Umayyad conquest of North Africa

Umayyad Conquest Of North Africa

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Umayyad conquest of North Africa

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The Umayyad conquest of North Africa continued the century of rapid Arab Muslim expansion following the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. By 640 the Arabs controlled Mesopotamia, had invaded Armenia, and were concluding their conquest of Byzantine Syria. Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad caliphate. And by the end of 641 all of Egypt was in Arab hands. Then, with the destruction of the Persian army at the Battle of Nihawānd (Nehawand) in 642, the conquest of the Persian Empire was essentially finished.

It was at this point that Arab military expeditions into North Africa were first launched by local initiative from Egypt, continuing for years and resulting in the spread of Islam.

In 644 at Damascus, Caliph Umar (Omar) was succeeded by Uthman ibn Affan (Othman), during whose twelve-year rule Armenia, Cyprus, and all of Iran, would be added to the growing Islamic empire; Afghanistan and North Africa would receive major invasions; and Muslim sea raids would range from Rhodes to the southern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. The Byzantine navy would be defeated in the eastern Mediterranean.

Sources for the history of the invasion

Before the accounts below are read, it should be realised that there are virtually no contemporary records of the conquest, and particularly of events outside Egypt. It should also be noted that, as the history of a war is usually written by the victors, Arab accounts of the conquest tend to predominate and possibly present a more favourable account of...
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