Harun al-Rashid’s reign stretched from Central Asia to Libya. About this period, Tennyson wrote, “A good time, a good place because it was the time of the rise of the good Aaron Al-Rashid.”
But how good was that era? The idea of this era being ‘golden’ came much later and is perhaps a way to focus on the tangled 600-year history of the Khilafah at one point. In these 600 hundred years, the reign of Harun al-Rashid from 786 to 809 is a little more than 20 years.
Many people, including me, think that a lot of the best work in the arts, science and literature was to come after Haroon Al-Rashid.
To us, the names of Haroon al-Rashid and Baghdad are intertwined, and we think that their Baghdad must have been a great place, just as it is presented in Alif Laila. But what was he really like? We can’t say anything about it because Harun al-Rashid’s Baghdad has nothing left.