- Historical event:
- 15 October 961
- The harem girls were bought from traders who acquired them from the faraway Baltic. Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III is also known as the builder of the magnificent Medina Azahara palace near Cordoba.
This day in 961 marked the death of the powerful Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III, one of the greatest Muslim rulers of his time.
He took the title of caliph, which denotes the leader of the entire Muslim world (the word is derived from the Arab word Khalīfah, which signifies a “representative” or “successor” of the Prophet Muhammad).
Abd-ar-Rahman’s capital was located in the city of Cordoba, Spain. Few today are aware of the fact that Cordoba was once by far the largest European city west of Constantinople. It allegedly had 471 mosques and as many as 80,455 shops.
Abd-ar-Rahman built a magnificent new palace, called Medina Azahara, near Cordoba. It covered an area of 112 hectares (1,120,000 square meters). It also had gilded ceilings, marble walls, and beautiful gardens. There was allegedly also a pool filled with mercury, which would produce incredible reflections of light when its surface was disturbed.
Abd-ar-Rahman allegedly had a harem with as many as 6,300 women. The harem girls were bought from traders who acquired them from the faraway Baltic.
His favorites were Fatima bint Al-Mundir i Marjan (Murjan), who bore him a successor. The caliph allegedly spent the last years of his life in the decadence of his harem.