Al-Walid Ibn Abd al-Malik

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Al-Walid Ibn Abd al-Malik

Circa 671–715

Umayyad khalifah

Source

Muslim Expansion . Son of the Umayyad khalifah Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (circa 647-705), al-Walid had a brief but remarkable ten-year reign (705–715). In some sense it represents the high point of the Umayyad khilafah, for it never again attained the level of success that it had under al-Walid. He ruled during the second wave of Muslim expansion. Under him Muslims achieved the final elimination of the Byzantines from North Africa and the pacification of the Berbers there, as well as the conquest of the Visigoth kingdom of Spain, many small Iranian states between the Oxus and the Jaxartes, and the substantial Brahmin kingdom of Sind in present-day Pakistan.

Patron of the Arts . These territorial acquisitions brought a huge new tax income into the coffers of the Muslim state, enabling al-Walid to engage in public works and other projects on a lavish scale. Among these projects were the reconstructions of the great masjids in all the principal cities, including Makkah, Madinah, Jerusalem, Damascus, San‘a’, and probably other towns. Al-Walid is now principally remembered as the patron of these building projects. The only one of his constructions that is still standing in its original form is the great Umayyad Masjid in Damascus. Its beautiful original mosaics resemble Byzantine art but scrupulously avoid representations of humans and animals, although they do include scenes of houses, public buildings, trees, and shrubs, in addition to geometrical patterns. (As with most other Muslim art, the names of the artists are unknown.)

Source

Khalid Yahya Blankinship, The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994).

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Al-Walid Ibn Abd al-Malik