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Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf, the most famous and cruel general and governor of the Umayyads; (ca. 661 – 714). He besieged the anti-caliph “Abdullah Ibn Zubayr” at Mecca, had the Holy City bombarded and took it after seven months in 692. He then became governor of the Hejaz, the Yemen and the Yamama and had the Ka’ba restored. In 694 he was entrusted with the governorship of Iraq, in turmoil because of the intrigues of the kharijites. The sermon with which he installed himself in Kufa has found its place in Arabic literature. Having removed the Kharijite danger in #### Iraq, he was appointed governor of Khurasan and Sajestan. When he was beleaguered in Basra by Ibn Ash’ath, Syrian troops came to his rescue and the Iraqi Arabs were defeated. Having pacified the Kurdish and Daylami brigands, he built the fortified town of Wsit to isolate the Syrians from the Iraqis. The conquests of Transoxiana by Qutayb Ibn Muslem, of Oman b Mujja’a Ibn Si’r, and of India by Mhmud Ibn Qasem Thaqafi during the caliphate of the Umayyad caliph Walid I were the results of Hajjaj’s efforts. He sponsored a new text of the Quran, began to stike purely Arabic coins, and made efforts to improve agriculture. Hajjaj is considered one of the greatest statesmen, not only of the Umayyads, but of the whole Islamic world.
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