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The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s established after the death of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. The caliphate was ruled by the
Umayyad dynasty The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads (), were the ruling family of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Al-Andalus, Islamic Spain between 756 and 1031 ...

Umayyad dynasty
( ar, ٱلْأُمَوِيُّون, ''al-ʾUmawīyūn'', or , ''Banū ʾUmayyah'', "Sons of Umayyah").
Uthman ibn Affan Uthman ibn Affan ( ar, عثمان بن عفان, ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān; – 17 June 656), also spelled by the Turkish and Persian rendering Osman, was the third Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.pn ...
(r. 644–656), the third of the
Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and executi ...
caliphs, was also a member of the clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of
Greater Syria The historic region of Syria ( ar, الـشَّـام, ash-Shām, Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία; in modern literature called Greater Syria, Syria-Palestine, or the Levant) is an area located east of the Mediterranean sea. ...
, who became the sixth caliph after the end of the
First Fitna The First Fitna ( ar, فتنة مقتل عثمان, fitnat maqtal ʻUthmān, strife/sedition of the killing of Uthman , birth_date = 576 (46 BH) , birth_place = Taif Ta'if ( ar, اَلطَّائِفُ, translit=aṭ-Ṭāʾif, lit ...
in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in the
Second Fitna The Second Fitna was a period of general political and military disorder and civil war in the Islamic community during the early Umayyad Caliphate., meaning trial or temptation) occurs in the Qur'an in the sense of test of faith of the believ ...
, and power eventually fell into the hands of
Marwan I Marwan ibn al-Hakam ibn Abi al-As ibn Umayya ( ar, links=no, مروان بن الحكم بن أبي العاص بن أمية, Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam ibn Abī al-ʿĀs ibn Umayya), commonly known as MarwanI (623 or 626April/May 685), was the four ...
from another branch of the clan. Greater Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, with
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
serving as their capital. The Umayyads continued the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
, incorporating the
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
,
Sindh Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the four provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, ad ...

Sindh
, the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
and the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
(
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
) under Islamic rule. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered , making it one of the largest empires in history in terms of area. The dynasty in most of the Islamic world was eventually overthrown by a rebellion led by the
Abbasids The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office governing a territory under I ...
in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba which, in the form of an
emirate An emirate is a territory ruled by an emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristoc ...
and then a
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
, became a world centre of science, medicine, philosophy and invention during the
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. M ...
. The Umayyad Caliphate ruled over a vast multiethnic and multicultural population.
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
, who still constituted a majority of the caliphate's population, and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...
were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a
head tax A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural pe ...
(the
jizya Jizya or jizyah ( ar, جِزْيَة; ) is a per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and sta ...
) from which Muslims were exempt. Muslims were required to pay the
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a s ...

zakat
tax, which was earmarked explicitly for various welfare programmes for the benefit of Muslims or Muslim converts. Under the early Umayyad caliphs, prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
governments. The employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation that was necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria. This policy also boosted Mu'awiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. The Umayyad era is often considered the formative period in
Islamic art About the concept of visual arts The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. M ...

Islamic art
.


History


Origins


Early influence

During the pre-Islamic period, the
Umayyads The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads () were the ruling family of the Muslim caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam ...

Umayyads
or "Banu Umayya" were a leading clan of the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ, ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah () and commonly shortened to Makkah,Quran 48:22 ' () is the Holy site ...
tribe of
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ), Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province The Mecca Province ( ar, مِنْطَقَة مَكَّة '), also known as the Mec ...

Mecca
. By the end of the 6th century, the Umayyads dominated the Quraysh's increasingly prosperous trade networks with
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
and developed economic and military alliances with the
nomadic Arab
nomadic Arab
tribes that controlled the northern and central Arabian desert expanses, affording the clan a degree of political power in the region. The Umayyads under the leadership of
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; — ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyā ...
were the principal leaders of Meccan opposition to the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
, but after the latter captured Mecca in 630, Abu Sufyan and the Quraysh embraced Islam. To reconcile his influential Qurayshite tribesmen, Muhammad gave his former opponents, including Abu Sufyan, a stake in the new order. Abu Sufyan and the Umayyads relocated to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second in and the of the of . The 2020 estimated population of the city is 1,488,782, ma ...

Medina
, Islam's political centre, to maintain their new-found political influence in the nascent Muslim community. Muhammad's death in 632 left open the succession of leadership of the Muslim community. Leaders of the Ansar, the natives of Medina who had provided Muhammad safe haven after his emigration from Mecca in 622, discussed forwarding their own candidate out of concern that the
Muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
, Muhammad's early followers and fellow emigrants from Mecca, would ally with their fellow tribesmen from the former Qurayshite elite and take control of the Muslim state. The Muhajirun gave allegiance to one of their own, the early, elderly
companion of Muhammad Image:Mohammed im kreis seiner gefährten.jpg, Muhammad and his companions on an Ottoman miniature Companions of the Prophet or ' ( ar, اَلصَّحَابَةُ meaning "the companions", from the verb meaning "accompany", "keep company with" ...
,
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
, and put an end to Ansarite deliberations. Abu Bakr was viewed as acceptable by the Ansar and the Qurayshite elite and was acknowledged as
caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
(leader of the Muslim community). He showed favor to the Umayyads by awarding them command roles in the
Muslim conquest of Syria The Muslim conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ الْإٍسْـلَامِيُّ لِـلـشَّـامِ, ''Al-Fatḥ ul-Islāmiyyu lish-Shām''), also known as the Arab conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ ...
. One of the appointees was Yazid, the son of Abu Sufyan, who owned property and maintained trade networks in Syria. Abu Bakr's successor
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
() curtailed the influence of the Qurayshite elite in favor of Muhammad's earlier supporters in the administration and military, but nonetheless allowed the growing foothold of Abu Sufyan's sons in Syria, which was all but conquered by 638. When Umar's overall commander of the province
Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, fully Abū ‘Ubaydah ‘Āmir ibn ‘Abdillāh ibn al-Jarāḥ ( ar, أبو عبيدة عامر بن عبدالله بن الجراح; 583–639 CE), was one of the Companions of the Islamic prophet Prop ...
died in 639, he appointed Yazid governor of Syria's
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...
,
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
and
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...
districts. Yazid died shortly after and Umar appointed his brother
Mu'awiya Muawiyah I ( ar, معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Muʿāwiya ibn Abī Sufyān; –April 680) was the founder and first caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate and fifth Caliph of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in En ...
in his place. Umar's exceptional treatment of Abu Sufyan's sons may have stemmed from his respect for the family, their burgeoning alliance with the powerful
Banu Kalb The Banu Kalb () or Kalb ibn Wabara () was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an ethnic group An ethnic gr ...
tribe as a counterbalance to the influential
Himyar The Himyarite Kingdom ( ar, مملكة حِمْيَر, Mamlakat Ḥimyar, he, ממלכת חִמְיָר), or Himyar ( ar, حِمْيَر, ''Ḥimyar'', xsa, 𐩢𐩣𐩺𐩧𐩣, Ḥmyrm) (fl. ''Floruit'' (), abbreviated fl. (or occasionall ...

Himyar
ite settlers in
Homs ar, حمصي, HimsiHimsi or Homsi is an Arabic locational surname, which means a person from Homs, Syria.Abu Assali, Sarah. (2012)"The Eye of the Beholder" ''Syria Today Magazine'', October 10. Retrieved on 25 January 2016. The name may refer to ...

Homs
who viewed themselves as equals to the Quraysh in nobility or the lack of a suitable candidate at the time, particularly amid the plague of Amwas which had already killed Abu Ubayda and Yazid. Under Mu'awiya's stewardship, Syria remained domestically peaceful, organized and well-defended from its former
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
rulers.


Caliphate of Uthman

Umar's successor,
Uthman ibn Affan Uthman ibn Affan ( ar, عثمان بن عفان, ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān; – 17 June 656), also spelled by the Turkish and Persian rendering Osman, was the third Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.pn ...
, was a wealthy Umayyad and early Muslim convert with marital ties to Muhammad. He was elected by the ''
shura Shura ( ar, شُورَىٰ, ''shūrā'') is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision. The pr ...

shura
'' council, composed of Muhammad's cousin
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam,
Talha ibn Ubayd Allah Talhah ibn Ubaydullah ( ar, طلحة بن عبيدالله; 594-656) was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , death_place = , resting_place ...
,
Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqās ( ar, سعد بن أبي وقاص), also known as Saʿd ibn Malik, was one of the companions of the Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIsl ...
and
Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf ( ar, عبد الرحمن بن عوف) (c.581 CE – c.654 CE) was one of the Sahaba, companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is known for being one of the Hadith of the ten promised paradise, Ten Promised Paradis ...
, all of whom were close, early companions of Muhammad and belonged to the Quraysh. He was chosen over Ali because he would ensure the concentration of state power into the hands of the Quraysh, as opposed to Ali's determination to diffuse power among all of the Muslim factions. From early in his reign, Uthman displayed explicit favouritism to his kinsmen, in stark contrast to his predecessors. He appointed his family members as governors over the regions successively conquered under Umar and himself, namely much of the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sasanian Empire
, i.e. Iraq and Iran, and the former Byzantine territories of Syria and Egypt. In Medina, he relied extensively on the counsel of his Umayyad cousins, the brothers al-Harith and
Marwan ibn al-Hakam Marwan ibn al-Hakam ibn Abi al-As ibn Umayya ( ar, links=no, مروان بن الحكم بن أبي العاص بن أمية, Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam ibn Abī al-ʿĀs ibn Umayya), commonly known as MarwanI (623 or 626April/May 685), was the fourt ...
. According to the historian
Wilferd Madelung Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung (b. 1930) is a German-American author and scholar of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , ...
, this policy stemmed from Uthman's "conviction that the house of Umayya, as the core clan of Quraysh, was uniquely qualified to rule in the name of Islam". Uthman's nepotism provoked the ire of the Ansar and the members of the ''shura''. In 645/46, he added the
Jazira Jazira or Al-Jazira ( 'island'), or variants, may refer to: Business *Jazeera Airways, an airlines company based in Kuwait Locations * Al-Jazira, a traditional region known today as Upper Mesopotamia or the smaller region of Cizre * Al-Jazira (c ...
(Upper Mesopotamia) to Mu'awiya's Syrian governorship and granted the latter's request to take possession of all Byzantine crown lands in Syria to help pay his troops. He had the surplus taxes from the wealthy provinces of
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَا ...

Kufa
and Egypt forwarded to the treasury in Medina, which he used at his personal disposal, frequently disbursing its funds and war booty to his Umayyad relatives. Moreover, the lucrative Sasanian crown lands of Iraq, which Umar had designated as communal property for the benefit of the
Arab garrison towns
Arab garrison towns
of Kufa and
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
, were turned into caliphal crown lands to be used at Uthman's discretion. Mounting resentment against Uthman's rule in Iraq and Egypt and among the Ansar and Quraysh of Medina culminated in the siege and killing of the caliph in 656. In the assessment of the historian Hugh N. Kennedy, Uthman was killed because of his determination to centralize control over the
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
's government by the traditional elite of the Quraysh, particularly his Umayyad clan, which he believed possessed the "experience and ability" to govern, at the expense of the interests, rights and privileges of many early Muslims.


First Fitna

After Uthman's assassination, Ali was recognized as caliph in Medina, though his support stemmed from the Ansar and the Iraqis, while the bulk of the Quraysh was wary of his rule. The first challenge to his authority came from the Qurayshite leaders al-Zubayr and Talha, who had opposed Uthman's empowerment of the Umayyad clan but feared that their own influence and the power of the Quraysh, in general, would dissipate under Ali. Backed by one of Muhammad's wives,
A'isha ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr ( ar, عائشة بنت أبي بكر , 613/614 – 678 CE), also transcribed as Aisha (, also , ) or variants, was Muhammad ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , deat ...
, they attempted to rally support against Ali among the troops of Basra, prompting the caliph to leave for Iraq's other garrison town, Kufa, where he could better confront his challengers. Ali defeated them at the
Battle of the Camel The Battle of the Camel, also known as the Battle of Jamel or the Battle of Basra, took place at Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab. It had an estimated population of 2.5 m ...

Battle of the Camel
, in which al-Zubayr and Talha were slain and A'isha consequently entered self-imposed seclusion. Ali's sovereignty was thereafter recognized in Basra and Egypt and he established Kufa as the Caliphate's new capital. Although Ali was able to replace Uthman's governors in Egypt and Iraq with relative ease, Mu'awiya had developed a solid power-base and an effective military against the Byzantines from the Arab tribes of Syria. Mu'awiya did not claim the caliphate but was determined to retain control of Syria and opposed Ali in the name of avenging his kinsman Uthman, accusing the caliph of culpability in his death. Ali and Mu'awiya fought to a stalemate at the
Battle of Siffin The Battle of Siffin was the second battle of the First Fitna, after the Battle of the Camel. It was fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth of the Rashidun, Rashidun caliphs, and Muawiyah I on the banks of the Euphrates river in Siffin arou ...
in early 657. Ali agreed to settle the matter with Mu'awiya by arbitration, though the talks failed to achieve a resolution. The decision to arbitrate fundamentally weakened Ali's political position as he was forced to negotiate with Mu'awiya on equal terms, while it drove a significant number of his supporters, who became known as the
Kharijites The Kharijites ( ar, الخوارج, ''al-Khawārij'', singular , ''khāriji''), also called the al-Shurat (Arabic: الشراة, ''al-Shurāt''), were an Islamic sect that appeared in the first century of Islam during the First Muslim Civil W ...
, to revolt. Ali's coalition steadily disintegrated and many Iraqi tribal nobles secretly defected to Mu'awiya, while the latter's ally
Amr ibn al-As Amr ibn al-As al-Sahmi ( ar, عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ, ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ al-Sahmī; 664) was the Arab commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt and served as its governor in 640–646 and 658–664. The son of a wealthy Q ...
ousted Ali's governor from Egypt in July 658. In July 660 Mu'awiya was formally recognized as caliph in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
by his Syrian tribal allies. Ali was assassinated by a Kharijite in January 661. His son
Hasan
Hasan
succeeded him but abdicated in return for compensation upon Mu'awiya's arrival to Iraq with his Syrian army in the summer. At that point, Mu'awiya entered Kufa and received the allegiance of the Iraqis.


Sufyanid period


Caliphate of Mu'awiya

The recognition of Mu'awiya in Kufa, referred to as the "year of unification of the community" in the Muslim traditional sources, is generally considered the start of his caliphate. With his accession, the political capital and the caliphal treasury were transferred to
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
, the seat of Mu'awiya's power. Syria's emergence as the metropolis of the Umayyad Caliphate was the result of Mu'awiya's twenty-year entrenchment in the province, the geographic distribution of its relatively large Arab population throughout the province in contrast to their seclusion in garrison cities in other provinces, and the domination of a single tribal confederation, the Kalb-led
Quda'a Quda'a ( ar, قضاعة/ALA-LC: ''Quḍāʿa'') were a group of Arab tribes with unclear genealogical origins, with traditional Arab genealogists ascribing their descent to Ma'add, Himyar or both. Origins The origins of the Quda'a are obscure, wit ...
, as opposed to the wide array of competing tribal groups in Iraq. The long-established, formerly Christian Arab tribes in Syria, having been integrated into the military of the Byzantine Empire and their
Ghassanid The Ghassanids ( ar, الغساسنة, al-Ghasāsinah, also ''Banū Ghassān'' "Sons of Ghassān"), also called the Jafnids, were a Pre-Islamic Arabia, pre-Islamic Arab tribe which founded an Arab kingdom. They emigrated from Yemen in the early ...
client kings, were "more accustomed to order and obedience" than their Iraqi counterparts, according to the historian
Julius Wellhausen Julius Wellhausen (17 May 1844 – 7 January 1918) was a German biblical scholar Biblical studies is the academic application of a set of diverse disciplines to the study of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ' ...
. Mu'awiya relied on the powerful Kalbite chief
Ibn Bahdal Hassan ibn Malik ibn Bahdal al-Kalbi ( ar, حسان بن مالك بن بحدل الكلبي, Ḥassān ibn Mālik ibn Baḥdal al-Kalbī, commonly known as Ibn Bahdal ( ar, ابن بحدل, Ibn Baḥdal; d. 688/89), was the governor of and duri ...
and the
Kindite Kindah () was a tribal kingdom in central Arabia established by the Kindah tribe which emigrated from its homeland in Yemen. The tribe's existence dates back to the 2nd century BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gre ...
nobleman
Shurahbil ibn SimtShuraḥbīl ibn al-Simṭ ibn al-Aswad al-Kindī () commonly referred to as Ibn al-Simṭ, was a Kindite commander in the Muslim army against the Sasanian Persians at the Battle of al-Qadisiyya in 636 and later a Homs ar, حمصي, Himsi , po ...
alongside the Qurayshite commanders
al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Fihri Abū Unays (or Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān) al-Ḍaḥḥak ibn Qays al-Fihrī () (died August 684) was an Umayyad general, head of security forces and governor of Damascus during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiyah I, Mu'awiya I, Yazid I and Mu'awiya II. ...
and
Abd al-Rahman Abdelrahman or Abd al-Rahman or Abdul Rahman or Abdurrahman ( ar, عبد الرحمن or occasionally ; DMG ''ʿAbd ar-Raḥman'') is a male Arabic Muslim given name, and in modern usage, surname. It is built from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ...
, the son of the prominent general
Khalid ibn al-Walid , other_name = ('the Sword of God')Abu Sulayman , image = , alt = , caption = , birth_date = , death_date = 642 , birth_place = Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly s ...
, to guarantee the loyalty of the key military components of Syria. Mu'awiya preoccupied his core Syrian troops in nearly annual or bi-annual land and sea raids against Byzantium, which provided them with battlefield experience and war spoils, but secured no permanent territorial gains. Toward the end of his reign the caliph entered a thirty-year truce with Byzantine emperor
Constantine IV Constantine IV ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος, translit=Kōnstantinos; c. 650-685), called the Younger (Greek: ὁ νέος, ''ho neos'') and sometimes incorrectly Pogonatos (Greek: Πωγωνᾶτος, "the Bearded") out of confusion with his ...
(), obliging the Umayyads to pay the Empire an annual tribute of gold, horses and slaves. Mu'awiya's main challenge was reestablishing the unity of the Muslim community and asserting his authority and that of the caliphate in the provinces amid the political and social disintegration of the First Fitna. There remained significant opposition to his assumption of the caliphate and to a strong central government. The garrison towns of Kufa and Basra, populated by the Arab immigrants and troops who arrived during the conquest of Iraq in the 630s–640s, resented the transition of power to Syria. They remained divided, nonetheless, as both cities competed for power and influence in Iraq and its eastern dependencies and remained divided between the Arab tribal nobility and the early Muslim converts, the latter of whom were divided between the pro-
Alids The Alids ( ar, علوي) are an Arab community and a part of Ahl al-Bayt In Islamic tradition, Ahl al Bayt ( ar, أَهْلُ ٱلْبَيْتِ; fa, اهلِ بیت; ; lit. People of the House, People of the Household or Family of the ...
(loyalists of Ali) and the Kharijites, who followed their own strict interpretation of Islam. The caliph applied a decentralized approach to governing Iraq by forging alliances with its tribal nobility, such as the Kufan leader
al-Ash'ath ibn Qays Abū Muḥammad Maʿdīkarib ibn Qays ibn Maʿdīkarib () better known as al-Ashʿath (died ca. 661) was a chieftain of the Kindah Kindah () was a tribal kingdom in Najd, central Arabia established by the Kindah tribe which emigrated from its home ...
, and entrusting the administration of Kufa and Basra to highly experienced members of the
Thaqif Banū Thaqīf () is an Arab tribe The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity ...
tribe,
al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba Abu Abd Allah al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba ibn Abi Amir ibn Mas'ud al-Thaqafi ( ar, المغيرة بن شعبة بن أبي عامر بن مسعود الثقفي, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Mughīra ibn Shuʿba ibn Abī ʿĀmir ibn Masʿūd al-Thaqafī); –671 ...
and the latter's protege
Ziyad ibn Abihi Abu al-Mughira Ziyad ibn Abihi ( ar, أبو المغيرة زياد بن أبيه, Abū al-Mughīra Ziyād ibn Abīhi; – 673), also known as Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan ( ar, زياد بن أبي سفيان, Ziyād ibn Abī Sufyān), was an administ ...
(whom Mu'awiya adopted as his half-brother), respectively. In return for recognizing his suzerainty, maintaining order, and forwarding a token portion of the provincial tax revenues to Damascus, the caliph let his governors rule with practical independence. After al-Mughira's death in 670, Mu'awiya attached Kufa and its dependencies to the governorship of Basra, making Ziyad the practical viceroy over the eastern half of the Caliphate. Afterward, Ziyad launched a concerted campaign to firmly establish Arab rule in the vast
Khurasan Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, خراسان, , ''Wuchang''), sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region which formed the northeast province of Greater Iran. The name signifies "the Land of the Sun" or "the Eastern Province". ...
region east of Iran and restart the Muslim conquests in the surrounding areas. Not long after Ziyad's death, he was succeeded by his son
Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Ziyād ( ar, عبيد الله بن زياد, ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Ziyād) was the Umayyad governor of Basra, Kufa and Khurasan during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiya I and Yazid I, and the leading general of the Umayyad army ...
. Meanwhile, Amr ibn al-As ruled Egypt from the provincial capital of
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
as a virtual partner of Mu'awiya until his death in 663, after which loyalist governors were appointed and the province became a practical appendage of Syria. Under Mu'awiya's direction, the Muslim conquest of
Ifriqiya Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previously ...
(central North Africa) was launched by the commander
Uqba ibn Nafi Uqba ibn Nafi ibn Abd al-Qays al-Fihri al-Qurashi ( ar, عقبة بن نافع بن عبد القيس الفهري القرشي, ʿUqba ibn Nāfiʿ ibn ʿAbd al-Qays al-Fihrī al-Qurashī) was an Arabs, Arab general serving the Rashidun Caliphate ...
in 670, which extended Umayyad control as far as
Byzacena Byzacena (or Byzacium) ( grc, Βυζάκιον, ''Byzakion'') was a Late Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were controlled by the R ...
(modern southern Tunisia), where Uqba founded the permanent Arab garrison city of
Kairouan Kairouan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان '), also spelled Al Qayrawān or Kairwan (), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia i ...

Kairouan
.


Succession of Yazid I and collapse of Sufyanid rule

In contrast to Uthman, Mu'awiya restricted the influence of his Umayyad kinsmen to the governorship of Medina, where the dispossessed Islamic elite, including the Umayyads, was suspicious or hostile toward his rule. However, in an unprecedented move in Islamic politics, Mu'awiya nominated his own son,
Yazid I Yazid ibn Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan ( ar, يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Yazīd ibn Muʿāwiya ibn ʾAbī Sufyān; 64611 November 683), commonly known as Yazid I, was the second of the . He ruled from April 680 until his de ...
, as his successor in 676, introducing hereditary rule to caliphal succession and, in practice, turning the office of the caliph into a kingship. The act was met with disapproval or opposition by the Iraqis and the Hejaz-based Quraysh, including the Umayyads, but most were bribed or coerced into acceptance. Yazid acceded after Mu'awiya's death in 680 and almost immediately faced a challenge to his rule by the Kufan partisans of Ali who had invited Ali's son and Muhammad's grandson
Husayn Hussein, Hossein, Husayn, or Husain (; ar, حُسَيْن ), coming from the triconsonantal root Ḥ-S-N ( ar, ح س ن, link=no), is an Arabic name which is the diminutive of Hassan (given name), Hassan, meaning "good", "handsome" or "beaut ...
to stage a revolt against Umayyad rule from Iraq. An army mobilized by Iraq's governor Ibn Ziyad intercepted and killed Husayn outside Kufa at the
Battle of Karbala The Battle of Karbala ( ar, مَعْرَكَة كَرْبَلَاء) was fought on 10 October 680 (10 Muharram Muḥarram ( ar, ٱلْمُحَرَّم) is the first month of the Islamic calendar The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْو ...

Battle of Karbala
. Although it stymied active opposition to Yazid in Iraq, the killing of Muhammad's grandson left many Muslims outraged and significantly increased Kufan hostility toward the Umayyads and sympathy for the family of Ali. The next major challenge to Yazid's rule emanated from the Hejaz where
Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam ( ar, عبد الله ابن الزبير ابن العوام, ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-ʿAwwām; May 624 – October/November 692) was the leader of a caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَا ...
, the son of al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam and grandson of Abu Bakr, advocated for a ''shura'' among the Quraysh to elect the caliph and rallied opposition to the Umayyads from his headquarters in Islam's holiest sanctuary, the
Ka'aba The ''Kaaba'' (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the ...
in Mecca. The Ansar and Quraysh of Medina also took up the anti-Umayyad cause and in 683 expelled the Umayyads from the city. Yazid's Syrian troops routed the Medinese at the
Battle of al-Harra The Battle of al-Harra ( ar, يوم الحرة, Yawm al-Ḥarra ) was fought between the Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَ ...
and subsequently plundered Medina before besieging Ibn al-Zubayr in Mecca. The Syrians withdrew upon news of Yazid's death in 683, after which Ibn al-Zubayr declared himself caliph and soon after gained recognition in most provinces of the Caliphate, including Iraq and Egypt. In Syria Ibn Bahdal secured the succession of Yazid's son and appointed successor
Mu'awiya II Muawiya II or Muawiya ibn Yazid ( ar, معاوية بن يزيد, Mu‘āwiya ibn Yazīd; 664 – 684 CE) succeeded his father Yazid I Yazid ibn Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan ( ar, يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Yazīd ib ...
, whose authority was likely restricted to Damascus and Syria's southern districts. Mu'awiya II had been ill from the beginning of his accession, with al-Dahhak assuming the practical duties of his office, and he died in early 684 without naming a successor. His death marked the end of the Umayyads' Sufyanid ruling house, called after Mu'awiya I's father Abu Sufyan. The eldest surviving Sufyanid, al-Walid ibn Utba, the son of Mu'awiya I's full brother, died shortly after Mu'awiya II's death, while another paternal uncle of the deceased caliph, Uthman ibn Anbasa ibn Abi Sufyan, who had support from the Kalb of the Jordan district, recognized the caliphate of his maternal uncle Ibn al-Zubayr. Ibn Bahdal favored Mu'awiya II's brothers
Khalid Khalid (variants include Khaled and Kalid; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration wi ...
and Abd Allah for the succession, but they were viewed as too young and inexperienced by most of the pro-Umayyad tribal nobility in Syria.


Early Marwanid period


Marwanid transition and end of Second Fitna

Umayyad authority nearly collapsed in their Syrian stronghold after the death of Mu'awiya II. Al-Dahhak in Damascus, the
Qays Qays ʿAylān ( ar, قيس عيلان), often referred to simply as Qays (''Kais'' or ''Ḳays'') were an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , ...
tribes in
Qinnasrin Qinnasrin ( ar, قنسرين; syr, ܩܢܫܪܝܢ, ''Qinnašrīn'', lit=Nest of Eagles), also known by numerous other romanizations and originally known as ( la, Chalcis ad Belum; grc-gre, Χαλκὶς, ''Khalkìs''), was a historical town in ...
(northern Syria) and the Jazira, the
Judham The Judham ( ar, بنو جذام, ') was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations) ...
in Palestine, and the Ansar and South Arabians of Homs all opted to recognize Ibn al-Zubayr. Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the leader of the Umayyads expelled to Syria from Medina, was prepared to submit to Ibn al-Zubayr as well but was persuaded to forward his candidacy for the caliphate by Ibn Ziyad. The latter had been driven out of Iraq and strove to uphold Umayyad rule. During a summit of pro-Umayyad Syrian tribes, namely the Quda'a and their Kindite allies, organized by Ibn Bahdal in the old Ghassanid capital of
Jabiya Jabiyah ( ar, الجابية / ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization ...
, Marwan was elected caliph in exchange for economic privileges to the loyalist tribes. At the subsequent Battle of Marj Rahit in August 684, Marwan led his tribal allies to a decisive victory against a much larger Qaysite army led by al-Dahhak, who was slain. Not long after, the South Arabians of Homs and the Judham joined the Quda'a to form the tribal confederation of Yaman. Marj Rahit led to the long-running conflict between the Qays and Yaman coalitions. The Qays regrouped in the
Euphrates river The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are a ...

Euphrates river
fortress of
Circesium Circesium ( syc, ܩܪܩܣܝܢ '), known in Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration wit ...
under
Zufar ibn al-Harith al-Kilabi Abū al-Hudhayl Zufar ibn al-Ḥārith al-Kilābī ( ar, ابو الهديل زفر بن الحارث الكلابي); ) was a Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abraham ...
and moved to avenge their losses. Although Marwan regained full control of Syria in the months following the battle, the inter-tribal strife undermined the foundation of Umayyad power: the Syrian army. In 685, Marwan and Ibn Bahdal expelled the Zubayrid governor of Egypt and replaced him with Marwan's son
Abd al-Aziz Abd al-Aziz ( ar, عبد العزيز, DMG: ''ʽAbd al-ʽAzīz''), frequently also transliterated Abdul-Aziz, is a male Arabic Muslim given name and, in modern usage, surname. It is built from the words '' ʽAbd'', the Arabic definite article ...
, who would rule the province until his death in 704/05. Another son,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...
, was appointed to suppress Zufar's rebellion in the Jazira. Marwan died in April 685 and was succeeded by his eldest son
Abd al-Malik Abdullah Malik ( ar, عبد الملك) is an Arabic (Muslim or Christian) male given name and, in modern usage, surname. It is built from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in ling ...
. Although Ibn Ziyad attempted to restore the Syrian army of the Sufyanid caliphs, persistent divisions along Qays–Yaman lines contributed to the army's massive rout and Ibn Ziyad's death at the hands of the pro-Alid forces of
Mukhtar al-Thaqafi Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd Al-Thaqafi ( ar, ٱلْمُخْتَار ٱبْن أَبِي عُبَيْد ٱلثَّقَفِيّ, '; c. 622 – 3 April 687) was a pro- Alid revolutionary based in Kufa, who led a rebellion against the Umayyad Cal ...
of Kufa at the
Battle of Khazir The Battle of Khazir ( ar, يوم الخازر, ''Yawm Khāzir'') took place in August 686 near the Khazir River in Mosul's eastern environs, in modern-day Iraq. The battle occurred during the Second Fitna, Second Muslim Civil War and was part of ...
in August 686. The setback delayed Abd al-Malik's attempts to reestablish Umayyad authority in Iraq, while pressures from the Byzantine Empire and raids into Syria by the Byzantines'
Mardaite The Mardaites ( el, Μαρδαΐται) or al-Jarajima ( syr, ܡܪ̈ܕܝܐ; ar, الجراجمة / ALA-LC: ''al-Jarājimah''), inhabited the highland regions of the Nur Mountains. The Mardaites were early Christians following either Miaphysitism or ...
allies compelled him to sign a peace treaty with Byzantium in 689 which substantially increased the Umayyads' annual tribute to the Empire. During his siege of Circesium in 691, Abd al-Malik reconciled with Zufar and the Qays by offering them privileged positions in the Umayyad court and army, signaling a new policy by the caliph and his successors to balance the interests of the Qays and Yaman in the Umayyad state. With his unified army, Abd al-Malik marched against the Zubayrids of Iraq, having already secretly secured the defection of the province's leading tribal chiefs, and defeated Iraq's ruler, Ibn al-Zubayr's brother
Mus'ab
Mus'ab
, at the
Battle of Maskin The Battle of Maskin ( ar, معركة مسكن), also known as the Battle of Dayr al-Jathaliq ( ar, معركة دير الجثاليق) from a nearby Church of the East, Nestorian monastery, was a decisive battle of the Second Fitna (680s-690s). It ...
in 691. Afterward, the Umayyad commander
al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf Abū Muhammad al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Ḥakam ibn ʿAqīl al-Thaqafī ( ar, أبو محمد الحجاج بن يوسف بن الحكم بن عقيل الثقفي; Ta'if Taif ( ar, اَلطَّائِفُ, translit=aṭ-Ṭāʾif, lit=The ci ...
besieged Mecca and killed Ibn al-Zubayr in 692, marking the end of the Second Fitna and the reunification of the Caliphate under Abd al-Malik's rule.


Domestic consolidation and centralization

Iraq remained politically unstable and the garrisons of Kufa and Basra had become exhausted by warfare with Kharijite rebels. In 694 Abd al-Malik combined both cities as a single province under the governorship of al-Hajjaj, who oversaw the suppression of the Kharijite revolts in Iraq and Iran by 698 and was subsequently given authority over the rest of the eastern Caliphate. Resentment among the Iraqi troops towards al-Hajjaj's methods of governance, particularly his death threats to force participation in the war efforts and his reductions to their stipends, culminated with a mass Iraqi rebellion against the Umayyads in . The leader of the rebels was the Kufan nobleman
Ibn al-Ash'ath ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ashʿath ( ar, عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن الأشعث), commonly known as Ibn al-Ashʿath after his grandfather Muhammad ibn al-Ashath. He was a distinguished Arab nobleman and general durin ...
, grandson of al-Ash'ath ibn Qays. Al-Hajjaj defeated Ibn al-Ash'ath's rebels at the
Battle of Dayr al-JamajimThe Battle of Dayr al-Jamajim ("Battle of the monastery of Skulls" after a nearby Church of the East, Nestorian monastery), was fought in 701 CE in central Iraq between the largely Bilad al-Sham, Syrian Umayyad army under al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf against ...
in April. The suppression of the revolt marked the end of the Iraqi ''muqātila'' as a military force and the beginning of Syrian military domination of Iraq. Iraqi internal divisions, and the utilization of more disciplined Syrian forces by Abd al-Malik and al-Hajjaj, voided the Iraqis' attempt to reassert power in the province. To consolidate Umayyad rule after the Second Fitna, the Marwanids launched a series of centralization,
Islamization Islamization (also spelled Islamisation, see spelling differences; ar, أسلمة, ), Islamicization or Islamification, is the process of a society's shift towards the religion of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in ...
and
Arabization Arabization Ise vs ize, or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب ') describes both the process of growing Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by their gradual adoption of the Arabic language and their incorporation of the cultu ...
measures. To prevent further rebellions in Iraq, al-Hajjaj founded a permanent Syrian garrison in
Wasit Wasit ( ar, وَاسِط, Wāsiṭ) is a place in Wasit Governorate Wasit Governorate ( ar, واسط, translit=Wāsit) is a Governorates of Iraq, governorate in eastern Iraq, south-east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Prior to 1976 it was known as ...

Wasit
, situated between Kufa and Basra, and instituted a more rigorous administration in the province. Power thereafter derived from the Syrian troops, who became Iraq's ruling class, while Iraq's Arab nobility, religious scholars and ''mawālī'' became their virtual subjects. The surplus from the agriculturally rich
Sawad Sawad was the name used in early Islamic times (7th–12th centuries) for southern Iraq. It means "black land" or "arable land" and refers to the stark contrast between the alluvial plain of Mesopotamia and the Arabian Desert. Under the Umayyad Cal ...
lands was redirected from the ''muqātila'' to the caliphal treasury in Damascus to pay the Syrian troops in Iraq. The system of military pay established by Umar, which paid stipends to veterans of the earlier Muslim conquests and their descendants, was ended, salaries being restricted to those in active service. The old system was considered a handicap on Abd al-Malik's executive authority and financial ability to reward loyalists in the army. Thus, a professional army was established during Abd al-Malik's reign whose salaries derived from tax proceeds. In 693, the Byzantine gold ''
solidus Solidus (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republi ...
'' was replaced in Syria and Egypt with the
dinar The dinar () is the principal currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray c ...
. Initially, the new coinage contained depictions of the Caliph as the spiritual leader of the Muslim community and its supreme military commander. This image proved no less acceptable to Muslim officialdom and was replaced in 696 or 697 with image-less coinage inscribed with Qur'anic quotes and other Muslim religious formulas. In 698/99, similar changes were made to the silver
dirham The dirham, dirhem or dirhm ( ar, درهم) was a silver coin, and, in some cases, still is a unit of currency in several Arab states The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the ...

dirham
s issued by the Muslims in the former Sasanian Persian lands of the eastern Caliphate. Arabic replaced
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
as the language of the ''dīwān'' in Iraq in 697,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
in the Syrian ''dīwān'' in 700, and Greek and
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
in the Egyptian ''dīwān'' in 705/06. Arabic ultimately became the sole official language of the Umayyad state, but the transition in faraway provinces, such as Khurasan, did not occur until the 740s. Although the official language was changed, Greek and Persian-speaking bureaucrats who were versed in Arabic kept their posts. According to Gibb, the decrees were the "first step towards the reorganization and unification of the diverse tax-systems in the provinces, and also a step towards a more definitely Muslim administration". Indeed, it formed an important part of the Islamization measures that lent the Umayyad Caliphate "a more ideological and programmatic coloring it had previously lacked", according to Blankinship. In 691/92, Abd al-Malik completed the
Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock ( ar, قبة الصخرة, Qubbat aṣ-Ṣakhra) is an Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my" ...

Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem, It was possibly intended as a monument of victory over the Christians that would distinguish Islam's uniqueness within the common
Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, be ...
setting of Jerusalem, home of the two older Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Christianity. An alternative motive may have been to divert the religious focus of Muslims in the Umayyad realm from the Ka'aba in Zubayrid Mecca (683–692), where the Umayyads were routinely condemned during the Hajj. In Damascus, al-Walid confiscated the cathedral of St. John the Baptist and founded the
Great Mosque
Great Mosque
in its place as a "symbol of the political supremacy and moral prestige of Islam", according to historian Nikita Elisséeff. Noting al-Walid's awareness of architecture's propaganda value, historian Robert Hillenbrand calls the Damascus mosque a "victory monument" intended as a "visible statement of Muslim supremacy and permanence".


Renewal of conquests

Under Abd al-Malik's son and successor
al-Walid I Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ( ar, الوليد بن عبد الملك ابن مروان, al-Walīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān; c. 674 – 23 February 715), commonly known as al-Walid I ( ar, الوليد الأول), was the sixth Um ...
() the Umayyad Caliphate reached its greatest territorial extent. The war with the Byzantines had resumed under Abd al-Malik after the civil war, with the Umayyads defeating the Byzantines at the
Battle of Sebastopolis The Battle of Sebastopolis was fought at Sebastopolis (mostly identified with Elaiussa Sebaste in Cilicia Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian: ''klkyʾy'' (''Klikiyā''), Parthian language, Parthian: ''kylkyʾ'' (''Kilik ...
in 692. The Umayyads launched constant raids against Byzantine Anatolia and Armenia in the following years. By 705, Armenia was annexed by the Caliphate along with the principalities of
Caucasian Albania Caucasian Albania is a modern exonym for a former state located in ancient times in the Caucasus: mostly in what is now Azerbaijan (where both of its capitals were located). The modern endonyms for the area are ''Aghwank'' and ''Aluank'', among t ...

Caucasian Albania
and
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...
, which collectively became the province of
Arminiya Arminiya, also known as the Ostikanate of Arminiya ( hy, Արմինիա ոստիկանություն, ''Arminia vostikanut'yun''), Emirate of Armenia ( ar, إمارة أرمينيا, ''imārat Arminiya''), was a political and geographic designatio ...
. In 695–698 the commander Hassan ibn al-Nu'man al-Ghassani restored Umayyad control over Ifriqiya after defeating the Byzantines and Berbers there. Carthage was captured and destroyed in 698, signaling "the final, irretrievable end of
Roman power in Africa
Roman power in Africa
", according to Kennedy. Kairouan was firmly secured as a launchpad for later conquests, while the port town of
Tunis Tunis ( ar, تونس ') is the and largest city of . The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as "", has about 2,700,000 inhabitants. , it is the fourth-largest city in the region (after , and ) and the in the . Situated on ...
was founded and equipped with an arsenal on Abd al-Malik's orders to establish a strong Arab fleet. Hassan al-Nu'man continued the campaign against the Berbers, defeating them and killing their leader, the warrior queen al-Kahina, between 698 and 703. His successor in Ifriqiya,
Musa ibn Nusayr Musa ibn Nusayr ( ar, موسى بن نصير ''Mūsá bin Nuṣayr''; 640 – c. 716) served as a Umayyad governor and an Arab general under the Umayyad caliph The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُم ...
, subjugated the Berbers of the Hawwara,
Zenata The Zenata (Berber language The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifinagh: ⵜⵎⵣⵗⵜ, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise ...
and
Kutama The Kutama (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specificall ...
confederations and advanced into the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
(western North Africa), conquering
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
and
Sus
Sus
in 708/09. Musa's Berber ''
mawla Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning ...
'',
Tariq ibn Ziyad Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād ( ar, طارق بن زياد), also known simply as Tarik in English, was a Berbers, Berber Umayyad commander who initiated the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania, Umayyad conquest of Visigothic Hispania (present-day Spain and ...

Tariq ibn Ziyad
, invaded the
Visigothic Kingdom The Visigothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of the Goths ( la, Regnum Gothorum), was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...

Visigothic Kingdom
of
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testame ...

Hispania
(the Iberian Peninsula) in 711 and within five years most of Hispania was conquered. Al-Hajjaj managed the eastern expansion from Iraq. His lieutenant governor of
Khurasan Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, خراسان, , ''Wuchang''), sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region which formed the northeast province of Greater Iran. The name signifies "the Land of the Sun" or "the Eastern Province". ...
,
Qutayba ibn Muslim Abū Ḥafṣ Qutayba ibn Abī Ṣāliḥ Muslim ibn ʿAmr al-Bāhilī ( ar, أبو حفص قتيبة بن أبي صالح مسلم بن عمرو الباهلي; 669–715/6) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِ ...
, launched numerous campaigns against
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
(Central Asia), which had been a largely impenetrable region for earlier Muslim armies, between 705 and 715. Despite the distance from the Arab garrison towns of Khurasan, the unfavorable terrain and climate and his enemies' numerical superiority, Qutayba, through his persistent raids, gained the surrender of
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
in 706–709,
Khwarazm Khwarazm , or Chorasmia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages ...

Khwarazm
and
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top: The Reg ...

Samarkand
in 711–712 and Farghana in 713. He established Arab garrisons and tax administrations in Samarkand and
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
and demolished their
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōro ...
fire temple A fire temple, Agiary, Atashkadeh ( fa, آتشکده), Atashgah () or Dar-e Mehr () is the place of worship for the followers of Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religion Reli ...

fire temple
s. Both cities developed as future centers of Islamic and Arabic learning. Umayyad suzerainty was secured over the rest of conquered Transoxiana through tributary alliances with local rulers, whose power remained intact. From 708/09, al-Hajjaj's nephew
Muhammad ibn Qasim Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Thaqafi ( ar, محمد بن القاسم الثقفي, ''Muḥammad bin al-Qāsim al-Thaqafī''; 18 July 715), was an Arab military commander of the Umayyad Caliphate who led the Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent, Mus ...
conquered
Sind Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the four provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...
(northwestern South Asia). The massive war spoils netted by the conquests of Transoxiana, Sind and Hispania were comparable to the amounts accrued in the
early Muslim conquests The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Prophets of Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7 ...
during the reign of Caliph
Umar ibn al-Khattab ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun caliph , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligrap ...

Umar ibn al-Khattab
(). Al-Walid I's brother and successor Sulayman () continued his predecessors'
militarist Militarism is the belief or the desire of a government or a people that a state should maintain a strong military capability and to use it aggressively to expand national interests and/or values. It may also imply the glorification of the mili ...
policies, but expansion nonetheless mostly ground to a halt during his reign. The deaths of al-Hajjaj in 714 and Qutayba in 715 left the Arab armies in Transoxiana in disarray. For the next twenty-five years, no further eastward conquests were undertaken and the Arabs lost territory. The Tang Chinese defeated the Arabs at the Battle of Aksu in 717, forcing their withdrawal to
Tashkent russian: Ташкент , other_name = , settlement_type = Capital city, Capital , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top: Skyline of Tashkent, Hilton ...
. Meanwhile, in 716, the governor of Khurasan,
Yazid ibn al-Muhallab Yazid ibn al-Muhallab ( ar, يزيد بن المهلب) (672–720) was a provincial governor in the time of the Umayyad dynasty and an early member of the Muhallabid family that became important in early Abbasid times. Life In Anno Hegirae, A.H. ...
, attempted to conquer the principalities of
Jurjan Gorgan ( fa, گرگان ; also Romanization of Persian, romanized as ''Gorgān'', ''Gurgān'', and ''Gurgan''), formerly Astarabad ( ; also romanized as ''Astarābād'', ''Asterabad'', and ''Esterābād''), is the capital city of Golestan Provi ...
and
Tabaristan Tabaristan or Tabarestan ( fa, طبرستان, Ṭabarestān, or mzn, تبرستون, Tabarestun, ultimately from Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later ...

Tabaristan
along the southern
Caspian
Caspian
coast. His Khurasani and Iraqi troops were reinforced by Syrians, marking their first deployment to Khurasan, but the Arabs' initial successes were reversed by the local Iranian coalition of
Farrukhan the Great Farrukhan the Great ( Persian: فرخان بزرگ, ''Farrukhan-e Bozorg''; 712–728) was the independent ruler ('' ispahbadh'') of Tabaristan in the early 8th century, until his death in 728. He is the first actually attested (through his coinag ...
. Afterward, the Arabs withdrew in return for a tributary agreement. On the Byzantine front, Sulayman took up his predecessor's project to capture Constantinople with increased vigor. His brother Maslama
besieged the Byzantine capital
besieged the Byzantine capital
from the land, while Umar ibn Hubayra al-Fazari launched a naval campaign against the city. The Byzantines destroyed the Umayyad fleets and defeated Maslama's army, prompting his withdrawal to Syria in 718. The massive losses incurred during the campaign led to a partial retrenchment of Umayyad forces from the captured Byzantine frontier districts, but already in 720, Umayyad raids against Byzantium recommenced. Nevertheless, the goal of conquering Constantinople was effectively abandoned, and the frontier between the two empires stabilized along the line of the
Taurus Taurus is Latin for 'bull' and may refer to: * Taurus (constellation), one of the constellations of the zodiac * Taurus (mythology), one of two Greek mythological characters named Taurus * Taurus (astrology), the astrological sign * ''Bos taurus'' ...
and
Anti-Taurus Mountains The Anti-Taurus Mountains (from el, Αντίταυρος, tr, Aladağlar) are a mountain range in southern and eastern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and ...
, over which both sides continued to launch regular raids and counter-raids during the next centuries.


Caliphate of Umar II

Sulayman was succeeded by his cousin,
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz ( ar, عمر بن عبد العزيز, ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; 2 November 682 – ), commonly known as Umar II (عمر الثاني), was the eighth Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِل ...
(717–720), whose position among the Umayyad caliphs is somewhat unusual. He is the only Umayyad ruler to have been recognized by subsequent Islamic tradition as a genuine caliph (''khalifa'') and not merely as a worldly king (''malik''). Umar is honoured for his attempt to resolve the fiscal problems attendant upon conversion to Islam. During the Umayyad period, the majority of people living within the caliphate were not Muslim, but
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
,
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
,
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōro ...
, or members of other small groups. These religious communities were not forced to convert to Islam but were subject to a tax (''jizyah'') which was not imposed upon Muslims. This situation may actually have made the widespread conversion to Islam undesirable from the point of view of state revenue, and there are reports that provincial governors actively discouraged such conversions. It is not clear how Umar attempted to resolve this situation, but the sources portray him as having insisted on like treatment of Arab and non-Arab (''
mawali Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Classical Arabic, Arabic word, whose meaning varied in different periods and contexts.A.J. Wensinck, Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Mawlā", vol. 6, p. 874. Before the ...
'') Muslims, and on the removal of obstacles to the conversion of non-Arabs to Islam.


Later Marwanid period

After the death of Umar, another son of Abd al-Malik,
Yazid II Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik ( ar, يزيد بن عبد الملك, Yazīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik; — 28 January 724), also referred to as Yazid II, was the ninth Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْ ...
(720–724) became caliph. Yazid is best known for his " iconoclastic edict", which ordered the destruction of Christian images within the territory of the Caliphate. In 720, another major revolt arose in Iraq, this time led by
Yazid ibn al-Muhallab Yazid ibn al-Muhallab ( ar, يزيد بن المهلب) (672–720) was a provincial governor in the time of the Umayyad dynasty and an early member of the Muhallabid family that became important in early Abbasid times. Life In Anno Hegirae, A.H. ...
.


Caliphate of Hisham and end of expansion

The final son of Abd al-Malik to become caliph was
Hisham Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik ( ar, هشام بن عبد الملك, Hishām ibn ʿAbd al-Malik; 691 – 6 February 743), usually known simply as Hisham, was the tenth Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَاف ...
(724–43), whose long and eventful reign was above all marked by the curtailment of military expansion. Hisham established his court at
Resafa Resafa ( ar, الرصافة Reṣafa), also sometimes spelled Rusafa, and known in the Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provin ...

Resafa
in northern Syria, which was closer to the Byzantine border than Damascus, and resumed hostilities against the Byzantines, which had lapsed following the failure of the last siege of Constantinople. The new campaigns resulted in a number of successful raids into
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, but also in a major defeat (the
Battle of Akroinon The Battle of Akroinon was fought at Akroinon or Akroinos (near modern Afyon) in Phrygia In classical antiquity, Phrygia (; grc, Φρυγία, ''Phrygía'' ; tr, Frigya) (also known as the Kingdom of Muska) was a kingdom in the west central ...
), and did not lead to any significant territorial expansion. From the caliphate's north-western African bases, a series of raids on coastal areas of the
Visigothic Kingdom The Visigothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of the Goths ( la, Regnum Gothorum), was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...

Visigothic Kingdom
paved the way to the permanent occupation of most of Iberia by the Umayyads (starting in 711), and on into south-eastern Gaul (last stronghold at Narbonne in 759). Hisham's reign witnessed the end of expansion in the west, following the defeat of the Arab army by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
at the
Battle of Tours The Battle of Tours, also called the Battle of Poitiers and, by Arab sources, the Battle of the Highway of the Martyrs ( ar, معركة بلاط الشهداء, Ma'arakat Balāṭ ash-Shuhadā'), was fought on 10 October 732, and was an importa ...
in 732. In 739 a major
Berber Revolt The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740–743 AD (122–125 AH in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled ...
broke out in North Africa, which was probably the largest military setback in the reign of Caliph Hisham. From it, emerged some of the first Muslim states outside the Caliphate. It is also regarded as the beginning of Moroccan independence, as
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
would never again come under the rule of an eastern Caliph or any other foreign power until the 20th century. It was followed by the collapse of Umayyad authority in al-Andalus. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, the Umayyad armies were defeated by the south Indian
Chalukya dynasty The Chalukya dynasty () was a Classical India The Middle kingdoms of India were the political entities in India from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. The period begins after the decline of the Maurya Empire and the correspond ...
and by the north Indian
Pratiharas The Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty was an imperial power during the Late Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled much of Northern India from the mid-8th to the 11th century. They ruled first at Ujjain and later at Kannauj. The ...
Dynasty, stagnating further eastward Arab expansion. In the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
, the
confrontation Confrontation is an element of Conflict (process), conflict wherein parties confront one another, directly engaging one another in the course of a dispute between them. A confrontation can be at any scale, between any number of people, between ent ...
with the
Khazars The Khazars; he, כוזרים, Kuzarim; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩部 ''Tūjué Kěsà bù'' () were a semi-nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixe ...

Khazars
peaked under Hisham: the Arabs established
Derbent Derbent (russian: Дербе́нт; lez, Кьвевар, Цал; az, Dərbənd; av, Дербенд); fa, دربند, formerly romanization of Russian, romanized as Derbend, is a city in Dagestan, Russia, located on the Caspian Sea. It is th ...

Derbent
as a major military base and launched several invasions of the northern Caucasus, but failed to subdue the nomadic Khazars. The conflict was arduous and bloody, and the Arab army even suffered a major defeat at the
Battle of Marj Ardabil The Battle of Marj Ardabil or the Battle of Ardabil was a battle fought on the plains surrounding the city of Ardabil in northwestern Iran in AD 730. A Khazar army led by Barjik, the son of the Khazar khagan, invaded the Umayyad provinces of Jiba ...
in 730. Marwan ibn Muhammad, the future Marwan II, finally ended the war in 737 with a massive invasion that is reported to have reached as far as the
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Volga
, but the Khazars remained unsubdued. Hisham suffered still worse defeats in the east, where his armies attempted to subdue both
Tokharistan Tokharistan (formed from "Tokhara" and the suffix ''-stan'' meaning "place of" in Persian) is an ancient Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by his ...
, with its centre at Balkh, and
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
, with its centre at
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top: The Reg ...

Samarkand
. Both areas had already been partially conquered but remained difficult to govern. Once again, a particular difficulty concerned the question of the conversion of non-Arabs, especially the Sogdiana, Sogdians of Transoxiana. Following the Umayyad defeat in the "Day of Thirst" in 724, Ashras ibn 'Abd Allah al-Sulami, governor of
Khurasan Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, خراسان, , ''Wuchang''), sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region which formed the northeast province of Greater Iran. The name signifies "the Land of the Sun" or "the Eastern Province". ...
, promised tax relief to those Sogdians who converted to Islam but went back on his offer when it proved too popular and threatened to reduce tax revenues. Discontent among the Khorasani Arabs rose sharply after the losses suffered in the Battle of the Defile in 731. In 734, al-Harith ibn Surayj led a revolt that received broad backing from Arabs and natives alike, capturing Balkh but failing to take Merv. After this defeat, al-Harith's movement seems to have been dissolved. The problem of the rights of non-Arab Muslims would continue to plague the Umayyads.


Third Fitna

Hisham was succeeded by Al-Walid II (743–44), the son of Yazid II. Al-Walid is reported to have been more interested in earthly pleasures than in religion, a reputation that may be confirmed by the decoration of the so-called "desert palaces" (including Qasr Amra, Qusayr Amra and Khirbat al-Mafjar) that have been attributed to him. He quickly attracted the enmity of many, both by executing a number of those who had opposed his accession and by persecuting the Al-Qadariyya, Qadariyya. In 744, Yazid III, a son of al-Walid I, was proclaimed caliph in Damascus, and his army tracked down and killed al-Walid II. Yazid III has received a certain reputation for piety and may have been sympathetic to the Qadariyya. He died a mere six months into his reign. Yazid had appointed his brother, Ibrahim of Umayyad, Ibrahim, as his successor, but Marwan II (744–50), the grandson of Marwan I, led an army from the northern frontier and entered Damascus in December 744, where he was proclaimed caliph. Marwan immediately moved the capital north to Harran, in present-day Turkey. A rebellion soon broke out in Syria, perhaps due to resentment over the relocation of the capital, and in 746 Marwan razed the walls of
Homs ar, حمصي, HimsiHimsi or Homsi is an Arabic locational surname, which means a person from Homs, Syria.Abu Assali, Sarah. (2012)"The Eye of the Beholder" ''Syria Today Magazine'', October 10. Retrieved on 25 January 2016. The name may refer to ...

Homs
and Damascus in retaliation. Marwan also faced significant opposition from Kharijites in Iraq and Iran, who put forth first Al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Shaybani, Dahhak ibn Qays and then Abu Dulaf as rival caliphs. In 747, Marwan managed to reestablish control of Iraq, but by this time a more serious threat had arisen in greater Khorasan, Khorasan.


Abbasid Revolution and fall

The Hashimiyya movement (a sub-sect of the Kaysanites Shia), led by the Abbasid family, overthrew the Umayyad caliphate. The Abbasids were members of the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan, rivals of the Umayyads, but the word "Hashimiyya" seems to refer specifically to Abu Hashim, a grandson of Ali and son of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya. According to certain traditions, Abu Hashim died in 717 in Humeima in the house of Muhammad ibn Ali, the head of the Abbasid family, and before dying named Muhammad ibn Ali as his successor. This tradition allowed the Abbasids to rally the supporters of the failed revolt of Mukhtar, who had represented themselves as the supporters of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya. Beginning around 719, Hashimiyya missions began to seek adherents in Khurasan. Their campaign was framed as one of proselytism (dawah). They sought support for a "member of the family" of Muhammad, without making explicit mention of the Abbasids. These missions met with success both among Arabs and non-Arabs (
mawali Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Classical Arabic, Arabic word, whose meaning varied in different periods and contexts.A.J. Wensinck, Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Mawlā", vol. 6, p. 874. Before the ...
), although the latter may have played a particularly important role in the growth of the movement. Around 746, Abu Muslim assumed leadership of the Hashimiyya in Khurasan. In 747, he successfully initiated an open revolt against Umayyad rule, which was carried out under the sign of the Black Standard, black flag. He soon established control of Khurasan, expelling its Umayyad governor, Nasr ibn Sayyar, and dispatched an army westwards. Kufa fell to the Hashimiyya in 749, the last Umayyad stronghold in Iraq,
Wasit Wasit ( ar, وَاسِط, Wāsiṭ) is a place in Wasit Governorate Wasit Governorate ( ar, واسط, translit=Wāsit) is a Governorates of Iraq, governorate in eastern Iraq, south-east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Prior to 1976 it was known as ...

Wasit
, was Siege of Wasit, placed under siege, and in November of the same year As-Saffah, Abul Abbas as-Saffah was recognized as the new caliph in the mosque at Kufa. At this point Marwan mobilized his troops from Harran and advanced toward Iraq. In January 750 the two forces met in the Battle of the Zab, and the Umayyads were defeated. Damascus fell to the Abbasids in April, and in August, Marwan was killed in Egypt. The victors desecrated the tombs of the Umayyads in Syria, sparing only that of Umar II, and most of the remaining members of the Umayyad family were tracked down and killed. When Abbasids declared amnesty for members of the Umayyad family, eighty gathered to receive pardons, and all were massacred. One grandson of Hisham, Abd al-Rahman I, survived, escaped across North Africa, and established an emirate in Moors, Moorish Iberian Peninsula, Iberia (
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
). In a claim unrecognized outside of al-Andalus, he maintained that the Umayyad Caliphate, the true, authentic caliphate, more legitimate than the Abbasids, was continued through him in Emirate of Córdoba, Córdoba. It was to survive for centuries. Previté-Orton argues that the reason for the decline of the Umayyads was the rapid expansion of Islam. During the Umayyad period, mass conversions brought Persians, Berbers, Copts, and Aramaic to Islam. These ''mawalis'' (clients) were often better educated and more civilised than their Arab overlords. The new converts, on the basis of equality of all Muslims, transformed the political landscape. Previté-Orton also argues that the feud between Syria and Iraq further weakened the empire.


Administration

The first four caliphs created a stable administration for the empire, following the practices and administrative institutions of the Byzantine Empire which had ruled the same region previously. These consisted of four main governmental branches: political affairs, military affairs, tax collection, and religious administration. Each of these was further subdivided into more branches, offices, and departments.


Provinces

Geographically, the empire was divided into several provinces, the borders of which changed numerous times during the Umayyad reign. Each province had a governor appointed by the caliph. The governor was in charge of the religious officials, army leaders, police, and civil administrators in his province. Local expenses were paid for by taxes coming from that province, with the remainder each year being sent to the central government in Damascus. As the central power of the Umayyad rulers waned in the later years of the dynasty, some governors neglected to send the extra tax revenue to Damascus and created great personal fortunes.


Government workers

As the empire grew, the number of qualified Arab workers was too small to keep up with the rapid expansion of the empire. Therefore, Muawiya allowed many of the local government workers in conquered provinces to keep their jobs under the new Umayyad government. Thus, much of the local government's work was recorded in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
,
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
, and Persian language, Persian. It was only during the reign of
Abd al-Malik Abdullah Malik ( ar, عبد الملك) is an Arabic (Muslim or Christian) male given name and, in modern usage, surname. It is built from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in ling ...
that government work began to be regularly recorded in Arabic.


Military

The Umayyad army was mainly Arab, with its core consisting of those who had settled in urban Syria and the Arab tribes who originally served in the army of the Eastern Roman Empire in Syria. These were supported by tribes in the Syrian desert and in the frontier with the Byzantines, as well as Christian Syrian tribes. Soldiers were registered with the Army Ministry, the Diwan Al-Jaysh, and were salaried. The army was divided into junds based on regional fortified cities. The Umayyad Syrian forces specialised in close order infantry warfare, and favoured using a kneeling spear wall formation in battle, probably as a result of their encounters with Roman armies. This was radically different from the original Bedouin style of mobile and individualistic fighting.


Currency

The Byzantine and Sassanid Empires relied on money economies before the Muslim conquest, and that system remained in effect during the Umayyad period. Byzantine copper coins were used until 658, while Byzantine gold coins were still in use until the monetary reforms c.700. In addition to this, the Umayyad government began to mint its own coins in Damascus, which were initially similar to pre-existing coins but evolved in an independent direction. These were the first coins minted by a Muslim government in history. Gold coins were called dinars while silver coins were called dirhams.


Central diwans

To assist the Caliph in administration there were six boards at the centre: Diwan al-Kharaj (the Board of Revenue), Diwan al-Rasa'il (the Board of Correspondence), Diwan al-Khatam (the Board of Signet), Diwan al-Barid (the Board of Posts), Diwan al-Qudat (the Board of Justice) and Diwan al-Jund (the Military Board)


Diwan al-Kharaj

The Central Board of Revenue administered the entire finances of the empire. It also imposed and collected taxes and disbursed revenue.


Diwan al-Rasa'il

A regular Board of Correspondence was established under the Umayyads. It issued state missives and circulars to the Central and Provincial Officers. It coordinated the work of all Boards and dealt with all correspondence as the chief secretariat.


Diwan al-Khatam

In order to reduce forgery, Diwan al-Khatam (Bureau of Registry), a kind of state chancellery, was instituted by Mu'awiyah. It used to make and preserve a copy of each official document before sealing and despatching the original to its destination. Thus in the course of time a state archive developed in Damascus by the Umayyads under Abd al-Malik. This department survived till the middle of the Abbasid period.


Diwan al-Barid

Mu'awiyah introduced the postal service, Abd al-Malik extended it throughout his empire, and Walid made full use of it. Umar bin Abdul-Aziz developed it further by building caravanserais at stages along the Khurasan highway. Relays of horses were used for the conveyance of dispatches between the caliph and his agents and officials posted in the provinces. The main highways were divided into stages of each and each stage had horses, donkeys, or camels ready to carry the post. Primarily the service met the needs of Government officials, but travellers and their important dispatches were also benefited by the system. The postal carriages were also used for the swift transport of troops. They were able to carry fifty to a hundred men at a time. Under Governor Yusuf bin Umar, the postal department of Iraq costs 4,000,000 dirhams a year.


Diwan al-Qudat

In the early period of Islam, justice was administered by Muhammad and the orthodox Caliphs in person. After the expansion of the Islamic State, Umar al-Faruq had to separate the judiciary from the general administration and appointed the first ''qadi'' in Egypt as early as AD 643/23 AH. After 661, a series of judges served in Egypt during the caliphates of Hisham and Walid II.


Diwan al-Jund

The Diwan of Umar, assigning annuities to all Arabs and to the Muslim soldiers of other races, underwent a change in the hands of the Umayyads. The Umayyads meddled with the register and the recipients regarded pensions as the subsistence allowance even without being in active service. Hisham reformed it and paid only to those who participated in the battle. On the pattern of the Byzantine system, the Umayyads reformed their army organization in general and divided it into five corps: the centre, two wings, vanguards, and rearguards, following the same formation while on the march or on a battlefield. Marwan II (740–50) abandoned the old division and introduced the Kurdus (cohort), a small compact body. The Umayyad troops were divided into three divisions: infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Arab troops were dressed and armed in Greek fashion. The Umayyad cavalry used plain and round saddles. The artillery used the arradah (ballista), the manjaniq (mangonel), and the dabbabah or kabsh (battering ram). The heavy engines, siege machines, and baggage were carried on camels behind the army.


Social organization

The Umayyad Caliphate had four main social classes: # Muslim Arabs # Muslim non-Arabs (clients of the Muslim Arabs) # Dhimmis (non-Muslim free persons such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians) # Slaves The Muslim Arabs were at the top of the society and saw it as their duty to rule over the conquered areas. The Arab Muslims held themselves in higher esteem than Muslim non-Arabs and generally did not mix with other Muslims. As Islam spread, more and more of the Muslim population consisted of non-Arabs. This caused social unrest, as the new converts were not given the same rights as Muslim Arabs. Also, as conversions increased, tax revenues (peasant tax) from non-Muslims decreased to dangerous lows. These issues continued to worsen until they helped cause the Abbasid Revolt in the 740s.


Non-Muslims

Non-Muslim groups in the Umayyad Caliphate, which included Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Paganism#Islam in Arabia, pagans, were called dhimmis. They were given a legally protected status as second-class citizens as long as they accepted and acknowledged the political supremacy of the ruling Muslims, i.e. paid a tax, known as
jizya Jizya or jizyah ( ar, جِزْيَة; ) is a per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and sta ...
, which the Muslims did not have to pay, who would instead pay the
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a s ...

zakat
tax. If they converted to Islam they would cease paying jizya and would instead pay zakat. Although the Umayyad's were harsh when it came to defeating their Zoroastrian adversaries,Marietta Stepaniants, Philosophy East and West Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 163 they did offer protection and relative religious tolerance to the Zoroastrians who accepted their authority. As a matter of fact, Umar II was reported to have said in one of his letters commanding not to "destroy a synagogue or a church or temple of fire worshippers (meaning the Zoroastrians) as long as they have reconciled with and agreed upon with the Muslims". Fred Donner says that Zoroastrians in the northern parts of Iran were hardly penetrated by the "believers", winning virtually complete autonomy in-return for tribute-tax or jizyah.Fred M Donner, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam, (May 2010), pp. 110–111 Donner adds "Zoroastrians continued to exist in large numbers in northern and western Iran and elsewhere for centuries after the rise of Islam, and indeed, much of the canon of Zoroastrian religious texts was elaborated and written down during the Islamic period." Christians and Jews still continued to produce great theological thinkers within their communities, but as time wore on, many of the intellectuals converted to Islam, leading to a lack of great thinkers in the non-Muslim communities. Important Christian writers from the Umayyad period include the theologian John of Damascus, bishop Cosmas of Maiuma, Pope Benjamin I of Alexandria and Isaac of Nineveh. Although non-Muslims could not hold the highest public offices in the empire, they held many bureaucratic positions within the government. An important example of Christian employment in the Umayyad government is that of Sarjun ibn Mansur. He was a Melkite
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
official of the early Umayyad Caliphate. The son of a prominent Byzantine official of
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
, he was a favourite of the early Umayyad caliphs Mu'awiya I and
Yazid I Yazid ibn Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan ( ar, يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Yazīd ibn Muʿāwiya ibn ʾAbī Sufyān; 64611 November 683), commonly known as Yazid I, was the second of the . He ruled from April 680 until his de ...
, and served as the head of the fiscal administration for Bilad al-Sham, Syria from the mid-7th century until the year 700, when Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan dismissed him as part of his efforts to Arabicize the administration of the Caliphate. According to the Muslim historians al-Baladhuri and al-Tabari, Sarjun was a ''
mawla Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning ...
'' of the first Umayyad caliph, Mu'awiya I (), serving as his "secretary and the person in charge of his business". The hagiographies, although less reliable, also assign to him a role in the administration, even as "ruler" (''archon'' or even ''amir''), of Damascus and its environs, where he was responsible for collecting the revenue. In this capacity, he is attested in later collections of source material such as that of al-Mas'udi. Sarjun ibn Mansur was replaced by Sulayman ibn Sa'd al-Khushani, another Christian. Muawiya's marriage to Maysun bint Bahdal (Yazid's mother) was politically motivated, as she was the daughter of the chief of the Kalb tribe, which was a large Syriac Orthodox Christian Arab tribe in Syria. The Kalb tribe had remained largely neutral when the Muslims first went into Syria. After the plague that killed much of the Muslim army in Syria, by marrying Maysun, Muawiyah used the Syriac Orthodox Christians against the Byzantine Empire, Byzantines. Tom Holland writes Christians, Jews, Samaritans and Manichaeans were all treated well by Muawiyah. Muawiyah even restored Edessa's cathedral after it had been toppled by an earthquake. Savagely though Muawiyah prosecuted his wars against the Romans, yet his subjects, no longer trampled by rival armies, no longer divided by hostile watchtowers, knew only peace at last. Justice flourished in his time, and there was great peace in the regions under his control. He allowed everyone to live as they wanted."


Legacy

Muawiyah I's family, including his progenitors,
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; — ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyā ...
and his wife Hind bint Utbah, were originally opponents of Islam and particularly of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
until the Conquest of Mecca, but they converted to the religion in 630. However, many early history books, e.g., ''The Islamic Conquest of Syria Fatuhusham'', by al-Imam al-Waqidi, state that, after their conversion to Islam, Muhammad appointed Muawiyah I's father
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; — ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyā ...
and his brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan as army commanders. Muawiyah I,
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; — ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyā ...
, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and Hind bint Utbah fought in the Battle of Yarmouk. The defeat of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius at the Battle of Yarmouk opened the way for Muslim expansion into Jerusalem and Syria. In 639, Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria by the second caliph,
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
, after the two previous governors—his brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and, before him, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah—died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. 'Amr ibn al-'As was sent to take on the Roman Army in Egypt. Umar asked Muawiyah to defend against an anticipated Roman attack. Muawiyah next set about creating allies. Muawiyah married Maysum, the daughter of the chief of the Banu Kalb, Kalb tribe, a large Jacobite Christian Arab tribe in Syria. His marriage to Maysum was politically motivated. The Kalb tribe had remained largely neutral when the Muslims first went into Syria. Muawiyah now could use the Jacobite Christians to restore the ranks of the plague-depleted army against the Romans. Muawiya's wife Maysum (Yazid's mother) was also a Jacobite Christian. With limited resources and the Byzantines just over the border, Muawiyah worked in cooperation with the local Christian population. To stop Byzantine harassment from the sea during the Arab-Byzantine Wars, in 649 Muawiyah set up a navy, which was manned by Monophysitism, Monophysite Christians, Copts, and Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops. Muawiya was one of the first to realize the full importance of having a navy; as long as the Byzantine fleet could sail the Mediterranean unopposed, the coastlines of Syria, Palestine and Egypt would never be safe. Muawiyah, along with Abdullah ibn Sa'd, the new governor of Egypt, successfully persuaded Uthman to give them permission to construct a large fleet in the dockyards of Egypt and Syria. The first real naval engagement between the Muslim and the Byzantine navy was the so-called Battle of the Masts (Dhat al-sawari), or Battle of Phoenix, off the Lycian coast in 655, where the resulting Muslim victory opened up the Mediterranean. Muawiyah I came to power after the death of
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
and established a dynasty.


Historical significance

The Umayyad caliphate was marked both by territorial expansion and by the administrative and cultural problems that such expansion created. Despite some notable exceptions, the Umayyads tended to favor the rights of the old Arab families, and in particular their own, over those of newly converted Muslims (mawali). Therefore, they held to a less universalist conception of Islam than did many of their rivals. As G.R. Hawting has written, "Islam was in fact regarded as the property of the conquering aristocracy." During the period of the Umayyads, Arabic became the administrative language and the process of
Arabization Arabization Ise vs ize, or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب ') describes both the process of growing Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by their gradual adoption of the Arabic language and their incorporation of the cultu ...
was initiated in the Levant, Mesopotamia, North Africa, and Iberia. State documents and currency were issued in Arabic. Mass conversions also created a growing population of Muslims in the territory of the Caliphate. According to one common view, the Umayyads transformed the caliphate from a religious institution (during the rashidun, Rashidun caliphate) to a dynastic one. However, the Umayyad caliphs do seem to have understood themselves as the representatives of God on earth, and to have been responsible for the "definition and elaboration of God's ordinances, or in other words the definition or elaboration of Islamic law." The Umayyads have met with a largely negative reception from later Islamic historians, who have accused them of promoting a kingship (''mulk'', a term with connotations of tyranny) instead of a true caliphate (''khilafa''). In this respect it is notable that the Umayyad caliphs referred to themselves not as ''khalifat rasul Allah'' ("successor of the messenger of God", the title preferred by the tradition), but rather as ''khalifat Allah'' ("deputy of God"). The distinction seems to indicate that the Umayyads "regarded themselves as God's representatives at the head of the community and saw no need to share their religious power with, or delegate it to, the emergent class of religious scholars." In fact, it was precisely this class of scholars, based largely in Iraq, that was responsible for collecting and recording the traditions that form the primary source material for the history of the Umayyad period. In Historiography of early Islam, reconstructing this history, therefore, it is necessary to rely mainly on sources, such as the histories of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tabari and Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri, Baladhuri, that were written in the Abbasid court at Baghdad. Modern Arab nationalism regards the period of the Umayyads as part of the Arab Golden Age which it sought to emulate and restore. This is particularly true of Syrian nationalists and the present-day state of Syria, centered like that of the Umayyads on Damascus. The Umayyad dynastic color was white, after the banner of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan; it is now one of the four Pan-Arab colors, Pan-Arab colours which appear in various combinations on the flags of most Arab countries.


Architecture

Throughout the Levant, Egypt and North Africa, the Umayyads constructed grand congregational mosques and desert palaces, as well as various garrison cities (''amsar'') to fortify their frontiers such as
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
,
Kairouan Kairouan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان '), also spelled Al Qayrawān or Kairwan (), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia i ...

Kairouan
,
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَا ...

Kufa
,
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
and Mansura, Sindh, Mansura. Many of these buildings feature Byzantine stylistic and architectural features, such as Roman mosaics and Corinthian order, Corinthian columns. Their most famous constructions include the
Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock ( ar, قبة الصخرة, Qubbat aṣ-Ṣakhra) is an Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my" ...

Dome of the Rock
at
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
and the Umayyad Mosque at
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
, and other constructions include Hisham's Palace, Qusayr 'Amra, Qusayr' Amra, the Great Mosque of Kairouan and the Great Mosque of Aleppo. Some of these buildings, such as the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus, reflect the diversity of the empire, as thousands of Greek, Persian, Coptic, Indian and Persian craftsmen were conscripted to construct them. The later Emirate of Cordoba (an offshoot of the Umayyad dynasty in exile) established many endearing architectural projects in the Iberian Peninsula such as the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba and Medina Azahara, which influenced the architectural styles during the Middle Ages.


Religious perspectives


Sunni

Many Muslims criticized the Umayyads for having too many non-Muslim, former Roman administrators in their government, ''e.g.'', St. John of Damascus. As the Muslims took over cities, they left the people's political representatives, the Roman tax collectors, and the administrators in the office. The taxes to the central government were calculated and negotiated by the people's political representatives. Both the central and local governments were compensated for the services each provided. Many Christian cities used some of the taxes to maintain their churches and run their own organizations. Later, the Umayyads were criticized by some Muslims for not reducing the taxes of the people who converted to Islam. Later, when
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz ( ar, عمر بن عبد العزيز, ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; 2 November 682 – ), commonly known as Umar II (عمر الثاني), was the eighth Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِل ...
came to power, he reduced these taxes. He is therefore praised as one of the greatest Muslim rulers after the four Rightly Guided Caliphs. Imam Abu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived in 829 and wrote a biography on Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz stated that the reduction in these taxes stimulated the economy and created wealth but it also reduced the government's budget, including, eventually, the defence budget. The only Umayyad ruler who is unanimously praised by Sunni sources for his devout piety and justice is Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. In his efforts to spread Islam, he established liberties for the ''Mawali'' by abolishing the
jizya Jizya or jizyah ( ar, جِزْيَة; ) is a per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and sta ...
tax for converts to Islam. Imam Abu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam stated that Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz also stopped the personal allowance offered to his relatives, stating that he could only give them an allowance if he gave an allowance to everyone else in the empire. After Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was poisoned in 720, successive governments tried to reverse Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz's tax policies, but rebellion resulted.


Shi'a

The negative view of the Umayyads held by Shias is briefly expressed in the Shi'a book "Sulh al-Hasan". According to Shia hadiths, which are not considered authentic by Sunnis,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
described them as the worst Fitna (word), Fitna. In Shia sources, the Umayyad Caliphate is widely described as "tyrannical, anti-Islamic and godless". Shias point out that the founder of the dynasty, Muawiyah, declared himself a caliph in 657 and went to war against Muhammad's son-in-law and cousin, the ruling caliph Ali, clashing at the
Battle of Siffin The Battle of Siffin was the second battle of the First Fitna, after the Battle of the Camel. It was fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth of the Rashidun, Rashidun caliphs, and Muawiyah I on the banks of the Euphrates river in Siffin arou ...
. Muawiyah also declared his son, Yazid, as his successor in Hasan–Muawiya treaty, breach of a treaty with Hassan, Muhammad's grandson. Another of Muhammad's grandsons, Husayn ibn Ali, would be killed by Yazid in the
Battle of Karbala The Battle of Karbala ( ar, مَعْرَكَة كَرْبَلَاء) was fought on 10 October 680 (10 Muharram Muḥarram ( ar, ٱلْمُحَرَّم) is the first month of the Islamic calendar The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْو ...

Battle of Karbala
. Further Shia Imams, Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin would be killed at the hands of ruling Umayyad caliphs.


Bahá'í

Asked for an explanation of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation (12:3), `Abdu'l-Bahá suggests in Some Answered Questions that the "great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads," refers to the Umayyad caliphs who "rose against the religion of Prophet Muhammad and against the reality of Ali". The seven heads of the dragon are symbolic of the seven provinces of the lands dominated by the Umayyads: Damascus, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, Africa, Andalusia, and Transoxiana. The ten horns represent the ten names of the leaders of the Umayyad dynasty: Abu Sufyan, Muawiya, Yazid, Marwan, Abd al-Malik, Walid, Sulayman, Umar, Hisham, and Ibrahim. Some names were re-used, as in the case of Yazid II and Yazid III, which were not accounted for in this interpretation.


Early literature

The book ''Al Muwatta'', by Imam Malik, was written in the early Abbasid period in Medina. It does not contain any anti-Umayyad content because it was more concerned with what the Quran and what Muhammad said and was not a history book on the Umayyads. Even the earliest pro-Shia accounts of al-Masudi are more balanced. Al-Masudi's ''Ibn Hisham'' is the earliest Shia account of Muawiyah. He recounted that Muawiyah spent a great deal of time in prayer, in spite of the burden of managing a large empire. Az-Zuhri stated that Muawiya led the Hajj Pilgrimage with the people twice during his era as caliph. Books written in the early Abbasid period like al-Baladhuri's "The Origins of the Islamic State" provide a more accurate and balanced history. Ibn Hisham also wrote about these events. Much of the anti-Umayyad literature started to appear in the later Abbasid period in Persia. After killing off most of the Umayyads and destroying the graves of the Umayyad rulers apart from Muawiya II, Muawiyah and Umar II, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, the history books were written during the later Abbasid period are more anti-Umayyad. The Abbasids justified their rule by saying that their ancestor Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib was a cousin of Muhammad. The books written later in the Abbasid period in Iran are more anti-Umayyad. Iran was Sunni at the time. There was much anti-Arab feeling in Iran after the fall of the Persian empire. This anti-Arab feeling also influenced the books on Islamic history. ''Al-Tabri'' was also written in Iran during that period. ''Al-Tabri'' was a huge collection, preserving everything the compiler could find for future generations to codify and to judge whether the histories were true or false.


List of Caliphs


See also

*History of Islam *List of Sunni dynasties


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Further reading

* Al-Ajmi, Abdulhadi, The Umayyads, in ''Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God'' (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. * A. Bewley, ''Mu'awiya, Restorer of the Muslim Faith'' (London, 2002) * Boekhoff-van der Voort, Nicolet, Umayyad Court, in ''Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God'' (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. *Patricia Crone, P. Crone, ''Slaves on horses'' (Cambridge, 1980). *Patricia Crone, P. Crone and M.A. Cook, ''Hagarism'' (Cambridge, 1977).


External links

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