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`Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan

Born in Mecca (646/647), died in Damascus 705. Son of Marwan al-Hakim and fifth caliph of the Umayyad dynasty. He spent the first half of his life in Medina. In 685 he ascended the throne and reigned until his death.

The first years of his rule are characterized by ongoing wars against the troops of two brothers, sons of Zubayr (a cousin of Muammad) - who ruled Hijaz and sections of Iraq - as well as against some tribes who rebelled against the Umayyads. Following ĎAbd al-Malikís victory over the Zubayr brothers in 692, the Muslim kingdom united under the Umayyad caliph. From this time on ĎAbd al-Malik engaged himself in consolidating his rule and reorganizing his kingdom, including massive construction throughout the empire. ĎAbd al-Malik had his administrative staff translate their principle papers into Arabic, so that the Arab rulers would understand them. All official correspondence was to be written in Arabic. The major administrative reform was in the numismatic field, where ĎAbd al-Malik was the first to set a uniform coin - a dinar that weighed 4.25 grams. These dinars had Arabic inscriptions, excluding any images.

ĎAbd al-Malik is responsible for many construction projects throughout the country. He was the builder of the two major edifices on Temple Mount: the Dome of the Rock (begun in 688 and completed in 691/2) and the first stone structure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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