Meaning of 'UMAR II in English


born 682/683, Medina, Arabia [now in Saudi Arabia] died February 720, near Aleppo, Syria in full 'umar Ibn 'abd Al-'aziz pious and respected caliph who attempted to preserve the integrity of the Muslim Umayyad caliphate (661750) by emphasizing religion and a return to the original principles of the Islamic faith. His father, 'Abd al-'Aziz, was a governor of Egypt, and through his mother he was a descendant of 'Umar I (second caliph, 634644). He received a traditional education in Medina and won fame for his piety and learning. In February or March 706, 'Umar was appointed governor of the Hejaz. During his tenure of office, he initiated policies that later characterized his reign, particularly his creation of a consultative body of pious men to aid him in his rule. 'Umar was elevated to the caliphate by the will of his predecessor, the caliph Sulayman, in September or October 717. At his accession the stability of the Umayyad caliphate was threatened by the discontent of the Mawali (non-Arab Muslims) and the pious opposition, who resented the Umayyads allegedly for putting political interests ahead of established religious principles. 'Umar, who was mainly interested in home affairs, attempted no major military conquests, and soon after his accession he lifted his predecessor's disastrous siege of Constantinople (now Istanbul). Initiating a policy of internal consolidation, he dismissed unpopular governors, reformed the taxation system, and granted the Mawali the same fiscal rights as Arab Muslims. Although many of his policies seemed untenable, 'Umar attempted to arrest the disintegration of the Umayyad caliphate by appealing to a broad segment of the Muslim population. He, alone of the Umayyads, was respected by the later 'Abbasid dynasty and was highly regarded even among the Shi'ites, schismatic followers of Muhammad's son-in-law 'Ali.

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