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When after the death of Umar, Uthman came to power, the Byzantines made a bid to reconquer what they had lost to the Muslims during the caliphate of Umar. The Byzantines made a multi pronged attack on the Muslim dominions. One attack was made on Alexandria in Egypt, another attack was planned on Syria. The Byzantines mustered a strong force of 80,000 men, and planned a whole sale invasion of Syria. Amir Muawiyah the Governor of Syria had an army of 10,000 soldiers with him. He accordingly requested for aid from Uthman. Uthman asked Walid b Uqba the Governor of Kufa to send a contingent to the aid of Syria. A contingent from Kufa was sent to Syria under the command of Salman b Rabia.

The Syrian contingent under Habib b Maslama, and the contingent from Kufa under Salman b Rabia met the Byzantines in battle and defeated them. Details about the action are not available, but a story has come down to us highlighting the valor of Muslim women. It is related that the Byzantine army was four times larger than the army of the Muslims. Under the circumstances Habib ~ Maslama the Commander of the Muslim army devised the plan to steal across to the camp of the Byzantine commander, and kill him before the Byzantines could know what had happened. When in accordance with plan, Habib managed to reach the camp of the Byzantine Commander he was surprised to see that his wife dressed in male attire had forestalled him and reached the camp of the enemy. The husband and wife together killed the Byzantine Commander. That turned the tide of the battle, and the Muslims won an astounding victory.