Al-Walid ibn Marwan

Born on 668

Died on 715

Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan;

(Arabic: الوليد بن عبد الملك ابن مروان‎, romanized: al-Walīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān; circa 674 – 23 February 715), commonly known as al-Walid I (Arabic: الوليد الأول‎), was the sixth Umayyad caliph, ruling from October 705 until his death.

Al-Walid was the eldest son of his predecessor Caliph Abd al-Malik (r. 685–705). While still a prince, he led annual raids against the Byzantines in 695–698 and built or restored fortifications along the Syrian Desert route to Mecca. He became the heir apparent after the death of Abd al-Malik’s brother and designated successor, Abd al-Aziz ibn Marwan, in 704. Al-Walid largely continued his father’s policies of centralization and expansion, and heavily depended on al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, his father’s powerful viceroy over the eastern half of the Caliphate. During his reign, Umayyad armies conquered the Maghreb, Hispania, Sind and Transoxiana, expanding the Caliphate to its largest territorial extent. War spoils from the conquests allowed al-Walid to finance public works of great magnitude, including the Great Mosque of Damascus, the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. He was the first caliph to institute programs for social welfare, aiding the poor and handicapped in Syria. Though it is difficult to ascertain al-Walid’s direct role in the affairs of his caliphate, his reign was marked by domestic peace and prosperity and likely represented the peak of Umayyad power.