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Yazid bin Abd al-Malik or Yazid II (687 - 724) ( ) was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 720 until his death in 724.

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari states Yazid came to power on the death of Umar II on February 10, 720 (v. 24, p. 91) . His forces engaged in battle the Kharijites with whom Umar had been negotiating. After initial setbacks, Yazid's troops prevailed and the Kharijite leader Shawdhab was killed. Yazid ibn al-Muhallab had escaped confinement on the death of Umar. He made his way to Iraq. There he was much supported. He refused to acknowledge Yazid II as caliph and led a very serious uprising. Initially successful, he was defeated and killed by the forces of Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik.

Numerous civil wars began to break out in different parts of the empire such as in the Al Andalusmarker (the Iberian Peninsulamarker), North Africa and in the east. In A.H. 102 (720-721) in Ifriqiyah, the harsh governor Yazid ibn Muslim was overthrown and Muhammad ibn Yazid, the former governor, restored to power. The caliph accepted this and confirmed Muhammad ibn Yazid as governor of Ifriqiyah.

Al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah, Yazid's governor in Armeniamarker and Azerbaijanmarker, pushed into the Caucuses, taking Balanjar in A.H. 104 (722-723). That same year Yazid's governor in Medinamarker, Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Dahhak, incurred the caliph's displeasure because the governor was exerting undue pressure trying to force a woman to marry him. She appealed to Yazid who replaced Abd al-Rahman with Abd al-Walid ibn Abdallah (at Tabari v. 24, p. 180f).

Theophanes the Confessor (p. 93) states that a wizard advised Yazid that he would reign for forty years, if he opposed Christian icons. Yazid did so, but died the same year he issued his iconoclastic decree. Anti-Umayyad groups began to gain power among the disaffected. Al-Tabari records that Abbasids were promoting their cause in A.H. 102 (720-721). They were already building a power base that they would later use to topple the Umayyads in CE 750.

An anecdote told of Yazid is that his wife Sudah learning he was pining for an expensive slave girl, purchased this slave girl and presented her to Yazid as a gift. This woman's name was Hababah and she predeceased Yazid (at Tabari v. 24, p. 196).

Yazid II died in 724 of tuberculosis. He was succeeded by his brother Hisham.

Bibliography

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, History v. 24 "The Empire in Transition," transl. David Stephan Powers, SUNY, Albany, 1989.

Theophanes the Confessor, The Chronicle of Theophanes, transl. Harry Turtledove, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1982


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