Muslim conquest of Persia

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The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, led to the end of the Sasanian Empire of Persia in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Iran (Persia).


  • It will endure a thousand years. Then those men who are at that time will all become covenant-breakers. One with another they will be revengeful and envious and false. And for that reason the nation of Iran will be delivered up to the Arabs ( tiijfkiin ), and the Arabs will daily grow stronger and will seize district after district. Men will turn to unrighteousness and falsehood .... Much royal treasure and wealth will pass into the hands and possession of enemies .... Ane- ran and Eran will be confounded so that the Iranian will not be 'distinguished from the foreigner; those who are Iranians will turn back to foreign ways.
    • Jamasp namag, I.2-3, a prediction of Jamasp, in : Hoyland, R. G. (2001). Seeing Islam as others saw it: A survey and evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian writings on early Islam. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press. p.323-4
  • When the sovereignty came to Yazdgird, he reigned twenty years; then the Arabs entered Iran in great numbers. Yazd-gird did not contend with them in battle. He went to Khurasan and Turkestan and asked for the assistance of horses and men. They killed him there. Yazdgird's son went to India and brought an army and troops. He was slain before coming to Khurasan. The army and troops were destroyed and Iran remained with the Arabs. They promul- gated their own laws of irreligion, dissolved the bonds of the institutions of the men of old and weakened the Mazdaean religion. They brought into use the washing, burying and eating of polluted matter. From the beginning of creation till this day no evil more grievous than this has come, since by reason of their evil deeds distress and desolation and lamentation have made their abode [in Iran]. By reason of their wicked laws and wicked faith, [there is] pestilence and want and other evils. It is stated in the Religion that there shall come an end of their accursed rule.
    • Bundahishn,XXXIII.20-23, in : Hoyland, R. G. (2001). Seeing Islam as others saw it: A survey and evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian writings on early Islam. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press. p.324-5
  • The state of affairs now evident is indicative of how Iranian rule has come to an end in the country of Iran, and of the destruction of justice and customs and classes, and of the rule of those with dishevelled hair (Arabs) and the haughty (Turks) and the churchmen (Byzantines). And of the mix- ing together of all three of them, of the being trusted and attaining the highest station with them of the inferior, the petty, the transient and the undistinguished of the age, and the destruction and downfall of excellent and notable men in their time. 211
    • Dekard, 7.VIII.2-3 (tr. West, 5.94-95). in : Hoyland, R. G. (2001). Seeing Islam as others saw it: A survey and evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian writings on early Islam. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press. p.326-7
  • “On reaching Dawar, [Ibn Samurah] surrounded the enemy in the mountain of Zur, where there was a famous Hindu temple.... As he entered victoriously into the sacred precincts of the temple, also called Zur or Zun, he noticed an idol of gold with two rubies for eyes. The zealous Muslim at once cut off the hands of the idol with one stroke and plucked the eyes out of their sockets but then returned everything to the priest, remarking that he 'only wanted to demonstrate how powerless was his idol to do either good or evil'.
    • About Ibn Samurah at Seistan. Abdur Rahman, The Last Two Dynasties of the Shahis, Delhi Reprint, 1988
  • “…Their idol of Zur was of gold, and its eyes were two rubies. The zealous Musalmans cut off its hands and plucked out its eyes, and then remarked to the Marzaban how powerless was his idol to do either good or evil…”
  • Who routed infidel armies and destroyed them with bloody slaughter?
    Who put out and made cold the sacred flame in Iran?
  • Submit to Islam and be safe. Or agree to the payment of the Jizya (tax), and you and your people will be under our protection, else you will have only yourself to blame for the consequences, for I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.
    • Khalid ibn al-Walid , This letter was written by Khalid, from his head-quarters in Babylonia, to the Persian monarch Emperor Yazdegerd III before invading it. (History of the World, Volume IV [Book XII. The Mohammedan Ascendency], page 463, by John Clark Ridpath, LL.D. 1910.)
  • Khalid wrote more harshly to the Sassanian rulers: “From Khalid b. al-Walid to the rulers of the Persians: Peace be upon whosoever follows right guidance.”30 This was to become the mandated greeting for Muslims toward non-Muslims; when greeting a fellow Muslim, Muslims were to say, “Peace be upon you.” But to a non-Muslim, a Muslim was to wish peace only upon “whoever follows right guidance,” that is, the Muslims. Khalid continued:
    Praise be to God, Who has scattered your servants, wrested your sovereignty away, and rendered your plotting weak. Whoever worships the way we worship, faces the direction we face in prayer, and eats meat slaughtered in our fashion, that person is a Muslim and obtains the benefits we enjoy and takes up the responsibilities we bear. Now then, when you receive this letter, send me hostages and place yourself under my protection. Otherwise, by Him other than Whom there is no god, I will most certainly send against you a people who love death just as you love life.
    The Sassanian rulers soon realized these were not empty words. Khalid stormed through Persia, offering the Persians the same ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay the jizya, or face war. He defeated the Persians in numerous battles.
    • The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS (2018), Robert Spencer
  • With Persia largely subdued, Umar declared proudly: “The Empire of the Magians has become extinct this day and from now on they will not possess a span of land to injure the Muslims in any way.”
    • The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS (2018), Robert Spencer
  • It was the swift inheritance of a preexisting state—not Islam—that led to the demise of early democracy in the Middle East. As the Islamic conquerors spread outward from Arabia, they soon encountered more densely populated lands where people practiced an intensive and settled form of agriculture, a radically different environment from Arabia. In the territory that is now Iraq these lands were part of the Sasanian Empire, and in the century or so before the Islamic conquests the Sasanians had succeeded in creating a centralized bureaucracy to collect taxes from a fertile agricultural region that would come to be known as the Sawad—“The Black Land.” Faced with this inheritance, after deposing the Sasanian leadership, the Arab conquerors co-opted their bureaucracy. The result, in spite of protests, was that caliphs could now govern in an autocratic manner with little need for consultation. Succession to the caliphate became hereditary.
    • David Stasavage, The Decline and Rise of Democracy: A Global History from Antiquity to Today (2020), pp. 14-15
  • The following are some of the [miraculous] events of that night, which became to everybody as plain as daylight : The disappearance of the water from the lake Sadah ; the overflowing of the river Samavah, which is one of the watercourses of Syria, and had been dry during one thousand years. … During that night also the palace of Naushirvan, the strength of which will be mentioned in the record of the Khalifate of Abu Ja’far Manssur the Abbaside, so trembled that fourteen of its pinnacles fell to the ground. This event filled the mind of Kesra with terror and apprehension, which, however, he did not communicate to anyone, until at last he one day convoked his intimate friends and courtiers, and wished to do so, when all of a sudden news arrived from Estakhar that the fire of the chief temple of Persia, which had been burning for a thousand years, had become extinguished. Having searched their historical books for the meaning of this sign, they found that it portended ‘ decline of power.’ At this information the smoke of amazement ascended into the receptacle of the brains of Naushirvan, and his dismay was much augmented. On that occasion the Mobed of Mobeds— i.e., the chief ecclesiastical dignitary of the Magi—represented that he had during that night seen fleet and obstinate camels in a dream, which were leading Arab horses until they had crossed the Tigris and dispersed in Persia.
    ...The king of the Beni Sasan— i.e., Naushirvan—has sent thee on account of the trembling of the palace, the decline of power, the extinction of the fires of Persia, and the dream of the Mobed of Mobeds!’ He further said : ‘ As soon as Muhammad the elect—u. w. b.—is sent, and the recital— i.e., reading of the Quran—begins, the river Samavah will flow, and the lake Savah will become exsiccated ; the fire of the chief temple of Persia will be extinguished, the dignity of the Persians, of the Syrians, and of Sattih will cease, i.e., the government of Persia will be destroyed, and Sattih, taking leave from the perishable, will hasten to the eternal abode.
    • About happenings (in mythology) during the time of the birth of Muhammad. About an Islamic myth allegedly foreshadowing the Muslim conquest of Persia.
    • [2]
    • Rauzat-us-Safa, or Garden of Purity by Muhammad bin Khavendshah bin Mahmud translated into English by E. Rehatsek, first published 1893, Delhi Reprint 1982, Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II

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