The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba which, in the form of an emirate and then a caliphate, became a world centre of science, medicine, philosophy and invention.
About Umayyad Caliphate in brief
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba which, in the form of an emirate and then a caliphate, became a world centre of science, medicine, philosophy and invention. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the caliphate’s population, and Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, however, the Muslim-only zakat tax, which was earmarked explicitly for various welfare programmes. The UMayyad era is often considered the formative period in Islamic art. The caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2, making it one of the largest empires in history in terms of area. It was ruled over a vast multiethnic and multicultural population. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of al-Sham, who became the sixth caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu’awiyah’s death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power eventually fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. The region of Syria remained the UmayYads’ main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their capital. At its greatest extent, the U Mayyads dominated the Quraysh’s increasingly prosperous trade networks with Syria and developed economic and military alliances with the nomadic Arab tribes that controlled the northern and central Arabian desert expanses, affording the clan a degree of political power in the region.
The clan was the principal leaders of Meccan opposition to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, but after the latter captured Mecca in 630, Abu Sufya embraced Islam. To reconcile his former opponents, Muhammad gave his former foes a stake in the new order, including Abu SuFyan, to maintain their new-found political influence in the nascent Muslim community. In 622, the natives of Medina who had provided Muhammad safe haven after his emigration from Mecca in 622 discussed forwarding their own candidate out of concern that the Muhajirun, Muhammad’s early followers and fellow tribesmen would ally with their fellow tribesman from the former Qurayhite elite. The Muhjirun gave allegiance to Abu Bakr and put an end to early, elderly, deliberations of Muhammad, Abu Bakr was viewed as acceptable by the Ansar and was acknowledged as caliph. One of the appointees was Yazid, who owned property and maintained trade networks in Syria, but curtailed the influence of the Qurayhsite elite in favor of Muhammad’s earlier supporters in the administration and administration. He showed favor by awarding them command roles in the Muslim conquest of Syria in the 7th century. He was the first caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.