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(o͞omä`yäd), 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. Having entered into an agreement with Muhammad in 630, they succeeded in preserving their economic influence, and gradually reintegrated into the political power structure. The assassination of UthmanUthman
or Othman
, c.574–656, 3d caliph (644–56), also known as Uthman ibn al-Affan; son-in-law of Muhammad. He belonged to the great Umayyad family and was selected as caliph after the murder of Umar.
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, the third caliph, and a member of the Ummaya, presented the dynamic Ummayad figure of MuawiyaMuawiya
, d. 680, 1st Umayyad caliph (661–80), one of the greatest Muslim statesmen; son of Abu Sufyan, a Koreish tribesman of Mecca. He submitted to Islam the year of the surrender of Mecca and became Muhammad's secretary.
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 the opportunity to challenge the otherwise troubled rulership of AliAli
(Ali ibn Abu Talib), 598?–661, 4th caliph (656–61). The debate over his right to the caliphate caused a major split in Islam into Sunni and Shiite branches, and he is regarded by the Shiites as the first Imam, or leader: Shiite derives from the phrase
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. With the death of Ali, Muawiya succeeded in establishing himself as the caliph, making Damascus the capital of the Islamic empire. His efforts concentrated on strengthening his rule by entering into a truce with the Byzantines, renewing tribal alliances and securing the succession of his son Yazid. With the death of Muawiya in 680, Yazid faced the opposition of HuseinHusein
or Husayn
, c.626–680, Muslim leader, second son of Ali and Fatima (daughter of Muhammad). With the assassination of his father in 661 and the acquiescence of his brother Hasan, the caliphate passed out of the Alid family, although many continued to
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, the son of Ali. The resistance and subsequent martyrdom of Husein at Karbala in a battle where the Ummayad forces outnumbered him and his partisans is the focus of the central yearly Shiite observance of Ashura. Yazid also faced further resistance in the Hijaz (today Saudi Arabia), led by Abdallah ibn az-Zubayr. With his death, the caliphate was transfered to the Marwanid branch of the Banu Ummaya. Abd al-MalikAbd al-Malik
, c.646–705, 5th Umayyad caliph (685–705); son of Marwan I. At his accession, Islam was torn by dissension and threatened by the Byzantine Empire. With the help of his able general al-Hajjaj, Abd al-Malik overthrew the rival caliphs and united Islam.
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 succeeded in consolidating Ummayad rule, and proceeded with a series of administrative reforms including the conversion of the bureaucracy from Greek to Arabic, and the minting of new currency. This consolidation set the stage for the renewal of territorial expansion in Asia and Africa under Walid I (705–15), and the increased military pressure against Byzantium under Sulayman (715–17). Sulayman's successor, Umar II (717–20) unsuccessfully attempted to reverse the course of tribal-based politics in an effort to restore the Islamic political ideal of transcending partisanships. His successors, Yazid II (720–24), Hisham (724–43), and Walid (743–44) pursued the tribal-based territorial conquests. The expansion of the Islamic empire led to the emergence of a substantial class of non-tribal Muslims (mawali), who became the base from which anti-Ummayad movements drew their supporters. The most notable of these movements was 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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, which eventually succeeded in toppling the last Ummayad caliph, Marwan II, in 750. A branch of the Ummayad family, led by Abd ar-Rahman ad-Dakhil, was able to reach Cordoba and to reestablish Umayyad rule (780–1031) in Muslim Spain.


See G. R. Hawting, The First Dynasty of Islam (1986).

References in periodicals archive ?
After that schism, jihad and war against unjust rulers became an essential ingredient of belief for the Zaidis, who criticized Imam Muhammad and his followers for inaction against the Umayyad caliphs.
Open from today to January 17, 2015, the exhibition invites visitors to immerse themselves in the ancient urban legacy of these two famed cities and explore archaeological items from Umayyad desert castles and the Abbasid capitals outside Baghdad, Samarra.
Over 100 archaeological finds and exquisite artefacts from the first centuries of Umayyad and Abbasid rule, centred on their capitals of Damascus and Baghdad, respectively, are on show in the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation (SMIC).
Conflicts between Iraq and Syria that rooted in the pre-Islamic era was reaches its peak during the Umayyad time so that directly underlies much of the conflict or at least boost it up.
The Umayyad century (AD 660-750) is a crucial period in the history of Eurasia, for it saw the creation of an empire that stretched from Spain to India, as well as the first public and monumental profession of Islam (as evidenced by the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, for example).
The structure in the old city of Aleppo dates was founded in the year 715 by the Umayyad dynasty on the site of a Byzantine church, and was later damaged by both fire in 1159 and the Mongol invasion in 1260.
Last autumn, when heavy fighting damaged the mosque itself, Unesco officials beseeched the warring parties in Syria to spare the Umayyad, calling it "one of the most beautiful mosques in the Muslim world".
The Umayyad period is often considered the formative period in Islamic art.
The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo, sits near a medieval covered market in the Old City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The President, Ahmed Muaz Khatib, is a former preacher at the famous Umayyad mosque in Damascus.
Khatib, a former imam at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, was imprisoned several times for criticizing Mr.
AFP ALEPPO AT least 16 soldiers were killed in clashes, between Syrian troops and rebel fighters inside and outside the Umayyad Mosque in second city Aleppo, which have damaged the 13th century landmark, an AFP correspondent reported on Monday.