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CONQUEST OP PERSIA BY THE ARABS, 

(Continued from Volume First.*) 

The taking of Tuj in Fdrs. 

Dueikg the first part of the twenty-third year of the 
Hijrah, news came to the Khalifeh 'Omar Ibn El-Khattab, 
that the king of Tuj was collecting a large force, and waited 
to meet his army. 'Omar therefore marched twenty thou- 
sand troops to the aid of Fars. Tuj, called in the Persian 
tongue Tuz, is a town of Fars, and is situated towards 
Ahwaz in the kingdom of Fars. 

The armies of Ahwaz and 'Ajem being assembled at 
Ahwaz, the Khalifeh sent the other army to join them, but 
without appointing any one to the command. The leader 
of each army had the command of a city. The Khalifeh 
directed that the whole force of Fars should be collected in 
one place, after which arrangements would be made for 
carrying on the war. "Go," said he, "to Fars; but go not 
to the place where the enemy have set themselves down ; 
for they will disperse, and their arrangements will be broken 
up. Attack every city which you fall in with." 

The Khalifeh now gave the charge of the war to Mujashi' 
Ibn Mes'ud Eth-Thakafy. He also conferred on him the 
government of Msabur, and its vicinity. He conferred the 
government of Istakhr on 'Othman Ibn Abu-l-'As Eth-Tha- 
kafy ; and that of Shiraz on his brother Hakim Ibn Abu-1- 
'As, desiring him to reside there. He gave the government 
of SeM and Darabjerd to Sariyeh Ibn Zenim Ed-Dailamy. 



* The Committee of Publication have received valuable assistance, in the 
revision of this article, from Professor William W. Turner of New York. 

VOL. II. 27 



210 

Tlie army with the above-mentioned commanders, started 
toward Fars. They set themselves down at Tuj, with the 
troops of Medineh and of Fars. All the Muslim soldiers 
did not go at once to Tuj ; each commander to whom a city 
was given, went to his city. At length, all the forces of Tuj 
dispersed. Mujashi', however, marched against that place, 
and took it. Then, leaving a few soldiers there, he made an 
excursion to Nisabur, taking much booty. This man was 
the brother of Abu 'Obeid Ibn Mes'ud, who, on the acces- 
sion of the Khalifeh 'Omar to the khalifate, and his call 
upon the chosen of the Most High to join in a holy war 
against the infidels, received the command of them, and fell 
a martyr at the battle of El-Jisr, under the feet of a white 
elephant. At the time when 'Ala El-Hadhramy took the 
cities of Tuj and Istakhr, he crossed over the sea with his 
own forces, without the authority of the Khalifeh' — on whom 
rest the divine complacency ! — and the inhabitants of those 
two cities apostatized from the faith of Islam. 

When Mujashi' took Tiij, he divided the riches and booty 
of the place among his followers. He retained, however, a 
fifth part of it, and sent it with a missive of conquest to the 
Prince of the believers. 

On the departure of the army of 'Othmaii Ibn Abu-l-'As 
for Istakhr, the forces in that place marched out against 
him. He engaged them, and put them to flight ; and ap- 
proaching the gates of that city, besieged it. He made 
peace with the city, and took possession of it. He then sent 
a letter, with a fifth part of the booty, to the Khalifeh. 

Hakim Ibn Abu-l-'As, the brother of 'Othman, went 
toward Shiraz. At the same time, Shahrek left Tuj with 
many troops, all of whom were men encased in iron ; they 
were clothed in armor to such a degree that their eyes were 
scarcely visible. Hakim also had a great many troops, all 
of whom were experienced in warfare and full of courage, 
the chosen troops of the Arabs, as well as their greatest 
champions, such, for instance, as 'Abdallah Ibn Mu'ammar 
Et-Temimy, Shibl Ibn Ma'bed El-Bejely, Jarud El-'Abd, 
and Abu Sighrah the father of Mihbal; and. they all, at 
length, gave battle to the troops of Shahrek. When the 
light of day touched their helmets and their corslets, men's 
eyes were dazzled with their brightness. This brightness 
fell upon the Muslims, so that their eyes were blinded. 



211 

They fought so stoutly that by noon the troops of the city 
were defeated ; and they used their swords with such effect 
that they killed an innumerable number of persons. Hakim, 
with his own hand, killed Shahrek and his son. There was 
a person with Shahrek, from 'Ajem, named Azdinan, who 
came with his own troops to ask quarter of Hakim ; which 
the latter gave him. When their forces were defeated, an 
immense amount of treasure fell into the hands of the Mus- 
lims; which being divided amongst them, Hakim sent the 
news to the Khalifeh by a missive of conquest. 

Now when Sariyeh Ibn Zenim marched toward Seba and 
Darabjerd, his forces entered the fortress of the latter, and 
occupied it for the space of three months. At length, 
assistance was asked from the villages in the neighborhood 
of Shiraz ; and after assembling a large force, the inhabitants 
marched out of the city, and attacked the Muslim army. 
The battle was a severe one, and many Muslims fell. It 
was the time of the prayer of Friday, and the battle took 
place in a plain ; near the Muslims there was a high moun- 
tain. The infidels surrounded the Muslims, and made great 
havoc among them, so that their position was very critical, 
and they were near being defeated. Sariyeh — on whom rest 
the divine complacency ! — was fighting with his head bare, 
when suddenly he heard the voice of the Khalifeh, crying 
aloud, "0 Sariyeh! the mountain, the mountain I" meaning, 
Sariyeh! turn against the mountain. Thereupon, Sariyeh 
cried out to the troops, " helpers, I have just heard the 
voice of the Khalifeh ; did not you also hear it ?" They 
answered, "We heard it; but this is. not the voice of the 
Khalifeh 'Omar, for there is a great distance between him 
and us." Sariyeh replied, " The Most High has caused us 
to hear it, and pointed out a way for us." Then, on his col- 
lecting his soldiers, they placed their backs to the mountain. 
That evening they found safety ; and on the following day 
they recommenced the battle, and subdued and took the 
city. The Khalifeh 'Omar at Medineh had a vision on Fri- 
day eve ; the troops of Sariyeh were in his heart, and he 
was sorrowful, for it was then three months since they had 
pitched before the gates of the fortress of Darabjerd, without 
his having any news of them. 'Omar saw them in his dreams 
that night engaged in battle, and he told the vision to his 
people, at the hour of the prayer of Friday. At the same 



212 

time, lie ascended the pulpit, and read the khotbeh. While 
thus engaged, the Most High removed the veil from his 
eyes, and he beheld Sariyeh and his soldiers. The Khalifeh 
remained silent, just as a person is silent who beholds an 
object, and regards it attentively ; then reflecting for a mo- 
ment, he saw Sariyeh and his troops surrounded by Persian 
forces, and observed that, had they turned their backs 
toward the mountain, their position would have been an 
easy one. So he cried out aloud, "0 Sariyeh! the moun- 
tain, the mountain I" and recommenced reciting the khotbeh. 
The Most High caused his voice to reach from Medineh to 
the place where the Muslims were engaged in battle. 

Now when Sariyeh had ended the fight, he found himself 
possessed of great riches and booty, which he sent to the 
Khalifeh 'Omar. Among these, there was a casket filled 
with jewels, which he did not touch, but, confiding it to a 
messenger, sent it with a missive of conquest to the Khalifeh, 
for his own use. On the arrival of the messenger, 'Omar was 
in the mosque, feeding the poor, the strangers, and the trav- 
ellers. He stopped in front of the Khalifeh, who, supposing 
him also to be a stranger in need of food, bade him be 
seated, and gave him something to eat. The Khalifeh was 
accustomed to eat his own meals at home with his family ; so 
that, when the people had been fed, he returned to his dwell- 
ing, followed by the bearer of the casket of jewels, whom 
he bade enter, and the man did so. 'Omar then directed 
his own meal to be brought before him. The wife of the 
Khalifeh was named Omm Kulthum, the daughter of the 
Prince of the believers 'Aly Ibn Abu Talib — on whom rest 
the divine favor and complacency ! — She laid before the Kha- 
lifeh a little barley-bread, and a little olive-oil, with a small 
quantity of honey and salt. The Khalifeh asked her if she 
had not cooked something ; when she answered, "How can 
I cook any thing, when I have nothing to wear ?" for Omm 
Kulthiim's clothes were all worn out. The Khalifeh jokingly 
asked her, " What have you done with your drawers? are 
they not sufficient for you who are the daughter of 'Aly 
Ibn Abu Talib, and the lawful spouse of 'Omar Ibn El- 
Khattab ?" Then addressing the messenger, he exclaimed, 
" In God's name ! had Omm Kulthum been satisfied with us, 
our meal would have been better." So they ate together ; 
and the messenger knew the Khalifeh, but the latter did 



213 

not know him. Then addressing him, he said, " Prince 
of the believers, I am a messenger from S&riyeh, and have 
brought you a missive of conquest, with a fifth part of the 
booty." " God be praised 1" exclaimed the Khalifeh ; and 
turning his face toward the man, he asked him for his news. 
The messenger took out the casket and showed it to the Kha- 
lifeh. The latter commanded him to return with it to S&- 
riyeh, and to tell him to divide its contents among the Mus- 
lims who fought the battle with him ; "because," said he, "to 
them it rightly belongs." The messenger left the Khalifeh ; 
and when the people of Medineh inquired of him about the 
battle, he said to them, " We were engaged with the enemy 
on Friday, when we heard the voice of the Khalifeh crying 
out, 'OSariyeh! the mountain, the mountain!'" On com- 
paring times, they found that it was the same day and hour 
when the Prince of the believers was in the pulpit ; and that 
his words, by the command of the Most High, were con- 
veyed to Sariyeh. 

The conquest of Kermdn. 

In the twenty-second year of the Hijrah, the Muslim 
forces marched with Abdallah Ibn 'Attab, and Suheil Ibn 
'Ady, against Kerman, and in the twenty-third year made 
war upon it. The inhabitants of that country were collected 
together in a numerous body; one tribe residing in the 
mountains, called in the Persian tongue Kofej, and in the 
Arabic Kaufas, also came down to the city ; and the forces 
were very strong in numbers. Notwithstanding the num- 
ber of the people of Kerman, the Most High granted victory 
to the Muslims, and many of the infidels were slain. One 
district of Kerman was called Jireft, against which Abdal- 
lah Ibn Attab sent Suheil. The latter went by the summer 
road between the cities, collecting all the beasts of burthen 
which he could find, both horses and mules, until their 
number became so great that none but Allah knows how 
many they were, — all of which were taken as booty. He 
sent a letter to the Khalifeh 'Omar with a fifth part of the 
same, giving him an account of his success. He likewise 
despatched 'Abdallah Ibn Yezid Ibn Naufal El-Khuza'y to 
Tiskun, who opened the way from the frontiers of K6- 
histan to those of Tiskun; from whence he went to the 



214 

Prince of the believers, and told him, "I have opened an 
extent of two provinces (sanjdk), even from the frontiers of 
Kohistan nearly to Kerman ; I therefore ask you to give 
them to me." The Khalifeh was desirous of letting him 
have them ; so he wrote on the subject to Abdallah Ibn 
'Attab, who replied that they were two large places, and 
were the entrances to Khorasan. Whereupon the Khalifeh 
gave them to him. 

The conquest of Sijist&n. 

This year, (A. H. 23,) the Khalifeh 'Omar sent Amr Ibn 
El- 'As Et-Temimy to Sijistan, and sent his own son 'Abd- 
allah with him. He furnished him with a great number 
of troops. The king of Sijistan also, on his side, assem- 
bled a large force, and marched out as far as the frontiers 
of his country, where he offered battle to the Muslims. He 
was, however, defeated. The capital of Sijistan was called 
Zirenk ; and it had a very strong castle, in which he took 
refuge. He closed its gates, and fortified its towers very 
formidably. The Muslims captured all the towns in its 
neighborhood, and it was the only place that held out 
against them. Islam had now extended to the borders of 
Hindustan, and Kandahar. When the king found that all 
Sijistan had fallen under the power of the Muslims, and 
that he could no longer maintain his position, he made peace 
with them, and surrendered the castle of Zirenk. 

In the days of the Khalifeh 'Omar, Abdallah Ibn Amr 
and Asim resided at Zirenk, and they were still there in 
the times of the Khalifehs 'Othm&n and Aly. In the days 
of Mo'awiyeh, that Khalifeh sent Ziyad into 'Irak, and his 
son Muslim Ibn Ziyad into Sijistan. The latter country 
borders close on the frontiers of Hindustan, and the whole 
of it was conquered during the time of Mo'awiyeh, the 
inhabitants all submitting to the rule of Muslim Ibn ZiyM, 
and adopting the faith of Islam. 

The conquest of Mukrdn. 

Between Kerm&n and Sind lies a country called Muknin. 
In it are many cities, one of which is named Tiz, and an- 
other Khdsh ; and all of them belong to Mukrdn. 



215 

When 'Abdallah Ibn 'Attab had conquered Kerman, he 
sent Hakim Ibn 'Omar Eth-Tha'leby to Mukran, together 
with Skihab Ibn Muhariby; and he also despatched after 
them Suheil Ibn 'Ady. These forces all united on the fron- 
tiers of Mukran. Now the frontiers of Mukran join those 
of the king of Sind. The king of Mukran therefore sent 
a messenger to the latter, and asked his assistance, saying 
that an Arab army was coming against him. The king of 
Sind forthwith assembled a strong force, and went to his 
aid with many fighting elephants. The Muslims sent word 
of this to Kerman; on the receipt of which, Abdallah 
appointed a lieutenant in his place, and marched towards 
Mukran. The inhabitants of the latter country call their 
king, in the language of Sind, Retbil, which answers to the 
Persian Kesra. 

When Abdallah reached the Muslim army, he found 
also the Retbil with his forces, waiting the arrival of those 
from Sind ; for he had sent persons through all the towns 
of that country, asking for men to join his army, and each 
day troops came to him from some of those places. At 
first, the Muslim troops encamped at some distance from 
Mukran ; but Abdallah Ibn Attab exclaimed against this, 
as a measure which gave to the enemy time to collect all 
his people around him. So, at nightfall, he made an attack 
upon the enemy in the dark, and put a great many to 
the sword. That night, the infidels were routed; the 
Eetbil lost his head, and his army was pursued by the Mus- 
lim forces. The destruction of the infidels continued until 
morning ; many prisoners were taken, with a great number 
of elephants. The next day, a distribution of A the booty 
was made ; and Abdallah despatched Sahar El-'Id with a 
fifth part of the booty, and a missive of conquest, to the 
Khalifeh 'Omar. The letter explained at length the way 
in which the battle had been gained, and with what ease 
the enemy was routed ; and it concluded with asking per- 
mission to send a force beyond Mukran, and to take posses- 
sion of the country. "Give me leave," said Abdallah, "to 
march to the territory of the king of Sind." At the same 
time, he asked what he should do with the elephants he had 
captured. 

When the Khalifeh 'Omar read Abdallah's letter, he 
inquired of Sahar, " What sort of a country is this Muk- 



216 

ran?" To which Sahar made answer, "0 Prince of the 
believers, its plains are like mountains, its water is scanty, 
its enemies are brave, and its dates are bad ; if there are 
many soldiers in it, they will be half starved, and will lose 
their courage ; and the country beyond it is still worse." 
The Khalifeh wrote in reply to Abdallah, "Go not beyond 
Mukran ; for you have no business in the country of Sind. 
Do not therefore destroy the Muslims ; but write to Sind 
that, if any of its princes need elephants, they may purchase 
them, and do you divide the proceeds among the Muslims." 
All of which was done as the Khalifeh commanded. 

An account of the affair of Beirut. 

Beyond the borders of Basrah, there is a place called 
Beirut. The Khalifeh 'Omar gave to Abu. Miisa El-Ash'ary 
all that country which extends from Basrah to the confines 
of Sind. He addressed a letter to Abu Musa, in which he 
advised him to keep a good watch over those parts, lest 
enemies should come in upon him from Sind, Amman, and 
Ahwaz, and elsewhere. Now, whithersoever the Muslims 
carried their arms, the infidels met with defeat. The latter 
gathered from Ahwaz and Kerman into Beirut ; and Abu 
Musa, on being apprized of the fact, sent Muhajir Ibn Ziyad 
with troops against them. This affair occurred in the twen- 
ty-third year of the Hijrah, and in the month of Bama- 
dhan. He ordered that if Muhajir became a martyr, his 
brother Bebi' Ibn Ziyad should be appointed commander in 
his place. Both the brothers went to Beirut together ; and 
it being summer, the weather was extremely warm. Muhajir 
was ordered by Abu. Musa not to require the troops under 
his command to keep the fast in such places as he visited, 
lest, if a battle should take place, they should prove feeble 
when they ought to be strong. As Abu Musa commanded, 
so it was done. Muhajir became a martyr in the conflict 
which ensued ; and his brother Bebi', seizing the standard, 
rushed into the fight, and conquered the infidels. Not 
much booty was taken ; for the troops of the enemy were 
deserters who possessed but few effects of value. Many 
captives, however, were made ; who were all of good fami- 
lies, being the sons of people of rank. Abu Miisa com- 
manded that the prisoners should ransom themselves ; and 



217 

for that purpose he permitted them to go to their fathers, and 
bring the price of their redemption, to be divided among 
the troops. "This," said he, " will be better than to keep 
them prisoners." He selected from among the captives 
sixty for his own service, telling them to send a messenger 
to their fathers, for money wherewith to redeem themselves. 
The homes of these captives were distant ; some were from 
Ispahan, and others from Kerman and Mukrcin. When the 
prices set upon them were received, they were delivered to 
those who brought the money. Then taking out a fifth 
part of the same, he wrote a letter to the Khalifeh, for the 
purpose of sending it to him. The rule on such occasions 
was, that the Khalifeh should present something from the 
public treasury to the messenger who brought the news ; and 
this rule had been established by the Prophet himself. So, 
when Abu Musa desired to send the messenger with the 
news of his success, a person of the tribe of the Benu Anzeh, 
named Dhubbeh Ibn Muhsin, arose, and addressing him said, 
" prince, I beg you to send me with your messenger, that 
I also may receive something from the Khalifeh." Abu 
Musa granted his request, and sent him with the letter. 
There was also a poet, named Khatiyeh, who, on reciting 
an adulatory poem before Abu Musa, received one thousand 
dirhems for it, from the booty. 

When the messenger reached Medineh, Dhubbeh El- Anzy 
was with him ; and on entering the presence of the Kha- 
lifeh 'Omar, he complained to him against Abu Musa El-Ash- 
'ary, saying, " Prince of the believers, it is not right that 
he should be your agent [for the receipt of the public reve- 
nue], since he has retained for himself, contrary to the 
rights of the Muslims, no less than sixty handsome young 
slaves from among the captives. Moreover, he gave to the 
poet Khatiyeh a thousand dirhems from the public treas- 
ury, for reciting a poem in his praise. He has also two 
measures with which he measures out provisions, one of 
which is large, and the other small. And he has two seal- 
rings, of which he himself keeps one, and the other is in 
the possession of Ziyad, to whose charge he has confided 
all the affairs of the believers, and who writes all the com- 
munications ; so that this person does whatever he chooses, 
without Abu Miisa's knowing any thing about it. Abu. 
Musa likewise has a mistress named 'Akileh, of uncom- 

voi. ii. 28 



218 

mon beauty and elegance, who is a great eater. When you 
dismissed Mughairah Ibn Shu'beh in favor of Abu Musa, 
whom you appointed governor of Basrah, the former sent 
her to him as a bribe. He gives her every morning a dish 
full of stewed meat, and another at evening ; while there 
are many persons among us who cannot obtain even a piece 
of bread." 

The Khalifeh 'Omar, on hearing this, directed the accuser 
to draw up this statement with his own hand, and give it 
to him, which El-'Anzy did. The Khalifeh then wrote to 
Abu Musa, simply requiring his presence at Medineh. On 
his arrival there, he was confronted with El-'Anzy, into 
whose hands were put the accusations drawn up by himself, 
which he was requested to read aloud. 

The first accusation which El-'Anzy read, was to the effect 
that Abu Musa had selected sixty of the slaves for his own 
service. The Khalifeh demanding of the accused what he 
had to reply to it, he said that it was true ; that the sixty 
females were all young persons of noble birth ; that as they 
had said their fathers would pay a high price for their ran- 
som, he had put them aside ; and that, having received the 
money, he had divided it among the Muslims. El-'Anzy 
asked him why he kept them in his own service. He 
replied that he did it in order to let the parents know that 
their children had been reduced to a degrading employment, 
and thus to move them to pay the more for their release 
from it. The Khalifeh 'Omar lbn El-Khattab commanded 
El-'Anzy to continue, and he read, " You gave to the poet 
Khatiyeh a thousand dirhems belonging to the Muslims, for 
a poem which he had composed in your praise." To which 
Abu Musa answered, " I gave it to him to stop his tongue ; 
even as the Prophet — on whom be blessings and peace ! — 
gave offerings to the poets for the same purpose, and on one 
occasion exclaimed to 'Aly Ibn Abu Talib, ' Aly, cut off 
their tongues from me.' " But why did you pay this 
money out of the public treasury ?" asked El-'Anzy. Abu 
Musa replied, "I did it to conciliate the poet in favor of 
Islam : for after the decease of the Prophet, he apostatized 
from it ; but he is now again a believer. I desired to render 
IsMm agreeable to him, in the same manner as the Prophet 
gave offerings out of the public treasury to Abu Sufyan, 
and Safwan, and others of his companions." The Khalifeh 



219 

directed El-'Anzy to read on; and he said, "He has two 
measures, of which one is small and the other large." To 
which AM Miisa replied, " The grain which I take out of 
the public treasury, is measured with the smaller, and that 
which I give to the Muslims and to the poor, with the larger 
one." 'Omar desiring El-'Anzy to continue, the latter read, 
" He has given his own seal to Ziyad, and confided all the 
affairs of the Muslims to his charge." Abu Miisa answered, 
"Ziyad is a wise and prudent, and well-bred man, and a 
good clerk withal ; and as I have never found a man more 
reliable for the affairs of the Muslims than he, I confided 
them to him." Again 'Omar bade the accuser read on ; and 
he said, " He has received a slave named Akileh as a bribe 
from Mughairah Ibn Shu'beh." To which Abu Miisa replied, 
" I did not receive her as a bribe. He gave her to me sim- 
ply in token of good will ; as he had no reason to be afraid 
of me, nor was he at all in need of my assistance. He gave 
her to me as a present, and thus made friends with me, 
according to the saying of the Prophet, ' Give gifts to each 
other, and make friends.' " 

The Khalifeh now said to Abu Miisa, " Go to Basrah, but 
send Ziyad to me." And to El-'Anzy he said, " You have 
not told me lies, for which I should punish you ; neither does 
what you have said render it necessary for me to dismiss 
Abu Miisa. So depart, and be careful that you say nothing 
to any one against him." 

When Abu Miisa arrived at Basrah, he sent Ziyad to the 
Khalifeh 'Omar, who inquired of him, how many dirhems 
he received as his salary from Abu Miisa. To which he 
answered, " Two thousand." " How often has he made you 
presents?" continued the Khalifeh ; and he replied, "Twice." 
On the Khalifeh inquiring what he did with them, he an- 
swered, " As my mother Hamiyeh was in captivity, I pur- 
chased her freedom with the first. I had also an uncle who 
was a prisoner, named 'Obeireh, who had brought me up ; 
he having thus many claims upon me, I redeemed him with 
the second gift." The Khalifeh commended what he had 
done, saying that he had only fulfilled the obligations of 
duty and the holy law, and thus obeyed the commands of 
the Prophet. The Khalifeh also gave him back the ring 
which he had in the mean time taken from him, and, after 
approving his entire conduct, sent him again to Abu Miisa. 



220 



An account of Selimeh Ibn Kais. 

In this year, [A. H. 23,] the Khalifeh 'Omar also sent 
troops against the Kurds. Many warriors had collected 
around him, whom it was desirable to send away some 
where ; but for some time there were no enemies near him. 
News at length came to 'Omar that the Kurds who dwelt 
on the confines of Ahwaz, between that country and Fars, 
were committing robberies on the road ; that they had not 
become Muslims, and would not muster with the troops of 
the Muslims ; and that the soldiers who were in the cities, 
villages, and country around about, would not engage against 
them.* 

So the Khalifeh called to him Selimeh Ibn Kais El-Ash- 
ja'y, and informed him of what he had heard respecting the 
Kurds, and added, "There are a great number of brave 
fighting men here from the Arab tribes. Take them, and 
go forth against these Kurds ; compel them to become Mus- 
lims, and thus relieve the believers from the troubles which 
they cause them. When you see the enemy, do not be in 
a hurry to attack them. First invite them to adopt the 
faith of Islam ; if they accept it, receive them ; but if they 
refuse it, demand the payment of the tribute ; and if they 
also refuse this, then make war upon them. Should they 
now ask quarter of you in the name of the judgment of 
the Most High, do not grant it ; for you do not know what 
is his judgment respecting them. You can, however, grant 
it to them in the name of the judgment of Islam ; for that 
you do know. If your arms meet with victory, collect the 
booty, and impose a capitation-tax on the vanquished. 
Conceal nothing of the spoils from each other ; do not put 
the women and children to death ; and if you kill any, do 
not mutilate them by cutting off their noses, ears, hands, 
or feet." 

After the Khalifeh had thus delivered his instructions, he 
sent off Selimeh Ibn Kais with the troops. When Selimeh, 
who was a very brave man, came upon the Kurds, he invited 



* Col. Taylor, the former Resident of the East-India Company at Bagdad, 
has lately taken to England a history of the Kurds, called Tdrikh-i-Akrdd, 
which it is hoped may find a translator. 



221 

them to embrace IsMm ; and upon their refusal to do so, he 
demanded the capitation-tax. This they also refused, and so 
he attacked and routed them, taking much booty ; a fifth part 
of which, with news of the victory, he sent to the Khalifeh. 
Among the booty was a casket filled with rubies, which he 
also gave to his messenger, telling him to present it to the 
Khalifeh for himself ; "because," added he, "his expenses 
are very great." When this person arrived at Medineh, he 
found the people assembled in the mosque, and the Khalifeh 
'Omar feeding them. In a previous part of this history, it 
was mentioned that the Khalifeh every day had a camel 
killed and boiled with salt, and that from this he fed the 
poor and the strangers. This food he caused to be set out 
with bread, in earthen vessels, in the mosque ; the people 
ate it there ; and afterwards he would return to his own 
house, and take his own meal. Now the messenger relates 
that, at the moment of his arrival, a dish of boiled meat was 
served in the mosque ; and that the Khalifeh was engaged 
in distributing the food, followed by his servants, who divi- 
ded the meat and bread. The Khalifeh stood in the midst 
of the people, having in his hand a wand like the crook of 
a shepherd who watches over his sheep. He examined the 
contents of each individual's vessel, directing his servants 
to add more bread, or meat, as the case required. "He 
directed me," adds the messenger, "to be seated; but I did 
not eat of the food which he gave to the others, since there 
was better for me. After the people had eaten, he directed 
his servant to carry away the vessels and tables ; whereupon 
he left. I remained there until the servant had finished, 
and then I went along with him to the Khalifeh's. The 
casket which I had brought for him, was among my bag- 
gage. I entered his dwelling, and found him seated on a 
coarse cloak, on which was a cushion filled with the fibres 
of the date-leaf. On observing me, he pushed the cushion 
toward me ; so seating myself upon it, I said, ' I am an 
envoy from Selimeh Ibn Kais.' He now bade me welcome, 
adding his salutations to Selimeh ; and upon his inquiring 
after the latter, and the Muslim forces, I informed him of 
their success, and of the booty they had taken, which gave 
him much pleasure. 

"I now took out," says the messenger, "the casket of 
jewels, and placed it before him. He asked what jewels they 



222 

were ; and I informed him, that Selimeh, having found the 
casket among the booty, did not divide it, but sent it for his 
acceptance, as his provisions were a great expense to him. 
The Khalifeh looked at me fixedly, and then at the jewels ; 
and presently he burst into tears. Placing his hands upon 
his sides, he exclaimed, ' May the Most High not satisfy the 
belly and the eyes of 'Omar, if what he has already given 
him of this world's goods be not enough for him !' Then 
addressing his servant Azfa, who stood near him, he said, 
' Azfa, smite this man on the neck.' " 

The messenger adds, " As I was tying up the casket, the 
man struck me on the neck ; and when I had done, the Kha- 
lifeh ordered me to carry it back forthwith to Selimeh, and 
tell him to divide it among the Muslims, who had more 
right to it than he. ' Hasten,' continued he, ' lest they dis- 
perse ; and inform Selimeh that I do this as an example to 
Muslims.' I replied to the Khalifeh, ' Prince of the be- 
lievers, you thus hasten my departure, while I have neither 
camel nor horse ; how can I go ?' He forthwith bade Azfa 
to furnish me with two white camels from among those 
which were given as alms ; telling me, at the same time, to 
mount and depart. He ordered me, on my arrival at the 
camp, to present the camels to those of the soldiers whom 
I considered poorer than myself. I did as I was bid, and 
returned to Selimeh, to whom I gave back the jewels. He 
sent them to Basrah, sold them, and distributed the proceeds 
among the troops." 



223 



DEATH AND CHARACTER OF 'OMAR. 



In the commencement of the twenty-third year of the 
Hijrah, the Khalifeh 'Omar went to the Hijaz, and per- 
formed the pilgrimage. He took with him the wives of the 
late Prophet — on whom be blessings and peace ! — from Me- 
dineh, paying their expenses out of the public treasury. 

It was in the latter part of the year that he returned. 
Mughairah Ibn Shu'beh had a black slave named Firuz, 
whose surname was Abu Lulu. : this wretch made the Kha- 
lifeh a martyr. Firiiz was a Christian (Tarsa), and by trade 
a carpenter. Mughairah had put an iron collar around 
his neck, and made him work ; and out of the gains of his 
labor Mughairah reserved daily two pieces of silver. One 
day, Firuz came to the Khalifeh, who was seated among the 
believers, and addressing him said, " Prince of the believ- 
ers, Mughairah has put an iron around my neck, and requires 
of me two pieces of silver every day, which I am unable to 
give him." The Khalifeh inquired of him what he could 
do ; and he answered, " I am a carpenter, a painter, and a 
blacksmith." The Khalifeh replied, " Since you know so 
many things, two pieces of silver are not too much for you 
to pay. I have also heard you called a miller, and have 
been told that you can put up a wind-mill." Firuz answer- 
ing in the affirmative, the Khalifeh said, " Then put up a 
mill for me." The man replied, " If I live, I will put up one 
for you that shall rejoice the hearts of all the people of the 
East and the West." And so saying, he departed. 

That same day, the Khalifeh 'Omar remarked, "That 
slave has a design upon my life." On the day following, 
Ka'ab el-Ahbar went to the Khalifeh, and exclaimed, "O 
Prince of the believers, make your will ; for you will die in 
three days." 'Omar asked him how he knew it, saying, "Did 



224 

you see my name in the Taurah,* and learn it from that ?" 
He answered, " I did not find your name ; but I found a 
description of you, together with a description of the blessed 
Prophet ; and as you are his successor, I found the number 
of years of your khalifate." Then adding that only three 
days of that period remained, he departed. Now the Kha- 
lifeh did not feel in the least indisposed ; and he was sur- 
prised at the words of Ka'ab el-Ahbar. This occurred in 
the twenty -third year of the Hi) rah, and in the month of 
Dhu-1-Hijjeh. When the Khalifeh 'Omar returned from the 
Hijaz, four days only of Dhii-l-Hijjeh remained. At the 
hour of the morning-prayer he left his house, and came to 
the mosque, where all the companions of the Prophet — on 
whom be peace ! — stood in files. Firiiz stood in the front 
file, holding in his hand an Ethiopian knife resembling a 
two-edged kama;\ and just as the Prince of the believers 
passed in front of the file, he stabbed him with the knife six 
times, right and left, on the shoulders. He also struck him 
one blow under the navel ; and it was this wound which 
proved fatal. 

As soon as Firiiz had stabbed the Khalifeh, he fled from 
among the people. The Khalifeh fell down, exclaiming, 
"Is 'Abd Er-Rahman here?" This person coming forward, 
he bade him act as Imam, and thus enable the people to 
perform their morning-prayer. He was then conveyed to 
his house. After 'Abd Er-Rahman had assisted at the prayer 
for pardon, he returned to the Khalifeh, who said to him, 
" 'Abd Er-Rahman, I place the affairs of the Muslims in 
your hands ; do not say that you will not accept the charge." 
Abd Er-Rahman replied, " O Prince of the believers, I have 
something to ask of you ; if you tell me this, I will accept 
it." " Speak," answered the Khalifeh ; " let me know your 
request. 'Abd Er-Rahman continued, "Do you deem it 
proper, that in assuming this charge I should take counsel 
on the subject with the Muslims ?" The Khalifeh answered, 
"No." " How then can I accept ?" The Khalifeh replied, 
" Be silent ; speak of it to no one except to those persons 
with whom I know that the Prophet, at his decease, parted 
in entire satisfaction. Call them together ; I leave this mat- 
ter to them, and let them entrust the charge to whomsoever 
they may agree upon." 

* The Pentateuch. f A Circassian dagger. 



225 

So five individuals were called in ; these were 'Aly Ibn Abu 
Talib, 'Othman Ibn 'Affan, Zubeir Ibn El-'Auwam, Sa'ad 
Ibn Abu Wakkas, and Talha. All these were sent for ; and 
all came except Talha, who, having gone to a village, could 
not be found. 'Omar said to them, "When the blessed 
Prophet left this world, he departed satisfied with you all ; 
now let not the affairs of the believers be neglected by you. 
When I am dead, call also Talha to you ; then sit ye all five 
down, and for five days take counsel among yourselves 
respecting the choice of a Khalifeh. When he has been 
appointed, let all the rest be submissive to him, and let him 
lead the people in their prayers. Now, I enjoin upon whom- 
soever of you accepts this charge, to be just and equitable 
towards the others ; to keep their hearts contented, and to be 
kind to them ; for they are the companions of the Prophet, 
who, in leaving this world, departed from it wholly satisfied 
with them. Whoever may be chosen as Khalifeh, I charge 
that he look well after the Arab people, for they are the 
strength of the Muslims ; and let him study their rights. I 
also leave as my testament, that whatever people shall come 
under the obligation of God and the Prophet, they must be 
required to pay the capitation-tax, and be kept subject to this 
rule." Then turning his face towards Aly Ibn Abu Talib 
— on whom be peace ! — he said, " Aly, should the charge 
fall upon you, act so that the Benu. Hashim shall not domi 
neer over the believers."* After which, becoming feeble, 
he remained silent ; he spoke no more, and his eyes closed, 
A little while after, he again opened them ; his son Abdal- 
lah was then at his side, and addressing him, he asked 
" Abdallah, who was it that stabbed me?" His son replied. 
" The Christian Abu Lulu." The dying Khalifeh exclaimed. 
" God be praised that I have received my death-wound from 
an infidel like him, and have thus become a martyr!" He 
then added, " 'Abdallah, go to Aisheh ; tell her that if she 
gives permission, I should like to be interred by the side 
of the holy Prophet; but in case she does not grant it, 
place me in the cemetery of the Muslims." Then feeling 
weak, his eyes again closed ; afterwards, the voices of the 
people outside coming through the door, he reopened them, 
and asked what sound it was. On being told that the Mu- 

* The Bend Hashim being the tribe to which the Prophet belonged. 
vol. n. 29 



226 

Mjirs and the Nasirs* asked permission to see him, address- 
ing his son, he exclaimed, "O 'Abdallah, call these people; 
let them all come in." So each one was admitted in turn ; 
and among the rest, it happened that Ka'ab el-Ahbar came. 
When 'Omar beheld him, Ka'ab's prediction respecting 
his death came to his mind, and he recited the following 
distichs : 

" Ka'ab promised me three days of life, 
And there was no error in what Ka'ab said ; 
Nor have I any fear of death, 
Though I fear for the sins that I have committed." 

On that day, the Khalifeh 'Omar expired. There are sev- 
eral versions of the circumstances attending his death. One 
of these is, that after Lulu stabbed him, he lived three 
days; and that when he expired, Suheib performed the 
morning-prayer. They said to 'Omar, "0 Prince of the 
believers, let us fetch a physician ;" and he having answered, 
" Do as you please," they brought in one of the Benu Ha- 
rith, a man of talent, who called for water, and gave it to 
'Omar to drink. On his drinking it, the liquid flowed out 
of the wound under his navel ; milk was next given him, 
and it also came out ; next a thick potage was tried, and it 
likewise flowed out from the same wound : whereupon the 
physician bade the Khalifeh make his will, " because," said 
he, "your worldly affairs have come to an end." To this 
the Khalifeh answered that he had already made it. 

Another account says that the day on which he expired 
was Wednesday, and that he was interred the same day. 
The persons before named then held a council together; 
three days passed away, and on the fourth, which was the 
first of Muharram, the beginning of the twenty-fourth year 
of the Hijrah, they agreed upon 'Othman, and elected him 
to be the successor to the khalifate. 

Many persons relate that 'Omar was still alive on Wednes- 
day and Thursday, and that he did not expire till Friday. 
They say that it was at the close of the year, and that on 
the first Sunday of Muharram he was consigned to the tomb. 
A council was then held, which continued three days, during 
which Suheib performed the morning-prayer. They washed 
his body, and desired to perform his funeral prayer. 'Oth- 

* The companions of the Prophet's flight, and those who befriended him 
in Medineh. 



227 

man and 'Aly both came forward; one stood at his head, and 
the other at his feet, and both bade 'Abd Er-Eahman Ibn 
'Auf take the lead, and say the prayer. But 'Abd Er- 
Eahman replied, "Neither will I lead, nor shall you." 
" Who is then to take the lead ?" they asked. He answered, 
" Suheib, who was bidden to do so by the Khalifeh 'Omar 
himself; and him will the people obey." " You have spo- 
ken truly," they all replied. So, Suheib being called, he 
came and performed the prayer, and then they all followed 
the body to the grave. 

The following day was Tuesday, the second day of Muhar- 
ram, in the twenty -fourth year of the Hijrah. On this day, 
they inaugurated 'Othman as the successor of the Prophet. 
The services continued until the afternoon-prayer, without 
being ended ; so that Suheib performed the prayer of the 
following morning, and also that of mid-day. It was now 
finished ; and when the Mu'azzin proclaimed the afternoon- 
prayer, the people assembled before the Khalifeh 'Othman. 

The genealogy of the deceased Khalifeh 'Omar is as 
follows : 

'Omar Ibn El-Khattab Ibn Nufeil Ibn 'Abd El-'Ozza Ibn 
Bayah Ibn Abdallah Ibn Kart Ibn Eazah Ibn Ady Ibn 
Ka'ab Ibn Luwei. His surname was Abu Hafs. His mother 
was Hantemeh, daughter of Hashim Ibn Mughairah Ibn 
Abdallah Ibn Amr Ibn Mahzum. His honorary name 
was Faruk. Some of the people of his tribe state, that he 
received this name from the blessed Prophet ; others, that 
it was given him by a Jew. Another tradition is that 
Ka'ab el-Ahbar said he found the name of Faruk in the 
Taurah ; and this latter statement has been current among 
Muslims. 

There are also diverse accounts of his personal appear- 
ance. One report states that his face was florid and fair ; 
while another asserts that he had a sallow complexion. 
All agree that he was of tall stature ; and that, when he 
walked among the people, his back and shoulders swayed 
about so, and he had so vigorous a gait, that one would think 
he was on horseback. His head was bald on the top ; his 
beard had become blanched, and he was in the habit of col- 
oring it with hinnd. Such had also been the practice of the 
Khalifeh Abu Bekr. When the Khalifeh 'Omar was occu- 
pied with any thing, he kept both his hands in motion. 



228 

Some say that he was fifty -three years of age, when he died ; 
others, that he was sixty ; and others, that he was sixty- 
three, the age of the Prophet and of Abu Bekr. By some 
it is said that the period of his khalifate was ten years, five 
months, and twenty days; and by others, ten years, six 
months, and four days. 

During the whole period of his life, he had seven wives ; 
three of whom he took during his state of ignorance [of the 
faith]. One of these was Zeineb, daughter of Maz'un Ibn 
Habib ; the second, Muleikeh Omm Kulthum, daughter of 
Jarfll ; the third, Karineh, daughter of Abu Omeiyeh El- 
Makhzumy. On his divorcing the last mentioned wife, 'Abd 
Er-Bahman, son of Abu Bekr Es-Siddik, married her. AVhen 
'Omar became a Muslim, he emigrated to Medineh, where 
he took four more wives, one of whom was Omm Hakim, 
daughter of Harith ; the second, Jemileh, daughter of 'Asim 
El- Ansiiry ; the third, Omm Kulthum, daughter of 'Aly Ibn 
Abu Talib — may God bless his countenance ! This Omm 
Kulthum was the daughter of the revered Fatimeh. His 
fourth wife was the revered 'Atikeh, daughter of Zeid Ibn 
'Amr Ibn Nufeil, who had previously been the wife of 
'Abdallah Ibn Abu Bekr Es-Siddik, and on being divorced 
by him, was taken by the Khalifeh 'Omar. After 'Omar's 
death, she was married to Zubeir Ibn El-'Auwam. The last 
four wives the Khalifeh 'Omar took after he had embraced 
Islam. He had also two concubines ; one named Bahiyeh, 
and the other Eekiheh. He had eight sons. Two of them 
were named 'Abdallah and 'Obeidallah ; the former of whom 
he had by Zeineb, and the latter by Muleikeh. He had 
three others, all named 'Abd Er-Bahman : of these one was 
called Akbar, or the greater, and was the son of Zeineb ; 
another was called Ausat, or the middle, who was the son of 
Bahiyeh ; and the third was called Asghar, or the less, who 
was the son of Fekiheh. He had two other sons, both named 
Zeid : the first, called Zeid Akbar, was a son of the daugh- 
ter of the revered 'Aly ; the second was born of Jemileh. 
The name of the remaining son is not recorded. He had 
also four daughters : viz. Zeineb ; Fatimeh, daughter of 
Omm Hakim ; Bukaiyeh, daughter of Omm Kulthum ; and 
Zeineb, daughter of Fekiheh. 

The Khalifeh 'Omar had desired to take two more wives ; 
but they refused to go to him. The revered 'Aisheh sent 



229 

to urge them, but they still refused. One of them, named 
Omm AbMn, daughter of 'Otbeh, said, "I will not go to 
'Omar: because he goes in laughing at his wives, and 
never goes abroad, and he always keeps the door of his 
house fastened." The other was Asmil, daughter of the 
late Khalifeh Abu Bekr. 'Omar consulted with Aisheh on 
the subject of taking Asma to wife. 'Aisheh approved of 
it, saying, " Where can you find a woman like her ?" Asma, 
on hearing of this, wept, and said, " That must not happen 
to me." She was younger than Aisheh, and the latter said 
to her, " girl, why do you not desire such a person as the 
Prince of the believers?" To which she replied, "Because he 
has alwaj^s a sour countenance, and there is no other food in 
his house than barley-bread, coarse salt, and camel's flesh, and 
they always eat camel's meat cooked with salt and water." 
On hearing this, 'Aisheh was ashamed that the Khalifeh 
should be refused ; so she called Amr Bon El-'As, and rela- 
ting to him the whole matter, bade him devise some plan 
for putting the notion out of the Khalifeh's head, without let- 
ting him know that she had any hand in it. 'Amr, having 
engaged to do this, departed ; and going to the Khalifeh, 
he said to him, " You have desired to have Asma, daugh- 
ter of the Khalifeh Abu Bekr, but I do not like it." Upon 
this, the Khalifeh inquired, " Do you disapprove of my be- 
ing her husband, or of her being my wife ?" 'Amr Ibn 
El-'As replied, "Neither the one nor the other; but you 
are a person of great distinction, and you have wives of 
good breeding and habits, and you make them obey you. 
Now, this girl has grown up self-willed, in the charge of 
her sister, and may not be patient towards you. If she 
should prove disobedient, and you should strike her, she 
may complain to the people, and they may reproach you 
for it, saying, ' See how the daughter of Abu Bekr is abused 
by 'Omar: he shows no regard to her father's memory.' 
If you desire to have a well bred wife, hasten, there is 
Omm Kulthum, daughter of 'Aly Ibn Abu Talib ; she has 
been brought up by Aly and Fatimeh, and has their good 
breeding and disposition." To this 'Omar replied, " As I 
have spoken about the matter to Aisheh, how shah I act, 
seeing that she approved of it?" 'Amr Ibn El-'As an- 
swered, "I will so contrive it that she shall forget the 
circumstance." So he went to 'Aisheh, and told her what 
had happened. 



230 

The author [Et-Tabary] narrates as follows: After 'Omar's 
conversion to Islam, many other persons became Muslims. 
It is stated that, some forty or forty-five individuals became 
Muslims before him, and after that took place his conver- 
sion. There is also a tradition that the Khalifeh 'Omar had 
twenty-one wives. 

It is narrated, that of all people either before or after the 
Khalifeh 'Omar, no one had a character like his ; nor has any 
person since followed in his path. It is said of him, that 
he was known to have remarked, " If a sheep of a shep- 
herd on the banks of the Tigris or the Euphrates were 
to die, I should fear God might demand of me why I had 
not protected it, and require its life of me." It is also stated 
that, during a day of extreme heat, he was seen to put an 
apron around his waist, and rub tar over the backs of the 
camels intended for alms. On beholding this, some one 
remarked to him, "0 Prince of the believers, why do you 
do this with your own hand?" To which the Khalifeh 
replied, " Because God has made me the protector of these 
animals, and may to-morrow demand them of me." " But," 
said his interrogator, "why do you do it on a day of such 
excessive heat ?" 'Omar answered, " I must suffer this pain, 
so that the responsibility with which I am charged over all 
Muslims may be discharged. I know that in this empire 
there are many feeble persons whose wants never reach the 
knowledge of the sovereign. I wish to hear what they may 
have to say, and attend to their wants. If I were able to 
do so, this would be the happiest year of my life." It is 
also related of him, that he always sent a set of written 
instructions to each commander, or governor, whom he 
appointed, in which he represented that if the officer did 
not obey his wishes, he would be displeased with him. 
He would also write to his subjects, and command them to 
obey the officer in all that the letter of instructions con- 
tained, but to pay no attention to any order he might issue 
not comprised in the instructions. 

'Abd Er-Rahman Ibn 'Auf says, "At night, the Khalifeh 
'Omar would act as watchman. One night, he came to my 
house, and told me that a caravan had arrived and stopped 
outside the walls of the city. ' It is weary,' he said, ' and 
I am sure the people are all asleep. I fear that thieves may 
steal their goods ; come therefore with me, and aid me to 



231 

watch over them while they slumber.' So we went forth 
to the outskirts of the city, and sat down near the caravan, 
all the merchants of which were fast asleep. The Khalifeh 
'Omar remained there until morning, and watched over the 
people of the caravan without their being aware of it." 

Zeid Ibn Aslem relates the following, as having learnt it 
from his father, who one night asked the Khalifeh 'Omar 
whether he might go and . keep watch with him, and hav- 
ing received his consent, set out in company with him. 
"We walked about the city of Medineh until midnight, 
when we went outside of the walls, where, from a distance, 
we saw an ass. ' Behold, Muslim,' exclaimed 'Omar, some 
one has stopped there ; come, let us see who it is.' So we 
approached the spot, and found a woman accompanied by 
two or three small children. They were weeping. A ves- 
sel stood over a fire ; and she was saying to her children, 
' Don't cry, but lie down and sleep, until this food is cooked 
for you ;' adding, ' may God take vengeance on 'Omar, who 
has gone to bed with a full stomach, while I and these 
little ones sit starving here !' On hearing these words, 
his eyes filled with tears, and he wept. Then addressing 
me he exclaimed, ' Be food and drink forbidden to 'Omar, 
until he has ascertained of what injustice he has been 
guilty!' So, approaching the woman, he asked her whether 
he might come near to her, to which she replied he might, 
in case he came with a good intention. 'Omar therefore 
drew near, and asked her to tell him all about her cir- 
cumstances, and what 'Omar had done to her. She an- 
swered, ' I have come from my own country, for the pur- 
pose of going to the Khalifeh. Late at night, we reached 
this spot, and my children cannot sleep on account of their 
excessive hunger.' ' Why,' asked the Khalifeh, ' did you 
just now pray to God against 'Omar?' 'Because,' replied 
the woman, ' he sent my husband to the wars against the 
infidels, where he became a martyr ; in consequence of which 
we are destitute, as you now behold us.' 'Omar asked her 
what the vessel over the fire was for ; to which she answered, 
' It is a little water which I have put into it, and placed over 
the fire, at the same time telling my children, " See, I am 
preparing food for you to eat;" with the hope that they 
may go to sleep, and cease weeping.' On hearing this, 'Omar 
turning to me said, ' Muslim, let us hasten back to the 
city.' So we both ran until we reached Medineh, when we 



232 

went at once to a flour- vender, and purchased a sackful ; 
then to a butcher's, to buy meat, but found none : the man, 
however, told us that he had some fat ; so we took some fat 
for frying. I thought," adds Ibn Aslem, "that the Khalifeh 
would now bid me carry these to the woman ; but instead of 
this, he directed me to throw the flour-bag over his shoul- 
der. I exclaimed, '0 prince of the believers, permit me 
to carry it.' But the Khalifeh replied, ' Muslim, if you 
should cany this bag, who will carry the bag of 'Omar?'* 
So I put it on the Khalifeh's back, and we set out and re- 
turned to the woman, to whom we gave the flour and the 
fat. 'Omar with his own hand cut up the latter, and threw 
it into the kettle, at the same moment telling the woman to 
knead a little dough out of the flour. To me he said, ' O 
Muslim, bring some wood;' which I did. In another mo- 
ment, I beheld the spectacle of the Khalifeh 'Omar's beard 
on the ground, while he blew the fire. Thus the dough, 
with the fat and the water, was cooked, and turned out into 
an earthen dish. He next awoke the little children, and 
addressing the woman, bade her eat, and thank God, and 
put up a good prayer for 'Omar,t 'who,' added he, 'is not 
uninformed as to your circumstances.' " 

Another of the good rules of the Khalifeh 'Omar related 
to the prayer called Terdwih. In the month of Eamadhan, 
when the congregation usually performed this prayer, he 
was in the habit of being the first to do it. 

Once, when Aslemy was public treasurer, the people 
inquired of him, whether the Khalifeh 'Omar took any 
thing more out of the treasury than he was entitled to 
take; and the treasurer replied, "Whenever he has not 
enough for the subsistence of his family, he takes what is 
requisite from the treasury ; but so soon as he receives 
his dues and portion, [consisting of a fifth part of the booty 
taken in warfare,] he always returns the amount which he 
has withdrawn." 

When he performed the morning-prayer, he was accus- 
tomed, in making the first genuflexion, according to the law 
of the blessed Prophet, to recite the long chapter of the 
Kuran, and to stand a good while ; while at the second genu- 

* Meaning, who but himself could bear the load of his sins, 
f Orientals put implicit faith in the efficacy of " good prayers" and " evil 
prayers." 



233 

flexion he stood not so long. One day, however, without 
prolonging either, he hastened through the prayer ; and 
turning to the revered companions of the Prophet, he ex- 
claimed, " Come, let us go and fetch our bride and bride- 
groom." The companions looked at each other, not under- 
standing what he meant. Now, the IsMm troops sent to 
Syria, while attacking a strong fortress, had among them two 
brothers who were remarkably brave and daring, so much 
so as to be the dread of the infidels. The princes of the 
latter directed their troops to exert themselves, and get rid 
of the brothers. So the infidels laid numerous ambuscades, 
and destroyed many of the believers; and among them, 
one of the brothers was made a martyr, while the other was 
captured, and carried before the above mentioned princes. 
These proved just, and commanded that he should not 
be put to death, saying it would be ungenerous, and that it 
would be better to let him depart. " Were he to become a 
Christian," said they, "he would be a great gain to us." A 
priest came forward, and said, "I will make a Christian 
of him." When he was asked how he could accomplish 
that, he replied, "I have a very handsome daughter, and 
by her means will effect his. conversion." All present ap- 
proving of the plan, the young man was delivered over 
to the priest. The latter took him directly to his own 
house, when he said to his daughter, "Give this youth 
something to do ; and if he attempts to make love to you, 
tell him that you cannot permit it, unless he will adopt 
your religion." Then dressing up his daughter, he left her 
with the youth. The young man, however, did not even 
look in the girl's face ; and one day, as he was perusing 
the Kuran and she was listening, she became enamored of 
him. So she approached him, and bade him teach her the 
profession of faith, and at once became a true believer. 
When her father inquired about her success, she replied, 
" I have quite enflamed him ; but he seems very unhappy : 
if he could but go abroad a little, his heart would become 
lighter, and he would embrace our religion. He is so 
greatly enamored of me, that if you sought to drive him 
away, he would not go." Now the father owned a farm, 
and taking these two with him, he went there. It turned 
out in the end, that the youth took the girl, and fled at once 
to Medineh. It was on the day of their arrival, that 'Omar 

VOL. II. SO 



234 

went out with the companions ; and as they issued from the 
city, they beheld two persons mounted on horseback, one a 
girl and the other a young man. On seeing these, the Kha- 
lifeh exclaimed, " Behold the bride and groom of whom I 
spoke." He now returned with them to Medmeh, where the 
couple were married, and lived to have several children. 

The traits of character told of the Khallfeh 'Omar are 
very numerous, and would require more space than I can 
here allow. But there is one deserving of especial mention, 
spoken of by 'Amr Ibn Jahiz, who says that all writers 
should commemorate and praise 'Omar's great justice and 
equity : it is that, while other sovereigns were wont to draw 
largely on the public treasury, 'Omar ate but little, and 
dressed in coarse clothes. 

During the ten years of his khalifate, some good news 
came every day from the army engaged in war against the 
infidels, relative to some conquest or victory. Money and 
other booty were brought to him, until the world became 
conquered, and he had subjected all infidels to his sway. 
All Arabia and Persia were reduced by his arms ; and his 
troops amassed great wealth, and built cities. He gave pub- 
lic audiences, and made royal gifts. His armies marched, 
on the North, to the river Jihun, and Azerbijan, and the 
Derbends on the Caspian Sea, and also to those places which 
are close by the wall of Yajuj and Majuj. On the East, 
they marched to Sind and Hind ; and from Bahrein as far as 
'Oman, to Kerman, and even to Mukran. From Syria even 
to the confines of Bum, [the Greek Empire,] the inhabit- 
ants were all subject to his rule, and executed his commands. 
With all this, his immense power did not change his habits 
or manner of living in the smallest degree ; his apparel and 
food remained the same, and in his mode of speech he did 
not show the least pride or haughtiness. He never neg- 
lected his devotions ; and his patience was so great that his 
dominion daily increased in firmness and strength. Poets 
composed eulogies on his great character ; and as he was 
about to be laid in his tomb, a voice in the air was heard by 
all present, saying, 

" Alas for the Islam faith, and those who weep thy death ! 

Thy loss is shown in tears, thou diedst before thy time. 

From thee the world received good order, — from thee, much benefit ; 

And thou art gone before the believers in the holy promises."