All the commanders, before starting their assigned campaigns, were instructed to send a detailed report of the geography and terrain of the region and the positions of the Persian garrisons , forts , cities and troops. Umar then would send them a detailed plan of how he wanted the region to be captured. Only the tactical issues were left to the field commanders to tackle in accordance with the situation they faced at their fronts. In the wake of Khalid's demise, Umar appointed Abdullah ibn Uthman as commander of the Muslim forces for the invasion of Isfahan. The enemy commander, Shahrvaraz Jadhuyih , along with another Sasanian general, was killed during the battle.
Muslim conquest of Persia
This represented the boundary of the Isfahan region. Further northeast was Khurasan , and southeast lay Sistan. Meanwhile, Hamadan and Rey had rebelled. Umar sent Nu'aym, whose brother Nu'man had recently died, to Hamadan to crush the rebellion and clear Isfahan's western frontier. Nu'aym recaptured Hamadan after a bloody battle, and then proceeded to Rey. There too the Persians resisted but were defeated outside the fort, and the Muslims recaptured the city.
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Although al-'Ala' and the rest of the Arabs had been ordered to not invade Fars or its surrounding islands, he and his men continued their raids into the province. Al-'Ala quickly prepared an army which he divided into three groups, one under al-Jarud ibn Mu'alla, the second under al-Sawwar ibn Hammam, and the third under Khulayd ibn al-Mundhir ibn Sawa. When the first group entered Fars, it was quickly defeated and al-Jarud was killed. The same thing soon happened to the second group. However, the third group was more fortunate: Khulayd managed to keep the defenders at bay, but was unable to withdraw to Bahrain, as the Sassanians were blocking his way to the sea.
Umar, having found out about al-'Ala's invasion of Fars, had him replaced with Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas as governor. Umar then ordered Utbah ibn Ghazwan to send reinforcements to Khulayd. Once the reinforcements arrived, Khulayd and some of his men managed to withdraw to Bahrain, while the rest withdrew to Basra. In ca. In , al-'Ala' once again attacked Fars from Bahrain, reaching as far as Estakhr , until he was repulsed by the Persian governor marzban of Fars, Shahrag. Some time later, Uthman ibn Abi al-'As managed to establish a military base at Tawwaj, and soon defeated and killed Shahrag near Rew-shahr however, other sources state that al-'As's brother did this.
After the accession of Uthman ibn Affan as the new Rashidun Caliph on 11 November, the inhabitants of Bishapur, under the leadership of Shahrag's brother, declared independence, but were defeated.
However, the Persian historian al-Baladhuri states that this occurred in The military governor of Estakhr, 'Ubayd Allah ibn Ma'mar, was defeated and killed. However, Estakhr failed to put up a strong resistance, and was soon sacked by the Arabs, who killed over 40, defenders. Muslim control of Fars remained shaky for a time, with several local rebellions following the conquest. The expedition to Kerman , under Suhail ibn Adi, was sent at roughly the same time as the expeditions to Sistan and Azerbaijan.
Suhail marched from Busra in ; passing through Shiraz and Persepolis , he joined with other armies and then marched against Kerman, which was subdued after a pitched battle with the local garrisons. The Arabs were raiding Sakastan as early as Umar's caliphate. However, the first real invasion took place in , when Abd-Allah ibn Amir , having secured his position in Kerman, sent an army under Mujashi ibn Mas'ud there. After crossing the Dasht-i Lut desert, Mujashi ibn Mas'ud reached Sakastan, but suffered a heavy defeat and was forced to retreat.
Iranian History/The Islamic Conquest of Iran
After some time, Rabi reached Zaliq, a Sakastani border town, where he forced the dehqan of the town to acknowledge Rashidun authority. He then did the same at the fortress of Karkuya, which had a famous fire temple mentioned in the Tarikh-i Sistan. Next, he besieged the provincial capital, Zrang , and, after a heavy battle outside the city, its governor, Aparviz , surrendered. When Aparviz went to Rabi ibn Ziyad to negotiate a treaty, he saw that Rabi was using the bodies of two dead soldiers as a chair.
This horrified Aparviz, who, in order to spare the inhabitants of Sakastan from the Arabs, made peace with them in return for a heavy tribute of 1 million dirhams , including 1, slave boys or girls bearing 1, golden vessels. The inhabitants of Sakastan used this opportunity to rebel, defeating the Muslim garrison at Zrang.
When 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Samura reached Sakastan, he suppressed the rebellion and defeated the Zunbils of Zabulistan , seizing Bust and a few cities in Zabulistan. The conquest of Iranian Azerbaijan started in ,  part of a simultaneous attack launched against Kerman and Makran in the southeast described above , against Sistan in the northeast and against Azerbaijan in the northwest.
Hudheifa ibn Al Yaman was assigned Azerbaijan. Hudheifa marched from Rey in central Persia to Zanjan , a well-fortified Persian stronghold in the north. The Persians came out of the city and gave battle, but Hudheifa defeated them, captured the city, and those who sought peace were granted it on the usual jizya conditions. Hudheifa then continued his march north along the western coast of the Caspian Sea and captured Bab al-Abwab by force.
They were sent to carry out a two-pronged attack against Azerbaijan: Bukair along the western coast of the Caspian Sea, and Uthba into the heart of Azerbaijan. On his way north Bukair was halted by a large Persian force under Isfandiyar , the son of Farrukhzad. A pitched battle was fought, after which Isfandiyar was defeated and captured. In return for his life, he agreed to surrender his estates in Azerbaijan and persuade others to submit to Muslim rule.
He too sued for peace. Azerbaijan then surrendered to Caliph Umar, agreeing to pay the annual jizya. The Muslims had conquered Byzantine Armenia in — Persian Armenia, north of Azerbaijan, remained in Persian hands, along with Khurasan. Umar refused to take any chances; he never perceived the Persians as being weak, which facilitated the speedy conquest of the Persian Empire. Again Umar sent simultaneous expeditions to the far north-east and north-west of the Persian Empire, one to Khurasan in late and the other to Armenia.
Bukair ibn Abdullah , who had recently subdued Azerbaijan, was ordered to capture Tiflis. From Bab, on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, Bukair continued his march north. Umar employed his traditional successful strategy of multi-pronged attacks. While Bukair was still kilometres away from Tiflis , Umar instructed him to divide his army into three corps. Umar appointed Habib ibn Muslaima to capture Tiflis, Abdulrehman to march north against the mountains and Hudheifa to march against the southern mountains.
With the success of all three missions, the advance into Armenia came to an end with the death of Umar in November By then almost the whole of the South Caucasus was captured. Khorasan was the second-largest province of the Sassanid Empire.
Early Islamic Iran (The Idea of Iran) Edmund Herzig: I.B. Tauris
It stretched from what is now northeastern Iran , northwestern Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan. Its capital was Balkh , in northern Afghanistan. In the conquest of Khurasan was assigned to Ahnaf ibn Qais. Rey was already in Muslim hands and Nishapur surrendered without resistance. From Nishapur, Ahnaf marched to Herat in western Afghanistan.
Herat was a fortified town, and the resulting siege lasted for a few months before it surrendered, bringing the whole of southern Khorasan under Muslim control. Ahnaf then marched north directly to Merv , in present-day Turkmenistan. No resistance was offered at Merv, and the Muslims occupied the capital of Khurasan without firing a shot. Ahnaf stayed at Merv and waited for reinforcement from Kufa.
Meanwhile, Yazdegerd had also gathered considerable power at Balkh and allied with the Turkic Khan of Farghana , who personally led the relief contingent. Umar ordered Ahnaf to break up the alliance. The Khan of Farghana, realizing that fighting against the Muslims might endanger his own kingdom, withdrew from the alliance and pulled back to Farghana. The remainder of Yazdegerd's army was defeated at the Battle of Oxus River and retreated across the Oxus to Transoxiana.
Yazdegerd himself narrowly escaped to China. Balkh was occupied by the Muslims, and with this, the once-mighty Sassanid empire had ceased to exist. The Muslims had now reached the outermost frontiers of Persia. Beyond that lay the lands of the Turks and still further lay China. Ahnaf returned to Merv and sent a detailed report of his success to the anxiously-waiting Umar, and sought permission to cross the Oxus river and invade Transoxiana. Umar ordered Ahnaf to stand down and instead consolidate his power south of the Oxus.
Umar was assassinated in November by a Persian slave named Piruz Nahavandi. The assassination is often seen by historians as a Persian conspiracy,  masterminded by Hormuzan. Uthman ibn Affan — succeeded Umar as caliph. During his reign, almost the whole of the former Sassanid empire's territory rebelled from time to time, requiring him to send several military expeditions to crush the rebellions and recapture Persia and its vassal states.
Meanwhile, Uthman's empire expanded beyond the borders of the Sassanid Empire, to Transoxiana , Baluchistan , and the Caucasus. For many decades to come, this was the easternmost limit of Muslim rule. Arab Muslims conquests have been variously seen in Iran: by some as a blessing, the advent of the true faith, the end of the age of ignorance and heathenism; by others as a humiliating national defeat, the conquest and subjugation of the country by foreign invaders.
Both perceptions are of course valid, depending on one's angle of vision… Iran was indeed Islamized, but it was not Arabized.
Related Persia from the Earliest Period to the Arab Conquest
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