Articles, Blog

The Abbasid Revolution | 744CE – 786CE | The Birth of Islam Episode 08

October 17, 2019

In the year 744CE, Marwan II ascended to the throne of the caliphate. Little did he know that he would be the last Umayyad to do so. After ninety years of corruption, the throne was being pulled from under the Umayyad dynasty, once and for all. By 746CE, A man named Abu Muslim had taken control of Merv from the Umayyad governor and was now in full revolt. By 747CE, he had secured Khorasan and Persia. The Abbasids and their black standard were now moving towards Mesopotamia. They used a black flag in opposition to the Umayyads’ white flag. In 749CE, the Abbasid army crossed Euphrates and entered Kufa. By this point, the Abbasids were confident of their victory. So much so that Abul Abbas as-Saffah, the great-great grandson of Muhammad’s Uncle, al-Abbas, was declared caliph in Kufa. Marwan II tried to mobilize an army to defeat the Abbasids. The armies met at the Battle of the Zab on 25th of January, 750CE. Marwan’s army was defeated by Abbasids. This was the final nail in the Umayyad coffin. The revolution was more or less over. Marwan escaped to Egypt but was caught and killed. By April of that year, Damascus was secured by the Abbasids. The Umayyads were no more. Well, at least for now. #Foreshadowing. During the revolution, the Abbasids painted themselves as the exact opposite of the Umayyads. Where the Umayyad bureaucracy was made up mostly of Arabs, the Abbasids recruited soldiers of all ethnicities and ranked them by merit. Abu Muslim went up and down the Silk Road to find soldiers who would join them. He did all of this in secrecy before his attack on Merv. The revolution grew for more than forty years inside the Umayyad Caliphate, like Hydra inside of SHIELD. Even Abu Muslim’s name wasn’t real. We still don’t know what his name was. Or even if it was one man or many. Abu Muslim just means “Father of a Muslim”. He advocated for a member of Muhammad’s family to take the throne. The name of that member wasn’t revealed until the Umayyads were overthrown. That’s how secretive they were. Anyways, As-Saffah, whose name literally means “The Blood-shedder” took the title of the Caliph and established the Abbasid Dynasty, which would hold the title of Caliph till after the Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Umayyad princes were massacred in large numbers. They were chased and killed wherever they were found. The graves of Umayyad rulers were desecrated except for Umar II. The Abbasids even promised amnesty for Umayyad princes, gathered some eighty of them and massacred them. One prince, however, the great-grandson of Abd al-Malik named Abd al-Rahman escaped through Egypt and Africa. He was around twenty year of age at the time. He made his way to Al-Andalus or Hispania. After the muslim conquest of Spain, the Muslim population there was mostly Syrians and Berbers. Syrians, as you might remember, loved the Umayyads and Abd al-Rahman’s mother was Berber so he was able to secure enough support there to overthrow the governor there and establish an independent emirate. He created a safe haven for the supporters of the Umayyads and his own family, including his sisters, wife and children, whom he had left in Mesopotamia. On the other side, As-Saffah spent the next four years consolidating his control over the empire. In 751CE, the Abbasids met their Chinese neighbours in the Battle of the Talas River. The Tang Empire had been a powerful rival to the Umayyads in Central Asia. In As-Saffah’s attempt to consolidate his rule in Khorasan, his armies met the Chinese Army. The battle resulted in a victory for the Abbasids who moved to take almost all of Central Asia. As-Saffah died of Smallpox in 754CE, leaving the empire to his brother, Al-Mansur. Al-Mansur is often regarded as the real founder of the Abbasid Dynasty because of all the contributions he made to the empire. First thing he did as caliph was have Abu Muslim killed because that’s what you get for helping douchebags overthrow an empire. Abu Muslim had solid support throughout the empire due to his role in the rebellion. Al-Mansur took him out for a walk and had some of his guards kill him. After dispatching Abu Muslim, he dispatched an army to take back Al-Andalus. The Abbasid army surrounded Abd al-Rahman in a fortress in Carmona, in modern-day Spain. Abd al-Rahman knew that there was no way out so he handpicked some 700 of his men and lit up a fire and ordered his men to throw their scabbards into the fire. He told his men that he would rather die fighting than die of hunger so, he open the gates and attacked the unsuspecting Abbasid army. The Abbasid army was taken by surprise and Abd al-Rahman actually managed to defeat them. He cut off the heads of all the leaders of the army, preserved them in salt and sent them to al-Mansur, who was on a pilgrimage to Mecca at the time when he received those heads. There were even tags attached to the ears of each head to identify it. HOW GAME OF THRONES IS THAT?! On 30th of July, 762CE, Al-Mansur commissioned the construction of a new city. He chose a site north of Ctesiphon, which had been the Persian capital before the Muslim overthrew the Sassanid Empire. It took around four years to finish the construction. Baghdad was founded. At the core of Baghdad was a round city called The City of Peace which housed the Golden Gate Palace, which housed the Caliph. Eventually, this city would become the biggest city in the world, the center of learning and culture with more than a million inhabitants at its peak. The empire was starting to shift from an Arab empire to a more Persian one. The Abbasids were Arabs but it was the Persians who had helped bring them to power so they made sure not to alienate them. Arab bureaucracy was replaced by a Persian one. A new position of Vizier was established and more power was delegated to local Emirs and away from the caliph. Al-Mansur died in 775CE, his son Al-Mahdi took over the empire. During his reign, Baghdad became a metropolitan city. It attracted immigrants from all over the world. These immigrants brought with them, their cultures, religions and ideas. One of the most important ideas was Paper. See, Chinese actually invented paper but it wasn’t used anywhere else till the Muslims met the Chinese in the battle of the Talas river. Muslims conquered some previously Chinese areas and took paper from them. Eventually, paper became so important that Baghdad had a whole street dedicated to nothing but paper. All these factors combined made the perfect breeding ground for an intellectual revolution. This was the birth of the Islamic Golden Age. See you next time.


  • Reply Stormwind February 5, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I just found your channel earlier this week and I'm truly impressed at the production value and level of detail put into the these videos. I also admire the fact that instead of trying hiding your biases, you reveal them openly as to say "this is what I believe, feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt"(This became especially obvious when you mentioned that you were yourself Sunni when talking about the Sunni Shia split in a previous video). The one complaint that I have would be that you're speaking a little too fast. Other than that, this series is amazing.

  • Reply UsefulCharts February 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Another awesome video!

  • Reply Mursili February 8, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    GREAT JOB! I've always loved the history of Islam, thank you for making such a in-depth video!

  • Reply Alt-Centrist NeoBuddhist-AnarchoBonapartist February 9, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I'm really glad there is a channel about the history of islam without a really strong bias and saying how amazing islam is. It's really refreshing to see someone who seems genuinely interested in the history and talks about the people as though they're people. Thanks!

  • Reply Erik February 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    I found your channel through the colab with Usefullcharts; and your videos are really good.
    It has always been kinda hard for me as a non muslim to really find information about Islamic History, usualy when i have a question about a topic in history i just google it and most of the time that works out pretty well, but with islamic History there are just pages upon pages of loooooong arab names, plus i always wonder if my sources are biased in a way; because unlike with, say, a question about some medival german nobles, in Islam there is an active religious debate / dispute about who was in the right to succeed someone.
    I really appreciate that you meantion that you are sunni, but also try to show everything from a neutral side.
    If i had one thing to critizise its that you speak a little bit too fast; and it would be nice if you could show a "Latin" version of a Important persons name onscreen.

    A topic i would appreciate you to cover in the future would be the different sects in islam and what issues caused these Splits.

  • Reply Gilgal Biblewheel February 11, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Notice as Jesus warned:

    Revelation 2:15-16 (KJV)

    15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

    16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

    Notice that Islam became a threat from the start against Emperor Heraklios and Constantinople. But they repented in the 8th century under Leo III the Isaurian and his dynasty and then Leo V the Armenian reopened the Iconoclastic movement until the late 9th century.

    But all the Orthodox countries, it seems either embraced Catholicism and got their independence (like a part of Hungary and Croatia as far as I know) or fell under the rule of Islam. The rulers thought of joining the west under the Papacy after the crusades to maintain their authority but the people, after the 4th crusade of the Latins taking over Constantinople chose to be under Turkish rule (better Turkish than Papist they claimed) just as the oriental churches chose to be under Parthian rule centuries earlier and the middle eastern churches like Antioch and Alexandria chose to be under Arab Muslim rule with a small taxation for being Christians. This is the nature of compromise called Pergamos (perverted marriage).

    The Byzantine Rite fell under the domination of the Sword of Islam. God/Jesus always use the enemy against us when we don’t please him so that we would repent and seek his face. And only after that he would take our side against our enemies.

    It seems like all the Byzantine Rite fell under Islam with, perhaps except the Russians. But they also had wars with the Turks, eventually. But the west hardly had any Muslim invasions except when Spain and northern Africa was under Byzantine rule.

  • Reply lonely bigfoot with internet February 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I'm happy that finally there is someone who knows how to explain Islamic history I'm Abbasid Al-Mansor is my grandfather I come from the part of the Abbasids that escaped from the mongols to the city of Basra in the south of Iraq

  • Reply themajor February 21, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Just discovered your channel thanks to Useful Charts and I'm so happy I found it. It is so refreshing to have such a channel on Islamic history with a high production value created by a Muslim. I'm not Muslim myself but I find Islamic history utterly fascinating. Yet, almost all Islamic history I've read or have been taught has come from western sources, so this is a long overdue perspective. I really appreciate the small personal touches you put into videos by giving your own personal opinion on a historic event but still maintaining a critical approach. All in all, a very well done channel! Keep up the great work!

    One thing that has always fascinated me about Islam is the Shia/Sunni split. Do you have any plans to make a video detailing the split, the different developments of the both creeds and their current differences? Have there ever been any attempts to reconcile both sides? I would love to get your perspective on it.

  • Reply Eqra Arif February 22, 2019 at 12:40 am

    whennnnn will you upload next one?

  • Reply Hassan Abdulsalam March 17, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Abu muslim al khorasani destroyed arab umayyad empire

  • Reply Jacob Bowlin March 21, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Excellent video! I would love to see you cover the Mongol conquest of Mesopotamia and the battle of Ain Jalut.

  • Reply Ameer Osama Khan March 21, 2019 at 11:42 am

    do you operate you channel from Pakistan?

  • Reply innerparty1 March 21, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Hey dude, I found this channel via Knowledgia. First of all this topic (early Islamic history) is rarely talked about on other history channels, probably because many sources are in Arabic and other languages not spoken in Europe/NA. Therefore, I would like to thank you for your videos. Now, I want to tell you something about how to improve it. As others have told you, speak a bit slower and especially when pronouncing names because that's the most confusing thing for non-Arabic/Hindi speakers. Secondly, the art you are using is beautiful, however try to mix it more, you often use the same images too much (although I understand why, it's time consuming finding images for specific events). Finally, be a little more focused on characters. Tell us more about their motivations, family, their intent etc. Also, you can tell us what sources you are using.

    I subscribed to your channel and I am looking forward to your videos. Good job so far.

  • Reply Ibnziyad Tariq March 24, 2019 at 10:28 am

    5:05 i was expecting "with the support of no one but allah" xD, just shows you how pragmatic these rulers were and that it was never about this religion called islam

  • Reply ALMUIZ FATIMI March 24, 2019 at 11:57 am

    the name of abu muslim is : Ibrahim ibn khatkan

  • Reply Emperor Krayt March 24, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Sorry if I don't like all your video's im to busy watching them!

  • Reply Zaki RM March 25, 2019 at 11:08 am

    I just finished watching all your episodes you are making a very awesome content and I noticed that your Arabic language is good can I know where are u from ?

  • Reply Supreme Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction March 26, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    So baghdad is actually a post Islamic city. I thought it had older Persian roots as the name is clearly Persian. Bagh=God Dad= Given

  • Reply Supreme Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction March 26, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    5:57 pretty sure that's a Sasanian coin.

  • Reply Meesum Raza March 27, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Great channel and I am happy to see a fellow pakistani making such great content. Keep it up sir!

  • Reply Reggie Robillard March 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    It's nice to have this kind of resource available, given how extremely partisan most English sources are with regards to Muslim civilization. Good production quality too.

  • Reply iqrar cheema March 29, 2019 at 11:16 am

    bohat alaw. bhai Seljuk Dynasty py bhi videos banaein.

  • Reply Mercury March 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    What’s the name of the music piece used between 0:37 — 1:22 ??

  • Reply Abdul Ch April 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Yes Abbasids were douchebags

  • Reply Moha Amip April 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    I am not Arab so why am I watching these videos?!

  • Reply Amar Abidali April 3, 2019 at 2:48 pm

  • Reply Tamir Behar April 4, 2019 at 12:56 am

    You are talking too fast and swallowing your words mid-sentence.

    other than that, things look great.

  • Reply Nav Rhy April 4, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Jazak’Allah Khair

  • Reply Carrier up April 4, 2019 at 5:30 am

    You are talking too fast and swallowing your words mid-sentence.

    otherwise – good content

  • Reply Moulana Sama April 4, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Masha ALLAH brother great work loved it

  • Reply Ahmed ManiyarUni April 5, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I like the intro I see the crash course inspiration

  • Reply Hilmi Prabowo April 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm barmak ?

  • Reply Yang Max April 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Nice dude. which software did you use to make the production please?

  • Reply Dariush Khorasaani April 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    The abasids where cowards! It’s was a persian called muslim khorasaani who helped this cowards in power! The same fucking coward arabs killed him!

  • Reply deadhead532 April 6, 2019 at 11:49 am

    dude you need to slow down and raise your tone of voice and avoid monotunes.. you sound like a mumble rapper God dammit

  • Reply Faris Abdurrahman April 6, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Do a history on islamic indonesia please…. 👍👍👍

  • Reply Success4TheBest April 8, 2019 at 3:19 am

    are the Saudis the modern day Umayyeds?

  • Reply Ados Atavakron April 8, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Is this the same Marwan II who was governor of the campaign against the Savages that lived in between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea who would eventually called themselves the khazar Empire or the khazar khaganate? Somebody please respond because if I'm right or wrong I would really like to know. I'm very curious.

  • Reply DMC April 8, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Kurds fought alot with the ummayyeds

  • Reply Eric Husayn April 9, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Awesome video! Just discovered your channel…

  • Reply Ganda Bacha April 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    The Abbasids were Mujaddids

  • Reply Admiral Aladeen April 10, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    I am one of their descendents 😊

  • Reply Drswag 007 April 11, 2019 at 12:47 am

    Baghdad is the modern capital of Iraq a young country which gained independence from the ottoman empire (which you began videos on) which would be sacked by wait for it…the Mongols later the Safavids then the ottomans

  • Reply Albee Balcazar April 11, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Man, this is what ive been looking for
    History about islam with the graphical video

  • Reply A .D April 11, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Coins are Sassanian

  • Reply -البلوي ALBLOWI April 11, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    The Persian and the turk betrayed the Arab 🇸🇦✌

  • Reply Rafi Adaman April 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Abu Muslim Khorasani who was born in Balkh led his nation to revolt against the barbaric umayyad family…..
    Because these barbaric desert rats plagued Khorasan into chios…. They were murdering people and burning the world best libraries of the time in Khorasan…..
    But when they started to touch women is when people started to revolt….
    Khorasanians were too proud and civilised for slavery…
    Khorasan had no slavery……
    The only mistake Abu Muslim had was his Khorasanian gallantry, that eventually cost him his life….
    He should not have handed over the power to Abassids, since cowardness was an everyday life for those people ….
    Later, The Golden Age…..
    Most of the discoveries in the scientific field were due to the hard work of Khorasani scientists, like Al-khwarazi (Algorithm) Avicenna ( Pharmacology) and the many others….

  • Reply Galvarino April 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Ummayads were the one who killed prophets ancestors except Umer (RA) and Uthman the Umayyad deserve this

  • Reply Obsidian555 April 13, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Very, very informative. Thanks!

  • Reply 88真龙 April 13, 2019 at 5:56 am

    Hi good job on the video! I learnt a lot on the events within the empire which I was trying very hard to understand.

    Just one part I dun really understand is the douchebag to the throne thingy. Could you explain a little more?

  • Reply Faisal April 14, 2019 at 3:44 am

    I really like your videos except for the one major mistake you made in Part 1 believing the Prophet Muhammad PBUH to be a literate which is factually incorrect and is agreed upon by everyone that he couldn't read or write. I get your style of mentioning only the major points instead of every fine details and references. But in all of your videos that Part 1 line was a major folly.

  • Reply JD FROM NYC April 18, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    3:31 lol

  • Reply le5pacificateur From Osgiliath April 20, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Ma sha Allah, nice kakashi ^^.

    But Birth of Islam i disagree man ^^ Is no muslim say it and … … …

    Good vidéo.

  • Reply norten76 April 21, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I would love to listen to this…but the way he speaks is really challenging to follow, or even focus on.

  • Reply Storm Rider April 22, 2019 at 2:37 am

    Just find your Channel Instant love ! I just subscribed

  • Reply Ahmed Abbasi April 22, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Just a question, are u a sunni or a shia?

  • Reply Anthony! Senpai-kun~ April 22, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Sad that the Mongols had to utterly destroy the city that was once center of scientific advancements. Met the same fate as the Great Library of Alexanderia

  • Reply sean masters April 22, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    next video talk little faster,,, HAHAHA

  • Reply sean masters April 22, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    arabs dude,,, mohammed saw, though them islam,, after he died,, they became criminals untill today,,,, still corrupt and garbage

  • Reply sean masters April 22, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    if u talk faster,, u will be rapping HAHAHHA

  • Reply Ravi Hapani April 23, 2019 at 9:39 am

    The birth of terrorism.😐😐

  • Reply Aboelenein April 23, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    wowo! a decent Arabic/Muslim youtuber with good animation! …

  • Reply sharif kabir April 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    no one here said MashaAllah yet. so here, let me say the Prophetic words, MashaAllah!

    now.. where is the Subscribe button..

  • Reply Condobius April 24, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Just found this video today, it’s excellent! My only advice would be to slow down a bit

  • Reply Culpable Injustice May 1, 2019 at 5:31 am

    Abu Muslim Khorasani.

  • Reply rafsan pantho May 2, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    How game of thrones is that! I laughed out loud 😂

  • Reply Mohd Ashyraf May 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    You should follow the "Kings & Generals" channels way of narrating

    They narrate in the video with steady, relax & gentle way…it helps viewers to capture the information intended reasonably

    Learn from them dude…

    Unless you confusing viewers with your rushed & middle swallowed word…

    Nevertheless it started to drive attention & interest away

  • Reply Ahmad Arfaq May 16, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Abbasid era was golden age of Islam

  • Reply paolo stival May 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Just speak slower man. Everything else 10/10

  • Reply BLUE DOG June 8, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Are you saying, for 1,400 years
    Muslims did not kill + die for Allah ?

    Muslims always killed + died for a Rich Family Mafia ?
    Same as how Muslims now kill + die for the Rich Oil Mafia ?

    Why ?

  • Reply kishmish64 June 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    So basically they behaved totally opposite what Allah told us to do !!!!

  • Reply Mazir Abbasi June 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    All kneel, here I come to take the throne.

  • Reply jin kaz June 29, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Long live the mongols
    The destroyer of Islam

  • Reply Ali Al-Haris July 4, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Abu muslim is Imam Jaafar Alsadiq

  • Reply Dzaki Assuhud July 25, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    what happened between 786-833 ce???

  • Reply Mohamed najib Hamdi July 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    The reele name of abu muslim is Ibrahim ibn khatkan he was Perse the abbassides were sunnis even they predicate to rule of sons of oncle of prohet abbas and the beigining of their state semmes like shia but not they have on commun the hatred of ommeyade dynasty their are too related To each other in branch of tribe quoraych disant than the omeyyade but they don't agree who rules after the fall of omeyyade the allouide direct descendant of prophet see on themselves the priority in power not their cousins the abbassides the abbasside see on themselves priority bécause her révolution Who succed And destroy the omeeyade trone and all the révolution of the allouide was defeated by the omeyyade finally the allouide was the ancesstor of modern shia the hate the two of them omeyyades and abbasides And thème were oppose To theme technically saying abbasside were shia is wrong abbasside was sunni state who have begining similar to Shia in their political prédication and the révolution but when the state was established they clearly explain that were sunna not shia

  • Reply Fadi Estifani August 14, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Love The great İraq from Syria 😍😍🇮🇶🇸🇾🇮🇶🇸🇾

  • Reply Ibrahim Qureshae August 16, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    90 years of corruption? What are you on about? Why do you sound biased?

  • Reply Paki Tech August 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Abbasids be like"A good ummayad is a dead ummayad"

  • Reply safiullah khan August 30, 2019 at 5:26 am

    AOA! if possible, also make a video on Ottoman Empire, please! Apart from it, you are doing a splendid job which is really commendable! JazakAllah!

  • Reply silver moon September 13, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Tip: slow down the playback speed , that might help understand

  • Reply Sayed Jaffar Abbas September 26, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    The Abbasid were sunni not shia

  • Reply Shoaib Akram October 3, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Play the video at speed of 0.75 and enjoy.

  • Reply Don October 7, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    I whant a book that have this facts…
    What should I read?

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