Islamic History, Part 17: the later Umayyads (705-750)

Islamic History Series The Umayyads didn't have a very long run as top muckety-mucks in the Islamic World, less than a century even, if we start their dynasty with the beginning of Muʿawiyah I's reign in 661 (and I'm not sure how you could start it any earlier). When you look at the list of … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 17: the later Umayyads (705-750)

Islamic History, Part 15: the Second Fitna (680-692) and, finally, some stability

Islamic History Series Early Islamic history is a mess. And here I don't mean that the study of early Islamic history is a mess, although it is, as we've already talked about. But even if we just stick to the traditional narrative, we are now approaching a half-century since the death of Muhammad and already … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 15: the Second Fitna (680-692) and, finally, some stability

Islamic History, Part 14: Muʿawiyah’s Caliphate (661-680) and the Onset of Dynastic Rule

Islamic History Series We can actually close off our first mini-period in Islamic history at this point. Isn't that exciting? See, the first four Caliphs--Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali--are collectively known in later Islamic historiography as the Rashidun Caliphs, from the Arabic word rashid, which means "rightly-guided" or "righteous." This is an incredibly loaded … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 14: Muʿawiyah’s Caliphate (661-680) and the Onset of Dynastic Rule