• anonymous
Which of the following explains why the Umayyad Empire faced a series of revolts? The Umayyads did not permit descendants of Muhammad to rule. Muslim non-Arabs were granted more privileges than Muslim Arabs. The Umayyad leader Mu'awiya was held responsible for Muhammad's death. People of non-Islamic faiths did not have equal status to Muslims.
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • katieb
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  • anonymous
This is a tricky question. The one that likely makes the most sense is that the Umayyads did not permit the descendants of Muhammad to rule. More specifically, they were involved in the early battles that took the leadership from Imam Ali (cousin and brother-in-law to Muhammad) who was seen as having the most legitimate claim to rule. The Umayyads would then go on to establish their control of the Middle East and build an empire following that victory. Yet it would always be a persistent question of legitimacy that they were never able to shake and which would eventually be used as a rallying cry against them. The reason I pick this answer is because the Umayyads allowed non-Muslims some degree of equality - they could freely practice their religion and engage in theological discussions - however, they also regarded Arabs as the elite ruling class which also created problems. As one example, Persians (Iranians) were treated as second class citizens by the Umayyads. Arab Muslims held all of the most important offices in the empire. There were few opportunities to advance in their society if you weren't Muslim and especially if you were not an Arab. At the same time, the Umayyad empire had grown by leaps and bounds throughout the Middle East and spread across North Africa. Now they have all of these newcomers to the faith along with a large number of non-Muslims to tax and govern over. Despite this tolerance, there was always a glass ceiling in place that prevented any of them from moving too far up the administrative chain. Eventually, those who supported the descendants of Imam Ali organized and created strong opposition to the Umayyads as well as opening their ranks to the mawali (non-Arabs) who chafed under their restrictions and excesses. And as I have mentioned before, Muslim non-Arabs were not granted more privileges than Muslim Arabs - quite the opposite. The Umayyad leader was not held responsible for Muhammad's death, either, but the Umayyads were seen as playing a part in subverting the caliphate to their own control. The result? They were overthrown...and the Abbasid caliphate rolled into power with a much greater claim to its legitimacy - and with a much greater tolerance for everyone whether they were Arab or not.

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