The almost caliph: Reconstructing the political life of 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Marwan (d. 86/705) /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Mabra, Joshua Lee, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (228 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Fred M. Donner Committee members: Sean W. Anthony; Don Whitcomb.
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Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-05(E), Section: A.
Summary:'Abd al-'Aziz b. Marwan (d. 86/705) reigned as the amir of Egypt and wali al- 'ahd (heir apparent) to the Islamic caliphate for over 20 years. Appointed to both positions by his father, the amir al-mu'minin (Commander of the Believers) Marwan b. al-.akam (r. 64-65/683-685), 'Abd al-'Aziz was the first long-term heir apparent in Islamic history and the last independent amir of Egypt until the coming of A.mad b. Tulun (d. 270/884) in 254/868. Had he not died months before his brother, the famed amir al-mu'minin 'Abd al-Malik (r. 65-86/685-705), 'Abd al-'Aziz would have succeeded as amir al-mu'minin and the Marwanid dynasty (64-132/683-750) would have continued through his line. Instead, the combination of his untimely death, 'Abd al-Malik's illustrious career as the victor of the Second Muslim Civil War (60-73/680-692), and the limited treatment of Egypt in the classical Arabic sources have left 'Abd al-'Aziz a largely unknown figure.
Not a single monograph or article has been written about 'Abd al-'Aziz by western scholars, and it is the goal of this dissertation to revive this largely forgotten amir and demonstrate the critical role he played in the formation of the Marwanid dynasty. The founding thesis of this study is that 'Abd al-'Aziz was appointed the amir of Egypt and second heir apparent due to the legitimacy his maternal lineage brought the nascent dynasty.
The mother of 'Abd al-'Aziz, Layla bt. Zaban b. al-A.bagh b. 'Amr al-Kalbiyya, was from the royal house of Dumat al-Jandal, and her family ruled one of the most important centers of Arab tribal power. The tribe of Kalb headed a power coalition of pastoralist nomads, the Qu.a'a, which dominated the deserts and borderlands of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and parts of Iraq. This coalition of tribes had served as auxiliary forces for the Byzantines, and their military experience was vital to the success of the Islamic conquests and the rise of the first amir al-mu'minins of Syria, the Sufyanids (41-61/661-681). When Yazid b. Mu'awiya died in (d. 64/683), the Sufyanid line failed to provide a viable successor, the Qu.a'a, desperately seeking to maintain the privileges of their alliance with the amir al-mu'minin, pledged their allegiance to Marwan b. al-.akam as amir al-mu'minin.
The alliance between the Marwanids and the Qu.a'a, then, was built on the same foundations as the alliance between Qu.a'a and the Sufyanids--- marriage alliances. --- marriage alliances. Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan, the founder of the Sufyanids, married a Kalbi noblewoman of Qu.a'a and appointed the son of this union, Yazid, as his heir apparent. Yazid came to represent the continuation of the alliance between the Sufyanids and Qu.a'a. Marwan had himself married two Kalbi noblewomen, and once elected amir al-mu'minin, he appointed 'Abd al-'Aziz, a son from one of these alliance building marriages, as his second heir apparent, thereby creating a powerful political link that helped bring the Marwanid dynasty to power.