The Battle of the Bridge (Harb al-Jisr) in Iraq
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 13 AH, in the Battle of the Bridge in Iraq, the Sasanian forces led by Bahman Jaduyeh defeated the Arabs under the command of Abu Ubayd in the only major Persian victory against Muslims. The Arab Muslims had already taken Hira on the banks of the River Euphrates after defeating the Christian Arab allies of the Sassanians. Abu Ubaid encountered the main Iranian army near what is now Kufa.
The two forces faced each other on opposing banks of the River Euphrates. As it was crossed by a bridge, the battle came to known as “Harb al-Jisr” in Arabic. Abu Ubaid took the initiative and crossed the river. According to accounts, the sight of the elephants in the Persian army frightened the Arab's horses.
An elephant apparently tore Abu Ubaid from his horse with its trunk and trampled him under foot. At this, and the inability of the Arabs troops to push pack the Persians who had formed a rigged line close to the bridge, the Arabs panicked and fled. This was, however, a temporary setback. In the subsequent battles the Sassanians were defeated, and the Iranian people accepted Islam almost en masse.