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The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads.
The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads.

The Umayyad Dynasty (Arabic الأمويون / بنو أمية umawiyy; Persian امویان (Omaviyn), Turkish, Emevi) was the first dynasty of caliphs of the Prophet Muhammad who were not closely related to Muhammad himself, though they were of the same Meccan tribe, the Quraish. The first dynasty reigned from 661 to 750. Ironically, the Quraishi clan from which the Umayyads originated had originally been bitter enemies of Muhammad.

Muawiyah had been the governor of Syria under the 3rd caliph and his kinsman, Uthman ibn Affan. After the assassination of Uthman, he was replaced by the new caliph, Ali Ben Abu Talib. Rather than relinquish his post, Muawiyah took up a rebellion against Ali. The two fought many battles, and eventually they agreed to partition the Muslim empire. However, Ali was assassinated in 661, and Muawiyah declared himself caliph of all Muslim lands. This established the Umayyad dynasty, the capital was moved to Damascus.

Great waves of expansion occurred under the reign of the Umayyads. Muslim armies pushed across North Africa and Iran, through the late 600s, expanding the borders of the empire from Spain in the west to India 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, on the Indian subcontinent. The Muslim empire under the Umayyads was now a vast domain that ruled a diverse array of peoples.

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-ar-rahman I, took over the Muslim territory in Spain and founded a new Umayyad dynasty there.


Umayyad Rulers

Umayyad Caliphs of Damascus

Umayyad Emirs of Cordoba

Umayyad Caliphs of Cordoba

See also History of Islam, Caliphate

External links

de:Umayyaden es:Califato Omeya fa:امویان fr:Omeyyades he:בית אומיה nl:Omajjaden ja:ウマイヤ朝 pl:Umajjadzi pt:Umayyad sv:Umayyader zh:倭马亚王朝


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