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Muslim conquest of Persia

(Redirected from Muslim conquest of Iraq)

Muslim conquest of Persia
Part of the Muslim conquests

Map of the Persia and its surrounding

regions on the eve of the Muslim




Mesopotamia, Caucasus,
Persia, and Greater


Decisive Arab victory


Fall of the Sasanian


Rise of several
dynasties in

Albania (633636)
Arab Christians

House of Mihran
House of Karen
Dabuyids (642
Commanders and leaders

See list[show]

See list[show]

Muslim conquest
of Persia

Early Muslim expansion

The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran[2] led to the end of
the Sasanian Empire in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Iran. Arabs
first attacked the Sassanid territory in 633, when general Khalid ibn Walid invaded Mesopotamia
(what is now Iraq), which was the political and economic center of the Sassanid state.[3]
Following the transfer of Khalid to the Roman front in the Levant, the Muslims eventually lost
their holdings to Iranian counterattacks. The second invasion began in 636 under Saad ibn Abi
Waqqas, when a key victory at the Battle of Qadisiyyah led to the permanent end of Sasanian
control west of Iran. The Zagros mountains then became a natural barrier and border between the

Rashidun Caliphate and the Sassanid Empire. Owing to continuous raids by Persians into the
area, Caliph Umar ordered a full invasion of the Sasanian Iranian empire in 642, which was
completed with the complete conquest of the Sasanians around 651.a[] The quick conquest of
Iran in a series of well coordinated multi-pronged attacks, directed by Caliph Umar from Medina
several thousand miles from the battlefields in Iran, became his greatest triumph, contributing to
his reputation as a great military and political strategist.[4]
Iranian historians have sought to defend their forebears by using Arab sources to illustrate that
"contrary to the claims of some historians, Iranians, in fact, fought long and hard against the
invading Arabs."[5] By 651, most of the urban centers in Iranian lands, with the notable exception
of the Caspian provinces and Transoxiana, had come under the domination of the Arab armies.
Many localities in Iran staged a defense against the invaders, but in the end none was able to
repulse the invasion. Even after the Arabs had subdued the country, many cities rose in rebellion,
killing the Arab governor or attacking their garrisons, but reinforcements from the caliphs
succeeded in putting down all these rebellions and imposing the rule of Islam. The violent
subjugation of Bukhara after many uprisings is a case in point. Conversion to Islam was,
however, only gradual. In the process, many acts of violence took place, Zoroastrian scriptures
were burnt and many priests executed.[6] Once conquered politically, the Persians began to
reassert themselves by maintaining Persian language and culture. Regardless, Islam was adopted
by many, for political, socio-cultural or spiritual reasons, or simply by persuasion, and became
the dominant religion.[7][8]

1 Historiography and recent scholarship

2 Sassanid Empire before the Conquest


2.1 Revolt of the Arab client states (602)

2.2 ByzantineSassanid War (612629)

2.2.1 Execution of Khosrau II

2.3 During Muhammad's life

3 Rise of the Caliphate

4 First invasion of Mesopotamia (633)

5 Second invasion of Mesopotamia (636)


5.1 Battle of Qadisiyyah

6 Conquest of Mesopotamia (636638)

6.1 Raids of Persians in Mesopotamia (638641)

7 Battle of Nahawand (642)

8 Conquest of Persia (642651)


8.1 Strategic planning for the conquest of Persia

8.2 Conquest of Central Persia

8.3 Conquest of Southern Persia (Fars)

8.4 Conquest of Southeastern Persia (Kerman and Makran)

8.5 Conquest of Eastern Persia (Sistan)

8.6 Conquest of Azerbaijan

8.7 Conquest of Armenia

8.8 Conquest of Khorasan

9 Persian rebellion and reconquest

10 End of the Sassanid dynasty

11 Persia under Muslim rule


11.1 Administration

11.2 Religion

11.3 Ancient Zorastrian Fire Temples

12 Language

13 Urbanisation

14 See also

15 References

16 Sources

17 External links

Historiography and recent scholarship

When Western academics first investigated the Muslim conquest of Persia, they only had to rely
on the accounts of the Armenian Christian bishop Sebeos, and accounts in Arabic that were
written some time after the events they describe. The most significant work was probably that of
Arthur Christensen, and his LIran sous les Sassanides, published in Copenhagen and Paris in
However recent scholarship, both Iranian and Western,[citation needed] has begun to question the
traditional narrative. Parvaneh Pourshariati, in her Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The
Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran, published in 2008, provides
both a detailed overview of the problematic nature of trying to establish exactly what happened,
and a great deal of original research that questions fundamental facts of the traditional narrative,
including the timeline and specific dates.
Pourshariati's central thesis is that contrary to what was commonly assumed, the Sassanian
Empire was highly decentralized, and was in fact a "confederation" with the Parthians, who
themselves retained a high level of independence.[10] Despite their recent victories over the
Byzantine Empire, making the Byzantines a client-state of the Sassanians, the Parthians
unexpectedly withdrew from the confederation, and the Sassanians were thus ill-prepared and illequipped to mount an effective and cohesive defense against the Muslim armies.[11] Moreover,
the powerful northern and eastern Parthian families, the kust-i khwarasan and kust-i
adurbadagan, withdrew to their respective strongholds and made peace with the Arabs, refusing
to fight alongside the Sassanians.
Another important theme of Pourshariati's study is a re-evaluation of the traditional timeline.
Pourshariati argues that the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia "took place, not, as has been
conventionally believed, in the years 632634, after the accession of the last Sasanian king
Yazdgerd III (632651) to power, but in the period from 628 to 632."[12] An important
consequence of this change in timeline means that the Arab conquest started precisely when the
Sassanians and Parthians were engaged in internecine warfare over succession to the Sassanian
Sassanid Empire before the Conquest

Since the 1st century BC, the border between the Roman (later Byzantine) and Parthian (later
Sassanid) empires had been the Euphrates river. The border was constantly contested. Most
battles, and thus most fortifications, were concentrated in the hilly regions of the north, as the
vast Arabian or Syrian Desert (Roman Arabia) separated the rival empires in the south. The only
dangers expected from the south were occasional raids by nomadic Arab tribesmen. Both
empires therefore allied themselves with small, semi-independent Arab principalities, which
served as buffer states and protected Byzantium and Persia from Bedouin attacks. The Byzantine
clients were the Ghassanids; the Persian clients were the Lakhmids. The Ghassanids and
Lakhmids feuded constantlywhich kept them occupied, but that did not greatly affect the
Byzantines or the Persians. In the 6th and 7th centuries, various factors destroyed the balance of
power that had held for so many centuries.

Revolt of the Arab client states (602)

Ancient Iranians attached great importance to music and poetry, as they still do
today. This 7th century plate depicts Sassanid era musicians.

The Byzantine clients, the Arab Ghassanids, converted to the Monophysite form of Christianity,
which was regarded as heretical by the established Byzantine Orthodox Church. The Byzantines
attempted to suppress the heresy, alienating the Ghassanids and sparking rebellions on their
desert frontiers. The Lakhmids also revolted against the Persian king Khusrau II. Nu'man III (son
of Al-Monder IV), the first Christian Lakhmid king, was deposed and killed by Khusrau II in
602, because of his attempt to throw off the Persian tutelage. After Khusrau's assassination, the
Persian Empire fractured and the Lakhmids were effectively semi-independent. It is now widely
believed that the annexation of the Lakhmid kingdom was one of the main factors behind the Fall
of Sassanid dynasty, to the Muslim Arabs and the Islamic conquest of Persia, as the Lakhmids
agreed to act as spies for the Muslims after being defeated in the Battle of Hira by Khalid ibn alWalid.[13]
ByzantineSassanid War (612629)
Main articles: Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602628 and ByzantineSassanid Wars
See also: Fall of Sassanid dynasty

The Persian ruler Khosrau II (Parviz) defeated a dangerous rebellion within his own empire, the
Bahram Chobin's rebellion. He afterward turned his energies towards his traditional Byzantine
enemies, leading to the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602628. For a few years, he succeeded
gloriously. From 612 to 622, he extended the Persian borders almost to the same extent that they
were under the Achaemenid dynasty (550330 BC), capturing Western states as far as Egypt,
Palestine, and more.
The Byzantines regrouped and pushed back in 622 under Heraclius. Khosrau was defeated at the
Battle of Nineveh in 627, and the Byzantines recaptured all of Syria and penetrated far into the
Persian provinces of Mesopotamia. In 629, Khosrau's general Shahrbaraz agreed to peace, and
the border between the two empires was once again the same as it was in 602.
Execution of Khosrau II

Sassanid King Khosrau II submitting to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, from a

plaque on a 12th-century French cross.

Khosrau II was executed in 628 and as a result, there were numerous claimants to the throne;
from 628 to 632 there were ten kings and queens of Persia. The last, Yazdegerd III, was a
grandson of Khosrau II and was said to be a mere child aged 8 years.[14]
During Muhammad's life

After the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in 628, Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad sent many
letters to the princes, kings, and chiefs of the various tribes and kingdoms of the time, inviting
them to convert to Islam. These letters were carried by ambassadors to Persia, Byzantium,
Ethiopia, Egypt, Yemen, and Hira (Iraq) on the same day.[15] This assertion has been brought
under scrutiny by some modern historians of Islamnotably Grimme and Caetani.[16]
Particularly in dispute is the assertion that Khosrau II received a letter from Muhammad, as the
Sassanid court ceremony was notoriously intricate, and it is unlikely that a letter from what at the
time was a minor regional power would have reached the hands of the Shahanshah.[17]
With regards to Persia, Muslim histories further recount that at the beginning of the seventh year
of migration, Muhammad appointed one of his officers, Abdullah Huzafah Sahmi Qarashi, to
carry his letter to Khosrau II inviting him to convert:
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to
the great Kisra of Iran. Peace be upon him, who seeks truth and expresses belief in Allah and in
His Prophet and testifies that there is no god but Allah and that He has no partner, and who
believes that Muhammad is His servant and Prophet. Under the Command of Allah, I invite you
to Him. He has sent me for the guidance of all people so that I may warn them all of His wrath
and may present the unbelievers with an ultimatum. Embrace Islam so that you may remain safe.
And if you refuse to accept Islam, you will be responsible for the sins of the Magi."[18]
There are differing accounts of the reaction of Khosrau II. Nearly all assert that he destroyed the
letter in anger; the variations concentrate on the extent and detail of his response[citation needed].
Rise of the Caliphate

Muhammad died in June 632, and Abu Bakr took the title of Caliph and political successor at
Medina. Soon after Abu Bakr's succession, several Arab tribes revolted, in the Ridda Wars
(Arabic for the Wars of Apostasy). The Ridda Wars preoccupied the Caliphate until March 633,
and ended with the entirety of the Arab Peninsula under the authority of the Caliph at Medina.
Whether Abu Bakr intended a full-out imperial conquest or not is hard to say. He did, however,
set in motion a historical trajectory (continued later on by Umar and Uthman) that in just a few
short decades would lead to one of the largest empires in history,[19] beginning with a
confrontation with the Sassanid Empire under the general Khalid ibn al-Walid.
First invasion of Mesopotamia (633)

Map detailing the route of Khalid ibn Walid's conquest of Mesopotamia.

After the Ridda Wars, a tribal chief of north eastern Arabia, Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha, raided the
Persian towns in Mesopotamia (what is now Iraq). Abu Bakr was strong enough to attack the
Persian Empire in the north-east and the Byzantine Empire in the north-west. There were three
purposes for this conquest: 1. Along the borders between Arabia and these two great empires
were numerous Arab tribes leading a nomadic life and forming a buffer-like state between the
Persians and Romans. Abu Bakr hoped that these tribes might accept Islam and help their
brethren in spreading it. 2. The Persian and Roman populations suffered with very high taxation
laws; Abu Bakr believed that they might be persuaded to help the Muslims, who agreed to
release them from the excessive tributes. 3. Two gigantic empires surrounded Arabia, and it was
unsafe to remain passive with these two powers on its borders. Abu Bakr hoped that by attacking
Iraq and Syria he might remove the danger from the borders of the Islamic State.[20] With the
success of the raids, a considerable amount of booty was collected. Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha
went to Medina to inform Caliph Abu Bakr about his success and was appointed commander of
his people, after which he began to raid deeper into Mesopotamia. Using the mobility of his light
cavalry he could easily raid any town near the desert and disappear again into the desert, into
which the Sassanid army was unable to chase them. Misnah's acts made Abu Bakr think about
the expansion of the Rashidun Empire.[21]
To be certain of victory, Abu Bakr made two decisions concerning the attack on Persia: first, the
invading army would consist entirely of volunteers; and second, to put in command of the army
his best general: Khalid ibn al-Walid. After defeating the self-proclaimed prophet Musaylimah in

the Battle of Yamama, Khalid was still at Al-Yamama when Abu Bakr sent him orders to invade
the Sassanid Empire. Making Al-Hirah the objective of Khalid, Abu Bakr sent reinforcements
and ordered the tribal chiefs of north eastern Arabia, Misnah ibn Haris, Mazhur bin Adi, Harmala
and Sulma to operate under the command of Khalid along with their men. Around the third week
of March 633 (first week of Muharram 12th Hijrah) Khalid set out from Al-Yamama with an
army of 10,000.[21] The tribal chiefs, with 2,000 warriors each, joined Khalid; so Khalid entered
the Persian Empire with 18,000 troops.
After entering Mesopotamia with his army of 18,000, Khalid won decisive victories in four
consecutive battles: the Battle of Chains, fought in April 633; the Battle of River, fought in the
3rd week of April 633 AD; the Battle of Walaja, fought in May 633 (where he successfully used
a double envelopment manoeuvre), and the Battle of Ullais, fought in the mid of May, 633 AD.
The Persian court, already disturbed by internal problems, was thrown into chaos. In the last
week of May 633, the important city of Hira fell to the Muslims after their victory in the Siege of
Hira. After resting his armies, in June 633 Khalid laid siege to the city of Al Anbar, which
resisted and eventually surrendered after a siege of a few weeks in July 633 after the Siege of AlAnbar. Khalid then moved towards the south, and conquered the city of Ein ul Tamr after the
Battle of Ein ut Tamr in the last week of July, 633. At this point, most of what is now Iraq was
under Islamic control.
Khalid got a call of help from northern Arabia at Daumat-ul-Jandal, where another Muslim Arab
general, Ayaz bin Ghanam, was trapped among the rebel tribes. Khalid went to Daumat-ul-jandal
and defeated the rebels in the Battle of Daumat-ul-jandal in the last week of August, 633.
Returning from Arabia, he got news of the assembling of a large Persian army. He decided to
defeat them all separately to avoid the risk of being defeated by a large unified Persian army.
Four divisions of Persian and Christian Arab auxiliaries were present at Hanafiz, Zumiel, Sanni
and Muzieh. Khalid devised a brilliant plan to destroy the Persian forces. He divided his army in
three units, and attacked the Persian forces in well coordinated attacks from three different sides
at night, starting from the Battle of Muzieh, then the Battle of Sanni, and finally the Battle of
Zumail during November 633. These devastating defeats ended Persian control over
Mesopotamia, and left the Persian capital Ctesiphon unguarded and vulnerable to Muslim attack.
Before attacking the Persian capital, Khalid decided to eliminate all Persian forces in the south
and west. He accordingly marched against the border city of Firaz, where he defeated the
combined forces of the Sassanid Persians, the Byzantine Romans and Christian Arabs in the
Battle of Firaz in December 633. This was the last battle in his conquest of Mesopotamia. While
Khalid was on his way to attack Qadissiyah (a key fort in the way to the Persian capital
Ctesiphon), he received a letter from Caliph Abu Bakr and was sent to the Roman front in Syria
to assume the command of the Muslim armies to conquer Roman Syria.[22]

Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different elements.[1] Waste sorting
can occur manually at the household and collected through curbside collection schemes, or
automatically separated in materials recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment
systems. Hand sorting was the first method used in the history of waste sorting.[2]
Waste can also be sorted in a civic amenity site.
Waste segregation means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes wood and related
products, metals and glass. Wet waste, typically refers to organic waste usually generated by
eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to dampness. Waste can also be segregated on
basis of biodegradable or non-biodegradable waste.
Landfills are an increasingly pressing problem.[citation needed] Less and less land is available to deposit
refuse, but the volume of waste is growing all time. As a result, segregating waste is not just of
environmental importance, but of economic concern, too.

1 Methods

2 By country

3 See also

4 References

5 External links


Waste is collected at its source in each area and separated. The way that waste is sorted must
reflect local disposal systems. The following categories are common:


Cardboard (including packaging for return to suppliers)

Glass (clear, tinted no light bulbs or window panes, which belong with
residual waste)


Scrap metal


Special/hazardous waste

Residual waste

Organic waste can also be segregated for disposal:

Leftover food which has had any contact with meat can be collected
separately to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Meat and bone can be retrieved by bodies responsible for animal waste

If other leftovers are sent, for example, to local farmers, they can be
sterilised before being fed to the animals

Peel and scrapings from fruit and vegetables can be composted along with
other degradable matter. Other waste can be included for composting, too,
such as cut flowers, corks, coffee grindings, rotting fruit, tea bags, egg- and
nutshells, paper towels etc.

Chip pan oil (fryer oil), used fats, vegetable oil and the content of fat filters can be collected by
companies able to re-use them. Local authority waste departments can provide relevant
addresses. This can be achieved by providing recycling bins.
By country[edit]

In Germany, regulations exist that provide mandatory quotas for the waste sorting of packaging
waste and recyclable materials such as glass bottles.[3]