Umayyad Caliphate: Divide and Conqueror

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Umayyad Caliphate: Divide and Conqueror

During the late sixth and early seventh centuries, the Umayyad Caliphate was instrumental in spreading the Islamic faith and instituting the Muslim identity over their dominion that included other Arab tribes. This began initially in a period of Civil Wars, which were fought between rival Islamic groups of Believers for the rightful successor after the death of Muhammad in 632 C.E. From this the Umayyad’s emerged victorious, but only after they had conquered and restored a central rule over the Middle East. As the main presence of Islamic rule for nearly one hundred years, the period of Umayyad rule can be seen as the nucleus for defining Islam and it’s relationship with the government. Their inclusion of Muhammad into the government signaled to non-Muslims that the religion of Islam was not going anywhere.

During the Civil Wars period, the conflict in the Middle East arose between tribal groups of Believers. Warriors fought under the protection of God who would enable them to prevail because they had the true leader after the death of Muhammad. These wars helped to legitimize the rule of the Umayyad caliph over the entire Muslim population that was made up of different tribes. For example, the advice Yazid was given from his dying father discusses how he should deal with the opposite tribal group, who he saw as the only “four individuals of the Quaresh” who would challenge the dynasty. His advice included appeasing the Iraqis in order to gain favor and acknowledging other groups who were aligned with him. This advice would be a factor in ending the rebellions that if they continued, would have resulted in a failure of the Islamic state.

The Umayyads were effective at introducing aspects of the Islamic faith to their state system by including the use of Muhammad’s name in documents. The linking of the…...

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