The Umayyad Caliphate

The Umayads were the first Muslim dynasty — that is, they were the first rulers of the Islamic Empire to pass down power within their family. According to tradition, the Umayyad family (also known as the Banu Abd-Shams) and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, and they originally came from the city of Mecca. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a...