Ommiad calif who ruled at Damascus 685 to 705, and who, unlike his predecessors, was not very religious, but showed a certain tolerance toward the Jews, who hitherto had been roughly handled. Abd-al-Malik, indeed, employed as minister a Jew named Someir.
On the accession of the Ommiad dynasty, in 661, a marked change took place in the policy of the califs, religious interests being superseded by a policy calculated to perpetuate the dynasty. In Abd-al-Malik's time Damascus displaced Medina as the seat of the califate, and this event was regarded as evidence that the spread of the Moslem faith was no longer to be the sole care of the princes of the ruling house. Close upon this and other innovations followed the splitting up of Islam into various sects, which broadened the religious horizon and brought to the Jews in Mohammedan countries a period of comparative peace.