Difference Between the Abbasid & Umayyad Empire


After the death of Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic world was split into two factions – one led by Husain, who believed that only blood descendants of Ali could lead, and another group known as Sunnis, who believed any Muslim could be a leader. The Umayyad Dynasty, led by Muawiyah, ruled for nearly 100 years before being overthrown by the Abbasid Dynasty, which ruled for almost 500 years until the Mongols took over in 1258 AD.

Differences between Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasties

– While both dynasties shared the Muslim faith, their focuses were different. Umayyad’s had a greater interest in the Mediterranean coast, while Abbasids focused on the plains of Iran and Iraq. This shift in focus led to changes in the important regions and the capital of the Islamic world shifting from Damascus to Baghdad.

– The role and status of women differed between the two dynasties. Women were treated with respect and had an important role in Umayyad Dynasty, but their position degraded during Abbasid Dynasty, with veiling and seclusion becoming common.

– Umayyad Dynasty did not actively seek conversions to Islam, resulting in minimal growth in the number of Muslims. In contrast, Abbasids accepted non-Muslims into their fold, leading to a significant increase in the Muslim population worldwide.

– Umayyad’s focused on military expansion and conquest, while Abbasids prioritized the expansion of knowledge and intellectual pursuits.

– Umayyad Muslims are referred to as Sunnis, while Abbasid Muslims are known as Shiites.

– Umayyad Dynasty was aggressive and aimed for territorial expansion, while Abbasid Dynasty was content with its inherited empire.

Overall, these differences in orientation, treatment of women, attitude towards conversion, and focus on military or intellectual pursuits laid the foundation for the future of Islam in the world.


1. The Umayyad Dynasty ruled for nearly 100 years from 661 to 750 AD, while the Abbasid Dynasty, which overthrew the Umayyad Dynasty, ruled for nearly 500 years from 750 to 1258 AD. The Abbasid Dynasty was eventually overthrown by the Mongols in 1258 AD.

2. The Umayyad Dynasty had a greater interest in the Mediterranean coast, while the Abbasid Dynasty focused on the plains of Iran and Iraq. This shift in focus led to changes in the territories and capitals associated with each dynasty.

3. The role and power of women differed between the Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasties. Women in the Umayyad Dynasty were treated with respect, not secluded, and their advice was considered important. However, their position in society degraded during the Abbasid Dynasty.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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