Islamic Empire of Banu Umayya

From Metapedia

(Redirected from Umayyad Caliphate)
Jump to: navigation, search
Islamic Empire of Banu Umayya
الخلافة الأموية / Al-Ḫilāfat al-ʾUmawiyya
Umayyad Caliphate (Official Sunni Name)

الدولة بني أمية / Ad-Dawla Bani Umayya
State of Umayyad / Banu Umayya
(Islamic Modern Term)




Flag Coat of arms
The Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent.
Capital Damascus
Capital-in-exile Córdoba
Language(s) Arabic (official) – Coptic, Greek, Persian (official in certain regions until the reign of Abd al-Malik) – Aramaic, Armenian, Berber language, African Romance, Georgian, Turkic, Kurdish
Religion Islam
Government Caliphate
 - 661–680 Muawiya I
 - 744–750 Marwan II
 - Muawiya becomes Caliph 661
 - Defeat and death of Marwan II by the Abbasids 750
 - 750 CE (132 AH) 13,400,000 km2 (5,173,769 sq mi)
 - 750 CE (132 AH) est. 34,000,000 
Currency Gold dinar and dirham
Today part of

The Islamic Empire of Banu Umayya or officially named in Sunni history as Umayyad Caliphate (Arabic: الخلافة الأموية‎, trans. al-Ḫilāfat al-ʾUmawiyya) was the second of the four major Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was centered on the Umayyad dynasty (Arabic: الأمويون‎, al-ʾUmawiyyūn, or بنو أمية, Banū ʾUmayya, "Sons of Umayya"). Umayya ibn Abd Shams or Omayya was the Quraish nobleman in Mecca and got exodus to Sham when Hashim ibn Abd Manaf (Muhammad's ancestor) took a power in Mecca. The Umayyad family had first come to power under the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan (r. 644–656), but the Umayyad regime was founded by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661 CE/41 AH. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their capital. The Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus) into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 5.17 million square miles (13,400,000 km2), making it the largest empire the world had yet seen, and the fifth largest ever to exist.[7]

At the time, the Umayyad taxation and administrative practice were perceived as unjust by some Muslims. While the non-Muslim population had autonomy, their judicial matters were dealt with in accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their appointees.[8] They paid a poll tax for policing to the central state.[8] Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that each religious minority should be allowed to practice its own religion and govern itself, and the policy had on the whole continued.[8] The welfare state for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim poor started by Omar had also continued.[8][8] Muawiya's wife Maysum (Yazid's mother) was also a Christian. The relations between the Muslims and the Christians in the state were good. The Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting their rear in Syria,[8] which had remained largely Christian like many other parts of the empire.[8][8] Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments. The employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious tolerance that was necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, especially in Syria. This policy also boosted his popularity and solidified Syria as his power base.[9][10]

The rivalries between the Arab tribes had caused unrest in the provinces outside Syria, most notably in the Second Muslim Civil War of 680–692 CE and the Berber Revolt of 740–743 CE. During the Second Civil War, leadership of the Umayyad clan shifted from the Sufyanid branch of the family to the Marwanid branch. As the constant campaigning exhausted the resources and manpower of the state, the Umayyads, weakened by the Third Muslim Civil War of 744–747 CE, were finally toppled by the Abbasid Revolution in 750 CE/132 AH. A branch of the family fled across North Africa to Al-Andalus, where they established the Caliphate of Córdoba, which lasted until 1031 before falling due to the Fitna of al-Ándalus.


List of Umayyad Caliphs

Genealogic tree of the Umayyad family. In blue: Caliph Uthman, one of the four Rashidun Caliphs. In green, the Umayyad Caliphs of Damascus. In yellow, the Umayyad emirs of Córdoba. In orange, the Umayyad Caliphs of Córdoba. Abd Al-Rahman III was an emir until 929 when he proclaimed himself Caliph. Muhammad is included (in caps) to show the kinship of the Umayyads with him.
Caliph Reign
Caliphs of Damascus
Muawiya I ibn Abu Sufyan 661–680
Yazid I ibn Muawiyah 680–683
Muawiya II ibn Yazid 683–684
Marwan I ibn al-Hakam 684–685
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan 685–705
al-Walid I ibn Abd al-Malik 705–715
Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik 715–717
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz 717–720
Yazid II ibn Abd al-Malik 720–724
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik 724–743
al-Walid II ibn Yazid 743–744
Yazid III ibn al-Walid 744
Ibrahim ibn al-Walid 744
Marwan II ibn Muhammad (ruled from Harran in the Jazira) 744–750
Emirs of Cordoba
Abd al-Rahman I 756–788
Hisham I 788–796
al-Hakam I 796–822
Abd ar-Rahman II 822–852
Muhammad I 852–886
Al-Mundhir 886–888
Abdallah ibn Muhammad 888–912
Abd ar-Rahman III 912–929
Caliphs of Cordoba
Abd ar-Rahman III, as caliph 929–961
Al-Hakam II 961–976
Hisham II 976–1008
Muhammad II 1008–1009
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1009–1010
Hisham II, restored 1010–1012
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam, restored 1012–1017
Abd ar-Rahman IV 1021–1022
Abd ar-Rahman V 1022–1023
Muhammad III 1023–1024
Hisham III 1027–1031

See also


  1. The Peoples, Sekene Mody Cissoko, History of Humanity:From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century, Vol. IV, ed. M.A. Al-Bakhit, L. Bazin and S.M. Cissoko, (UNESCO, 2008), 1190.[1]
  2. Jonathan Miran, Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa, (Indiana University Press, 2009), 100.[2]
  3. Khalid Yahya Blankinship, The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads, (SUNY Press, 1994), 286.[3]
  4. Khalid Yahya Blankinship, The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads, 147.[4]
  5. Stefan Goodwin, Africas Legacies Of Urbanization: Unfolding Saga of a Continent, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), 85.[5]
  6. Islam in Somali History:Fact and Fiction, Mohamed Haji Muktar, The Invention of Somalia, ed. Ali Jimale Ahmed, (The Red Sea Press, Inc., 1995), 3.[6]
  7. Blankinship, Khalid Yahya (1994), [Expression error: Missing operand for > The End of the Jihad State, the Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd-al Malik and the collapse of the Umayyads], State University of New York Press, p. 37, ISBN 0-7914-1827-8 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 A Chronology Of Islamic History 570-1000 CE, By H.U. Rahman 1999 Page 128
  9. Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa By Ali Aldosari Page 185 [7]
  10. The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States By Michael Haag Chapter 3 Palestine under the Umayyads and the Arab Tribe [8]

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. ISBN 1610691776
  • 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. ISBN 1610691776
  • P. Crone, Slaves on horses (Cambridge, 1980).
  • P. Crone and M.A. Cook, Hagarism (Cambridge, 1977).
  • F. M. Donner, The early Islamic conquests (Princeton, 1981).
  • G. R. Hawting, The first dynasty of Islam: the Umayyad caliphate, AD 661–750 Rutledge Eds. (London, 2000)
  • Kennedy, Hugh N. (2004). The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century, Second, Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Ltd.. ISBN 0-582-40525-4. 
  • Previté-Orton, C. W (1971). The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • J. Wellhausen, The Arab Kingdom and its fall (London, 2000).

External links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
Personal tools