|The Umayyad Caliphs
The Umayyad house was one of the major clans of the Quraysh tribe. Technically, Uthman, the third "Righteous Caliph", was the first Umayyad caliph. During his tenure (644-655), he appointed members of his clan to various posts; in particular, Muawiya b. Abi Sufyan was given the governorship of Syria. Upon the accession of Ali to the caliphate, Muawiya refused to pay him allegience, and in 658 the Syrians acknowledged Muawiya as caliph. That same year he gained control of Egypt; following Ali's death in 661, he subdued Iraq and then formally established himself as caliph. The first line of Umayyads were the Sufyanids (descendants of Abu Sufyan) who ruled from 661- 684. Under Muawiya (661-680) the capital of the Muslim empire was transferred to Damascus. He is credited with raising a highly-trained army of Syrian soldiers which was used to expand Muslim authority east into Khorasan and west into North Africa. Muawiya also led excursions into Anatolia beginning in 672 which culminated in an unsuccessful three-year seige of Constantinople (674-677). He retained the administrative structures left by the Byzantines and Persians but consolidated his authority by appointing kinsmen to key posts. Before his death, Muawiya secured allegiance to his son, Yazid, thus introducing dynastic succession to Muslim rule. Muawiya was the son of Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Abd Shams clan. Most of the members of Abd Shams had rejected Muhammad's prophetic mission until Muhammad's conquest of Mecca in 630. Muawiya and his father are considered to be among those enemies who were reconciled to Islam through gifts. Muawiya then served as one of Muhammad's scribes. During the reign of Abu Bakr, Muawiya served in the armies sent against the Byzantines in Syria. The caliph Umar appointed him governor of Damascus; his kinsman Uthman subsequently enlarged his governorship to include what is today Syria and north-western Iraq. Muawiya consolidated his power over the region by building up a strong army which he used effectively to launch both land and sea attacks against the Byzantines. The murder of Uthman at the hands of discontented Egyptians and the accession of Ali to the caliphate in 656 gave Muawiya the opportunity to expand his power. Ali had his own difficulties establishing his legitimacy, and by the time he requested Muawiya to give him the oath of allegience, the Syrian population was generally of the opinion that Ali was responsible for Uthman's murder; thus, Muawiya refused to pay him allegience. The two men confronted each other with their armies at Siffin in early 657, where Muawiya called for an arbitration. The arbitration solved nothing, but it did serve to delegitimize Ali in the eyes of some of his supporters. The Syrians acknowledged Muawiya as caliph, and he was able to take control of Egypt later that year. Thus with Ali's assassination in 661, Muawiya easily moved into Iraq and asserted his claim to the caliphate. Ali's eldest son, Hasan, who briefly succeeded his father, was persuaded to abdicate. With Muawiya's accession, the seat of the caliphate was moved to Damascus. Muawiya continued raids against the Byzantines, both in Anatolia and North Africa. The conquest of Tripolitania and Ifriqiyah led to the founding of the garrison city Kairouan in 670 as a base for continuing forays into what is today Algeria. Naval expeditions against the Byzantines and raids into Anatolia led to a three-year seige of Constantinople (674-677). In the east, the borders of the Muslim empire were expanded to Khorasan and the Oxus River. Internally, Muawiya governed through a combination of Arab tribal tradition and Byzantine administrative structures. The conquests of the "Four Righteous Caliphs" had led to an immigration of Arab tribes into Iraq and Syria, each with competing interests. Having secured the loyalty of the Syrian tribes, Muawiya conciliated the Iraqi tribes by adopting the traditional council of notables in which each tribe is represented by its leader. These councils were linked to the caliph through his governors, who were generally his kinsmen. However, this arrangement was not sufficient in itself to administer a growing empire. To solve this problem, Muawiya made use of Byzantine administrative structures, the key positions of which were held by Christians who in some cases came from families that had served the Byzantine government. Muawiya is credited with the creation of specialized bureaus, known as diwans, to increase the centralization of the government; two such diwans created to improve communications are the diwan al-khatam, the chancellery, and the diwan al-barid, the postal service. Muawiya's most lasting innovation was his designation of his son Yazid as his successor; this move established hereditary succession as the norm for the caliphate. Although he secured allegience to Yazid before his death, resistence to his innovation manifested itself upon Yazid's accession. Later generations of Muslims held conflicting views about his reign: to some, he was a clever and successful ruler, while to others, he usurped the caliphate and deviated from the practice of Muhammad and the "Four Righteous Caliphs". Yazid's reign (680-683) was marked by rebellions led by Husayn b. Ali at Kerbala and Ibn al- Zubayr at Mecca, both of whom refused to recognize Yazid's authority. Upon the death of Muawiya II (683-684), civil war broke out between two Arab factions, the Qaysites and the Kalbites, the latter of whom supported the candidacy of Marwan b. al-Hakam. His ascendance to the caliphate in 684 established the Marwanid line of Umayyad caliphs. As he died a year later, the task of reunification was placed in the hands of his son, Abd al-Malik.
During the reign of his father, Yazid had commanded the army that laid seige to Constantinople. After his accession, Yazid was confronted with two rebellions. The first was that of Husayn, son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad, which occured in Kerbala in 680; the rebellion was short-lived and unsuccessful, but the martyrdom of Husayn and his family created a permanent division between the Shi`ites, the partisans of Ali, and the Sunni majority. The second, far more serious revolt was led by Ibn al-Zubayr in Medina and Mecca. In 682, the Medinans declared Yazid deposed; a Syrian army was sent and the Medinese were defeated. The army then marched to Mecca, where Ibn al-Zubayr had taken refuge, and laid seige to that city; however, during the siege news arrived that Yazid had died. Doubts about his successor prevented a speedy resolution to the conflict, which persisted for nine more years. Although often depicted by Muslim historians as a dissolute ruler, Yazid attempted to continue his father's administrative and military policies. He reformed the tax system and improved the irrigation system in the environs of Damascus. During Abd al-Malik's reign (685-705), order was gradually restored to Iraq and Arabia; Ibn al-Zubayr, who had taken advantage of the civil war in Syria to extend control into Iraq, was defeated in 692. Arabic was made the official language of administration, and Byzantine coins were replaced with a new Islamic-style coinage. Under his sons, Walid I (705-715) and Sulayman (715-717), the empire expanded westward to Morocco and Spain, and eastward to Transoxiana. Constantinople was beseiged, again unsuccessfully, for one year (717-718). This period also marks the building of several grand palaces and the famous Umayyad mosque in Damascus.
Abd al-Malik spent his youth in Medina until the rebellion of Ibn al-Zubayr in 682. He left the town when the Umayyads were expelled by the rebels, but upon meeting the Syrian army advancing toward Medina, he returned with it after giving advice concerning the town and its defences. He acceded to the caliphate after the assassination of his father in 685. Abd al-Malik faced numerous difficulties at the beginning of his reign. Although the Qaysites had been defeated by the Kalbites in 684, thus reasserting Umayyad control of Syria, Qaysites still held out in northern Iraq. The Byzantines had pushed into Anatolia, and Ibn al-Zubayr was being recognized as caliph in most parts of the empire. The governor of Kufa and Basra, who had been forced out after the death of Yazid in 683, was unable to regain control. Kufa was seized by the Shi`ite leader al-Mukhtar shortly after Abd al-Malik's accession, and Basra was held by Ibn al-Zubayr's brother, Mus`ab. Mus`ab's forces defeated al-Mukhtar in 687 and occupied Kufa. Abd al-Malik freed himself from the Byzantine problem by making a ten-year truce with the emperor. In 690, his forces captured the rebel Qaysites. The following year Mus`ab was defeated and a Syrian army under the command of al-Hajjaj was sent to Mecca. The city was beseiged for six months; Ibn al-Zubayr was slain in 692. Al-Hajjaj was subsequently sent to Iraq to quell Kharijite uprisings, which continued there and further east until 697. The revolt of Iraqi troops under the command of Ibn al-Ash`ath in 700-701 led to al-Hajjaj's establishment of a garrison city in Iraq to house Syrian troops. Despite these preoccupations, Abd al-Malik initiated several reforms to further centralize caliphal control. Arabic was made the official language of administration, replacing Greek and Persian; this helped to unify the tax-systems of the various provinces. Byzantine coins were replaced with a new Islamic-style coinage; the Byzantine emperor's refusal to accept this new currency caused a breakage of the truce in 692. Attributed to al-Hajjaj is the re-edition of the Uthmanic text of the Qur'an with vowel signs. The last years of Abd al-Malik's reign were peaceful on the whole. A crisis of succession was very nearly averted: his father, Marwan, had appointed his brother Abd al-Aziz to succeed Abd al-Malik, but Abd al-Malik wished to favour his own sons. Abd al-Aziz died just five months before Abd al-Malik, and the caliphate was passed to his son Walid.
With the death of Sulayman, power was transferred to his cousin Umar b. Abd al-Aziz (717-720). He enacted fiscal reforms which placed all Muslims, Arab and non-Arab (mawali), on equal footing. His successor, Yazid II (720-724), caused a renewal of the hostilities between the Qaysites and the Kalbites by openly favoring the the former. During Hisham's long reign (724-743), the Muslim empire reached the limits of its expansion. Discontent with the Umayyad regime manifested itself with the rebellion of Zayd b. Ali in 740, while Berber revolts in North Africa that same year effectively cut off what is today Morocco and Spain from Umayyad rule. Under Hisham's successors, Walid II, Yazid III, and Ibrahim, a series of rebellions paralyzed the caliphate: Kharijites seized Kufa, and feuds between the Qaysites and Kalbites errupted. The last Umayyad caliph of Syria, Marwan II (744-750), attempted to restore order, but by this time the Abbasid revolutionary movement had gained momentum in the eastern provinces of the empire. In 749 Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah was proclaimed the first Abbasid caliph; the Umayyads were massacred in 750. Only one Umayyad, Abd al-Rahman, escaped: he fled to Spain where he established the dynasty of the Umayyads of Cordoba.
الخلفاء الأمويون :
في عام (41 هـ - 661م ) ويسمى عام الجماعة - تنازل الحسن بن علي بن ابي طالب رضي الله عنه ، عن حرب معاوية بن ابي سفيان ، الذي كان واليا على الشام منذ عهد عمر بن الخطاب ، والذي رفض مبايعة علي بن ابي طالب - رابع الخلفاء الراشدين - متذرعا بان عليا قد فرط في الثار من قتلة عثمان بن عفان ثالث الخلفاء الراشدين ... رضي الله عنهم جميعا .
وبتنازل الحسن استقر الأمر لمعاوية فاصبح خليفة المسلمين ، وقامت دولة بني امية التي تنتسب الى امية بن عبد شمس بن عبد مناف ، فحكمت نحو تسعين عاما ( 41 - 132هـ ) ( 661 - 750م ) ونقلت عاصمة الحكم من مدينة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بالحجاز الى دمشق بالشام .
كان نظام الحكم في عهد بني امية عائليا ، وقد تداول الحكم اربع عشرة خليفة اولهم معاوية واخرهم مروان بن محمد الذي قتله العباسيون في " ابو صير " من حلوان مصر ..
كان معاوية اول الخلفاء الأمويين ومؤسس دولتهم ، وكان مولده بالخيف من منى قبل الهجرة بخمس عشرة سنة وامه هند بنت عتبة، وابوه ابو سفيان ، وقد اسلموا جميعا في فتح مكة .
واصبح معاوية من كتاب الوحي لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، واشترك في حروب الردة مع اخيه وابيه ، ثم ولاه عمر جزءا من بلاد الشام ، فلما جاء عثمان رضي الله عنه جمع الشام كلها تحت حكمه .
وبموت معاوية سنة 60هـ بايع المسلمون ابنه يزيد ، ما عدا الحسين بن علي وعبد الله بن الزبير وعبد الله بن عمر ، وقد وقف الأولان منه موقف العداء ، وقتل في عهده الحسين ، في كربلاء ، وحكم ثلاث سنوات ثم مات سنة 64هـ ، وعمره ثمانية وثلاثون عاما .
ثم تولى معاوية بن يزيد ، بوصاية ابيه ، لكنه كان ورعا زاهدا فتنازل عن الخلافة بعد ثلاثة اشهر .
وقد وقعت حروب انتهت في ( مرج راهط ) بين الأمويين وعبد الله بن الزبير ، واصبح مروان بن الحكم خليفة على الشام وحدها ، وبقي ابن الزبير خليفة على سائر الأمصار ، حتى ظهر عبد الملك بن مروان ، فتمكن من توحيد العالم الإسلامي الشرقي تحت امرته ، ولذا اعتبر المؤسس الثاني للدولة الأموية .
وكانت لعبد الملك اياد عظيمة ، فقد عرب الدواوين وضرب العملة ، وبقي في الحكم اثنين وعشرين عاما ، وتوفي سنة 86هـ ، فتولى بعده ابنه الوليد بن عبد الملك ، الذي حكم عشرة اعوام ، وتمت في عهده اصلاحات داخلية عظيمة وفتوحات اسلامية كبرى على يد قادة عظام مثل محمد بن القاسم الثقفي فاتح السند، وموسى بن نصير فاتح الأندلس .
ثم جاء بعده اخوه سليمان بن عبد الملك فحكم ثلاثة اعوام لم تتقدم فيها الدولة شيئا ، لا من الداخل ولا من الخارج ، ومات سنة 99هـ ، فوسد الأمر لاعظم شخصية في تاريخ بني امية ، على الرغم من انه لم يحكم الا عامين ، وهو عمر بن عبد العزيز ، الذي اعتبره البعض (خامس الخلفاء الراشدين ) لكثرة ما عمل من اصلاحات خلال الفترة الوجيزة التي حكم فيها .
لقد راقب عمر الولاة بحذر ، واخذ على ايديهم وطرد القساة منهم ، وانتشر الإسلام في عهده انتشارا كبيرا لانه وضع الجزية عمن يعتنق الإسلام ، وكان ولاة السوء لا يفعلون ذلك ، ويروي ابن عبد الحكم ، ملخصا عهد عمر بن عبد العزيز ، في قوله الوجيز " انما ولي عمر بن عبد العزيز سنتين ونصفا فذلك ثلاثون شهرا ، فما مات حتى جعل الرجل ياتينا بالمال العظيم فيقول : اجعلوا هذا حيث ترون في الفقراء ، فما يبرح حتى يرجع بماله يتذكر من يضعه فيهم فلا يجده ، فقد اغنى عمر بن عبد العزيز الناس " .
ثم ولي الأمر بعده يزيد بن عبد الملك ، بعهد من اخيه سليمان بعد ابن عمه عمر بن عبد العزيز ، وهو ابن تسع وعشرين سنة . فدامت خلافته اربع سنوات وشهرا ، ثم مات بعدها دون ان يترك اثرا ذا بال اللهم الا اخماده لفتنة يزيد بن المهلب .
وولي بعده هشام بن عبد الملك ، فمكث في الخلافة عشرين عاما حاول فيها تقليد عمر بن عبد العزيز ، ولم ينجح في ذلك نجاحا كبيرا ، وان كانت الدولة قد اتسعت في عهده ، ففتحت قيسارية وبلاد الخزر ، وارمينية ، وشمال اسيا الصغرى ، وجزءا كبيرا من بلاد الروم .
لكن الأحوال الداخلية لم تكن مستقرة على عهده وتوفي في عام 125هـ ، وترك الحكم للوليد بن يزيد بن عبد الملك الذي يعتبر عهده - الذي لم يدم اكثر من عام الا قليلا - من اسوا عهود الدولة الأموية ، ظلما وانتقاما من ابناء سلفه هشام فضلا عن عنصريته وخلاعته .
ولم يكن للخليفتين اللذين وليا بعده يزيد بن الوليد بن عبد الملك ، وابراهيم ابن الوليد اثر يذكر ، ولم يدم حكم كل منهما الا ثلاثة اشهر ، ولم تستقم لهما الأمور ، وكانت ايامهما ، وايام سابقهما الوليد بن يزيد ، فرصة ذهبية نجح فيها العباسيون في تعبئة النفوس وتنظيم الصفوف ، للانقضاض على الدولة .
فلما الت الخلافة لمروان بن محمد - اخر خلفاء بني امية في المشرق لم يستطع ان يقر قواعد الدولة ، على الرغم من انه " كان اشجع بني امية واقدرهم على تحمل الأخطار " .. فسقطت الدولة في عهده ، بعد فتنة واضطرابات دامت خمس سنوات ، وكان سقوطها في سنة 132هـ .
وكانت دولة بني امية دولة عربية تتعصب للعرب وللتقاليد العربية ، وللغة العربية ، ولم يستطع معظم خلفائها ان يرتفعوا على مستوى المساواة والعدل في الإسلام .
لكن مع ذلك كان لهذه الدولة اياد طولى على المسلمين لعل من اهمها جهودها العظيمة في مجال الفتوحات الإسلامية .دكتور عبد الحليم عويس
دراسة لسقوط ثلاثين دولة إسلامية