YAZID IBN AL-WALID IBN \'ABD AL-MALIK or YAZID III (701 – 25
September 744) (Arabic : يزيد بن الوليد بن عبد
الملك) was an
* 1 Background * 2 Rebellion * 3 Reign * 4 Bibliography
Yazid was the son of a Persian princess who had been given as a
Tabari further records descriptions of Yazid as being tall and handsome.
During the reign of his cousin al-Walid II , Yazid spoke out against
Walid's "immorality" which included discrimination on behalf of the
Banu Qays Arabs against Yemenis and non-Arab Muslims , and Yazid
received further support from the Qadariya and Murji'iya (believers in
human free will ). Yazid slipped into
According to Yazid's own account, Yazid sent Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Hajjaj to meet Walid at al-Bakhra'. 'Abd al-Aziz offered to set up a tribal assembly (shura ) to decide the future of the realm. Walid rejected this offer and attacked, by which action he lost his life. Yazid had Walid's head hoisted "on a lance and paraded around Damascus"; Yazid then imprisoned Walid's sons 'Uthman and Hakam, whom Walid had designated as his heirs. Pound weight's inscription, stamped on top in an angular script known as kufic, evokes Yazid III.
On accession, Yazid explained that he had rebelled on behalf of the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet, and that this entailed ensuring that the strong not prey upon the weak. He promised "to engage in no building works, squander no money on wives or children, transfer no money from one province to another" without reason, "keep no troops on the field too long", and not to overtax the ahl al-dhimma ; instead, he would eschew discrimination and would make his payments on time. He promised abdication if he failed to meet these goals, and held in principle to al-amr shura – to an elected caliphate.
Tabari records Yazid's nickname "the Diminisher (Naqis)", given because he reduced military annuities by 10%, whereas his predecessor had promised a raise. According to Islamic popular tradition, recorded in an apocalyptic style, Yazid would go himself into the marketplace.
The city of
Mansur ibn Jumhur to replace Yusuf ibn \'Umar as
governor of Iraq. On May 15, Yazid wrote a letter, preserved from oral
sources in al-Mada\'ini (reproduced in Tabari) and in al-Baladhuri .
It supports the
Yusuf ibn 'Umar was subsequently imprisoned and later killed by the
son of Khalid ibn \'Abdallah al-Qasri . Mansur attempted to dismiss
the Khurasani governor
Nasr ibn Sayyar
Yazid named his brother Ibrahim as his successor. Yazid fell ill of a brain tumour and died on October 3 or 4, 744. Ibrahim duly succeeded him.
* ^ Philip Khuri Hitti, History Of Syria (Gorgias Press LLC, 2004),
* ^ Tabari, 243
* ^ transl. Sir John Glubb, The Empire of the Arabs, 200
* ^ von Ess, "Kadar", Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd Ed.
* ^ Theophilus. Quoted Robert Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw
It (Darwin Press, 1998), 660
* ^ 1234 Chronicle apud Hoyland confirms this, 660; it was a
fortress near Palmyra. 1234 and Muslim sources dispute over whether
Walid was there all along or whether he had fled there.
* ^ Patricia Crone, God's
Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari History, v. 26 "The Waning of the
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