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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Expansion of Islam and Military Campaigns

Umar And The Battle Of Nihaqand

After the conquest of Nihawand and Hamadan, and the signing of peace pact with Khusrau Shanum the battle of Nihawand was over. This war was as important and momentous as the war of Qadisiyya. Qadisiyya acted for the Muslims as the gateway to Iraq; Nihawand served as the gateway to Persia proper. It was at Nihawand that the Persians put up stiff resistance with the hope of reconquest. It was one of the decisive battles of history which sealed the fate of the Persian empire, and paved the way to tne rise of the Muslims as a world power.

The booty that the Muslims gathered as a result of the battles of Nihawand and Hamadan was very large. The booty was distributed among the Muslim soldiers by Saib bin Al Aqra. Each cavalryman got 6,000 dirhams, while each infantryman got 2,000 dirhams.

While the booty was being distributed, the Zoroastrian High Priest of Nihawand waited on the Muslim Commander and said that if he was afforded protection, as a token of his goodwill he would offer to the Muslims the Nakheer Jan treasure. He was given the protection asked for and he presented two boxes filled with pearls and other precious stones.

This treasure belonged to Nakheer Jan, a Persian General. He was a close companion of the Persian emperor Parwez, the grandfather of Yazdjurd. He had as his wife a lady who was the most beautiful woman in Persia. On the night of marriage the lady told Nakheer Jan that she loved the emperor, and out of regard for the emperor, Nakheer Jan should not consummate the marriage. Nakheer Jan agreed and he stayed away from the lady.

The news was carried to Parwez that Nakheer Jan had not consummated the marriage. One day the emperor asked Nakheer Jan, "I hear that you have a spring of sweet water and do not drink from it". Nakheer Jan said, "O emperor, I have heard that a lion has his eye on that spring, and for fear of that lion, I keep away from it". The emperor was much pleased with the loyalty of Nakbeer Jan. Nakheer Jan divorced the lady and she was admitted to the royal harem. Parwez bestowed a treasure on the lady, and as a token of her gratitude to Nakheer Jan for falling in with her wishes she named the treasure after Nakheer Jan. The treasure remained with the children of the lady, who deposited it with the Zoroastrain High Priest.

The state share of the booty along with the Nakheer Jan treasure was sent to Umar at Madina through a special messenger. The messenger gave Umar the good news of the victory of the Muslims.

Umar enquired about No'man bin Muqarrin and the messenger said that he had met his martyrdom. Thereupon Umar burst into tears, and prayed for the soul of No'man bin Muqarrin, the Victor of Nihawand.

Umar next asked the names of other Muslims who had been martyred in the battle-field of Nihawand. The messenger named a few persons, and added that there were many others whose names he did not know. Umar said, "Never mind if you or I do not know their names. Allah knows them". Then he prayed for the souls of all the Muslims who had been martyred in tbe battle of Nihawand.

When Nakheer Jan treasure was presented to the Caliph he said, "Take it back to Iraq, sell it and use the proceeds for the pay and sustenance of the Muslims". The messengers returned to Iraq and handed over the Nakheer Jan treasure to Saib bin Al Aqra. Saib bin Al Aqra sold the treasure at Kufa for two million dirhams and the amount was credited to Baitul Mal.

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