'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan

'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan

biographical name

(born 646/647, Medina, Arabia—died Oct. 705, Damascus) Fifth caliph (685–705) of the Umayyad dynasty. 'Abd al-Malik was forced to flee his hometown of Medina during an uprising against Umayyad rule in 683. Two years later he succeeded to the caliphate and—with the help of his infamous lieutenant al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf—began a seven-year campaign to defeat all rebellions against the Umayyads and reunify the Muslim world. He resumed the conquest of North Africa, winning the Berbers to his side and capturing Carthage (697) from the Byzantine Empire. His good relations with the clergy of Medina led many to abandon their opposition to the Umayyads. He made Arabic the language of government throughout his domains, struck Islamic gold coins to replace Byzantine ones, and built the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

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