Zubayr ibn al-Awam

Deceased Person

0594 – 0656


Who was Zubayr ibn al-Awam?

Zubair ibn al-Awwam, al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwām ibn Khuwaylid; 594-656 was a companion of Muhammad, father to Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and later one of the most successful commanders of the Rashidun army and served under the Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. Zubair, who was the prophet's Muhammad cousin, son of the prophet's aunt Safiya bint Abed el Mutalib He served under the prophet Muhammad in various military expeditions. He commanded a regiment in the decisive Battle of Yarmouk, fought in 636. Later in 640, he commanded the reinforcements sent to capture Amr ibn al-As in Egypt. Zubair was the most successful field commander during the Muslim conquest of Egypt.Caliph Umar selected Zubair along with five other individuals, from whom one Caliph would be chosen to succeed him.

He kept himself away from state politics and military affairs after the death of Caliph Umar. Caliph Uthman was assassinated in 656, Ali was elected at the Caliph.

Following the Greco-Persian Wars, Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars there were deep rooted differences between Iraq, formally under the Persian Sassanid Empire and Syria formally under the Byzantine Empire. These wars had lasted for hundreds of years. Heraclius had just defeated the Persians, before he confronted the Muslim armies at the Battle of Mu'tah. After their defeat at the hands of Heraclius, the Iraqis wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic State to be in Kufa so as to bring revenues into their area and oppose Syria, their old enermy previously under the Romans. They convinced Ali to come to Kufa and establish the capital in Kufa. Ali listened to them and moved the capital to Kufa.

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