Banu Umayya

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This article is about the medieval Arabian clan. For the Islamic caliphate, see Umayyad Caliphate.

Banu Umayya (Arabic: بنو أمية ‎) was a clan in the Quraysh tribe named after Abd Shams ibn Abd Manaf's adopted son Umayya ibn Abd Shams.


Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf (Islamic prophet Muhammad's paternal great-grandfather) and 'Abd Shams ibn Abd Manaf were conjoined twins born with Hashim's leg attached to Abd Shams' head. It was said that they had struggled in the womb seeking to be firstborn. Their birth was remembered for Hashim being born with one of his toes pressed into the younger twin brother, Abd Shams's, forehead. Legend says that their father, 'Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, separated his conjoined sons with a sword and that some priests believed that the blood that had flown between them signified wars between their progeny (confrontations did occur between Abbasid Caliphate and Umayyad Caliphate in the year 750 AH).[1] The astrologers of Arabia predicted that Abd Munaaf had committed a grave error when he separated both of them by means of a sword. That which he had done was not regarded by them as a good omen.[2]

The Banu Umayya clan was named after Abd Shams ibn Abd Manaf's adopted son Umayya ibn Abd Shams.[3][4] Bani Umayyah had been enemies of the Bani Hashim since the time when Hashim banished his half-brother, Umayya ibn Abd Shams, from Mecca.[5]

The enmity and opposition between Bani Umayya and Bani Hashim began before the struggle for rulership and authority had occurred between them and before Islam had gained predominance. The reasons for this included tribal party spirit, superiority complex, old grudge, desire for vengeance of the murder of kinsmen, political views, personal sentiments, difference in ways of life and manner of thinking. Bani Umayya and Bani Hashim were the chiefs of Mecca and held high offices even during the age of ignorance. The chiefdom of Bani Hashim was spiritual, whereas that enjoyed by Bani Umayya was political and they were also tradesmen and possessed enormous wealth.[6]

Notable individuals of the Banu Umayya clan[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ibn Kathir; Le Gassick, Trevor; Fareed, Muneer. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad: Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya. p. 132. 
  2. ^ Razvi, Haafiz Mohammed Idrees (2009). Manifestations of the Moon Of Prophethood (PDF). Imam Mustafa Raza Research Centre Overport. p. 18. 
  3. ^ "Banu Hashim - Before the Birth of Islam". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Muslim Congress". Muslim Congress. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "The Bani Umayyah". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Bani Umayyah". Retrieved 1 August 2013.