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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 بنو أمية banū umayya / الأمويون al-umawiyyūn); Persian امویان (Omaviyân), 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 AD661 to AD750. Ironically, the Quraishi clan from which the Umayyads originated had originally been bitter enemies of Muhammad.


Umayyad rulers

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 ibn Abi Talib. Since the killers of Uthman had allied themselves with Ali, Muawiyah refused to accept his caliphate, and in 657 led an army against him. The two sides agreed to a conciliation procedure, resulting in an arbitration that many of Ali's partisans saw as unfair. The Muslim empire was partitioned. When Ali was assassinated in 661, his son Hasan pledged allegiance to Muawiyah and Muawiyah was declared caliph of all Muslim lands. This established the Umayyad dynasty, and the capital of the caliphate 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 the Iberian peninsula, in the west, to what is today Pakistan, 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, in South Asia. 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 Al-Andalus (Hispania) and founded a new Umayyad dynasty there.

Umayyad Caliphs at Damascus

Umayyad Emirs of Cordoba

Umayyad Caliphs at Cordoba

Umayyad sahaba

Here is a partial list of the Companions of Muhammad who were part of the Umayyad clan:

Umayyad taba'een

Here is a partial list of the Taba'een (the generation that succeeded the Companions) who were part of the Umayyad clan:

See also

External links

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