THERE are many lessons in history from which we have failed to learn. Among those lessons is what had happened in the sixth century to the Ummayad Empire, which is considered to be the greatest Islamic empire in history. Despite its greatness, it did not stay in power for long.
The rule of Ummayad Dynasty fell after 88 years only because of the wrong decisions that it took during desperate times when the dynasty feared its adversaries who knew how to use the element of intimidation and threat to get what they desired. At that time, these adversaries did not hide their intentions to take over the rule.
Even though the year 750 is registered in history as the year when the Ummayad Dynasty fell, its gradual fall actually began a decade earlier when the caliphates kept their enemies close and distanced themselves away from their friends and allies.
During that period of time, the caliphates thought their decision to keep their enemies close would save them from the evil of those who were eyeing the throne. The allies were “comrades” who would never let go of the dynasty, because of which they were kept far away from the center of the rule.
It is through such decisions that the seeds of the dynasty’s fall were planted in the caliphate, which can be described as the one that rendered Islam to spread internationally.
After the fall of the Ummayad Dynasty, the Abbasid Dynasty took over. The Abbasids were also known as “blacks” due to their black turbans and flags, similar to the current “DAESH”.
The Abbasids did not show mercy even to a child, an elderly or a woman from the Ummayad Dynasty. In fact, they excavated the graves of their leaders and scattered their remains in a bid to fulfill their lust for revenge.
In this manner, the Ummayads lost their rule and graves; even the remnants of their existence were lost.
Some of those who were not among the allies of Ummayad had opted to align themselves with the enemies. This is because they found the market of the state antagonists more profitable than forming alliances with Ummayad or defending it. Unfortunately, some of the countries today fail to learn from this exemplary reality.
There are some who do not believe there are laws that govern the relations between the ruler and the ruled. Fear instead dominates them to the extent that they relinquish their authorities in order to buy the evilness of their adversaries, who are not hiding their mission to attain power and to tailor the state based on their interests and thoughts.
We invoke this historic lesson at a time when history appears to be repeating itself. It seems as though we are living in the final years of the Ummayad Dynasty whereby those who are publicly declaring their intention to renegade are being kept close and pampered, and antagonists continue to openly boost their control and influence, while the “allies” of the state have to bear the unfairness of kinship.
They openly raise their renegade flag on the law without any consideration for the establishment or fate of the state and its people. They corrupt everything through banters and lies, and cross all lines.
Unfortunately, some of the governments sometimes fall for such kind of disgraced naïve imposters. These governments shiver and hide their claws whenever they hear any yelp.
Those people flashily practice their outlawry, as though they are saying, “I am drowning; therefore, there is no point in fearing getting wet”. If that is their situation, would the response be more of a retreat and not holding them accountable for their actions, and instead keeping them close and making it easy for them to destroy the state from the inside? Or will they stand on the hands of the law which is implemented on the seniors before the juniors?
The Ummayad Empire poisoned itself — voluntarily — because of their assumed ability to bring close the enemy in order to entice and tame them.
Will history repeat itself? Or will it be a lesson for generations to learn from? In other words, shouldn’t we learn from history so that we do not commit past mistakes?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times