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Image:Omayyad mosque.jpg
The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads.

The Umayyad Dynasty (Arabic بنو أمية banū umayya / الأمويون al-umawiyyūn, Persian امویان Omaviyân, Turkish Emevi), also "Umawi", was the first dynasty of caliphs of the Islamic empire after the reign of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali) ended.


[edit] Overview

The term "Umayyad" is Greek, referring to "Banu Umayyah" those descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of Muawiya I. Most historians consider the dynasty to begin with Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan, because Muawiya was the first to assert the Umayyads' right to rule on a dynastic principle. Caliph Uthman before him was also a descendent of Umayya, and during his time had been criticised for placing members of his family within political positions; however since he never declared an heir he cannot be considered the founder of a dynasty.

The Umayya and Islamic Prophet Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor Abd-Munaf. One son of Abd-Munaf was Hashim, whose son was Abdul Muttalib, whose son was Abdullah, whose son was Muhammad. Another son of Abd Munaf was Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya. The clans of Hashim and Umayya both belonged to the Quraish tribe named after an ancestor of Abd-Munaf. The Umayyads thereby claimed to be the "people of the House"; which claim was countered by the Alids and (later) the Abbasids, whose relations to the Prophet were closer.

However, the Shi'a Islam History claims that Umayya was not the real son of Abd-Shams, but that the latter, when visiting Rome, he saw a child being sold in miserable conditions. Being childless he adopted Ummaya and took him to Arabia where he was brought up. When Ummaya was young he departed from Quraish tribe.

The Umayyad clan had bitter rivalry with the Hashim clan (from which came the Abbasid clan), especially as Abu Sufian was the most determined and bitterest enemy of Muhammad, and sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion, by waging a series of battles. But at last, Abu Sufian embraced Islam, and so did his son Muawiya, and they provided much needed political and diplomatic skills for the management and expansion of the fast growing Islamic empire.

Muawiya's personal dynasty, the "Sufyanids", reigned only from CE 661 to CE 683, when his son Yazid died with no credible heirs. The Umayyads and their supporters then rallied around the "Marwanids" descended from Marwan, 684-750. After that the Abbasids took over the Near East and killed nearly all Umayyads there. Some Sufyanid pretenders occasionally rebelled in Syria, although these were generally not accepted as genuine members of the family. 'Abd al-Rahman of the Marwanids survived in the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia), and later proclaimed his family as the Umayyad Caliphate revived.

[edit] History

Image:Age of Caliphs.png
Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent.
Early Muslim Expansions
Asia Minor and AfricaPersiaHispaniaCentral AsiaCaucasus
Civil Wars of the Early Caliphates
Ridda warsFirst FitnaIbn al-Zubair's revoltKharijite RevoltSecond FitnaBerber RevoltZaidi RevoltAbassid Revolt

Muawiyah had been the governor of Syria under the 2nd and 3rd caliphs and his kinsman, Uthman ibn Affan. Uthman was assassinated by Kharijites and replaced as caliph by Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Muhammad, whose followers regarded him as a more deserving caliph than the Umayyads. Muawiyah refused to accept Ali's caliphate, and in 657 led an army against him, beginning the First Fitna or Islamic civil war. The two sides agreed to a conciliation procedure, resulting in an arbitration that many of Ali's partisans saw as unfair. The Muslim empire was partitioned. When Ali was assassinated in 661, Muawiyah was declared Caliph, and moved his capital to Damascus. Syria remained the Umayyad power base to the end of its existence in the Near East.

The reign of the Umayyads saw great expansion. Muslim armies pushed across North Africa and Iran, through the late 600s, expanding the borders of the empire from the Iberian Peninsula, in the west, to what is today Pakistan, in the east. Forces led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad crossed Gibraltar and established Muslim power in the Iberian peninsula, while other armies established power far away in Sind, in Northern India.

This great expansion led directly to the downfall of the Umayyad dynasty. The expansion extended the military boundaries of the Islamic world in the pursuit of wealth garnered from booty. This push incorporated the peoples the Arab armies conquered by utilizing them, after conversion to Islam, as warriors. They, even though converted to Islam, had to pay the Jizya. This treatment of the Mawali Muslims as subordinate to Arabs led to uprisings. These uprisings, coupled with the increased resistance of the foes of the Umayyads, the Franks under Charles Martel in France, the Byzantines in Anatolia, the Turkic Khanate in Transoxiana, and the newly invigorated Hindu principalities in India, exhausted the Syrian corps used as the backbone of the Umayyad army. These uprisings, especially the Great Berber Revolt of 740, left the stage open for rival factions to take power.

The Umayyads were overthrown in the east by the Abbasid dynasty after their defeat in the Battle of the Zab in 750, following which most of the clan was massacred by the Abbasids. An Umayyad prince, Abd-al-Rahman I, took over the Muslim territory in Al-Andalus (Hispania) and founded a new Umayyad dynasty there. This dynasty ended in 1031.

[edit] Legacy

[edit] Sunni view

The vast majority of Sunnis disaprove of the actions of Yazid, Muawiyah, and many other Umayyad rulers; namely the killings of Ali (by Muawiyah's followers) and Ali's sons, Hassan and Hussein (at the hands of Yazid and the Umayyads). Some of them even claim that Ali should have been Caliph rather than Uthman, but that it was better to submit the the rule of Uthman rather than break the peace and unity of the Islamic Umma or Community.

[edit] Shi'a view

The Shi'a veiw is shortly expresed in the Shi'a book "Sulh al-Hasan" <ref></ref>:

Mu'awiya designed an Umayyad policy. The Umayyad rules after him followed that policy. They (i.e., the Umayyads) wanted to make themselves lords. They wanted to show the people that they had all laudable qualities. So generosity, clemency, cleverness, bravery, and eloquence belonged to them, not to the people. In other words the Umayyads wanted to denote that these qualities were some of their special talents. The Umayyads did their best to fix this intentional policy. Thus they made a false history that was full of a series of fabricated traditions, made- up stories, various lies, and baseless claims. Moreover, they ordered the hireling preachers and the teachers of the schools in all Muslim countries to study the Umayyad hopes including false praise or fake slander.<ref>[1] Chapter 24</ref>

Abu Hurayrah is one of those addressed in the book.

[edit] Lists

[edit] Caliphs

[edit] Umayyad Caliphs at Damascus

[edit] Umayyad Emirs of Cordoba

[edit] Umayyad Caliphs at Cordoba

[edit] Umayyad sahaba

Here is a partial list of the sahaba (Companions of Muhammad) who were part of the Umayyad clan:

[edit] Umayyad taba'een

Here is a partial list of the Taba'een (the generation that succeeded the Companions) who were part of the Umayyads clan:

[edit] See also

[edit] Images

[edit] References


[edit] External links

da:Ummayyaderne de:Umayyaden es:Dinastía de los Omeyas fa:امویان fr:Omeyyades gl:Dinastía Omeia id:Bani Umayyah he:בית אומיה ms:Kerajaan Bani Ummaiyyah nl:Omajjaden ja:ウマイヤ朝 pl:Umajjadzi pt:Omíadas ru:Омейяды sk:Umajjovci fi:Umaijadit sv:Umayyader tr:Emeviler ur:بنو امیہ zh:倭马亚王朝


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