Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Zab (750)

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of the Zab, which took place in 750 and was the climactic battle in the Abbasid Revolution that ousted the Umayyads from the caliphate. You can find out more about the revolution elsewhere on this blog, but the battle itself deserves a little mention. Source: Today in Middle … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Zab (750)

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Islamic History, Part 20: the Islamic Opposition and the Abbasid Revolution (705-750), Part II

Islamic History Series before you read this, first read part I As I said earlier, the Umayyads were able to operate on a religious level in their claim on authority primarily because they were the symbolic embodiment of the communal unity that Muhammad had established decades earlier. What it meant to be a "Muslim" still … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 20: the Islamic Opposition and the Abbasid Revolution (705-750), Part II

Islamic History, Part 19: the Islamic Opposition and the Abbasid Revolution (705-750), Part I

Islamic History Series (this got really out of control long, so I split it into two pieces; part II is here) The Arabic word dawlah means "state" in modern parlance, and prior to the rise of the modern nation-state it was often used to describe dynasties. Its root (dawala) is a verb that means "to … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 19: the Islamic Opposition and the Abbasid Revolution (705-750), Part I