When great al-Malik's sons, less authoritary, reigned, rebels stroke back. Basically, shiites did not accept Umayyad authority, and created the Imam title instead, as spiritual leader -in order to differentiate it from the more terrenal caliph title- for Ali's heir. It is in fact believed that they were not Arabs, but converse Persians, which explains why they had the support of non-Arab citizens from Iran. In , the Abbasid Abu proclaimed himself caliph in Kufa. A revolt appeared in Egypt eventually finished with the caliph's assassination in
Ali's first-born son, Hasan, not counting with enough forces, fled to Medina and left free space to Muawiyah. Abdallah caused great headaches to Damascus caliphs, as he had the main Islamic pilgrimage place under control. Only one saved, Abd al-Rahman, who fled to the border province of Cordoba, and there extended the dynasty, but that is a different story. Although one of the sovereigns, Umar , tried to abolish this differentiation, the consequent tax income drop became impossible, and going back to tax raising led to general revolts, specially in Transoxiana in However, it was a highly unstable empire, in which the caliph's power was continuously questioned by rebel factions. Sunnites, shiites and kharijites Officially, Ali was proclaimed caliph by the families from Medina. Liberating all the resentment of a century, the winners outraged the tombs of the Umayyad and killed the remaining members of the family. Centuries later, an imam died without any descendants, which made the Shiism break into several rival sub-sects. The Abbasids consolidated their power in Khurasan , North-eastern Iran, far from central power, and started an open revolt in Muawiyah, already self-proclaimed caliph in , hurried to the capital, Kufa , with his reorganised army from Damascus, to get the throne. Opposing Muslim orthodoxy, or sunnism , the defeated followers of Husayn constituted the Shiite sect, that would be back to war several times, specially in Arabia and Irak, and was eventually a key element in the fall of the dynasty. His prosperous and politically liberal reign gave place to the first intrigues, caused by tribal fights, personal enemies of the caliph and foreign powers afraid of the Islamic expansion -Uthman multiplied by three the Empire's territory-. In , the Abbasid Abu proclaimed himself caliph in Kufa. At his death in the beginning of that same year, the caliph Muawiyah had officially created the Umayyad dynasty, when forcing the noblemen to accept his son Yazid as his successor. The fight between these tribes was a long civil war, which a third faction joined, that of rebel al-Mukhtar , strong in Irak and defending the rights of another Ali's heir -Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya- without his permission. Caliph at the caliph's place Yazid died in while besieging Mecca, trying to defeat Abdallah ibn Zubayr , who had supported Husayn and, at his death, proclaimed himself caliph in Arabia and Egypt. This sect, now practically disappeared, argued the caliph should not be designated in an hereditary way, but it should arise from the community. This caused a faction of Ali's followers, belonging to Hanifa and Tamin tribes, consider him a traitor and separate, named kharijites and under the motto "there is not rule but God's", defendind the caliph cannot decide the partition of power in the World. The existence of two caliphs lasted for ten years, as one of the main Syrian tribes, the Qaysites , supported him against the Kalbites , allied to Damascus. It is in fact believed that they were not Arabs, but converse Persians, which explains why they had the support of non-Arab citizens from Iran. A revolt appeared in Egypt eventually finished with the caliph's assassination in That was the momento to attack his weakened army, that fell in Mecca five years later, after a harsh siege which destroyed the Holy Place of the Kaaba. In fact, the Umayyad were the main opposers to the new Muslim religion, until they were subdued by Muhammad and converted in Abdallah was beheaded, and his body exposed for potential rebels. When inheriting such a large and heterogeneous Empire, in which Arabs enjoyed privileges and tax exemptions over non-Arabs, union was progressively more difficult to keep. However, Muawiyah , governor of Siria and Uthman's cousin, accused Ali of inspiring the murder and doing nothing to convict the murderers.
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