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The one of mainest result of Arabic-khazar wars, lasted about one and a half century, along with above mentioned uprisings were that, these evidences obliged Caliphate to waste their power and means, as well as did not provide Arabs to maintain their positions in Azerbaijan. The majorest stroke to the authority and prestige of Caliphate was inflicted by the mignificant popular-liberation movement of Khurramids, begun in Azerbaijan by the leading of Babak and continued for whole twenty years (817-837).

Beginning from the reign of caliph al-Mehdi there were shaped plenty of different sects and teachings in Caliphate. After the death of abu-Muslim, the representatives of the sect of “abumuslimiyye” firstly united with “ravendids” and then with the representatives of other sects; so they shaped great social-religious teaching of “Khurramdin”. Several scientists erroneously added/referred Babak and his supporters to the Shiite unit of “khurramdin”.

In fact, there were lots of representatives of Shiite and Sunnite teachings of Islam among the participants of uprisings, arisen against Omeyyad and then Abbasid oppression. The supporters of fire- worshiping, such as khurramids and mazdakids also joint to these uprisings. Academician Z.M.Bunyadov expressed that “peasantry mass of Azerbaijan (especially in mountainous region) maintained their pro- islamic belief, related particularly with zaroastrionism and mazdakizm.

We could not expect loyal attitude to Arabs and Islam from the peasantry mass of Azerbaijan, especially expression of the supremacy of Arabs and tax (kharac) system was the vehicle of collecting the half of agricultural products from peasants and exploitation too. So, these features strengthened the resistance of civil population against Arabic supermacy”.

Extended popular movement was united under the name of “khurramism”. Masudi, Yakut and other Arabic authors of that phase related this name with the name of the location not far from Ardebil. Ibn an-Nadim, Samani and others explained this word as “cheerful, immoral” and considered khurramids “madjuses” – supports of the teaching of zaroastrionsm, fire worshipers. Speaking about the consequence of “Khurram”, Arabic authors expressed the political interests of Caliphate to the movement, which rejected Islam and that’s why these authors called Khurramids Godless people as well. It was obvious that, people who spent their valuable time “in merry wild life” and who were “blasphemers”, couldn’t conduct organized struggle to such great statehood, as Caliphate. And such ideology was not able to unite and rise all people for 20 years.

Even since the mid of the 8th century khurramids participated in anti-arabic uprisings: in the uprising, led by Sumbat in 755, in the uprising, headed by Abu al-Qarran in 778 and in the uprising, led by Amr ibn Muhammed, during the years of 796-797. New and more independent phase of khurramid movement was concerned with the name of Javidan, small feudal, who owned the castle of Bazz, located in Ardebil region. First revolts of khurramids took place in 808, on the mountains of Savalan, Garadagh, Ardebil and Mughan under red khurramid banner. Caliph Harun ar-Rashid sent against the rebels Abdullah ibn-Malik with 10 thousand horsemen.

Uprising was pressed, most part of rebellors were killed, plenty of soldiers and civil people were captivated. Ibn al-Asir informs that caliph, personally ordered to beat military captives and to sell others, including women and children. Some part of khurramids could hide in mountains. Local struggle between khurramid leader, in order to obtain leadership in the movement was also one of the mainest factors of the weakening of this movement. In 816, two khurramid leaders – Abu Imran and Javidan met in an open battle, which was resulted with the death of the first and deathful wound of the second one. After the death of Javidan, the leadership over Khurramid movement passed to the closest supporter of Javidan, Babek. This was implemented namely by the vehicle of Javidan’s widow.

Extension of Khurramid movement was related with the name of Babek. So, soon this movement was extended to Isfahan, Rey and Hamadan. Khurramids is the general name of united relative sects, which ideas was related with corns of the ideological ideas of Mazdakid movement, although they were concerned to Shiites, which put their prophet on higher level than Muhammed and in fact refused Islam by muslim philosophists. As mazdakits, khurramids were also dualists, they accepted the existence of two fighting powers-light and dark, i.e. Good and level, God and Devil. Social structure, based on property inequality, violation and exploitation were considered the sign of devil beginning of the world by khurramids. They taught active fought with unjustice of social structure. According to khurramids, the corn of this inequality consisted of the existence land property and social inequality.

Thoughts of khurramids possessed socio-economic consideration: taxes, exploitation, properties were the signs of evil and should be  destroyed. All suitable lands had to be given to the use of peasantry communities, i.e. they declared that, these lands should be cultivated together and had to be given to general authority of free rural communities. They tried to liberate peasants from feudal dependence, state taxes and “equal community” form. Namely, because of that khurramids reflected hope of the nation, resisted against feudal exploitations-private and state, as well as the religion of Islam they were supported by peasant mass of population.

There are existed few evidences about, thow khurramids would be able to realize their ideas in sources. But one thing was obvious: there had been hope and thoughts of the nation about social equality and destruction of foreign supremacy on the ground of khurramid movement.

By teaching the possibility of the creation of fair society, khurramids believed to the victory of Good over Evil at the end. Participants of khurramids believed to the eternity of spirit, it was obviously observed in the tastament of wounded Javidan: “I will die today, this night. My spirit will leave my body and enter to the body of Babek, will unit with his spirit. I appoint him the head of my successors”. Special representatives of khurramids meleks, called the population to the fought. This struggle, as other anti-caliphate uprisings, arisen under religious slogans gradually turned into popular liberation movement, which directed against Arabs and Islam. Although the major moving power of the movement were peasants, urban poor and craftsmen, also the local feudals, who disagreed because of the decrease of their rights by Caliphate administration also inclined to khurramids.

Large critical analyses of the term of “khurram”, which was the name of the movement of “khurraminds” shaped and was examined in prominent work of Z.M.Bunyadov, “Azerbaijan in 7th-9th centuries”. In this work Z.M.Bunyadov examines all tendencies, related with the term of “khurram”, which was expressed not only by medieval, but also by Arabic and contemporary scientists. These scientists did their best to change ideological identity of this powerful popular liberation movement. Namely, these Arabic scientists that mentioned above were obliged to testify about the mass people character of this movement and mentioned that, as soon as Babek became the leader of khurramids “lots of disagreed peasants from Azerbaijan and Arran joint to the movement” and “the amount of its supporters increased so much that, just horsemen of khurramids were 20 thousand”. So, Al-Masudy’s words “And the deal of Babek al-Khurrami was grown up in the  country of Arran and Baylagan, and his troops were increased in those country” were not casual.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"