The Arabian Peninsula had fragmented once again, and if these parties were to join hands against a common enemy – Medina and Mecca, the empire of Islam would have been crushed in its cradle. Khalid ibn a-Walid's Invasion of Syriaby Mohammad adil (GNU FDL). For much of its history this army was one of the most powerful and effective military forces in all of the region. Although the Muslim community at the time was strongly established and well on its way to growing, upon the Prophet’s death some Arab tribes saw this as the end of their pledge of allegiance and they chose to leave Islam and revert back to their old religions along with refusing to pay taxes. The council chose the Prophet’s son-in-law Uthman Ibn Affan as the third Caliph. By the end of the Ridda Wars, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula was united under the banner of Islam, and for this, Abu Bakr is referred to as the “second founder of Islam” (according to historian John Joseph Saunders). Historian J. J. Saunders reports in A History of Medieval Islam how Abu Bakr instructed his corps: In his speech to the eager volunteers who answered it, he told them (if he be truly reported) to do no harm to women, children and old people, to refrain from pillage and the destruction of crops, fruit trees, flocks and herds, and to leave in peace such Christians monks and anchorites as might be found in their cells. Web. Map of the First Fitnaby Al Ameer son (CC BY-SA). Ancient History Encyclopedia. He also created an executive council with representatives from both Muslim and Non-Muslim communities to advise him on state affairs. Later on the accusation was proven wrong, Umar was crushed with grief but did not enact vengeance for his beloved son. Ancient History Encyclopedia. He then marched to Syria, where, in the following year, he faced Muawiya in the battle of Siffin, which ended as a stalemate, the latter continued to defy the former’s authority – he had the full support of Syria, Levant, and Egypt. Retrieved from The result manifested in the civil war, “the First Fitna”, where on one side there were Ali’s supporters “The Shia’a” while on the other side there were those who supported the fair elections of Caliphs “The Sunni”. Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism. (43-44). The Kingdom of Makurai would secure the first two significant battle victories by Christian forces against Islamic forces in the first battle of Dongola and the second battle of Dongola. Africa (11,700 BC to 3,000 BC). He assigned General Khaled Ibn Al-Walid to lead an army against the Sassanids in the Battle of the Chains, from which the General returned victorious. Ali was urged by both Muawiya Abu Sufyan, Uthman’s relative, head of the Umayya Clan at the time and appointed leader in Syria- and Amr Ibn Al-‘As in Egypt to avenge Uthman’s murder and punish the murderers. Since Muhammad had claimed to have received divine revelations, his followers were now worried that they would no longer be guided by the divine force. By that time the three Islamic Holy Cities; Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem were under the control of the Rashiduns. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and improve your knowledge base. The instability of the empire under the Rashidun Caliphs was to be reversed, the Umayyads ruled with a stern hand: uprisings were crushed with brute force and rebellious provinces were kept in check by a series of ruthless but loyal governors. At the height of the Rashidun Caliphatethe maximum size of the army was around 100,000 troops. Moreover, Uthman was blamed for promoting his own kinsmen (from the Umayya clan) to important positions, and he was also charged with blasphemy (an accusation which was proven false after his demise). Some say that Umar had personal problems with Khalid, while others press that Khalid was overly cruel (as there were many controversies against him) and Umar, being inflexible in his parameters of justice, was not ready to compromise. The Kharjites had also attempted to kill Muawiya, but he survived with only a minor injury and then established the Umayyad Dynasty (661-750 CE). The Kharjites were initially his allies, but his ultimate decision to reach a compromise with Muawiya enraged them. They assassinated the Caliph while he was offering prayer in congregation in 661 CE. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Although he emerged victorious in what was later coined as the “battle of Camel” and there was little else that he could have done in that situation, his reputation was heavily stained as he was now blamed for having shed Muslim blood, something that Uthman had refused to do. Website re-designed with by Nishtha, Map showing the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate 632-661 (in orange) (, Islamic coins at the time of the Rashidun, derived from the Sassanid (left) and the Byzantine (right) (, The oldest ‘Kufic” Qur’an manuscript, Hast Imam Library, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (, Ivory Bangle Lady: The face of an African in York's High Society (4th Century), The Rashidun Caliphate: international spread of Islam, What causes violence? All Rights Reserved. He also initiated the work on documenting and compiling the Qur’an. 24 Oct 2020. Abu Bakr had received the support of many influential men; one of such men was Umar ibn Khattab (l. 584-644 CE), a senior companion of Muhammad, known for his fiery temper and his unwavering stance on justice. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Sensing this, Abu Bakr ordered Khalid to leave Iraq and move to Syria. The Byzantine emperor – Heraclius (r. 610-641 CE) realized that these attacks were not mere raids and prepared for an effective counterattack (under his brother Theodore because he was himself ill). The Rashidun Army maintained a very high level of discipline, strategic prowess, organization along with motivation and self initiative of the officer corps. The Rashidun Caliphs (Rightly Guided Caliphs; Arabic: الخلفاء الراشدون‎ al-Khulafāʾu ar-Rāshidūn), often simply called, collectively, "the Rashidun", is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the 30-year reign of the first four caliphs (successors) following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, namely: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman ibn Affan, and Ali of the Rashidun Caliphate, the first caliphate. Abu Bakr showed his ability as a natural leader; he called all able-bodied faithful men to arms for Jihad (holy war – contextually). He did make errors in judgment during his tenure which cost him a great deal, but to this day, he is venerated for his unaffected piety, proverbial wisdom, and bravery on the battlefield, and he earned the nickname of Asad Allah, "the lion of God".