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The Umayyad Period Essay


During the Umayyad period, the Arab conquest grew immensely. The prophet Muhammad had succeeded in uniting the tribes of Hijaz which were entirely Arabic.

During the Umayyad period, Islam became a militant religion as Arabs expanded their territories by conquering neighboring Persian and Byzantine states. Between the period 635-641A.D, the Arabs gained possession of Persia, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt.

All these conquests were due to the unity of three groups of Muslim believers. The groups were composed of the real believers of the teachings of the prophet, the Ummayads, and the non-Arab converts.

The Umayyads were at the forefront of the Arab conquests. They hailed from the tribe of Quraysh from which Prophet Muhammad also belonged.

The Ummayads had great regard for wealth, vast land and power. To them, the conquered alien was a means of rendering the land more productive.

Although the conquered alien was allowed to choose between being converted to Islam or to pay the poll tax, the Umayyads discouraged conversion. (Lewis 23).

They saw conversion as a threat to revenue which led Hajjaj b. Yusuf, the leader of the Umayyad, to unfairly impose taxes upon converts. It was the tyranny of the Umayyads that eventually led to their downfall and subsequent rise of the Abbasid Dynasty led by the Persians.

One of the early achievement of the Abbasid Dynasty was that they subdued the rule of Arab minorities. Governance was modeled along with Persian interests whereby a minister was appointed as head of an executive arm of government.

It was during the Abbasid dynasty that a party to uplift the face of the alien was formed. The party portrayed the Arabs as having been of lesser genealogy and that Persians performed better in various fields, e.g., science, literature etc.though they used Arabic as a medium of communication.

Another achievement of the Abbasid Dynasty was the construction of Baghdad. It was located in a place with abundant water and dry climate. It was also along the trade routes. The Abbasid dynasty did not, however, maintain strong armies as the Umayyads had done.

They were also more intolerant to Christians than the Umayyad. (Lewis 56). They prompted the closure of many churches. The mistreatment of Christians led to the crusades. It was during the crusades that Jerusalem was conquered from the Muslims.

The Mongol invasion on Islam territory distorted Islamic culture and some of the strides made in science.

The invasion saw the seizure of Baghdad. Turkic domination and control over the Byzantine Empire eventually led to a tribal revolution by the Turks and the birth of the Ottoman Empire led by Osman 1.

During the Ottoman Empire, the Industrial Revolution started in the west and Europe. This had a positive impact on the Ottoman Empire in terms of modernization. The leaders of the Ottoman Empire began to buy technological knowledge to meet the challenges of changing times.

The Empire collapsed in 1923 due to failing economic and communication structures in its regions. During World War 1, Turkey lost the war to the Allied powers, but Mustafa Kemi elected Turkish leader managed to fight the invasion of Turkey.

Due to the victory, The Republic of Turkey was born in 1923. The decision to form a Jewish state after World War 1 was informed by the need to form an Agency that would look into Jewish affairs in the land of Palestine which was colonized by the British.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia became a state due to the conquests of Ibn Saud in the period of World War 1. During this period; he conquered Riyadh, Hejaz, Nejd, and Al-Hasa which formed Saudi Arabia.

Works Cited

. The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. New York: Scribner, 1995.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Umayyad Period'. 18 March.

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