Umayyad dynasty

The Umayyad dynasty (Arabic: بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, romanized: Banū Umayya, lit.'Sons of Umayya') or Umayyads (الأمويون) were the ruling family of the Muslim caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Islamic Spain between 756 and 1031. In the pre-Islamic period, they were a prominent clan of the Meccan tribe of Quraysh, descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. Despite staunch opposition to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the Umayyads embraced Islam before the latter's death in 632. A member of the clan, Uthman, went on to become the third Rashidun caliph in 644–656, while other members held various governorships. One of these governors, Mu'awiya I, fought the First Muslim Civil War in 661 and established the Umayyad Caliphate with its capital in Damascus, Syria. This marked the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty, the first hereditary dynasty in the history of Islam, and the only one to rule over the entire Islamic world of its time.

Ummayad dynasty
بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ
الأمويون
Parent familyBanu Abd-Shams of the Quraysh
Country Ummayad Caliphate
(661–750)
Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain)
(756–1031)
Place of originMecca, Arabia
Founded661
FounderMu'awiya I
TitlesCaliph (Ummayad Caliphate)
Emir (Emirate of Cordoba)
Caliph (Caliphate of Cordoba)

The Sufyanid line founded by Mu'awiya failed in 683 and Umayyad authority was challenged in the Second Muslim Civil War, but the dynasty ultimately prevailed under Marwan I, who founded the Marwanid line of Umayyad caliphs. The Umayyads drove on the early Muslim conquests, including North Africa, Spain, Central Asia, and Sindh, but the constant warfare exhausted the state's military resources, while Alid revolts and tribal rivalries weakened the regime from within. Finally, in 750 the Abbasid Revolution overthrew Caliph Marwan II and massacred most of the family. One of the survivors, Abd al-Rahman, a grandson of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, escaped to Muslim Iberia (al-Andalus), where he founded the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba, which Abd al-Rahman III elevated to the status of a caliphate in 929. After a brief golden era, the Caliphate of Córdoba disintegrated into several independent taifa kingdoms in 1031, thus marking a definitive end to the Umayyad dynasty.