Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that as he mentioned in the previous sermon, he would highlight the expeditions against the Persian Empire during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
The Battle of Chains
His Holiness (aba) said that one of the battles that took place was the Battle of Dhatus-Salasil, also known as the Battle of Kazimah and the Battle of Hafir. It is known as Dhatus-Salasil (That of Chains) because during this battle, the Persians attached themselves to one another with chains. This battle was fought between the Persians and Muslims at a place called Kazimah and in the area of Hafir. The leader of the Muslims army was Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra) while the leader of the Persian army was Hormuz.
His Holiness (aba) said that the noblemen of Persia would wear hats, and the higher their rank, the more expensive their hat would be. The most expensive hat would be 10,000 dinar which would be worn by the highest ranking people, and it is recorded that the hat worn by Hormuz was 10,000 dinar.
His Holiness (aba) said that before departing, Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra) wrote a letter to Hormuz urging him to protect his people by agreeing to pay the Jizyah (tax), otherwise he was bringing such an army that loved death as Hormuz loved life. Hormuz informed the Persian Emperor and then assembled his army which went to Kazimah to battle Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra). Once there, they did not find him and learned that he was in Hafir instead, and so the Persians made their way to Hafir. There the Persians attached themselves to one another with chains. There were some among them who did not agree with this strategy and said that they were doing a favour for the opposing army by shackling themselves.
Deceitful Tactics of Hormuz
His Holiness (aba) said that when Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra) learned of the Persian army’s arrival in Hafir, he went to Kazimah, and Hormuz followed and encamped there upon learning of this. Hormuz and his army had control over the water in the area. When the Muslims complained to Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra) of not having water, he ordered a caller to call out that the Muslims should fight the opponent for control over the water. Both sides battled and Hormuz came up with a ploy to invite Hazrat Khalid (ra) to single combat and while keeping him occupied, he told his army to sneak up from behind and attack him. Thus, as Hormuz and Hazrat Khalid (ra) were battling, people from the Persian army encircled and attacked him. Despite this, Hazrat Khalid (ra) was able to keep them at bay and killed Hormuz.
His Holiness (aba) said that upon seeing this the Muslims attacked the Persians, killing many of them while others fled. The Muslims pursued those who fled and struck them down as well. When the spoils of war were sent to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), they included the hat worn by Hormuz, which Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) granted to Hazrat Khalid bin Walid (ra). The spoils also included an elephant, which the people of Madinah had never before seen. It was taken around the city so that people could see it, and some were astonished wondering whether it was manufactured or whether it was a creation of Allah. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) eventually sent the elephant back to Hazrat Khalid (ra).
His Holiness (aba) said that defeating the Persians – whose might was widely regarded – greatly increased the confidence of the Muslims.
The Battle of Ubullah
His Holiness (aba) said that then there was the Battle of Ubullah. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) instructed Hazrat Khalid (ra) to conquer Ubullah in Iraq, as this was a stronghold of the Persians. His Holiness (aba) said that Ubullah being conquered is mentioned in books of history as taking place during the eras of both Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra). Hence it seems that it was first conquered during the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and then once again during the time of Hazrat Umar (ra).
The Battle of Mazar
His Holiness (aba) said that then there was the Battle of Mazar. The Persian Emperor had sent an army under the leadership of Karin to help Hormuz in the Battle of Dhatus-Salasil. However this army had only reached Mazar when they heard of Hormuz’s defeat. Those who had fled met with Karin and both agreed that they should prepare for battle and try to recover their losses. When Hazrat Khalid (ra) learned of this he informed Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), and made his way to Mazar. Both sides fought a fierce battle in which Karin was also killed along with other leaders of the army. This greatly disheartened the army and many Persians fled the battlefield. It is recorded that 30,000 Persians died in this battle. After this victory, the Muslims treated the local people very kindly, allowing them to maintain ownership over their lands and properties while urging them to offer Jizyah.
The Battle of Walajah
His Holiness (aba) said that then there was the Battle of Walajah. After the loss at the Battle of Mazar, the Persian Emperor sought to arrange a better planned attack against the Muslims. Hence, they called a prominent Christian tribe from Iraq called Bakr bin Wa’il and incited them to fight against the Muslims, thus bolstering their army. This army was sent to Walajah. The Persians did not wish for all the credit of potentially defeating the Muslims to go to the Christian army, thus another Persian army was sent to Walajah as well. When Hazrat Khalid (ra) learned of this, he was near Basra. He decided that the Persian army should be attacked from three different sides. A fierce battle ensued which ultimately resulted in the Persian army suffering defeat.
The Battle of Ullais
His Holiness (aba) said that then there was the Battle of Ullais. After the Christian and Persian armies were defeated, the Persians who had fled gathered in Ullais. The Persian army was entrusted to a person named Jaban. Upon arriving in Ullais, the Persians decided to eat before engaging in battle. When Hazrat Khalid (ra) arrived in Ullais, he moved towards the Persian army and attacked them before they could even eat. Jaban told the Persians to poison the food, in case the Muslims won and then ate their food. There was a fierce battle in which the Persians were defending well against the Muslims’ attacks. Seeing this, Hazrat Khalid (ra) prayed to God seeking help for victory. Hazrat Khalid (ra) devised a plan to attack the Persians from behind which caused the Persians to scatter and render the Muslims victorious. After being victorious,
The Conquest of Amgheshiyah
His Holiness (aba) said there was the Conquest of Amgheshiyah. The Muslims were victorious here without any fighting. When the people of Amgheshiyah heard of the Muslim army’s imminent arrival, they fled the city. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was informed of the victories of Ullais and Amgheshiyah he was very pleased, particularly with the manner in which the news was conveyed to him by a man named Jandal.
His Holiness (aba) said he would continue narrating these accounts in future sermons.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions