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Khalifa Abu Bakr - Campaigns in Eastern Iraq

Dialogue between Khalid and Abdul Maseeh

On the occasion of the surrender of the Christian Arabs, the dialogue that took place between Khalid and Abdul Maseeh, one of the Christian Arab chief has been preserved in history. Abdul Maseeh reported to be two hundred years old, was known as the sage of Hirah. This dialogue is one of the most unusual dialogues recorded in history. Khalid "How many years have you come upon". Abdul Maseeh. 'Two hundred." Khalid: "What is the most wonderful thing that you have seen?" Abdul Maseeh: "The most wonderful thing I have seen is a village between Hirah and Damascus to which a woman travels from Hirah with nothing more than a loaf of bread." Khalid: "Have you gained nothing from your great age. You even do not know from where you come?" Abdul Maseeh: "Truly, I know from where I come". Khalid "Where do you come from". Abdul Maseeh: "From the spin of my lather". Khalid: "Where are you going?" Abdul Maseeh: "To my front". Khalid: "What is your front?" Abdul Maseeh: "The end". Khalid: "Where do you stand". Abdul blaseeh "On the earth". Khalid: "In what are you?" Abdul Maseeh: "In my clothes." Khalid: "Do you understand me?" Abdul Maseeh: "Yes". Khalid: "The earth destroys its fools, but intelligent destroy the earth. I suppose your people know you better than I do." Abdul Maseeh: "It is the ant, and not the camel that knows what is in the hole." Khalid: "Tell me something that you remember". Abdul Maseeh: "I remember the time when the ships of China sailed behind these citadels". Khalid: "I call upon you to accept Islam or pay Jizya." Abdul Maseeh: "We have no wish to fight you. We will pay you the Jizya, but we shall stick to our faith." After the signing of the pact, when the old sage was to depart, Khalid noticed a pouch. Khalid asked, "What is in the pouch?" Abdul Masech; "It is the poison." Khalid: "But why the poison?" Abdul Maseeh: "I feared that this meeting might turn out otherwise than it has. I would prefer death to seeing more horrors befall my people."

Princess Kirama. One interesting but rather strange clause in the peace pact pertained to the Christian Arab princess Kirama, the daughter of Abdul Maseeh. At one time Kirama was known for her extraordinary breath-taking beauty. A story goes that one day when the Holy Prophet of Islam was sitting in the mosque at Madina surrounded by his followers he prophesied that erelong Hirah would fall to the Muslims. Among the Muslims who listened to this prophesy was a simple unlettered Muslim warrior Shuweil, by name. Addressing the Holy Prophet, Shuweil said, "O Prophet of God, it the Muslims conquer Hirah, may I have Kirama?" The Holy Prophet laughed and said, "Yes, you shall have her."

Now, when Hirah fell, Shuweil was in the Muslim army. He waited on Khalid and told him of the promise that the Holy Prophet had made with him regarding the princess Kirama. The statement of Shuweil was corroborated by some other Muslims. Thereupon Khalid had a clause inserted in the peace pact to effect that the princess Kirama was to be awarded to Shuweil.

Abdul Maseeh protested, but as Khalid insisted on the stipulation, Abdul Maseeh wanted some time so that he might consult Kirama. When Kirama was consulted, she said to her father, "You may agree to the condition. I will myself find a way out of the difficulty. The fool Shuweil would have heard of my beauty when I was young, and has forgotten that youth is not eternal."

When in pursuance of the agreement, the princess Kirama came to Shuweil the rough soldier was shocked that the princess was an old hag of eighty years. At one time Kirama enjoyed the reputation of being the most beautiful woman of Arabia, but age had withered her, and she was now nothing but wrinkles and old bones.

Shuweil did not know what to make of the old woman. Seeing his predicament the princess suggested to him "Of what use can an old woman be to you? You may let me go, and have some money instead." The suggestion appealed to Shuweil and he wanted to be paid a sum of three thousand dirhams. The princess paid the amount and secured her release. It was a good riddance for both.

Mass victory prayer. After signing the pact, Khalid led a mass victory prayer at Hirah. When the news of the conquest of Hirah reached Madina, along with the amount of the tribute realized from the people of Hirah, Abu Bakr led a thanksgiving prayer at Madina. Central Iraq was now under the complete occupation of the Muslims.

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