Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr
Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam (Arabic: عبد الله ابن الزبير ابن العوام, romanized: ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-ʿAwwām; May 624 – October/November 692) was the leader of a caliphate based in Mecca that rivaled the Umayyads from 683 until his death. The son of al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam and Asma bint Abi Bakr, Ibn al-Zubayr belonged to the Quraysh, the leading tribe of the nascent Muslim community, and was the first child born to the Muhajirun, Islam's earliest converts. As a youth, he participated in the early Muslim conquests alongside his father in Syria and Egypt, and later played a role in the Muslim conquests of North Africa and northern Iran in 647 and 650, respectively. During the First Muslim Civil War, he fought on the side of his aunt A'isha against Caliph Ali (r. 656–661). Though little is heard of Ibn al-Zubayr during the subsequent reign of the first Umayyad caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680), it was known that he opposed the latter's designation of his son, Yazid I, as his successor. Ibn al-Zubayr, along with much of the Quraysh and the Ansar, the leading Muslim groups of the Hejaz (western Arabia), opposed the caliphate becoming an inheritable institution of the Umayyads.
Ibn al-Zubayr established himself in Mecca where he rallied opposition to Yazid (r. 680–683), before proclaiming himself caliph in the wake of Yazid's death in 683, marking the beginning of the Second Muslim Civil War. Meanwhile, Yazid's son and successor died weeks into his reign, precipitating the collapse of Umayyad authority across the Caliphate, most of whose provinces subsequently accepted the suzerainty of Ibn al-Zubayr. Though widely recognized as caliph, his authority was largely nominal outside of the Hejaz. By 685, the Umayyad Caliphate had been reconstituted under Marwan I in Syria and Egypt, while Zubayrid authority was being challenged in Iraq and Arabia by pro-Alid and Kharijite forces. Ibn al-Zubayr's brother Mus'ab reasserted Ibn al-Zubayr's suzerainty in Iraq by 687, but was defeated and killed by Marwan's successor Abd al-Malik in 691. The Umayyad commander al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf proceeded to besiege Ibn al-Zubayr in his Meccan stronghold, where he was ultimately slain in 692.
Through the prestige of his family ties and social links with the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his strong association with the holy city of Mecca, Ibn al-Zubayr was able to lead the influential, disaffected Muslim factions opposed to Umayyad rule. He sought to reestablish the Hejaz as the political center of the Caliphate. However, his refusal to leave Mecca precluded him from exercising power in the more populous provinces where he depended on his brother Mus'ab and other loyalists, who ruled with virtual independence. He thus played a minor active role in the struggle carried out in his name.