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Queens, Eunuchs and Concubines in Islamic History, 661-1257$
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Taef El-Azhari

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423182

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423182.001.0001

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The Umayyad Empire and the Establishment of a Royal Court, 661–750

The Umayyad Empire and the Establishment of a Royal Court, 661–750

(p.57) 1 The Umayyad Empire and the Establishment of a Royal Court, 661–750
Queens, Eunuchs and Concubines in Islamic History, 661-1257

Taef El-Azhari

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the huge and rapid military expansion of the Arab Umayyads and its impact on genders. It resulted in the creation of massive numbers of women taken as slaves- sabaya- which was permitted according to the classical reading of the Qur’an. Men on the other hand, refuse to apply the same right of women according to the Qur’an. The only woman to come forward to fight Umayyad invasion, was Queen Dihya of the Berbers in North Africa. The Umayyad failed to learn from such model, and Muslims who came afterwards did not attempt to follow such example of women rulers. The Umayyads tried to follow the Prophet’s model of political marriage to boost their rule, using women as a trophy. Caliph al-Walid II created his realm of desires gathering thousands of concubines around him, which some had limited political influence. On the other hands, one see the usage of eunuchs as guards to the harem section, following the Prophet’s model.

Keywords:   Queen of The Berbers, Umayyad Empire, Empire of Concubines, Caliph al-Walid II, Political marriage, Realm of desires

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