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Harun al-Rashid (17 March 763 or February 766 – 24 March 809) was the fifth and most famous Abbasid Caliph.


Harun al-Rashid (Civ5)

Harun al-Rashid in game

Harun al-Rashid is the leader of the Arabs in Civilization V. He speaks Modern Arabic and is seen sitting in a chair in his palace garden. Concept art depicted a female servant fanning him and some scholars in the background.

Capital: Mecca

Unique Unit: Camel Archer

Unique Building: Bazaar

Unique Ability: Trade Caravans (vanilla and GodsKings5 clear), Ships of the Desert (BNW-only)

Voice Actor: Laith Marouf

AI TraitsEdit

Trait Amount
Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
Wonder Competitiveness 7 (9-5)
City-State Influence Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
Boldness 3 (5-1)
Diplobalance 5 (7-3)
Hate Warmongers 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Denounce 3 (5-1)
Willingness to Declare Friendship 6 (8-4)
Loyalty 6 (8-4)
Neediness 6 (8-4)
Forgiveness 6 (8-4)
Chattiness 5 (7-3)
Meanness 4 (6-2)
Offensive Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Defensive Unit Production 6 (8-4)
Defensive Building Production 6 (8-4)
Military Training Buildings Production 5 (7-3)
Recon Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Ranged Unit Production 7 (9-5)
Mobile Unit Production 6 (8-4)
Naval Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Naval Recon Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Air Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Naval Growth 4 (6-2)
Naval Tile Improvements 4 (6-2)
Water Connections 5 (7-3)
Expansion 5 (7-3)
Growth 5 (7-3)
Tile Improvements 6 (8-4)
Infrastructure (Roads) 5 (7-3)
Production Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Gold Emphasis 8 (10-6)
Science Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Culture Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Happiness Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Great People Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Wonder Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Religion Emphasis 8 (10-6)
Diplomacy Victory 6 (8-4)
Spaceship Victory 8 (10-6)
Nuke Production 3 (5-1)
Use of Nukes 5 (7-3)
Use of Espionage 5 (7-3)
Anti-Air Production 5 (7-3)
Air Carrier Production 5 (7-3)
Land Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Sea Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Archaeology Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Origin Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Destination Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Airlift Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to Declare War 3 (5-1)
Likeliness to be Hostile 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Deceptive 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Guarded 7 (9-5)
Likeliness to be Afraid 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Friendly 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Neutral 5 (7-3)
Ignore City-States 3 (5-1)
Friendliness to City-States 6 (8-4)
Protection of City-States 7 (9-5)
Conquest of City-States 4 (6-2)
Bullying of City-States 4 (6-2)

Personality and BehaviorEdit

Harun al-Rashid will go for any victory condition, but will most often choose a scientific victory. He will almost never try a domination victory.

Harun tends to focus primarily on religion and gold. He also puts a strong emphasis on science and happiness. Apart from those, he will try to build as many wonders as he can.

Harun is not very bold and shows little interest in raising an offensive army. He will often avoid declaring war on anyone, but he tends to become guarded and can often backstab his allies.

Harun likes to make friends with city-states or protect them.

Civilopedia EntryEdit


Harun al-Rashid (which translates roughly as "Aaron the Rightly Guided") was the fifth Abbasid Caliph, ruling the Arabian Empire from 786 to 809 AD. During his reign the Caliphate stretched from Spain in the west to Anatolia in the north to India in the east, and it was the largest and most powerful political entity in the world. Harun was an able ruler, and his reign was a time of scientific and cultural advancement and prosperity for his subjects.

Early ReignEdit

The son of the third Caliph and al-Khayzuran, a Yemeni slave girl, Harun came to power following the death of his brother, Abu Abdullah Musa ibn Mahdi al-Hadi. Al-Hadi died of a stomach ailment under somewhat suspicious circumstances, and some believed that his mother had al-Hadi poisoned because she had much stronger influence with her younger son, Harun. True or not, al-Khayzuran was one of Harun's chief advisors until her death in 789.

Baghdad RenaissanceEdit

At the start of Harun's reign, the Caliphate's capital was in Baghdad, a new city founded by an earlier Caliph. The city was a center of arts, science and religion, with many beautiful buildings. There Harun founded the "House of Wisdom," a library and research facility which collected and translated scientific writings from Persian, Indian, Greek, and Roman texts. Under Harun Baghdad would blossom, becoming perhaps the largest and richest city in the world. Later Harun would move his government to the strategically important city of ar-Raqqah, but Baghdad would remain a great city of arts, science and commerce for centuries to come (the city would be conquered and sacked by the Mongols in 1258).

Wealth of Harun and ArabiaEdit

A somewhat fantastic description of Harun may be found in "The Thousand and One Nights," in which the Caliph is described as living in a sumptuous palace flowing with gold, silver, and jewels. Although exaggerated, there is a strong element of truth to the tale. During Harun's reign huge amounts of wealth poured into the Empire, and a goodly portion of it made it to the Caliph's coffers. According to ancient historians, Harun's wife insisted that all utensils and plates at her table be made of gold and festooned with jewels.

Foreign RelationsEdit

Politically, Harun attempted to maintain cordial relations with the European powers. He had direct diplomatic relations with Charlemagne, and in these pre-Crusade years Europeans had free access to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands. He also had diplomatic relations with the Imperial Court in China. However, his relations were somewhat less friendly with the Byzantines.

Under his father, Harun had led an army through Turkey to the gates of Constantinople, capitol of the Byzantine Empire. After negotiation with the Empress Irene, Harun agreed to spare the city in return for an annual tribute of 70,000 gold coins. When Irene was deposed and the Byzantines reneged on the agreement in 806, Harun led another army north and once again forced the Byzantines to capitulate.

Death of HarunEdit

Harun became ill and died in 808 while on his way to deal with a revolt in Iran. He was succeeded by his son, al-Amin. His passing marked the beginning of the slow decline of the Arabian Empire; after his death pieces of it were carved away by external enemies and internal revolt. Although the Empire would continue to exist for some centuries, it would never again reach the brilliant heights it had under Harun al-Rashid.

Verdict of HistoryEdit

Although there were wars and internal trouble, most of Rashid's reign was peaceful and prosperous. The Caliphate enjoyed economic and industrial growth, plus an explosion in trade. Harun was a lover of music and poetry, and he gave lavish gifts to artists in his court. Although not necessarily a great leader, Rashid did rule the Arabian Empire competently at the very height of its power and wealth.


  • In the Sierra game Quest for Glory II, the sultan who adopts the Hero as his son is named Harun al-Rashid.
  • Harun al-Rashid figures prominently in the collected tales A Thousand Nights and One Night; he is reputed to have written many of them himself.


Attacked: Fool! You will soon regret dearly! I swear it!
أحمق! سوف تندم أشد الندم. أقسم على ذلك.‏
Aħmaq! Sawfa tandamu ashaddu n-nadam. Uqsemu ʕlaː ðalik.

Declares War: The world will be more beautiful without you. Prepare for war.
سيكون العالم أجمل من دونك. إستعدٌ للحرب.‏
Sayakuːn ul-ʕaːlamu ajmalu min duːnik. Istaʕedda Lil-ħarb.

Defeated: You have won, congratulations. My palace is now in your possession, and I beg that you care well for the peacock.
لقد انتصرت. تهانينا. قصري الآن هو ملكك، وأتمنى أن تهتم جيداً بالطاووس.‫
Laqad intaṣart, tahaːnina. Qaṣ'rya al-ʔaːn hwa mulkuk, wa atamanna ʔan tahtamma jayyedan biṭṭaːws.

Demand: Can we do business? Your advisers can explain to you this matter if you do not understand.
هل بإمكاني التجارةُ معك؟ قد يشرح لك مستشاروك هذا الأمر إذا كنت لا تقدرُ على فهمه.‏
Hal bi'imkani attija'ː'ratu ma'ak? Qad yashraḥu laka mustasha'ː'rooka ha'ː'tha al-amr itha'ː' ku'nta la'ː' taq'deru ala'ː' fah'meh.

Hate Hello: Oh, it's you.
آه...إنه أنت.‏
Ah...innahu ant.

Hate Let's Hear It 01: What's this?!
ما هذا!؟‏
Ma'ː' ha'ː'tha'ː'?

Hate Let's Hear It 02: Finish your speech.
أكمل حديثك.‏
Akmel hadeethak.

Hate No 01: This matter is unacceptable.
هذا أمر غير مقبول.‏
ha'ː'tha amrun ghayru maqbool.

Hate No 02: You can't be serious about this request.
لا يمكن أن تكن جدًّا في هذا الطلب.‏
la'ː' yumkin an takun ja'ː'ddan fi'ː' ṭalabik.

Hate Yes 01: Very well.
حسنا جدا.‏
ḥasanan jiddan.

Hate Yes 02: If I must.
إذا وجب عليَ.‏
itha wajaba alayy.

Intro: Welcome foreigner, I am Harun Al-Rashid, Caliph of the Arabs. Come and tell me about your empire.
مرحبا أيها العجمي. أنا هارون الرشيد، خليفة العرب. هلم إليَّ وحدثني عن إمبراطوريتك.‏
Marhaban ayyuha al'ajamɪi. Ana'ː' Ha'ː'ru'ː'n urrashi'ː'd, khaleefat-u L-arab. Halumma ilayya wa haddithni'ː' 'an imbira'ː'ṭo'ː'ryyatik.

Neutral Hello: Peace be upon you.
السلام عليكم.‏
As-sala'ː'mu alaykum.
[Note: This is a standard Muslim greeting.]

Neutral Let's Hear It 01: What is this?!
ما هذا!؟‏
ma'ː' ha'ː'tha'ː'?!

Neutral Let's Hear It 02: What were you saying?
ماذا كنت تقول؟‏
ma'ː'tha'ː' kunta taqool?

Neutral No 01: Of course not.

Neutral No 02: Certainly not.
بالطبع، لا.‏
biṭṭab'e, la'ː'.

Neutral Yes 01: Okay.

Neutral Yes 02: Excellent.

Peaceful: We thank you for your generous terms, we will not forget the favor you show us.
أشكر لكم كرم شروطكم. لن نكون ناكرين للجميل.‏
ash'kuru lakum karama shurooṭikum, lan nakoona nakireena liljameel.

Request: Come forth, let's do business.
تعال، دعنا نتاجر.‏
ta'aal, da'na nutajir.


Blessings of God be upon you oh great caliph Harun al-Rashid, leader of the pious Arabian people! The Muslim empire, the Caliphate was born in the turbulent years after the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 AD, as his followers sought to extend the rule of God to all of the people of the earth. The caliphate grew mighty indeed at the height of its power, ruling Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, Anatolia, the Balkans and Persia. An empire as great as or even greater than that of Rome. The arts and sciences flourished in Arabia during the Middle Ages, even as the countries of Europe descended into ignorance and chaos. The Caliphate survived for six hundred years, until finally succumbing to attack from the Mongols, those destroyers of Empires.

Great Caliph Harun al Rashid, your people look to you to return them to greatness! To make Arabia once again an enlightened land of arts and knowledge, a powerful nation who needs fear no enemy! Oh Caliph, will you take up the challenge? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?


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