Arab Tribes, the Umayyad Dynasty, and the `Abbasid Revolution

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Roberto Marín-Guzmán

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Abstract

This essay analyzes the role played by the Arab tribes in the expansion of Islam, the consolidation of Dar al-Islam [House of Islam], as well as in power and administration during the Umayyad dynasty. Given the traditional rivalries between the Mudar and the Qahtan tribes, each confederation of tribes led the expansion of Islam in a different direction: the Mudar toward the east, and the Qahtan toward the west. The Umayyads controlled power by exploiting tribal disputes. The same practice, skillfully used by the `Abbasids, expelled the Umayyads from power and ushered in a new dynasty.

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