Succession During The Umayyad Period(41-132A.H / 661-750 A.C)

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Jamal Judeh
Wajeeh Lutfi Taleb Thouqan
This study deals with the succession during the Umayyad period and the efforts made by the Umayyads to reach a method that ensured transference of authority from a caliph to his successor peacefully. Because of the non-presence of a clear constitution of authority transference in the pre-Umayyad period that witnessed the events of the first ordeal, and the murder of Othman, the third caliph, and the disagreement of selecting a caliph, and the lack of census of selecting the Caliph Ali, in addition to the efforts made by the Umayyads to establish a pure Umayyad state that nobody could dispute. The study discussed the prophet style of governance that attributed its legitimacy from the revelation and pledge of allegiance. It also discussed the caliphate subject including its literary and conventional meanings and in the Holy Quran. It also discussed the connotations of this term which sometimes denoted deputy of God and at other times deputy of the Messenger (PBUH). It also dealt with caliphate during the period of the Orthodox caliphs. The methods by which the Orthodox caliphs took over power were diverse. Abu Bakr took power as a result of the discussions that took place in the shack. On the other hand, Omar came to power by Abu Bakr's appointment for him to become his successor. Omar, in turn, nominated consultative council of 6 members who elected Othman to become the third caliph. However, Ali took over the caliphate as a result of selection that took place in special circumstances dictated by the ordeal. As a result, he lost the census on his caliphate when Muawiya claimed his right of the caliphate, demanding to take revenge for Othman's murder. As a result of these unfortunate events, Ali was assassinated; Al-Hasan abdicated the caliphate for the benefit of Muawiya. In this way, the Umayyad governance started. The study discussed the concept of custodianship and succession both literarily and conventionally, in addition to the purposes and the stipulation of succession founded by the Umayyads. The efforts made by Muawiya to obtain the pledge of allegiance for his son, Yazeed, were fruitful despite the severe objection of Hijaz since the people of Hijaz opposed the idea of transferring the center of authority from their state to another place. They attempted to conserve the political role of their state which deteriorated after moving the caliphate center to Damascus. The success of Muawiya in taking pledge of allegiance to his son, Yazeed, started the Umayyads' inheritance of authority through the Sufiani dynasty that ended when Muawiya, the second abdicated the Caliphate. Since then, the caliphate was transferred to the Marwani dynasty. The Marwanians tried to enhance the system of succession. The caliph appointed two successors, an event that led to struggle between the caliphs who more than often attempted to dispose of their brothers to appoint their sons. In effect, struggle and competition took place within the same family. The Umayyads were busy in their internal conflicts which led to the deterioration of the state. The study discussed the attitudes of the Islamic movements that oppose the succession notion. The positions of the Shiites, the Dissidents, and the Solitaries regarding the Umayyad caliphate and the succession notion were discussed. The Shiites considered that the Caliphate is a divine position that cannot be selected by people. They considered it as the prophet's legacy and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) appointed Ali as his successor. Consequently, they regarded the Umayyad caliphate as illegitimate. They refused the idea of succession brought about by the Umayyads. Therefore, they rebelled against them whenever they had the chance. The Dissidents called for free selection of the caliph. They did not stipulate that the caliph should from Quraish. On the contrary, they believed that he could be an Arab or of any race or ethnic group. They considered that the succession system was illegal and so they believed that the Umayyads seized the authority by force. Therefore, they reveled against them in many cases. The Solitaries regarded that the caliphate was essential and it could be taken by anyone provided it is based on the Holy Quran and the Method of the Messenger (PBUH). They regarded the Umayyad caliphate as illegitimate. They also rejected the succession system because it contradicts the system of consultation and selection. The study also investigated the positions of the religious scholars of the nation regarding the idea of succession. They were influenced by the political circumstances. There were three main groups of the religious scholars. The first group supported the Umayyad caliphate, another opposed it, and the third called for conserving the unity of the nation.
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