Abd al-Rahman I was the founder of the Umayyad dynasty in Spain, and he was one of the last Umayyad survivors when the Abbasid overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in Damascus. According to what I read, he fled Damascus, travelled west on low profile, and finally arrived in Spain after 6 years missing. In Spain he quickly amass support, defeat the local Muslim ruler and install himself as Emir. For example, Wikipedia said
Abd-ar-Rahman I became Emir of Córdoba in 756; fleeing for six years after the Umayyads had lost the position of Caliph held in Damascus in 750. Intent on regaining a position of power, he defeated the existing Islamic rulers of the area who defied Umayyad rule and united various local fiefdoms into an emirate.
I'm curious how the people in Spain verified that he was in fact Abd al-Rahman, the Umayyad prince, because:
- He travelled on low profile, so I guess this also mean without strong troops or obvious indicator of being a royal
- Spain was pretty far from Damascus, so probably Spaniards have less idea about how Umayyad princes look or how to verify them
- He didn't seem to be an important prince, like the heir to the throne, he just happened to be one of the survivor.
- Yet enough people in Spain believed him to allow him to take over.