The Abbasid Revolution refers to the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four major Caliphates in early Islamic history, by the third, the Abbasid Caliphate. Coming to power three decades after the death of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and after the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyads were a feudal Arab empire ruling over a population, overwhelmingly non-Arab as well as non-Muslim. Non-Arabs were treated as second-class citizens regardless of whether or not they converted to Islam, this discontent cutting across faiths and ethnicities led to the Umayyads' overthrow; the Abbasid family claimed to have descended from an uncle of the Prophet. The revolution marked the end of the Arab empire and the beginning of a more inclusive, multiethnic state in the Middle East. Remembered as one of the most well-organized revolutions during its period in history, it reoriented the focus of the Muslim world to the east. By the 740s, the Umayyad Empire found itself in critical condition. A dispute over succession in 744 led to the Third Muslim Civil War, which raged across the Middle East for two years.
The next year, al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Shaybani initiated a Kharijite rebellion that would continue until 746. Concurrent with this, a rebellion broke out in reaction to Marwan II's decision to move the capital from Damascus to Harran, resulting in the destruction of Homs – in 746, it was not until 747. Nasr ibn Sayyar was appointed governor of Khorosan by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik in 738, he held on to his post throughout the civil war, being confirmed as governor by Marwan II in the aftermath. Khorosan's expansive size and low population density meant that the Arab denizens – both military and civilian – lived outside of the garrisons built during the spread of Islam; this was in contrast to the rest of the Umayyad provinces, where Arabs tended to seclude themselves in fortresses and avoided interaction with the locals. Arab settlers in Khorasan left their traditional lifestyle and settled among the native Iranian peoples. While intermarriage with Arabs elsewhere in the Empire was discouraged or banned, it became a habit within eastern Khorasan.
Support for the Abbasid Revolution came from people of diverse backgrounds, with all levels of society supporting armed opposition to Umayyad rule. This was pronounced among Muslims of non-Arab descent, though Arab Muslims resented Umayyad rule and centralized authority over their nomadic lifestyles. Both Sunnis and Shias supported efforts to overthrow the Umayyads, as did non-Muslim subjects of the empire who resented religious discrimination. Following the Battle of Karbala which led to the massacre of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, his kin and companions by the Umayyad army in 680 CE, the Shias used this event as a rallying cry of opposition against the Umayyads; the Abbasids used the memory of Karbala extensively to gain popular support against the Umayyads. The Hashimiyya movement were responsible for starting the final efforts against the Umayyad dynasty with the goal of replacing the Umayyads with an Alid ruling family. To an extent, rebellion against the Umayyads bore an early association with Shi'ite ideas.
A number of Shi'ite revolts against Umayyad rule had taken place, though they were open about their desire for an Alid ruler. Zayd ibn Ali fought the Umayyads in Iraq, while Abdallah ibn Mu'awiya established temporary rule over Persia, their murder not only increased anti-Umayyad sentiment among the Shia, but gave both Shias and Sunnis in Iraq and Persia a common rallying cry. At the same time, the capture and murder of the primary Shi'ite opposition figures rendered the Abbasids as the only realistic contenders for the void that would be left by the Umayyads; the Abbasids kept quiet about their identity stating that they wanted a ruler from the descendant of Muhammad upon whose choice as caliph the Muslim community would agree. Many Shi'ites assumed that this meant an Alid ruler, a belief which the Abbasids tacitly encouraged to gain Shi'ite support. Though the Abbasids were members of the Banu Hashim clan, rivals of the Umayyads, the word "Hashimiyya" seems to refer to Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, a grandson of Ali and son of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
According to certain traditions, Abd-Allah died in 717 in Humeima in the house of Mohammad ibn Ali Abbasi, the head of the Abbasid family, before dying named Muhammad ibn Ali as his successor. Although the anecdote is considered a fabrication, at the time it allowed the Abbasids to rally the supporters of the failed revolt of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, who had represented themselves as the supporters of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya. By the time the revolution was in full swing, most Kaysanite Shia had either transferred their allegiance to the Abbasid dynasty, or had converted to other branches of Shi'ism and the Kaysanites ceased to exist; the Umayyad state is remembered as an Arab-centric state, being run by and for the benefit of those who were ethnically Arab though Muslim in creed. The non-Arab Muslims resented their marginal social position and were drawn into Abbasid opposition to Umayyad rule. Arabs dominated the bureaucracy and military, were housed in fortresses separate from the local population outside of Arabia.
After converting to Islam, non-Arabs or Mawali could not live in these garrison cities. The non-Arabs were not allowed to work for the governme
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
Early Muslim conquests
The early Muslim conquests referred to as the Arab conquests and early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion; the resulting empire stretched from the borders of China and the Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, parts of Europe. Edward Gibbon writes in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Under the last of the Umayyads, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean... We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; the language and laws of the Quran were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca.
The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Fred McGraw Donner suggests that formation of a state in the Arabian peninsula and ideological coherence and mobilization was a primary reason why the Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years were able to establish the largest pre-modern empire until that time; the estimates for the size of the Islamic Caliphate suggest it was more than thirteen million square kilometers. Most historians agree as well that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another, it has been suggested that some Jews and Christians in the Sassanid Empire and Jews and Monophysites in Syria were dissatisfied and welcomed the Muslim forces because of religious conflict in both empires.
It has been suggested that Syriac Christians reinterpreted the events of the conquest to serve a political or religious interest. At other times, such as in the Battle of Firaz, Arab Christians allied themselves with the Persians and Byzantines against the invaders. In the case of Byzantine Egypt and Syria, these lands had been reclaimed from the Persians only a few years before. Arabia was a region that hosted a number of different cultures, some urban and others nomadic Bedouin. Arabian society was divided along tribal and clan lines with the most important divisions being between the "southern" and "northern" tribal associations. Both the Roman and Persian empires competed for influence in Arabia by sponsoring clients, in turn Arabian tribes sought the patronage of the two rival empires to bolster their own ambitions; the Lakhmid kingdom which covered parts of what is now southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia was a client of Persia, in 602 the Persians deposed the Lakhmids to take over the defense of the southern frontier themselves.
This left the Persians exposed and over-extended, helping to set the stage for the collapse of Persia that century. Southern Arabia what is now Yemen, had for thousands of years been a wealthy region, a center of the spice trade. Yemen had been at the center of an international trading network linking Eurasia to Africa and Yemen had been visited by merchants from East Africa, the Middle East and from as far away as China. In turn, the Yemeni were great sailors, travelling up the Red Sea to Egypt and across the Indian Ocean to India and down the east African coast. Inland, the valleys of Yemen had been cultivated by a system of irrigation, set back when the Marib Dam was destroyed by an earthquake in about 450 AD. Frankincense and myrrh had been valued in the Mediterranean region, being used in religious ceremonies. However, the conversion of the Mediterranean world to Christianity had reduced the demand for these commodities, causing a major economic slump in southern Arabia which helped to create the impression that Arabia was a backward region.
Little is known of the pre-Islamic religions of Arabia, but it is known that the Arabs worshiped a number of gods such as al-Lat, Manat, al-Uzza and Hubal, with the most important being Allah. There were Jewish and Christian communities in Arabia and aspects of Arab religion reflected their influence. Pilgrimage was a major part of Arabian paganism, one of the most important pilgrimage sites was Mecca, which housed the Kaaba, considered an holy place to visit. Mohammad, a merchant of Mecca, started to have visions in which he claimed that the Archangel Gabriel had told him that he was the last of the prophets continuing the work of Jesus Christ and the prophets of Tanakh. After coming into conflict with the elite of Mecca, Mohammad fled to the city of Yathrib, renamed Medina. At Yathrib, Mohammad by 630 conquered Mecca; the prolonged and escalating Byzantine–Sassanid wars of the 6th and 7th centuries and the recurring outbreaks of bubonic plague left both empires exhausted and weakened in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Arabs.
The last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines: Emperor Heraclius regained all lost territories, restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629. The war agai
Medina transliterated as Madīnah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula and administrative headquarters of the Al-Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia. At the city's heart is al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the burial place of the Islamic prophet, it is one of the two holiest cities in Islam, the other being Mecca. Medina was Muhammad's destination of his Hijrah from Mecca, became the capital of a increasing Muslim Empire, under Muhammad's leadership, serving as the power base of Islam, where Muhammad's Ummah, composed of both locals and immigrants from Muhammad's original home of Mecca, developed. Medina is home to three prominent mosques, namely al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Quba Mosque, Masjid al-Qiblatayn. Muslims believe that the chronologically final surahs of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad in Medina, are called Medinan surahs in contrast to the earlier Meccan surahs; the Arabic word al-Madīnah means'the city'. Before the advent of Islam, the city was known as Yathrib; the word Yathrib has been recorded in Surat al-Ahzab of the Quran.
The city has been called Taybah and Tabah. An alternative name is al-Madīnah an-Nabawiyyah or Madīnat an-Nabī; as of 2010, the city of Medina has a population of 1,183,205. Inhabitants of Yathrib during the era before Muhammad's arrival included Jewish tribes; the city's name was changed to Madīna-tu n-Nabī or al-Madīnatu'l-Munawwarah. Medina is celebrated for containing al-Masjid an-Nabawi and as the city which gave refuge to him and his followers, so ranks as the second holiest city of Islam, after Mecca. Muhammad was buried in Medina, under the Green Dome, as were the first two Rashidun caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, who were buried next to him in what used to be Muhammad's house. Medina is 210 miles north about 120 miles from the Red Sea coast, it is situated in the most fertile part of all the Hejazi territory, the streams of the vicinity tending to converge in this locality. An immense plain extends to the south; the historic city formed an oval, surrounded by a strong wall, 30 to 40 feet high, dating from the 12th century CE, was flanked with towers, while on a rock, stood a castle.
Of its four gates, the Bab-al-Salam, or Egyptian gate, was remarkable for its beauty. Beyond the walls of the city and south were suburbs consisting of low houses, yards and plantations; these suburbs had walls and gates. All of the historic city has been demolished in the Saudi era; the rebuilt city is centred on the vastly expanded al-Masjid an-Nabawi. The graves of Fatimah and Hasan, across from the mosque at Jannat al-Baqi', Abu Bakr, of Umar ibn Al-Khattab), the second caliph, are here; the mosque has been twice reconstructed. Because of the Saudi government's religious policy and concern that historic sites could become the focus for idolatry, much of Medina's Islamic physical heritage has been altered. Medina's importance as a religious site derives from the presence of al-Masjid an-Nabawi; the mosque was expanded by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Mount Uhud is a mountain north of Medina, the site of the second battle between Muslim and Meccan forces. Quba Mosque, the first mosque built by Muhammad, is now located in the metropolitan area of Medina.
It was destroyed by lightning about 850 CE, the graves were forgotten. In 892, the place was cleared up, the graves located and a fine mosque built, destroyed by fire in 1257 CE and immediately rebuilt, it was restored by Qaitbay, the Egyptian ruler, in 1487. Masjid al-Qiblatain is another mosque historically important to Muslims, it is where the command was sent to Muhammad to change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca, according to a hadith. Like Mecca, the city of Medina only permits Muslims to enter, although the haram of Medina is much smaller than that of Mecca, with the result that many facilities on the outskirts of Medina are open to non-Muslims, whereas in Mecca the area closed to non-Muslims extends well beyond the limits of the built-up area. Both cities' numerous mosques are the destination for large numbers of Muslims on their'Umrah. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims come to Medina annually while performing pilgrimage Hajj. Al-Baqi' is a significant cemetery in Medina where several family members of Muhammad and scholars are buried.
Islamic scriptures emphasise the sacredness of Medina. Medina is mentioned several times for example ayah. Medinan suras are longer than their Mecca counterparts. There is a book within the hadith of Bukhari titled'Virtues of Medina'. Sahih Bukhari says: Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "Medina is a sanctuary from that place to that, its trees should not be cut and no heresy should be innovated nor any sin should be committed in it, whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits sins he will incur the curse of God, the angels, all the people." By the fourth century, Arab tribes began to encroach from Yemen, there were three prominent Jewish tribes that inhabited the city into the 7th century CE: the
Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into modern Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as the time of the Rajput kingdoms in the 8th century. With the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Islam spread across large parts of the subcontinent. In 1204, Bakhtiyar Khalji led the Muslim conquest of Bengal, marking the eastern-most expansion of Islam at the time. Prior to the rise of the Maratha Empire, followed by the conquest of India by the British East India Company, the Muslim Mughal Empire was able to annex or subjugate most of India's kings. However, it was never able to conquer the kingdoms in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, such as those of modern Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Bhutan. Islam in South Asia existed in communities along the Arab coastal trade routes in Sindh, Gujarat and Ceylon as soon as the religion originated and had gained early acceptance in the Arabian Peninsula, though the first incursion by the new Muslim successor states of the Arab World occurred around 636 CE or 643 AD, during the Rashidun Caliphate, long before any Arab army reached the frontier of India by land.
Uthman b. Abul As Al Sakifi, governor of Bahrain and Oman, sent out ships to raid Thane, near modern-day Mumbai, while his brother Hakam sailed to Broach and a third fleet sailed to Debal under his younger brother Mughira either in 636 CE or 643 AD. According to one source all three expeditions were successful, another source states Mughira was defeated and killed at Debal; these expeditions were sent without the Caliph Umar's consent, he rebuked Uthman, saying that had the Arabs lost any men the Caliph would have killed an equal number of men from Utham's tribe in retaliation. The expeditions were sent to attack pirate nests, to safeguard Arabian trade in the Arabian Sea, not to start the conquest of India; the kingdoms of Kapisa-Gandhara in modern-day Afghanistan and Sindh in modern-day Pakistan, all of which were culturally and politically part of India since ancient times, were known as "The Frontier of Al Hind". The first clash between a ruler of an Indian kingdom and the Arabs took place in 643 AD, when Arab forces defeated Rutbil, King of Zabulistan in Sistan.
Arabs led by Suhail b. Abdi and Hakam al Taghilbi defeated an Indian army in the Battle of Rasil in 644 AD at the Indian Ocean sea coast reached the Indus River. Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab denied them permission to cross the river or operate on Indian soil and the Arabs returned home. Abdullah ibn Aamir led the invasion of Khurasan in 650 AD, his general Rabi b. Ziyad Al Harithi attacked Sistan and took Zaranj and surrounding areas in 651 AD while Ahnaf ibn Qais conquered the Hepthalites of Herat in 652 AD and advanced up to Balkh by 653 AD. Arab conquests now bordered the Kingdoms of Kapisa and Sindh in modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Arabs levied annual tributes on the newly captured areas, leaving 4,000 men garrisons at Merv and Zaranj retired to Iraq instead of pushing on against the frontier of India. Caliph Uthman b. Affan sanctioned an attack against Makran in 652 AD, sent a recon mission to Sindh in 653 AD; the mission described Makran as inhospitable, Caliph Uthman assuming the country beyond was much worse, forbade any further incursions into India.
This was the beginning of a prolonged struggle between the rulers of Kabul and Zabul against successive Arab governors of Sistan and Makran in modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Kabul Shahi kings and their Zunbil kinsmen blocked access to the Khyber Pass and Gomal Pass routes into India from 653 to 870 AD, while modern Balochistan, comprising the areas of Kikan or Qiqanan, Turan, Qufs and Makran, would face several Arab expeditions between 661 - 711 AD; the Arabs launched several raids against these frontier lands, but repeated rebellions in Sistan and Khurasan between 653 - 691 AD diverted much of their military resources in order to subdue these provinces and away from expansion into Al Hind. Muslim control of these areas ebbed and flowed as a result until 870 AD. Arabs troops disliked being stationed in Makran, were reluctant to campaign in the Kabul area and Zabulistan, the difficult terrain and underestimation of Zunbil's power, Arab strategy to extract tribute instead of systematic conquest, the fierce resistance of Zunbil and Turki Shah stalled Arab progress in the "Frontier Zone".
Muawiyah established Umayyad rule over the Arabs after the first First Fitna in 661 AD, resumed expansion of the Muslim Empire. After 663/665 AD, the Arabs launched an invasion against Kapisa and what is now Pakistani Balochistan. Abdur Rahman b. Samurra besieged Kabul in 663 AD, while Haris b Marrah advanced against Kalat after marching through Fannazabur and Quandabil and moving through the Bolan Pass. King Chach of Sindh sent an army against the Arabs, the enemy blocked the mountain passes, Haris was killed and his army was annihilated. Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra took a detachment through the Khyber pass towards Multan in Southern Punjab in modern-day Pakistan in 664 AD pushed south into Kikan, may have raided Quandabil. Turki Shah and Zunbil expelled Arabs from their respective kingdoms by 670 AD, Zunbil began assisting in organizing resistance in Makran. Arabs launched several campaigns in eastern Balochistan between 661 - 681 AD, four Arab commanders were killed during the campaigns, but Sinan b.
Salma managed to conquer parts of Makran including the Chagai area, establish a perman
Abd al-Rahman I
Abd al-Rahman I, more Abd al-Rahman ibn Mu'awiya ibn Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, was the founder of a Muslim dynasty that ruled the greater part of Iberia for nearly three centuries. Abd al-Rahman was a member of the Umayyad dynasty in Damascus, his establishment of a government in Iberia represented a break with the Abbasids, who had overthrown the Umayyads in 750, he was known by the surnames al-Dakhil, Saqr Quraish and the "Falcon of Andalus". Variations of the spelling of his name include Abd ar-Rahman I, Abdul Rahman I, Abdar Rahman I, Abderraman I. Born near Damascus in Syria, Abd al-Rahman was the son of the Umayyad prince Mu'awiya ibn Hisham and his concubine Ra'ha, a Berber woman from Nefzaoua, thus the grandson of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, caliph from 724 to 743, he was twenty when his family, the ruling Umayyads, were overthrown by the Abbasid Revolution in 748–750. Abd al-Rahman and a small part of his family fled Damascus, where the center of Umayyad power had been; the family fled from Damascus to the River Euphrates.
All along the way the path was filled with danger, as the Abbasids had dispatched horsemen across the region to try to find the Umayyad prince and kill him. The Abbasids were merciless with all Umayyads. Abbasid agents closed in on his family while they were hiding in a small village, he fled with Yahya. Accounts vary, but Bedr escaped with Abd ar-Rahman; some histories indicate that Bedr met up with Abd al-Rahman at a date. Abd al-Rahman and Bedr quit the village, narrowly escaping the Abbasid assassins. On the way south, Abbasid horsemen again caught up with the trio. Abd al-Rahman and his companions threw themselves into the River Euphrates; the horsemen urged them to return. The 17th-century historian Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari poignantly described Abd al-Rahman's reaction as he implored Yahya to keep going: "O brother! Come to me, come to me!" Yahya returned to the near shore, was dispatched by the horsemen. They left his body to rot. Al-Maqqari quotes earlier historians reporting that Abd al-Rahman was so overcome with fear that from the far shore he ran until exhaustion overcame him.
Only he and Bedr were left to face the unknown. After escaping with their lives, Abd al-Rahman and Bedr continued south through Palestine, the Sinai, into Egypt. Abd al-Rahman had to keep a low profile, it may be assumed that he intended to go at least as far as northwestern Africa, the land of his mother, conquered by his Umayyad predecessors. The journey across Egypt would prove perilous. At the time, Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib al-Fihri was the semi-autonomous governor of Ifriqiya and a former Umayyad client; the ambitious Ibn Habib, a member of the illustrious Fihrid family, had long sought to carve out Ifriqiya as a private dominion for himself. At first, he sought an understanding with the Abbasids, but when they refused his terms and demanded his submission, Ibn Habib broke with the Abbasids and invited the remnants of the Umayyad dynasty to take refuge in his dominions. Abd al-Rahman was only one of several surviving Umayyad family members to make their way to Ifriqiya at this time, but Ibn Habib soon changed his mind.
He feared the presence of prominent Umayyad exiles in Ifriqiya, a family more illustrious than his own, might become a focal point for intrigue among local nobles against his own usurped powers. Around 755, believing he had discovered plots involving some of the more prominent Umayyad exiles in Kairouan, Ibn Habib turned against them. At the time, Abd al-Rahman and Bedr were keeping a low profile, staying in Kabylie, at the camp of a Nafza Berber chieftain friendly to their plight. Ibn Habib dispatched spies to look for the Umayyad prince; when Ibn Habib's soldiers entered the camp, the Berber chieftain's wife Tekfah hid Abd al-Rahman under her personal belongings to help him go unnoticed. Once they were gone, Abd a-Rahman and Bedr set off westwards. In 755, Abd al-Rahman and Bedr reached modern-day Morocco near Ceuta, their next step would be to cross the sea to al-Andalus, where Abd al-Rahman could not have been sure whether or not he would be welcomed. Following the Berber Revolt of the 740s, the province was in a state of confusion, with the Muslim community torn by tribal dissensions among the Arabs and racial tensions between the Arabs and Berbers.
At that moment, the nominal ruler of al-Andalus, emir Yusuf ibn'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri—another member of the Fihrid family and a favorite of the old Arab settlers of south Arabian or "Yemeni" tribal stock—was locked in a contest with his vizier al-Sumayl ibn Hatim al-Kilabi, the head of the "Syrians"—the shamiyum, drawn from the junds or military regiments of Syria of north Arabian Qaysid tribes—who had arrived in 742. Among the Syrian junds were contingents of old Umayyad clients, numbering 500, Abd al-Rahman believed he might tug on old loyalties and get them to receive him. Bedr was dispatched across the straits to make contact. Bedr managed to line up three Syrian commanders—Ubayd Allah ibn Uthman and Abd Allah ibn Khalid, both of Damascus, Yusuf ibn Bukht of Qinnasrin; the trio approached the Syrian arch-commander al-Sumayl to get his consent, but al-Sumayl refused, fearing Abd al-Rahm
Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia
Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia included indigenous polytheistic beliefs, as well as Christianity and Iranian religions of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. Arabian polytheism, the dominant form of religion in pre-Islamic Arabia, was based on veneration of deities and spirits. Worship was directed to various gods and goddesses, including Hubal and the goddesses al-Lāt, al-‘Uzzā and Manāt, at local shrines and temples such as the Kaaba in Mecca. Deities were venerated and invoked through a variety of rituals, including pilgrimages and divination, as well as ritual sacrifice. Different theories have been proposed regarding the role of Allah in Meccan religion. Many of the physical descriptions of the pre-Islamic gods are traced to idols near the Kaaba, said to have contained up to 360 of them. Other religions were represented to lesser degrees; the influence of the adjacent Roman and Sasanian Empires resulted in Christian communities in the northwest and south of Arabia. Christianity secured some conversions, in the remainder of the peninsula.
With the exception of Nestorianism in the northeast and the Persian Gulf, the dominant form of Christianity was Miaphysitism. The peninsula had been a destination for Jewish migration since Roman times, which had resulted in a diaspora community supplemented by local converts. Additionally, the influence of the Sasanian Empire resulted in Iranian religions being present in the peninsula. Zoroastrianism existed in the east and south, while there is evidence of Manichaeism or Mazdakism being practiced in Mecca; until about the fourth century all inhabitants of Arabia practiced polytheistic religions. Although significant Jewish and Christian minorities developed, polytheism remained the dominant belief system in pre-Islamic Arabia; the contemporary sources of information regarding the pre-Islamic Arabian religion and pantheon include a small number of inscriptions and carvings, pre-Islamic poetry, external sources such as Jewish and Greek accounts, as well as the Muslim tradition, such as the Qur'an and Islamic writings.
Information is limited. One early attestation of Arabian polytheism was in Esarhaddon’s Annals, mentioning Atarsamain, Nukhay and Atarquruma. Herodotus, writing in his Histories, reported that the Arabs worshipped Alilat. Strabo stated the Arabs worshipped Zeus. Origen stated they worshipped Urania. Muslim sources regarding Arabian polytheism include the eight-century Book of Idols by Hisham ibn al-Kalbi, which F. E. Peters argued to be the most substantial treatment of the religious practices of pre-Islamic Arabia, as well as the writings of the Yemeni historian al-Hasan al-Hamdani on south Arabian religious beliefs. According to the Book of Idols, descendants of the son of Abraham who had settled in Mecca migrated to other lands, they carried holy stones from the Kaaba with them, erected them, circumambulated them like the Kaaba. This, according to al-Kalbi led to the rise of idol worship. Based on this, it may be probable that Arabs venerated stones adopting idol-worship under foreign influences.
The relationship between a god and a stone as his representation can be seen from the third-century work called the Syriac Homily of Pseudo-Meliton where he describes the pagan faiths of Syriac-speakers in northern Mesopotamia, who were Arabs. The pre-Islamic Arabian religions were polytheistic, with many of the deities' names known. Formal pantheons are more noticeable at the level of kingdoms, of variable sizes, ranging from simple city-states to collections of tribes. Tribes, clans and families had their own cults too. Christian Julien Robin suggests that this structure of the divine world reflected the society of the time. A large number of deities did not have proper names and were referred to by titles indicating a quality, a family relationship, or a locale preceded by "he who" or "she who"; the religious beliefs and practices of the nomadic Bedouin were distinct from those of the settled tribes of towns such as Mecca. Nomadic religious belief systems and practices are believed to have included fetishism and veneration of the dead but were connected principally with immediate concerns and problems and did not consider larger philosophical questions such as the afterlife.
Settled urban Arabs, on the other hand, are thought to have believed in a more complex pantheon of deities. While the Meccans and the other settled inhabitants of the Hejaz worshiped their gods at permanent shrines in towns and oases, the Bedouin practiced their religion on the move. In south Arabia, mndh’t were anonymous guardian spirits of the community and the ancestor spirits of the family, they were known as ‘the sun of their ancestors’. In north Arabia, ginnaye were known from Palmyrene inscriptions as “the good and rewarding gods” and were related to the jinn of west and central Arabia. Unlike jinn, ginnaye could not hurt nor possess humans and were much more similar to the Roman genius. According to common Arabian belief, pre-Islamic philosophers, poets were inspired by the jinn. However, jinn were feared and thought to be responsible for causing various diseases and mental illnesses. Aside from benevolent gods and spirits, there existed malevolent beings; these beings were not attested in the epigraphic record, but were alluded to in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, their legends were collected by Muslim authors.
Mentioned are ghouls. Etymologically, the word “ghoul” was derived from the Arabic ghul, from ghala, “to seize”, related to the Sumerian galla, they are said to have a hideous appearance, with feet lik