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Historical Facts

Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan

Making History from Damascus

Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan (608-680) was a member of “Banu Umayya”, a branch of the “Quraish” Arab tribe that ruled Mecca at the time of Prophet Mohammad.

Having opposed the Prophet and the religion of Islam initially, “Banu Umayya” eventually accepted the new religion and were instrumental in its spreading.

After the taking of Damascus by the Arab tribesmen and the expulsion of the Byzantines, Muawiya was appointed the ruler of Syria in the middle of the 7th century.

His wise rule earned him the respect and loyalty of the Christian Syrian population who later made up the core of the armies that went on to establish the Umayyad Empire.

Saidnaya Convent

Saidnaya Convent

The synergy between the Muslim Umayyads and the Christian population of Syria under Muawiya Bin Abi Sufyan went on to produce the largest empire the world has ever seen. This unique relationship can be witnesses first hand today in the convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya, 25km to the north of Damascus, where Muslim and Christian pilgrims can be seen praying together.