Definitions for umayyad
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word umayyad
Umayyad, Ommiad, Omayyad(noun)
the first dynasty of Arab caliphs whose capital was Damascus
the first Islamic dynasty of Arab caliphs; established in Damascus
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was centered on the Umayyad dynasty, hailing from Mecca. The Umayyad family had first come to power under the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, but the Umayyad regime was founded by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661 CE/41 AH. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their capital. The Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 5.79 million square miles, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen, and the fifth largest ever to exist. At the time, the Umayyad taxation and administrative practice were perceived as unjust by some Muslims. While the non-Muslim population had autonomy, their judicial matters were dealt with in accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their appointees. They paid a poll tax for policing to the central state. Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that each religious minority should be allowed to practice its own religion and govern itself, and the policy had on the whole continued. The welfare state for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim poor started by Omar had also continued. Muawiya's wife Maysum was also a Christian. The relations between the Muslims and the Christians in the state were good. The Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting their rear in Syria, which had remained largely Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments. The employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious tolerance that was necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, especially in Syria. This policy also boosted his popularity and solidified Syria as his power base.
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