Sunday, 20 August 2017


During the era of Rashidun Caliphate, Muslim armies fought against two superpowers of the time, Byzantine Empire and Persian Empire, simultaneously and defeated both of them to expand their rule from today’s Iran in the east to Libya in the west and Turkey in the north. During these campaigns against the superpowers of the time, Muslims forces remained victorious in almost every major battle. It is much surprising for many people that how a newly-formed state was able to achieve such successes in very little time. Following are few of the important reasons that made the Early Muslim conquests possible. 
Expansion of Caliphate in different eras

New Religion

The most important reason that enabled the people of Arabia to transform from Bedouins to a superpower is their new religion - Islam. Before Islam, Arabs always remained disorganized and split in tribes. Islam united the Arab tribes under one leadership for the first time that increased their strength.
Islam also created courage and bravery by inculcating the spirit of martyrdom for religion. Under this spirit, Muslims fought vigorously in order to spread Islam in other parts of the world without even fearing the superpowers of the time.

Leadership Qualities

Leadership qualities of early Muslim rulers are also a reason for these early Muslim conquests. Abu Bakr (RA) became first caliph after death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). At that time, many Arab tribes revolted against the caliphate. Abu Bakr not only launched expeditions against these rebel Arab tribes but also started the campaigns against Persian and Byzantine empires in order to prevent them from using the inner conflict of Arabia in their own interests. Soon, not only the rebellion was crushed but the initially successes against Persian Empire and Byzantines were also taken.

During the reign of Umar bin Khattab (RA), the whole Persian Empire was conquered while Muslims also took the areas of Levant, Egypt and Armenia from Byzantines. Umar not only played important role in the conquest of Persia and Levant but he also consolidated Muslim rule in the conquered areas by spreading Islam in these areas.

Great Military Generals

Arabs had military capabilities and they were fond of fighting and their capabilities came into light after they united under Islam. The world saw few of the best military generals during Muslim conquest of Persia, Levant and Egypt who totally outclassed the military might of Persia and Rome. The greatest Muslim general of the time was Khalid bin Walid (RA) who was given the title of Saifullah (Sword of Allah) due to her bravery and military genius. Khalid played major role in the conquest of Iraq (Arabian part of Persian Empire) and Levant. Several times, he defeated his opponent even many times larger in number than his own army. Enemy remained clueless over his skill, wisdom and attacks with lightning speed.

Amr bin al-As (RA) was another such great military leader who conquered Egypt with his leadership qualities and by taking advantage of the differences between the local people and Byzantine Empire.

Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas (RA) also proved his military leadership qualities during the conquest of Persia.

Weaknesses of Romans and Persians

Despite the leadership and military qualities of Muslim, there is also no doubt that the Persian Empire and Byzantine Empire had weaknesses due to the long Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602-628. The war ended with neither opponent taking any area of its foe but it weakened both the empires militarily and financially and it assisted the newly-established Caliphate to defeat both the Empires simultaneously.

Apart from that, both the empires didn’t take the emerging Muslim power seriously in the beginning of conflict which later proved to be disastrous for both the empires. 

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