The Islamic World

1462 Words6 Pages
After the death of ‘Ali in 661, the Muslim world was on unstable ground. As a cousin of Muhammad and a link in the direct progeny of The Prophet, his death and succession would cause much strife ad bloodshed in generations to come. Seizing power as caliph in 661 was Mu’awiya b. Abu Sufyan, the first of the Umayyad family to hold this position where an Umayyad would maintain the throne for the next nearly 90 years. Throughout the time of the Umayyad rule from 661 to 750, these caliphs had a tremendous impact on not only the Arabian Peninsula, but most of the nations through North Africa, Southwestern Europe, and east into Central Asia. It’s hard to measure the effects of this troubled dynasty without speculation, but it’s fair to say they had both highs and many lows. The Umayyads consolidated power and eventually improved the governance of their growing empire, expanded their own economic capabilities, and also advanced Arab and Muslim culture throughout the region. However, rapid imperial expansion, tribal feuds, intra-family conflict over successions, and the misconduct of some caliphs leaves some wondering if more harm or good was done during the Umayyad reign. When Mu’awiya became caliph, some of the first actions he took were to begin the initial consolidations and centralizations of power (not to the extent of later Umayyad caliphs), begin more military expansions, and used his skills as a politician and statesman to hold the Muslim world together
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