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The battle of Al-Jisr and Yawmul

And Al-Muthannah proceeded with attacking the Persians here and there and he didn’t sit down to rest, and he didn’t make them re

Source : Islamic Knowledge / 18 Aug 2014

All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allaah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and all the Prophets before him and protect his nation from that which he fears for them.

Thereafter, it was said:

Among the first things that our master, ^Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) did when he became the caliph, was organize the Muslims to fight the Persians. As the Muslims were paying allegiance to him, he was urging them to fight the Persians. He urged them for three days. On the fourth day, they started responding to that and the first person who was eager to fight was Abu ^Ubayd ibn Mas^ood. Then after him was Saloot ibn Qays, and then the people started following after them. When ^Umar achieved the number he had in mind, it was said to him, “Put a leader for them, one from among the first batch of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar.  And seek their opinion and do not rush into things until you are certain, for this is war and war requires a man that doesn’t rush into things; rather, he employs the right opportunity.”

Abu ^Ubayd went out leading the army and he confronted the Persians at a place called An-Namaarik. He defeated them after a severe fight. Then he confronted them in a location called As-Saqaatiyyah, and he defeated them. And they took as spoils things that the Persian leaders had exclusively kept for themselves.

Then the Muslim army advanced forward. The leaders of the Persians went back to their main leader, Rustum. He asked, “Who do you think among the Persians would be the strongest in confronting the Arabs?” They told him, “Bahman Jaazawayh”, who was a famous man. So Rustum put Bahmaan Jaazawayh as a leader for the Persian army, and he also sent other famous leaders with him. He also sent elephants with the army. The Persians had elephants that were trained for war. They would place stations on the backs of the elephants on which men can sit, and they would put steel spears on the elephants' tusks.  When the Persians confronted their enemies, they would let their elephants lead and the footsoldiers would protect the elephants so that the elephants can destroy the army that’s facing them. Rustum also sent with that army the banner of Kisrah called “Dirash-Kaabiyaan” which is the grandest of their banners. It was made out of tiger skins. Its width was 8 cubits and its length was 12 cubits, and it had a certain history for the Persians; they held it in high regard.

Abu ^Ubayd entered a location called Al-Marwahah, and in front of him was the Persian army. There was a bridge separating the two armies; so, the Persians called out giving the choice: either for the Muslims to cross the bridge over to them or the Persians would cross the bridge over to the Muslims to start fighting. Abu ^Ubayd sought the opinion of those who were with him, and they all recommended to him that the Persians should cross the bridge to them. However Abu ^Ubayd refused. He said, “They shall not be more daring to die than us!” He was not convinced with the advice that those from among his companions gave. Also, his wife had seen a dream before the battle. She saw a man descending from the sky with a container that had a drink in it, and Abu ^Ubayd drank from that container. Then his son Jabr drank from the container, and then 7 people from among his family drank from it. She told Abu ^Ubayd about this dream and he said, “This is martyrdom.” So he inferred from this dream that he would earn martyrdom. And he called the people and told them, “If I am killed, then my son Jabr would be the leader among you after me. And if he dies, then 'so-and-so' would be the leader…” until he named all of the seven people that were in the dream.

Then, the Muslims crossed the bridge and both armies clashed in fighting, and the Muslims fought a severe fight. The area across the bridge was narrow, so there wasn’t enough space there for one to maneuver. And when the Muslims went ahead with their horses, the horses would be scared of the elephants. So, the horses were scared to go forward. When the elephants attacked, they would disperse the lines of the Muslims and the horsemen of the Muslims would not be able to protect and assist the footsoldiers, because their horses would be scared of the elephants.

Abu ^Ubayd went off his horse and the rest came off their horses. Abu ^Ubayd ordered his soldiers to head towards the elephants and cut off the belts that fastened the stations on their backs, where the enemy soliders sat. So the Muslim soldiers went forward and cut the belts. Abu ^Ubayd, himself, went for the white elephant, the one that was leading the elephants, and he hit the white elephant on its trunk. The elephant protected itself with its foreleg and then it hit Abu ^Ubayd and stepped on him; killing him. When the Muslims saw that, some of them felt defeated on the inside. His son Jabr took the banner and they removed Abu ^Ubayd from underneath the leg of the elephant and they went back to attacking the elephants. Jabr was also killed under the foot of the elephant.  After him, 7 from among the tribe of Abu ^Ubayd took over the banner one after the other. Each one of them would take the banner and fight until he was killed.

After they were all killed Al-Muthannah ibn Haarithah took the banner.  At that time, many Muslim soldiers had fled. When one of the soldiers from Abu ^Ubayd's tribe saw that, he was disturbed, and he didn't wisely. He went for the bridge and cut it out and said, “Die! Just as your leaders had died!” And that resulted in a greater fear among the Muslims because the bridge behind them was now cut off.

At that, Al-Muthannah stood up with a group of soldiers and said, “O people, do not fear! We shall defend you until all of you cross over.” And he ordered some of the soldiers to reposition the bridge while he fought the Persians to protect the Muslims from them. When the bridge was put back in place, he ordered them to cross over calmly and he assured them that he and the other soldiers would remain defending them until the last among them crosses the bridge. The Muslims who were fleeing started crossing while Al-Muthannah and the other Muslim soldiers defended them until they all crossed over.

The last one who was killed at the bridge was Saleet the son of Qays, and the last to cross the bridge was Al-Muthannah. Even after he crossed the bridge, he still fought to defend the Muslims; so, the Persians were unable to destroy the Muslims. It was mentioned that the Muslims lost around 4,000 soldiers during this battle; some were killed in fighting and some drowned.

During this battle, 2,000 Muslims soldiers fled. Many of them were too shy to return to the people after they had escaped; so, they kept on going until they reached al-Madeenah. Some of them were even so shy that didn’t stay in Al-Madeenah; they left out of shyness because they fled the battle.

Al-Muthannah stayed where he was, along with some 3,000 soldiers. On that day, Al-Muthanna was wounded in the battle. Some of the links on his shield penetrated his body because it was struck by a spear from the enemy.

When the news reached our master ^Umar, he was in full control of himself, and he started making it easier for those who had fled. He told them, “You were not able to fight anymore and so you resorted to me over here.” Then ^Umar endeavored to put the different aids together in order to send them to rescue to Al-Muthannah and his army. He started calling the people to go out toward the Persians and assist the Muslims there. The Muslims started volunteering to go out.

However, Al-Muthannah was not scared or afraid at that time; he didn’t hide to hide or the like. And although he had very few soldiers left with him, he returned to fight the Persians, and he fought them in the Battle of al-Buwayb. He defeated them there and the morale of the Muslims in that battle was very high; despite that which they suffered before.

After the battle was over, they sat down to tell the stories to one another of what took place. Al-Muthannah used to sit with them after the battle, talking to them, and they talked to him. One of them told him, “I killed a man and I smelled from him a smell of musk; so, I told myself, 'This is Mahraan, the leader of the Persians. Then later I learned that he was the leader of the horsemen; not the leader of the whole army. So when I found that out, I felt like I didn’t do anything; as if he was nothing.”

That day was called “Yawmul-^Ashaar.” ^Ashaar is the plural of ten in Arabic. On that day, 100 Muslims were counted that each of them had killed 10 of the enemy soldiers. Also, many of the other Muslims had killed 9 and what is less than that. And Al-Muthannah proceeded with attacking the Persians here and there and he didn’t sit down to rest, and he didn’t make them rest either.

May Allaah raise his rank and the ranks of the Muslim soldiers who fought along with him.  Aameen.



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