Summery clay tablets from the 3rd millennium BCE refer to Oman as one of the important markets for the economy of the Mesopotamian cities and for trade with the East. The sailors from Oman ruled the Indian Ocean, helping to link the Gulf with India, Indonesia and Indochina, and as the political-religious gathering took place in the 7th century AD (see Saudi Arabia), these connections became fundamental to the spread of Islam. The power of the caliphs was limited to approx. 690, in which Abd Al-Malik struck to limit dissemination of dissenting sects. It forced a number of defeated sheikhs to leave the country, and one of these – Prince Hamza – emigrated to Africa, where in 695 he founded Zanzibar (see Tanzania). Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Oman. This created the close links between Oman and the African coast that lasted until the 19th century.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of OMN which stands for Oman and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
From a religious point of view, the military intervention against religious opponents in Oman backfired, for it only helped to strengthen the jariyita hierarchy that assumed the name ibadí – for Abdallah Ibn Ibad, the most important priest of religion. Around 751, the Omanis exploited the legacy of Damascus to select an iman – the spiritual leader who gradually evolved into a real ruler. The lively sea trade with Africa, Indonesia and even Chinamade Oman a factor of power in the area, and the country was therefore subject to numerous invasions by the Caliphs of Baghdad, the Persians, the Mongols and tribes from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula, all of which were, however, defeated. However, the situation changed when the Portuguese arrived in the area in 1507. Their strong artillery crushed the navy and fortifications on the coast, thus paving the way for occupation of the most important cities and for control of the Strait of Hormuz. The Portuguese retained control for 150 years and tormented the trade in golf.
From 1630 the imman Nasir Ibn Murchid from the interior of the country began the fight against the occupying power. His son, Saif, completed the battle when in 1650 he was expelled from the Portuguese by Masqat, and in 1698 when the island of Zanzibar and Mombasa on the African coast was recaptured. A strong state was created that politically united the African and Asian territories that had a common economy and culture.
Sultan Saif, the third in the Saiyid dynasty, extended power over the African territories and in 1832 transferred the state capital to Zanzibar. But when he died in 1856, the British presence on both continents was already very strong and they were not prepared to tolerate the presence of a powerful kingdom – by 1829 Saif had conquered Dhofar south of Oman. The English exploited the inheritance strife among the Sultan’s sons to enter as mediators, and in this way they succeeded in separating the African and Asian parts of the state. The first-born Thuwaini was made Sultan of Oman, while his brother Majid received Zanzibar. The kingdom was further weakened in 1891 after the conclusion of a friendship agreement with the British, which made it a kind of British protectorate.
In 1913, people from the interior of the country chose their own iman as opposed to the Sultan’s succession-based rule. Despite support from British forces sent from India, the Sultan was unable to recapture the rebellious provinces, and the battle ended only in 1920 when an agreement was signed that divided the country into two states: Sultanate Muscat and Imanate Oman. Muscat gained control of the duty and the right to levy taxes on imported goods from the United Kingdom. In return, Oman was promised that the Sultan of Muscat would not interfere in Oman’s affairs, or give asylum to the criminals and opposition people who fled Oman.
Muscat was extremely poor. Under 1% of the land was suitable for agriculture and the country was artificially divided by colonialism. In the period 1932-70, it was subject to the despotic rule of Sultan Saif ibn Taimur. He fanatically opposed any “outside influence” – including education and health care. However, that did not prevent him from granting the Royal Dutch Shell concession on the extraction of all the country’s oil resources.
Iman Ghaleb ibn Ali was elected in 1954. He strongly opposed this step, declared the country to be independent and requested entry into the Arab League. But the nationalist movement in 1955 was stifled by British troops invading the country and uniting it – under Taimur’s leadership – with the name of the United Sultanate Muscat & Oman. Since that time, a liberation movement fought the monarchy – especially from the southern Dhofar province.
When the British withdrew from the Gulf in the late 1960s, Taimur was overthrown by his son Qabus. It happened on July 23, 1970. Those who thought the young monarch stood for renewal were wrong. The coup was about replacing the British influence with North American.