Raja ibn Haywa

Raja ibn Haywa
Native name
رجاء بن حيوة
Bornc. 660
Beisan (Beit She'an), Jordan district
Died
Qussin, Kufa
Known forPlayed an important role in the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
TitleUmayyad caliphs political adviser
Parent(s)
  • Haywa ibn Khanzal (father)
Political adviser for Abd al-Malik
In office
685–705
Political adviser for al-Walid I
In office
705–715
Political adviser for Sulayman
In office
715–717
Political adviser for Umar II
In office
717–720

Rajaʾ ibn Ḥaywa ibn Khanzal al-Kindī was a prominent Muslim theological and political adviser of the Umayyad caliphs Abd al-Malik (r. 685–705), al-Walid I (r. 705–715), Sulayman (r. 715–717 and Umar II (r. 717–720). He was a staunch defender of the religious conduct of the caliphs against their pious detractors. He played an important role in the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem under Abd al-Malik. He became a mentor of Sulayman during the latter's governorship of Palestine and his secretary or chief scribe during his caliphate. He played an influential role in securing the succession of Umar II over Sulayman's brothers or sons and continued as a secretary to the new caliph. He spent the last decade of his life in retirement, though he maintained contact with Caliph Hisham (r. 724–743).

Early life

The ancient ruins of Beisan, Raja's hometown

Raja, known also by his kunya "Abūʾl-Miqdām" or "Abū Naṣr", was the son of a certain Haywa ibn Khanzal.[1] He was born in Beisan (Beit She'an) in the Jordan district before moving south to Palestine.[2][3][4] According to a report traced to Raja and recorded by the medieval Egyptian historian al-Suyuti (d. 1505), Raja ultimately considered himself a Jerusalemite.[5] His approximate year of birth was c. 660, during the early reign of the first Umayyad caliph, Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680).[1]

The 9th-century historian Khalifa ibn Khayyat mentions that Raja was a mawlā (non-Arab, Muslim client or freedman) of the Kinda.[1] Because of his family's residence in the Palestine or Jordan district of Syria, Raja is occasionally given the nisba (epithet) of al-Filasṭīnī ("the Palestinian") or al-Urdunnī ("the Jordanian").[6] The family likely hailed from or settled in an area inhabited by their Kindite tribal patrons, whose prominence in Syria had grown under Mu'awiya and further still under Caliph Marwan I (r. 684–685).[6]

Other Languages
العربية: رجاء بن حيوة