Fustat Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule. It was built by the Muslim general'Amr ibn al-'As after the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, featured the Mosque of Amr, the first mosque built in Egypt and in all of Africa; the city reached its peak in the 12th century, with a population of 200,000. It was the centre of administrative power in Egypt, until it was ordered burnt in 1168 by its own vizier, Shawar, to keep its wealth out of the hands of the invading Crusaders; the remains of the city were absorbed by nearby Cairo, built to the north of Fustat in 969 when the Fatimids conquered the region and created a new city as a royal enclosure for the Caliph. The area was used as a rubbish dump. Today, Fustat is part of Old Cairo, with few buildings remaining from its days as a capital. Many archaeological digs have revealed the wealth of buried material in the area. Many ancient items recovered from the site are on display in Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art.
Fustat was the capital of Egypt for 500 years. After the city's founding in 641, its authority was uninterrupted until 750, when the Abbasid dynasty staged a revolt against the Umayyads; this conflict was focused not elsewhere in the Arab world. When the Abbasids gained power, they moved various capitals to more controllable areas, they had established the centre of their caliphate in Baghdad, moving the capital from its previous Umayyad location at Damascus. Similar moves were made throughout the new dynasty. In Egypt, they moved the capital from Fustat north to the Abbasid city of al-Askar, which remained the capital until 868; when the Tulunid dynasty took control in 868, the Egyptian capital moved to another nearby northern city, Al-Qatta'i. This lasted only until 905, when Al-Qatta'i was destroyed and the capital was returned to Fustat; the city again lost its status as capital city when its own vizier, ordered its burning in 1168. The capital of Egypt was moved to Cairo. According to legend, the location of Fustat was chosen by a bird: A dove laid an egg in the tent of'Amr ibn al-'As, the Muslim conqueror of Egypt, just before he was to march against Alexandria in 641.
His camp at that time was just north of the Roman fortress of Babylon. Amr declared the dove's nest as a sign from God, the tent was left untouched as he and his troops went off to battle; when they returned victorious, Amr told his soldiers to pitch their tents around his, giving his new capital city its name, Miṣr al-Fusṭāṭ, or Fusṭāṭ Miṣr, popularly translated as "City of the tents", though this is not an exact translation. The word Miṣr was an ancient Semitic root designating Egypt, but in Arabic has the meaning of a large city or metropolis, so the name Miṣr al-Fusṭāṭ could mean "Metropolis of the Tent". Fusṭāṭ Miṣr would mean "The Pavilion of Egypt". Egyptians to this day call Cairo "Miṣr", or, colloquially, Maṣr though this is properly the name of the whole country of Egypt; the country's first mosque, the Mosque of Amr, was built in 642 on the same site of the commander's tent. For thousands of years, the capital of Egypt was moved with different cultures through multiple locations up and down the Nile, such as Thebes and Memphis, depending on which dynasty was in power.
After Alexander the Great conquered Egypt around 331 BC, the capital became the city named for him, Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast. This situation remained stable for nearly a thousand years. After the army of the Arabian Caliph Umar captured the region in the 7th century, shortly after the death of Muhammad, he wanted to establish a new capital; when Alexandria fell in September 641, Amr ibn al-As, the commander of the conquering army, founded a new capital on the eastern bank of the river. The early population of the city was composed entirely of soldiers and their families, the layout of the city was similar to that of a garrison. Amr intended for Fustat to serve as a base from which to conquer North Africa, as well as to launch further campaigns against Byzantium, it remained the primary base for Arab expansion in Africa until Qayrawan was founded in Tunisia in 670. Fustat developed as a series of tribal areas, around the central mosque and administrative buildings; the majority of the settlers came from Yemen, with the next largest grouping from western Arabia, along with some Jews and Roman mercenaries.
Arabic was the primary spoken dialect in Egypt, was the language of written communication. Coptic was still spoken in Fustat in the 8th century. Fustat was the centre of power in Egypt under the Umayyad dynasty, which had started with the rule of Muawiyah I, headed the Islamic caliphate from 660 to 750. However, Egypt was considered only a province of larger powers, was ruled by governors who were appointed from other Muslim centres such as Damascus and Baghdad. Fustat was a major city, in the 9th century, it had a population of 120,000, but when General Gawhar of the Tunisian-based Fatimids captured the region, this launched a new era when Egypt was the centre of its own power. Gawhar founded a new city just north of Fustat on August 8, 969, naming it Al Qahira, in 971, the Fatimid Caliph al-Mo'ezz moved his court from al-Mansuriya in Tunisia to Al Qahira, but Cairo was not intended as a center of government at the time—it was used as the royal enclosure for the Caliph and his court and army, while Fustat remained the capital in terms of economic and administrative power.
The city thrived and grew, in 987, the geographer Ibn Hawkal wrote that
Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, better known by his regnal name al-Muktafī bi-llāh, was the Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 902 to 908. More liberal and sedentary than his militaristic father al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi continued his policies, although most of the actual conduct of government was left to his viziers and officials, his reign saw the defeat of the Qarmatians of the Syrian Desert, the reincorporation of Egypt and the parts of Syria ruled by the Tulunid dynasty. The war with the Byzantine Empire continued with alternating success, although the Arabs scored a major victory in the Sack of Thessalonica in 904, his death in 908 opened the way for the installation of a weak ruler, al-Muqtadir, by the palace bureaucracy, began the terminal decline of the Abbasid Caliphate. Ali ibn Ahmad was born in 877/8, the son of Ahmad ibn Talha, the future caliph al-Mu'tadid by a Turkish slave-girl, named Čiček. At the time of his birth, the Abbasid Caliphate was still reeling from the decade-long civil war known as the "Anarchy at Samarra", which had begun with the assassination of Caliph al-Mutawakkil by dissatisfied soldiers and ended with the accession of al-Mu'tamid.
Real power, lay with al-Mu'tamid's brother, al-Muwaffaq, Ali's paternal grandfather. Al-Muwaffaq enjoyed the loyalty of the military, by 877 had established himself as the de facto ruler of the state. Caliphal authority in the provinces collapsed during the "Anarchy at Samarra", with the result that by the 870s the central government had lost effective control over most of the Caliphate outside the metropolitan region of Iraq. In the west, Egypt had fallen under the control of Ahmad ibn Tulun, who disputed control of Syria with al-Muwaffaq, while Khurasan and most of the Islamic East had been taken over by the Saffarids, who replaced the Abbasids' loyal client state, the Tahirids. Most of the Arabian peninsula was lost to local potentates, while in Tabaristan a radical Zaydi Shi'a dynasty took power. In Iraq, the rebellion of the Zanj slaves threatened Baghdad itself, it took al-Muwaffaq and al-Mu'tadid years of hard campaigning before they were subdued in 893. Following his rise to the throne, al-Mu'tadid continued his father's policies, restored caliphal authority in the Jazira, northern Syria, parts of western Iran.
He established an effective administration, but the incessant campaigning, the need to keep the soldiery satisfied, meant that it was totally geared towards providing the funds necessary to maintain the army. Al-Mu'tadid managed to accumulate a considerable surplus in his ten-year reign. At the same time the bureaucracy grew in power, it saw a growth in factionalism, with two rival "clans" emerging, the Banu'l-Furat and the Banu'l-Jarrah; the two groups represented different factions in a struggle for office and power, but there are indications of "ideological" differences as well: many of the Banu'l-Jarrah families hailed from converted Nestorian families and employed Christians in the bureaucracy, in addition to maintaining closer ties with the military, while the Banu'l-Furat tried to impose firm civilian control of the army and favoured Shi'ism. Al-Mu'tadid took care to prepare Ali, his oldest son and heir-apparent, for the succession by appointing him as a provincial governor: first in Rayy, Qazvin and Hamadan, when these provinces were seized from the semi-autonomous Dulafid dynasty in c.
894/5, in 899 over the Jazira and the frontier areas, when al-Mu'tamid deposed the last local autonomous governor, Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Shaybani. The future al-Muktafi took up residence at Raqqa; when al-Mu ` tadid died on 5 April 892, al-Muktafi succeeded. His father's vizier, al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah, ordered the oath of allegiance to be taken in his name, took the precaution of locking up all Abbasid princes until al-Muktafi arrived in Baghdad from Raqqa; the new caliph was 25 years old. The historian al-Tabari, who lived during his reign, describes him as of "medium size, handsome, of a delicate complexion, with beautiful hair and a luxurious beard". Al-Muktafi inherited his father's love of buildings, he completed al-Mu'tadid's third palace project, the Taj Palace, in Baghdad, for which he reused bricks from the palace of the Sasanian rulers in Ctesiphon. Among its numerous buildings was a semicircular tower, known as the "Cupola of the Ass"; the caliph could ride to its top to mounted on a donkey, from there gaze on the surrounding countryside.
In the site of his father's palace prisons, he added a Friday mosque to the palace the Jami al-Qasr, now known as the Jami al-Khulafa. He emulated his father in avarice and parsimony, which allowed him to leave, despite a short reign with continuous warfare, a considerable surplus. Thus, in May 903, al-Muktafi left Baghdad and went to the old capital of Samarra, with the intention of moving his seat there, his easy-going nature, on the other hand, was the antithesis of his father, famous for his extreme severity and the cruel and imaginative punishments he inflicted, al-Muktafi became popular when, soon after his accession, he destroyed his father's underground prisons and gave the site to the people, released prisoners and returned lands confiscated by the government. On the other hand, he was not as steadfast as his father, was swayed by the officials at court; the early period of his caliphate was dominated by the vizier al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah. A able man, he was amb
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.
A custom house or customs house was a building housing the offices for the government officials who processed the paperwork associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country. Customs officials collected customs duty on imported goods; the custom house was located in a seaport or in a city on a major river, with access to the ocean. These cities acted as a port of entry into a country; the government stationed officials at such locations to regulate commerce. Due to advances in electronic information systems, the increased volume of international trade, the introduction of air travel, the term "custom house" is now an historical anachronism. There are many examples of buildings around the world that were used as custom houses but have since been converted for other uses, such as museums or civic buildings. In the United Kingdom, since 1386, the phrase custom house has been in use over the term customs house; this was after a "Custom House" was erected at Wool Wharf in Tower Ward, to contain just the officials of the Great Custom on Wool and Woolfells.
The singular form was used though in years the Custom House was the location of other Customs officials as well. Customs broking Philadelphia Customs House Custom House, Leith
The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca; the civil calendar of all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents and similar regular commitments are paid by the civil calendar; the Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 AD/CE. During that year and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib and established the first Muslim community, an event commemorated as the Hijra. In the West, dates in this era are denoted AH in parallel with the Christian and Jewish eras. In Muslim countries, it is sometimes denoted as H from its Arabic form. In English, years prior to the Hijra are reckoned as BH.
The current Islamic year is 1440 AH. In the Gregorian calendar, 1440 AH runs from 11 September 2018 to 30 August 2019. For central Arabia Mecca, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the Abbasid era. Inscriptions of the ancient South Arabian calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system. Both al-Biruni and al-Mas'udi suggest that the ancient Arabs used the same month names as the Muslims, though they record other month names used by the pre-Islamic Arabs; the Islamic tradition is unanimous in stating that Arabs of Tihamah and Najd distinguished between two types of months and forbidden months. The forbidden months were four months during which fighting is forbidden, listed as Rajab and the three months around the pilgrimage season, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram. Information about the forbidden months is found in the writings of Procopius, where he describes an armistice with the Eastern Arabs of the Lakhmid al-Mundhir which happened in the summer of 541 AD/CE.
However, Muslim historians do not link these months to a particular season. The Qur'an links the four forbidden months with Nasī’, a word that means "postponement". According to Muslim tradition, the decision of postponement was administered by the tribe of Kinanah, by a man known as the al-Qalammas of Kinanah and his descendants. Different interpretations of the concept of Nasī’ have been proposed; some scholars, both Muslim and Western, maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. According to this view, Nasī’ is related to the pre-Islamic practices of the Meccan Arabs, where they would alter the distribution of the forbidden months within a given year without implying a calendar manipulation; this interpretation is supported by Arab historians and lexicographers, like Ibn Hisham, Ibn Manzur, the corpus of Qur'anic exegesis. This is corroborated by an early Sabaic inscription, where a religious ritual was "postponed" due to war.
According to the context of this inscription, the verb ns'’ has nothing to do with intercalation, but only with moving religious events within the calendar itself. The similarity between the religious concept of this ancient inscription and the Qur'an suggests that non-calendaring postponement is the Qur'anic meaning of Nasī’; the Encyclopaedia of Islam concludes "The Arabic system of can only have been intended to move the Hajj and the fairs associated with it in the vicinity of Mecca to a suitable season of the year. It was not intended to establish a fixed calendar to be observed." The term "fixed calendar" is understood to refer to the non-intercalated calendar. Others concur that it was a lunar calendar, but suggest that about 200 years before the Hijra it was transformed into a lunisolar calendar containing an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant; this interpretation was first proposed by the medieval Muslim astrologer and astronomer Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, by al-Biruni, al-Mas'udi, some western scholars.
This interpretation considers Nasī’ to be a synonym to the Arabic word for "intercalation". The Arabs, according to one explanation mentioned by Abu Ma'shar, learned of this type of intercalation from the Jews; the Jewish Nasi was the official. Some sources say that the Arabs followed the Jewish practice and intercalated seven months over nineteen years, or else that they intercalated nine months over 24 years. Postponement of one ritual in a particular circumstance does not imply alteration of the sequence of months, scholars agree that this did not happen. Al-Biruni says this did not happen, the festivals were kept within their season by intercalation every second or third year of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, he says that, in terms of the fixed calendar, not introduced until 10 AH, the first intercalation was, for example, of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, the second of a month between Muharram and Safar, the third of a month between Safar and Rabi'I, so on. The intercalations were arranged.
The notice of interca
Abu al-‘Abbās ‘Abdu'llāh ibn Muhammad al-Saffāḥ, or Abul `Abbas as-Saffaḥ was the first caliph of the Abbasid caliphate, one of the longest and most important caliphates in Islamic history. Abū'l ‘Abbās' laqab or caliphal title was "As-Saffāḥ", meaning "the Blood-Shedder" for his ruthless tactics and also to instill fear in his enemies. As-Saffāḥ, born in Humeima, was head of one branch of the Banu Hāshim from Arabia, a subclan of the Quraysh tribe who traced their lineage to Hāshim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad via'Abbās, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the title "Abbasid" for his descendants' caliphate; this indirect link to Muhammad's larger clan formed sufficient basis for As-Saffah's claim to the title caliph. As narrated in many hadith, many believed that in the end times a great leader or mahdi would appear from the family of Muhammad, to which Ali belonged, who would deliver Islam from corrupt leadership; the half-hearted policies of the late Umayyads to tolerate non-Arab Muslims and Shi'as had failed to quell unrest among these minorities.
During the reign of late Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik this unrest led to mutiny and revolt in Kufa in southern Iraq from the slaves of the town. Shi'ites revolted in 736 and held the city until 740, led by Zayd ibn Ali, a grandson of Husayn and another member of the Banu Hashim. Zayd's rebellion failed, was put down by Umayyad armies in 740; the revolt in Kufa indicated both the strength of the Umayyads and the growing unrest in the Muslim world. During the last days of the Umayyad caliphate, Abu al-‘Abbās and his clan chose to begin their rebellion in Khurasān, an important, but remote military region comprising eastern Iran, southern parts of the modern Central Asian republics of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In 743, the death of the Umayyad Caliph Hishām provoked a rebellion in the east. Abu al-`Abbās, supported by Shi'as and the residents of Khurasān, led his forces to victory over the Umayyads and The civil war was marked by millennial prophecies encouraged by the beliefs of some Shi'as that As-Saffāḥ was the mahdi.
In Shi'ite works such as the Al-Jafr faithful Muslims were told that the brutal civil war was the great conflict between good and evil. The choice of the Umayyads to enter battle with white flags and the Abbasids to enter with black encouraged such theories; the color white, was regarded in much of Persia as a sign of mourning. In early October 749, Abu al-'Abbās as-Saffāh's rebel army entered Kufa, a major Muslim center in Southern Iraq, as-Saffah was not yet declared caliph. One of his priorities was to eliminate his Umayyad rival, caliph Marwan II; the latter was defeated in February 750 at a battle on the Zab river north of Baghdad ending the Umayyad caliphate, which had ruled since 661 AD. Marwan II fled back to Damascus, which didn't welcome him, was killed on the run in Egypt that August. In one far-reaching, historic decision, as-Saffāh established Kufa as the new capital of the caliphate, ending the dominance of Damascus in the Islamic political world, Iraq would now become the seat of'Abbassid power for many centuries.
Tales recount that, concerned that there would be a return of rival Umayyad power, as-Saffāh invited all of the remaining members of the Umayyad family to a dinner party where he had them clubbed to death before the first course, served to the hosts. The only survivor, Abd al-Rahman ibn Mu'awiya, escaped to the province of al-Andalus, where the Umayyad caliphate would endure for three centuries in the west in the Emirate of Córdoba. Another version is that as-Saffāḥ's new governor to Syria,'Abd Allāh ibn'Ali, hunted down the last of the family dynasty, with only Abd al-Rahmān escaping. Ultimately,'Abbasid rule was accepted in Syria, the beginning of the new Islamic dynasty was "free from major internal dissensions."As-Saffāh's four-year reign was marked with efforts to consolidate and rebuild the caliphate. His supporters were represented in the new government, but apart from his policy toward the Umayyad family, as-Saffāh is viewed by historians as having been a mild victor. Jews, Nestorian Christians, Persians were well represented in his government and in succeeding Abbasid administrations.
Education was encouraged, the first paper mills, staffed by skilled Chinese prisoners captured at the Battle of Talas, were set up in Samarkand. Revolutionary was as-Saffāh's reform of the army, which came to include non-Muslims and non-Arabs in sharp contrast to the Umayyads who refused any soldiers of either type. As-Saffāh selected the gifted Abu Muslim as his military commander, an officer who would serve until 755 in the Abbasid army. Not all Muslims accept the legitimacy of his caliphate, however. According to Shi'ites, as-Saffāh turned back on his promises to the partisans of the Alids in claiming the title caliph for himself; the Shi'a had hoped that their imam would be named head of the caliphate, inaugurating the era of peace and prosperity the millennialists had believed would come. The betrayal alienated as-Saffāh's Shi'a supporters, although the continued amity of other groups made Abbasid rule markedly more solvent than that of the Umayyads. Caliph Abu al-`Abbās `Abdu’llāh as-Saffāḥ died of smallpox on June 10, 754, only four years after taking the title of caliph.
Before he died, as-Saffah appointed his brother Abu Ja'far al-Mansur and, following him, the caliph's nephew Isa ibn Musa as his successors. (Ibn Musa, never filled the position