Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (691 – 6 February 743) 10th Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 who ruled from 723 until his death in 743. When he was born in 691 his mother named him after her father.

Inheriting the caliphate from his brother Yazid II
Yazid II
Yazid bin Abd al-Malik or Yazid II was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 720 until his death in 724.According to the medieval Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Yazid came to power on the death of Umar II on February 10, 720. His forces engaged in battle the Kharijites with whom Umar...

, Hisham was ruling an empire with many different problems. He would, however, be effective in attending to these problems, and in allowing the Umayyad empire to continue as an entity. His long rule was an effective one, and it saw a rebirth of reforms that were originated by Umar bin Abd al-Aziz.

Like his brother al-Walid I, Hisham was a great patron of the arts, and he again encouraged arts in the empire. He also encouraged the growth of education by building more schools, and perhaps most importantly, by overseeing the translation of numerous literary and scientific masterpieces into Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. He returned to a stricter interpretation of the Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 as Umar had, and enforced it, even upon his own family. His ability to stand up to the Umayyad clan may have been an important factor in his success, and may point to why his brother Yazid was ineffective.

On the military front his empire suffered a series of setbacks, including in Transoxiana. Hisham sent armies to end the Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 rebellion in Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, and was successful when the Hindu ruler Jai Singh was killed. This allowed the Umayyads to reassert their rule over some portions of their provinces in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. In Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the internal conflicts of the years past were ended, and Hisham's governor, Abd ar Rahman ibn Abdallah, assembled a large army that went into France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. He besieged Bordeaux and pushed to the Loire. This marked the limit of Arabic conquest in Western Europe. The wave was halted at the Battle of Tours
Battle of Tours
The Battle of Tours , also called the Battle of Poitiers and in Battle of the Court of the Martyrs, was fought in an area between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, located in north-central France, near the village of Moussais-la-Bataille, about northeast of Poitiers...

 by Charles Martel
Charles Martel
Charles Martel , also known as Charles the Hammer, was a Frankish military and political leader, who served as Mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian kings and ruled de facto during an interregnum at the end of his life, using the title Duke and Prince of the Franks. In 739 he was offered the...

 who inflicted a crushing defeat to the Arabs.
Under Hisham's rule, regular raids against the Byzantines continued. One regular commander of Arab forces was the redoubtable Maslamah
Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik
Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik was an Umayyad prince and one of the most prominent Arab generals of the early decades of the 8th century, leading several campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and the Khazar Khaganate...

, Hisham's half-brother. He fought the Byzantines in A.H. 107 (725-726) and the next year captured Caesarea Mazaca. He also fought the Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

 in the Caucasus. In A.H. 110 he fought for a month against the Khaqan there and defeated him. Hisham's son Mu'awiyah ibn Hisham
Mu'awiyah ibn Hisham
Mu'awiyah ibn Hisham was an Arab general, the son of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik .He is known chiefly for his role in the Byzantine-Arab Wars, where he led many invasions against Byzantine Asia Minor. The first campaign he led was recorded in summer 725, which was carried out in...

 was another Arab commander in the almost annual raids against the Byzantine Empire. In A.H. 110 he took the fort of Samalu in Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

. The next year Mu'awiyah thrust left and Sa'id ibn Hisham right. In addition there was also a sea raid. In A.H. 112 Mu'awiyah captured Kharsianon in Cappadocia.

Mu'awiyah raided the Byzantine Empire in A.H. 113 (731-732). The next year he captured Aqrun (Akroinos), while Abdallah al-Battal took a Byzantine commander prisoner. Mu'awiyah raided Byzantium in A.H. 115, 116, 117 and 118. In A.H. 119 (737) al Walid ibn al Qa'qa al-Absi led the raid against the Byzantines. The next year Sulayman ibn Hisham
Sulayman ibn Hisham
Sulayman ibn Hisham was an Arab general, the son of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik . He is known for his participation in the expeditions against the Byzantine Empire as well as his prominent role in the civil wars that occurred during the last years of the Umayyad Caliphate. Defeated...

 captured Sindirah (Sideroun). In A.H. 121 (738-739) Maslamah captured some of Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

 and also raided the Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

. Theophanes the Confessor
Theophanes the Confessor
Saint Theophanes Confessor was a member of the Byzantine aristocracy, who became a monk and chronicler. He is venerated on March 12 in the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church .-Biography:Theophanes was born in Constantinople of wealthy and noble iconodule parents: Isaac,...

 (p. 103) states that while some Arabs raided successfully in 739 and returned home safely, others were soundly defeated at the Battle of Akroinon
Battle of Akroinon
The Battle of Akroinon was fought at Akroinon or Akroinos in Phrygia, on the western edge of the Anatolian plateau, in 740 between an Umayyad Arab army and the Byzantine forces. The Arabs had been conducting regular raids into Anatolia for the past century, and the 740 expedition was the largest...

. He records that internal Byzantine strife (the struggle between Constantine V
Constantine V
Constantine V was Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775; ); .-Early life:...

 and the usurper Artabasdos
Artavasdos, Latinized as Artabasdos or Artabasdus , was Byzantine Emperor of Armenian descent from June 741 or 742 until November 743...

) facilitated Arab raids by Sulayman ibn Hisham in 741-742 (p. 106) that resulted in many Byzantines made Arab captives. Al-Tabari refers to the same raid. (v. 26, p. 68)

In North Africa, Kharijite teachings combined with natural local restlessness to produce a significant Berber revolt
Berber Revolt
The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740-743 AD took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate...

. In 740 A large Berber force surrounded a loyal army at Wadi Sherif. The loyalists fought to the death. Hisham dispatched a force of 27,000 Syrians. This was destroyed in 741. In 742 Handhala ibn Safwan began successfully, but soon was besieged in Qairawan. He led a desperate sortie from the city that scattered the Berbers, killing thousands and re-establishing Umayyad rule.

Hisham also faced a revolt by the armies of Zayd bin Ali, grandson of Husayn bin Ali, which was however easily put down. Zayd had faced litigation. He had been initially favoured by Hisham, though the caliph was displeased by Zayd's suggestions that Zayd was superior. Kufans encouraged Zayd to revolt. Zayd was ordered to leave Kufah
Kufah may refer to:* Ovophis okinavensis, a.k.a. the Okinawa pitviper, a venomous pitviper species found in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.* Alternative English spelling for Kufa, a city in modern Iraq....

 and though he appeared to set out for Mecca, he returned and dwelt secretly in Kufah moving from house to house and receiving the allegiance of many people. Yusuf ibn Umar, Iraq's governor, learned of the plot, commanded the people to gather at the great mosque, locked them inside and began a search for Zayd.

Zayd with some troops fought his way to the mosque and called on people to come out. He then pushed back Yusuf's troops, but was felled by an arrow. Although his body was initially buried, the spot was pointed out and it was extracted, beheaded and the head sent to Hisham and later to Medina.

Despite Hisham's successes, the Abbasids continued to gain power, building power bases in Khurasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 and Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. However, they would not prove strong enough to make a move yet. Some of them were caught, punished or executed by eastern governors.
Alī ibn Ḥusayn son of Husayn bin Ali resided in Medina, was poisoned by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik on 25th of Muharram, 95 AH (approximately 23 October , 712).

Hisham died of diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 on Wednesday, February 6, 743. He impressed others with his simplicity and honesty. He wore the same green cloak he had worn since before becoming caliph. He demonstrated he knew how to make bread and to milk a goat. He was conscientious in administering the finances of the empire. As all the Marwanids, he did not draw the military stipend, unless actually on campaign. He dwelt in the desert to avoid plague. Near the Byzantine site of al-Rusafah he built two castles. Hisham was succeeded by his nephew al-Walid ibn Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik (Walid II).
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