Battle of Jalula

Battle of Jalula was fought between Sassanid Empire and Rashidun Caliphate soon after conquest of Ctesiphon. After the capture of Ctesiphon, several detachments were immediately sent to the west to capture Qarqeesia and Heet the forts at the border of the Byzantine empire. Several strong Persian armies were still active north-east of Ctesiphon at Jalula and north of the Tigris at Tikrit and Mosul. The greatest threat of all was the Persian concentration at Jalula. After withdrawal from Ctesiphon, the Persian armies gathered at Jalula north-east of Ctesiphon, a place of strategic importance from where routes led to Iraq, Khurasan and Azerbaijan. The Persian forces at Jalula were commanded by General Mihran. His deputy was General Farrukhzad a brother of General Rostam Farrokhzād, who had commanded the Persian forces at the Battle of Qadisiyyah. As instructed by the Caliph Umar, Saad ibn Abi Waqqas reported all the matter to Umar. The Caliph decided to deal with Jalula first; his plan was first to clear the way north before any decisive action against Tikrit and Mosul. Umar appointed Hashim ibn Uthba to the expedition to Jalula. Some time in April 637, Hashim marched at the head of 12,000 troops from Ctesiphon and after defeating the Persians at the Battle of Jalula, laid siege to Jalula for seven months, until it surrendered on the usual terms of Jizya.[2]

Battle of Jalula
Part of the Muslim conquest of Sassanid empire
DateApril 637
Result Rashidun victory
Territory east of Zagros mountain annexed by Rashidun Caliphate.
Sassanid Empire
(Sassanid army)
Rashidun Caliphate
(Rashidun army)
Commanders and leaders
Mihran Razi 
Piruz Khosrow
Hashim ibn Uthba
Al-Qa'qa'a ibn Amr at-Tamimi
20,000 12,000
Casualties and losses
Heavy[1] Heavy[1]


After the capturing Ctesiphon, several detachments were immediately sent west to capture Qarqeesia and Heet, forts at the border of Byzantine empire. Strong Persian garrisons north-east of Ctesiphon at Jalula and north of Tigris at Tikrit and Mosul, posed a threat to Muslim invaders. The greatest threat of all was the Persian concentration at strategic fort of Jalula. The Persian forces at Jalula were commanded by general Mihran Razi. His deputy was General Farrukhzad a brother of General Rostam Farrokhzād, who commanded Persian forced at Battle of Qadisiyyah. Jalula was a town of great strategic importance, a bottle-neck to Northern Iraq. To have Jalula under the rule meant to have the gate to Northern Iraq. Persians therefore expected an attack on Jalula. Defense of Jalula was also very important for the strength of Empire and maintain order in the far flung frontiers of the Persian Empire. As instructed by the Caliph Umar, Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, Muslim commander in chief on the Persian front, reported all the strategic situation to Umar who decided to deal with Jalula first. His plan was to first clear his rear before any decisive action further north against Tikrit and Mosul. Umar appointed Hashim ibn Uthba to the expedition of Jalula. Some time in April 637, Hashim marched at the head of 12,000 troops from Ctesiphon and made contact with Persians outside Jalula fort.[2]


Battle Disposition.

At Jalula, both the flanks of Persians and Muslims rested upon natural obstacles. Diyala River on east and broken ground on the west. Broken ground was unsuitable for cavalry and even the movement of infantry en masse was difficult and would have exposed them to Persian Fire-Power.

Opposing plans

Mihran, the Persian commander at Jalula, was a veteran general who had fought Muslims in Qadisiya and knew well of the Muslim's tactics. He dug entrenchments and placed Caltrops in front of them, to slow down Muslim advance. The Persian troops intended to wear Muslims down by letting them launch a frontal attack thus exposing themselves to Persian Archers and siege engines led Artillery. The caltrops also hindered the speed of Muslim cavalry and infantry. Mihran deployed his army in classical defensive formation with the intention of launching the attack when Muslims have suffered enough and the nucleus of their power has been destroyed. Hashim, the Muslim commander, on reaching the battlefield, analyzed that the Persians cannot be attacked from the flanks due to those natural barriers and approaching them from the front would be costly. He decided to lure the Persians out of defenses of entrenchments and caltrops. Hashim planned to launched a frontal attack and made a feint retreat under Persian fire and once the Persians are away from trench his cavalry will capture the bridge on the trench, cutting off Persian's escape route.

Rashidun troops deployment

In the records of Muslim chroniclers from the era of 7th centuries to 10-11th centuries there is known the detail about the composition of the Rashidun army and units involved in this battle. There is some version of the deployment composition.

It is recorded by Tabari that the Rashidun army was composed of 12.000 troops with the deployment as follow:

  • Hashim ibn Uthba as overall commander.
  • Al-Qa'qa'a ibn Amr at-Tamimi commanding the vanguard.
  • Si'r bin Malik commanding the right wing of the army.
  • Amr bin Malik bin Utba commanding the left wing of the army.
  • Amr bin murra al Juhani commanding the rear guards.

While Talha (Tulayha) ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi; Amru bin Ma'adi Yakrib; Qays bin Makshuh and Hujur bin Adi were coming later as the reinforcements. Generally, the overall troops were consisting of prominent figures of the Ansar and Muhajireen during the first battles of Muslims and portions of Bedouin who formerly rebelled during Ridda wars[3]

Ahmad ibn A'tham provides a slightly different version from Tabari's composition, namely:

  • Jarir bin Abdullah al Bajali commanding the right wing of the army.
  • Hujr bin Abdullah al-Kindi commanding the left wing of the army.
  • Makshuh al Muradi commanding the obscure placement of wing units of the army.
  • Amr bin murra al Juhani commanding the cavalry in the center.
  • Talha (Tulayha) ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi commanding the infantry.[3]

Baladhuri also mentions very briefly a composition which is similar to that of Ahmad ibn A'tham's, except he includes Jarir bin Abdullah.[3]


The battle begun with Muslim's frontal attack; after engaging for some time Muslims feint a retreat and fell back in an organized manner. Mihran, sensing the time is on hand to launch an offensive for him, ordered the entrenchments to be bridged. Once the Persian army had attained the battle formation he ordered a general attack. Up till now the battle had progressed as both commanders had planned. Once Mihran engaged his troops in an open battlefield, Hashim decided to carry out his manoeuvre. He dispatched a strong cavalry regiment under one of his most illustrious cavalry commanders; Qaqa ibn Amr, to capture the bridge over the entrenchments. The bridge was not heavily guarded as virtually all the Persian troops available were used to assault Muslim's main body. Qaqa manoeuvred around Persian right flank and quickly captured the bridge at their rear. The news of a strong Muslim cavalry detachment in their rear was a serious setback to Persian morale. Hashim launched a frontal attack with Muslim infantry while Qaqa stuck at Persian rear with his cavalry. Persian troops were trapped between the Muslim army and the natural barriers on the battlefield. Nevertheless, thousands of them managed to escape and reached the Jalula fortress.

Phase Ijalula

The Muslim's Feint retreat

Phase IIjalula

Persian Offensive

Phase IVjalula

General Engagement

Phase Vjalula

Qaqa's Outflanking Maneuver.


The Persians suffered heavy casualties and the battle ended in a complete Muslim victory. After the battle Hashim laid siege to Jalula. Persian emperor Yazdegerd III was in no position to set a relief force to Jalula and the fortress surrendered to Muslims seven months later on the terms of annual payment of Jizya (tribute). After capturing Jalula Muslims captured Tikrit and Mosul, completing their conquest of Iraq. After the conquest of Iraq (region west of Zagros mountains) Umar decided to consolidate the conquered territory. He, apparently for the time being, did not want further conquest. He was almost on the defensive until the consistent Persian raids in Iraq compelled him to launch a large scale invasion of the Persian empire.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b The Muslim Conquest of Persia By A.I. Akram. Ch: 6 ISBN 978-0-19-597713-4
  3. ^ a b c M. Donner, Fred (2014). The Early Islamic Conquests. p. Appendix Jalula. ISBN 1400847877.

Coordinates: 34°17′00″N 45°10′00″E / 34.2833°N 45.1667°E


The 630s decade ran from January 1, 630, to December 31, 639.


Year 637 (DCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 637 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Al-Qaqa ibn Amr al-Tamimi

Qa'qa' ibn 'Amr ibn Malik al Tamimi (Arabic: القعقاع بن عمرو بن مالك التميمي‎ al-Qaʿqāʿ ibn ʿAmr ibn Mālik al-Tamīmī) was a man of Banu Tamim. He and his tribe converted to Islam possibly during the time of Ahnaf ibn Qais. He is known as successful Military Commander who took part in two important victorious battles in early Muslim Conquest, the Battle of Yarmouk against the Byzantine Empire (commanded by Khalid ibn al-Walid) and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah against the Sassanian Empire which was led by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas. It was reported that in one time Caliph Abu Bakr praised him as an equal to eleven thousand men so in return the caliph predecessor, caliph Umar only sent him and a handful bodyguards as reinforcement to Al Qaddisiyah as the first wave as reinforcement. making him one of the most Illustrious military figures in that era.


Arbāyistān (Parthian: 𐭀𐭓𐭁𐭉𐭎𐭈𐭍 [ʾrb]ystn, Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Arwāstān, Syriac: Bēṯ ʿArbāyē, Armenian: Arvastan) was a Sasanian province in Late Antiquity. Due to its situation and its road systems, the province was a source of income from commercial traffic, as well as a constant area of contention during the Roman-Persian wars.The province reached across Upper Mesopotamia toward the Khabur and north to the lower districts of Armenia; it bordered Adiabene in the east, Armenia in the north and Asōristān in the south.

Gilan Province

Gilan Province (Persian: اُستان گیلان‎, Ostān-e Gīlān, also Latinized as Guilan), is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea, in Iran's Region 3, west of the province of Mazandaran, east of the province of Ardabil, and north of the provinces of Zanjan and Qazvin. It borders the Republic of Azerbaijan in the north and Russia across the Caspian Sea.

The northern part of the province is part of territory of South (Iranian) Talysh. At the center of the province is the main city of Rasht. Other towns in the province include Astara, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyyeh, Fuman, Lahijan, Langarud, Masouleh, Manjil, Rudbar, Rudsar, Shaft, Hashtpar, and Sowme'eh Sara.

The main harbor port is Bandar-e Anzali (previously Bandar-e Pahlavi).


Hormuzan (Middle Persian: Hormazdān, New Persian: هرمزان) was an Iranian aristocrat who served as the governor of Khuzestan, and was one of the Sasanian military officers at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. He was later taken prisoner by the Muslims after the fall of Shushtar in 642. Two years later, he was accused of the assassination of the Rashidun caliph Umar, and was killed by 'Ubaid-Allah, the deceased caliph's son.


Hulwan (Persian: حلوان‎) was an ancient town on the Zagros Mountains in western Iran, located on the entrance of the Paytak Pass, nowadays identified with the village of Sarpol-e Zahab.


Jalawla (Arabic: جلولاء‎, Turkish: Celavla, also known as Gûlala, or mistranslated as Jalula) is a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq. It is located on the Diyala River 8 km north of Al-Sadiyah.

List of conflicts in Asia

This is a list of wars and conflicts in Asia, particularly East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Russia. For a list of conflicts in Southwest Asia, see List of conflicts in the Near East for historical conflicts and List of conflicts in the Middle East for contemporary conflicts.

Mihran Razi

Mihran-i Bahram-i Razi, better simply known as Mihran Razi, was an Iranian military officer from the Mihran family. He was killed in 637 at the battle of Jalula.

Mu'awiya ibn Hudayj

Mu'awiya ibn Hudayj al-Kindi as-Sakuni (variously transliterated as Muawia bin Hudeij or Mu'àuia ibn-Hodeig) was a general of the Kindah tribe under Muawiyah I in Ifriqiya. He led 10,000 troops in the area of Sousse (Hadrumetum).He participated in the Battle of Yarmuk, the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, and the Battle of Jalula. After the Siege of Uthman and Uthman's death, Ibn Hudaij called for retribution. In 658, he killed Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. At the time, he was a pro-Umayyad soldier and is said to have quarreled with the prisoner and killed him out of hand. Ibn Hudayj was so incensed at Ibn Abi Bakr that he put his body into the skin of a dead donkey and burned both corpses together, so that nothing should survive of his enemy. He garrisoned troops in the Kairouan area (654 - 665) and conduct operation against Hadrumetum in the Tacape (Lesser Syrtis) region. He would conduct raids on Sicily in 44 AH (666). He was made the governor of Barqah (Cyrenaica) in 47 AH (669).

Muslim conquest of Persia

The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, led to the end of the Sasanian Empire of Persia in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion.

The rise of Muslims coincided with an unprecedented political, social, economic, and military weakness in Persia. Once a major world power, the Sasanian Empire had exhausted its human and material resources after decades of warfare against the Byzantine Empire. The internal political situation quickly deteriorated after the execution of King Khosrow II in 628 AD. Subsequently, ten new claimants were enthroned within the next four years. With civil war erupting between different factions, the empire was no longer centralized.

Arab Muslims first attacked the Sassanid territory in 633, when general Khalid ibn Walid invaded Mesopotamia (Sassanid province of Asōristān; what is now Iraq), which was the political and economic center of the Sassanid state. Following the transfer of Khalid to the Byzantine front in the Levant, the Muslims eventually lost their holdings to Sassanian counterattacks. The second invasion began in 636 under Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, when a key victory at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah led to the permanent end of Sasanian control west of Iran. The Zagros mountains then became a natural barrier and border between the Rashidun Caliphate and the Sassanid Empire. Due to continuous raids by Persians into the area, Caliph Umar ordered a full invasion of the Sasanian empire in 642, which led to the complete conquest of the Sasanians around 651. Directing from Medina, a few thousand kilometres from the battlefields of Iran, Caliph Umar's quick conquest of Iran in a series of well-coordinated, multi-pronged attacks became his greatest triumph, contributing to his reputation as a great military and political strategist.Iranian historians have defended their forebears vis a vis Arab sources to illustrate that "contrary to the claims of some historians, Iranians, in fact, fought long and hard against the invading Arabs." By 651, most of the urban centers in Iranian lands, with the notable exception of the Caspian provinces (Tabaristan) and Transoxiana, had come under the domination of the Arab armies. Many localities fought against the invaders; ultimately, none were successful. In fact, although Arabs had established hegemony over most of the country, many cities rose in rebellion by killing the Arab governor or attacking their garrisons. Eventually, military reinforcements quashed the insurgency and imposed Islamic control. The violent subjugation of Bukhara is a case in point: Conversion to Islam was gradual, partially as the result of this violent resistance; however, Zoroastrian scriptures were burnt and many priests were executed. However, the Persians began to reassert themselves by maintaining Persian language and culture. Islam would become the dominant religion late in the medieval ages.

Piruz Khosrow

Piruz Khosrow (Middle Persian: Pērōz Khusraw), also known as Piruzan or Firuzan, was a powerful Persian aristocrat who was the leader of the Parsig (Persian) faction that controlled much of the affairs of the Sasanian Empire during the Sasanian civil war of 628-632. He was killed at the Battle of Nahāvand in 642.

Qasr-e Shirin

Qasr-e Shirin (Kurdish: Qesirî Şîrîn, Persian: قصرشيرين‎; also Romanized as Qaşr-e Shīrīn and Qasr-ī-Shīrīn; also known as Ghasr-ī-shīrīn and Ghasr-shīrīn) is a city and capital of Qasr-e Shirin County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 15,437, in 3,893 families.

Rashidun Caliphate

The Rashidun Caliphate (Arabic: الخلافة الراشدة‎, al-Khilāfa al-Rāšidah; 632–661) was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs (successors) of Muhammad after his death in 632 CE (AH 11). These caliphs are collectively known in Sunni Islam as the Rashidun, or "Rightly Guided" caliphs (اَلْخُلَفَاءُ ٱلرَّاشِدُونَ al-Khulafā’ur-Rāshidūn). This term is not used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate.The Rashidun Caliphate is characterized by a twenty-five year period of rapid military expansion, followed by a five-year period of internal strife.

The Rashidun Army at its peak numbered more than 100,000 men. By the 650s, the caliphate in addition to the Arabian Peninsula had subjugated the Levant, to the Transcaucasus in the north; North Africa from Egypt to present-day Tunisia in the west; and the Iranian plateau to parts of Central Asia and South Asia in the west.

The caliphate arose out of the death of Muhammad in 632 CE and the subsequent debate over the succession to his leadership. Abu Bakr, a close companion of Muhammad from the Banu Taym clan, was elected the first Rashidun leader and began the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula. He ruled from 632 to his death in 634. Abu Bakr was succeeded by Umar, his appointed successor from the Banu Adi clan, who began the conquest of Persia from 642 to 651, leading to the defeat of the Sassanid Empire. Umar was assassinated in 644 and was succeeded by Uthman, who was elected by a six-person committee arranged by Umar. Under Uthman began the conquest of Armenia, Fars and Khorasan. Uthman was assassinated in 656 and succeeded by Ali, who presided over the civil war known as the First Fitna (656–661). The war was primarily between those who supported Uthman's cousin and governor of the Levant, Muawiyah, and those who supported the caliph Ali. The civil war permanently consolidated the divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims, with Shia Muslims believing Ali to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. A third faction in the war supported the governor of Egypt, Amr ibn al-As. The war was decided in favour of the faction of Muawiyah, who established the Umayyad Caliphate in 661.

Sawda bint Zamʿa

Sawda bint Zamʿa (Arabic: سودة بنت زمعة‎) was a wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Timeline of 7th-century Muslim history

This is a timeline of major events in the Muslim world from 601 AD to 700 AD (23 BH – 81 AH).

Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi

Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi (Arabic: طليحة بن خويلد بن نوفل الأسدي‎) was a prominent Arab clan chief and military commander during the time of Muhammad; he belonged to the Banu Asad ibn Khuzaymah tribe. He was known as a wealthy chief. In 625 he was defeated in the Expedition of Qatan, a Muslim expedition against him. He also took part in the Battle of the Trench in 627 and in Battle of Buzakha and Battle of Ghamra in 632 against Muhammad and later in Battle of Qadisiya and the Battle of Nahāvand on the Muslim side.

Yazdegerd III

Yazdegerd III (Middle Persian: 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ Yazdekert, meaning "made by God"; New Persian: یزدگرد Yazdegerd), was the last king (shah) of the Sasanian Empire from 632 to 651. His father was Shahriyar and his grandfather was Khosrow II.

Ascending the throne at the age of merely eight, the young shah lacked authority and reigned as figurehead, whilst real power was in the hands of the army commanders, courtiers, and powerful members of the aristocracy, who were fighting amongst themselves and wiping out each other. The Sasanian Empire was falling apart swiftly due to internal conflicts, and was at the same time also invaded on all fronts−by the Turks in the east, and Khazars in the west. It was, however, the Arabs, united under the banner of Islam, who dealt the deadly blow to the empire. Yazdegerd was unable to contain the Arab invasion of Iran, and spent most of reign fleeing from one province to another, in hopes of raising an army to repel the Arabs, which ultimately proved unsuccessful, with Yazdegerd meeting his end at hands of a miller near Marw in 651, thus marking an end to the last pre-Islamic Iranian empire after more than 400 years of rule.

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