Part 4 The Holy Wars , God Gain and Glory : Crusades

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

Crusades were the military campaigns / migration of Eastern European nations to regain the control of “Holy Lands” motivated by the christian zeal and were sanctioned by the Catholic Church.Crusades spanned over a period of five centuries during the early middle ages.This was the revival of Eastern European powers after the the times of Roman Empire in which they wer e able to extend their dominion in  Middle East . The long lost Byzantine empire was the last Remanent of the glory of Rome . Byzantine guarded the western door of Europe for a Millennia first against the Persian empire and then against the Arab invasions of Rashidun and Omayyad period. During the late 900s Byzantine empire was unable to defend itself against the Muslim Seljuk Empire in Anatolin region , situated in modern day Turkey and looked towards their distant Catholic Brethren for help.

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades ...

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades Français : Empire byzantin à la veille des croisades (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catholic Church at Vatican wanted to end the schism between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity.The “pilgrim politics” for holy land also affected the clergy’s decision.Another factor was the new emerging “merchandise class ” of Europe which was looking for the new markets  The previous conquests of Iberian Peninsula by the Muslim forces left Europe vulnerable.But most importantly the spirit of expansion and adventurism fueled by  hatred and religious zeal were responsible for these military campaigns. The near east at the end of first thousand years was a battlefield in which sectarian schism of Muslim world played a major role. The central Abbasid dynasty was a mere puppet by now and switched sides depending on who was in power at that time.The ethnic divide in Muslim between Arabs , Persians ,Turks and Berbers of North Africa were involved in intermittent warfare for the supremacy in Islamic World  The Muslim world at that time was gradually moving towards decentralized state in which warlord one after another were able to carve out a dynasty which left the populace destitute weak and vulnerable to foreign invasions. Crusades was the name later given by historians to these wars .Muslim called their enemies as Franks whereas Christians called their enemies as Saracens. The First Crusade

  •  Council of Clermont

Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus called upon the help of Catholic world in war against the Seljuk Empire .Pope Urban II urged the masses to raise arms against the “unjustly” occupation of “Holy Lands” and free them from the clutches of Saracens in “Council of Clermont “. 620px-Passages_d'outremer_Fr5594,_fol._19r,_Concile_de_Clermont An excerpt from the speech of Pope Urban 2 ‘s speech a the Council of Clermont ; source Wikipedia

“Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor.”

  • People’s Crusade

Peter the Hermit was a saint who gathered a large sum of people to fight and took his army of peasants for Holy lands through Byzantine territory.The people were pillaged the cities in their way but were in the end permitted through the byzantine territory. People’s crusade was an epic failure their army after the first pitched battle was brutally defeated by the Seljuk army .

409px-PeoplesCrusadeMassacre

  • Princes’ Crusades

The main army composed of four main factions led by the legendary leaders Hugh of Vermandois, Godfrey, Raymond, and Bohemond approached Byzantium capitol Conatantinole in 1607. They vowed that they will restore the Holy Lands

740px-First.Crusade.MapThese army were provided military assistance by the Alexios and were reinforced by the remaining forces of people’s crusade.

  • Siege of Nicaea
  • Battle of Dorylaeum
  • Siege of Antioch

Antioch was an important city which surrendered to crusaders and was important in gaing control of Jerusalem

  • Siege of Jerusalem

The newly found long lost holy relics were great morale boosters in European camps .The Muslims in the city were unable to defend themselves against the foreign invasion and found no help of the Fatimid of Egypt.According to Muslim sources after the conquest of  Jerusalem Muslim population in the city was massacred in the process of ethnic cleansing to establish the new Christian State of Jerusalem .

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  • Crusade of 1101

A few dukes of Christendom of who left crusade after the early difficulties and some who were inspired by the success of crusading campaigns in middle east left Europe for the nascent state of Jerusalem but were annihilated in Asia Minor by Seljuks .

The first crusade was probably the most successful campaign in all of the crusades.Crusaders were able to maintain few duchies in heart of Muslim land for next several centuries

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The Second Crusade

Pope Eugene 3 announced second crusade after the fall county of Edessa. Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany marched towards east separately.

548px-SecondCrusade_EnThe combined German and Frankish army gathered in Antioch to attack Damascus a Syrian stronghold.Zangi’s two sons Saif ud Din Ghazi , the governor of Mosul and Noor ud Dim Muhammad , the overner of Aleppo hurried to reach Damascus to defend it against crusaders.The crusading army was unable to gain any materiel gains  in Middle East .

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The only success of this crusade was the fall of Lisbon on western front after the three centuries of Muslim rule in 1147.

Siege_of_Lisbon_-_Muslim_surrender

The Third Crusade ; The Kings Crusades

After the second crusade Zengi dynasty was able consolidate its power in Syria.Muslims were now able  to reconqure the Acre, Jaffa and most importantly the Jerusalem. After this came the staunch response of Christendom in the form of great army led by the stalwarts of Europe.

Saladin ; Sultan Salah ud Din Ayyubi 1174-93

Saladin has two aims one to unite the Islamic world  of Sunnite of Abbasids dynasty in Mesopotamia  and Shiite of Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the second to drive out crusaders from Syria and Palestine.First he achieved with little difficulty and second he did by engulfing crusading states from Stria in north and Egypt from south.

The battle of Hittin was a turning point in crusades christian forces were defeated and Muslims recaptured Jerusalem on October 9, 1187 after a hundred year of christian rule.

Aged emperor of Germany Fredrick Barbarossa , the king of France , Philip Augutus , Richard the lion Hearted , King of England and Duke of Austria gathered the largest number of forces to attack the Muslim world.Although crusaders were able to reverse most of Saladin’s conquests but were unable to capture Jerusalem the most precious prize of  all.

\Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was drowned while crossing the Saleph river the king drowned and most army went back disheartened at the death their liege

441px-Crusader_States_1190.svgRichard was able to capture the city of Acre even after a staunch resistance from Saladin.Richard was fairly successful in his campaign against Saladin’s forces .But the failure to capture Jerusalem caused another crusade.Both sides felt the results as unsatisfactory.But now the fate was sealed for christian middle east although the coastal states were able to maintain their presence for next few centuries  but were now no more threats to the Muslim world.

The_Crusader_States_(1200)

Fourth Crusade and Sack of Constantinople

This time a new route through Egypt was employed by the crusaders to attack Jerusalem now in Muslim hands but the goal of conquering Jerusalem turned into sack of Constantinople. The fourth crusade was the high point of eastern and western schism .The Byzantium capitol was although regained by the  Greeks after a half century but the they were never able to fully recover.

800px-Crusaders_attack_Constantinople

The Fifth Crusade

The goal was the same as always to acquire the holy lands.This time the army consisted of mostly German and Hungarian forces .Crusaders were able to acquire the guarantee of safe passage through Anatolian region controlled by Sultanate of Rum by allying them on their side.A two pronged war against Ayubids had a few successes in earlier period of the campaign but the march in Egypt was disastrous as the crusading force was decimated by the flood and surrendered to Muslims forces of Egypt.Capturing_Damiate

The Sixth Crusade

Frederick II,  the holy Roman Emperor and monarch Germany lay his claim to Kingdom of Jerusalem because of his marriage to its princess.Despite not being officially sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church Fredrick took his army Jerusalem and was able to capture the holy city . But the crusading army was not able to maintain control of the city for more than 15 years.This war showed European princely elite that individual nations can conquer orient .

Al-Kamil_Muhammad_al-Malik_and_Frederick_II_Holy_Roman_Emperor

The Seventh Crusade

Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254 crusaded against the Islamic world though he was later proclaimed as saint by few but was utterly defeated by Ayyubid Sultanate in Egypt.1024px-Seventh_crusade

The Eighth Crusade

The French monarch  Louis IX attacked the Muslim possessions in Africa but the attack was a failure mainly due to the pandemic that left the French camp without its fighters . A truce was signed between the Muslim Ruler of Tunis and French monarch  Louis IX .

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The Ninth Crusade

Muslim world was in a precarious situation in the middle of thierteenth century .The Mongol horde was able to capture  Baghdad and Egypt faced a challenge of both crusaders and mongols whereas the reconquista in Iberian peninsula was virtually completed.If Baibars the general of the slave dynasty of Mamluks would not have defeated the Mongols and Crusaders , the whole Muslim world from east to west would have been overrun by the non believers.

640px-EdwardICrusadeMap

The last major crusade was actually the part of eighth crusade the English prince Edward I despite his few success was unable to have a lasting impact and ended in a truce .

Aftermath 

The crusades were a gory episode of religious fanaticism in middle ages .Eastern Europe motivated by the “Papal Bulls” attacked Muslim middle east  .The Seljuk were in a constant war against the Byzantium and the crusading forces.Byzantium was unable to recover from the Muslim advance into Anatolia and the aid of their fellow Christian brothers turned into their ultimate doom.The Kingdom of Castille , Aragon ,Leon and Navarre were able to drive out the Moorish occupants from Iberia.the crusades saw feudal Europe eventually transforming into a amalgam of nation states.The papal authority saw it high point in crusades and commanded the hearts and swords of Eastern Europe.The minor sects in Europe were now finally finished as part of western crusades, but at the end of crusades its become evident that the Christendom is becoming more secular.Some might argue that the crusades were the precursors of modern day colonialism.

608px-Last_Crusader

The Muslim world soon forgot the crusades and their memories faded away.Crusades were a result of the weakening of Arab hegemony in Islamic world . Arab world was unable to recover from the crusades and mongol invasion. This was the first low point of Islamic history as the second came during the colonialist era . But Muslims soon recover and the three great dynasties rose far away from the earlier power center  and these were Ottoman Empire of Anatolia and Eastern Europe , Mughal Empire in India and Safavid Empire in Persia.

The King’s Islam

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, his followers established a system of electing the new leader chosen by selective electoral of leading companions and the people of the cities of Medina and Mecca. After the besiegement and murder of Uthman the third caliph by the young generation of Muqatila, Ali (R.A) was elected as the next caliph but a civil war broke out in Islamic world by abruptly ending the tradition of this early form of democracy. From the very beginning of the history of Islam few royal families have rules the Easter Realm of Islamic world.

Transition from the Neo Democratic Caliphate to Arab Monarchy

After the untimely demise of Ali bin Abi Talib. Muawyia swiftly captured the Islamic realm by outmaneuvering the heir of Ali. In popular orthodox view it was decided that after Muawyia Hassan the elder son of Ali will be the next caliph. But Hassan died in suspicious circumstances leaving only muawyia to rule. Muawyia appointed his son as the legal successor of caliphate after him

2nd civil war and establishment of Umayyad rule

Yezid was the only living son of Muawyia , after  death of his father he was made the next so called caliph. This was the first time in history when caliphate was bestowed to the son of former caliph. This caused a strong reaction in the masses egalitarian Arabs.Hussain bin Ali the next patriarch of the house of Ali was called by the military city of kufa to lead them in this precarious situation. Hussein was also the grandson of the prophet Mohammed (SAW).but Yedzid’s governor of Iraq foiled the attempt of Alide resistance by killing Hussein and all male members of his family .Another front of resistance was opened by the holy cities of Mecca and Medina lead by Ibn e Zubayr brothers. They were initially successful and captured vast amount area due to absence of power created by Yezid’s death.

Establishment of Omayyad’s rule

Another branch of the Omayyad’s family was come through in these difficult times. It was the house of Merwan. They end the schism by the brutal use of force .Omyyad’s made Damascus the new capital of Islam. Early Omyyad’s were able to established Arab hegemony and supremacy over the entire Islamic world.  Umayyad generals were able to conquer central Asia, northern Africa. Iberian peninsula, khurasan and Sind in India.

Omayyad established the dictatorial rule over the both Muslim and non Muslim population in the empire. Omayyad were big land owners and were the early feudal s in the Islamic world. War booty and slaves was another lucrative source of revenue for the empire.

House of Ali was able to gain sympathies of the general public .House of Abbas were able to put a whole system of resistance based on espionage and treachery. They were also able to win the sympathy of newly converted Muslims who were heavily taxed even after their conversion which was against the religious doctrine of Islamic jurisprudence. The third element was the Muslim feudal class of Persia who has newly acquired lands in the recently conquered area of Persian Empire. Abu Muslim commanded an army against the Umayyad governor of Khurasan and put an end to the rule of House of Omayyad

War on Terror

Terrorism

The Beginnings

Soviet Russia occupied Afghanistan in 1977 at the pretext of helping the elected government. People of Afghanistan rejected the claim of soviet authorities and considered this act as foreign invasion. Muslim world was predominantly in support of retaliating against Russian military venture in Afghanistan. American aid both in the form of financial and military was provided to Afghans with the help of Pakistani government. A new class or religious warrior or Mujahids was imported from all over the world to fight in Afghanistan.

The role of Pakistan Army

In the era of General Zia ul Haq Pakistan army was very much eager to support the freedom fighters in Afghanistan with the military and financial aid of America to fight against the Russia. Pakistan had strategic interest to support the Afghans in eighties. Ideological basis for military Islam were build to have a constant supply of mujahids (religious soldiers) to fight this war. This led to the spread of ideological basis for terrorism.

Emergence of Taliban

After the downfall of Russian federation whole world left Afghanistan on its own. A young group of fighters called Taliban which literally means the students were able to take control of most of the Afghanistan by force after eliminating all their enemies in a civil war. Taliban enforced a strict religious orthodox sharaia law in Afghanistan. Due to their extreme steps like the demolition of two Buddha statues in bohemian led to their alienation in the community of nations.

9/11 and war on terrorism

9/11was the day when   Osama Bin Laden undertook unprecedented terrorist attacks on American heartland by bombing the twin buildings of world trade center.   Mulla Omer the leader of Taliban provided the refuge to Osama Bin Laden. America was able gain the support of international community and the whole world condemned these barbaric attacks against the civilian population. United Nation passed a resolution condemning these attacks.

US led coalition attacks Afghanistan

American is now on mission of vengeance. NATO also supplied its troops against the war with Taliban. There was no comparison in military contest between the allied troops and Taliban fighters. Allied forces were equipped with the latest military technology and an organized army. On the other hand Taliban were mercenary guerrilla fighters with little or no weaponry as compared to their opponents. After a little struggle allied forces were able to get rid of the theocratic regime of the old Taliban government.

Resistance

Opposition to US forces came from three fronts

1.       Taliban

2.       Pashtun National elemen

3.       Mujahidin

There was not much resistance offered by governing regime of Taliban. They were readily overwhelmed by the US forces. But the main resistance came from the Pashtuns. Pashtuns are a proud race and have always responded to foreign military invasions with their full power. The third opponents are Jihadists groups. The battle cry to save the brother Muslim emirates of Afghanistan was raised again in Pakistan and all over the Muslim world. This time it was not the official propaganda of military establishment in Pakistan but rather it was the ghost of former jihadist allies.

Role of Pakistan

Pakistan is totally and utterly a victim of this unfortunate situation. Pakistan is being blamed for helping the terrorists is a total misunderstanding. Pakistani paramilitary forces are hunting down the terrorist elements in Pakistan.

Who are the good guys?

The long standing invisible bond between military and these religious organization was now broken. In the center of the capitol of Pakistan, a mudrassa religious institute declared the dead terrorists as the true martyrs .Pakistani media and military establishment and government were not ready to compromise the official verdict. A military action was taken against Jamia e Hafsa a religious conservatory for girls. It was manhandled and was the cause of lot of bad PR

The role of Pakistan Army

Pakistani army went into FATA federally administered tribal areas near Durand line (Pak Afghanistan border line) .Pashtuns are the major ethnic group in FATA which shared common heritage with the Pashtun tribes on the other side of the border. In response to international pressure Pakistan army went in those areas to prevent the infiltration of guerrillas from Pakistan to Afghanistan. This military venture of military regime of General Musharraf backfired.

Swat

Swat is district located in the province of KP. It is a mountainous region .Swat was once tourist attraction spot. Sufi Naik Muhammad is religious leader in swat who made a pact with the government of Pakistan to ensure the sharia law (orthodox). After only a few days a military struggle was launched against the state by son in law of Sufi Naik Muhammad .Pakistani army responded in a full retaliation mood. Army was able to take back the control of the city after fierce struggle with so called Pakistani Taliban. Many of the leading commanders of Pakistani Taliban fled to Afghanistan. This has made Pakistani authorities rethink about the relations with Afghanistan.

Government of Pakistan in the war against terrorism

During the start of war against terrorism Pakistan was under the control of military regime of Pervaiz Musharraf. It is generally considered in Pakistan that general Musharraf was a trusted ally of Bush administration. After a long struggle against the dictatorial regime of General Pervaiz Musharraf by the civil society of Pakistan elections were held in 2008.

Pakistan People’s Party led coalition

Before the elections of 2008, one of the most popular leaders of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the suicide attack done by Pakistani Taliban. People’s party continued the policy of former General Pervaiz Musssaraf to fight against terrorism. In KP province, the leftist liberal party of ANP replaced the ultra conservative religious alliance of MMA.ANP categorically condemned terrorism and strong action against it. Swat was a district in the province of KP which was overran by terrorists. Provincial authorities called for the help of central government to get rid of theses fanatical religious zealots. Muttahida Qaumi Movement MQM the major political party in Karachi have stated a clear policy to stop terrorism.

Pakistan Muslim League PMLN

PMLN have a clear police to establish better foreign relations with America, India and Afghanistan.

Drones

Drone is unmanned aerial vehicle. Drone technology uses an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Drone is controlled by remote stations. Drones are used by American forces as the military tactic to target terrorists in three continents. Drone can also be used for surveillance

Killing less and making more enemies

Drones are in the clear violation of the national airspace of the targeted countries. Drones are killing more and more civilians rather then attacking terrorists. This has made people of Pakistan furious against the American aggression. Another argument against drones is that every individual has the right to defend themselves in courts. But drones take this opportunity from the allegedly guilty party and play the role of both jury and executioner.

But drones are not that bad they are also responsible for killing the most notorious militant leaders wanted by both America and Pakistan for committing war crimes.

A transparent multinational policy should be made for the drone strikes. A trilateral committee should be made where civil and military leadership of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan should sit together and evaluate the pros and cons of the respective drone strike. The Local government should be made the part of intended plan of drone strike. A better system of intelligence can also lead to less collateral damage. This will help to construct better foreign relations between Pakistan and America.

  • 1.       A pre drone attack multilateral plan
  • 2.       Better intelligence
  • 3.       Targeted strikes

Role of media

International media is big time supporter of war against terrorism .Media has helped to build a public support against terrorism.

Pakistani media is predominantly in the favor of strict military action the terrorists. Major media houses have launched a full fledged campaign to mold pubic opinion in favor of launching a nationwide action to crush the terrorists. GEO, Dawn and Capitol TV are the strong advocate of not having any negotiations with the Taliban groups. On the other hand a major segment of the population believes to give militants a last chance to mend their ways and return to civilized society and if they don’t respond to peace offers only the use force against them. Government called an all parties conference on this issue in which it was decided that peace talks should be held as the last chance for peace. Most of the media simply ignores

Conclusion

There is no doubt that terrorism is a bad. But to fight terror with terror is an equally bad strategy

A few individuals have committed terrible crimes but this does not mean that all the Muslims are terrorists. Those individual and organizations that are responsible for terrorism must be held accountable. But the problem is it was not one person or group which was responsible against the attack on American soil. To fight the ideology of terrorism America also used its full might and power.

Imagine a world in which US Aid has been provided for the world health and education rather than fighting proxy wars or invading other countries. American has launched a worldwide hunt down of few individuals.

During the Arab spring revolution decade age old dictatorial regimes were thrown over. It was only made possible by the use of social media. That is just one of the example of what good has done the technology developed and provided by western nations .The military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in the twenty first century has been seen as the new era of colonialism in the name of terrorism. This war centric approach of western nation has made Muslim world suspicious of the intentions of America and its allies regarding to Islamic world.

People of Pakistan have rejected terrorism .Pakistani civil and military leadership is united to eliminate the terrorist networks from the country. But people of Pakistan do not support the element of foreign involvement in internal matters.

Transition of the City State of Medina into a Republic

Transition of the City State of Medina into a Republic

Unification of Arabia

Now the Muslim power was unopposed

After the fall of mecca Arabian tribal community had now realized that now with their religious leadership of Quraysh

Submission of the tribes to Islam

As Ibn e Hisam an early Muslim writer aptly describes;

The Arabs were waiting with regard to Islam the decision of the struggle between the Quariash and prophet of god And the reason was that Quraysh were their leaders and guides and were the guardians of the house and the sacred mosque, when mecca was conquered and they realized that there was no power left to fight Muhammad and he was their friend not enemy they entered the faith in large numbers

Tribal Deputations

In the last two years of the Muhammad`s life tribal deputation from whole arabia came to medina to accept the soverigintiy of this newly formed state.

Deputations came from the following tribes , clans or places

1  Muzaina

2 Asad

3  Temim

4  Abs

5   Fezara

6  Murra

7   Tha`laba

8  Saad bin Bak

9   kilab

10 Bani-al-Baqqa

11 kinana

12 Ashja

13 Bahila

13 Sulaim

14 Amir bin Sasa

15 Thaqif of Taif

16 Abd al Qays

17 Bakr bin Wail of Eastern Arabia

18 Taghlib

19 Hanifa of Centeral Arabia,

20 Shayban a branch of Bakr bin Wail

21 Yemen

22 Tai

23 Murad of South Arabia Ghasan on the borders of syria

24 Hamdan in South Arabia

25 Nakha

26 kasham,

27 Mahra in South eastern Arabia

28 Najran a city in the South

29 Jayshan

Proclamtion of the ban on paganism was imposed on feburary-631 A.D.Jizya was imposed on the non muslim  people living in islamic republic of medina

The period of war was over and a process of consolidation began with the appointments of  Scholars, governers , tax collecters , judges and military commanders were disposed to different parts of Arabia .

Islamic State in the Bipolar world of Persia and Byzantium

Islamic State in the Bipolar world of Persia and Byzantium

Byzantine had recently won a decisive victory against Persia and recaptured the province of Syria. Syria was predominantly ethnically an Arabian province but was ruled by romans since time of Caesar. On the other hand Iraq was ruled by Persia which held great number of Arab tribes.

Alif Lam Meem! The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious after a few years. (Al Quran 30:1-4)

 Arabs living in these provinces embraced both pagan and Christian faiths. Condition of Arabs living under the chains was no better than their brothers living in peninsula. Arab tribes resented the foreign rule and were more than happy to see state of medina as their liberator not the conqueror. Muslims of Arabian peninsula could not remain untouched to what was happening to their brothers in other parts of the neighboring realms.

No man’s land

Arabia was a dry and barren land with no resources what so ever .A country where anarchy prevailed with nomadic tribes always fighting internally maybe this was the reason which saved them from the colonial ambitions of Persia and Rome. They always considered it as a kind of a buffer state.

Muhammad’s letter to Head of States

Muhammad sent letters to different head of states during his last years after having established a strong hold in medina. His emissaries sent to Persian Emperor were met with a cold response from khusro Parvez. But these delegations put an alarm in the minds of these monarchies of a rise of a new force in the political melodrama of seventh century Middle East.

Beginning of the conflict

Muhammad wanted to expand his empire further to the north. His envoys were sent to the tribes living in the north under the patronage of Roman Empire. Muslim emissaries were put to death which infuriated Medina.An army was prepared to fight against the Ghasanid tribes the culprits behind this ferocious act. But Muslim army met with a strong resistance, three of its generals were killed.

Campaign of Tabouk

Muslims considered the involvement of Byzantium forces behind their defeat at Motah. To avenge the dead Muhammad himself gathered the largest army under his command of 30000 men. After arriving at Tabouk and camping there, Muhammad’s army was prepared to face the Byzantines. However the Byzantines were not at Tabouk. They stayed there for a number of days and scouted the area but they never came.

Wars in Central Arabia and Southren Parts of Peninsula

Wars in Central Arabia and Southren Parts of peninsula

Hawaizan were the age old rivals of Quraysh, they were the subject of Persian Empire .Hawaizan were hostile towards the new religion.They consider that it will abolish the old ways and their traditionalistic lifestyle,

They consisted of both city dwellers and nomadic tribes. One of their brethren was settled in Taif, a city rivaled to economic success of mecca. Hawaizan merchandise looked for the support of Persian overlords .Their trade route was mainly directed towards Iraq which was a Persian province at that time.

Battle of Hunayn

When Muslim armies marched towards mecca Muslim didn’t know whether they were going to attack mecca or Hawazin tribes.

Hawazain were considering it as a great opportunity that the internal struggle between Muslims and Qurish will destroy either one of their opponents.  After the conquest of mecca Muhammad gathered his armies now numbered ten thousand in number. This army consisted of two main forces 

(i)         Army of  Medina  which initially attacked mecaa

(ii)        Army of Qurash which consisted of two thousand men

Hawazain were commanded by a young leader named as Malik Bin Nuwayra . he knew that his tribe were strong in type of warfare with heavy archery, so he selected a o position in which a narrow pass was selected .when Muslims armies reached that spot early in the morning they came the firing range of the arrows and missiles of  Hawazain .The vanguard of Muslim army was routed due to this superior military move of enemy after this the general disarray followed and the army was dispersed,

The Vanguard was commanded by the holy prophet himself when he saw people fleeing like this he asked them to return to the battle and fight, only a handful of people were left with him who fought vigorously and never left their place this was the turning point of the war as the people now saw that despite all of their enemy strength and superior military move Muslim army stood still. They came back and this battle was won but it was a pyrrhic victory and Muslims losses were also great, Muslims found a great number of booty

Siege of Taif

Taif was the city which was first visited by the holy prophet to gain their support against their old rivals of mecca. This mission was a failure as his proposal was rejected. After a few years Muslim armies besiege Taif for a short period of time. But the city defended itself successfully against the invading army.

This war put an end to  force of a strong enenmy of the newly formed Muslim state. Now there was none left who can stand against the city sate of medina which was now started to emerge as the theocratic republic of Islam with its capital at medina

War with Jews


Wars with Jews

Jews were one of the main political and economic forces in Arabia. They were fewer in number but greater in influence. According to some estimates they were the riches ethnic group of peninsula at that time. They dominated the banking side of Arabic community. Unlike Quraysh of mecca who was business minded community Aus and Khazraj of medina were agriculturalists. Due to two reasons Ansar or helpers were in a subservient position in city of medina.  

(i)                  Precarious situation of economy

(ii)                Internal wars between Aus and Khazraj .(They were financially dependent on the loans provided by the Jews of Yathrib.)

Jews in medina consisted of three tribes

Bani un Nadhr

Bani Qurayza

Banu Qaunuqa

The state of medina tried to negotiate a peace treaty between Muslims and Jews of medina but this effort was futile. Jews were positioned strategically as their tribes were located in the heart of Medina. First prophet tried to candidate with them by arranging an agreement named as  misaq e medina charter of medina. Jews were the dominant party in medina both financially and spiritually, after the arrival of immigrants the tide was turned against them .But their numbers were few and they could not resist the ever growing force of Muslims.

According to Muslim sources they were in a league with Quraysh, Bedouins and the discontented party. The discontented party was the pre immigration elite of medina who wanted to get rid of the newly formed state. They were not in strength or position to do it openly so they get into silent alliance with the other parties who were working against state of medina.

Expulsion of Jewish tribes from Medina

Year 624 First Banu Qaynuqawere besieged and were exiled on easy conditions after the battle of badr, abanu nazr were goldsmiths and there tools were taken as war fief

Year 625 Second was Banu an Nadhr were banished from medina but they were banned on strict terms. They were an agricultural community the land left by them were allotted tho immigrant community. Immigrant took the ownership of these newly vacant lands and were no longer dependent on Ansar

Year 627 the last remaining tribe of Banu Quraiza was in conspiracy against with state of medina in a league with Quraish, Bedouins and discontented party in medina. They were found guilty of high treason and all of their men beheaded their women and children were sold slavery and their wealth and land confiscated

Their decision was put into hand of Saad their former ally who had strong grievances against them .he was disappointed with them when he asked for their military aid in the battle of ditch but all of this was of no avail.

Jews were also present in other parts of Arabian Peninsula as they have also strongholds to the north of medina; they had strong net of citadels as in khaber.

Invasion of Khaber

In the year 628 the prophet marched with 1600 including 200 horsemen towards the stronghold of khaber .One of the Jewish colonies of Al Qamus offered some resistance to Muslims. Jews did not fight Muslims in open battle rather they preferred to shut themselves in their castles. The main reason for their failed strategy was because they never combined their forces against invading army of medina and were captured on after one by the Muslim forces

The new theocratic state was now not going to tolerate its enemies. Reasons for the expulsion of Jews were simple they were the commercial rival and military threat to the rising Muslim state of Medina. Jews were town people and were business minded community. On the other hand their rival Arabs were Bedouins who were skilled swordsmen. Arabs were used to minor skirmishes and earned their living through plunder and savagery.

Aftermath

This campaign put an end to strength of Jewish colonies in Arabia, this was the end one of the competitors of the state of medina, and Jews were financially the strongest part in northern Arabia. As Islam put the ban on usury which was blow to the economical empire of Jews, secondly Jews always felt kind of a monopoly on their monotheistic beliefs but after Muhammad they claimed was challenged, this made Jews hostile towards newly formed religion.