A Glimpse of Islamic History
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
The Battle of Hunayn
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 8 AH, the Battle of Hunayn occurred in the valley of the same name between Mecca and Ta’ef, when Arab infidels of the Hawazen and Thaqeef tribes attacked Muslims, following the peaceful surrender of Mecca to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Proud of their military might, the pagan Arabs resolved to strike and kill the Prophet to prevent the spread of the monotheistic teachings of Islam.
The Muslims, for their part, were deceived by the apparently large number of converts to the faith by the Meccan Arabs, only a fortnight ago. But when the infidel Arabs ambushed the army of Islam, almost all the neo-Muslim forces, including the Muhajer and the Ansars fled, deserting the Prophet, except for his valiant cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), his another cousin Abu Sufyan ibn Harreth ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, his uncle Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, and a few others.
The valour of Imam Ali (AS) saved the day, while the loud voice of Abbas in urging the fleeing Muslims to return brought back no more than a hundred Muslims to the battlefield. The Prophet, beseeching God Almighty for help, ordered the fight-back. Imam launched an attack, with his flashing blade Zulfeqar making short work of the fearsome Arab standard-bearer Abu Jaroul and some 40 other warlords, which forced the infidels to retreat, thereby resulting in a decisive defeat for the pagan Arabs. The holy Qur’an has referred to this event in ayah 25 of Surah Towba, which reads: “Allah has certainly helped you in many situations, and on the Day of Hunayn, when your great number impressed you, but it did not avail you in any way, and the earth became narrow for you in spite of its expanse, whereupon you turned your backs [to flee].
"Then Allah sent down His composure upon His Prophet and upon the faithful, and He sent down hosts you did not see, and He punished the faithless, and that is the requital of the faithless."
The Siffin War
On 1st of the Islamic month of Safar in 37 AH, the Siffin War was started by the Omayyad rebel, Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, as a result of his refusal to step down, following his dismissal from the governorship of the Province of Syria by the Prophet’s First Infallible Successor, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
The war that lasted four months was fought in the region called Siffin, besides the River Euphrates in what is now the Reqqa District in Syria, a short distance from the city of Aleppo. In the final battle of the Siffin War, when Mu’awiyah was on the verge of defeat, his comrade-in-crimes, Amr bin al-Aas, ordered the Omayyad troops to raise on spear-points, what he claimed to be copies of the holy Qur’an, in order to deceive the people and sue for peace.
Despite the warnings of Imam Ali (AS), many among the Imam’s forces were deceived and refused to continue the battle against the demoralized enemy troops. These gullible people forced the Imam to enter into arbitration with Mu’awiyah, and when the result turned out against their nefarious desires, they openly rebelled against the Prophet’s rightful successor.
These misled people called Khwarej (renegades) are considered outside the pale of Islam. It is an irony of Islamic history that Mu’awiyah, who had reluctantly accepted Islam to save his life at the fall of Mecca to Muslims two years before the passing away of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was appointed by the 2nd caliph as governor of the newly conquered Christian-majority Syria, where through propaganda and forging of hadith, he built a strong base against the Ahl al-Bayt, and after the martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS), seized the caliphate from Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS) through deceit, thus laying the foundations of the Godless Omayyad Dynasty.
The Battle of Jamal
On 29th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 36 AH, according to some historians such as al-Masoudi, the Battle of Jamal took place near Basra in southern Iraq in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, with a decisive victory for the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the First Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Other historians have given the 10th of Jamadi al-Awwal as the date of this decisive battle against a large army of rebels led by a wife of the Prophet named Ayesha, who along with her brother-in-law Zubayr ibn Awam and his close friend Talha ibn Obaidollah, broke the pledge of allegiance to the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS).
To be brief, the seditionists refused to heed the voice of reason for reconciliation, on the pretext of avenging the blood of the 3rd caliph, Osman ibn Affan, although it was Ayesha herself who used to openly call for the murder of Osman by declaring him to be an apostate. The Imam had no choice but to confront the seditionists, especially after Ayesha ordered 600 Muslims beheaded, including 40 in the grand mosque of Basra, in addition to looting the treasury.
Before the battle, Imam Ali (AS) made a fervent appeal to avoid the shedding of Muslim blood, and although Zubayr heeded the advice and disengaged from the combat, after recalling a famous hadith on the righteousness of Imam Ali (AS), he was killed under suspicious circumstances, since his son Abdullah who instigated his aunt Ayesha to enter the battlefield – seated on a camel (Jamal) – was a sworn enemy of the Prophet's Blessed Household.
After victory over the seditionists, the Imam magnanimously treated his vanquished enemies by sending the rebellious Ayesha back to Medina under the escort of her brother, Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was a loyal follower of Imam Ali (AS).
Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, the paternal uncle of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.A.)
On 12th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 32 AH, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, the paternal uncle of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), passed away in Medina at almost 90 years of age and was laid to rest in the sacred Baqie Cemetery by his worthy son, Abdullah, the hadith narrator and exegete of the holy Qur’an, who was a disciple of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). Abbas, who had become a rich merchant in the days of ignorance, did not openly profess Islam in Mecca, but it is said that he stood beside his nephew when a group from Medina came to the Prophet for the secret allegiance of Aqaba.
He was forced by the pagan Arabs to accompany them to the Battle of Badr in which he was captured by the Muslims and allowed to ransom himself and return to Mecca. Shortly before the peaceful takeover of Mecca by the Prophet, he disassociated from the Meccans and submitted to the Muslims, some twenty year after his wife, “Omm al-Fazl Lubaba bint al-Hareth had accepted Islam, claiming to be second woman to do so.
Thereafter he accompanied the Prophet, like other members of the Hashemite clan in various endeavours. Abbas knew that after the passing away of the Prophet, his other nephew, Imam Ali (AS), was the divinely-decreed leader of mankind as was evident by the historic declaration at Ghadeer-Khom. Unfortunately, some of his descendants in blind pursuit of the material world, turned away from the truth, usurped political power by deceiving the Muslims, wrongly called themselves caliphs, and indulged in the persecution of the Prophet’s progeny, to the extent that six of the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt were martyred through poisoning by the Abbasids.
Ayesha, one of the nine wives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.A.)
On 4th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 678 AD, Ayesha died in Medina at the age of 65. She was one of the nine wives Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had married out of social necessity in the last ten years of his life following the passing away of the First Lady of Islam, Omm al-Momineen (Mother of True Believers), Hazrat Khadija (SA), with whom he spent over 25 years of marital bliss and through her became the father of the noblest-ever lady, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA). It is said Ayesha was killed by the Omayyad ruler Mua’wiyya ibn Abu Sufyan who had usurped the caliphate and intended to pass it on to his lecherous son, Yazid. Thus, in order to remove a potential opponent to his plan, he devised the death of Ayesha by inviting her to a feast and seating her over a booby-trapped limestone well into which she fell and died. Mua’wiyya had not forgotten her rabble-rousing role decades earlier against his Omayyad kinsman the 3rd caliph, Othman bin Affan, whom she used to call an apostate and who was eventually murdered. He also remembered her for causing the first armed fitna (sedition) in Islam by leading an army of oath-breakers against the Prophet's rightful successor, the Commander of the Faitfhul, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) at Basra in Iraq, where she was soundly defeated, but magnanimously treated and allowed to go back respectfully to Medina.
1376 lunar years ago, on this day in 58 AH, Ayesha died in Medina at the age of 65. She was one of the nine wives Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had married out of social necessity in the last ten years of his life, following the passing away of the First Lady of Islam, Omm al-Momineen (Mother of True Believers), Hazrat Khadija (SA), with whom he spent 25 years of marital bliss and through her became the father of the noblest-ever lady, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA). Ayesha was actually killed by the Omayyad ruler Mua’wiyya ibn Abu Sufyan who had usurped the caliphate and intended to pass it on to his lecherous son, Yazid. Thus, in order to remove a potential opponent to his plan, he devised the death of Ayesha by inviting her to a feast and seating her over a booby-trapped limestone well into which she fell and died. Mua’wiyya had not forgotten Ayesha's rabble-rousing role decades earlier against his Omayyad kinsman the 3rd caliph, Othman bin Affan, whom she used to call an apostate and who was eventually murdered. He was also well aware that she was the cause of the first armed fitna (sedition) in Islam when she led an army of oath-breakers against the Prophet's rightful successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) at Basra in Iraq, where she was soundly defeated, but magnanimously treated and allowed to go back respectfully to Medina.
Osman ibn Affan, the Third Caliph
On July 17, 656 AD, Osman ibn Affan, the 3rd caliph, was killed by a group of Muslims dissatisfied with his 12-year rule, during which, in addition to rampant nepotism that saw his kinsmen take charge of key posts and openly violate every law of Islam, some of the most prominent companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), such as Abu Zarr Ghaffari and Ammar ibn Yasser, were mistreated. When he became caliph, his kinsman, the notorious Abu Sufyan had advised him to rotate the caliphate amongst the Omayyads. Osman thus reconfirmed Abu Sufyan's dubious son Mu'awiyya as governor of the vast Syrian Province (made up of present day Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine); appointed as governor of Kufa his own step-brother Walid bin Uqba (an open sinner and son of the Prophet's sworn enemy Uqbah ibn Abu Mu'ayit); named as governor of Egypt his foster brother Abdullah ibn Sa‘d ibn Abi as-Sarh who had apostatized in the Prophet's lifetime; and made his maternal cousin, the seditious Abdullah ibn Amer governor of Basra. In the capital Medina, virtual power of the entire realm was vested in Osman's cousin and son-in-law, Marwan ibn al-Hakam (who along with his father had been expelled by the Prophet for mocking Islam). The resulting tyranny and hoarding of wealth by the ruling elite despite their military conquests in the east and the west, reached such alarming proportions that Ayesha, the daughter of Abu Bakr and one of the wives the Prophet had married in the last ten years of his life, branded Osman an apostate and called for his blood. There were complaints from all quarters, and matters deteriorated when the Egyptian petitioners sensed betrayal from Osman against them, especially after discovery of a secret letter ordering the governor of Egypt to put to death their leaders, especially the pious Mohammad bin Abu Bakr, the son of the first caliph. The several hundred Muslims from Egypt rushed to Medina, besieged the caliph's house for several days, and finally burst inside and killed him, despite the earnest efforts of the Prophet’s legitimate Heir, Imam Ali (AS), to mediate and avoid bloodshed. They then refused to allow the burial of Osman in Baqie, the graveyard of the Muslims. He was finally buried in the adjacent Jewish graveyard. Decades later, the Omayyad rulers demolished the wall and merged the Jewish cemetery into the Muslim one to ensure that the grave of their kinsman was inside a Muslim cemetery.
Mukhtar Ibn Abi Obaidah Thaqafi
On 14th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 67 AH, Mukhtar Ibn Abi Obaidah Thaqafi, the Avenger of the Innocent Blood of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) Grandson, Imam Husain (AS), achieved martyrdom in Kufa at the hands of Mus’ab Ibn Zubayr at the age of 66. Born in Ta’ef in the Hijaz, and son of a commander of the Muslim conquest of Iraq from the Sassanids, he was a devoted follower of the Commander of the Faithful, the Prophet’s First Infallible Successor Imam Ali (AS). He was imprisoned by the Omayyad regime on the eve of the arrival on Imam Husain (AS) in Iraq and subsequent martyrdom. On release, he went back to his homeland Hijaz, and following the tyrant Yazid’s death, he returned to Iraq, where he had the support of Arab tribes loyal to the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt and the “Mawali” (as the Iranians were known), in his campaign to bring to justice the killers of Imam Husain (AS) and the other martyrs of Karbala. He took the city of Kufa and brought vast tracts of Iraq and Iran under his control, at a time the Omayyad usurpers and Abdullah Ibn Zubayr, who had established himself in the Hijaz, were battling for power of the Islamic state that belonged to neither of them. Mukhtar repulsed the attacks of the Omayyad army from Syria, and in heroic combat along with Ibrahim Ibn Malik Ashtar, killed the principal perpetrators of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, such as Obaidollah Ibn Ziyad, Haseen Ibn Numayr and others. So strong was his sense of justice that he even did not spare the life of his own brother-in-law (sister’s husband), Omar Ibn Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, who had commanded the Omayyad forces against Imam Husain (AS) and then imprisoned the Prophet’s family. Mukhtar and his companions, including Iranians and Arabs, meted out justice to such bloodthirsty murderers as Shemr Ziljowshan, Khouli, Harmala etc. After a rule of a year-and-a-half, he attained martyrdom because of the treachery of the Kufans during battle with the forces of Mus’ab Ibn Zubayr. His tomb is in the mausoleum of Imam Husain’s (AS) cousin, Muslim Ibn Aqeel, beside the Grand Mosque of Kufa.
The Battle of the Bridge (Harb al-Jisr) in Iraq
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.
Death of the Omayyad tyrant, Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rajab in 60 AH, the Omayyad tyrant, Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, died in Damascus at the age of 80, nineteen years after usurping the caliphate from the Prophet’s elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), whom he martyred through poisoning in 50 AH in violation of the terms of the treaty signed in 41 AH. Born to two of the most spiteful enemies of Islam (Abu Sufyan and Hind) and a reluctant convert to Islam in 8 AH – two-and-a-half-years before the passing away of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) – Mu’awiyah was surprisingly appointed by Omar ibn Khattab as governor of the vast province of Shaam (made up of today’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the illegal Zionist entity Israel), a position he held for almost 20 years despite his dismissal by the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) against whom he came out into open armed rebellion at the Battle of Siffeen.
During the almost 40 years he had entrenched himself in the Levant, he did not spare any effort to distort the teachings of Islam, oppress, torture, and kill Muslims, and indulge in all cardinal sins. On his deathbed, contrary to the terms of the treaty with Imam Hasan (AS), he named his libertine and openly infidel son, Yazid, as caliph, a criminal decision that led to three of the most heinous crimes in history. The Godless Yazid, in the first year of his reign tragically martyred the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS) at Karbala.
In the subsequent two years of his evil rule, he desecrated the sanctity of the Prophet’s shrine and mosque in Medina by ordering a general massacre, rape and plunder of Muslims; and next ordered the sacrilegious storming of the holy Ka’ba in Mecca, during the midst of which he died, thereby ending the dynasty established by Mu’awiyah – although another branch of the Omayyads continued the evil work of terrorizing the Muslim ummah for some 70 more years before they were thrown into the dustbin of history.
The notorious Omayyad partisan and governor of Egypt, Amr ibn al-A'as
On January 6, 664 AD, the notorious Omayyad partisan and governor of Egypt, Amr ibn al-A'as, died at the age of around 90 in a state of acute mental agony while recalling his crimes against Islam and humanity, including how he had tried to cheat Imam Ali (AS) of the caliphate by declaring the rebel Mu'awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan as the caliph. Born out of wedlock in Mecca to a morally-loose slave-girl, named Layla bint Harmalah and called "Nabigha", his paternity was open to doubt in those freewheeling days of Jahiliyya because of the polyandrous relations of his mother with at least five persons at the same time including Abu Sufyan and Aas ibn Wa'el.
Although Amr greatly resembled the stingy miser Abu Sufyan, his mother by openly citing the issue of maintenance claimed that the rather generous Aas had fathered her child. With the advent of Islam, Amr showed bitter hostility toward Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and when the latter migrated to Medina, he was involved in almost all the battles imposed upon Muslims by the pagan Arabs of Mecca. Earlier, when a batch of persecuted Muslims led by the Prophet's cousin, Ja'far ibn Abu Taleb, sought asylum in Abyssinia he led an unsuccessful mission to the court of the Christian king, Negus, for the handover of the refugees.
In 8 AH, two years before the passing away of the Prophet and shortly before the surrender of Mecca to the Muslims, Amr, sensing the end of the days of paganism, came to Medina along with that other avowed enemy of Islam, Khaled bin Waleed, to claim conversion to Islam, although none of his deeds ever support his claim to be a Muslim. After the Prophet, when the neo-Muslim Arab armies swept across Syria and Palestine, he led the attack on the Byzantine province of Egypt. When Mu'wiyyah consolidated his power in Syria, he joined him as advisor in Damascus and was the evil mind in most of the plots against the Prophet's divinely-decreed successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), including the raising of copies of the holy Qur'an on spear-points during the War of Siffeen in order to deceive Muslims and evade a definite defeat.
Earlier during the battle, to escape certain death from the flashing blade of Imam Ali (AS), Amr while fleeing shamelessly disrobed himself, making the Imam turn away from such an abhorred sight. In 38 AH, he again attacked Egypt and seized it by brutally martyring the legally appointed governor, Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr. Thus at the time of his agonizing death, he admitted that he felt as if the Mountain of Redhwa was hanging upon his neck and he was being dragged through the eye of a needle for his sins and crimes against Islam and humanity.
The Omayyad ruler, Omar bin Abdul-Aziz killed by poisoning
On 24th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 101 AH, on this day in 101AH, the Omayyad ruler, Omar bin Abdul-Aziz, died due to poisoning of his food after a reign of three years during which he renounced the oppressive and un-Islamic policies of his predecessors.
One of his first acts on becoming caliph was to issue a decree to halt the blasphemous cursing of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), during Friday prayer sermons – a sacrilegious practice begun by the hardcore heathen, Mu’awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan, who through such acts intended to keep the growing neo Muslim population ignorant of the God-given right to rule of the Prophet’s rightful successor.
Omar ibn Abdul-Aziz next returned to the Ahl al-Bayt the large tract of Fadak whose income had now swelled to 40,000 dinars, since this was the property of the Prophet’s daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) from whom the first and second self-styled caliphs had illegally seized.
He is also credited with various other reforms like abolition of drinking, forbidding public nudity, and elimination of mixed bathrooms for men and women, which the Godless Omayyad caliphs had initiated. He was succeeded by the ungodly Yazid bin Abdul-Malik, who immediately reversed the policies of his predecessor and again seized Fadak.
The Battle of Yarmouk
On 20th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 13 AH, the Battle of Yarmouk broke out between the Arab army and the forces of Byzantine or the Eastern Roman Empire, ending six days later in a decisive victory for Muslims. The battle consisted of a series of seesaw engagements near the Yarmouk River, along what is today the border between Syria and Jordan, south-east of the Sea of Galilee, 65 km from the Golan Heights.
It is regarded as one of the most decisive battles in military history, and it marked the first great wave of Muslim conquests, ending the long sway of the then superpowers, the Romans and the Persians. In order to check the Muslim advance, Emperor Heraclius had entered into an alliance with Emperor Yazdegird III of Sassanid Iran, and sent a massive army made up of Slavs, Greeks, Franks, Georgians, Armenians and Christian Arabs.
The Muslim tactic by sending a separate force to Iraq to confront the Sassanids, however, thwarted this alliance against Islam from taking practical shape. Thus the total defeat of the numerically superior Roman army by the lightly armed Muslims saw the fall of Damascus as well, and a year later led to the liberation of Bayt al-Moqaddas without bloodshed by the Muslims, who also rapidly took over Egypt and Libya.
The emergence of Muslims on the world scene came only six years after Heraclius had succeeded in reclaiming Egypt and the Levant from the Persians, in a series of see-saw battles fought for over two decades throughout West Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe, including Mesopotamia, the Caucasus, Anatolia, and even before the walls of Constantinople itself. The advent of Islam completely changed the world map with the entire Sassanid Empire and more than half of the whole Roman Empire disappearing forever.
An important point to note is that the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), who led the Muslims to victory in almost all the battles imposed upon Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) by the Arab and Israelite disbelievers, did not participate in the Roman and Persian campaigns, which were led by the neo Muslim hitherto pagan Arabs subdued by his flashing scimitar, the Dhu’l-Feqar.
Some 25 years later when these same arrogant victors of the wars against the Romans and the Persians, like Zubayr ibn Awam, Amr ibn Aas, Mu’awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan and others, tried to stir up sedition amongst Muslims in Iraq and Syria (the former Sassanid and Byzantine heartlands), Imam Ali (AS) personally assumed command and once again unsheathed the “Dhu’l-Feqar” to decisively defeat them. For instance, Amr ibn Aas, who used to boast of conquering Egypt, ignominiously denuded himself In Siffeen while fleeing in order to escape certain death at the hands of the Prophet’s righteous heir.
Total defeat of the numerically superior Roman army at Yarmouk
On February 11, 641 AD, Emperor Heraclius of Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire), died at the age of 67, after suffering a string of defeats at the hands of the newly emergent Muslims and losing Syria and Egypt to the forces of Islam. Born into an Armenian family, he was the son of Heraclius the Elder, who had served as governor of the province of North Africa. In 610, on landing in Constantinople he overthrew Emperor Phocas and declared himself emperor in the midst of the war against Iran's Sassanid Empire that had inflicted a series of defeats on the Romans in Syria, Anatolia, and Egypt.
He took charge of the war, and although his first battles ended in defeat as the Iranian army advanced on the Bosphorus and besieged the capital Constantinople, Heraclius started rebuilding the military and twelve years later in 622 managed to push back the Persians out of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). In 624, he advanced into northern Media, where he destroyed the great fire-temple of Ganzhak. Two years later in 626, he captured Colchis in Georgia in the Caucasus from Iran, and then in 627 he penetrated Iraq, defeating the Iranians in the Battle of Nineveh. Soon the Sassanid Emperor, Khosrow II, was assassinated and peace was restored to the two deeply strained empires.
However, shortly after his victory, Heraclius, who some years earlier had received a letter of invitation to Islam from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), faced Muslim armies in Syria, where he was defeated and withdrew, as the Muslims swept across the Levant. In order to check the Muslim advance, Heraclius entered into an alliance with the Iranian Emperor, Yazdegird III, and sent a massive army of Slavs, Greeks, Franks, Georgians, Armenians and Arab Christians.
The Muslim tactic by sending a separate force to Iraq, however, thwarted this alliance against Islam. Thus the total defeat of the numerically superior Roman army at Yarmouk (636) by lightly armed Muslims saw the fall of Damascus as well, and a year later led to the liberation of Bayt al-Moqaddas without bloodshed. As Muslim armies swept across Armenia and Egypt, the crestfallen Heraclius died.
Muslim Ibn Aqeel arrives in Kufa
On 5th of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 60 AH, Muslim Ibn Aqeel, the cousin and emissary of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) grandson, Imam Husain (AS), arrived in Kufa and was warmly welcomed by the people, with as many as 18,000 giving him oath of allegiance and reaffirming the letters they had sent to him in Mecca, inviting him to come to Iraq to deliver the ummah from the tyrannical and Godless rule of the Omayyad usurper, Yazid bin Mua'wiyyah.
Muslim wrote to Imam Husain (AS) of the situation and called on him to come to Iraq to lead the people. Two months later, however, when Yazid dispatched to Kufa as governor, the bloodthirsty Obaidollah ibn Ziyad, who immediately resorted to threats and bribes, the majority of the Kufans broke their oath of allegiance to Muslim and betrayed him, as a result of which he was martyred.
When Imam Husain (AS) arrived in Iraq he was prevented from entering Kufa and cruelly martyred in the plain of Karbala by the forces of Ibn Ziyad that also included the majority of those who had written letters to him, inviting him to come to Iraq and deliver them from Omayyad oppression.
Omar Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, the commander of Yazid's army in the Battle of Karbala
On 9th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 65 AH, Omar Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, the commander of Yazid's army in the Battle of Karbala, was executed for his unpardonable sins of perpetrating the tragic martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), his family, and his companions, including the 6-month old infant, Ali Asghar; decapitating the martyrs and mounting their heads on lances; trampling the corpses of martyrs by horses; and dragging the noble women and children of the blessed household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) as captives to the courts of the tyrants in Kufa and Damascus.
Omar ibn Sa’d was executed by his own brother-in-law (his wife's brother), Mukhtar ibn Abi Obayda Thaqafi, a virtuous Muslim who had vowed to avenge the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS). Mukhtar after launching his uprising succeeded in driving out the Omayyads from Iraq and bringing to justice all the principal killers of the Prophet's grandson and the noble family.
Abu'l-Abbas as-Saffah, the Abbasid Caliph
On 13th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 132 AH, Abu'l-Abbas Abdullah ibn Mohammad as-Saffah, formally styled himself as caliph of the new dynasty of the Abbasid usurpers after routing the Omayyad tyrants and exterminating almost all of them in successive battles, culminating in the Battle of Zab. He was called "Saffah" because of the bloodshed he unleashed. He wreaked such a horrible vengeance on the Omayyads that he even dug up the graves of all their caliphs, including Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and burned their bones. He died after some four years and was succeeded by his younger brother, the notorious Mansour Dawanikhi. The Abbasids based their dubious claim to the caliphate on their descent from the Prophet's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Mutalleb. The main reason for their attracting of people's support against the Omayyads – chiefly of the Iranians, Iraqis, Yemenis, and Hijazis – was their deceptive slogan of returning the political rule of the Islamic realm to the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt. This happened in the era of Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). But once the Abbasids consolidated their power, they turned against the Prophet's progeny and indulged in the same cruel acts, imprisoning, torturing and martyring many of these noble descendents including six of Infallible Imams.
Martyrdom of Ibrahim Ibn Abdullah al-Mahdi, the great-grandson of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.)
On January 21, 763 AD, Ibrahim Ibn Abdullah al-Mahdi, was martyred near Kufa in the Battle of Bakhamra by the forces of Mansour Dawaniqi, the 2nd self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. He was a great-grandson of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and had launched the uprising in Basra in coordination with that of his elder brother, Mohammad Nafs Zakiyya, who had liberated the Hijaz including the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Within two months, Ibrahim had liberated the whole of southern Iraq and Iran, thereby cornering Mansour in his capital Hirah in central Iraq (Baghdad was not yet built). While Ibrahim advanced towards Kufa, and Mansour was on the verge of defeat, Nafs Zakiyya was deserted by most of his army and was martyred in combat.
This emboldened the Abbasids and in the decisive battle near Kufa, an arrow pierced Ibrahim’s neck and he was unhorsed and decapitated by the wretch, Hamid bin Qahtaba, who sent the head of a venerable descendent of the Prophet to Mansour. Years earlier during the rule of the Godless Omayyad regime, the persecuted Abbasid brothers, Abu'l-Abbas Saffah and Mansour Dawaniqi, had sworn allegiance to Nafs Zakiyya at the famous gathering of the Hashemite clan at Abwa. On the fall of the Omayyads, the Abbasids, however, deserted him, broke their promise to return rule of the Islamic state to the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, and instead established their own dubious rule.
The 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, Abdullah al-Mamoun
On 17th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 218 AH, the 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, Abdullah al-Mamoun, died near Tarsus in what is now southwestern Turkey, during a campaign against the Byzantine Empire, at the age of 48 years, after a 24-year reign, four of which were involved in civil war with his step brother, Amin, the rival caliph in Baghdad whom he eventually ordered killed.
Born to the tyrant Haroun's Iranian concubine Marajel, his capital was initially the Khorasani city of Merv, which is currently in the Republic of Turkmenistan. He earned lasting damnation for forcing Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), to come to Merv from distant Medina, as part of his plot to isolate the Ahl al-Bayt from the ummah.
When the Imam's popularity tremendously grew among the people during his two-year sojourn in Khorasan, the crafty Mamoun martyred the Prophet's rightful heir in Tous through a fatal dose of poison.
Mu’tasim-Billah, the 8th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On January 24, 227 AH, Mu’tasim-Billah, the 8th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died at the age of 49 after a reign of nine years, and was succeeded by his son, Watheq-Billah (born to a Greek concubine named Qaratis). Mu’tasim was the son of the tyrant Haroun Rashid’s Turkic concubine – a singing-dancing slave girl named Marida – and he took over the caliphate on the death of his step-brother, Mamoun. He favoured the Turks and gave them all authority, to the resentment of the Iranian and Arab Muslims. He opposed the Mu’tazallite (rationalistic) doctrine of his predecessor. It was on his orders that “Ijtihad” was forbidden, and of the several jurisprudential schools of the newly designated sect “Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah”, only four, i.e. Hanafi, Maleki, Shafei, and Hanbali, were decreed as official. Mu’tasim earned lasting damnation for martyring through poison, Imam Mohammad at-Taqi (AS) – Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) 9th Infallible Heir.
Sacking of Baghdad by the Buddhist army of the Mongol marauder, Hulagu Khan
On February 10, 1258 AD, Baghdad was sacked by the Buddhist army of the Mongol marauder, Hulagu Khan (grandson of the bloodthirsty Chingiz Khan), who had the 37th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, al-Musta'sem, rolled in a carpet and trampled to death under the feet of horses. The grand library of Baghdad, containing countless historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed.
It is said the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantity of books flung into the river. Death counts vary widely and cannot be easily substantiated, running into estimates ranging from 200,000 to a million. The Mongols looted and destroyed mosques, palaces, libraries, hospitals and buildings that had been the work of generations, since the founding of Baghdad five centuries ago.
So terrible was the sack that Baghdad lay desolate for several generations. The incompetent Musta’sem, whose 16-year rule was confined to Iraq and some eastern parts of Syria, had neither raised an army to defend Baghdad nor did he attempt to negotiate with Hulagu, to whom two years earlier, he had supplied troops to conquer the Ismaili Nizari stronghold of Alamout (some 200 km west of modern Tehran).
seems the Abbasid ruler not just paid the price of assisting infidels against fellow Muslims, but also the far more serious treachery of his great-grandfather, the 34th self-styled caliph, an-Naser-Billah, some 40 years ago, in inviting Chingiz to attack the empire of the Khwarezm Shah, because of personal dispute, some years before the Mongol invasion actually occurred.
Curtain thus came down on 524 lunar years of the Abbasid caliphate founded by Abu'l-Abbas Saffah by hijacking the sentiments of the Arab and Iranian masses for the Ahl al-Bayt, thereby depriving once again the progeny of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) of their political right to rule the Islamic realm. The Abbasids exercised actual authority for only some 150 years, after which they became mere puppets in the hands of Iranian and Turkic emirs, who nominally acknowledged their authority, while independent dynasties cropped up in all the provinces, except for the heartland Iraq.
The Abbasids never ruled Islamic Spain, where the remnants of the Omayyads held power, while the Maghreb (Morocco) was lost during the early days of Haroun Rashid to Idris, a great-grandson of the Prophet's elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS). Over a century later, all of North Africa, followed by Syria and the Hejaz, were taken over by the Fatemids, who also claimed descent from the Prophet.
Muslim Rule in Spain
On 5th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 92 AH, Tareq bin Ziyad, crossed the Mediterranean from the northwestern African coast and landed on the island known ever since in his memory as Gibraltar (actually a European corruption of the Arabic term "Jabal at-Tareq", which means Rock or Mount of Tareq). He was governor of Tangiers under Musa bin Nusayr, the conqueror and Emir of the Province of Ifriqiya (made up of present day western Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco).
The Muslims under Tareq swept through Spain and soon conquered the whole Iberian Peninsula. Later, they crossed the Pyrenees into southern France and conquered it. Tareq was made governor of Islamic Spain but was eventually called back to Damascus by the jealous Omayyad caliph, Walid I, who also relieved Musa bin Nusayr of the overall charge of northwest Africa, Spain and the islands off the coast of France.
There are three different accounts of the origins of Tareq given by Arab historians – he was an Iranian from Hamadan; he was an Arab of the Sadf tribe; he was a Berber from North Africa. Musa bin Nusayr is said to be the son of an Iranian Christian, according to the historian Tabari; while others say he belonged to the Lakhmid Arab clan – Sassanid clients.
Muttaqi Billah, the 21st self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On 9th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 358 AH, Muttaqi Billah, the 21st self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime died, shortly after being deposed and blinded by the Turkic general, Tuzun, following a 4-year reign. The caliphate or political rule of the Islamic state that was snatched from its rightful inheritor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), at the scandalous gathering of Saqifa Bani Sa'da, by a group of Sahaba – recent converts from years of idolatry – no sooner did Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) leave the mortal world, had become so insignificant after the tyrannically Godless rule of the Omayyads and the early Abbasids, that it now depended on the whims of the neo-Muslim Turkic slave guards who played havoc in Baghdad.
Iran and the east had long became independent of the Abbasid caliphs; Egypt and Africa had been lost to the Fatemids, Arabia and Yemen were held by the Carmathians and local chieftains, Syria and Palestine were no longer under the caliphate, and even in Iraq there were revolts in Basra and Waset, while Mosul had become independent. In northern Syria and Anatolia, the Byzantine attempts to advance was being thwarted only because of the bravery of the Hamdanid Shi'ite Muslim dynasty whose protection Muttaqi-Billah had sought on becoming caliph. Naser od-Dowla Hamdani saw this as an opportunity to add all of Iraq to his realm and marched along with the caliph, but because of the well-organized opposition of the Turkic forces he found it difficult to control Baghdad. The caliph after wondering from city to city finally threw himself at the mercy of Tuzun, who soon broke his promises and deposed, blinded and replaced him with another puppet, named al-Mustakfi-Billah.
On 15th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 323 AH, Obaidullah Mahdi died. He claimed to be a descendant of Ismail, the son of Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He rejected the Abbasids and all preceding caliphs as usurpers of the political rights of the Prophet’s divinely-appointed successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). He declared himself caliph in the Maghreb or North Africa, in what is now Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, and founded the Fatimid Dynasty, which later shifted its capital to Egypt, ruling for a total of 274 years.
The notorious enemy of Spanish Muslims
On August 13, 1311 AD, Alfonso XI, the king of Castile, Leon and Galicia, who was notorious for his enmity towards Spanish Muslims, was born to Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. A year later he became an infant king on the death of his father, under a regency council.
In 1325 he assumed power, made a bloody purge of all potential rivals to his throne, and immediately launched military attacks on the Muslim dynasties of Spain. For the next quarter century until his death in 1350 during the 5th unsuccessful Siege of Gibraltar, which was seen as divine affliction by Muslims, he conquered the kingdom of Alegeciras in 1344, while four years earlier after a string of defeats at the hands of the joint army of Marinid Muslim Berbers of Morocco and the Emir Yusuf I of Grenada, he had resorted to ruse, treachery and use of Christian mercenaries from all over Europe to win the Battle of Rio Salado. He was ruthless and bloodthirsty.