The History of al-Ṭabarī Vol. 21

The Victory of the Marwānids A.D. 685-693/A.H. 66-73

Translated by Michael Fishbein

Subjects: Islam
Series: SUNY series in Near Eastern Studies
Paperback : 9780791402221, 278 pages, March 1990
Hardcover : 9780791402214, 278 pages, March 1990

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Table of contents



Translator's Foreword

The Events of the Year 66 (cont'd) (685/686)

[Al-Mukhtar Acts against the Slayers of al-Husayn]
Why He Seized Them; Names of Those He Killed and of Those Who Fled and Eluded His Grasp
[The Kufan Ashraf Rise against al-Mukhtar]
[Al-Mukhtar Acts against the Murderers of al-Hysayn]
[The Swearing of Allegiance to al-Mukhtar in al-Basrah]
[Al-Mukhtar Sends an Army to Trick Ibn al-Zubayr]
Al-Mukhtar's Motive in Sending This Army; What Befell Them
[The Khashabiyyah Perform the Pilgrimage]
Why the Khashabiyyah Came to Mecca
[The Siege of the Banu Tamim in Khurasan]
[Those in Office during the Year]
[Ibrahim b. al-Ashtar Goes to Fight 'Ubaydallah b. Ziyad]
An Explanation of the Chair Whereby al-Mukhtar and His Companions Prayed for Assistance

The Events of the Year 67 (686/687)
The Death of 'Ubaydallah b. Ziyad
[Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr Becomes Governor of al-Basrah]
[Mus'ab Marched against Him, An Account of al-Mukhtar's Death]
Ibn al-Zubayr Removes Mus'ab from al-Basrah]
[Those in Office during the Year]

The Events of the Year 68 (687/688)
[The Azariqah Return from Fars to Iraq]
An Account of Them, Their Departure, and Their Return to Iraq
[Events in Syria]
[The Death of 'Ubaydallah b. al-Hurr]
His Death; the Circumstances That Brought It upon Him
[Four Separate Banners at the Pilgrimmage]
[Those in Office during the Year]

The Events of the Year 69 (688/689)
[The Revolt and Death of 'Amir b. Sa'id in Damascus]
[A Kharijite Killed at the Pilgrimage]
[Those in Office during the Year]

The Events of the Year 70 (689/690)
['Abd al-Malik and the Byzantines]
[Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr Visits Mecca]
[Those in Office during the Year]

The Events of the Year 71 (690/691)
[Khalid b. 'Abdallah Raises Support for 'Abd al-Malik in al-Basrah]
['Abd al-Malik Attacks Mus'ab; the Death of Mus'ab]
['Abd al-Malik Enters al-Kufah]
[Khalid b. 'Abdallah Becomes Governor of al-Basrah]
[Ibn al-Zubayr's Governors during This Year]
[The Pilgrimage]
[Ibn al-Zubayr's Sermon after the Death of Mus'ab]
['Abd al-Malik's Banquet at al-Khawarnaq]

The Events of the Year 72 (691/692)
['Abd al-Malik and the Kharijites]
['Abd al-Malik Sends al-Hajjaj to Fight Ibn al-Zubayr]
['Abd al-Malik and 'Abdallah b. Khazim]
[Those in Office during the Year]
A Chapter in Which We Mention the Secretaries since the Beginning of Islam

The Events of the Year 73 (692/693)
A Description of [the Death of Ibn al-Zubayr]
['Abd al-Malik and the Kharijites]
[Bishr b. Marwan Becomes Governor of al-Basrah]
[Campaigns against the Byzantines]
Those in Office during the Year]

Bibliography of Cited Works



Volume XXI of the History of al-Ṭabarī (from the second part of 66/685 to 73/693) covers the resolution of "the Second Civil War." This conflict, which has broken out in 64/683 after the death of the Umayyad caliph Yazīd I, involved the rival claims of the Umayyads (centered in Syria) and the Zubayrids (centered in the Hijaz), each of whom claimed the caliphal title, Commander of the Faithful. Both parties contented for control of Iraq, which was also the setting for al-Mukhtār's Shīʿite uprising in al-Kūfah during 66/685 and 67/686. Khārijite groups were active in south-western Iran and central Arabia, even threatening the heavily settled lands of Iraq. By the end of 73/692, the Umayyad regime in Damascus, led by Abd-al-Malik, had extinguished the rival caliphate of Ibn al-Zubayr and had reestablished a single, more or less universally acknowledged political authority for the Islamic community.

Al-Ṭabarī's account of these years is drawn from such earlier historians as Abu Mikhnaf, al-Madāʾinī , and al-Waqidi and includes eyewitness accounts, quotations from poems, and texts of sermons. Notable episodes include al-Mukhtār's slaying of those who had been involved in the death of al-Husayn at Karbala, the death of al-Mukhtār at the hands of Muṣʿab ibn al-Zubayr, the revolt of Amr ibn Saʿīd in Damascus, the death of Muṣʿab at the Battle of Dayr al-Jathaliq, and al-Hajjaj's siege and conquest of Mecca on behalf of Abd-al-Malik. There are excursuses on the chair that al-Mukhtār venerated as a relic of Ali, the biography of the colorful brigand ʿUbayd Allāh b. al-Ḥurr, and the development of the secretarial office in Islam.

The translation has been fully annotated. Parallels in the works of Ibn Sa'd, al-Baladhuri, and the Kitabal-Aghani have been indicated in the notes where these accounts supplement or diverge from that of al-Ṭabarī.