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Abdullah ibn Aamir

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  • Abdullah ibn Aamir

    Abdullah ibn Aamir

    622 - 678

    Place of birth Makkah

    Allegiance Rashidun Caliphate

    Abdullah ibn Aamir (Arabic:عبدالله بن عامر ) was a governor of Busra (647 – 656) and an extremely successful military general during the reign of Rashidun Caliph Uthman ibn Affan. He is well known for his administrative and military prowess.


    • 1 Early life
    • 2 Appointment as the Governor of Busra
    • 3 Conquest of Abdullah ibn Aamir
    o 3.1 Re-conquest of Fars
    o 3.2 Re-conquest of Karman
    o 3.3 Re-conquest of Sistan
    o 3.4 Re-conquest of Khorasan
    o 3.5 Campaign in Transoxiana
    • 4 Death of Caliph Uthman and its aftermath
    • 5 During Caliph Ali’s reign
    • 6 During Mauwyah’s reign
    • 7 Death
    o 7.1 Legacy
    • 8 References

    Early life

    Abdullah ibn Amir was born in 622 A.D in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He belonged to the Umayyad clan of Quraish. His father was a maternal uncle of Caliph Uthman. Abdullah was thus a cousin of Uthman.

    Appointment as the Governor of Busra

    In the year 647 A.D, When Abu-Musa al-Asha'ari was deposed from the governorship of Basra, Caliph Uthman appointed Abdullah ibn Aamir as the Governor of Basra. Abdullah ibn Aamar was only twenty five year old that time.

    Conquest of Abdullah ibn Aamir

    Abdullah b 'Aamir, in spite of his young age, was a man of exceptional merits. He was a good administrator and a skillful general. Soon after assuming charge as governor, Abdullah ibn Aamir embarked on a campaign to crush a revolt in Persia.[1]

    Re-conquest of Fars

    The Persian province of Fars was conquered during the reign of Caliph Umar. During Uthman’s reign the province broke into revolt like other Persian provinces. Uthman directed Abdullah ibn Aamir to crush the rebellion activities. He accordingly marched with a large force to Persepolis; the city surrendered and agreed to pay tribute. From here the army marched to Al j bard, where a small resistance of Muslims had captured the city, and citizens agreed to pay tribute. Thereafter the Muslim force advanced to Jor. The Persians gave battle but they were defeated and the city was captured by the Muslims. Peace was made on the usual term of the payment of Jizya.[2] While the Muslim army was still in Jor, Persepolis again broke into revolt; Abdullah ibn Aamir took the forces to Persepolis and laid siege of the city. After a violent battle the Muslims were able to regain the control of the city once again. All leaders among the Persians who were guilty of instigating the revolt were hunted out and executed. With the fall of Persepolis, other cities in Fars also submitted unconditionally. Thus the Muslims once again became the masters of Fars. The Uthman’s appointed governor of Fars, after analyzing the situation, sent Islamic missionaries to various cities of the region to convert the people to Islam to avoid a revolt in future, as the cause of revolt was the spirit of nationalism in Persians. A large number of people embraced Islam.

    Re-conquest of Karman

    After suppressing revolts in Fars, Abdullah ibn Aamir turned towards Karman. He sent a force under the command of Mujasshaa ibb Musa Salmi. Karman was soon re-conquered, with little resistance.

    Re-conquest of Sistan

    The Persian Empire's province of Sistan in the 7th century A.D extended from the modern Iranian province of Sistan to central Afghanistan and Baluchistan province of Pakistan. Sistan was captured during the reign of Caliph Umar, and like other provinces of the Persian Empire it also broke into revolt during Uthmans reign in 649 A.D. Uthman directed the governor of Busra, Abdullah ibn Aamir to re-conquer the Persian province of Sistan. A column was sent to Sistan under the command of Rabeah ibn Ziyad. He re-conquered it up to what is now Zaranj in Afghanistan. Rabeah ibn Ziyad was made governor of Sistan. He remained there for years, then he left for Busra, and the province broke into revolt once again, this time in a much larger area. Abdullah ibn Aamir sent Abdulrehman ibn Sumra to undertake the operation. Abdur Rahman b Sumra led the Muslim forces to Sistan and after crossing the frontier and overcoming resistance in the border towns advanced to Zaranj. Once Zaranj was captured Abdulrehman marched into Afghanistan and conquered it into north upto Kabul and the Hindu Kush mountains. He returned to Zaranj and remained governor until Uthman's death in 656.[3]

    Re-conquest of Khorasan

    Khorasan, a province of the Persian Empire, extended from what is now north eastern Iran to western Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan. It was conquered during the reign of Caliph Umar, under the command of Ahnaf ibn Qais. After the death of Umar, Khorasan broke into revolt under Persian Emperor Yazdegard III, but before he could lead the Persians against the Muslims, he was betrayed and killed in 651 A.D. Caliph Uthman in 651 A.D, sent Abdullah ibn Aamir, the governor of Busra, to re-conquer Khorasan. Abdullah ibn Aamir marched with large force from Busra to Khorasan. After capturing the main forts in Khorasan he sent many columns to various directions into Khorasan, the strategy being to prevent the Persians from gathering into a large force.[4] The town of Bayak, in modern Afghanistan, was taken by force, with a Muslim commander falling in the battle. After Bayak, the Muslims marched towards Tabisan, which was captured with little resistance. The Muslim army captured the city of Nishapur after a long siege. The Muslim army continued capturing other small and big towns in the Khurassan region. Afterwards they consolidated their position in Khurassan. The Muslims then marched towards Herat in Afghanistan, which surrendered to Muslims peacefuly. After gaining control of the region the Muslims marched towards city of Merv in modern Turkmenistan. The city surrendered along with other towns of the region except one, Sang, which was later taken by force. The campaign in Khorasan ended with conquest of Balkh (Afghanistan) in 654 A.D.

    Campaign in Transoxiana

    After consolidating Muslim forces in Khorasan, Abdullah ibn Aamir crossed the Oxus River and invaded Uzbekistan in southern Transoxiana. Details of these campaigns are little known but it is known that a greater part of southern Transoxiana submitted to the suzerainty of the Rashidun Caliphate.[5]

    Death of Caliph Uthman and its aftermath

    After the successful completion of his campaigns, Abdullah ibn Aamir donned the Ahram in Nishapur, and made a pilgrimage to Makkah to perform the Hajj and offer thanks to God. After performing the Hajj, Abdullah b 'Aamir proceeded to Madinah to see Uthman. Before Abdullah ibn Aamir reached Madinah, Uthman had been martyred. That was a great shock for Abdullah ibn Aamir. When Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Talha and Ayesha raised the call for the vengeance for the blood of Uthman from the rebels, Abdullah ibn Aamir suggested them to come with him to Busra because of his greater influence in the city. The confederates succeeded in capturing Basra because of the influence that Abdullah ibn Aamir commanded over the people of Basra. Along with Talha and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Abdullah ibn Aamir arrested and killed around 4000 suspected rebels in connection with the murder of Caliph Uthman. In the Battle of the Camel in December 656 A.D, the confederates were defeated and Busra was captured by Caliph Ali.

    During Caliph Ali’s reign

    The reign of Caliph Ali was full of mischief. Though Abdullah ibn Aamir, did not take part in the Battle of Siffin, fought between the forces of Caliph Ali and Muawiyah, he supported the vengeance of Caliph Uthman's murder. After the murder of Caliph Ali in 661 A.D, his eldest son Hassan ibn Ali became the caliph. He was pressured by the Syrian governor Muawiyah to resign as caliph. Avoiding another civil war, Hassan ibn Ali resigned in the favor of Muawiyah six months later. During this Abdullah ibn Aamir supported the caliphate of Muawiyah[6].

    During Mauwyah’s reign

    The caliphate of Muawiyah founded the Umayyad dynasty, dissolving the Rashidun empire of Rashidun Caliphs. Abdullah ibn Aamir for some time remained the governor of Busra under the Umayyad dynasty, though later Muawiyah disposed him from the governorship of Busra presumably due to his growing influence in Busra.


    Abdullah ibn Aamir protested against his dismissal. Abdullah left Busra for Madinah and died there in the year 678 A.D, at the age of 56.


    Abdullah ibn Aamir’s reign as a governor of province of Busra for 9 years (647 A.D – 656 A.D) was extremely successful. Caliph Uthman was accused of nepotism, appointing his cousin Abdullah ibn Aamir, a young man of twenty-five years, as the Governor of Busra. Abdullah ibn Aamir proved to be the most successful of Caliph Uthman's governors, as no other governor was able to make conquests on as large a scale. Abdullah ibn Aamir, though not well known, is honored as one of the top ranking generals of Islamic history.


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    Muhammed A. Hafeez, B.COM.
    H.NO. 16-11-16/1/21,
    Hyderabad-36, (India)
    EMAIL : [email protected]