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Mihna
Arabic: mihna


In Islam, an inquisition led by the theologians of the Mu'tazilite school. The Mihna was defined effectively in 827, but started acting from 833, lasting until 848. The mihna represents the final break of the short-lived cohabitation of religion and state in Islam.
The inquisition was instituted by the permission of Caliph al-Ma'mun who supported the Mu'tazilite faction. The inquisition, the Mihna, took its form of being a test that qadis of Baghdad should submit to. They were asked about their opinions on the creation of the Koran. Those qadis that did pass this test, should themselves go on to test others. There was little willingness to pull this through in Damascus, so the Caliph had to perform this test himself here.
During tests that were performed in the following years, the number of qadis expressing the view of Mu'tazilism, went down, and some qadis were even imprisoned.
The Mihna continued for some years into the Caliphate of al-Mutawakkil, but then the spreading of theaching that the Koran had been created was banned, and violations on this ban could result in death punishment.




By Tore Kjeilen