The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 17: The Collapse of the Apostasy

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy


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"There was not born to Adam among his descendants anyone better than Abu Bakr, after the Prophets and Messengers. Abu Bakr took a stance in the Days of Apostasy which was like the stance of one of the Prophets."
[Abu Husain]1

What remained of the apostasy in the less vital areas of Arabia was rooted out by the Muslims in a series of well planned campaigns within five months.

Amr bin Al Aas had been sent with his corps to the Syrian border to subdue the apostates in that region. The most important tribes that needed chastisement were the Quza'a and the Wadi'a, the latter being a section of the large tribe of Kalb. While Khalid was fighting in Central Arabia, Amr struck at the apostates in the north, but achieved only limited success. He was not able to beat the tribes into submission.

When the Battle of Yamamah was over, Shurahbil bin Hasanah proceeded with his corps, on the orders of the Caliph, to reinforce Amr, and the two commanders operated in unison to bring about the subjugation of the northern tribes. Most of the apostates were concentrated in the region of Tabuk and Daumat-ul-Jandal, and it was here that Amr and Shurahbil struck their hardest blows. In a few weeks the apostasy was destroyed and the tribes re-entered Islam. Peace returned to Northern Arabia.

The main tribe inhabiting Oman was the Azd. The chief of this tribe was Laqeet bin Malik, known more commonly as Dhul Taj, the Crowned One. These Arabs, like those whose apostasy is described later in this chapter, had embraced Islam in the time of the Prophet and agreed to abide by the terms imposed by the Muslim State.

On hearing the news of the Holy Prophet's death, the bulk of the Azd, led by Dhul Taj, revolted and renounced Islam. It is not certain that this man was an impostor. Going by a brief comment of Tabari that he "claimed what prophets claim", 2 we could assume that he probably did make some claim to prophethood. Be that as it may, while Abu Bakr was busy dealing with the immediate threat to Madinah, Dhul Taj declared himself King of Oman and established himself as its undisputed ruler with his headquarters at Daba. (See Map 7)

After Khalid had left Zhu Qissa to seek Tulaiha, the Caliph despatched Hudaifa bin Mihsan (one of the corps commanders) to tackle the apostasy in Oman. Hudaifa entered the province of Oman, but not having strong enough forces to fight Dhul Taj, he decided to await reinforcements. He wrote to the Caliph accordingly, who, as has already been noted, instructed Ikrimah to march from Yamamah to the aid of Hudhaifa. On his arrival, the two generals combined their forces and set out to fight Dhul Taj at Daba.

The Battle of Daba was fought towards the end of November 632 (early Ramadan, 11 Hijri). At first the battle went badly for the Muslims; but at a critical moment a force of local Muslims, who had clung to their faith in spite of Dhul Taj, appeared on, the battlefield in support of their co-religionists. With this fresh addition to their strength the Muslims were able to defeat the infidel army. Dhul Taj was killed in battle.

Being appointed governor of Oman, Hudaifa next set about the re-establishment of law and order. Ikrimah, having no local administrative responsibility, used his corps to subdue the neighbourhood of Daba; and in a number of small actions, succeeded in breaking the resistance of those of the Azd who had continued to defy the authority of Islam. Thereafter the Azd once again became peaceful, law-abiding Muslims and gave no further trouble to Madinah.

1. Tarikh Al-Khulafaa of As-Suyuti
2. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 529.