Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/How el-Mughlrah the son of Shu'abah became Governor of el-Kufah

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The province of 'Ir^k, answering to the Babylonia of Ptcjemy, had for its capital el*Hirah, a city founded by Milik, one of the descendants of Kahlin. (See Note *, p. 26.) The Persian Satraps resided at el-Htrah ; but after the reduction of 'Irik by the Muslims, the latter people built el-Kiifah at about three miles' distance from d-Htrah, and from thence- forth el-K6fah became the capital of the province and the seat of government.

Siad-ibn-Abi-Wakkis was one of the first who, follow- ing the example of Abu-Bekr, professed el-Isldm. Accord- ing to el-Janniby, it was through S4ad that 'Omar-ibn-el- Khattib was diverted from a design, which before his conversion he entertained, of assassinating the Prophet ; though Abu'1-Fed^ says it was through N4tm-ibn-'Abd Allih, el-Khim. Siad was one of the most successful and celebrated generals ever possessed by the Muslims. He fought valiantly for the Prophet at the battle of Ohod (A.H. 3), and was afterwards invested with a command under Osima-ibn-Zeid, whom the Prophet just before his death appointed general of the army destined to act against the Greeks in Syria. In a.h. 14, Siad was constituted CoHMnander-in-Chief of the Muslim army which 'Omar, the reigning Khaltfah, desired to send into 'Irik. In the year 15, he completely routed the Persian army at the famous


battle of el-Kidisiyyah (see Translator's Note, p. 24), and pursued his successes until the whole of 'IdUc was sub- dued.

In A.H. 23, the Khalffah 'Omar was assassinated, and as soon as it was known that his wounds were mortal, he was called upon to nominate his successor. Siad was one of those named to him ; but 'Omar considered that his disposi- tion was too fierce and untractable. He was, however, among the six persons appointed by 'Omar to deliberate upon the choice of a new Khalifah, and was afterwards one of 'Othmin's ('Omar's successor) governors of provinces. He died between the years 50 and 58 A.H., at his castle in Akik, a town about ten miles from el-Medtnah, and was buried in el-Bikiya.

A STORY is told of the people of el-KAfah, that -^^^ they one day presented themselves before

  • 0mar-ibn-eI-Khatt4b, in order to complain of their

governor, Saad-ibn-abi-Wakkis. And when 'Omar had heard them, he said, " Who will deliver me from these people of el-KOfah ? If I appoint a virtuous man for their ruler, they think that he is weak ; and • if I appoint a man of determination, they accuse him of impiety."

Then el-Mughirah, the son of Shiiabah,* said to

  • el-Mughirah, son of Shiiabah, of the tribe of Thakif,

professed el-Islkm in a.h . 6. He was one of two emissaries who, three years later, were sent back with the deputies of his own tribe (which had then determined to submit to Muhammad), with orders to destroy their idol Lath. He was one of 'Omar's


him, "O Commander of the Faithful! verily if a pious man be weak, his piety is for himself and his weakness for you ; and as surely if an impious man be strong, is his strength for you and his impiety for himself."

Then said 'Omar, "Thou hast spoken the truth. Therefore, thou strong sinner, go thou and rule over them."

So el-Mughtrah ruled over them all the days of 'Omar, and the days of 'Othmin, and until he died in the reign of Mu&wiyah.

generals in 'Ir^k, and was for a short time governor of Bdsrah, and general of the Muslim forces in Persia. It was his Persian slave, Abi-Luliiah, el-Fayruz (see Translator's Note, p. 6) who murdered 'Omar. el-Mughtrah died of the plague at el-K(ifah, iff A.H. 50 (A.D. 670), during the Khalifisite of Muiwiyah.