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Question Assess the main achievements of the first four caliphs 632 to 661 AD How powerful and united was the Arab Empire at the death of Ali 1996 Abu Bakr was the father-in-law of Mohammed and was the first converts to Islam After the demise of Mohammed Abu Bakars main objective was to maintain the heritage of the prophet However distance tribes refused to recognize Abu Bakrs authority as their treaty relation was with the late Mohammed only Thus after learning about the death of Mohammed their nomadic instincts recoiled at the prospect of being subordinate to the men at Medina These tribes refused allegience to Abu Bakr Mohammeds successor as they felt that they had no part in electing him This repudiation is known as The Ridda or Apostasy In fact many of the tribes involved had never formally adopted Islam and thus they reverted to paganism soon after the death of Mohammed In order to reassert control over Medina Abu Bakr sent Khalid one of the pagan Korayish military leaders Mohammed converted on entering Mecca to reconvert these tribes He succeeded and the Arabs members who were now convinced of the power of the Medina expanded his Moslem army Khalid also launched a surprise invasion eastward across the Euphrates and surrounded the provincial capital of Hira Being a Ummayad Abu Bakr had political and military powers to complement his religious authority and at the start of Abu Bakrs reign the Arabs were able to conquer the whole of the Middle East In less than a century the mobile Moslems were able to successfully defeat the Byzantine and in the entire fertile cresent At about 634 when Khalid was marching into Damascus Omar another Ummayad succeeded Abu Bakr as the next Caliph Omar being more worldly and ambitious asserted control over the raiding armies and gain control over the independent and far flung army commanders who were left to make their
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