Al-Muktafi is the seventeenth Abbasid Caliph. The new caliph was 25 years old. The historian al-Tabari, who lived during his reign, describes him as "medium-size, handsome, of a delicate complexion, with beautiful hair and a luxurious beard".
Al-Muktafi inherited his father's love of buildings. He completed al-Mu'tadid's third palace project, the Taj Palace, in Baghdad, for which he reused bricks from the palace of the Sasanian rulers in Ctesiphon.