The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 19: The Battle of Chains

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq


Page: 6

The Muslims appear also to have captured an elephant in the Battle of Chains, and this animal was sent to Madinah along with other spoils. The city of the Prophet had never before seen an elephant and there was tremendous excitement in the capital when the behemoth arrived. The people marvelled at this greatest of land animals; but Abu Bakr could not think of any use for the unfamiliar beast and returned it to Khalid. What happened to it thereafter we do not know.

While the families of the Persians and those of the Iraqi Arabs who had supported them were taken captive, the rest of the population of the district was left unmolested. This population consisted mainly of small farmers, peasants and shepherds, and they all agreed to pay the Jizya and come under Muslim protection.

For a few days Khalid remained busy with organisational matters. Then he set his army in motion towards the north. Ahead of the main body of the army he sent Muthanna and his 2,000 riders to reconnoitre the country and kill any stragglers behind by the retreating Persians.

Muthanna reached a small river just north of where Zubair stands today, on the bank of which stood a fort known as Hisnul-Mar'at, i.e., the Fort of the Lady, so called because a lady ruled over it. 1 Muthanna laid siege to the fort; but in order to avoid delay in his advance, he left his brother, Mu'anna, in charge of the siege operations with a few hundred men and himself proceeded north with the rest of his column.

Two or three days of siege operations were enough to convince the lady of the fort of the futility of resistance. The Persian army of Uballa had been defeated and she could expect no help from any quarter. Mu'anna offered to accept a peaceful surrender without bloodshed, without plunder, without enslavement. The lady agreed; the defenders surrendered. Mu'anna and the lady of the fort appear to have found much pleasure in their meeting with each other. First the lady became a Muslim, and then, without any further delay, Mu'anna married her!

Meanwhile Khalid was advancing northwards from Kazima with the main body of the army.

1. The river is still there and is known as the River of the Lady, but there is no trace of the fort.