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The Umayyad Caliphate (Arabic: ??????????? ?????????????, trans. Al-Khilafatu al-?

Umawiyyah), also spelt Omayyad,[3] was the second of the four major caliphates
established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad
dynasty (Arabic: ??????????????, al-?Umawiyyun, or ????? ????????, Banu ?Umayya,
"Sons of Umayya"), hailing from Mecca. The third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan (r.
644�656), was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic,
hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who
became the fifth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in AD 661.
Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their
capital.

The Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, Sindh,
the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus) into the Muslim world. At its
greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 (4,300,000 sq mi)[1]
and 62 million people (29% of the world's population),[2] making it one of the
largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.

The Umayyad Caliphate was de facto secular.[4] At the time, the Umayyad taxation
and administrative practice were perceived as unjust by some Muslims. The Christian
and Jewish population still had autonomy; their judicial matters were dealt with in
accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their
appointees, although they did pay a poll tax (the jizya) for protection to the
central state.[5] Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that Abrahamic
religious groups (still a majority in times of the Umayyad Caliphate) should be
allowed to practice their own religion, provided that they paid the jizya taxation.
The welfare state of both the Muslim and the non-Muslim poor started by Umar ibn al
Khattab had also continued, financed by the zakat tax levied only on Muslims.[5]