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UMAYADS

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"Muawiya followed Ali and his son, Hasan as caliph of the Muslims, having adopted the cry of "Vengeance for Uthman." Muawiya and Uthman were kinsmen, both of them belonging to the Meccan clan of Umayyad or Abd Shams. Later, after the death of Ali, Hasan bin Ali abdicated the power after ruling for 6 months and 3 days in 41/661 in favour of Muawiya, who became an absolute ruler of the Muslim states. There are however numerous instances, where Muawiya is recorded as saying, "I am the first king of Islam." (Bidaya wa'n Nihaya by Ibn Kathir, Cairo, 1939, 8:135). Thus, Muawiya grabbed the power and founded the Umayyad rule in Syria. He lived on a scale of royal splendour comparable only to the pomp and pageantry of the Byzantine emperors. Muawiya's ambitious plans to perpetuate the caliphate in his own house, i.e., the Umayyads and nominate his son Yazid as his heir-apparent were not so possible, because of the terms on which Hasan had abdicated to Muawiya. To carry out his plan, Muawiya had to remove Hasan from the scene. The sources admit that the cause of Hasan's death was poison administered by his wives, Juda bint al-Ash'ath. Thus, the death of Hasan took place in 49/669 at the early age of 46 years. It gave opportunity to Muawiya to establish the Umayyad rule. There were 14 caliphs in the Umayyad dynasty from Muawiya to Marwan (41-132/661-750) in Syria as follows:-

1. Muawiya I (41-60/661-680)

2. Yazid I (60-64/680-683)

3. Muawiya II (64-64/683-684)

4. Abdul Malik Marwan (64-65/684-685)

5. Abdul Malik (65-86/685-705)

6. Walid bin Abdul Malik (86-96/705-715)

7. Suleman (96-99/715-717)

8. Umar bin Abdul Aziz (99-101/717-720)

9. Yazid II (101-105/720-724)

10. Hisham (105-125/724-743)

11. Walid II (125-126/743-744)

12. Yazid III (126-126/744-744)

13. Ibrahim bin Walid I (126-127/744-744)

14. Marwan II (127-132/744-750)

The Abbasids overthrown them and took power in 132/750 and founded the Abbasid caliphate. The total duration of the Umayyad rule was 90 years, 11 months and 13 days.

The Abbasids had also adopted a cruel policy towards the Umayyads, and many members of the family were executed. Some Umayyads, however, escaped and sought refuge among the nomadic tribes, one of them being Abdur Rehman (138-173/756-788), the grandson of Hisham. He escaped to Rah, near Euphrates, where he began to prepare for the long journey to Africa, where few other Umayyad princes had already taken refuge. On 1st Shawal, 138/March 8, 756, he entered Archidona, the capital of Regio, where he was declared an amir. Hence, he became the king of the Umayyads in the southern districts of Spain. There were 23 rulers in Umayyad Spain (138-422/756-1031) from Abdur Rehman (d. 173/788) to Hisham III (d. 422/1031).

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