ʿAbbāsid Revolution (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Establishment of a legitimate Islamic government and control of tax revenues. Result: Umayyad governor and general killed in battle; Caliph Marwan forced to flee to Egypt, where he was later killed; Umayyad army and dynasty destroyed.
The ʿAbbāsid Revolution existed for decades as a secret movement opposed to the Umayyad Dynasty, which was considered by many not to be a legitimate Islamic government and to be extremely unfair and greedy in collecting taxes. The Umayyad Dynasty had no direct family connection to Muhammad and was seen as usurping the caliphate. The Umayyads made no distinction between Arabs and non-Arabs, taxing all alike at high levels, but discriminated against non-Arabs at other times.
The ʿAbbāsid Revolution accomplished two goals. One was the defeat of a ruling dynasty that had no direct connection to the Prophet Muhammad and thus no presumed right to rule. Muhammad ibn Ali, one of the architects of the ʿAbbāsid Revolution, could trace his ancestry back to ʿAbbās, the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle; hence the name of ʿAbbāsid for his descendants. He wanted to restore rule over all Muslims to men who could prove a family connection with the Prophet Muhammad. The second goal of the ʿAbbāsid Revolution was to end the Umayyad policy of discriminating against non-Arabs, whether they were Muslims or followers of other religions. Abū Muslim,...
(The entire section is 638 words.)
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