Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad
|Governor of Khurasan|
|Preceded by||Ziyad ibn Abihi|
|Succeeded by||Sa'id ibn Uthman|
|Governor of Basra|
|Preceded by||Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn Ghaylan|
|Succeeded by||Abd al-Malik ibn Abd Allah ibn Amir|
|Governor of Kufa|
|Preceded by||Nu'man ibn Bashir al-Ansari|
|Succeeded by||'Amir ibn Mas'ud ibn Umayya al-Jumahi|
|Relations||Abbad ibn Ziyad, Salm ibn Ziyad, Yazid ibn Ziyad, Abd al-Rahman ibn Ziyad (siblings)|
|Allegiance||Umayyad Caliphate (673–686)|
ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Ziyād (Arabic : عبيد الله بن زياد, romanized: ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Ziyād) was the Umayyad governor of Basra, Kufa and Khurasan during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiya I and Yazid I, and the leading general of the Umayyad army under caliphs Marwan I and Abd al-Malik. Ubayd Allah is primarily remembered for his role in the killings of members of Ali ibn Abi Talib's family including Husayn ibn Ali, and he has become infamous in Muslim tradition.
He virtually inherited the governorships from his father Ziyad ibn Abihi after the latter's death in 673. During Ubayd Allah's governorship, he suppressed Kharijite and Alid revolts. In the ensuing Battle of Karbala in 680, Husayn and his small retinue were slain by Ubayd Allah's troops, shocking many in the Muslim community. Ubayd Allah was ultimately evicted from Iraq by the Arab tribal nobility amid the revolt of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.
He made it to Syria where he persuaded Marwan I to seek the caliphate and helped galvanize support for the flailing Umayyads. Afterward, he fought at the Battle of Marj Rahit in 684 against pro-Zubayrid tribes and helped reconstitute the Umayyad army. With this army he struggled against rebel Qaysi tribe in the Jazira before advancing against the Alids and Zubayrids of Iraq. However, he was slain and his forces routed at the Battle of Khazir by Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar, the commander of the pro-Alid al-Mukhtar of Kufa.
Ubayd Allah was the son of Ziyad ibn Abihi whose tribal origins were obscure; Ziyad was born out of wedlock and his father was not known, while his mother was a Persian concubine named Murjanah.Ziyad served as the Umayyad governor of Iraq and the lands east of that province, collectively known as Khurasan, during the reign of Caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680).
Ubayd Allah's father prepared him to succeed him as governor, and indeed, after Ziyad's death in 672/673, Ubayd Allah became governor of Khurasan.A year or two later, he was also appointed to the governorship of Basra. According to historian Hugh N. Kennedy, Ubayd Allah was "more hasty and given to the use of force than his father, but a man whose devotion to the Umayyad cause could not have been doubted".
In 674 he crossed the Amu Darya and defeated the forces of the ruler of Bukhara in the first known invasion of the city by Muslim Arabs.From at least 674 and 675, Ubayd Allah had coins struck in his name in Khurasan and Basra, respectively. They were based on Sasanian coinage and written in Pahlavi script. The mints were located in Basra, Darabjird, Maysan, Narmashir, Jayy and, to a lesser extent, Kufa. The latter was attached to Ubayd Allah's governorship in 679/680, giving him full control of Iraq.
Mu'awiya died in 680 and was succeeded by his son Yazid I. Mu'awiya's designation of his son was an unprecedented act and shocked many in the Muslim community, particularly the Arab nobility of Kufa.They long sympathized with Caliph Ali, Mu'awiya's former rival, and Ali's family. One of Ali's sons, Husayn dispatched his cousin Muslim ibn Aqil to Kufa to set the stage for Husayn's accession to the caliphate. Ibn Aqil garnered significant support and was hosted by a prominent pro-Alid nobleman. Ubayd Allah became aware of Ibn Aqil's activities, prompting the latter to launch a premature assault against the governor. Ubayd Allah was holed up in his palace, but thirty men from his shurta (security forces) fended off Ibn Aqil's partisans, while he persuaded many Kufan noblemen to back him against Ibn Aqil, who was abandoned by his supporters and slain on 10 September 680.
Husayn had already been en route to Kufa from Medina when he received news of Ibn Aqil's execution.Ubayd Allah was prepared for Husayn's arrival and sent troops to intercept him. They prevented Husayn and his small retinue from reaching the watered areas of the province. The two sides negotiated for weeks, but Ubayd Allah refused Husayn entry into Kufa or return to Arabia while Husayn refused to recognize Yazid's caliphate. In the end, a short battle was fought at Karbala on 10 October 680, in which Husayn and nearly all of his partisans were slain. Husayn had never received the expected backing of his Kufan sympathizers, but the latter's resentment festered as a result of his death. The slaying of Husayn, a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, perturbed many Muslims.
The death of Yazid in 683 led to a major leadership crisis in the caliphate, and "the power of his house seemed to collapse everywhere", in the words of Orientalist Julius Wellhausen.Ubayd Allah initially neglected to support Yazid's son and designated successor, Mu'awiya II and secured oaths of allegiance to himself from the Basran Arab nobility. In a speech addressed to them, he emphasized his connection to Basra and promised to maintain the wealth of the city's inhabitants. Nonetheless, the Basrans turned against him, forcing him to abandon his palace. He was replaced by Abd Allah ibn al-Harith, a member of the Banu Hashim. Ubayd Allah took refuge with the Azdi chieftain Mas'ud ibn Amr in late 683 or early 684. He plotted to restore his governorship by encouraging Mas'ud to form an alliance of the Yamani and Rabi'a tribes against his opponents from the Banu Tamim and Ibn al-Harith. Mas'ud took to the pulpit of Basra's mosque to stir up the revolt, but Tamimi tribesmen, under Ibn al-Harith's direction, stormed the building and killed Mas'ud. After Mas'ud's death, Ubayd Allah fled the city practically alone in March 684, taking the Syrian desert route to Hawran or Palmyra. In his rush to escape, he left his wife and family behind.
When Ubayd Allah arrived in Syria, he found it in political disarray; Caliph Mu'awiya II had died weeks into his rule and a power vacuum ensued with many Syrian noblemen, particularly from the Qaysi tribes, switching allegiance to the rival, Mecca-based caliphate of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.The latter had expelled the Umayyads from the Hejaz and among the exiles to Syria was Marwan ibn al-Hakam, an Umayyad elder. Ubayd Allah persuaded Marwan, who was preparing to recognize Ibn al-Zubayr's sovereignty, to enter his candidacy as Mu'awiya II's successor. The Umayyads' principal Syrian allies, the Banu Kalb, had sought to maintain Umayyad rule and nominated Mu'awiya II's half-brother Khalid as caliph. However, the other pro-Umayyad Syrian tribes viewed Khalid as too young and inexperienced, and rallied around Marwan, who was ultimately chosen as caliph.
Ubayd Allah fought for Marwan and his tribal allies against the Qaysi tribes led by al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Fihri, the governor of Damascus, at the Battle of Marj Rahit in August 684.The Qays were routed and al-Dahhak killed. Ubayd Allah was put in command of Marwan's army which, during Marj Rahit, consisted 6,000 men from a handful of loyalist tribes. According to Kennedy, Ubayd Allah "clearly intended to rebuild the Syrian army which had served Mu'awiya and Yazid I so well". In the aftermath of Marj Rahit, Ubayd Allah oversaw campaigns against rebel Qaysi tribes for Marwan and his son and successor Abd al-Malik (r. 685–705) in the Jazira. However, Marwan's forces were too little to assert Umayyad rule throughout the caliphate. Thus, Ubayd Allah expanded recruitment to include various Qaysi tribes. He placed Husayn ibn Numayr al-Sakuni of Kindah as his second-in-command, and Shurahbil ibn Dhi'l-Kila' of Himyar, Adham ibn Muhriz of Bahila, al-Rabi'a ibn Mukhariq of Banu Ghani and Jabala ibn Abd Allah of Khath'am as deputy commanders. Other than Husayn ibn Numayr, all of the commanders were either Qaysi or had earlier supported al-Dahhak against Marwan.
In January 685, as Ubayd Allah was in Manbij preparing for the Umayyad reconquest of Iraq, Husayn ibn Numayr defeated the pro-Alid Penitents at the Battle of Ayn al-Warda.Ubayd Allah had been promised by Marwan the governorship over all of the lands he could conquer from the Alids and Ibn al-Zubayr, and he may have been sanctioned to plunder Kufa. For the following year, Ubayd Allah was bogged down in battles with the Qaysi tribes of Jazira led by Zufar ibn al-Harith al-Kilabi. By 686, Ubayd Allah's army numbered some 60,000 troops.
By the time Ubayd Allah's army approached Mosul toward Iraq, the Zubayrids under Mus'ab ibn al-Zubayr had established themselves in Basra while al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd took control of Kufa in the name of the Alid Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya.Al-Mukhtar dispatched Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar and an army composed largely of non-Arab freedmen to confront Ubayd Allah. The latter fended off the first wave of al-Mukhtar's troops, and proceeded to face off Ibn al-Ashtar at the Khazir River. In the ensuing Battle of Khazir, the Umayyad army was routed and Ubayd Allah was slain by Ibn al-Ashtar. His commanders Husayn, Shurahbil and al-Rabi'a were also killed. With Ubayd Allah's death, Caliph Abd al-Malik halted further advances against Iraq until 691.
Yazid ibn Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, commonly known as Yazid I, was the second caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. He ruled from April 680 until his death in November 683. His appointment was the first hereditary succession to the caliphate in Islamic history. His caliphate was marked by the death of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali and the start of the crisis known as the Second Fitna.
The Battle of Karbala was fought on 10 October 680 between the army of the second Umayyad Caliph Yazid I and a small army led by Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at Karbala, modern day Iraq.
Marwan ibn al-Hakam ibn Abi al-As ibn Umayya, commonly known as Marwan I, was the fourth Umayyad caliph, ruling for less than a year in 684–685. He founded the Marwanid ruling house of the Umayyad dynasty, which replaced the Sufyanid house after its collapse in the Second Muslim Civil War and remained in power until 750.
Abu al-Mughira Ziyad ibn Abihi, also known as Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, was an administrator and statesman of the successive Rashidun and Umayyad caliphates in the mid-7th century. He served as the governor of Basra in 665–670 and ultimately the first governor of Iraq and virtual viceroy of the eastern Caliphate between 670 and his death.
Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam was the leader of a caliphate based in Mecca that rivaled the Umayyads from 683 until his death.
Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd Al-Thaqafi was a pro-Alid revolutionary based in Kufa, who led a rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate in 685 and ruled over most of Iraq for eighteen months during the Second Fitna.
The Second Fitna was a period of general political and military disorder and civil war in the Islamic community during the early Umayyad caliphate. It followed the death of the first Umayyad caliph Mu'awiya I in 680 and lasted for about twelve years. The war involved the suppression of two challenges to the Umayyad dynasty, the first by Husayn ibn Ali, as well as his supporters including Sulayman ibn Surad and Mukhtar al-Thaqafi who rallied for his revenge in Iraq, and the second by Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.
The Battle of Maskin, also known as the Battle of Dayr al-Jathaliq from a nearby Nestorian monastery, was a decisive battle of the Second Fitna (680s-690s). It was fought in mid-October 691 near present-day Baghdad on the western bank of the river Tigris, between the army of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan and the forces of Mus'ab ibn al-Zubayr, governor of Iraq for his brother, the Mecca-based rival caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.
The Battle of Marj Rahit was one of the early battles of the Second Fitna. It was fought on 18 August 684 between the Kalb-dominated armies of the Yaman tribal confederation, supporting the Umayyads under Caliph Marwan I, and the Qays under al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Fihri, who supported the Mecca-based Abdallah ibn al-Zubayr; the latter had proclaimed himself Caliph. The Kalbi victory consolidated the position of the Umayyads over Syria, paving the way for their eventual victory in the civil war against Ibn al-Zubayr. However, it also left a bitter legacy of division and rivalry between the Qays and the Yaman, which would be a constant source of strife and instability for the remainder of the Umayyad Caliphate.
The Battle of Ayn al-Warda was fought in early January 685 between the Umayyad army and the Penitents (Tawwabin). The Penitents were a group of pro-Alid Kufans led by Sulayman ibn Surad, a companion of Muhammad, who wished to atone for their failure to assist Husayn ibn Ali in his abortive uprising against the Umayyads in 680. Pro-Alid Kufans had urged Husayn to revolt against the Umayyad caliph Yazid but then failed to assist him when he was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680. Initially a small underground movement, the Penitents received widespread support in Iraq after the death of Yazid in 683. They were deserted by most of their supporters shortly before the departure to northern Syria where a large Umayyad army under the command of Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad was preparing to launch an assault on Iraq. In the three-day long battle that ensued at Ras al-Ayn, the small Penitent army was annihilated and its senior leaders, including Ibn Surad, were killed. Nevertheless, this battle proved to be a forerunner and source of motivation for the later more successful movement of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi.
The siege of Mecca in September–November 683 was one of the early battles of the Second Fitna. The city of Mecca was a sanctuary for Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who was among the most prominent challengers to the dynastic succession to the Caliphate by the Umayyad Yazid I. After nearby Medina, the other holy city of Islam, also rebelled against Yazid, the Umayyad ruler sent an army to subdue Arabia. The Umayyad army defeated the Medinans and took the city, but Mecca held out in a month-long siege, during which the Kaaba was damaged by fire. The siege ended when news came of Yazid's sudden death. The Umayyad commander, Husayn ibn Numayr al-Sakuni, after vainly trying to induce Ibn al-Zubayr to return with him to Syria and be recognized as Caliph, departed with his forces. Ibn al-Zubayr remained in Mecca throughout the civil war, but he was nevertheless soon acknowledged as Caliph across most of the Muslim world. It was not until 692, that the Umayyads were able to send another army which again besieged and captured Mecca, ending the civil war.
Abū al-Hudhayl Zufar ibn al-Ḥārith al-Kilābī ; fl. 656–692) was a Muslim commander, a chieftain of the Arab tribe of Banu Amir, and the preeminent leader of the Qays tribo-political faction in the late 7th century. He commanded his tribesmen in A'isha's army against Caliph Ali's forces at the Battle of the Camel near Basra in 656 during the First Muslim Civil War. In the following year, he relocated from Iraq to the Jazira and fought under Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, future founder of the Umayyad Caliphate, against Ali at the Battle of Siffin. During the Second Muslim Civil War he served Mu'awiya's son Caliph Yazid I, leading the troops of Jund Qinnasrin against anti-Umayyad rebels in the Battle of al-Harra (683).
Hasaan ibn Malik ibn Bahdal al-Kalbi (Arabic: حسان بن مالك بن بحدل الكلبي, romanized: Ḥasaān ibn Mālik ibn Baḥdal al-Kalbī, commonly known as Ibn Bahdal, was the Umayyad governor of Palestine and Jordan during the reigns of Mu'awiya I and Yazid I, a senior figure in the caliph's court, and a chieftain of the Banu Kalb tribe. He owed his position both to his leadership of the powerful Kalb, a major source of troops, and his kinship with the Umayyads through his aunt Maysun bint Bahdal, the wife of Mu'awiya and mother of Yazid. Following Yazid's death, Ibn Bahdal served as the guardian of his son and successor, Mu'awiya II, until the latter's premature death in 684. Amid the political instability and rebellions that ensued in the caliphate, Ibn Bahdal attempted to secure the succession Mu'awiya II's brother Khalid, but ultimately threw his support behind Marwan I, who hailed from a different branch of the Umayyads. Ibn Bahdal and his tribal allies defeated Marwan's opponents at the Battle of Marj Rahit and secured for themselves the most prominent roles in the Umayyad administration and military.
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Abū Unaysal-Ḍaḥḥak ibn Qays al-Fihrī was an Umayyad general, head of security forces and governor of Damascus during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiya I, Yazid I and Mu'awiya II. Though long an Umayyad loyalist, after the latter's death, al-Dahhak defected to the anti-Umayyad claimant to the caliphate, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.
ʿAbbād ibn Ziyād ibn Abīhi was an Arab commander and statesman of the Umayyad Caliphate. A son of the governor of Iraq, Ziyad ibn Abihi, Abbad served as a governor of Sijistan between 673 and 681 under caliphs Mu'awiya I and Yazid I. He led a contingent in the army of Caliph Marwan I at the Battle of Marj Rahit and afterward fought against loyalists of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi during the reign of Caliph Abd al-Malik. He later served at the court of the latter's son and successor, Caliph al-Walid I, and played a role in the succession intrigues between al-Walid's son Abd al-Aziz and the caliph's brother, Sulayman.
Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn al-Ash'ath ibn Qays al-Kindī was the chieftain of the Kindah tribe in Kufa, succeeding his father al-Ash'ath ibn Qays. He served as governor of Tabaristan under the Umayyad viceroy of Iraq, Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad and later as the governor of Mosul under the anti-Umayyad caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. He died fighting for the latter's brother and governor of Iraq, Mus'ab ibn al-Zubayr, against the pro-Alid ruler of Kufa, Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, at the Battle of Harura in 686. His son, Abd al-Rahman, would later lead a major rebellion against the Umayyads in 700–703.
Sulayman ibn Surad al-Khuza'i was a pro-Alid leader from Kufa, who led the Tawwabin movement during the Second Islamic Civil War to avenge the death of Husayn ibn Ali. He had participated in battles during the First Islamic Civil War on the side of Ali, although at occasions was disapproving of his decisions. After the death of Muawiyah, he was the most prominent of the Kufans who urged Ali's son Husyan to revolt. After the death of Husyan at the Battle of Karbala in 680, in which he failed to support Husayn, Ibn Surad and some other Alid partisans of Kufa sacrificed themselves in an attempt to avenge his death.
Nuʿmān ibn Bashīr al-Ansārī was a Companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was also a commander and statesman of the Umayyad Caliphate. A supporter of Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan during the First Muslim Civil War, he was appointed by him governor of Kufa in 678–680. Afterward, he was made governor of Homs by Caliph Yazid I. After the latter's death, he gave allegiance to the Mecca-based, Caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. When pro-Umayyad forces routed Ibn al-Zubayr's supporters in Syria, he fled Homs but was slain during his escape.
Natil ibn Qays ibn Zayd al-Judhami was the chieftain of the Banu Judham tribe and a prominent tribal leader in Palestine during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiya I and Yazid I. In 684, he revolted against the Umayyads, took control of Palestine and gave his allegiance to Caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. He joined the latter in Mecca after pro-Zubayrid forces were routed at the Battle of Marj Rahit. He may have renewed his rebellion in Palestine in 685/86 and was slain during the hostilities.