Abd al-Aziz ibn Marwan

ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Marwān (Arabic: عبد العزيز بن مروان‎; died 705) was the Umayyad governor and de facto viceroy of Egypt between 685 and his death. He was appointed by his father, Caliph Marwan I (r. 684–685). Abd al-Aziz's reign was marked by stability and prosperity, partly due to his close relations and reliance on the Arab military settlers of Fustat. Under his direction and supervision, an army led by Musa ibn Nusayr completed the Muslim conquest of North Africa. He was removed from the line of succession to the caliphal throne and, in any case, died before his brother, Caliph Abd al-Malik. However, one of Abd al-Aziz's sons, Umar II, would become caliph in 717–720.

Abd al-Aziz's wife Umm Asim Layla bint Asim was the granddaughter of the second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.


Abd al-Aziz was the son of the Umayyad Marwan ibn al-Hakam and one of the latter’s wives, Layla bint Zabban ibn al-Asbagh of the Banu Kalb tribe.[1] Abd al-Aziz is most notable for his twenty-year-long tenure as governor (wali) of Egypt, from AH 65 (685 CE) to his death in AH 86 (705 CE). He was placed in the post by Marwan I immediately after the Umayyads regained control of the province during the civil war against Ibn al-Zubayr, and held it until his death. He enjoyed wide autonomy in the governance of Egypt, and functioned as a de facto viceroy of the country.[2]

He proved himself a capable governor,[3] and his rule was a period of peace and prosperity, marked by his conciliatory and co-operative attitude towards the leaders of the local Arab settlers (the jund): throughout his tenure, Abd al-Aziz relied on them rather than the Syrians, who elsewhere were the main pillar of the Umayyad regime.[4] He resided chiefly at Fustat, leaving it only for two visits to the caliphal court at Damascus and four more to Alexandria, although when the plague struck Fustat in 690, he moved the seat of his government to the nearby town of Hulwan.[5] Abd al-Aziz also supervised the completion of the Muslim conquest of North Africa; it was he who appointed Musa ibn Nusayr in his post as governor of Ifriqiya.[5]

Marwan I had named Abd al-Aziz his second heir after his elder brother Abd al-Malik (r. 685–705). Abd al-Malik, however, wanted his son al-Walid I (r. 705–715) to succeed him, and Abd al-Aziz was persuaded not to object to this change. In the event, Abd al-Aziz died shortly before Abd al-Malik.[3]

Abd al-Aziz was also hoping that his own eldest son, al-Asbagh—for whom he also nurtured hopes in the caliphal succession—would succeed him as governor of Egypt, making the province into a hereditary appanage for his family, but his son died a few months before Abd al-Aziz himself. He was succeeded by Abd al-Malik's son Abdallah, whose aim was to restore caliphal control over the province and, in the words of Hugh N. Kennedy, "remove all traces of Abd al-Aziz's administration".[6] Abd al-Aziz's descendants, however, remained influential in Egyptian affairs until the early Abbasid period.[7] Among them was his great-grandson al-Asbagh ibn Sufyan ibn Asim, who upheld support for the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur (r. 754–775).[8]


  1. ^ Al-Tabari, ed. Fishbein (1990), p. 162.
  2. ^ Kennedy (1998), pp. 65, 70–71
  3. ^ a b Zetterstéen (1986), p. 58
  4. ^ Kennedy (1998), pp. 70–71
  5. ^ a b Kennedy (1998), p. 71
  6. ^ Kennedy (1998), pp. 71–72
  7. ^ Kennedy (1998), pp. 77–78
  8. ^ Al-Tabari, ed. McAuliffe (1995), p. 236.


  • Kennedy, Hugh (1998). "Egypt as a province in the Islamic caliphate, 641–868". In Petry, Carl F. Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume One: Islamic Egypt, 640–1517. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62–85. ISBN 0-521-47137-0.
  • Mabra, Joshua. Princely Authority in the Early Marwānid State: The Life of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Marwān (d. 86/705). Gorgias Press: Piscataway, NJ, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4632-0632-1
  • McAuliffe, Jane Dammen, ed. (1995). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume 28: The ʿAbbāsid Authority Affirmed: The Early Years of al-Mansūr, A.D. 753–763/A.H. 136–145. SUNY series in Near Eastern studies. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1895-6.
  • Zetterstéen, K.V. (1986). "ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Marwān". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I: A–B. Leiden and New York: BRILL. p. 58. ISBN 90-04-08114-3.
Preceded by
Abd al-Rahman ibn Utba al-Fihri
Governor of Egypt
Succeeded by
Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik
Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Walid

Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Walid (Arabic: عبد العزيز بن الوليد‎; died 728/9) was a member of the Umayyad dynasty and a military leader in the wars against the Byzantine Empire during the reign of his father, Caliph al-Walid I (reigned 705–715). The latter also appointed Abd al-Aziz governor of Jund Dimashq (District of Damascus). Abd al-Aziz's mother was Umm al-Banin, a daughter of al-Walid's paternal uncle, Abd al-Aziz ibn Marwan.Abd al-Aziz led his first campaign against the Byzantines in Asia Minor in 709, when he captured a fortress, although his uncle Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik led the main raid of the year afterwards. In 710 he led the main Umayyad attack, although under the auspices of Maslama as commander-in-chief for the Byzantine front, and in 713 he led an attack against the frontier fortress of Gazelon. In 714/15, his father attempted to reverse the succession arrangement, by which the throne would pass to his brother Sulayman, in favour of Abd al-Aziz, but was unable to impose his will. When Sulayman in turn died in 717, Abd al-Aziz intended to claim the throne, but upon learning that Umar II had been chosen as caliph, he presented himself before him and acknowledged his rule. Abd al-Aziz died in Anno Hegirae 110 (728/729 CE).

Abd al-Rahman ibn Utba al-Fihri

Abd al-Rahman ibn Utba al-Fihri was the governor of Egypt for the rival caliph Ibn al-Zubayr in 684, during the Second Fitna.

Egypt's Kharijites proclaimed themselves for Ibn al-Zubayr when the latter proclaimed himself Caliph at Mecca, and Ibn al-Zubayr dispatched Abd al-Rahman ibn Utba al-Fihri to become the province's governor. Although the incumbent governor, Sa'id ibn Yazid, gave way, the resident Arab elites of the province barely tolerated his presence, and began contacts with the Umayyad caliph Marwan I in Damascus. These contacts encouraged Marwan to march against Egypt, where Abd al-Rahman vainly tried to muster a defence: although he fortified the capital, Fustat, an army he sent to stop the Umayyad advance at Ayla, melted away, and his fleet was wrecked by storms. Marwan entered Egypt unopposed, and after a couple of days of clashes before Fustat, the city's nobles surrendered it to him. Abd al-Rahman was allowed to leave Egypt with his possessions.

Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik

ʿAbdallāh ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān (in Greek sources Ἀβδελᾶς, Abdelas) was an Umayyad prince, the son of Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (r. 685–705), a general and governor of Egypt.

Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf

Abū Muhammad al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Ḥakam ibn ʿAqīl al-Thaqafī (Arabic: أبو محمد الحجاج بن يوسف بن الحكم بن عقيل الثقفي‎; Ta'if 661 – Wasit, 714), known simply as al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (Arabic: الحجاج بن يوسف‎ / ALA: al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf (or otherwise transliterated), was perhaps the most notable governor who served the Umayyad Caliphate. An extremely capable though ruthless statesman, a strict in character, but also a harsh and demanding master, he was widely feared by his contemporaries and became a deeply controversial figure and an object of deep-seated enmity among later, pro-Abbasid writers, who ascribed to him persecutions and mass executions.

Al-Walid I

Al-Walīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān (circa 674 – 23 February 715) was the sixth Umayyad caliph, ruling between 705 and his death. The eldest son of his predecessor, Caliph Abd al-Malik (r. 705–715), al-Walid largely continued his father's policies of centralization and expansion, though he was heavily dependent on al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, his father's powerful viceroy of the eastern half of the caliphate. During his reign, Umayyad armies conquered Hispania, Sindh and Transoxiana. War spoils from the conquest allowed al-Walid to finance public works of great magnitude, including the Great Mosque of Damascus, the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. He was the first caliph to institute programs for social welfare, aiding the poor and handicapped. Though it is difficult to ascertain al-Walid's direct role in the affairs of his caliphate, his reign was marked by domestic peace and prosperity and represented the peak of the Umayyads' territorial extent.


Kuthayyir ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥman (c. 660 – c. 723), commonly known as Kuthayyir ‘Azzah (Arabic: كثيّر عزّة‎) was an Arab 'Udhri poet of the Umayyad period from the tribe of Azd. He was born in Medina and resided in Hijaz and Egypt. In his poems he was occupied with his unfulfilled love to a married woman named 'Azza. Favorite topics in his poetry are love and panegyrics. He made acquaintance of the governor 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Marwan and the caliphs Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz and Yazid II. He is mentioned as one of the followers of the now-extinct Kaysaniyya sect of Shi'ism, which held that Ali's third son Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafiyya would return as the Mahdi.

List of Caliphs

This is a list of people who have held the title of Caliph, the supreme religious and political leader of an Islamic state known as the Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, as the political successors to Muhammad. All years are according to the Common Era.

List of governors of Islamic Egypt

Governors of Arab Egypt (640–1250) and Mamluk Egypt (1250–1517).

Mosque of Amr ibn al-As

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As (Arabic: جامع عمرو بن العاص‎), also called the Mosque of Amr, was originally built in 641–642 AD, as the center of the newly founded capital of Egypt, Fustat. The original structure was the first mosque ever built in Egypt and the whole of Africa. Through the twentieth century, it was the fourth largest mosque in the Islamic world.The location for the mosque was the site of the tent of the commander of the Muslim army, general Amr ibn al-As. One corner of the mosque contains the tomb of his son, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As. Due to extensive reconstruction over the centuries, nothing of the original building remains, but the rebuilt Mosque is a prominent landmark, and can be seen in what today is known as Old Cairo. It is an active mosque with a devout congregation, and when prayers are not taking place, it is also open to visitors and tourists.

Musa ibn Nusayr

Musa bin Nusayr (Arabic: موسى بن نصير‎ Mūsá bin Nuṣayr; 640–716) served as a governor and general under the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I. He ruled over the Muslim provinces of North Africa (Ifriqiya), and directed the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom in Hispania (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and part of France).

Pope John III of Alexandria

Pope John III of Alexandria (fl. 680), 40th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.He was originally from Samanoud a city in the North of Egypt, hence also known as Pope John III of Samanoud.

During his papacy the Muslim ruler in Damascus was Marwan I as after the death of Yazid, the son of Mu'âwiyah and his son Muawiya II, Marwan I took control of the East and of Egypt.

Marwan I made his sons governors over all the provinces. He appointed his son Abd al-Aziz ibn Marwan governor of Egypt and his eldest son Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan as governor of Damascus, who later became the successor to his father.

At that stage the Umayyad rulers were still in war with Abdullah bin Zubayr.

And when Abd al-Aziz became governor of Egypt, Pope John III wrote from Alexandria to Misr to the two scribes who presided over his divan, to make known to them what had been done concerning the seal, which was set upon all the places, and the trouble with the Chalcedonians from which he was suffering. Thereupon the said scribes sent messengers to Alexandria with instructions that the seal should be broken in the places named, and that all the property of the Church should be delivered to the Father Patriarch.

In 680, Pope John III rebuilt Saint Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria.

Treaty of Orihuela

Treaty of Orihuela (also known as the Treaty of Tudmir/Theodemir) was an early Dhimmi treaty imposed by the invading Moors on the Christians in the city of Orihuela in the Iberian Peninsula in 713

Umar II

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz or Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz (2 November 682 (26th Safar, 63 AH) – February 720 (16th Rajab, 101 AH)) (Arabic: عمر بن عبد العزيز‎, translit. ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz) was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. He was also a cousin of the former caliph, being the son of Abd al-Malik's younger brother, Abd al-Aziz. He was also a matrilineal great-grandson of the second caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab.

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