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Ummayad And Abbasid Empires.doc

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Liyakat Takim

Sahar Merchant/1218095 October 15, 2013 RELIG 2Q03 TA: Vinay Ummayad And Abbasid Empires (Ayoub readings p.81-90) - Mu'awiyah was a clever diplomat who served a twenty-year-long reign and moved the capital to Damascus where it remained for the rest of the Umayyad rule - Mu'awiyah appointed his son Yazid as his successor and was the first leader to select his own son to follow as heir, resulting in a break of traditions and an establishment of caliphal succession by ancestral descent - The fashion in which Yazid succeeded and the way Mu'awiyah had treated the sons of Ali and those that followed them had caused a strong opposition to Yazid by many notable people of Makkah and Madinah - Husayn was the most serious and significant opposition to Yazid's designation which I believe is exemplified clearly in the revolt he held against Umayyad rule - As Husayn was travelling to Kufah alongside 70 other fighters to lead the uprising, he was intercepted at Karbala where a battle arose between his followers and Yazid's army - The battle resulted in the death of Husayn as well as his male adult relatives and supporters - Husayn's women, and Ali (only surviving son), were held captive from Kufah to Yazid in Damascus - The tragedy that occurred at Karbala has become a feature of Shi'i faith and inflicted a culture of suffering and martyrdom with inspiring and devotional literature - Looking at Husayn's death, one can see a clear contrast between the ideal policies of Islam and what would be considered the opposite - blasphemous rule - Resulting from this battle was the day of "Ashura" (tenth day of Muharram/day of battle), consisting of grief, reflection, and mourning (especially for Shia's), which is expressed through a variety of devotional acts (pilgrimage to Karbala, public readings) Sahar Merchant/1218095
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