'Amr ibn al-'As (Arabic: عمرو بن العاص; c. 585 – 6 January 664) was an Arab military commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640. He was a contemporary of Muhammad and one of the Sahaba ("Companions") who rose quickly through the Muslim hierarchy following his conversion to Islam in the year 8 AH (629). He founded the Egyptian capital of Fustat and built the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As at its center.
'Amr ibn al-'As
|Emir of Palestine|
|Monarch||Umar Ibn al-Khattab|
|Preceded by||None (Conquest of the Levant from the Byzantine Empire)|
|Succeeded by||Muawiyah I (as Governor of the Levant)|
|Governor of Egypt|
|Monarch||Umar Ibn al-Khattab|
|Preceded by||None (Conquest of Egypt from the Byzantine Empire)|
|Succeeded by||Abdallah ibn Sa'ad|
|Preceded by||Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr|
|Succeeded by||Utba ibn Abi Sufyan|
|Born||14 February 583 or before|
|Father||Al-'As ibn Wa'il|
|Years of service||634–636|
Governor of Egypt (642–644), (657–664)
|Commands||Conquest of Palestine|
Conquest of Egypt, First Muslim Civil War
ʻAmr belonged to the Banu Sahm clan of the Quraysh. 'Amr ibn al-'As was born in the city of Mecca in Arabia and died in Egypt. Assuming he was over eighty years old when he died, he was born before 592. Al-'As ibn Wa'il (Arabic: العاص بن وائل) was the father of 'Amr ibn al-'As and Hisham ibn al-A'as. He was a part of Hilf al-Fudul.
Before his military career, ʻAmr was a trader, who had accompanied caravans along the commercial trading routes through Asia and the Middle East, including Egypt. He was a shrewd, highly intelligent man who belonged to the nobility of the Quraysh, and initially fought with the Quraysh against the Muslims in several battles. He was determinedly hostile to Islam, and was in fact Quraysh’s envoy to the Negus, the ruler of Abyssinia.
On one occasion when going to fight the Muslims, he saw them praying, became highly interested and tried to find out more about Islam. After converting to Islam with Khalid ibn al-Walid, he fought for the Islamic cause and became a great commander. The first mosque to be built in Africa was erected under his patronage and is still known as The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As. He came to Egypt as the commander in chief of the Muslim Arab troops in 650 AD.
Like the other Quraysh chiefs, he opposed Islam in the early days.
ʻAmr headed the delegation that the Quraysh sent to Abyssinia to prevail upon the ruler, Aṣḥama ibn Abjar (possibly Armah), to turn away the Muslims from his country. The mission failed and the ruler of Abyssinia refused to oblige the Quraysh.
In the company of Khalid ibn al-Walid, he rode from Mecca to Medina where both of them converted to Islam in 629-30. Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah served under ʻAmr ibn al-ʻĀs in the campaign of Dhat as-Salasil and had offered their prayers behind him for many weeks. At that time, ʻAmr ibn al-ʻĀs was their chief not only in the army but also as a leader in religious services.
ʻAmr was dispatched by Muhammad to Oman and played a key role in the conversion of the leaders of that nation, Jayfar and 'Abbād ibn Al-Juland. He was then made governor of the region until shortly after Muhammad's death.
ʻAmr was sent by the Caliph Abu Bakr with the Muslim Arab armies into Palestine following Muhammad's death. It is believed that he played an important role in the Arab conquest of that region, and he is known to have been at the battles of Ajnadayn and Yarmouk as well as the siege of Damascus.
The actual invasion began towards the end of 639, as Amr crossed the Sinai Peninsula with 3,500-4,000 men. He is reported to have celebrated the feast of pilgrimage in Arish on 10th Dhul Hij A. H 18 or 12 December 640. After taking the small fortified towns of Pelusium (Arabic: Al-Farama) and beating back a Byzantine surprise attack near Bilbeis, Amr headed towards the Babylon Fortress (in the region of modern-day Coptic Cairo). After some skirmishes south of the area, Amr marched north towards Heliopolis, with 12,000 men reinforcements who had arrived on 6 June 640 reaching him from Syria, against the Byzantine forces in Egypt, under general Theodorus. The resulting Muslim victory at the Battle of Heliopolis brought about the fall of much of the country. The Heliopolis battle resolved fairly quickly, though the Babylon Fortress withstood a siege of several months, and the Byzantine capital of Alexandria, which had been the capital of Egypt for much of its 972-year existence, surrendered a few months after that. A peace treaty was signed in late 641, in the ruins of a palace in Memphis. Despite a brief re-conquest by Byzantine forces in 645, after the Muslim victory at the Battle of Nikiou the country remained firmly in Muslim Arab hands. Finding no soldiers, Muslim army made their entry into Nakius and took possession.
Needing a new capital, Amr suggested that they set up an administration in the large and well-equipped city of Alexandria, at the western edge of the Nile Delta. However, Caliph Umar refused, saying that he did not want the capital to be separated from him by a body of water. So in 641 Amr founded a new city on the eastern side of the Nile, centered on his own tent which was near the Babylon Fortress. Amr also founded a mosque at the center of his new city—it was the first mosque in Egypt, which also made it the first mosque on the continent of Africa. The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As still exists today in Old Cairo, though it has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries, and nothing remains of the original structure. One corner of the mosque contains the tomb of his son, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As.
Although some Egyptians did not support the Byzantine forces during the Arab conquest, some villages started to organise against the new invaders. After the Battle of Nikiou on 13 May 641, Arab troops, having defeated the Byzantine forces, destroyed many Egyptian villages on their march to Alexandria as the Delta rebelled against the new invaders. The Egyptian resistance seems to have been village by village without a unified command and therefore failed.
Muhammad had told Amr "that when you conquer Egypt be kind to its people because they are your protégée kith and kin".
After his military conquests, Amr was an important player in internal conflicts within the Islamic empire during the First Fitna.He played a role in the rise of Mu'awiyah, who reappointed him governor of Egypt. Amr died in Egypt in 664 during Mu'awiyah's reign.
Late in Amr's life, he was sent out on a mission from Mu'awiyah's camp to negotiate a deal after the battle of Siffin fought between Mu'awiyah and Ali. A first meeting was agreed upon by both parties, but no conclusion was reached. When Mu'awiyah was close to losing he stirred up political trouble for Ali and pushed him to agree to another meeting. Amr, taking this chance, made a pledge to Mu'awiyah that if he could defeat Ali then he should be appointed governor of Egypt. Mu'awiyah agreed and sent Amr as his representative In the framework of these negotiations both Mu'awiyah and Ali agreed to accept the Qur'an as the base for the final judgment and appoint Abd Allah b. Qays Abu Musa al-Ash'ari as the arbiter for the Ali camp and Amr as the arbiter for the Mu'awiyah camp. If they did not find what they were looking for in the Qur'an, they would use the example or Sunnah of the Prophet, consisting of the recorded actions from his life. Lastly, they decided that both Ali and Mu'awiyah would follow through with whatever verdict came out of the negotiations.
This led Amr to attempt to buy out Abu Musa, saying that if he sided with Mu’awiyah he would give him governance over any province he wanted. Abu Musa rejected this offer. So Amr advised Mu’awiyah to continue blaming Ali for the death of Uthman. Amr argued that Mu’awiyah had a blood revenge for his tribe – this being the reason for the violence and distrust of Ali. Both arbiters eventually agreed that neither Mu’awiyah nor Ali were worth of the role of caliph. This agreement was made in private between these two alone. As their choice was announced, people came together to hear the verdict. Amr let Abu Musa speak first:
“O people, surely the best of men is he who is good to himself and the most wicked is he who is evil towards himself. You know full well that these wars have spared neither the righteous and the God-fearing, nor the one in the right, nor the one in the wrong. I have, therefore, after careful consideration, decided that we should depose both Ali and Mu’awiya and appoint for this affair Abdullah b. Umar b. al-Khattab, for he has neither stretched a hand nor drawn a tongue in a these wars. Behold, I shall remove Ali from caliphate as I now remove my ring from my finger.”
Then it was Amr’s turn to speak:
“Behold, this is Abd Allah b. Qays Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari , the deputy of the people of Yaman to the Messenger and representative of Umar b. al-Khattab and the arbiter of the people of Iraq; he has removed his companion Ali from the caliphate. As for me, I confirm Mu’awiyah in the caliphate as firmly as this ring sits around my finger.”
This statement by Amr made Abu Musa upset because he said in secret that he would reject both of them as leader. This led to the fall of Ali’s power and the rise of Mu’awiyah as the leader of the Muslim empire, which would change the course of the Empire. Because of Amr’s support of Mu’awiyah, he was made the governor of Egypt.
Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr
| Governor of Egypt
Utba ibn Abi Sufyan
|New title|| Governor of Egypt
Abdallah ibn Sa'ad
'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As (died 684 CE/65 AH, the son of 'Amr ibn al-'As of Banu Sahm) was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was the author of "Al-Sahifah al-Sadiqah" ("The Truthful Script", Arabic: الصحيفة الصادقة), a hadith compilation document which recorded about one thousand of Muhammad's narrations.He embraced Islam in the year 7 AH a year before his father did, Amr ibn al-'As. The prophet Muhammad used to show preference to Abd Allah ibn 'Amr due to his knowledge. He was one of the first companions to write down the Hadith, after receiving permission from prophet Muhammad to do so. Abu Huraira used to say that Abd Allah ibn 'Amr was more knowledgeable than him.His work Al-Sahifah al-Sadiqah remained in his family and was used by his grandson 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb. Ahmad ibn Hanbal incorporated the whole of the work of Abd Allah ibn 'Amr in his voluminous book Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal thereby covering up for the missing Al-Sahifah al-Sadiqah which was written in the days of Prophet Muhammad.Al-'As ibn Wa'il
al-'As ibn Wa'il (Arabic: العاص بن وائل) was the father of the Sahaba 'Amr ibn al-'As and Hisham ibn al-A'as.
He was a part of Hilf al-FudulHe was rumored to have had a relationship with Layla bint Harmalah Surat al-Kawthar is the 108th sura of the Qur'an, and the shortest. According to Ibn Ishaq, it was revealed in Makka, some time before the Isra and Miraj, when A'as ibn Wa'il as-Sahmi said of Muhammad that he was "a man who is cut off (from having a male progenitor) is of no consequence, and if he were killed, he would be forgotten"He never became a Muslim and left a will to his two sonsAlqamah ibn Waqqas
'Alqamah ibn Waqqas (Arabic: علقمة بن وقاص) was a scholar and hadith narrator. He narrated hadiths passed on to him from 'Umar, 'Aʾisha, Bilal ibn al-Harith al-Mazni, 'Amr ibn al-'As, Ibn 'Umar and others. People who transmitted his narration included his two sons Amr and Abd ul-Lah, Al-Zuhri, and others. He had a house in Madinah and progeny. He died during the reign of 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. His narrated hadiths are found in the Six Books.Amr (name)
Amr (Arabic: عمرو) is an Arabic male name.Banu Sahm
The Banu Sahm (Arabic: بنو سهم) is a clan of the Quraish tribe.Battle of Dathin
The Battle of Dathin (Arabic: داثن) was a minor battle during the Arab–Byzantine Wars between the Rashidun Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire in February 634, but became very famous in the literature of the period.The battle took place following a series of Arab raids around Gaza. The Byzantine commander (dux and candidatus) Sergius assembled a small detachment of soldiers (due to a shortage of troops), and led that mounted army from his base at Caesarea some 125 kilometers south to the vicinity of Gaza. From there he proceeded against an Arab force that was numerically superior and commanded by 'Amr ibn al-'As. The opposing forces met at the village of Dathin on February 4, not far from Gaza. The Byzantines were defeated and the candidatus Sergius himself was killed, together with 300 of his soldiers.According to the near-contemporary Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati, the Muslim victory was celebrated by the local Jews, who had been a persecuted minority within the Roman Empire.Battle of Fahl
The Battle of Fahl or Battle of Pella Arabic: معركة فحل was an Arab–Byzantine battle fought between the Rashidun army under Khalid ibn al-Walid Saifullah (meaning: The Sword of Allah) and the East Roman Empire under Theodore the Sacellarius (Saqalar), in Fahl (ancient Pella along the Jordan Valley of Jordan) in January 635 AD (13 AH). The result was a clear victory for Khalid ibn al-Walid. Some Byzantine soldiers fled to Beisan. The Corps of Sharhabeel ibn Hasana and 'Amr ibn al-'As later captured the fortress of Beisan.Expedition of Amr ibn al-As
Expedition of Amr ibn al-As, also known as the Campaign of Dhatas Salasil, took place in September 629 AD, 8AH, 6th month, of the Islamic Calendar.Fustat
Fustat (Arabic: الفسطاط al-Fusţāţ, Coptic: ⲫⲩⲥⲧⲁⲧⲱⲛ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule. It was built by the Muslim general 'Amr ibn al-'As immediately after the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, and featured the Mosque of Amr, the first mosque built in Egypt and in all of Africa.
The city reached its peak in the 12th century, with a population of approximately 200,000. It was the centre of administrative power in Egypt, until it was ordered burnt in 1168 by its own vizier, Shawar, to keep its wealth out of the hands of the invading Crusaders. The remains of the city were eventually absorbed by nearby Cairo, which had been built to the north of Fustat in 969 when the Fatimids conquered the region and created a new city as a royal enclosure for the Caliph. The area fell into disrepair for hundreds of years and was used as a rubbish dump.
Today, Fustat is part of Old Cairo, with few buildings remaining from its days as a capital. Many archaeological digs have revealed the wealth of buried material in the area. Many ancient items recovered from the site are on display in Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art.Helwan wax museum
The Helwan Wax Museum is a small public museum located in the suburb of Helwan, in Cairo, Egypt, close to the Ain Helwan Metro station. It houses 116 statues and 26 scenes.
It contains exhibits of wax sculptures demonstrating important figures from Egyptian history and idealized traditional Egyptian culture. Some figures shown include Salah El-Din El-Ayoubi (Saladin), King Richard I "The Lionheart" of England, Amr Ibn Al-As, Cleopatra and President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The museum was founded by Hussein Bikar, a noted Egyptian painter and sculptor.
Due to the lack of air conditioning, many of the wax sculptures on display exhibit visible damage and signs of repeated touch-ups.As of early 2009, the museum has been closed for renovations.Islamic Cairo
Islamic Cairo (Arabic: قاهرة المعز, Qahirat al-Maez) is a part of central Cairo around the old walled city and around the Citadel of Cairo which is characterized by hundreds of mosques, tombs, madrasas, mansions, caravanserais, and fortifications dating from the Islamic era. In 1979, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Historic Cairo a World Cultural Heritage site, as "one of the world's oldest Islamic cities, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains" and "the new centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century."Maslama ibn Mukhallad al-Ansari
Maslama ibn Mukhallad ibn al-Samit al-Ansari (616 or 620 – 9 April 682), to whom the tecnonymics Abu Ma'n or Sa'id or Umar are ascribed, was one of the Companions of the Prophet and active in Egypt in the decades after its conquest by the Muslims.
He was born in 616 or 620, and participated in the Muslim conquest of Egypt, remaining in the country after its conquest and until his death. He was an adherent of the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, and refused to recognize the succession of Muhammad's son-in-law Ali after Uthman's murder. Consequently he was one of the leaders of the pro-Uthman party, under Mu'awiya ibn Hudayj, and participated in their revolt against governor Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfa in 657, until the governor of Syria, Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, reimposed order. In 658, as the conflict between Ali and the Syria-based Umayyads under Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan became open, he opposed Ali's appointment of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr as governor of Egypt, and it is probable that he participated in the Syrian invasion under Amr ibn al-As that led to Ibn Abi Bakr's defeat, capture and execution in the summer of that year.Maslama served loyally under Amr ibn al-As, who was governor of Egypt until his death in January 664, but remained on the sidelines under his two successors. Finally, in 667/8, Maslama himself petitioned Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, now Caliph, and was appointed governor of Egypt. He held the post until 670 according to al-Tabari, though other sources report that he governed the country continuously until his death on 9 April 682. Little is known of is tenure, except that he was active in the wars against the Byzantine Empire, sending regular expeditions against them, and rebuilt the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in Fustat, to which he added minarets. Otherwise his period of office seems to have been one of domestic tranquility. Some sources claim that Maslama was also responsible for the Muslim campaigns in Ifriqiya and the Maghreb in general, although others insist that these areas did not come under his authority until ca. 675; at any rate, he replaced Uqba ibn Nafi, who had been in charge in Ifriqiya until then, with Abu al-Muhajir Dinar in 671 or in 675.Maslama remained a firm adherent of the Umayyads to the last, and when Mu'awiya died in 680, he immediately recognized his son, Yazid I, as his successor; he reportedly threatened even Amr ibn al-As's son Abdallah, another Companion and respected hadith scholar, with execution when he objected.Maydan al Shajara
Maydan al-Shajara (Arabic: ميدان الشجرة; English: The Tree Square), is a major town square in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya. A large native Atlas Cedar tree was located in the center of the square, giving it its name. The square is located in the center of Benghazi, linking two primary roads, Gamal Abdel al-Nasser Street and 'Amr ibn al-'As Street.Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As (Arabic: جامع عمرو بن العاص), also called the Mosque of Amr, was originally built in 641–642 AD, as the center of the newly founded capital of Egypt, Fustat. The original structure was the first mosque ever built in Egypt and the whole of Africa. Through the twentieth century, it was the fourth largest mosque in the Islamic world.The location for the mosque was the site of the tent of the commander of the Muslim army, general Amr ibn al-As. One corner of the mosque contains the tomb of his son, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As. Due to extensive reconstruction over the centuries, nothing of the original building remains, but the rebuilt Mosque is a prominent landmark, and can be seen in what today is known as Old Cairo. It is an active mosque with a devout congregation, and when prayers are not taking place, it is also open to visitors and tourists.Osama Anwar Okasha
Osama Anwar Okasha (Arabic: أسامة أنور عكاشة, 27 July 1941 – 28 May 2010) was an Egyptian screenwriter and journalist, who wrote weekly for El-Ahram newspaper. He is famous for writing some of the most popular series on Egyptian television, such as Layali el Helmeyya and El Shahd wel Demou, which are popular in Egypt and all across the Middle East.
His latest work, the series El-Masraweyya ("the Egyptians" or "the Egyptianness") aired in September 2007 and was awarded the Prize for Best Series that year. The series traces the history of the Egyptian people from 1914 until the present day.Okasha was a former Nasserist who later in life no longer believed in the ideas that Nasser espoused. He has called for the dissolution of the Arab League and for the establishment of a commonwealth of Arabic-speaking countries built on economic cooperation. He was also a strongly secular intellectual who has attacked religious fundamentalism in his society. He was asked to write a television series about the life of Amr Ibn Al-As, as he went back to the history books to draft the script about his life, he declared that Ibn Al-as is "one of the most despicable characters in history" and that "he does not deserve to be glorified in a drama work"He died on 28 May 2010 after a hard journey with illness.Raid of Amr ibn al-As
The raid of Amr ibn al-As, to Ruhat, took place in January 630 AD, 8AH, 9th month, of the Islamic Calendar.Rashidun cavalry
The Mobile Guard (Arabic: طليعة متحركة, Tulay'a mutaharikkah or جيش الزحف, "Jaish al‐Zaḥf") was an elite light cavalry regiment of Rashidun army during the Muslim conquest of Syria, under the command of Khalid ibn Walid. This force was earmarked as a cavalry reserve for use in battle as required.
After the decisive victory at the Battle of Ajnadayn in 634 CE, Khalid, from his army of Iraq, which after Ajnadayn numbered about 8000 men, organised a force of 4000 horsemen, which the early historians refer to as The Army of Sharpeners. Khalid kept this force under his personal command.
The first recorded use of this mounted force was during the Siege of Damascus (634). The best use of this lightly armed fast moving cavalry was revealed during the Battle of Yarmuk (636 AD) in which Khalid ibn Walid, knowing the importance and ability of his cavalry, used them to turn the course of events at every critical instance of the battle. With their ability to engage and disengage, and turn back and attack again from the flank or rear, the Mobile Guard inflicted a shattering defeat of the Byzantine army. This strong mobile striking force was often used in later years as an advance guard. It could rout opposing armies with its greater mobility that gave it an upper hand against any Byzantine army. One of the victories of the mobile guard was at Battle of Hazir in 637 CE under the command of Khalid, in which not a single Byzantine soldier survived. With this mobile striking force the Muslims easily conquered Syria with few casualties, including the Muslim victory at Battle of Iron Bridge which followed the surrender of Antioch.
Khalid ibn Walid had organized a military staff – a simple beginning of what later in military history would emerge as the general staff. He had collected from all the regions in which he had fought - Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Palestine - a small group of keen and intelligent men who acted as his 'staff officers', mainly functioning as an intelligence staff. They would collect information, organize the dispatch and questioning of agents, and keep Khalid up-to-date with the latest military situation. This was a personal staff rather than the staff of an army headquarters; wherever Khalid went, this staff went with him, and was part of the mobile guard. The Mobile guard remained under the personal command of Khalid ibn Walid for about four years (634-638 CE) until Khalid was dismissed from army by Caliph Umar after the completion of the conquest of the Levant.
With the dismissal of Khalid this powerful cavalry regiment was dismantled. One of its brilliant commanders Qa'qa ibn Amr had been sent to the Persian front in 637 CE along with reinforcements for the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, in which he played an important part. A part of it was later sent to the Persian front as reinforcements for the Muslim conquest of Persia. Many of its members died in the plague during 639-640 CE which killed approximately 25,000 Muslims in Syria. This included many sub-commanders of the mobile guard like Zirrar ibn Azwar, those who survived accompanied the army under the command of Amr ibn al-'As to conquer Egypt.Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan
Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan (Arabic: يزيد بن أبي سفيان, translit. Yazīd bin Abī Sufyān) was one of the companions (ṣaḥābah) of Muhammad.Ziyad ibn Abih
Ziyad ibn Abih (Arabic: زياد بن أبيه) (622 AD – 673 AD) was an Arab general and administrator from the Banu Thaqif tribe. He was a great orator, a formidable warrior and one of the four 'Shrewds of the Arabs' (Duhat al-Arab) with Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, 'Amr ibn al-'As and al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba.