The Ommayad dynasty that came to power in 661 AD is the root of Sunni Islam.
THE FIRST SECULAR, HEREDITARY SYSTEM INTRODUCED IN ISLAM:
The Ommayads are also commonly referred to as the "Arab kingdom" reflecting disapproval of the secular nature of the Omayyad state. Unlike their predecessors, the Ommayads were hardly focused on the Quranic ideology. They concentrated on developing their empire economically and politically through ways and means that benefited them, regardless of principles.
The Ommayad dynasty was the first hereditary system of governance established in the Muslim world after Prophet Muhammad (sw) and his four immediate successors, Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and Ali. Needless to say, kingships and rule of the "royals" are completely contrary to Quranic principles.
BRIEFLY ON THE ORIGIN OF THE OMMAYADS:
The tribe of Qureysh has two major clans - Banu Hashim and its rival, Banu Ommaya. The Prophet (sw) belonged to Banu Hashim.
Banu Omayyah means, "sons of Omayyah." The name "Ommayad" dynasty is derived from Ommaya bin Abd-Shams (a pagan name meaning, "slave of the sun"). This man was the great-grandfather of the first Omayyad caliph, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufian. The Ommayads were also known by their pagan family title, "Banu abd-Shams."
Abu Sufian was the father of the first Ommayad ruler, Muawiyah, and the leader of Mecca in pre-Islamic Arabia when the Prophet (sw) had set up the first Islamic Government in Medina. Thus, Abu Sufian was one of the Prophet's arch enemies.
Abu Sufian of the Ummayad clan came from a merchant family and was the governor of Mecca when the Prophet (sw) immigrated to Medina. Most of the invasions against the Prophet (sw) carried out by the idolaters of Mecca were done under the leadership of Abu Sufian. When Abu Sufian eventually converted to Islam after the peaceful conquest of Mecca, he did so not on the basis of any grand principles but for materialistic reasons and a prosperous political future for his family. Abu Sufian's enemity and crimes against Medina were so many that soon after the conquest of Mecca he fled the city. He returned some weeks later after being told that the Prophet (sw) had granted general amnesty to everyone in Mecca. The conquest of Mecca is also known as the Prophet's (sw) victory over the Ommayads.
During the entire lifetime of the Prophet (S), Abu Sufian remained a bitter enemy of Islam and the Prophet (sw). He viewed the Prophet as a threat to his power and as a "blasphemer of Qureysh gods." The enemity between the two clans of Banu Hashim and Banu Ommaya deepened after the Battle of Badr in which the Ommayads were defeated with Abu Sufian as their chief.
LINEAGE OF THE OMMAYADS:
- Muawiyah (son of Abu Sufian) - The first "king" of the Ommayad dynasty, and a shrewd and unethical politiican.
- Yazid (son of Muawiyah) - The second "king" of the Ommayad dynasty who ordered the murder of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet, on the field of Karbala. Yazid looked upon the rising popularity of Hussein as a threat to himself.
- Hind (wife of Abu Sufian) who planned and executed the killing of the Prophet's uncle, Hamza, by brutally mutilating his body on the battlefield of Uhad.
Also, the wife of Abu Lahab (another arch enemy of the Prophet who has been condemned by name in the Quran) was the sister of Abu Sufian.
Going through the annals of history, we are informed of the basic practices introduced by the Ommayads which are vivid examples of internal strife, feuds, murders, concept of "family nobility" etc., a political and social set-up that were very similar to pre-Islamic Arabia. These were abolished by Prophet Muhammed (sw) based on the commandments and principles of the Glorious Quran, but were unfortunately and gradually re-introduced by the leaders of Banu Ommaya after the passing away of the fourth Caliph, Imam Ali. It ushers an era noted in history as the start of the destruction of Islamic values.
MUAWIYAH BIN ABU SUFIAN - HIS SHREWD LUST FOR POWER AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OMMAYAD DYNASTY:
Soon after the conquest of Mecca, the power-hungry and ambitious Ommayads remained silent for a while. After the passing away of the Prophet (S), they re-ignited their old conflicts with those loyal to the Prophet as a symbol of their rejection of the authority of Banu Hashim. Their hostilities became intense after the assassination of the third righteous Caliph, Osman bin Affan. Caliph Osman belonged to the Ommayad clan. But he ignored the tradition of tribal loyalty and was a staunch loyalist of the Prophet. Muawiyah bin Abu Sufian manipulated Caliph Osman's family ties to Banu Ommaya and used the tragic event of his assassination of blame Imam Ali (Osman's successor) for not doing enough to nab and punish his murderers.
Both Arab historians and the orientalists have come up with their own versions on Osman's policy as the Caliph. Some have hinted at political nepotism based on clan connections that Caliph Osman (though inadvertently) helped to consolidate Muawiyah's power by making him the governor of Syria with control of areas in that region. Though Muwiyah was the governor of Syria during this period, there is no reliable historical evidence that Muawiyah received any special favors from Caliph Osman. What we do know for sure is: Keeping in line with the Prophet's method of administration and that of his immediate predecessors, Caliph Osman did NOT name his successor - a clear indication that Osman did not support the hereditary system of governance either.
Imam Ali succeeded Osman. He was chosen as the fourth Caliph by the Shura or the Counsel. At this time, Muawiyah, the son of Abu Sufian, was the governor of Syria. He wanted to grab power from Ali whom he saw as his arch political rival. Ali faced a long and difficult time with civil wars and differences among various factions primarily because of Muawiyah's very scheming and destructive intentions.
CIVIL WARS DURING ALI'S CALIPHATE:
The first civil war or "fitna" was fought between Ali and a man called Talha in which Ali was victorious.
After Ali's victory at the Battle of the Camel, another civil war in late 656 AD, most of the Arab garrisons shifted to his side in opposition to the Omayyads, whose supporters were concentrated in the province of Syria and Mecca.
Muawiyah indulged in plenty of intrigues and political games. Just as Ali was on the verge of routing the Omayyad forces at the battle of Siffin in 657 AD, he was won over by a plea for mediation of the dispute. Imam Ali's decision to accept arbitration was fatal to his cause. Some of his most fervent adherents rejected his leadership and rebelled. This gave the opportunity to the Ommayads to re-group themselves and takeover Egypt. In 660 AD, Muawiya, now the leader of the Omayyads, was proclaimed "caliph" in Jerusalem, thereby directly challenging Ali's position. A year later, Ali was tragically assassinated.
The people of Kufa (capital of Ali's caliphate in Iraq) pledged allegiance to his eldest son Hasan. But, by this time Muawiyah commanded large areas of the Arabian peninsula, the region of Palestine and Egypt. He declared himself 'caliph' and marched his army into Iraq, the seat of Hasan's caliphate. Hasan was pressured by the Omayyads into renouncing his claims to the caliphate.
SOME HISTORICAL ANALYSIS TAKEN AS MOST AUTHENTIC:
Quoting an excerpt from Wikipedia - "Muawiyah's hostilities toward Ali"
"Muawiyah's army invaded and plundered cities of Iraq, which Ali's governors could not prevent and people did not support him to fight with them. Muawiyah overpowered Egypt, Hejaz, Yemen and other areas. .... Muawiyah's vicious conduct of the war revealed the nature of his reign. As for the people, except for a small minority, the majority supported Ali. They distrusted and opposed Muawiyah."
Another excerpt from Wikipedia - "Subversive schemes of Muawiyah to topple Hasan"
"War ensued during which Muawiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Hasan's army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against him. Finally, Hasan was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Muawiyah. In this way Muawiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and in every way possible placed the severest pressure upon Ali's family. Regular public cursing of Imam Ali in the congregational prayers remained a vital institution which was not abolished until 60 years later by Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. Muawiyah also established the Omayyad caliphate which was a centralized monarchy."
German historian, Wilferd Madelung, writes:
"Omayyad highhandedness, misrule and repression were gradually to turn the minority of Ali's admirers into a majority. In the memory of later generations Ali became the ideal Commander of the Faithful. In face of the fake Omayyad claim to legitimate sovereignty in Islam as God's Vice-regents on earth, and in view of Omayyad treachery, arbitrary and divisive government, and vindictive retribution, they came to appreciate his [Ali's] honesty, his unbending devotion to the reign of Islam, his deep personal loyalties, his equal treatment of all his supporters, and his generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies."
Some Eighty percent of the 1.3 billion Muslims around the world at present follow the concepts instilled by the Ommayad rulers after the systematic destruction of the infrastructure established by the Prophet (sw). They replaced Islam in original with a pirated brand followed by plenty of annexations by a chain of despots. The Ommayad rulers had an autocratic trend similar to the pre-Islamic tribal leaders of Mecca. Because of their numerous political blunders, they were in need of the theory of Predestination (humans are not responsible for their deeds) that starkly contradicts one of the basic concepts of the Noble Quran. For references, check Quranic verses 13:11, 8:23, 8:29, 8:53 and most importantly 91:8-10. No surprise that more than 13 centuries have passed yet the school known as "Sunnism" is only sliding from bad to worse, proudly using acts of corruption, treachery and extravagance as the ideals of life.
Much too tragic for words !!