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28
CALIPHATE

died eight or nine years afterwards. The legend that he was poisoned by order of Moawiya is without the least foundation. It seems that he never received the revenues of Darābjird, the Basrians to whom they belonged refusing to cede them.

Moawiya now made his entry into Kufa in the summer of A.H. 41 (A.D. 661) and received the oath of allegiance as Prince of the Believers. This year is called the year of union (jamā‛a). Moghīra b. Sho’ba was appointed governor of Kufa. Homrān b. Abān had previously assumed the government of Basra. This is represented commonly as a revolt, but as Homran was a client of Othman, and remained in favour with the Omayyads, it is almost certain that he took the management of affairs only to maintain order.

One strong antagonist to Moawiya remained, in the person of Ziyād. This remarkable man was said to be a bastard of Abu Sofiān, the father of Moawiya, and was, by his mother, the brother of Abu Bakra, a man of great wealth and position at Basra. He thus belonged to the tribe of Thaqīf at Tāif, which produced many very prominent men. At the age of fourteen years Ziyād was charged with the financial administration of the Basrian army. He had won the affection of Omar, by his knowledge of the Koran and the Sunna of the Prophet, and by the fact that he had employed the first money he earned to purchase the freedom of his mother Somayya. He was a faithful servant of Ali and put down for him the revolt excited by Moawiya’s partisans in Basra. Thence he marched into Fārs and Kirman, where he maintained peace and kept the inhabitants in their allegiance to Ali. After Ali’s death he fortified himself in his castle near Istakhr and refused to submit. Moawiya, therefore, sent Bosr b. Abi Artāt to Basra, with orders to capture Ziyād’s three sons, and to force Ziyād into submission by threatening to kill them. Ziyād was obdurate; and it was due to his brother Abu Bakra, who persuaded Moawiya to cancel the order, that the threat was not executed. On his return to Damascus, Moawiya charged Moghīra b. Sho’ba to bring his countryman to reason. Abdallah b. ‛Āmir was made governor of Basra.

As soon as Moawiya had his hands free, he directed all his forces against the Greeks. Immediately after the submission of Irak, he had denounced the existing treaty, and as early as 662 had sent his troops against the Alans and the Greeks. Since then, no year passed without a campaign. Twice he made a serious effort to conquer Constantinople, in 669 when he besieged it for three months, and in 674. On the second occasion his fleet occupied Cyzicus, which it held till shortly after his death in 680, when a treaty was signed. In Africa also the extension of Mahommedan power was pursued energetically. In 670 took place the famous march of ‛Okba (‛Oqba) b. Nāfi‛ and the foundation of Kairawan, where the great mosque still bears his name. Our information about these events, though very full, is untrustworthy, while of the events in Asia Minor the accounts are scarce and short. The Arabic historians are still absorbed by the events in Irak and Khorasan.

The talented prefect of Kufa, Moghīra b. Sho’ba, eventually broke down the resistance of Ziyād, who came to Damascus to render an account of his administration, which the caliph ratified. Moawiya seems also to have acknowledged him as the son of Abu Sofiān, and thus as his brother; in 664 this recognition was openly declared.[1] In the next year Ziyād was appointed governor of Basra and the eastern provinces belonging to it. As the austere champion of the precepts of Islam, he soon restored order in the whole district. Outwardly, this was the case in Kufa also. A rising of Kharijites in the year 663 had ended in the death of their chief. But the Shi‛ites were dissatisfied and even dared to give public utterance to their hostility. Moghīra contented himself with a warning. He was already aged and had no mind to enter on a conflict. He died about the year 670, and his province also was entrusted to Ziyād, who appointed ‛Amr b. Horaith as his vicegerent. At a Friday service in the great mosque ‛Amr was insulted and pelted with pebbles. Ziyād then came himself, arrested the leader of the Shi‛ites, and sent fourteen rebels to Damascus, among them several men of consideration. Seven of them who refused to pledge themselves to obedience were put to death; the Shi‛ites considered them as martyrs and accused Moawiya of committing a great crime. But in Kufa peace was restored, and this not by military force, but by the headmen of the tribes. We must not forget that Kufa and Basra were military colonies, and that each tribe had its own quarter of the city. A wholesome diversion was provided by the serious resumption of the policy of eastern expansion, which had been interrupted by the civil war. For this purpose Irak had to furnish the largest contingent. The first army sent by Ziyād into Khorasan recaptured Merv, Herat and Balkh, conquered Tokhāristān and advanced as far as the Oxus. In 673 ‛Obaidallah, the son of Ziyād, crossed the river, occupied Bokhara, and returned laden with booty taken from the wandering Turkish tribes of Transoxiana. He brought 2000 Turkish archers with him to Basra, the first Turkish slaves to enter the Moslem empire. Sa‛īd, son of the caliph Othman, whom Moawiya made governor of Khorasan, in 674 marched against Samarkand. Other generals penetrated as far as the Indus and conquered Kabul, Sijistan, Makrān and Kandahar.

Ziyād governed Irak with the greatest vigour, but as long as discontent did not issue in action, he let men alone. At his death (672-673), order was so generally restored that “nobody had any more to fear for life or estate, and even the unprotected woman was safe in her house without having her door bolted.”

Moawiya was a typical Arab sayyid (gentleman). He governed, not by force, but by his superior intelligence, his self-control, his mildness and magnanimity. The following anecdote may illustrate this. One of Moawiya’s estates bordered on that of Abdallah b. Zobair, who complained in a somewhat truculent letter that Moawiya’s slaves had been guilty of trespassing. Moawiya, disregarding his son Yazid’s advice that he should exact condign punishment for Zobair’s disrespect, replied in flattering terms, regretting the trespass and resigning both slaves and estate to Zobair. In reply Zobair protested his loyalty to Moawiya, who thereupon pointed a moral for the instruction of Yazid.

Moawiya has been accused of having poisoned more than one of his adversaries, among them Malik Ashtar, Abdarrahmān the son of the great captain Khālid b. Walīd, and Hasan b. Ali. As for the latter, European scholars have long been agreed that the imputation is groundless. As to Abdarrahmān the story is in the highest degree improbable. Madāinī says that Moawiya was prompted to it, because when he consulted the Syrians about the choice of his son Yazid as his successor, they had proposed Abdarrahmān. The absurdity of this is obvious, for Abdarrahmān died in the year 666.[2] Others say[3] that Moawiya was afraid lest Abdarrahmān should become too popular. Now, Abdarrahmān had not only been a faithful ally of Moawiya in the wars with Ali, but after the peace devoted all his energy to the Greek war. It is almost incredible that Moawiya out of petty jealousy would have deprived himself of one of his best men. The probability is that Abdarrahmān was ill when returning from the frontier, that Moawiya sent him his own medical man, the Christian doctor Ibn Othāl, and that the rumour arose that the doctor had poisoned him. It is remarkable withal that this rumour circulated, not in Homs (Emesa), where Abdarrahmān died, but in Medina. There a young relation of Abdarrahmān was so roused by the taunt that the death of his kinsman was unavenged, that he killed Ibn Othal near the mosque of Damascus. Moawiya imprisoned him and let him pay a high ransom, the law not permitting the talio against a Moslem for having killed a Christian. The story that

  1. A single genealogist, Abu Yaqazān, says that he was a legitimate son of Abu Sofiān, and that his mother was Asmā, daughter of A’war. But all others call his mother Somayya, who is said to have been a slave-girl of Hind, the wife of Abu Sofiān, and who became later also the mother of Abu Bakra. We cannot make out whether Abu Sofiān acknowledged him as his son or not. At a later period, the Abbasid caliph Mahdi had the names of Ziyād and his descendants struck off the rolls of the Koreish; but, after his death, the persons concerned gained over the chief of the rolls office, and had their names replaced in the lists (see Tabari iii. 479).
  2. Aghāni xx. p. 13, Ibn abi Osaibia i. p. 118.
  3. Tabari ii. p. 82.