A province centered on what is now the modern state of Syria, it also included the territory that comprises modern Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. It rose to prominence shortly after the Muslim conquest during the Rashidun era, but became particularly important when they Umayyad's established Damascus at their captial. At its height, Bilad al-Sham also extended into parts of the Sinai Peninsula, western Iraq, and southeast Turkey. It declined in significance after Abbasid rulers established there first capital in what is now Iraq.
Nonetheless, the idea of Bilad al-Sham as a unified region remained a powerful construct, corresponding to term "Greater Syria" which was often used in early 20th-century diplomatic and political parlance.