Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/The Profession of el-Islam by the Persian prince

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Profession of el-Islam by the Persian prince Hurmuzan[edit]

According to most Oriental authors, the 15th year of the Hijrah was rendered famous by the battle of el-Kadisiyyah, (so called from a city of that name bordering upon the deserts of Irak), wherein the Persians were signally defeated by the Arabs, and in consequence of which their capital city, and the greatest part of the dominions, fell into the hands of the latter. Hurmuzan, a noble Persian who had possessed himself of Khuzestan, after this complete defeat surrendered that province to the Khalifah, and at his request, embraced Muhammadism in the manner related below. Hurmuzan's dominions lay, says D'Herbelot, fifty leagues from el-Wasit, on the Tigris, and eighty leagues from Isfahan.

Hurmuzan was brought bound as a prisoner into the presence of the Commander of the Faithful, 'Omar ibn-el-Khattab, who called upon him to profess el-Islam. Upon his refusal so to do, 'Omar gave the order for his execution. But he cried, "O Commander of the Faithful, before you kill me, give me a draught of water, and do not slay me parched with thirst." So 'Omar ordered some water for him, and so soon as Hurmuzdn had the goblet in his hand he asked, "Am I safe until I shall have drank it?"

To which 'Omar replied, "Yes; safety is yours for that time " Then Hurmuzdn flung the vessel away from him, and spilt the water, and cried, " Your promise, O Commander of the Faithful ! " So 'Omar said to the executioner, " Leave him, whilst, I find out what is to be done with him."

And when the sword was removed from over him, Hurmuzin exclaimed, " I testify that there is no God but God, and that Muhammad is the prophet of God!"

Then said 'Omar, " Verily thou hast professed the best form of Muhammadan faith. What caused thy delay in doing it ?"

" I feared," he replied, " that it might be reported I had professed el-Islam through dread of the sword."

"Of a truth, thou art wise in judgment," said 'Omar, "and art worthy of the dominion thou hadst"

And after that time 'Omar consulted him about the going forth of his armies into Persia, and acted according to his advice.