The Islamic Openings


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  • The Islamic Openings


  • THE OPENING OF IRAQ

     

    Hirah

     

    After the first caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, had finished fighting the apostates and those who claimed to be prophets -Musailamah the Liar, Al­-Aswad Al-Ansi, Tulaihah ibn Khuwailid, Sajah and so forth -he wrote to Khalid ibn Al- Walid ordering him to march towards Iraq.

    Thus, in 12 A.H., Khalid ibn Al-Walid "Abu Sulaiman" headed towards Iraq, which was under the emperor of Persia. He rested at Barnqiya, Barusma and Alis, where he made a treaty with its people. Ibn Saluba, the chief of the city, agreed to pay ten thousand dinars other than what Khusraw (the title of the Persian emperor) kept. Every person had to pay four dirhams as jizyah to Khalid. Afterwards, Khalid resumed his march till he reached Hirah. There he was received by its chieftains and its governor, Iyas ibn Qubaissah Al-Ta'i, who ruled after Al-Nu'man ibn Al­-Mundhir. Khalid asked them to choose between embracing Islam, paying jizyah or fighting. They chose to pay jizyah,so he made an agreement for them to pay ninety thousand dirhams.

    Thus, this was the first jizyah to be taken from the Persians in Islam together with that paid by the cities of Barusma, Bamqiya and Alis, the one negotiated by Ibn Saluba.

     

    The Battle of the Chains

     

    Khalid ibn Al-Walid sent a message to Hurmuz, the ruler of his fortified city and sea: "Embrace Islam so that you will be granted safety, or settle an agreement for yourself and your people and fulfill it through jizyahOtherwise, do not blame anyone but yourself, for I have come to you accompanied by people who love to die exactly as you love to live."

    On receiving the message, Hurmuz read it and wrote to Shairi ibn Khusraw and Ardashair ibn Shain. Hurmuz assembled his army and put two brothers at the head of its two flanks: Qubadh and Anushijan, sons of Ardashair the Great.

    The soldiers put themselves in chains to prevent themselves from running away from the battle.

    Hurmuz and his men settled to fight in a land that was near the location of the Persians and where water was available.

    On hearing about their march, Khalid ibn Al-­Walid proceeded with the Muslims towards the city of Kazhamah, but Hurmuz hurried to it before him. He had a very bad reputation with the Arabs, who were furious with him and made him a model of viciousness with their proverb "More vicious than Hurmuz".

    Khalid proceeded and camped at a place without any source of water. His men asked him, "What do you have in mind?"

    He replied, "Struggle for water with them, for, by Allah, water is to be the deserve of the two armies."

    The Muslims unloaded their burdens and Khalid proceeded towards the Persians and confronted them. Allah, the Most Merciful and Beneficent, sent a rain cloud that burst behind the ranks of the Muslims, so they were assured and gained strength.

    Hurmuz came forward and called to Khalid, asking him to fight a duel with him. He plotted with his men to betray Khalid. He called aloud, “Where is Khalid?" Khalid showed himself and went towards him on foot. Hurmuz dismounted, too, and they fought a duel. Then Khalid took hold of him and this enraged Hurmuz's guards, who attacked Khalid. Yet, this did not divert Khalid from killing Hurmuz. Al-Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr clashed with Hurmuz's guards till he forced them away from Khalid, who struggled against them.

    Finally, the Persians were defeated and the Muslims pursued them till night. Among those who fled were Qubadh and Anushijan. Khalid took the spoils of Hurmuz, whose helmet was inlaid with precious jewels and was worth a hundred thousand dinars.

    Khalid sent the spoils and the allotted fifth portion to Abu Bakr. Then he proceeded till he camped at the great bridge in Basrah.

    Khalid ordered Al-Muthanna ibn Harith Al­-Shaibani to pursue the Persian army, and he sent Ma`qil ibn Muqrin to the city of Abalah, which he opened and took booty and captives.

     

    The Battle of Madhar

    Hurmuz had written to his King, Ardashair, requesting reinforcement, so the king supported him with Al-Qarin ibn Qurbans, who left the city of Mada'in and marched to assist Hurmuz. On reaching Al-Madhar, he heard about the defeat of the Persians and those who fled from the Battle of the Chains, and about Qubadh and Anushijan. The people complained and said, "If you break off, you will never unite again. Agree to go back to fight, for this is the reinforcement of the king and this is Al-Qarin ibn Qurbans. May the gods change our situation, grant us victory over our enemy, make us pleased by their losses and get some of our possessions back from their hands."

    They camped at the city of Madhar, and Qarin ibn Qurbans put Qubadh and Anushijan over the two flanks of the army. Al-Muthanna and his brother Al-Ma 'ni sent the news to Khalid, who marched with his army till they reached Madhar. They encountered Qarin and his forces, and there was a fierce battle.

    Qarin came forward and asked Khalid for a duel. Khalid and the best horseman, Ma'qil ibn Al-A'sha ibn Al-Nabbash, came forward and raced to reach Qarin. Ma`qil outdistanced Khalid, reached Qarin and killed him. `Adi killed Qubadh, while 'Asim killed Anushijan. Many Persians were killed, as well, in a fierce attack.

    The Persians brought together their ships, and the water was an obstacle that prevented the Muslims from getting hold of their enemies. But for the water, the Muslims would have defeated the Persians entirely and none of them would have fled except those stripped of all their possessions arid even their clothes. Thirty thousand Persians were killed in this battle, not counting those who were drowned in the sea.

    Khalid ibn AlWalid stayed in the city of Madhar and distributed the spoils, which were the soldiers' garments and weapons, to those who had gained them. He also captured the families of the soldiers and those who supported them. He made a treaty with the peasants and other compliant people for them to pay jizyahfor he had previously asked them to do so and they had agreed. Thus, they became under an oath and enjoyed the possession of their lands. Among the captives was Habib Abul Hassan Al-Basri, who was a Christian.

     

    The Day of Waljah

     

    When the bad tidings reached King Ardashair and he knew about what had beset Qarin ibn Qurbans and the people of Madhar, he sent Andarzighar followed by Bahmin Jazwih in an army, ordering him to meet the former leader in the city of Waljah. The general Andarzighar had already mobilized armies from Hirah and Kuskar from the Arabs and chiefs. They camped beside the army of Bahmin Jazwih. When Andarzighar saw that the two armies were on the alert, he was satisfied and decided to march towards Khalid ibn Al-Walid.

    Khalid was on a river, but when he heard about the mobilization of Andarzighar he ordered his army to leave. He ordered Suwaid ibn Muqrin to stay behind and to be in charge of Al-Hafir.

    Khalid "Abu Suliman" went to those who were to be left at the lower Tigris River and warned them to be fully cautious and never to be over confident. Afterwards, he proceeded with his army towards Waljah to confront the Persian army.

    When the armies clashed, they fought more fiercely than in the previous encounter till they thought that they could no longer persevere. Khalid set an ambush on two sides. Heading the first was Basr ibn Abi Raham and the second was under Sa'id ibn Murrah Al-'Ajli. The ambush attacked from two sides, resulting in the defeat of the Persians, who were taken by surprise and fled. Khalid attacked them from the front and the ambush from behind. Subsequently, Andarzighar died of dehydration on his way.

    Khalid ibn Al-Walid did not kill the peasants. He captured the children of the soldiers and those who had supported them in the fight. He called them to agree on jizyah and to settle a treaty of safety, and they submitted. Khalid, as well, fought in single combat on the day of Waljah with a Persian warrior who was as powerful as a thousand men. Khalid killed him, then leaned on him.

     

    The Incident at Alis

     

    On the day of Waljah, Khalid ibn Al-Walid killed many Christians of the tribe of Bakr ibn Wa'il for assisting the Persians. Many of their people were furious. They wrote to the Persians, who replied to them agreeing to meet in Alis, which was on the Euphrates River. 'Abdul Aswad Al-`Ajli was their leader.

    King Ardashair wrote to Bahmin Jazwih, who was in Qisiyana, ordering him to march with his army to Alis, where many Persians and Christian Arabs were gathering. Bahmin went to Jaban and commanded him, "Stop yourself "and your soldiers from fighting the Arabs till I reach you, unless they attack first." Thus, Jaban headed for Alis.

    Bahmin Jazwih headed towards King Ardashair to seek his advice and instructions. However, on finding that he was ill, he joined Jaban till they reached Alis. He arrived there in the month of Safar and joined `Abdul Aswad and the Christian Arabs of the tribes of Banu 'Ajil, Timal Lat, Khabi'a and the native Arabs of Hirah.

    Jabir ibn Jubair was a Christian, so he went with `Abdul Aswad. When Khalid knew of their muster, he was ready to face them, but he was unaware of how close Jaban was to him. All he was keen on was to fight those of the local Arabs and Christian Arabs who had assembled to attack him.

    Khalid reached Alis. When the armies of Jaban saw him, they said, "Shall we overtake them and show them that we're not afraid of them, then fight them later?"

     Jaban said, "If they pay no attention to you and treat you as if you are inferior to them, treat them trivially. Yet, I think they'll take you by surprise and take you from your food."

    They disobeyed him and laid the tables and put the food and invited each other.

    When Khalid reached them, he stopped and unloaded the baggage. He then proceeded to them accompanied by guards to protect his back. He called to the people, "Where is Abjar? Where is `Abdul Aswad? Where is Malik ibn Qais?" They all were silent except Malik ibn Qais, who stepped forward.

    Khalid said to him, "O you unworthy creature! What gave you courage to face me among them although you have no loyalty?" Then Khalid struck him with his sword and cut off his head.

    He thus prevented the Persians from the food they had not eaten. Jaban shouted at them, "Didn't I tell you? Truly, I've never before feared a general before today!" Then Jaban ordered `Abdul Aswad and Abjar to head the two flanks of the army.

    The Persians and Khalid ibn Al-Walid fought fiercely. What gave the Persians the stamina and stubbornness to fight was their waiting for the arrival of Bahmin Jazwih. That is why they fought desperately against the Muslims, waiting for their destiny.

    Khalid prayed, "O Allah, I swear by Your name that if You help us to get hold of them, I won't ever leave one of them alive so long as we can, till I make their blood flow like a river."

    Allah fulfilled his prayer exactly as he wished. Khalid's crier shouted, "The captives! The captives! Don't kill except those who refuse." The Muslim cavalry captured the Persians. Khalid charged some men to kill them in the river, and they spent a day and a night executing their orders. They pursued them for another day till they were done with the two rivers around all sides of Alis and had killed them all.

     

    The river of blood

     

    Al-Qa'qa` ibn `Amr and some other men said, "Khalid, if you kill all the people on earth, their blood will not flow, for blood dries quickly. If you want their blood to flow to fulfill your oath, you have to throw water over the blood so the blood flows." Thus he did and thus it was called the river of blood.

     

    Khalid and the River of Hirah

     

    Khalid, known as the Sword of Allah, progressed with his army to Hirah. On his way, he stopped between Al-Khumaq and Al-Najaf. He directed himself towards Al-Khumaq. However, the Persian general Azadhibah crossed the Euphrates River fleeing without a fight. He was forced to do so because he had heard of the death of King Ardashair, and his army was camping between Al-Gharbiyin and the White Palace.

    Khalid's armies reached Al-Khumaq gradually while Khalid himself left to camp near the Persians between Al-Gharbiyin and the White Palace. The people of Hirah were fortified. Khalid, "the Unsheathed Sword of Allah", ordered his armies to besiege the people of Hirah, each in its place, to attack them later. Dirar ibn Al-Azwar besieged the White Palace in which Iyas ibn Qubaissah Al-Ta'i was seeking refuge, while Dirar ibn AI-Khattab was in charge of the Palace of 'Adsiyin, in which was `Adi, the son of the slain `Adi. The Palace of Banu Mazin, in which Akal was hiding, was besieged by Dirar ibn Muqrin Al-Mazni. Al- Muthanna ibn Harithah Al­Shaibani besieged the palace of Ibn Baqilah. His name was `Amr `Abdul Masih, but he was called Ibn Baqilah, which means legume man, because he went to his people dressed in two green garments. On seeing him they said, "You are no more than green legumes."

    The Muslims asked the people of Hirah to Islam but they refused.

    The first to attack was Dirar ibn Al- Azwar at the White Palace. When the morning came, he was about to take hold of it, so he asked its people to choose one of the three alternatives: Islam, jizyah or fighting. The Persians chose the third alternative. They called to each other, "Throw the pottery at them!" Dirar ibn Al-Azwar told his men, "Step aside so you don't get struck till we know what they called to each other." After a while, the top of the palace was full of people throwing heavy pots at the Muslims.

    Dirar shouted, "Shoot them!"

    The Muslims approached the White Palace and shot them with arrows till the roof was empty of any person. After that, they attacked everyone in their way.

    Every Muslim general did the same as Dirar did to the people of the White Palace. The Muslims burst into the houses and the monasteries and killed many people. The priests and monks cried, "O you people of the palaces! No one will kill us except you." The people of the palaces said, "O you Arabs! We have accepted one of three alternatives. Fight with us and guard us till you take us to Khalid."

    Iyas ibn Qubaissah and his brother went to Dirar ibn Al-Azwar while `Adi ibn 'Adi went to Dirar ibn AI-Khattab. 'Amr ibn 'Abdul Masih and Ibn Akal sought out Dirar ibn Muqrin and Muthanna ibn Harithah Al-Shaibani. The Muslim leaders sent them to Khalid ibn Al-Walid while they remained at their positions. The first to call for reconciliation was `Amr Ibn 'Abdul Masih ibn Qais ibn Haiyan ibn Harith. When the chief Persians reached Khalid, he met them separately. He started with the men of  `Adi ibn 'Adi and said to them, "Woe to you! Who are you? Are you Arab or Persians? If you're Arab, why do you bear a grudge against the Arabs? And if you're Persians, why are you indignant to justice and fairness?"

    'Adi ibn 'Adi replied, "We are Arabs of deep roots and others of no Arab roots."

    "If so, why do you defy us and hate us?"

    "The proof to what we say is that our only language is Arabic." Khalid said, "This is right." Then he added, "Choose one of three alternatives: join our religion so you will enjoy the rights we have and undergo what we undergo if you emigrate from this place. If you stay here, you will have to pay jizyah, or else there will be the third choice to fight. For, by Allah, I came with people who are more keen to die than you are keen to live."

    "We choose to pay jizyah."

    Khalid, the "Sword of Allah", said, "Woe to you! Disbelief is a deceiving desert. The fool of all fools is the one who goes into it and meets two leaders, an Arabic one whom he neglects and another Persian whom he seeks for a guide and treads on his way." They agreed with Khalid to pay one hundred thousand ninety.

    The other people sought the same reconciliation as 'Adi ibn 'Adi and brought many precious gifts to Khalid. 'Amr ibn 'Abdul Masih had a small bag with him. Khalid took the bag and emptied its contents into the palm of his hand, asking, "What is this, 'Amr?"

    "Truthfully, it's poison."

    "Why did you bring it with you?"

    "I feared you would be the opposite to what I have found, and I came to you fearless, for death is preferable to me than any harm that I could bring to my people and my fellow men in my village."

    "No soul shall die unless its time has come to an end. In the name of Allah, the best of all names, the Lord of the heavens and earth, no illness shall harm as long as His name is mentioned, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful." Khalid then put the poison in his mouth and swallowed it.

    At this sight `Amr said, "Truly, you Arabs will get what you aim for." He said to the people of Hirah, "I've never seen such a promising issue as I saw today."

    Afterwards, Khalid prayed the prayer of conquest, which was eight consecutive rakahs.

     

    The Battle of Anbar or the Eyes

     

    Khalid proceeded accompanied by Al-Aqra `ibn Habis Al-Tamimi till they reached the city of Anbar. They found that its people were fortified under the leadership of Shirzad, the ruler of Sabat.

    The people cried, "This is an evil morning for Anbar!"

    Khalid arrived at Anbar and went around the trenches. Fighting broke out and he said to his archers, "I see people who have no experience in there, so shoot at their eyes, and nothing but their eyes."

    The Muslims shot arrows all together, and consequently the people of Anbar had a thousand gouged eyes on that day. That is why it was called the Battle of the Eyes.

    On seeing this, Shirzad sent to Khalid, calling for a pact that did not satisfy him. So, Khalid sent Shirzad' s messengers back, and at the narrowest place in the trench he slaughtered the army's horses and threw the carcasses into the trench, crossed and struck. The two armies clashed and the victory went to the Muslims.

    Shirzad sent to Khalid, agreeing to his terms on the condition that he allow Shirzad to betake himself to a safe place along with some cavalry without any luggage or money. Khalid accepted and Shirzad left. Khalid concluded a treaty of safety and conciliation with the people of Anbar.

    Khalid then resumed his march in the lands of Iraq till he reached Al-Farad, which lies on the borders of Al-Sham, Iraq and the Arab Peninsula. On his way he passed by many cities and villages. In each he had more success than the previous one. Some of the cities agreed on jizyahwhile others fought desperately till Allah's wrath afflicted them with a defeat at the hands of the Muslims. No one survived death except those who were quickly defeated like a stroke of lightning.

     

    The Battle of Qadisiyah

     

    'Umar sent Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas to Iraq accompanied by Al-Nu'man ibn Muqrin. No sooner had Sa'd reached Qadisiyah than he learned that Yazdigird, the Persian emperor, had mobilized a massive army under the leadership of Rustom. Sa'd wrote to 'Umar, who replied, "Don't be upset by what afflicts you. Seek Allah's aid and depend on Him. Send wise negotiators to call the Persian emperor to Allah. May Allah make their call a means to weaken the Persians."

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas sent a delegation of the wisest men including Al-Nu'man ibn Muqrin, Bisr ibn Abi Rahm, Hamlah ibn Huwaiyah, Hanzhalah ibn Al-Rab'i, Furat ibn Haiyan, 'Adi ibn Suhail, 'Utarid ibn Hajib, Al-Ash'ath ibn Qais, AI-­Mughirah ibn Zararah ibn Al-Nabbash Al-Asadi, `Amr ibn Ma'di Karib and others.

         They left the Muslim camp and headed towards Yazdigird. People gathered looking at them on their horses. Yazdigird brought an interpreter and said to him, "Ask them: Why did you come? What makes you invade us and be enchanted by our land? Is it because we were busy and paid no heed to you that you dare to defy us?"

    Al-Nu'man ibn 'Amr ibn Muqrin said to his companions, "If you wish, I can speak on your behalf, or if someone likes to speak I will give him the priority."

    They said, "Speak on our behalf."

    Al-Nu'man proceeded. "Allah was merciful to us, so He sent us a Messenger to guide us to the right and forbid us from evil. In return, Allah promised us the goodness of this life and the Hereafter. Our Messenger asked every tribe and they divided into two parties, one that tried to be closer to him and obey him and one that rejected him. Then, he was ordered to start with those Arab tribes that had rejected him. So he started with them and they agreed either willingly or unwillingly. Those who agreed unwillingly benefited, and those who agreed willingly had additional benefits. Thus, we all realized the goodness of his message compared to the hostility and aversion that we had been suffering. Then, he ordered us to start with the neighboring nations to call them to justice. We, therefore, call you to our religion, for it is a religion that deems good things as good and censures all sorts of evil. If you refuse, one bad thing -which is jizyah -will be better than another that is worse. If you embrace our religion, we will leave Allah's Book with you and make sure that you judge by its laws, and we will go back and leave you, your affairs and your land. If you pay jizyahwe will accept it and be your guardians, or else we will have to fight you."

    Yazdigird said, "I have never known a nation that was more miserable, fewer in number or more hostile to each other than you. We used to ask the villages of the outlying districts to attack you and they were successful in saving us our sweat, for you did not dare to approach Persia. If some kind of arrogance has touched you, do not be deceived and forget who we are. However, if it is poverty and need of money that motivate you, we will allocate some sustenance to be added to your harvest, be generous to you, grant you clothing and assign a king to rule you kindly."

    When the Muslim delegation finished talking, Yazdi gird concluded, "Go back to your general and tell him that I will send him Rustom to bury him with you in the dust in the trench of Qadisiyah."

     

    The advance of Rustom's army

     

    After this event, Rustom could wait no more, so he mustered an army of a hundred twenty thousand warriors preceded by elephants. Advancing slowly but steadily, he crossed the Euphrates River near the city of Babylon, then proceeded towards Hirah till he was visible to the Muslim army. He camped on the opposite bank of the river. He called to the people of Hirah saying, "O you enemies of Allah! You were jubilant when the Arabs invaded our lands and were their spies on us and supplied them with money."

    The people of Hirah averted his evil by assigning `Amr ibn `Abdul Masih to be their spokesman. He replied to Rustom, "As for your claim that we were jubilant at their coming, what did they do? What did they do to make us happy? They claim that we are their slaves. They do not believe in our religion and they assure us that we will be doomed to hell. As for your claim that we were their spies on you, what forces them to take us as spies? For your people fled from them and left their villages, thus nothing stopped them from anything they wanted to do and if they liked, they would have taken hold of everything everywhere. And as for your accusation that we assisted them with money, we conciliated with them by this money to save our souls when you did not protect us from being taken as captives or fighting and being killed."

    Rustom said, "Right you are."

    Rustom assigned Al-Hurmuzan over the right flank of the army, Mahran ibn Bihram Al-Razi over its left flank, and Al-Bairazan over the rear.

     

    Rustom tries to avoid fighting

     

    Rustom was a courageous and dauntless warrior, yet he was an astrologer. He saw that the Persian fortune was ill -starred and that their welfare would be misery. Thus, he wrote to his brother telling him about what he saw: "I foresaw the secrets of the planets and gathered the hidden consequences and saw the palace of the Sassanid sovereign empty and the seal of their dominion passing and inclined to obliteration. On the other hand, the sun, moon and Venus were ascendant to the Arabs, for their fortune will be goodness and superiority. ...When you receive this letter of mine, collect your money, fortunes, and cavalry and go to Azerbaijan and seek refuge there you have to protect the king, for he is the only survivor of his ancestors."

    Rustom camped on the Atiq River and observed the Muslims. Then he sent to one of their generals saying, "You are our neighbors and once a group of you was under our sovereignty and we treated them well and granted them protection and have them many privileges." He intended conciliation by reminding the Arabs of the Persians' good deeds towards the Arabs who bordered on them. His efforts at reconciliation failed.

    The Muslim general replied, "What you mentioned is right, yet our condition is not like that of our fellows. We did not come to you seeking earthly grace. On the contrary, all that we seek and care about is the Hereafter." Rustom assembled the Persian men and mentioned this to them, so they were kindled by rage and arrogance.

     

    The negotiations of Rustom and the Muslims

     

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas sent Rab'i ibn 'Amir to Rustom. The Persians prepared to meet the messenger by laying down carpets and placing a golden couch with cushions made of golden cloth for Rustom, who was dressed in his best attire of colored woolen garments. Rab'i ibn 'Amir arrived on his horse holding his sword and spear, with his hair in four plaits, and wearing shabby clothes.

    They said to him, "Drop your sword!"

    He replied, "I did not come to you to drop my sword at your command! You are the ones who asked me to come."

    They told Rustom what he said, and he said, "Let him in."

    Rab'i ibn 'Amir proceeded leaning on his spear and walking steadily, leaving no carpet or cushion unspoiled or untorn. On reaching Rustom, he sat on the ground and fixed his spear.

    He was asked, "Why do you do this?"

    Rab'i replied, "We do not like to sit on your ornaments.

    'Abud, Rustom's translator and one of the people of Hirah, said to him, "Why did you come to us?"

    Rab'i replied, "Allah sent us. He ordered us to turn those whom He wants from worshiping creatures to worshiping the Creator of the creatures and from the narrowness of life to its vastness and from the injustice of religions to the fairness of Islam. Allah sent us with His religion to His creatures so that we would call them to Him. If any accept this from us, we will accept it from them, go back and leave them and their lands. Whereas, if any refuse, we will fight till we meet Allah's promise."­

    Rustom asked, "What is Allah's promise?"

    "Paradise for those who die fighting the rebellious and triumph for those who survive."

    "Now we have heard your talk, give us a respite so that we can think it over, and you do as well."

    "Agreed. How many days would you like, one or two?"

    "Enough time to write to our counselors and chiefs," Rustom answered. He wanted to delay.

    Rab'i said, "The practice of our Prophet ~ and the attitude of our generals is that we do not let our enemies take hold of us and that we give them no more than three days of respite on the encounter. We will, thus, give you three days respite, so consider your condition and choose one of three choices after the respite is over. Either Islam, and in return we will leave you and your land; or jizyahso we will accept and grant you safety and if you are in need of us, we will assist you; or fight on the fourth day if you do not attack earlier. I guarantee this on behalf of my companions and on behalf of all whom you see."

    Rustom asked, "Are you their master?"

    "No, but the Muslims are like one whole body, they are parts of each other, they support each other, (like the organs of one body)."

     

    The Persians cross the Euphrates

     

    The three days passed and the respite came to an end, so Rustom asked the Muslims, "Will you cross to us or we to you?"

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas replied, "You cross to us."

    At night, Sa'd sent messengers to the Muslims to be on the alert in their positions. Rustom's army spent the night filling in the river opposite to Qadis by throwing in wood, mud and so forth till they had built a bridge, which they crossed with their loads and reached the bank of the Euphrates, where they camped.

    Rustom put on two shields and his armor and took his weapons. He ordered his horse to be brought to him, mounted it and said, "Tomorrow, we will crush them mercilessly."

    A man said, "If Allah wills."

    Rustom said, "Even if He doesn't will."

     

     Measures to start the battle

     

    The Persians started to arrange their lines. Rustom sat on his throne in the center surrounded by eighteen horses loaded with boxes and men and seven or eight elephants loaded as well.

    Jalinus was between Rustom and the right flank, while Al-Bairazan was between him and the left flank.

    Yazdigird assigned men on the way between him and the Euphrates whose duty was to tell him the tidings of the battle.

    The Muslims took their positions. Zahwah ibn 'Abdullah, 'Assim ibn 'Amr Al-Tamimi and Shurahbil ibn Al-Samit were in charge, with all the Muslims mixed in the center and both flanks. A voice cried out to the Muslims, "Envy is only in jihad to raise Allah's word. O people! Envy each other and compete in jihad!"

     

    Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas Falls III

     

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas was afflicted with furuncles and sciatica, which prevented him from mounting a horse or camel, or even sitting. Therefore, he watched the people from his palace and at his chest was a cushion on which he leaned. He threw down pieces of leather on which were written his orders to Khalid ibn 'Arfatah, who stood below.

    Sa'd wrote to the people, "I assign Khalid ibn 'Arfatah to be my lieutenant, though nothing prevents me from being in his place except my pains. Thus, obey him, for he orders you according to my word and follows my decisions."

    When they heard this, they were relieved and accepted his words and agreed to his decisions. They urged each other to obey and accepted his excuse.

    Sa'd said, "O people, keep your positions till you pray Zhuhr. After you have finished your prayers, I will say ‘Allahu Akbar,’ so repeat after me and be ready. On hearing the second cry of ‘Allahu Akbar,’ put on your shields. At my third cry, repeat ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and may your cavalrymen motivate the others. When I cry ‘Allahu Akbar’ for the fourth time, advance all till you mingle with your enemies and say, ‘There is no power nor might except with Allah. "’

     

    The first day: the Day of Armat

     

    When Sa' d cried ‘Allah Akbar’ the third time, the group of intrepid ones started the attack and was met by their Persian counterparts, with striking and stabbing between them.

    Ghalib ibn 'Abdullah Al-Asadi advanced and was faced by Hurmuz, who was one of the king of Persia and was crowned. Ghalib took him prisoner and brought him to Sa'd, then went back to resume the battle against the Persians. `Amr ibn Ma'di Karib encountered a Persian who defied him. 'Amr broke his neck, put his sword on his throat and cut down, then threw him down.

     

    The elephants vex the Muslims

     

    The elephants had twenty men on each of them. Thus they were movable fortresses. These elephants attacked the Muslim army and disordered the ranks, then aimed at Banu Bajilah and frightened their horses, thus jeopardizing the whole tribe, which was near destruction.

    Sa'd sent to Banu Asad saying, "Protect Banu Bajilah and the people with them." Tulaihah ibn Khuwailid Al-Asadi rushed with some of his men and said, "You were called after the lion [asad] to be as fierce as it is. Be tough and do not weaken; attack and do not retreat or flee."

    He was urging them to fight and be calm.

    They stabbed the elephants and hit those on their backs till they hindered them from progressing further. A high-ranking Persian faced Tulaihah ibn Khuwailid Al-Asadi and they fought until Tulaihah killed him. Al-Ash'ath ibn Qais urged the tribe of Kindah to fight and struggle, so they attacked the Persians that were in their way and forced them out of their positions.

     

    The Persians gather against Banu Asad

     

    The whole Persian party, including Dhul Hajib and Al-Jalinus gathered against Banu Asad. The battle turned against Banu Asad. The elephants attacked the right and left flanks of the Muslim army and charged against the cavalry as well.

    Sa'd cried ‘Allahu Akbar’ for the fourth time and sent to `Assim ibn `Amr ordering him to trick the elephants so that they could avoid their harm and lessen the threat to those of Banu Asad and others who were combating them.

    The Muslim archers shot at the elephants while others cut their tails and the belts and ropes that held on the boxes. The elephants yelled in pain and all of them lost their loads, and no man remained on their backs. Both armies clashed and Banu Asad were somewhat relieved. The Persians were forced back to their former positions.

     

    The second day: The Day of Aghwath

     

    On the morning of the second day, the Muslims carried their martyrs to 'Udhaib for burial. They also carried the injured ones and left them under the care of the Women to nurse them.

    The happy news of the opening of Damascus arrived, for it had been opened a month before Qadisiyah. Extra cavalry joined them from Ash­Sham, for Caliph 'Umar sent to 'Ubaidah ibn Al­-Jarrah asking him to order the people of Iraq to join the battle. Thus, he mobilized them and they were six thousand men under Hashim ibn 'Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas. In the van was Al-Qa'qa' ibn `Amr Al-Tamimi.

    Al-Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr encouraged the Muslims to fight saying, "Do as I do." He then advanced towards the Persians and said, "Is there anyone who wants to fight a duel?" Dhul Hajib Bahman Jadhweh accepted the challenge and Al-Qa'qa' succeeded in killing him. The Muslims Were jubilant at the death of Dhul Hajib. Al-Qa`qa` called to Al-Bairazan, “Is there anyone who wants to fight a duel?”

    Two men come to him, Al-Bairazan and Al-Bandawan. Al-Qa`qa` clashed swords with Al-Bairazan, killing him, while Al-Harith ibn Zhibyan fought with Al-Bandawan, putting his life to an end. Al-Qa`qa` cried to the Muslims, “O you assembled Muslims! Encounter them with your swords, for people harvest by them!” The Muslims killed many Persians.

    One Persian came forward and asked to fight a duel. A-A`raf was surrounded by the Persians cavalry, who defeated him and took his weapons. However, He threw the dust into their faces till he returned safely back to the Muslims. The two armies continued the struggle till midnight. The night of Armath was called the Night of Calm, while the night of Aghwath was called the Night of Darkness.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Abu Mahjan AI-Thaqafi leaves his prison to fight

     

    Abu Mahjan Al-Thaqafi had been imprisoned and chained in the palace. However, he begged Salma, the wife of Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, to free him so that he could take part in the battle against the Persians, promising that he would return to his jail and chains at night. He kept on begging and pleading with her till she was forced by his insistence to accept. Salma set him free. Abu Mahjan took Sa'd's horse Al-Balqa' and rode out of the back door of the palace. When he was near the Persian right flank, he cried, "Allahu Akbar," then attacked the left flank, flashing his spear while the people were astonished at him, unaware of his identity.

    On top of his palace, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas saw the man and said, "If Abu Mahjan weren't in prison, I'd have said that's him and that's Al-Balqa'.” Some Muslims said, "This must be Khidr [the servant of Allah who was mentioned in Surat Al-Kahf]."

    When it was midnight and the Muslims and Persians ceased fighting, Abu Mahjan returned to the palace and put the chains round his leg as he had promised. Salma talked to her husband Sa'd and told him about lf1ahjan and his devotion. Sa'd called for him and set him free and did not blame his wife for what she had done. Two thousand Muslims were killed and injured, while there were ten thousand Persian casualties on the day of Aghwath.

     

    The third day: the Day of 'Amas

     

    On this day, the Muslims carried their deceased to the graves for burial, and the injured were left in the care of the women to nurse and aid them. Al-Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr spent the night talking to his fellows and said, "When the sun rises, attack a hundred by a hundred. If Hashim ibn 'Utbah arrives with the reinforcements, things will be better. Otherwise, renew the enthusiasm of the people and remind them of their aims."

    When the sun rose, the companions of Al-­Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr advanced as he had planned with them. On seeing them, he cried "Allahu Akbar!" and the Muslims repeated it and cried, "The reinforcements have arrived!"

    The two armies fought. By the time Al-­Qa`qa`’s last group attacked, Hashim ibn 'Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas had arrived with seven hundred men. The Muslims told him about Al-Qa`qa`’s plan and what they had done in the previous two days.

    Hashim ibn 'Utbah arrayed his men seventy by seventy, including Qais ibn Hubairah ibn `Abd Yaghuth, who was well known as Qais ibn Al-Makshuh Al-Muradi. He organized the ranks till he mingled with the army and reached its center.

    He shouted together with the Muslims, "Allahu Akbar!" and added, "Start the attack by chasing then shooting." He rushed upon the disbelievers, assaulting them till he broke through their lines and reached the riverbank. Then he returned to his former position.

    The Persians' elephants attacked, guarded by infantrymen at their rear to prevent the Muslims from cutting their tails or bands. They fought till midday, and the battle was severe for both the Muslims and the Persians. Yazdigird sent more reinforcements from the armies that remained with him to strengthen the Persian army. If not for the plan of Al-Qa'qa' on the first two days till the arrival of the aid of Hashim ibn 'Utbah and his companions, the Muslims would have been defeated and ruined.

     

    The Persian elephants flee

     

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas overlooked and managed the battle from the top of his palace. When he observed the elephants torturing the Muslims and attacking fiercely like the day of Armath, he consulted with some Persians who had declared their Islam. They suggested attacking the elephants' eyes and trunks. Sa'd thus sent to Al­-Qa'qa' and `Assim ibn `Amr Al-Tamimi telling them to focus on the white elephant. He sent to Al-Hammal and Al-Ribbiyil to attack the scabby elephant. These two were the biggest and the leaders of the other animals.

    Al-Qa'qa' and `Assim attacked the white elephant fiercely, throwing their spears at its eyes. The animal bellowed, shook its head and fell to the ground, causing all the men who were on its back to fall down as well. Then it lowered its trunk, and Al-Qa'qa' struck it so that it fell on its side and crushed all those who were on its back.

    As for Al-Hammal, he asked Al-Ribbiyil, "Choose whether to strike the trunk of the scabby elephant while I stab its eyes or the other way round, you hit its eyes and I strike its trunk."

    Al-Ribbiyil chose to strike the trunk, so Al-Hammal attacked the scabby elephant and stabbed its eyes. The elephant knelt down and Al- Ribbiyil struck and cut its trunk so that the elephant ran away terrified till it jumped into the river. The other elephants followed their leader, broke through the lines of the Persians, crossed the river after it and reached AI-Mada'in with their boxes on them, killing all those who were on their backs.

     

    The night of Qadisiyah

     

    It was also called the Night of Growling. It was called so because the Muslims abstained from talking and only uttered growls.

    After the elephants had fled, the Muslims were face to face with the Persians. The Muslims advanced towards the Persians having their backs guarded by their cavalry. They fought fiercely from the beginning of the day till the night. Both armies persevered and both came out on an equal footing save for the sounds of the heroes fighting. Due to these sounds it was called the Night of Growling.

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas sent to Tulaihah ibn Khuwailid and `Amr ibn Ma'di Karib and said to them, "Go to Makhda -a ford in the river -below the soldiers and guard it lest the enemy should cross through it and surprise us." Tulaihah and 'Amr headed out to execute the order. However, Tulaihah said to 'Amr, "What about crossing the river and surprising the Persians from behind?"

    'Amr said, "No, we would be better to cross from below."

    They went apart, and Tulaihah charged upon the armies from behind the river while `Amr descended upon them and they both attacked their enemies.

    Al-Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr marched towards the Persians without taking the permission of Sa' d, who prayed, "Allah, forgive him and grant him victory, for I permit him though he did not ask for my permission.

       Then Sa'd said, "When I say ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times, attack and say ‘Allah Akbar’ as well."

    However, they did not wait and Banu Asad attacked, followed by Najiliyah, then the tribe of Kindah. Then the chiefs advanced, for because of the Arab's boldness, they could not hinder them in the battlefield, but they rushed forward determinedly.

       Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas waited quite a long period between each cry in order to give them enough time to prepare themselves and to be ready, yet they could not wait. When he cried, "Allahu Akbar" for the third time, they advanced together, mingled with the Persians and faced the night after `Isha' Prayer.

    The Arabs and the Persians fought a battle such as they had not experienced before and the news of the battle was cut from both Sa'd and Rustom. Sa'd kept on praying Allah to grant victory to the Muslims.

    By the first rays of the sun in the morning, the victory of the Muslims was proved by the voice of Al-Qa'qa' chanting:

    We have killed a lot of people

    Nearly four hundred fifty-one

    We fought desperately and after

    They were killed, I prayed to Allah

    And stayed cautious and alert.

     

    The Muslims did not sleep at all that night.

    In the morning, Al-Qa'qa' walked among the people saying, "Defeat is after an hour for those who attack them now; Thus, wait for an hour, then attack, for victory comes with patience, so prefer patience to fear."

    Some of the leaders gathered to him, then they proceeded straightaway to Rustom till they mingled with his guards by the morning. At midday, a windstorm blew and took away Rustom's tent and throne and threw them into the river. Al-Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr and his group reached the throne, and when the fierce wind blew away the tent, Rustom ran away and hid behind a loaded pack mule. Al-Qa'qa' saw Rustom, and so did Hilal ibn 'Ullafah, who struck and cut the ties of the baggage on the mule. The load fell onto Rustom, who ran away towards the river and threw himself in. Hilal ibn 'Ullafah saw and pursued him, dragged him out of the river by his leg, then struck his forehead with his sword till he killed him. Afterwards, he carried him and threw him under the feet of the mules. Hilal then mounted on Rustom' s throne and yelled, "By the name of the Lord of the Ka'bah, I have killed Rustom."

    Consequently, the center of the Persian army became disrupted, and this led to their defeat. Al-­Jalinus mounted a hill and cried to the Persians, "Cross the river!" However, the Muslims pierced them with spears.

    Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas sent to Hilal ibn 'Ullafah asking him, "Where is your 'fellow'?"

    Hilal replied, "I threw him down at the feet of the mules."

    "Go get him!" Sa'd said.

    Hilal went and brought the body of Rustom. Sa'd said, "Strip him as much as you like." Hilal took his spoils, which were the shields and armor, and did not leave anything on him.

    Dirar ibn AI-Khattab took the Persian standard, but he was given thirty thousand dirhams in exchange for it. Some Muslim cavalrymen pursued the Persian soldiers, and Zahrah ibn 'Abdullah chased Al-Jalinus, who lagged behind to protect their backs. They fought and Zahrah succeeded in killing him and taking his possessions. The Muslim army clashed with the Persians between Al-Khararah and Al-Sielhain to Najat till the night. Afterwards, they retreated and the Muslims stayed in Qadissiyah. There, the Persians were afflicted with a grave defeat that eliminated the Persian glory and abolished the existence and features of one of the greatest nations of that time.

     

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