c.602 - 680
Arab Caliph

Mo'awiya was the real founder of the Omayyad (also Umayyad) dynasty . From his power base in Damascus Mo'awiya sent military expeditions as far as Kabul, Samarkand and Bukhara.

Mo'awiya, or Mu'awiyah, was a cousin of Othman and governor of Syria when Ali succeeded Othman as caliph. Aisha, Mohammed's widow, accused Ali of complicity in Othman's murder whereas Mo'awiya challenged his rival Ali for the Caliphate in an Arab civil war and defeated him.

The last chance to avert a split between the Shi'ah (followers of Ali) and the Omyyads was lost when Ali's son Husayn was ambushed and killed at Karbala in Iraq in 680.

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