During the early Abbasid period, the refined and luxury-loving ruler and imperial court got directly involved in sponsoring new innovations in the ceramics industry, especially the development and manufacture of lustre wares. When an earthquake damaged the Great Mosque
of Kairouan in 247 / 862, the caliph
Musta‘in sent 139 square, lustre-painted tiles for the renovation of the mihrab
, and sent with them a tile-maker from Baghdad to make more tiles. He also donated money, marble panels and teak wood for a new minbar
. In 338 / 950 the Arab geographer, Ibn
Hawqal, visited Tunisia and praised the beauty of the locally made lustre ceramics, equating them to those manufactured in Iraq.