Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by
International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
© Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.
Permanent Split in Islam
After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the
South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not
retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she
will be handed over, together with her royal escort and her father and
the one who supported her.
This verse describes the events following the assassination of Ali and how
Muawiyah gained dominance over the Shiites. In fact, Muawiyah and his son,
Yazid, were responsible for the deaths of both Muhammad’s grandsons. Yet,
their “power did not last” because Yazid’s descendants were rejected as caliph.
It’s not surprising that an entire verse is dedicated to that period in Islam
because it permanently cemented the division between the Sunni and Shiites.
The Whole Story:
Following the assassination of Ali, Muawiyah was still not considered caliph of the
Muslim empire because Hasan was appointed that title by his father. Muawiyah
urged him to give up the caliphate but Hasan initially refused. Yet, as the armies of
Hasan and Muawiyah stood ready for battle, Hasan decided to make a treaty to avoid
any more bloodshed. In the agreement, Hasan would receive all the taxes from one
province and an annual grant of two million dirhams. That explains the first line of
verse 6, where it says, “they will became allies”.
The treaty also stipulated that the caliphate would revert to Hasan or Husayn
if they were still alive following Muawiyah’s death. So Muawiyah devised a plot to
eliminate Hasan because he wished to pass the caliphate to his own son, Yazid.
He secretly contacted one of Hasan's wives, Ja'da, convincing her to poison her
husband. Shiite’s believe that Ja'da was promised marriage to Yazid and a sum of
gold in return for the deed. In 669, with aspirations of power and wealth, she did as
she was instructed. Afterwards, she hastened to the court of Muawiyah, in Damascus.
The Shiite legend does not mention her traveling companions but she would not have
made such a journey alone. As verse 6 suggest, she probably took “her royal escort,
her father, and the one who supported her”. However, once she got there, Muawiyah
reneged on his promises and “handed her over” to another man to marry. [reference]
Muawiyah died in 680 and left the caliphate to Yazid even though the caliphate
should have reverted to Husayn.
Yazid immediately demanded allegiance from Husayn but he refused. Yet,
rather than fight, Husayn moved his family farther south, from Medina to Mecca.
The Shiites in Kufa revolted anyway because they saw Yazid as a tyrant who did not
keep the practices of Islam. They wrote letters to Husayn asking him to join them
because they had no Iman (spiritual leader). First, Husayn sent his cousin to check
the situation. His cousin wrote back and confirmed a force of 18,000 men who were
prepared to overthrow the governor of Kufa upon his arrival. Feeling obligated,
Husayn gathered his family and a few followers and headed north with only about
70 men. Meanwhile, Yazid replaced the governor of Kufa with Ubayd, who put down
the uprising and beheaded Husayn’s cousin. Ubayd traveled south with an army of
30,000 men and met Husayn at Karbala, a city in southern Iraq. Husayn and the
other men were beheaded and the rest were taken prisoner. To this day, Husayn’s
grave, in Karbala, is one of the most sacred and visited sites among Shiite Muslims.
Yazid’s rule only lasted three years because he died in 683. His son was rejected as
caliph and another family line or cousin took over the Umayyad Caliphate. It is sad
but ironic that both of Muhammad’s grandson’s were killed so that Yazid could take
the throne but his dynasty ended in three years. That explains the remaining phrase
from verse 6, which says, “his power will not last”.
In 685, Abd Malik, became caliph and restored strength to the Umayyad Caliphate.
He made Arabic the official language of the empire and had all the important
documents translated. He established a postal service and developed the first Muslim
currency. He also ordered the Dome of the Rock to be built on the site where Umar
built a fence. Under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Islamic Empire reached five million
square miles, the largest empire in history to that point (left).
In 750, the Umayyads were replaced by the Abbasids who were an Arab dynasty,
led by a Persian general. Although the empire was still Arab, the Persians had a
significant influence during that period. They even moved the capital from Damascus
to Baghdad, perhaps to be closer to Persia. The Abbasids traced their ancestry to an
uncle of Muhammad named Abbas. Consequently, they considered themselves more
of a true successor than the Umayyads. Yet, they were still just cousins. Although
they were Sunni Muslim, they converted to Shiite for a short time to attain military
support during their revolt. Afterwards, however, they reverted back to Sunni, which
angered the Shiites, as you can imagine. In fact, a Shiite dynasty eventually arose in
the south to take half of the empire (next verse). After that, the Middle East remained
split for centuries but the Abbasid Caliphate ruled the northern half from Baghdad
until 1258, when the Mongols invaded (verses 9-10).
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“The Fatimids” (Shiite)
Daniel 11: 7-8
Page 4 on Daniel 11
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Daniel 11 Explained
Condensed “one page” Commentary
Daniel 11 Explained
Condensed “one page” Commentary