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Al-Walid I
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Al-Walid I

Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik or Al-Walid I (668 - 715) was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 705 - 715. He continued the expansion of the Islamic empire that was sparked by his father, and was an effective fuler.

Al Walid I was the eldest son of Abd al-Malik and succeeded him to the caliphate upon his death. Like his father, he continued to allow Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef free rein, and his trust in Al-Hajjaj paid off with the successful conquests of Transoxiana, Sindh, and Spain. Hajjaj was responsible for picking the generals who led these successful campaigns, and was well known from his own successful campaign against Ibn Zubayr during the reign of Al-Walid's father.

Al-Walid himself continued the effective rule that was characteristic of his father, he developed a welfare system, built hospitals, educational institutions and measures for the appreciation of art. Al-Walid himself was a great fan of architecture and he repaired and refurbished Masjid al Nabawi in Medina. In addition, he had the Christian Basilica of St. John the Baptist converted to a great mosque, now known as the Great Mosque of Damascus or simply the Umayyad Mosque (John the Baptist is considered a Prophet of Islam and is known as Yahya). Al-Walid also greatly expanded the military, building a strong navy.

He was also known for his own personal piety and many stories tell of his continual reciting of the Quran and the large feasts he would host for fasters during Ramadan. Al-Walid was succeeded by his brother Suleiman.

Preceded by:
Abd al-Malik
Umayyad Leader Succeeded by:
Suleiman
Caliph