In Partnership with AOL Search
 
Taking advantage of widespread discontent with Ummayad rule, descendants of al-Abbas brought about the end of the Ummayad Caliphate in the East. The capital of the Caliphate moved to Baghdad, Iraq. Caliph Abu-al-Abbas and his descendants reigned from 750 to 1258, when Baghdad fell to the Mongols. From 945, they did not rule as such, but were "under the protection" of the Buwayhids, and later the Seljuks.
Originally a Berber reform movement, influenced by Kharijism. Removed the Almoravids from power, first in the Maghreb, then in Spain. Driven from Spain in 1212, and their last Moroccan stronghold of Marrakesh was captured in 1269.
Originally a religious/military brotherhood established on an island in the lower Senegal river; established themselves as masters of North-Western Africa, and finally of Spain; their invasion of the Kingdon of Ghana led to the latter's downfall. Founded the city of Marrakesh, Morocco.
Founded by Kurdish-born Salah ed Din (Saladdin). After removing the Fatimid Caliphate from Egypt, he went on to defeat the Crusader States at the Battle of Hattin. Their rule covered Egypt, Syria and Yemen; the Egyptian Ayyubids were replaced by the Mamluks, while in Syria they fell to the Mongols.
A Shia Ismaili dynasty, claiming descent from Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammed; their main objective was to remove and replace the Abbasid Caliphate - by good organization and missionary effort, their influence spread from Yemen to Tunisia, culminating in their rule of Egypt from 969 to 1171. Their most remarkable legacy is the city of Cairo (al-Qaahira). Salah ed Din al Ayyubi abolished their Caliphate, and established the Ayyubids.
Amir Alptigin, a Turkish Mamluk of the Samanids, was promoted to governorship of Khurasan, but fell our of favour. He captured Ghaznah from its Afghan rulers, and established an independent realm - which developed to control Aghanistan, Punjab, parts of Persia and India. Lasted from 977 to 1186, but in its later years, their capital was Lahore.
Shajarat al Durr, widow of the last Ayyubid ruler and originally a Turkish or Armenian slave, managed to take power in Egypt on her husband's death. This led to two dynasties of Mamluks - slaves of varied races and nationalities forming a military oligarchy in an alien land, from 1250 to 1517 CE. They cleared Syria and Egypt of the remnants of the Crusaders, and permanently checked the advance of Hulagu's and Timur's armies.
Ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries, consolidating Muslim faith, arts and culture. Founded by Babur, a descendant of the Mongol Empire (by now thoroughly Muslim) who crushed the Delhi Sultanate. Established by 1526, and lasted till 1856, though the last century was a time of decline, with power passing to regional governors and finally to the British.
After the fall of the Almohad dynasty, Muhammed ibn Yusuf ibn Nasir managed to carve out a state for himself in Granada. The continuing process of Christian reconquest saw the state finally fall in 1492.
The longest-lasting Shia dynasty since the Arab conquest of Iran some eight hundred years earlier, established in northern Iran in 1501 by a Sufi master, Ismail Safavi. Their rule lasted to 1765. In their early days, they successfully resisted pressure from the Ottoman (Sunni) Empire; later, they collapsed under the combined pressure of Russian and Ottoman power.
Ruled in Transoxiana and Persia from 874 to 999. For a time their capital Bukhara and Samarkand almost eclipsed the Abbasid capital of Baghdad; they professed outward loyalty to the Abbasids, but virtually independent. The southern half of their state was absorbed by the Ghaznavids, while the north fell to the Ilek Khans of Turkestan.
About 956, Saljuk arrived from the steppes of Turkestan. At a time when the Abbasids were unable to displace the Ummayads in Spain, the Fatimids in Egypt; when the Buwayhids and Ghaznavids controlled from Persia east and south. Welcomed by the Abbasids as a deliverer from Buwayhid power. Laid the foundations of the eventual Turkification of Asia Minor; at their height, they controlled from Syria, through Iraq, to Transoxiana, from their capital, Isfahan. Showed little interest in the Crusades - it was the Ayyubids who reclaimed the Crusader Kingdoms. Finally fell in the face of the arrival of the Mongols.
Timur Lang (Tamerlane) led his Tatar armies in campaigns which took Afghanistan, Persia, Kurdestan, Baghdad, Moscow, Northern India, Syria, until he finally died in China. Under his successors, Samarkand became a centre of Muslim civilisation. They fell into decline, split into separate princedoms - one of which, led by Babur, became the Mughal Empire.
Mu'awiyah was proclaimed Caliph in 660; the Caliphate passed down his descendants until they were replaced by the Abbasids in 750. Their capital was Damascus, in Syria. One alone of the Ummayads escaped Abbasid extermination, and continued the line of the caliphate in Spain.
Copyright © 1998-2014 AOL Inc. Terms of Use
Last update: Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:15:05 PM EST - edit