Islamic History Podcast: Nihavand And Caltrops

Islamic History Podcast: Nihavand And Caltrops
  • By 641, the Muslims had captured most of the Southwestern part of the Persian Empire
  • This area contained the best and most fertile lands and would be modern day Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of northwestern Iran
  • As mentioned previously, Umar had grown weary of all the fighting and was grateful for their current holdings

  • However, the Persian pride was wounded and they couldn’t accept a peace treaty with the Muslims
  • Emperor Yesdijird made his base in Nihavan and began to build another army to attack the Muslims
  • The governor of Kufa was Ammar ibn Yasir, whose mother Sumayyah and father Yasir were the first martyrs for Islam when they were tortured to death in Mecca
  • When he learned of the Persian movements he sent word to Umar in Medina
  • So even though he desired peace, Umar was forced to fight again
  • He called in forces from Basra, Kufa, and Medina to defend the Muslim territories in Iraq
  • Though SIW was still the overall commander of the army in Persia, Umar appointed a companion named Numan ibn Muqarrin as commander of this battle
  • By December 642 the combined Muslims forces of 30000 converged in the valley of Nihawand against 60000 Persian soldiers
  • The Persians had fortified their position well
  • Before the Muslims could reach the Persians they would have to cross a stream
  • Beyond the stream, the Persians had strewn hundreds of Caltrop, iron spikes set in the ground the disable horses
  • If the Muslims got past all that, they would have to march up a steep hill while thousands of Persian archers shot down on them
  • The Persian position was too strong to outflank so Numan Ibn Muqarrin had no choice but a full frontal assault after the noon prayer
  • The Muslims waded through the stream and lost hundreds to the Persian archers
  • Then they encountered the iron caltrops and lost several horses, diminishing their cavalry
  • They advanced slowly up the hill while the Persians rained arrows on them
  • Finally the two sides met near the top of the hill and fought furiously until sunset
  • The Muslims withdrew having lost hundreds of men and soldiers but not having made a dent in the Persian defenses

Show Notes

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