Abd ar-Rahman I

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Abd ar-Rahman I, emir of Córdoba

Abd ar-Rahman I,

d. 788, first UmayyadUmayyad
, the first Islamic dynasty (661–750). Their reign witnessed the return to leadership roles of the pre-Islamic Arab elite, and the rejuvenation of tribal loyalties. The Banu Ummaya constituted the higher stratum of the pre-Islamic Meccan elite.
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 emir of Córdoba (756–88). The only survivor of the AbbasidAbbasid
or Abbaside
, Arab family descended from Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad. The Abbasids held the caliphate from 749 to 1258, but they were recognized neither in Spain nor (after 787) W of Egypt.
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 massacre (750) of his family in Damascus, he fled from Syria and eventually went to Spain. There he defeated (756) the emir of Córdoba at Alameda and seized power. Despite the jealousy of the Arab aristocracy and the turbulence of the Berbers, he reorganized and consolidated the state and tried to unite the various Muslim groups. The great mosque at Córdoba, which Abd ar-Rahman started, was continued by his son and successor, Hisham I.

Bibliography

See R. Collins, Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity (2 vol., 1983–87); S. Lane-Poole, The Moors in Spain (1984); D. Taha Abdulwahid, Muslim Conquest and Settlement of North Africa and Spain (1988).