Talk:Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
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Can somebody buff up this article? -- Zoe
Come on historians, this guy was a pivotal figure in Ummayad history, the person who reformed it and gave way to the future expansions that made the Ummayad Empire the second largest in history, after it was facing utter destruction from its internal struggles. There has got to be alot more to this article, alot.
Sorry - not much is actually known about 'Abd al-Malik than is given in the article. I agree the emphasis is skewed. I will come back and edit the article soem day. Kleinecke 16:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Miramammona ~ Mirama ?
I can do that. there is much more actually. There are some reports about Abd al-Malik preserved here and there. I did as a matter of fact collect much of them. I did put for example some stuff at the Dome of the rock page. I will do my best to help out but I am quite busy too these days :( Almaqdisi talk to me 08:37, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks alot guys, keep up the effort.
Please forgive my ignorance, but I am confused. I happened across the Tabi‘un article, and Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (with a link to this article) is listed under Negative view, although no reason is given. I quickly read through this article to find out why and I could not find any information.
If I missed some obvious answer in this article, I apologize; I'm a bit tired today. But otherwise I think there should be a section comparing and contrasting how he is viewed by Sunnis and Shias and possibly others, since he seems to be a significant figure. If we are talking about two different people with similar names and this article's Abd al-Malik is held in high esteem by most Islamic groups, that should be clarified in both articles.
The photo in the coin
Robert Hoyland gives a very convincing argument that the figure in the so-called "Standing Caliph" coin of Abdulmalik represents not Abdulmalik but Muhammad.
The first coin was minted in 74 AH / 693-694 CE and they were in circulation for three years. Afterwards imagery was dropped in coins.
Muhammad died 10 AH, 632 CE and there were still some Companions alive who had seen Muhammad when the coins were minted.
R. Hoyland, "Writing The Biography Of The Prophet Muhammad: Problems And Solutions", History Compass, 2007, Volume 5, pp. 13-14.
Postscript: Muhammad or Abd al-Malik? In AH 72/AD 691 -92, having just successfully ended a long-running civil war (66 -72/685 -92) and completed the stunning Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem with its message to Christians to respect God's Oneness and Muhammad as God's Messenger, the caliph vAbd al-Malik decided to Islamicise a little the coins used in his realm, which had up till then been copies/imitations of the Byzantine and Iranian coin types. In particular, he removed the transverse bars of the crosses67 and introduced the Muslim profession of faith: 'There is no god but God alone; Muhammad is the Messenger of God'. The Byzantine emperor Justinian II (685-95, 705-11) responded with an even more startling innovation: he relegated the image of himself to the reverse of the coin and put on the front a human effigy of Jesus Christ, both unprecendented moves (Fig. 1): In retaliation Abd al-Malik placed an image of a standing human bearing a sword in a scabbard68 on the front of his coins, the earliest dated is 74/693-9469 (Fig. 2): This is generally assumed to be a representation of the caliph himself and so the coins are known as the 'standing caliph' coins.70 However, there are a number of reasons to doubt this: Firstly, it ignores the war in visual and verbal propaganda going on between Justinian II and vAbd al-Malik and the wider issue of the use of religious images and slogans that was being hotly debated at this time.71 If, in response to Justinian's demotion of himself to the reverse of Byzantine coins in favour of Christ's effigy on the front, vAbd al-Malik had merely put his own image on the front of Muslim coins, it would have seemed a very feeble reply in the view of Christians; rather, the obvious move for him would have been to put an image that would challenge that of the image of Christ, which could only be that of the Prophet Muhammad himself. The very dramatic nature of these changes, their closeness in time, their evidently polemical overtones and enormous propaganda impact (coins circulate very widely) at a time of great tension (in particular, the Byzantines suffered a major defeat at Sebastopolis in 73/692-93) make it essential for these two innovations to be considered together. Secondly, it ignores the context of the Arab civil war of 685-92 in which religion had played a major role for diverse groups clamouring for greater social justice, and vAbd al-Malik saw the chance to steal their thunder and to heal the divisions among the Muslim community by putting Islam at the heart of the state. Henceforth, the name of the Prophet Muhammad, which had been absent from all state media (i.e. administrative documents, monumental inscriptions, etc.), became de rigeur on every official text and became pretty much standard in epitaphs and graffiti. This makes it unlikely that the image on the front of vAbd al-Malik's new coins was himself, which would have been condemned by Muslims as an imitation of infidel kings, and much more likely that it is a religious personage, again most obviously Muhammad himself. Thirdly, the iconography of the person on vAbd al-Malik's coinage is closer to that of Justinian II's Christ figure than to an emperor figure: both have long, flowing hair and are bearded,72 and both are without headgear (i.e. no turban or crown).73
Fourthly, the standing-figure coins of Jerusalem, Harran and al-Ruha (Edessa) do not, unlike those of other mints, name the Prophet Muhammad and the Caliph vAbd al-Malik, but only mention Muhammad. As Clive Foss has remarked, 'ever since the inception of portrait coinage in the Hellenistic period, the image and superscription had gone together, that is, the inscription names the figure portrayed . . . I know of no coin where the obverse inscription refers to someone different from the figure portrayed'.74 Fifthly, the objection sometimes raised, that Muslim religious authorities would have forbidden the image of the Prophet to be placed on the coins, is not really valid. It is certainly true that around this time, or shortly afterwards, the question of what images were admissible and in what context became a hot topic,75 and indeed the fifteenth-century Egyptian historian al-Maqrizi quotes a report to the effect that when the new coins of Abd al-Malik reached the surviving companions of Muhammad in Medina,'they disapproved of their engraving, for it contained an image, although Said ibn al-Musayyab (a famous lawyer of Medina) bought and sold with them finding no fault with them at all'.76 BernardZ (talk)