlemagne, otherwise known as Charles the Great, through a ‘Frankish’ missionary and sent him several gifts, including a well-crafted clock with a mechanism never-seen-before at that time.