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The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the city of Mecca, Damascus was the capital of their Caliphate. Eventually, it would cover more than five million square miles, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen, and the fifth largest contiguous empire ever to exist. After the ####Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasid Caliphate, they relocated to Al-Andalus, where they established the Caliphate of Córdoba.
The Umayyads established the largest Arab-Muslim state in history. But their reign in the Middle East ended when the Abbasid caliphs chased them out of the Middle East, more specifically from their capital, Damascus. They moved their headquarters to Egypt and later on moved on to southern Spain until their dynasty finally ended in the 10th century AD. The Rashidun Caliphate are considered the first Umayyad dynasty. The Abbasid caliphs in conjunction with Sassanid Persians reigned over the Middle Eastern portion of the Islamic world where science and literature flourished. The North African and Spanish portions were mired in wars and conflicts until expulsion of all Moslems from Spain in 1614. North Africa remained a haven for marauding corsairs as well as a tax haven for the Ottoman Empire. Caliphate, as an institution, ended in the Middle East when Seljuk Turks captured Baghdad. Later on the Mongolians arrived. But from the arrival of the Seljuks onward, a new institution was created; namely the Sultanate. Henceforth, Muslim rulers; be they Arab, Turkic, Chingizid, or Persian were all known as Sultans.
Most historians consider Caliph Muawiyah (661-80) to have been the second ruler of the Umayyad dynasty, even though he was the first to assert the Umayyads' right to rule on a dynastic principle. It was really the caliphate of Uthman Ibn Affan (644-656), a member of Ummayyad clan himself, that witnessed the revival and then the ascendancy of the Ummayyad clan to the corridors of power. Uthman, during his reign, placed some of the notorious members of his clan at prominent and strong positions throughout the state. Most notable was the appointment of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, Uthman's first cousin, as his top advisor, which created a stir amongst the companions of Muhammad, as Marwan along with his father Al-Hakam ibn Abi al-'As had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad during his life time. Uthman also appointed Walid ibn Uqba, Uthman's half-brother, as the governor of Kufah, who allegedly led prayer while under the influence of alcohol. Uthman also consolidated Muawiyah's Governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area and appointed his foster brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt. However, since Uthman never named an heir, he cannot be considered the founder of a dynasty.

Umayyad Caliphs:
1- Yazid Ibn Mu’awiya
2- Muawiya Ibn Yazid
3- Marwan Ibn Hakam
4- Abdul Malek Ibn Marwan
5- Walid Ibn Abdul Makel
6- Sulayman Ibn Abdul Malek
7- Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz
8- Yazid Ibn Abdul Malek
9- Hisham Ibn Abdul Malek
10- Walid Ibn Abdul Yazid (the Second)
11- Yazid Ibn Walid
12- Ibrahim Ibn Walid (the First)
13- Marwan Ibn Muhammad Ibn Marwan



Islamic encyclopedia


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