Abd al-Malik (äbˌdŏl-mälĭkˈ) [key], c.646–705, 5th Umayyad caliph (685–705); son of Marwan I. At his accession, Islam was torn by dissension and threatened by the Byzantine Empire. With the help of his able general al-Hajjaj, Abd al-Malik overthrew the rival caliphs and united Islam. His battles with Byzantine forces were without final result. An able administrator, he reorganized the government and introduced Arabic coins, improved postal facilities, and made Arabic the official language.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.