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Umayyad Efforts at Legitimation: The Umayyads' Silent Heritage

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Chapter Summary

The Umayyads left to their successors in the Islamic worldnot only to their successors as rulers of the empire, the ʾAbbāsids, but also to Muslims at largea formidable political, intellectual, and communal legacy. This legacy, however, has often been poorly appreciated. This chapter outlines some of the major initiatives the Umayyads undertook in order to establish their legitimacy and that of the Islamic community they ruled. The Umayyad caliphs seem to have played a large part in defining the ultimate form of basic Islamic rituals, including the daily prayer, the Friday prayer, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Umayyads also made significant efforts to legitimize themselves in the eyes of their Muslim subjects by emphasizing the Islamic character of their ruleby linking their practices and goals with those of the prophet Muḥammad or the Qurʾān.

Keywords: Islamic rituals; silent heritage; Umayyad legitimation



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