Islamic history – the Umayyad Caliphate Posted by aziza on Mar 23, 2009 in Uncategorized
The Umayyad Dynasty (الخلافةالأموية) is the second dynasty to rule the Islamic empire. The capital of the Umayyad caliphate was Damascus, and during the Umayyad rule, the Islamic state extended to include new territories in Asia, Africa, as well as Andalucía in Spain and Portugal.
The Umayyad Caliphate (الخلافةالأموية) began 6 months after the death of the last Rightly Guided Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib (علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب), with the rule ofMu’aweya Ibn Abi Sufyan (معاوية بن أبي سفيان) in the year 661 AD.Mu’aweya’s time was marked by peace, prosperity and expansion of the Islamic state to new territories. He established the first navy in the history of Islam and managed to conquer the islands of Crete and Rhodes. During the rule of his son, Yazid (يزيد), unrest happened between him and supporters of Al-Hussayn Ibn Ali (الحسين بن علي) who opposed his succession, which was known as the second Fitna. Al-Hussayn was killed in the Battle of Karbala (كربلاء). This battle is considered to be a milestone in the history of the Shiite sect. Yazid pursued his opponents to Medina and Mecca, besieged Mecca and destroyed the Kaaba. He died during the siege and was succeeded by his son Marwan who, along with his successors, tried to assert the Umayyad rule and to eliminate opposition. At the time of the Umayyads, the first Islamic coin was introduced, and the Dome of the Rock was constructed in Jerusalem. Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (عمر بن عبد العزيز) was interested in internal reform. He introduced a new taxation system and the application of Sharia. The successors of Umar, continued the territorial expansion until they reached Spain in the West and Central Asia in the East.
The Umayyad Dynasty was significantly weakened by internal competition and civil war among the Umayyads themselves, which was capitalised upon by the Abbasids who gained power in Khurasan in 746, and started to gain power and territories from the Umayyads, until the defeat of the Umayyads in the Battle of Zab in 750 AD.
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