Abu Awn Abd al-Malik ibn Yazid

Abū ʿAwn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Yazīd al-Khurasānī (Arabic: أبو عون عبدالملك بن يزيد الخراساني‎; fl. 747–784/5) was an early supporter of the Abbasids from Jurjan, who participated in the campaigns of the Abbasid Revolution and served as governor of Egypt and Khurasan.

Abu Awn Abd al-Malik ibn Yazid
أبو عون عبدالملك بن يزيد الخراساني
Abbasid Governor of Egypt
In office
751–753
Monarchal-Saffah
Preceded bySalih ibn Ali
Succeeded bySalih ibn Ali
Abbasid Governor of Egypt
In office
755–758
Monarchal-Mansur
Preceded bySalih ibn Ali
Succeeded byMusa ibn Ka'b
Abbasid Governor of Khorasan
In office
766 – 767
(one year)
Monarchal-Mānsur
Preceded byHumayd ibn Qahtaba
Succeeded byMu'adh ibn Muslim
Personal details
BornUmayyad Caliphate
Died784/785
Abbasid Caliphate
Cause of deathillness
ChildrenAwn ibn Abd al-Malik
FatherYazid

BiographyEdit

Abd al-Malik was a native Persian from Jurjan, who had become a mawla of the tribe of Huna'a (a part of the Azdi group). According to Patricia Crone, despite his support of the Abbasids, "his names reveal a pro-Umayyad background".[1] He was the leader of the Abbasid missionary movement (the Da'wa) in his native Jurjan (along with Amir ibn Isma'il and Khalid ibn Barmak), and one of the senior members of the movement in Khurasan in general.[2][3] Indeed, he was the first recipient of the black banners which came to symbolize the Abbasid dynasty.[4] When the Abbasid Revolution broke out in June 747, he was named as the commander of a unit recruited from Jurjan, and sent to suppress the Kharijites in the region, a task which he carried out with success.[2][5]

He participated in the westwards campaign against the Umayyads under Qahtaba ibn Shabib al-Ta'i, and reached with him the borders of Iraq. There Qahtaba sent him north to Shahrazur to counter an Umayyad army under Uthman ibn Sufyan threatening his right flank. Abu Awn joined forces with another Abbasid force under Amir ibn Isma'il, and a local tribal chieftain, but his forces, some 4,000 men, remained inferior to the Umayyad army. Nevertheless, he decided to attack, and on 10 August 749, his army routed the forces of Uthman (who according to some accounts fell in the battle) and captured the district of Shahrazur.[6][7]

Despite the presence of Caliph Marwan II with the main Umayyad army nearby in the Jazira, Abu Awn was not molested by the Umayyads,[8] and was able to join the new Abbasid general, Abdallah ibn Ali, in the decisive Battle of the Zab on 25 January 750, which resulted in the defeat and flight of Marwan II and the capitulation of the Umayyad heartland, Syria.[6]

While Abdallah ibn Ali remained in Palestine, he dispatched his brother, Salih ibn Ali, along with Abu Awn to continue the pursuit of Marwan II, who fled to Egypt in May/June 750. Salih and Abu Awn invaded the country, and in August 750 the last Umayyad resistance was crushed at Busir, with Marwan II and many of his followers being killed.[6][9] Salih became the new governor of Egypt, and was succeeded by Abu Awn in 751. Abu Awn served as governor until 753, when Salih returned to the post, and again in 755–758.[10][11]

Abu Awn re-appears in 766/67, when he participated in the suppression of the revolt of Ustadhsis in Khurasan.[1][6] When Ustadhsis, hard-pressed by the armies of Khazim ibn Khuzayma al-Tamimi, decided to surrender, he chose to submit himself and his followers to the arbitration of Abu Awn (whom some sources suggest he personally knew, perhaps from the time of the Abbasid Revolution). Abu Awn ordered the arrest and deportation of Ustadhsis and his family to Baghdad, but let the remainder of his followers, some 30,000 men, to go free.[12]

He was named governor of Khurasan in 775/76, but was dismissed the following year for failing to suppress the rebellion of al-Muqanna, and replaced by Mu'adh ibn Muslim.[6][11][13] According to Hugh N. Kennedy, he died ca. 784/785.[11][14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Crone (1980), p. 174
  2. ^ a b Sharon (1990), p. 197
  3. ^ Daniel (1979), pp. 40, 49
  4. ^ Daniel (1979), pp. 40–41
  5. ^ Daniel (1979), p. 76
  6. ^ a b c d e Zetterstéen (1960), p. 108
  7. ^ Sharon (1990), pp. 207–208
  8. ^ Sharon (1990), pp. 208–209
  9. ^ Kennedy (1998), p. 76
  10. ^ Kennedy (1998), pp. 76–77
  11. ^ a b c Kennedy (1990), p. 48 note 121
  12. ^ Daniel (1979), p. 135
  13. ^ Daniel (1979), p. 142
  14. ^ Elton (1979), p. 146

SourcesEdit

  • Crone, Patricia (1980). Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52940-9.
  • Daniel, Elton L. (1979). The Political and Social History of Khurasan under Abbasid Rule, 747–820. Minneapolis & Chicago: Bibliotheca Islamica, Inc. ISBN 0-88297-025-9.
  • Kennedy, Hugh, ed. (1990). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume XXIX: Al-Mansūr and al-Mahdī, A.D. 763–786/A.H. 146–169. SUNY Series in Near Eastern Studies. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0142-2.
  • Kennedy, Hugh (1998). "Egypt as a province in the Islamic caliphate, 641–868". In Petry, Carl F. (ed.). Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume One: Islamic Egypt, 640–1517. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62–85. ISBN 0-521-47137-0.
  • Sharon, Moshe (1990). Revolt: the social and military aspects of the ʿAbbāsid revolution. Jerusalem: Graph Press Ltd. ISBN 965-223-388-9.
  • Zetterstéen, K.V. (1960). "Abū ʿAwn". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J.; Lewis, B. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I: A–B. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 108. OCLC 495469456.
Preceded by
Salih ibn Ali
Governor of Egypt
751–753
Succeeded by
Salih ibn Ali
Preceded by
Salih ibn Ali
Governor of Egypt
755–758
Succeeded by
Musa ibn Ka'b
Preceded by
Humayd ibn Qahtaba
Governor of Khurasan
766–767
Succeeded by
Mu'adh ibn Muslim