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.

Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz
عمر بن عبد العزيز
عمر بن عبد العزيز
8th Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate
Reign22 September 717 – 4 February 720
PredecessorSuleiman ibn Abd al-Malik
SuccessorYazid bin Abd al-Malik
Born2 November 682
(26th Safar, 63 AH)
Medina, Hejaz
DiedFebruary 720
(20 Rajab 101 AH) (aged 38)
Aleppo, Bilad al-Sham
WifeFatima bint Abd Al Malik
Full name
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz
DynastyUmayyad, Banu Abd Shams
FatherAbd al-Aziz ibn Marwan
MotherUmm Asim Layla bint Asim ibn Umar
ReligionIslam

Biography

Early life

Umar was born around 2 November 682 in Medina. His father ruled over Egypt as viceroy to the caliph. He grew up and lived there until the death of his father, after which he was summoned to Damascus by Abd al-Malik and married to his daughter Fatima. His father-in-law would die soon after, and he would serve as governor of Medina under his cousin Al-Walid I.

Umar I had ordered that nobody should adulterate milk by mixing water into it. Once, while on night time patrol to inquire into the condition of people, he heard a woman ask her daughter to mix water into the milk before the daybreak. The girl refused, reminding her mother of the order given by the caliph. When the mother retorted by saying that the caliph was not present and he would not know of it, the daughter replied that God is omniscient even if the caliph was not present. Umar I was so pleased with the reply that he asked his son Asim to marry the girl, saying that he hoped that she will give birth to a man who would rule over Arabia. Umar II was the son of Asim's daughter from this marriage (Abdul Hakam, pp 17–18).[1]

Al-Walid I's era

Unlike most rulers of that era, Umar formed a council with which he administered the province. His time in Medina was so notable that official grievances sent to Damascus all but ceased. In addition, many people emigrated to Medina from Iraq seeking refuge from their harsh governor, Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef. That angered Al-Hajjaj, and he pressed al-Walid to remove Umar. Much to the dismay of the people of Medina, al-Walid bowed to Hajjaj's pressure and dismissed Umar from his post. By this time, Umar had developed an impeccable reputation across the Islamic empire.

Sulayman's era

Umar continued to live in Medina through the remainder of al-Walid's reign and that of Walid's brother Suleiman. As Suleiman fell seriously ill and was unlikely to recover, he was anxious to leave the throne to one of his sons who were still minors, but was unable to do so because of their youth. His advisor Raja ibn Haywah then promptly proposed Umar as the successor to the throne. Suleiman accepted this suggestion and Umar reluctantly accepted the position after trying unsuccessfully to dissuade Suleiman.

Caliphate and his own era

Reforms

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was a scholar himself and surrounded himself with great scholars like Muhammed bin Kaab and Maimun bin Mehran. He offered stipends to teachers and encouraged education. Through his personal example, he inculcated piety, steadfastness, business ethics and moral rectitude in the general population. His reforms included strict abolition of drinking, forbidding public nudity, elimination of mixed bathrooms for men and women and fair dispensation of Zakat. He undertook extensive public works in Persia, Khorasan and North Africa, including the construction of canals, roads, rest houses for travellers and medical dispensaries.[2]

He continued the welfare programs of the last few Umayyad caliphs, expanding them and including special programs for orphans and the destitute. He would also abolish the jizya tax for converts to Islam, who were former dhimmis, who used to be taxed even after they had converted under other Umayyad rulers.

Umar II is credited with having ordered the first official collection of hadith (sayings and actions attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad), fearing that some of it might be lost. Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Hazm and Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, are among those who compiled hadiths at Umar II’s behest.[3]

He made other reforms:[4]

  • State officials were excluded from entering into any business.
  • Unpaid labour was made illegal.
  • Pasture lands and game reserves, which were reserved for the family of the dignitaries, were evenly distributed among the poor for the purpose of cultivation.
  • He urged to all of the officials to listen the complaints of the people and during any occasion, he used to announce that if any subject had seen any officer mistreating others, he should report him to the leader and will be given a reward ranging from 100 to 300 dirhams.

Taxation

Under previous Umayyad rulers, Arab Muslims had certain financial privileges over non-Arab Muslims. Non-Arab converts to Islam were still expected to pay the jizya poll tax that they paid before becoming Muslims. Umar put into practice a new system that exempted all Muslims, regardless of their heritage, from the jizya tax. He also added some safeguards to the system to make sure that mass conversion to Islam would not cause the collapse of the finances of the Umayyad government.[5] Under the new tax policy, converted mawali would not pay the jizya, but upon conversion, their land would become the property of the villages and remain liable to the full rate of the kharaj, or land tax. This compensated for the loss of income due to the diminished jizya tax base.[6]

Military

47-cropped-manasses-chronicle
The Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, as depicted in the 14th-century Bulgarian translation of the Manasses Chronicle.
Greekfire-madridskylitzes1
Depiction of the use of Greek fire during the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes.

Though Umar did not place as much an emphasis on expanding the Empire's borders as his predecessors had, he was not passive. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari states that he sent Ibn Hatim ibn al-Nu'man to repel Turks invading Azerbaijan. He faced a Kharijite uprising and preferred negotiations to armed conflict, personally holding talks with two Kharijite envoys shortly before his death. He recalled the troops besieging Constantinople led by his cousin Maslama. The Second Arab siege of Constantinople had failed to take the city and was sustaining heavy losses at the hands of allied Byzantine and Bulgarian forces. Its defeat was a serious blow to Umayyad prestige.

Reforming the Umayyad rule from the inside

One of Muawiyah's most controversial and enduring legacies was his decision to designate his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was experienced militarily and had taken part in expeditions and the siege of Constantinople, but he was politically inexperienced. Marwan also wanted Yazid to be the caliph so that he could run things behind the scenes, as he would become the senior member of the Umayyad clan after Muawiyah's death. Mohammad, Abu Bakr and Umar also mistrusted Marwan, and he had lived in Taif during their rule, where he became friends with AlHajjaj.

Tom Holland writes, "Tempers in Medina were not helped by the fact that the governor in the oasis was none other than the fabulously venal and slippery Marwan. Rumours abounded that it was he, back in the last calamitous days of Uthman's rule who had double crossed the war band that had come to Uthman. The locals mistrust of their governor ran particularly deep. Nothing he had done had helped to improve his reputation for double dealing".[7]

The appointment of Yazid was unpopular in Madina.[8]

Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah[9] that "in the year 56 AH Muawiyah called on the people including those within the outlying territories to pledge allegiance to his son, Yazeed, to be his heir to the Caliphate after him. Almost all the subjects offered their allegiance, with the exception of Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr), Abdullah ibn Umar (the son of Umar), al-Husain bin Ali (the son of Ali), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (The grandson of Abu Bakr) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (Ali's cousin). Because of this Muawiyah passed through al-Madinah on his way back from Makkah upon completion of his Umrah Pilgrimage where he summoned each one of the five aforementioned individuals and threatened them. The speaker who addressed Muawiyah sharply with the greatest firmness amongst them was Abdurrahman bin Abu Bakr, while Abdullah bin Umar bin al-Khattab was the most soft spoken amongst them.

Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdullah ibn Umar were mid level Muslim commanders at the Battle of Yarmouk that took Syria. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr sister Asmā' bint Abu Bakr also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk and was opposed to Yazid.[10] Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr had been one of the first to duel in that battle, after taking a sword to hand over to a Qays bin Hubayrah who had lost his sword, while in a duel with the Roman Army's best horseman. Two more Roman horsemen then came forward, saying, "We see no justice when two of you come against one of us." Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr replied, "I only came to give my companion a sword and then return. Were 100 of you to come out against one of us we would not be worried. You are now three men. I am enough to take on all three of you". After which he took down the Roman horsemen on his own.[11] After seeing this, Bannes the Roman general said "Caesar really knew these people best. I now know that a difficult situation is to come on you. If you do not attack them with great numbers, you will have no chance". Abdullah ibn Umar had also been a mid level commander in the Battle of Yarmouk. Some Roman soldiers went to the house of Abu al-Jaid a local Christian in az-Zura ah and after eating all the food, raped his wife and killed his son.[12] His wife complained to the Roman general and he ignored her. Abu al-Jaid then went to the Muslims and told them that he knows the local area and if the Muslims exempt him and his descendants from taxes for ever he will help them defeat the Roman army.[12] He then took horse men led by Abdullah ibn Umar to the Roman camp at night and attacked them and then ran away. The Romans chased them and in the dark tens of thousands of them fell down a cliff at the an-Naqusah Creek into a river.[13] Abdullah bin Az-Zubair had also been a commander in various battles including in North Africa and was also involved in the siege of Constantinople.

Muawiyah then delivered a sermon, having stood these five men below the pulpit in full view of the people after which the people pledged allegiance to Yazeed as they stood in silence without displaying their disagreement or opposition for fear of being massacred or humiliated. Saeed bin Uthman bin Affan, the son of Uthman also criticized Muawiyah for putting forward Yazeed.".[9] They were able to tolerate Muawiyah but did not like Yazeed at all.

The following year Muawiyah removed Marwan bin al Hakam from the position of governor in Madina and appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan.[14]

According to some sources Muawiyah warned his son Yazid against mistreating Hussein.[15][16] Regardless, Yazeed's Army still killed Hussein and all his male followers with the exception of Hussein's son Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin

According to Sahih al-Bukhari, the people still referred to the Kharijites by their old name Qurra and most Muslims resented these civil wars and felt that the Arabs had left the teachings of Muhammad and gone back to their old ways of fighting over wealth.[17]

Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair then sent his brother to Iraq to take on the Kharijites who were by then getting stronger. This depleted Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair forces and he was later defeated by the Syrians.

Ibn Zubayr was finally defeated by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who sent Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. Hajjaj defeated and killed Ibn Zubayr on the battlefield in 692.

Ibn Katheer says that Abdullah Ibn Umar resented Hajjaj. Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time, said in his book the first biography on Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz that Abdullah Ibn Omar's niece was married to one of Marwans son called Abdul Aziz who lived in Madina.[18] Abdul Aziz lived in Madina and had not become an Umayyad ruler, but he had a young son called Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Abdullah ibn Umar kept Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz with him for his education when Abdul Aziz and his wife moved to Egypt. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was educated in Madina. The scholars in Madina including Abdullah Ibn Umar and Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who was Jafar as-Sadiq's grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson felt that they could use Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to peacefully reform the Umayyad rule.

After his education, Raja bin Haiwah who was also a scholar and an advisor to some of the Umayyad rulers took Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to Syria. Raja bin Haiwah also worked closely with the scholars in Madina. Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that during the time of Abdul Malik, Raja bin Haiwah also managed the finances for the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, that stands to this day.[19] Later the future Umayyad ruler Sulaiman would also consult Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Hajjaj opposed Sulaiman from becoming Caliph, even though his father had written in his will that after his brother, Sulaiman would be Caliph. So Sulaiman became even closer to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz who also opposed Hajjaj.[18]

When Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was made the governor of Madina, he asked the Khalifah that he wished to be excused from Hajjaj coming to Madinah. After which, Hajjaj was prevented from going to Madina.[20]

According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer said that Ibn Jareer said that, Raja bin Haiwah (who was also a scholar) the minister of marriage, for the Umayyad ruler Sulaiman said that when Sulaiman was on his death bed, I told him "Indeed amongst the things that preserves the caliph in his grave is his appointment of a righteous man over the muslims." So he wrote a letter appointing the scholar from Madina, Umar bin Abdul Azeez. To allow the Umayyads to accept this, Raja then advised him to make his brother Yazeed bin Adbul Malik the successor after Umar bin Abdul Azeez.[21][22] Umar bin Abdul Azeez was a grand son of Omar, the second Caliph from his mothers side. After his appointment he set up a committee of the jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and it included Urwah ibn Zubayr, Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah, Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin al-Harith bin Hisham, Abu Bakr bin Sulaiman bin Abu Hathmah, Sulaiman bin Yasar, Salim bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabee'ah and Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabit, in Madina to advise on legal matters.[23] The work of Malik ibn Anas and successive jurists is also based on the work of this early committee in Madina. Malik ibn Anas also refers to these Fuqaha' of Madina.[24] Madina at the time had the largest number of Muhammad's companions therefore no one could lie about what Muhammad had said, while in Madina during that period. After becoming the Khalifah, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz worked very closely with the scholars in Madina to make the laws in line with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad's. He also reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. Which they deeply resented.

When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. They sent some one to him to ask for more. When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz refused, the man said to them "O Banu Umayyah, you should rebuke yourself. You got up and married a person of your family to the grand daughter of umar. He wrapped Umar in a cloth and presented him to you. You should therefore rebuke yourself".[25]

Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz also started peace talks with the Kharijites. He then reduced the taxes for the Muslims. He sacked oppressive governors and replaced them.[26] His policies made him very popular with the population but not so popular with the Umayyads. The reduction in the taxes also reduced further expeditions and the expansion of the state. But lower taxes and better justice allowed the economy to expand. The tax collector Yahya Ibn Sa'id complained that after collecting the taxes, he could not find people willing to take the charity from the welfare state.[27]

Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) writes that Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then stopped the allowance of the Banu Umayyah, stopped giving them land and made them the same as every one else. And they complained bitterly. So Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said to them "By Allah, I want that no impermissible decision should remain on the earth that I will not finish off." [28]

Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz soon died, but when the future rulers tried to reverse his policies, the population started to rebel.

With the death of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz the scholars in Madina got very upset. But in the short time Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was in power the changes he made, had a long-lasting effect in the minds of the people. An associate of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Zayd ibn Ali the grandson of Husayns was also very upset. Zayd ibn Ali then started receiving letters from Kufa asking him to come to Kufa. In 740, Abu Hanifah supported his friend Zayd ibn Ali against an Umayyad ruler but asked his friend not to go to Kufa. Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas and Zayd ibn Ali's family advised Zayd ibn Ali not to go to Kufa feared that Zayd ibn Ali would get betrayed in Kufa.[29][30][31][32] But Zayd ibn Ali felt that he needed to oppose the Umayyads by force. Zaydis believe that on his arrival in Kufa, on the last hour of Zayd ibn Ali, the people in Kufa asked him: "May God have mercy on you! What do you have to say on the matter of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab?" Zayd ibn Ali said, "I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them...when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.".[33][34] After which they withdrew their support and Zayd ibn Ali fought bravely against the Umayyad army but was killed. The Scholars kept up the pressure on the Umayyads and as the Umayyads tried to re-impose the taxes abolished by Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the population also got more rebellious.

Later after the Abbasids came to power they tried to change the laws, in 767 Abu Hanifah died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur and Malik ibn Anas was flogged.[35][36] But then they backed off and allowed the laws of Madina to be implemented again and the book Muwatta Imam Malik of Malik ibn Anas based on the laws based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad and based on the work of the committee of the main jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was jafar Sadiq's grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson were again implemented.

Later the Abbasids tried to impose the mutazilite philosophy so that they could change the laws. Imam Ahmed Hanbal confronted a ruler and was tortured and sent to an unlit Baghdad prison cell for nearly thirty months.[37]

Death

His reforms in favor of the people greatly angered the nobility of the Umayyads, and they would eventually bribe a servant into poisoning his food. Umar learned of this on his death bed and pardoned the culprit, collecting the punitive payments he was entitled to under Islamic law but depositing them in the public treasury. He died in February 720, probably the 10th and probably forty years old (v. 24, pp. 91–92) in Aleppo.

He was succeeded by his cousin Yazid II.

Efforts in inviting people to Islam (Dawah)

Following the example of the Prophet, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz sent out emissaries to China and Tibet, inviting their rulers to accept Islam. It was during the time of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz that Islam took roots and was accepted by a large segment of the population of Persia and Egypt. When the officials complained that because of conversions, the jizya revenues of the state had experienced a steep decline, Umar wrote back saying that he had accepted the Caliphate to invite people to Islam and not to become a tax collector. The infusion of non-Arabs in large number into the fold of Islam shifted the center of gravity of the empire from Medina and Damascus to Persia and Egypt.[2]

Quotes

A Ruler usually appoints people to watch over their subjects. I appoint you a watcher over me and my behaviour. If you find me at fault in word or action guide me and stop me from doing it.
There are five things which if a judge missed any of them, it will be a blemish on him: A judge should be discerning, deliberate, chaste, resolute, knowledgeable and inquisitive.
Al-Taqwa (piety) does not mean spending the night in prayers and observing fast in the day, but it does mean: to perform Divine obligations and to avoid prohibitions; and if one acts upon additional good deeds, this will be light upon light.

Ibn ‘Asakir recorded that ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz wrote to ‘Adiy ibnu ‘Adiy

Belief includes obligations, doctrines, boundaries, and preferred ways. Whoever fulfills all of them has perfected his belief, and whoever does not fulfill them has not perfected his belief. If I live, I will make them clear to you so that you can act on them. If I die, however, I am not eager for your company.
Whoever of you does good action then let him praise Allah. Whoever does wrong action, let him seek Allah’s forgiveness and turn in tawbah, because for some people there is no avoiding doing actions which Allah appointed as their destinies and which He decreed for them.
None can reach the state of taqwa until he possesses neither actions nor words that can be exposed to his embarrassment, either in this World or the Hereafter.

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz wrote to the Syrian army as follows:

As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaah. Now then, whoever contemplates death frequently speaks little, while he who knows that death is certain is satisfied with a little. Farewell.

Legacy

While Umar's reign was very short (three years), he is very highly regarded in Muslim memory.

When he died, the people came to his wife to express sympathy and say how great a calamity had struck the people of Islam by his death. They said to her, "Tell us about him - for the one who knows best about a man is his wife".

She said, "Indeed, he never used to pray or fast more than the rest of you, but I never saw a servant of God who feared Him more than Umar. He devoted his body and his soul to the people. All day he would sit tending to their affairs, and when night came he would sit up while business remained. One evening when he had finished everything, he called for his lamp - from which he used to buy the oil from his own money - and prayed two prostrations. Then he sat back on his folded legs, with his chin in his hands, and the tears ran down from his cheeks, and this didn't stop until dawn, when he rose for a day of fasting.

I said to him, 'Commander of the Believers, was there some matter that troubled you this night?' And he said, 'Yes, I saw how I was occupied while governing the affairs of the community, all its black sheep and its white sheep, and I remembered the stranger, beggared and straying, and the poor and the needy, and the prisoners in captivity, and all like them in the far places of the earth, and I realised that God Most High would ask me about all of them, and I (Umar) would testify about them, and I feared that I should find no excuse when I was with God, and no defence with me.'

And even when 'Umar was with me in bed, where a man usually find some pleasure with his wife, if he remembered some affair of God's (people), he would be upset as a bird that had fallen into the water. Then his weeping would rise until I would throw off the blankets in kindness to him. 'By God' he would say, 'How I wish that there was between me and this office the distance of the East from the West!' [38]

Views

Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, an 18th century Sunni Islamic scholar stated:[39]

A Mujadid appears at the end of every century: The Mujadid of the 1st century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Muhammad Idrees Shaafi the Mujadid of the 3rd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Abu Hasan Ashari the Mujadid of the 4th century was Abu Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri.

See also

References

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  33. ^ The waning of the Umayyad caliphate by Tabarī, Carole Hillenbrand, 1989, p37, p38
  34. ^ The Encyclopedia of Religion Vol.16, Mircea Eliade, Charles J. Adams, Macmillan, 1987, p243.
  35. ^ Ahmad, Hassan. "Malik ibn 'Anas - SunnahOnline.com". sunnahonline.com.
  36. ^ Islam, Misbah (1 May 2008). Decline of Muslim States and Societies: The Real Root Causes and What Can Be Done Next. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781436310123 – via Google Books.
  37. ^ Abdur Rahman (1984). Shariah: The Islamic Law. London: Ta-Ha Publishers. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-907461-38-8.
  38. ^ Yusuf, Abu. "Memory of Caliph 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz by his Wife, The - SunnahOnline.com". www.sunnahonline.com.
  39. ^ Izalat al-Khafa p. 77 part 7

Bibliography

  • Cobb, P. M. (2000). "ʿUmar (II) b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz". In Bearman, P. J.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W. P. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume X: T–U. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 821–822. ISBN 90-04-11211-1.
  • Powers, Stephan, ed. (1989). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume 24: The Empire in Transition: The Caliphates of Sulaymān, ʿUmar, and Yazīd, A.D. 715–724/A.H. 96–105. SUNY series in Near Eastern studies. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0072-2.
Umar II
Born: 2 November 682 CE (26 Safar 63 AH) Died: February 720 CE (16 Rajab 101 AH)
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik
Caliph of Islam
Umayyad Caliph

717 – February 720
Succeeded by
Yazid II
Political offices
Preceded by
Hishām ibn Ismā`īl al-Makhzūmī
Governor of Madina
706–712
Succeeded by
Khalid bin Abd Allah
720

Year 720 (DCCXX) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 720 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

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 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.

He was a son of the Caliph al-Walid I (reigned 705–715). He led in his first campaign against the Byzantines in Asia Minor in 709, when he captured a fortress, although his uncle Maslamah 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 Maslamah as commander-in-chief for the Byzantine front, and in 713 he led an attack against the frontier fortress of Gazelon.In 714/5, his father the Caliph 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).

Abdallah ibn Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz

Abdallah ibn Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was an Umayyad prince, the son of Caliph Umar II (r. 717–720), and briefly governor of Iraq under Yazid III in 744–745. In this capacity he quelled the pro-Alid rebellion of Abdallah ibn Mu'awiya at Kufa, although Ibn Mu'awiya managed to flee to Istakhr in Persia.Following the death of Yazid III, Marwan II, who seized the throne, appointed a supporter of his own, the Qaysi Nadr ibn Sa'id al-Harashi, as governor of Iraq, but Abdallah ibn Umar retained the loyalty of the Kalbi majority of the Syrian garrison of Iraq. Ibn Umar remained at al-Hira, while Nadr and his followers installed themselves at the suburb of Dayr Hind, and for several months the two rival governors and their troops confronted and skirmished at each other around al-Hira. This conflict was abruptly ended by the Kharijite revolt which had begun among the Banu Rabi'ah tribes in Upper Mesopotamia. Opposed to Marwan II's takeover and the tribes of Mudar and Qays who supported him, the Kharijites elected al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Shaybani as their caliph, and in early 745 they invaded Iraq and defeated both rival Umayyad governors. Nadr fled back to Syria to join Marwan, but Ibn Umar and his followers withdrew to Wasit. By the summer of 745 however Ibn Umar and his supporters surrendered and even embraced Kharijism and Dahhak—who was not even of the Quraysh tribe of Muhammad—as their caliph. Ibn Umar was appointed as Dahhak's governor for Wasit, eastern Iraq, and western Persia, while Dahhak governed western Iraq from Kufa. After Dahhak was killed by Marwan's army at Kafartuta, Yazid ibn Hubayra was sent to establish Umayyad control over Iraq. Ibn Hubayra defeated the Kharijites at Kufa and then marched on Wasit, where he took Ibn Umar prisoner.

Abu Abdallah Umar ibn Shu'ayb

Abū ʿAbdallāh ʿUmar II ibn Shuʿayb, also Babdel (Greek: Βαβδέλ) in the Byzantine sources, was the third Emir of Crete, ruling c. 880 – c. 895.

The surviving records on the internal history and rulers of the Emirate of Crete are very fragmentary. Following the studies of George C. Miles with the aid of numismatic evidence, he is tentatively identified as a son of the second emir, Shu'ayb, and the grandson of the conqueror of Crete and founder of the Emirate of Crete, Abu Hafs Umar. His reign is placed from c. 880 to c. 895. According to the Byzantine chronicler Genesios, sometime in the reign of the Byzantine emperor Leo VI the Wise (r. 886–912) he suffered a shipwreck off the coast of the Peloponnese, and was taken captive by the local governor, Constantine Tessarakontapechys.He was apparently succeeded by his brother Muhammad ibn Shu'ayb al-Zarkun, but two of his sons, Yusuf and Ahmad, are held to have reigned later, in c. 910–915 and c. 925–940 respectively. According to a letter sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Nicholas I Mystikos, to Umar's son Yusuf, Umar had maintained a friendly correspondence with the Patriarch Photios.

Abū al‐ʿUqūl

Abū al‐ʿUqūl Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al‐Ṭabarī (flourished in Yemen during the 14th century) was a leading astronomer in Ta'izz and the first teacher of astronomy at the Muʾayyadiyya Madrasa. Of Iranian origin, he is known for compiling the largest single corpus of tables for astronomical timekeeping in a specific latitude during medieval times, with over 100,000 entries. Another interesting feature of his work was determining the latitude of Ta'izz as 13° 37' (where the actual is 13° 35').

Al-Ashraf Umar II

al‐Malik al‐Ashraf (Mumahhid al‐Dīn) ʿUmar ibn Yūsuf ibn ʿUmar ibn ʿAlī ibn Rasūl (born c. 1242, died 22 November 1296 in Yemen) was the third Rasulid sultan and a polymath. He is known for writing the first description of the use of a magnetic compass for determining the qibla. Also, his works on astronomy contain important information on earlier sources.In a treatise about astrolabes and sundials, al-Ashraf includes several paragraphs on the construction of a compass bowl (ṭāsa). He then uses the compass to determine the north point, the meridian (khaṭṭ niṣf al-nahār), and the Qibla towards Mecca. This is the first mention of a compass in a medieval Islamic scientific text and its earliest known use as a Qibla indicator, although al-Ashraf did not claim to be the first to use it for this purpose.

Ayyub ibn Sharhabil

Ayyub ibn Sharhabil was the governor of Egypt during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Umar II (717–720).

On his accession in 717, Umar asked his advisors to name the most suitable men from the Arab settlers (jund) of Egypt so that he could choose one of them as the province's new governor; Ayyub was one of the two men named, and finally appointed to the post. His period of office was marked by Umar's piety-driven reforms, aimed at supporting the Muslims and spreading Islamization across the Caliphate: although the privileges of the Christian Church and the monasteries were confirmed, Christian village headsmen were replaced by Muslims, the sale of wine was prohibited, the jizya became universally enforced, and the pressure to convert to Islam increased.

Jarir ibn Atiyah

Jarir ibn Atiyah al-Khatfi Al-Tamimi (Arabic: جرير بن عطية الخطفي التميمي‎) (c. 650 – c. 728) was an Arab poet and satirist. He was born in the reign of the caliph Othman, and was a member of the tribe Kulaib, a part of the Banu Tamim. He was a native of al-Yamamah, but also spent time in Damascus at the court of the Umayyad caliphs.

Little is known of his early life, but he succeeded in winning the favor of Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef, the governor of Iraq. Already famous for his verse, he became more widely known by his feud with rival poets Farazdaq and Akhtal. Later he went to Damascus and visited the court of the caliph Abd al-Malik and that of his successor, Al-Walid I. From neither of these did he receive a warm welcome. He was, however, more successful with Umar II, and was the only poet received by the pious caliph.His verse, like that of his contemporaries, is largely satire and eulogy.

Khamis Mosque

The Khamis Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الخميس‎; transliterated: Masǧid al-ḫamīs) is believed to be the first mosque in Bahrain, built during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II. According to Al Wasat journalist Kassim Hussain, other sources mention that it was built in a later era during the rule of Uyunids with one minaret. The second was built two centuries later during the rule of Usfurids. The identical twin minarets of this ancient Islamic monument make it easily noticeable as one drives along the Shaikh Salman Road in Khamis.

It is considered to be one of the oldest mosques in the region, as its foundation is believed to have been laid as early as 692 AD. An inscription found on the site, however, suggests a foundation date of sometime during the 11th century. It has since been rebuilt twice in both the 14th and 15th centuries, when the minarets were constructed. The Khamis mosque has been partially restored recently.

Kharaj

Kharāj (Arabic: خراج‎) is a type of individual Islamic tax on agricultural land and its produce developed under Islamic law.With the first Muslim conquests in the 7th century, kharaj initially denoted a lump-sum duty levied upon the lands of conquered provinces, which was collected by hold-over officials of the defeated Byzantine Empire in the west and the Sassanid Empire in the east; later and more broadly, kharaj refers to the land tax levied by Muslim rulers on their non-Muslim subjects, collectively known as dhimmi. At that time, kharaj was synonymous with jizyah, which later emerged as a per head tax paid by the dhimmi. Muslim landowners, on the other hand, paid only ushr, a religious tithe on land, which carried a much lower rate of taxation, and zakat.

Changes soon eroded the established tax base of the early Arab Caliphates. Additionally, a large, but unsuccessful, expedition against the Byzantine Empire undertaken by the Umayyad caliph Sulayman in 717 brought the finances of the Umayyads to the brink of collapse. Even before Sulayman's ascent to power, Al-Hajjaj, a governor of Iraq, attempted to raise revenues by demanding from Muslims a full rate of taxation, but that measure met with opposition and resentment. To address these problems, Sulayman's successor Umar II worked out a compromise that beginning from 719, land from which kharaj was paid could not be transferred to Muslims, who could lease such land, but in that case, they would be required to pay kharaj from it. With the passage of time, the practical result of that reform was that kharaj was levied on most land without regard for the cultivator's religion. The reforms of Umar II were finalized under the Abbasids and would thereafter form the model of tax systems in the Islamic state. From that time on, kharaj was also used as a general term describing all kinds of taxes: for example, the classic treatise on taxation by the 9th century jurist Abu Yusuf was called Kitab al-Kharaj, i.e. The Book On Taxation.20th-century Russian orientalist, A. Yu. Yakubovski, compares the land tax system of Persian Sassanids with that of the post-Islamic Caliphate era:

A comparison between pre-Islamic documents and those of the Islamic period reveals that conquering Arabs increased the land taxation without exception. Thus, raising taxes of each acre of wheat field to 4 dirhams and each acre of barley field to 2 dirhams, whereas during reign of Khosro Anushiravan it used to be a single dirham for each acre of a wheat or barley field. During the later stage of Umayyad Caliphate, conquered and subjugated Persians were paying from one fourth to one third of their land produce to the Arab Empire as kharaj.

In the Ottoman empire, kharaj evolved into haraç, a form of poll tax on non-Muslim subjects. It was superseded by cizye.

List of 8th-century religious leaders

List of 7th-century religious leaders - List of 9th-century religious leaders - Lists of religious leaders by centuryThis is a list of the top-level leaders for religious groups with at least 50,000 adherents, and that led anytime from January 1, 701, to December 31, 800. It should likewise only name leaders listed on other articles and lists.

Mansur ibn Jumhur al-Kalbi

Mansur ibn Jumhur al-Kalbi (Arabic: منصور بن جمهور الكلبي‎) was an 8th-century Arab commander and one of the main and most fanatical leaders of the south Arab ("Yaman") tribes in the Qays–Yaman rivalry of the period, playing a major role during the Third Fitna civil war.

Patricia Crone describes Mansur as "a coarse soldier equally devoid of nobility and piety" who was "shunned by devout contemporaries" as he disregarded religion and was motivated solely by his desire to avenge the torture and murder of the Yaman champion, Khalid al-Qasri, by the ardently pro-Qays governor of Iraq, Yusuf ibn Umar al-Thaqafi, in 743.A member of the Amir branch of the Banu Kalb tribe, he began his career possibly in Iraq, where the tribe had settled, but appears for the first time in Syria as a member of the plot to overthrow Caliph al-Walid II in early 744. After Walid's murder, his successor Yazid III favoured the Yaman faction, and appointed Mansur as governor of Iraq in succession to Yusuf al-Thaqafi, perhaps as a deputy of al-Harith ibn al-Abbas ibn al-Walid. His tenure was brief, as he was soon replaced by the son of Caliph Umar II, Abdallah ibn Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. During his governorship, Mansur tried to dismiss the governor of Khurasan, Nasr ibn Sayyar, nominating his own brother Manzur as replacement, but Nasr managed to hold out and maintain his post until Mansur's replacement.Mansur returned to Syria, but soon returned to Iraq, where he fought against the Kharijite rebels under al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Shaybani. As the Kharijites proved successful, he embraced their doctrine and converted to save his life. He continued fighting alongside the Kharijites until Marwan II's general Yazid ibn Hubayra defeated them in 747. Like many opponents of Marwan, he fled to Fars and joined the forces of the Alid rebel Abdallah ibn Mu'awiya. When Ibn Hubayra defeated Ibn Mu'awiya shortly after, Mansur fled to India, where he managed to become governor of Sind, and even obtained recognition of this post from the nascent Abbasid Caliphate. In 751, however, the Abbasids sent Musa ibn Ka'b al-Tamimi against him. Defeated in battle, Mansur fled to the desert, where he died.

Masjid al-Hisn

Masjid al-Hisn (Arabic: مسجد الحصن‎, "The Fortress Mosque") was built between 717 and 720 CE by the Umayyad caliph Umar II, as part of his conversion of Mopsuestia (in present-day southeastern Turkey) into a military base to shield Antioch from a potential Greek attack.A cistern within the structure was inscribed with Umar's full name, Umar ibn-'Abd-al-'Aziz. The building fell into ruin during the reign of al-Mu'tasim, approximately 120 years later.

Pact of Umar

The Pact of Umar (also known as the Covenant of Umar, Treaty of Umar or Laws of Umar; Arabic: شروط عمر‎ or عهد عمر or عقد عمر), is an apocryphal treaty between the Muslims and the Christians of either Syria, Mesopotamia, or Jerusalem that later gained a canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence. It specifies rights and restrictions for non-Muslims (dhimmis) living under Islamic rule.

There are several versions of the pact, differing both in structure and stipulations. While the pact is traditionally attributed to the second Rashidun Caliph Umar ibn Khattab, other jurists and orientalists have doubted this attribution with the treaty being attributed to 9th century Mujtahids (Islamic scholars) or the Umayyad Caliph Umar II. This treaty should not be confused with Umar's Assurance of safety to the people of Aelia (known as al-ʿUhda al-ʿUmariyya, Arabic: العهدة العمرية‎).

In general, the pact contains a list of rights and restrictions on non-Muslims (dhimmis). By abiding to them, non-Muslims are granted security of their persons, their families, and their possessions. Other rights and stipulations may also apply. According to Ibn Taymiyya, one of the jurists who accepted the authenticity of the pact, the dhimmis have the right "to free themselves from the Covenant of 'Umar and claim equal status with the Muslims if they enlisted in the army of the state and fought alongside the Muslims in battle."

Paraclete

Paraclete (Greek: παράκλητος, Latin: paracletus) means advocate or helper. In Christianity, the term "paraclete" most commonly refers to the Holy Spirit.

Pope Alexander II of Alexandria

Pope Alexander II of Alexandria (Coptic: AΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟC; died 14 February 729) was the 43rd Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

He presided over his church during an era of great hardship and oppression.

Quranism

Quranism (Arabic: القرآنية‎; al-Qur'āniyya) describes any form of Islam that accepts the Quran as the only sacred text through which God revealed himself to humankind, but rejects the religious authority, reliability, and/or authenticity of the Hadith collections. Muslims that follow the Quran alone are called Quranians, Quranists or Quranites; they believe that God's message in the Quran is clear and complete as it is, and that it can therefore be fully understood without referencing the Hadith. Quranists affirm that the Hadith literature which exists today is apocryphal, as it had been written three centuries after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad; thus, it cannot have the same status as the Quran.

According to the tradition of ahl al-Quran, the split between them and ahl al-Hadith ("The people of Hadith") (which comprises Sunnis, Shias, and Ibadis), began when Umar II ordered the first official collection of Hadith almost a century after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad: Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Hazm and Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, are among those who wrote Hadiths at Umar II’s behest.Quran alone Islam is similar to movements in Abrahamic religions such as the Karaite movement, the Sadducees, the Samaritans, and the Essenes in Judaism and the Sola scriptura view of Protestant Christianity as well as the King James Only movement in Christianity. In matters of faith (iman) and jurisprudence (fiqh), the Quranists are pitted against ahl al-Hadith (which comprises Sunnis, Shias, and Ibadis), who first emerged a century after the death of Muhammad as a movement of Hadith scholars who considered the Hadiths to be authority in matters of law.

Timeline of 8th-century Muslim history

This is a timeline of major events in the Muslim world from 701 AD to 800 AD (81 BH – 184 AH).

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