The Umayyad Caliphate, also spelled Omayyad, was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. This caliphate was centered on the Umayyad dynasty hailing from Mecca. Here are some interesting facts about the Caliphates.
The Umayyad family had first come to power under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan. The Ummayad family is a family tree of the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. Umayya’s great-grandson Muawiyah I founded the Umayyad Caliphate in 661, and transferred its capital to Damascus, Syria.
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2. Spreading Its Wings
The Umayyad armies went as far as China in the east and Spain in the West. Islam quickly became one of the largest and most powerful nations on Earth.
Umayyad rule was divided between two branches of the family: Sufyānids (reigned 661–684), descendants of Abū Sufyān; and Marwanids (reigned 684–750), Marwān I ibn al-Hakam and his successors. The Sufyānids centralized caliphal authority in Damascus.
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4. Sunni and Shia
According to Sunnis, the caliphate is ideally a member of the Quraysh tribe elected by Muslims or their representatives; and according to Shia-Islam, an Imam descended in a line from the Ahl al-Bayt. Sunnis started the hereditary concept.
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5. Stern And Rigid Concept
Caliphacy is the ONLY form of governance that has the approval of Islamic Theology.
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6. Divergent Views
Mainly because of the fact that the caliphate was not elected by the Shura, the Umayyad dynasty was not universally supported within the Muslim community. Some supported prominent early Muslims like Al-Zubayr while the others felt that only members of Muhammad’s clan, the Banu Hashim, or his own lineage, the descendants of Ali, should rule.
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7. Abd-al Malik
Under the rule of Abd al-Malik (685–705), the Umayyad caliphate reached its peak. Muslim armies established themselves over most of the Spain and invaded Mukrān and Sindh in India, making it one of the largest empires in the world.
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8. Against Ummayyad
The Shiites continued to work against the Sunni Umayyad leaders. A building resentment for the Umayyads increased by few notches because of their mistreatment of non-Arab Muslims. These non-Arabs were considered second class citizens, paid higher taxes and had fewer rights.
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During the Ummayad period, Hispania was an integral province of the Ummayad Caliphate ruled from Damascus, Syria. Later the caliphate was won by Abbas to form their own Abbasid Dynasty.
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10. Abbasids Dynasty
Abbas commissioned the building of a new city that would grow to become one of the wealthiest cities in the region. He named his new capital city, ‘Baghdad’. By 900 A.D., over one million people lived and worked in Baghdad.
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