Iran 750 CE

Iran, a province of the Arab empire and a centre of opposition to the Umayyad caliphate.

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What is happening in Iran in 750CE

Iran was the centre of the huge Sasanian empire until it was attacked by Arab forces in the 630s. By the end of the 640s almost all Iran was in Arab hands. The last Sasanian emperor was murdered as he fled Muslim forces in northern Iran, in 653.

Arab settlers arrived in some numbers, but, rather than forming a separate military elite, as elsewhere, they became a peasantry, soon merging with the native people.

The Umayyad regime, which ruled the Islamic Caliphate after 661, was based in distant Syria, and saw Iran merely as a source of taxation. It did not maintain the irrigation system properly, and farmland was lost to the encroaching wasteland. The Umayyads also failed to maintain peace within Iran. The condition of the bulk of the peasants, as well as of the merchants, deteriorated.

The Shi’ite sect became the rallying point for discontent against the Umayyad regime amongst Muslims, and was particularly strong in the eastern provinces of the Caliphate. In 747, it mixed with resentment caused by high taxation and Umayyad oppression in northern Iran to flare into open revolt under a leader known as Abu Muslim. This rebellion soon gathered popular support and its forces overwhelmed the Umayyad army sent against it. The Umayyad regime came to a violent end and the new ‘Abbasid line of caliphs was established.

 

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