Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates comparison

Topics: Islam, Al-Andalus, Iraq Pages: 4 (1007 words) Published: November 4, 2013


Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate





(657-750CE) Umayyad clan starts as a foe to Muhammad. They are defeated at Mecca by Muhammad’s forces but are embraced by Muhammad and become a powerful Muslim clan that will lead the faith after Muhammad. After the first three caliphs, The followers of Ali will split away from the faith and form the Shiites (who think caliphs should be related to Muhammad) and the Umayyads will lead the remaining vast majority of Muslims (the Sunnis) who believe the caliphs should be chosen from among all Muslims. Umayyads will conquer much of North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and parts of Western Europe (Spain) very rapidly. They will be halted from taking more of western Europe at the Battle of Tours in France in 732CE.

While the Umayyads will win political victory militarily (by the sword) they will not generally force their conquered people to convert on pain of death. The Umayyad capital will be Damascus and they will govern as ARAB ELITE Muslims looking down upon non-Arab converts known as Mawali and using an ethnic Arab military and ethnic Arab bureaucracy. The caliphs will be resented by the soldiers on the frontier for leading non-Islamic lavish lifestyles. Umayyads will set up a theocracy where religious and political law is one and the same. Their inspiration for all law will be the Koran. These laws will be known as Sharia Law.

Umayyads will not aggressively seek to convert “people of the book” known as Dhimmis because these Jews, Christians, and later Zoroastrians and Hindus will pay a higher tax, making their status as non-Muslims very profitable for the Umayyads. Trade will be controlled by Muslims under standardized Sharia law making it flourish as never before. The central location of the Umayyad caliphate will link trading...
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