The Caliphate under the Omayyads of Damascus, and then the Abbasids of Bagdad, became the principal power in the nearer East.
The last false prophet was M'hammad or Ahmat bar Bisbat (Mahomet), but Anosh, who remained close beside him and his immediate successors, prevented hostilities against the true believers, who claim to have had in Babylonia, under the Abbasids, four hundred places of worship. Subsequent persecutions compelled their withdrawal to `Ammara in the neighbourhood of Wasit, and ultimately to Khuzistan.
Without being intolerant, the Turks were a rougher and ruder race than the Arabs of Egypt whom they displaced; while the wars between the Fatimites of Egypt and the Abbasids of Bagdad, whose cause was represented by the Seljuks, made Syria (one of the natural battle-grounds of history) into a troubled and unquiet region.
It was the disunion of the Syrian amirs, and the division between the Abbasids and the Fatimites, that made possible the conquest of the Holy City and the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusalem.
Moawiya, the first Omayyad caliph, chose Damascus for his residence; but in 750 the capital of the empire was removed by the Abbasids to Bagdad.