Abu Musa al-Ash'ari

Abu Musa Abd Allah ibn Qays al-Ash'ari, better known as Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (Arabic: أبو موسى الأشعري‎) (d. ca. 662 or 672) was a companion of Muhammad and an important figure in early Islamic history. He was at various times governor of Basra and Kufa and was involved in the early Muslim conquest of Persia.


Abu Musa came originally from Zabid, region of Yemen, where his tribe, the Ashar, lived in the pre-Islamic period. He accepted Islam at Mecca prior to the hijra and returned to his native Yemen to propagate the faith. There was no news of him for more than a decade until following the conquest of Khaybar in 628 when he came to Muhammad in Medina with more than fifty converts from Yemen including his two brothers Abu Ruhm and Abu Burdah.

Following the conquest of Mecca in 629, Abu Musa was named among those sent by Muhammad on the expedition to Awtas.[1] Two years later he was appointed as one of the governors over Yemen, where he remained until the caliphate of Abu Bakr, whom he joined in fighting the local leader of the ridda (lit. apostasy) movement.

During Muhammad's era

He was present during the Expedition of Dhat al-Riqa. Some scholars claim, the expedition took place in Nejd (a large area of tableland in the Arabian Peninsula) in Rabi‘ Ath-Thani or Jumada Al-Ula, 4 A.H (or beginning of 5AH). They substantiate their claim by saying that it was strategically necessary to carry out this campaign in order to quell the rebellious bedouins in order to meet the exigencies of the agreed upon encounter with the polytheists, i.e. minor Badr Battle in Sha‘ban, 4 A.H. Muhammed received the news that certain tribes of Banu Ghatafan were assembling at Dhat al-Riqa with suspicious purposes.

Muhammad proceeded towards Nejd at the head of 400 or 700 men, after he had mandated Abu Dhar - in the Umayyad version, the Umayyad chief who killed Abu Dhar is given this honor: Uthman bin Affan - to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. The Muslim fighters penetrated deep into their land until they reached a spot called Nakhlah where they came across some bedouins of Ghatfan.[2][3]

The most authentic opinion according to "Saifur Rahman al Mubarakpuri", however, is that Dhat Ar-Riqa‘ campaign took place after the fall of Khaibar (and not as part of the Invasion of Nejd). This is supported by the fact that Abu Hurairah and Abu Musa Ashaari witnessed the battle. Abu Hurairah embraced Islam only some days before Khaibar, and Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari came back from Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and joined Muhammad at Khaibar. The rules relating to the prayer of fear which Muhammad observed at Dhat Ar-Riqa‘ campaign, were revealed at the Asfan Invasion and this scholars say, took place after Al-Khandaq (the Battle of the Trench).[3]

After the Caliphate of Abu Bakr

The appointments of Abu Musa to the governorates of Basra and Kufa were made during the caliphates of Umar and Uthman, but the exact dates and circumstances are not clear. However, during the period that he was governor of one or the other of the two Muslim garrison towns in Iraq, Abu Musa is frequently mentioned in connection with the early Muslim conquest of the Sasanian Empire. In the Battle of Tostar (642) he distinguished himself as a military commander. The Persian commander, Hormuzan, had withdrawn his forces to the fortified city of Tostar. The Caliph Umar did not underestimate the strength of the enemy and he mobilized a force to confront Hormuzan. Among the Muslim forces were dedicated veterans like Ammar ibn Yasir, Al-Baraa ibn Malik al-Ansari and his brother Anas, Majra'a al-Bakri and Salamah ibn Rajaa. Umar appointed Abu Musa as commander of the army. Tostar was impossible to take by storm and several unsuccessful attempts were made to breach the walls. Fortunately, a Persian defector opened the city's gates from within making way for Abu Musa's army.[4]

When Basra was established during 'Umar's period, he started building some canals for conveying drinking water and for irrigation. Al-Tabari reports that 'Utba ibn Ghazwan built the first canal from the Tigris River to the site of Basra when the city was in the planning stage. After the city was built, 'Umar appointed Abu Musa al-Ash'ari as the first governor. Al-Ash'ari governed during the period 17-29/638-650. He began building two important canals linking Basra with the Tigris River. These were al-Ubulla River and the Ma'qil River. The two canals were the basis for the agricultural development for the whole Basra region and used for drinking water. 'Umar also devised the policy of cultivating barren lands by assigning such lands to those who undertook to cultivate them. This policy continued during the Umayyad period and it resulted in the cultivation of large areas of barren lands through the construction of irrigation canals by the state and by individuals.[5]

During the time of Caliph Uthman he was replaced by Abdullah ibn Aamir as governor of Basra. He didn't show resentment about his replacement, instead he praising his Abdullah Ibn Aamir as the worthy and adequate successor.[6]

Following the assassination of Uthman

There are many unresolved issues regarding the First Fitna (literally "trial") period of dissension and civil war, which split the Muslim community following the assassination of the Caliph Uthman. When Ali arrived in Kufa in 656 seeking support against Aishah bint Abi Bakr and the Basrans it is agreed that Abu Musa (then the governor of Kufa), urged his subjects not to support Ali and avoid participation in the fitna. When his advice was rejected and the people of Kufa supported Ali, Abu Musa was forced to leave and Ali disposed him from his governorate.

However, the next year Abu Musa is named as the arbitrator (hakam) chosen by Ali's party in accordance with the terms agreed between Ali and Muawiyah after the battle of Siffin. There are many historical versions of the result of the arbitration court. According to an academic research done by Khalid Kabir Alal in University of Algeria, the most authentic version is that both Abu Musa and 'Amr ibn al-'As, the arbitrator appointed by Muawiyah I, decided that Muawiyah will be deposed, and the fate of the murderers of Uthman will be decided by the remaining of The Ten Promised Paradise.[7]

After this Abu Musa died in Mecca and some say in Kufa.[8] There are a number of different dates given for his death, the most common being 662 and 672.[9]

Contributions to Islamic learning

Despite Abu Musa’s reputation as a soldier and politician, he was also praised for his beautiful recitation of the Qur'an, and he is associated with one of the early versions (mashahef), which was superseded by Uthman's recension. Some of the variants of Abu Musa's version have been preserved.[10] He was also a respected faqih and was regarded among the leading judges in early Muslim history. People used to say: "The judges in this ummah are four: Umar, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Musa and Zayd ibn Thabit." Abu Musa is also credited with narrating numerous hadith, as well as being the ancestor of the founder of the Ash'ari theological school within Islam, Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (d.935).

A hadith transmitted by him

Abu Musa al-Ashari reported that Muhammad said, "When a son of a servant of Allah dies, Allah Says to the angels, 'Have you taken the son of My servant?' They say, 'Yes.' Then Allah Says, 'Have you taken the fruit of his heart?' They say, 'Yes.' Allah Says, "What has My servant said?' They say, 'He has praised You and said, Allah is the only one and his Prophet is Muhammad (Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return). Then Allah Says, 'Build a house for My servant in Paradise and call it the house of praise.'" From Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad and ibn Habban

See also


  1. ^ Waqedi, Mughazi, pp.915-16, London 1966
  2. ^ Muir, William (1861), The life of Mahomet, Smith, Elder & Co, p. 224
  3. ^ a b Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Saifur (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam Publications, p. 240
  4. ^ Tabari, Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir, I, p. 2601
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Murrad, Mustafa (1 February 2009). "Kisah Hidup Utsman ibn Affan". Serambi Ilmu Semesta – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Alal, Dr Khalid Kabir (2002). The Arbitration Issue In The Battle Of Siffin Between Truths And Untruths (in Arabic) (1st ed.). Algeria: Balagh., page 10.
  8. ^ ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 65
  9. ^ Muhammad Ibn Saad, IV/I, p.86
  10. ^ A. Jeffery, Materials for the History of the Text of the Quran, Leiden, pp. 209-11, Leiden 1937

External links

'Amr ibn al-'As

'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.

Abu Hurairah

Abū Hurayrah al-Dawsī al-Zahrāni Al-Azdi (Arabic: أبو هريرة الدوسي الزهراني الأزدي‎‎; 603–681), Also called Abu hurayra al-Dawsi al-Yamani often spelled Abu Hurairah, was one of the sahabah (companions) of Muhammad and, according to Sunni Islam, the most prolific narrator of hadith. He was known by the kunyah Abu Hurayrah "Father of a Kitten", in reference to his documented attachment to cats. It is unclear as to what his real name is, the most popular opinion being that it was ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Ṣakhr (عبد الرحمن بن صخر). Abu Hurayrah spent four years in the company of Muhammad and went on expeditions and journeys with him. He is credited with narrating at least 5374 Ahadith.

Al-Asha'ir Mosque

The Al-Asha'ir Mosque or the Great Mosque of Zabid (Arabic: جامع الأشاعرة‎), is an ancient mosque in the historic city of Zabid, Yemen. It is located near the Zubaid market, forming a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Town of Zabid. Its foundation is owing to the great Sahabi Abu Musa al-Ash'ari in the year 8 AH or 629 CE and since then the mosque was the first mosque to achieve its spiritual and historical status in Yemen. Local tradition narrates that the mosque is fifth oldest mosque in the history of Islam, making it one of the oldest mosques in the world. The mosque underwent several renovations, but the most important additions of which were made during the reign of Sultan Al-Mansour Abdul Wahab bin Dawood in the year 1486, and since then the shape of the mosque remained as it is to this day, as pointed out by the great historian Ibn al-Dhibir in his book In Order to Benefit.


Basra (Arabic: البصرة‎ al-Baṣrah) is an Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab between Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of 2.5 million in 2012. Basra is also Iraq's main port, although it does not have deep water access, which is handled at the port of Umm Qasr.

The city is one of the ports from which the fictional Sinbad the Sailor journeyed. It played an important role in early Islamic history and was built in 636. Basra is consistently one of the hottest cities in Iraq, with summer temperatures regularly exceeding 50 °C (122 °F). In April 2017, the Iraqi Parliament recognized Basra as Iraq's economic capital.

Expedition of Dhat al-Riqa

The expedition of Dhat al-Riqa took place in October 625 AD, 5AH of the Islamic Calendar, but some other Muslim scholars believe it took place after the Battle of Khaybar in 627 AD, i.e. 7 AH of the Islamic Calendar., 2 Quran verses 5:11 and 4:101 are related to this event.

First Fitna

The First Fitna (Arabic: فتنة مقتل عثمان‎ fitnat maqtal ʿUthmān "strife/sedition of the killing of Uthman") was a civil war within the Rashidun Caliphate which resulted in the overthrowing of the Rashidun caliphs and the establishment of the Umayyad dynasty. It began when the caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated by rebels in 656 and continued through the four-year reign of Uthman's successor Ali ibn Abi Talib. It ended in 661 when Ali's heir Hasan ibn Ali concluded a treaty acknowledging the rule of Muawiyah, the first Umayyad caliph.

History of the Quran

The history of Quran refers to the oral revelation of the Quran to Islamic prophet Muhammad and its subsequent written compilation into a manuscript. It spans several decades and forms an important part of early Islamic history.

According to Muslim belief and Islamic scholarly accounts, the revelation of the Quran began in 610 C.E. when the angel Gabriel (Arabic: جبريل, Jibrīl or جبرائيل, Jibrāʾīl) appeared to Muhammad in the cave Hira near Mecca, reciting to him the first verses of Surah Al-Alaq. Throughout his life, Muhammad continued to have revelations until before his death in 632. The Quran as it is known in the present, was first compiled into book format by Zayd ibn Thabit and other scribes under the third caliph Uthman (r. 644–56). For this reason, the Quran as it exists today is also known as the Uthmanic codex. According to Professor Francis Edward Peters (1927), what was done to the Quran in the process seems to have been extremely conservative and the content was formed in a mechanical fashion to avoid redactional bias.

Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (Arabic: إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎) is a part of a verse from the Qur'an which translates to "We belong to Allah and to Allah we shall return." The phrase is commonly recited by Muslims when a person experiences a tragedy in life, especially upon hearing news that a person has died. The phrase may also be recited in situations that involve risk of any sort.

Invasion of Najd

The Invasion of Najd, happened in Rabi‘ Ath-Thani or Jumada Al-Ula, 4 A.H i.e. in October, 625 AD.Muhammad led his fighters to Najd to scare off some tribes he believed had suspicious intentions.

Some scholars say the Expedition of Dhat al-Riqa took place in Najd as part of this invasion.

Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان‎ Ostān-e Khūzestān, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Since 2014 it has been part of Iran's Region 4.As the Iranian province with the oldest history, it is often referred to as the "birthplace of the nation", as this is where the history of the Elamites begins. Historically, one of the most important regions of the Ancient Near East, Khuzestan is what historians refer to as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa. The Achaemenid Old Persian term for Elam was Hujiyā when they conquered it from the Elamites, which is present in the modern name. Khuzestan, meaning "the Land of the Khuz", refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza" or Huja, as in the inscription at the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam). They are the Shushan of the Hebrew sources where they are recorded as "Hauja" or "Huja". In Middle Persian, the term evolves into "Khuz" and "Kuzi". The pre-Islamic Partho-Sasanian inscriptions gives the name of the province as Khwuzestan.

The seat of the province has for the most of its history been in the northern reaches of the land, first at Susa (Shush) and then at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardasher, founded over the foundation of the ancient Hoorpahir by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty in the 3rd century CE. This town is now known as Ahvaz. However, later in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzistan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital. The River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz (above which, it flows through rapids). The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar quickly declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day.

Khuzestan is known for its ethnic diversity; the population of Khuzestan consists of Lurs, Iranian Arabs, Qashqai people, Afshar tribe, indigenous Persians and Iranian Armenians. Khuzestan's population is predominantly Shia Muslim, but there are small Christian, Jewish, Sunni and Mandean minorities. Half of Khuzestan's population is Bakhtiari.Since the 1920s, tensions on religious and ethnic grounds have often resulted in violence and attempted separatism, including an uprising in 1979, unrest in 2005, bombings in 2005–06 and protests in 2011, drawing much criticism of Iran by international human rights organizations. In 1980, the region was invaded by Ba'athist Iraq, leading to the Iran–Iraq War. Currently, Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran's parliament, the Majlis. Meanwhile, it has six representatives in the Assembly of Experts, including Ayatollahs Mousavi Jazayeri, Ka'bi, Heidari, Farhani, Ali Shafi'i, Muhammad Hussain Ahmadi.

List of the oldest mosques

The designation of the oldest mosques in the world requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest mosque congregation. Even here, there is the distinction between old mosque buildings that have been in continuous use as mosques, and those that have been converted to other purposes; and between buildings that have been in continuous use as mosques and those that were shuttered for many decades. In terms of congregations, they are distinguished between early established congregations that have been in continuous existence, and early congregations that ceased to exist.

To be listed here a site must:

be the oldest mosque in a country, large city (top 50), or oldest of its type (denomination, architectural, etc.);

be the oldest congregation of its type (denomination).


Najd (Arabic: نَجْد‎, pronounced [nad͡ʒd]) or Nejd is a geographical central region of Saudi Arabia that alone accounts for almost a third of the population of the country. Najd consists of modern administrative regions of Riyadh, Al-Qassim, and Ha'il.

Sa'id ibn al-'As

Saʾīd ibn al-ʿĀs ibn Umayya (died 678/679) was the Muslim governor of Kufa under Caliph Uthman (r. 644–656) and governor of Medina under Caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680). Like the aforementioned caliphs, Sa'id belonged to the Banu Umayya clan of Quraysh.

During his governorship of Kufa, Sa'id led military campaigns in Azerbaijan and near the Caspian Sea. However, he had to contend with dissent from some of the Kufan elite, led by Malik ibn al-Ashtar. The dissent was largely driven by Sa'id and Uthman's policy of consolidating ownership of the productive Sawad lands of Iraq into the hands of the Quraysh and Muslim veterans from Medina. Sa'id had the dissidents exiled, but during a visit to Medina, rebels in Kufa led by Yazid ibn Qays al-Arhabi took control of the city.

After his ouster from Kufa, Sa'id aided in the defense of Uthman's house from attack by Egyptian rebels, but Uthman was killed nonetheless and Sa'id was wounded. He declined to fight alongside the Banu Umayya and Aisha against Caliph Ali (r. 656–661) during the First Fitna, an act for which he was favorably remembered in Islamic historiography. He was appointed governor of Medina by the Umayyad caliph Mu'awiya I in 669, but replaced by Marwan ibn al-Hakam in 674. Sa'id then retired to his estate outside the city where he died. One of his sons, Amr al-Ashdaq, succeeded him as leader of his clan.

Tomb of Daniel

The Tomb of Daniel is the traditional burial place of the biblical prophet Daniel. Various locations have been named for the site, but the tomb in Susa, Iran (Persia), is the most widely accepted, it being first mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela, who visited Asia between 1160 and 1163.

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