Comparison of Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasty

Topics: Mecca, Al-Andalus, Mawali Pages: 2 (417 words) Published: November 10, 2008
During the 600-1400 time period, Islam emerged in the Umayyad Dynasty and expanded greatly into the Abbasid Dynasty. While the Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire have some similarities, such as their faith in Islam, they have many differences, for instance the treatment of mawali and the position of women.

Islam materialized in the Umayyad Dynasty by the prophet, Muhammad. Muhammad was born into a prominent clan of the Quraysh tribe. Though economically well off and admired for his trading skills and trustworthiness, Muhammad grew dissatisfied with a life focused on material gain. While meditating in the hills surrounding Mecca, the holy city of Islam, he received revelations transmitted to him through the angel Gabriel, which were in turn made into the holy book, the Qur’an. Islam’s five pillars provide the basis for an underlying religious unity. Unlike the Abbasid, the Umayyad did not consider the mawali, or non-Arab converts to Islam, full members of the umma. As a result, the number of conversions to Islam in the Umayyad era was low. However, the Abbasid period saw the full integration of new converts, both Arab and non-Arab, into the Islamic community. One possible reason that the Abbasid Dynasty accepted the mawali and the Umayyad Dynasty did not is that with the rise of the mawali, the Abbasid Empire knew there would be growth in wealth and social statues of the merchant and landlord classes of the empire.

Near the end of the Abbasid era, the position of women was steadily declining. The wives and the concubines of the Abbasid caliphs were restricted to the forbidden quarters of the imperial palace. Many of the concubines were slaves. Slave concubines and servants often had more personal liberty than freeborn wives. Caliphs an high officials often spent more time with their clever slaves than with their less well-educated wives. However, during the Umayyad time period, women were not secluded and did not wear veils. Also, their advice was regarded...
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