26 Facts About Mu'awiyah


Mu'awiyah became caliph less than thirty years after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and immediately after the four Rashidun caliphs.


Mu'awiyah was appointed by Caliph Abu Bakr as a deputy commander in the conquest of Syria.


Mu'awiyah allied with the province's powerful Banu Kalb tribe, developed the defenses of its coastal cities, and directed the war effort against the Byzantine Empire, including the first Muslim naval campaigns.


Mu'awiyah is credited with establishing government departments responsible for the postal route, correspondence, and chancellery.


Mu'awiyah was the first caliph whose name appeared on coins, inscriptions, or documents of the nascent Islamic empire.


Mu'awiyah's father Abu Sufyan ibn Harb was a prominent Meccan merchant who led trade caravans to Syria, then part of the Byzantine Empire.


Mu'awiyah emerged as the leader of the Banu Abd Shams clan of the polytheistic Quraysh, the dominant tribe of Mecca, during the early stages of the Quraysh's conflict with the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


Mu'awiyah criticized the lavish sums that Mu'awiya invested in building his Damascus residence, the Khadra Palace, prompting Mu'awiya to expel him.


Mu'awiyah employed the veteran commander and Kindite nobleman Shurahbil ibn Simt, who was widely respected in Syria, to rally the Yemenites to his side.


Mu'awiyah then enlisted support from the dominant tribal leader of Palestine, the Judham chief Natil ibn Qays, by allowing the latter's confiscation of the district's treasury to go unpunished.


Mu'awiyah directed Busr to intimidate Medina's inhabitants without harming them, spare the Meccans and kill anyone in Yemen who refused to pledge their allegiance.


Mu'awiyah successfully bribed Ubayd Allah ibn Abbas, the commander of Hasan's vanguard, to desert his post and sent envoys to negotiate with Hasan.


Mu'awiyah established his court in Damascus and moved the caliphal treasury there from Kufa.


Mu'awiyah relied on his Syrian tribal soldiery, numbering about 100,000 men, increasing their pay at the expense of the Iraqi garrisons, about 100,000 soldiers combined.


Mu'awiyah received the customary fifth of the war booty acquired by his commanders during expeditions.


Mu'awiyah applied indirect rule to the Caliphate's provinces, appointing governors with full civil and military authority.


Mu'awiyah was unable to maintain order in Basra, where there was growing resentment toward the distant campaigns.


Mu'awiyah was permitted to retain the surplus revenues of the province.


Mu'awiyah purchased several large tracts throughout Arabia and invested considerable sums to develop the lands for agricultural use.


Mu'awiyah's efforts saw extensive grain fields and date palm groves spring up across Mecca's suburbs, which remained in this state until deteriorating during the Abbasid era, which began in 750.


Mu'awiyah was buried next to the Bab al-Saghir gate of the city and the funeral prayers were led by al-Dahhak ibn Qays, who mourned Mu'awiya as the "stick of the Arabs and the blade of the Arabs, by means of whom God, Almighty and Great, cut off strife, whom Mu'awiyah made sovereign over mankind, by means of whom he conquered countries, but now he has died".


Mu'awiyah is reported by al-Baladhuri to have said "The earth belongs to God and I am the deputy of God".


Mu'awiyah strangled the communal spirit of Islam and used the religion as a tool of "social control, exploitation and military terrorization".


Mu'awiyah had somebody walk in front of him with a spear, took alms out of the stipends and sat on a throne with the people below him.


Mu'awiyah was the first to turn this matter [the caliphate] into mere kingship.


Mu'awiyah is seen as transforming the caliphate into a worldly and despotic kingship.