Left - Rectangular agate Ring with miniature calligraphic engravings. The surface is divided into 3 rectangular panels. The innermost rectangle bears a Quranic verse. The surrounding rectangle contains floral engravings. The outer margin is engraved with the names of Allah, Prophet Mohammed and 12 Shiite Muslim Imams.
Right - Ikka--Armband Amulet. Beautifully-crafted, brilliant yellow, oval agate surrounded by 20 turquoise. Innermost smaller ovals are engraved with Kuranic verses, while the outer area bears the Names of Allah and the Shiite Muslim names of Holy Fourteen and 12 Imans: i.e. Ali, Hasan, Hussain, Ali, Mohammed, Jaafer, Moise, Ali, Mohammed, Ali, Al Hasan, Almehdi. Two framing heart-shaped agates are each surrounded by 14 turquoise. The side pieces bear similar Arabic engravings: "Mohammed Nabi Allah Ali Wali Allah". Translation: "Mohammed is Prophet of Allah, Ali is the Saint of Allah". These two end pieces are attached to the cord/string which helps in wearing the amulet.
The Influence of the Persian Ram upon the Modern Islamic Shi’ite Nation of Iran
Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the he-Goat
By Robert Mock MD
“The Horned Ram that You Saw – the kings of Media and Persia.
Daniel 8:3-4 – “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns:
and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him,
neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.”
Daniel 8:20 – “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Me'di-a and Persia.”
Daniel 8:3-4 – “I raised my eyes and saw, and behold! A ram is standing before the river, and it has horns;
and the horns are high, but one is higher than the other, and the higher one is coming up last.
I saw a ram goring westward, and northward and southward, and no beasts could stand before it, nor could anyone be rescued from it.
It did as it pleased and grew.
Daniel 8:20 – “The horned ram that you saw – the kings of Media and Persia.
(translated by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm in “Daniel” published by Mesorah Publications)
As Daniel looked towards the far north, he saw a powerful ram standing beyond the river covering the vast realms of the landscape to the north and east of the province of Elam in Babylon, The identity of Persia in this chapter was a ram with two great horns. This apocalyptic identity would later be seen as a prophetic layer upon a more ancient layer as the image of the ancient Media-Persian ram changed towards the image of the modern Iranian, Russian and Chinese axis of the Red Internationale at the end of the ages.
This ram appeared to come from the distant shores of the east. This was the land as far away as the mystical sea known to their descendants of a hundred generations later, the Pacific Ocean. Hints of the land of the dynastic oriental cultures of the East no doubt had reached the ears of Daniel, that veteran political scientist. Did not the caravans of old traverse the plains, mountains and rivers along the silk and spice trail? The red gold from the eastern lands of the Indus Valley were known in the days of King Solomon. The spices from the orient and the silken robes, garments and drapery from the virgin mountains of the land of the silkworms brought these exotic comforts to the palaces and manors of the west. The wisdom and knowledge of this consummate diplomat would soon meet this imperial ram power face to face. Daniel’s geo-political expertise would soon span these two great imperial cultures as the greatest bloodless overthrow of an impregnable imperial power preserved the “apple” of Hashem’s eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
Daniel saw this two horned ram from the east pushing westward towards the land of the democratic Grecian city states. It then went northwards into the unknown regions of the Scythians in the steppes and tundra of the arctic northlands. It later went southwards to the land of God’s people and the ancient land of the Pharaohs.
Daniel’s emissaries were constantly sending him reports of the archeological reconstruction of the pagan temple of his ancestor, Terah, the grandfather of both the Hebrews and the Arabs by the Babylonian emperor, Nabonidus while Belshazzar ruled in the city of Babylon. These same emissaries also told him of the rise of the military states of Media and Persia in the lands where the children of Israel were sent in exile by the Assyrian hordes of King Sennacherib.
As we move into the heart of this prophecy, we suddenly come to a dramatic revelation. The vision of the two-horned ram and the one-horned he-goat was not a recapitulation of the battle between the oriental and the occidental empires in the ancient days. These four kingdoms; the oriental kingdoms of Babylon and Medo-Persia and the occidental kingdoms of Greece and Rome were but shadow-pictures of future world contenders competing for geo-political domination at the time of the end.
Ashurbanipal's brutal campaign against Susa is triumphantly recorded in this relief showing the sack of Susa in 647 BCE. Here, flames rise from the city as Assyrian soldiers topple it with pickaxes and crowbars and carry off the spoils.
The secret message of this vision was not to analyze an ancient polar shift in world domination that occurred, according to the calendar of the Jews, about fifty one years after the death of Daniel when Alexander the Great “flew” across the Middle East and topple that mighty empire of Darius II of Persia. The secret of this vision was to give the clues and signals of an epic struggle between the “East” and the “West” as a telescope view to the future when two mighty globalist forces would again be contenders for global dominance just before the coming of the messiah.
Let us now move to the time of the end, the modern world in which you and I live in today. Let us look at the geo-political world that formed after the rise of the State of Israel in 1948. This was the world in which the archangel Gabriel was hinting that Daniel was seeing in vision before his own eyes. On August 2005, BibleSearchers posted a series of articles on Daniel 8:14 analyzed the time of this vision from the traditional Jewish and Christian interpretations of this vision. This vision was analyzed using the Jewish calendar of the history of the world.
This moment of time was when the 2300 days would be fulfilled. It was given to Daniel as a reference point of time for the beginning of the time of the end. In the BibleSearchers Reflections article titled, “The Twenty three Hundred Day Prophecy,” we learned the following as from the calculation according to the calendar of the Jews.
BibleSearchers Reflections – “Since we know the starting date of the prophecy of Daniel 8:13 and the number of years that it would take before the prophecy would be fulfilled for the Jewish people, we can now calculate the final date of the 2300 day prophecy.
Jewish Year of:
3410 (350 BCE) as the year that the Jewish people returned to the Land of Israel and built and dedicated the House to Hashem their God. This is the starting point for the v’ntizdak kodesh (tsadaq qodesh)
+2298 years in which the Jewish people were under Gentile domination and powerless to control the desecration of their holy sites.
5708 (1947/48 CE as the year that the Jewish people were reaffirmed as a holy people. They now have the ability to take possession of their own land and the ability to halt disrespect to their holy sites and the site where the House of their God should reside.
The State of Israel was born on May 15, 1947. Israel was not born of righteous people. If the Jewish people chose to follow the path of righteousness, that option was now fully within their hands. The Arab nations nor any other gentile power, no longer had control over their holy sites or their relationship with their God. The Jewish people had at that moment of time the right and privilege given to them by the God of Israel to take possession of their land. Every year that they choose not to affirm the command of the Lord, the violence will get worse and the nations of the earth will continue to press and crowd around them. The actions of the government of the State of Israel and the affirmation of the citizens of that nation will spell out their own destiny.”
One of the greatest misconceptions of Biblical prophecy is that pathways and streams of prophecy will be paved in good will and holy actions. Yet we fail many times to comprehend that the God of history is guiding the affairs of this planet earth until the final culmination of all things, the eradication of sin and the salvation of all who give their hearts in adoration and service to the God of Israel and His son, Yahshua haMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah). This pathway is lined with pain and sorrow, suffering and death and the affects of evil men who seek to control the destiny of all men with power, greed and control.
The State of Israel was not born out of righteousness and some scholars consider that the State of Israel was born to be destroyed. They believe that out of the fires of evil and tribulation the righteous chosen one of the Lord will arise and call upon the Name of the God of the Universe with willingness to follow the Messianic rulership of His son, the “Son of Man” who as the descendant of the House of David will rule His people for ever and ever.
The fact that the prophecies of Daniel were written for “his people,” the Jews, suggests that the broad prophetic pathway of all the prophets of Israel includes Yochanan (the Apostle John). It was the Apostle John who served as the Sagan or the Deputy High Priest of the Sanhedrin of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia who wrote the prophetic “twin” book to Book of Daniel, the Sefer Gilyahna called the Book of Revelation. Our guiding principle is to find the Judaic Hebrew pathway of the prophets of old and try to learn what they have to say about the time of the end.
In the first article on BibleSearchers Reflections on the prophecies of Daniel 8, titled, “Daniel, the Palace at Shushan and the Tomb of Daniel” the stage was set as we entered the world of King Belshaz’zar living in Babylon. Daniel, the prime minister emeritus, was living at the winter palace at Shushan. As one world empire went into a precipitous decline at the height of its power, it did so while believing that it was shielded by its invincible and impenetrable walls. Daniel soon learned that the God of Israel, Sovereign Lord of all the earth, was protecting and shielding His own people as one world empire changed to another.
Only five years after this vision at Shushan, a new world empire arose. The winter residential palace of the Babylonian King Nabonidus that Daniel was living in at the time at Shushan was converted into the palace of the Persian pontiff called King Ahasuerus (Artaxerses).
It was here that a great feast was hosted by King Ahasuerus that set the stage for the story of the Jewish orphaned girl named Esther who would become the Queen of Persia and lived at the capital city and the royal citadel at Shushan.
Esther 1:1-4 – “Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty seven provinces from India to Ethiopia), in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel, that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants - the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him – when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.
The first thing we learned was that the only residents that lived in that capital city 2400 years ago that live today along with their culture, religion, history and the concept of the God in which they served were the Jewish people. We also learn that according to the history of the Jews, the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, Darius and Artaxerses are all the same King of the Medes and the Persians as King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.
In the history of the world according to the calendar of the Jews, it would be only another fifteen years later when we see Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the Persian emperor also living at the royal palace of the Persian kings in Shushan. Here he obtained permission from King Artaxerses to return to Judea and repair the walls of Jerusalem. Again we must remind ourselves that according to the history of the Jews, the emperor whom Nehemiah was serving was non other than the husband of Queen Esther, King Ahasuerus.
Nehemiah 2:1 – “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerses (Ahasuerus), when wine was before him that I took the wine and gave it to the king.
“The Kings of Media and Persia” and the Second Persian Sassanid Empire
It is only natural to puzzle with the question, who are the “kings of Media and Persia?” What are their relationships with the time of the end? While we looked backward into the dim and mystic past of mankind, we seek to find that luminous trail of the ancestors of the seventy nations and tongues and peoples that the Jewish sages state that the God of the Creation planted to surround His chosen people.
We first look at the location of the ancient lands of the Medes and the Persians and in unison come to the conclusion that this is the present land of the Nation of Iran. How are the “Medes and the Persians” in the vision of Daniel 8 to be merged into a global force contending for world domination at the final conclusion of the age?
The history of the Persian Empire, according to Classical historians begins about 5000 BCE with what is called the Jiroft Kingdom. With the arrival of the “Aryāna” whom we call today the Aryans, these Proto-Indo-Iranians were recognized as a “noble” race as attested in the Sanskrit and the Persian languages. The linguists of today recognize the Indo-Aryans as the Indic subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch.
It is believed that the Aryans began what was known as the Median Dynasty. As the ancient historian Herodotus (484 – ca. 425 BCE) wrote:
Herodotus - "The Medes had exactly the same equipment as the Persians; and indeed the dress common to both is not so much Persian as Median." (7.62) "These Medes were called anciently by all people Arians; but when Media, the Colchian, came to them from Athens, they changed their name. Such is the account which they themselves give." (“The Medes” History of Herodotus, 7.7)
Through the centuries the Persian culture moved from the Achaemenid Dynasty that built the First Persian Empire. During this short lived empire of about fifty years, according to the Jewish sages, the fate of the Jewish people became entwined with the Persian court when the Jewish Queen Esther married Cyrus (i.e. Darius the Mede, Xerses, Artaxerses or Ahasuerus). It would be their son the half-Jewish Persian emperor, Darius I, who would send his people home in the final decree to the Land of Israel. Is this hard to believe?
May we reconsider the fact that the only people who lived in that empire and brought with them their culture and their history intact from that era to our modern age were the Jewish people? If so, we might want to reconsider that the history of the human race history written by the Catholic monks in the Middle Ages might not be the most historically accurate. For Christian prophetic scholars who believe firmly that the Orthodox Christian Church did “change times and laws” may also want to consider that it was not only the Seventh-day Sabbath that was changed to Sunday worship but the Spring and Fall Festivals of the Lord and also the calendar of the history of mankind.
The conquest of Alexander the Great of the First Persian Empire was soon succeeded by the Parthian Empire and then the Sassanid dynasty of the Persians. The Second Persian Empire of the Sassanids gave way and was conquered by the Islamic conquest. Later a massive invasion entered Persia by the Great Khan Ögedei Khan the Greater Mongolian Empire and nearly destroyed the Khwarezmid Empire of Persia in 1223.
Later the Caliph of Baghdad was starved to death while the population in Baghdad was virtually massacred by Hulagu Khan of the Il-Khanate in Persia in 1258. Later the conquest by Tamerlane after 1370s and finally the rise of Iran’s first Shi’a Islamic state under the Safavid dynasty from 1501 to 1760 moves our history into the final era of this age.
As the 19th century came, so went the land of ancient Persia as it became the focal arena for the rival global powers of Russian and Great Britain. They were the imperial powers supporting the early rise of those dominate global powers that Pope John Paul II saw in 1978. These were the Red Internationale of the Red Leninist Communist countries of Russian and China and the Golden Internationale of the Western Globalists; the Transnationalist and International powers of the new European Union fronted by the military power of the United States.
With arrival of the 20th century, the Iranians once again strove to initiate self-rule with the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905 to 1911. The Qujar Shah and a new constitutional monarchy was started in the late 19th century by Mozaffar-al-Din Shah the Shah of Iran from 1896-1905. This Revolution finally came to an end with the collapse of the Qajar dynasty and the ascension of Reza Shah Pahlavi of the Pahlavi Dynasty to the throne of Iran in 1925.
To see how strong the influence of the ancient Persian empires were, on March 21, 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi requested that all foreign correspondence from diplomats and delegates use the name Iran on their formal communication. Later the Persian scholars made a formal protest of the decree in 1959 and Mohammad Reza Shah made the announcement that all communications could use the words Persia and Iran interchangeably.
With the fall of the pro-Western reign of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the son of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 led to the rise of the final Persian state. The Theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran was now under the control of the Guardian Council of the Shi’ite Ayatollahs. The dream of a greater Shi’ite Islamic Empire had now begun again.
Since the Sassanian period in the Persian Empire, the Iranians have called their country Iran. The meaning of “Iran” is actually “Land of the Aryans.” To the Greeks, the country in which Alexander the Great invaded and conquered the last of the First Persian Empire rulers, Darius II Nothus in 331 BCE, was called “Persis.” Yet to the Romans in their Latin language, it was called Persia. This is the same name we call it today.
The Sassanid Empire or the Second Persian Empire began in 226 CE and lasted until 651 CE. Founded by King Ardashir I after he defeated the last of the Arsacid kings called Artabanus IV of the Parthian Empire, the Second Persian Empire rose on the ashes of the former 400 year old powerful empire of the Parthian kings.
Formerly governed by the elite Greek aristocracy, the culture of the Parthians was inspired more by the Achaemenid dynasty of Cyrus the Great. The Parthian courtiers spoke Persian and used the Pahlavi script in their official documents. Here in the Pahlavi script, the word for “king” was the word, “shah.” Is it no wonder that the modern resurrection of the Persians in the Third Persian Empire, the ruler became the Shah of Iran, called Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of the Pahlavi Dynasty of Iran?
The Parthian kings styled their rule as the “king of kings,” yet it was also of Persian origin. With a literal political application, they did rule over eighteen vassal kings, such as the kingdoms of Characene, Armenia and the city state of Hatra. With a very loose confederation, the local elite ruled but paid tribute to the Parthian kings who honored their own independence. This tribute, along with the tolls from the control of the Silk Trade Road between the Mediterranean Sea and China, the Parthian governed for almost four centuries.
The Sassanid imperial rule on the other hand consolidated their power after the true Oriental potentates rather than patterned after the loose Greek city state confederation. In these lands, the Oriental world influence would always dominate over the Occidental world influence. Here in the Empire of Erānshahr, or the “Dominion of the Iranians,” the imperial rule of the second Persian Empire spread from the heart of their kingdom in modern day Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan westward to the eastern borders of Syria, Turkey, all the way down south through Lebanon, Israel, Jordan to Egypt. The imperial rule then went east through the land of Arabia, the Caucasus, over the northwestern portions of the Indian subcontinent to the border of China in Central Asia.
The cultural influence of the Sassanid dynasty reached an apogee of cultural elegance that was superior to Cyrus the Great’s cultural influence in the days of the Prophets Daniel and Zechariah and the Jewish leaders of Ezra and Nehemiah. This cultural influence was not destroyed when the Islamic conquests of the first Sunni Imam of the rising Islamic empire took over their kingdom.
When the Romans conquered the Grecian Empire, the Greek Hellenistic culture was conquered by the superior military might of the Romans. Yet, the teachers of scholars of Greece were taken to Rome to teach the children of the Roman aristocracy. It was the flourishing Hellenistic culture that overcame and eventually conquered the Roman Empire.
So also the Persian civilization transformed the Roman world not only in Western Europe but eastward into India and China. When the Persians were conquered by their Muslim invaders, the Persian culture was adopted by the early Islamic rulers. The Islamic culture, its architecture and literature was influenced heavily from the Sassanid Persians and spread into the larger world of Islam. Out of the Persian cultural influence, there arose a new Islamic Renaissance.
So again when we look at the tentacles of cultural, religious and political influence of ancient Persia, we find these tentacles in the modern empires of the Red Internationale of the Red Leninist Communist countries of Russia and China. We begin to find a vast web of networks suggesting that influence of ancient Persia upon these two countries is alive and well today.
When the archangel Gabriel speaking with Daniel, the Prime Minister of both Babylon and Persia said, “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” In the style of a true BibleSearcher, we feel obligated to believe the angelic emissary from the God of Israel that this “Persian” power at the time of the end will truly represent influence of the Oriental culture of the ancient Persian Ram. In that final era, the ram will be protected by the two globalist “ram’s horn” powers of Russia and China.
Here began a 425 year imperial reign of the Second Persian Empire until the last Sassanid Shahanshah (“King of Kings”), Yazdegerd III (632-651 CE) was defeated in the decisive Arab victory in 636 at the Battle of al- Qādisiyyah. The year that the young Persian king Yazdegerd III came to power in 632 CE was the same year that Muhammad the Prophet died. Also in that first year, Abu Bakr (632-634 CE), the Companion of Muhammad became the first Arab Sunni Caliph, the Supreme Islamic ruler of the Islamic Caliphate.
Four years later, the second Caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb turned his eyes northward. With the able leadership of one of the Prophets Companions, Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqās, one of the maternal uncles of the Prophet who came from Muhammad’s own Quraysh tribe, suffered a near defeat against the Islamic forces early in the battle against the larger and superior Sassanid imperial forces. The Arab fighters riding their famed Arabian steeds were terrified by the stench of the arrival of the Persian war elephant brigade. The Arab fighters were routed in a confusing melee as they raced across the land in confusion.
With the arrival of the seasoned Arab veterans of the Syrian campaign, the Arabs returned and made a surprising advance now riding into battle on their famous steeds fully clad in the flashing, colorful Arabian native costumes. These “flying” costumed horses frightened the Persian war elephants.
When the lead elephant was slain, the rest turned and trampled the oncoming Persian soldiers advancing from the rear. The Arab continued advancing in their attack throughout the night in what they later called the “Night of Clangour.”
Rostam Farrokhzād, the military general for the Persian king saw his forces on the fourth day come face to face with a blinding sandstorm. The sandstorm was to the rear of the Arabs and the gale force winds assisted the archer division with their flying arrow missiles. The Arabs created division and confusion in the Persian ranks. Later that day, according to the records of Hilāl ibn `Ullafah, General Rostam was captured as he was swimming across a canal. He was beheaded in Arabic fashion and paraded out to the Persian forces. The Persians were routed and fled by the thousands.
The loot that the Arabs gained on this day of fame was recorded in their annals and documented in the book titled, “The Caliphate, Its Rise, Decline and Fall from Original Sources,” with this account.
William Muir LLD, PhD - “The spoil was great beyond all parallel, both in amount and costliness. Each soldier had six thousand pieces, besides the special gifts for veterans and such as showed extraordinary valour. The jewels stripped from Rustem's body were worth 70,000 pieces, although its most costly portion, the tiara, had been swept away. The great banner of the Empire was captured on the field, made of panthers' skins, and so richly garnished with gems as to be valued at 100,000 pieces. Thus did the needy Arabs revel in the treasures of the East, the preciousness of which exceeded their power to comprehend.” (William Muir LLD, PhD, “The Caliphate, Its Rise, Decline, and Fall from Original Sources”, Edinburgh: John Grant 31 George IV Bridge, 1924)
One of the biggest losses of the Persian military was the famed jewel-encrusted royal standard called the Drafsh-e-Kāveyān, the flag of Kāveh. This legendary flag, the “Glorious Flag of Iran,” was reputed to have been made by a panther’s skin by the national hero called Kaveh the ironsmith and decorated with yellow, magenta and scarlet silk string tassels.
In the village of Qādisiyyah, where the Islamic warriors kept their camp prior to the battle in the country of Iraq southwest of al-Hillah and al- Kūfah, the fame of the Arab veterans in that battle were known as the “ahl al-Qādisiyyah.” The Arab troops, moving towards the Persian capital of Ctesiphon (Madā'in in Arabic), laid a siege and sacked the city. They then continued eastward in their drive that eventually destroyed the Persian Empire.
The youthful Persian emperor, Yazdegerd III fled to Media and was hunted from one district to another until he was murdered at Merv in 651 CE. His son, the Crown Prince Pirooz (“the winner”) fled to Tang China, that powerful ally in support of the Persian monarchy.
According to the annals of the fleeing royal family of Prince Pirooz as recorded by his son, Prince Narsieh, they escaped the land of Persia going through the Pamir Mountains in the region today known as Tajikistan. The final route was to the capital of the Tang Dynasty’s Empire, at Chang’an where the modern city of Xi’an is today. Here was the eastern terminus of that celebrated merchant road of the ancient world called the Silk Road.
The city of Xi’an was recognized as the most cosmopolitan city in the world; visitors and merchants from Turkey, Iran, India to Koreans, Japanese included also those Chinese those who walked up from the “Road to Mandalay.” This was the route the Persian royal family traveled to the land of the Pax Sinica.
In the “Old Book of Tang,” Crown Prince Pirooz asked for military assistance from the government of the Tang Dynasty in China (618-907). From the country who was recognized as the protectorate of Kashmir and the master of the Pamirs, he became the governor of the new Governorate of Persia in the area of Zaranj, Afghanistan. Between 670 to 674 CE, the now Governor Pirooz came as the guest of the Tang court and was given the title as the Youwuwei Jiangjun “Martial General and Guard of the Right (Flank).
According to the “New Book of Tang,” Pirooz died soon after and Prince Narsieh, his son held hostage at the Tang court was escorted back in 670 CE by the Deputy Minister for Personnel at the Tang Court, Pei Xingjian, to the land of Persia. They returned as far as Tuhuoluo in Bactria where Prince Narsieh was forced to remain there for twenty years. About 708, he returned to China and there received the honorary title of Zuoweiwei Jiangjun, the “Awe-inspiring General and Guard of the Left (Flank).”
While the main royal family of the Persian royalty was traversing to China and back, the daughter of the Persian king, Yazdgerd III, Shahr Banu (also called Shah-i Zanan, al-Sulafa or Harar) was taken captive by the Arab forces in al-Madā’in and was sent to the city of Medina. There she married the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Husayn ibn Ali, who became the third Shia Imam, the ruler of the Islamic Caliphate. The sister of Shahr Banu was married to the Companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam.
Together the Persian princess, Shahr Banu and Third Shi’a Imam Imam Husayn Ibn Ali gave birth to the Ali Zayn al Abidin that eventually became the fourth Shia Imam. There in the most historic city of the two thousand year old city of Ray in the Province of Tehran, Shahr Banu died soon after giving birth to her son. Her name was memorialized by the name of a nearby mountain and the Shrine of Bibi Shahrbanu.
According to the legends of the Islamic people, the royal family was taken to Medina (Madīnat an-Nabī) by Omar (`Umar ibn al-Khattāb) of the Banu Adi clan of the Quraysh tribe of the Prophet Muhammad. He later became the Second Sunni Caliph (634-644 CE) of Islam. To the Sunni Muslims, Omar was known as `Umar al-Farūq (the Redeemer). It was Omar who escorted the family to what is today the sacred center of Islam, Medinah, a place where only Muslims can enter and return alive today.
The following account of Omar and Shahr Banu is recorded below:
“The following is a recount of Shahr Banu's marriage to (the 3rd Shi’a Imam) Hussein ibn Ali according to Shi'a sources:
The Marriage of Shahr Banu - When returning to Medinah from their decisive victorious battle against Persia, Omar's army brought with them many prisoners. Many of them were women. Among the prisoners captured at Mada'en were members of the Persian royal family, including the princess. People flocked in masses to see the captured daughter of the fallen mythical King of Persia
Omar the caliph soon arrived and demanded the daughter of the King of Persia to be shown to him. The soldiers brought her to Omar. Omar then approached her and reached out to lift her veil to see the princess. The princess pulled herself back and cried out in Persian: ‘The face of Hormoz darkens from indignity!’ ("Vay! Rooye Hormoz siyaah shod!).
Omar, thinking that the princess had offended him, angrily shouted: "This woman insults me!" and decided to kill her. Ali suddenly interrupted him and said: "You do not know her language. She called on her ancestor, and did not insult you.”
Omar then announced that he who paid the most will have her as a slave. But Ali again interrupted and said: ‘You do not have that right!’ The crowd fell silent under Ali's aura. Ali then asked the princess: ‘Do you wish me to find you a husband?’ The princess did not reply. Trying to prevent the auction from taking place, Ali said: ‘Her silence is a sign of approval.’ Facing Omar, Ali continued: ‘Why don't we let HER choose a person from amongst this crowd as a husband, and we will pay for her dowry from the public treasury?’ Omar agreed.
Scanning through the crowd around her, the princess suddenly stopped and froze as her eyes fell on a man amongst the crowd. ‘I have seen this man in a dream before.’ she said. Tracing her look, the entire crowd turned around and looked at Husayn, son of Ali. Ali went up to Husayn and said: ‘Husayn! From this girl, the most noble of humans shall be born.’ (S.H. Nasr and Tabatabaei. “Shi'a Islam”. 1979. SUNY Press)
This is a most fascinating account for its pivotal significance to the geo-political history that reaches to this very day. Within one generation, the princesses of the Persian royalty were married into the family of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad and became the wives or mothers of the future Imams of Islam.
The deity in which the Persian princess appealed when she cried out, “the face of Hormoz” was not the Kingdom of Ormus nor the Island of Hormoz and neither the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. It was a distortion of the Persian diety, “Ohrmuzd” meaning Ahura Mazda.
Ahura Mazda (“Divine Wisdom”) was the transcendental God of Zoroastrianism (Mazdaism) that was the national religion of Persia until the 7th century. According to the philosophies of Zarathustra (Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism, he believed that Ahura Mazda was the Omniscient Creator of the Universe, the Supreme Lord of everything. The supreme appellations that were given to the deity of the Zoroastrians include: The Supreme Universal Lord, the All-pervading, the Source and the Fountain of life, the Brilliant, the Majestic, the Greatest, the Best, the most Beautiful, the Strongest, the most Intellectual, the Highest through Holiness, the Holiest among the heavenly, who created the world, the Changeless, the Mighty, the Just, the Merciful and the most Beneficial.
The question that needs to be asked, where did the Persians receive such an elevated belief in a Supreme Being? Some biblical scholars suggest that the Persians in their state religion Zoroastrianism gave such belief in a Supreme God to the Jewish exiles the Persians inherited from the Babylonian Empire that they had just conquered during the First Persian Empire. Yet this concept suggests that such an elevated idea of a Godhead was in existence prior to the Sassanid or Second Persian Empire.
It also fails to ask the question, did not the Persians receive such an elevated view of God from the Jewish people? Was the Zoroastrian image of God unique to the Persian faith or borrowed from the Jewish people? Consider the fact that the Jewish sages taught that the “love” of the first emperor of Persia, Cyrus the Great was a Jewish maiden that became his queen, Esther. It was also their son, Darius I, the second emperor of Persia who was taught the ways of Torah because he was a Jew raised by his Jewish mother, Queen Esther.
Was not the elevated view of the God of the Hebrews much older, more primitive and purer than the view of the God of the Zoroastrians? We see this similarity to the majesty of the God of Israel seen through the eyes of King David in his Psalms? We also see the elevated and majestic view of the God of Israel as the prophets of Israel and Judah reached their mystical thoughts to the outer reaches of heaven itself? This God of the Hebrews was known even earlier in the elevated image of “The Great I am” during the early dynasties of Egypt whom Moses met at Horeb in Arabia not far from Medinah (Medina) itself.
Throughout history there are pivotal moments in which the great streams of history and culture make a grand change and open a new era of human culture and civilization. One such “moment” was after the fall of Jerusalem when the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar killed all of the royal sons or princes in front of their father King Zedekiah, blinded the king and took him to Babylon.
The royal daughters of Zedekiah, according to the legends of the Celtic people, were taken to Egypt with the Prophet Jeremiah. There the daughter of King Zedekiah, Tamar Tephi, was given in marriage to the son of a famous Scythian warrior, Heremon, who with his father Melesius migrated to Crete, later to the Brigante coast of Spain and then up to the Island of Ireland. There they formed the ancient Irish royal dynasty that carried the Davidian bloodline through the Irish royal lineage to the monarchy of Great Britain today.
So also we see another such “moment” in time after the fall of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Second Dynasty of Persia, when the Crown Prince of Persia escaped to China but the daughter of the last Persian king, Yazdgerd III, Shanu Banu, was married to the son of “Ali”, recognized today to be the First Imam of the Shi’ite faith of Islam. His son, Husayn ibn Ali, was recognized as the third Imam of Shi’a Islam and their son, Ali ibn Husayn the fourth Imam of Shi’a Islam.
The Twelve Shi’te Imams recognized by the Shi’a Twelvers
1. ˤAlī ibn Abī Tālib (600 Mecca - 661 Kufa, Iraq), who was also known as Ali Amir al Mo’mineen.
2. Hassan ibn ˤAlī (625 (Medina - 669 Medina), who was also known as Hasan al Mujtaba.
3. Hussayn ibn ˤAlī (626 - 680 Battle of Karbala), who was also known as Husayn al Shaheed. He married Shanu Banu, the daughter of the last Persian king, Yazdgerd III
4. ˤAlī ibn Hussayn (658 (Medina - 713 Medina), who was also known as Zainul Abidin (Jewel of the Worshippers) and Imam Sajjad (The prostrating Imam) He was the son of the Persian princess Shanu Banu and Hassan ibn ˤAlī
5. Muhammad ibn Ali (676 Medina - 743), who was also known as Muhammad al Baqir (Analyzed knowledge and made manifest its secrets). He was the son of ˤAlī ibn Hussayn and Fatima binte Hassan, the daughter of Hassan ibn ˤAlī, and the grandson of the Persian princess Shanu Banu.
6. Jafar ibn Muhammad (702 (Medina - 765 Medina), who was also known as Jaˤfar as-Sadiq. He was the son of Muhammad ibn Ali and Farwah binte al-Qasim, the great-granddaughter of Abu Bakr, the 1st Caliph of the early Islamic state.
7. Musa ibn Jafar (745 (Medina - 799 Baghdad), who was also known as Musa al-Kazim
8. Ali ibn Musa (765 Medina – 818 Tous, Iran), who was also known as ˤAlī ar-Ridha or Ali Reza
9. Muhammad ibn Ali (810 Medina -835 Baghdad, Iraq), who was also known as Muhammad al Jawad or Muħammad at-Tāqī
10. Ali ibn Muhammad (827 Medina -868 Sammara, Iraq), who was also known as Ali al-Hadi
11. Hasan ibn Ali (846 Sammara – 874 Sammara, Iraq), who was also known as Hasan al-Askari.
12. Muhammad ibn Hasan (868 Sammara (secret) – Reputed to have disappeared (occulted) in Sammara at the age of five as he led his father’s funeral prayer), He was also known as Muhammad al-Mahdi that is expected by the Shi’a Muslims to be the future Messiah al-Mahdi who will precede the Messiah Isa ibn Miriam (Jesus son of Mary)
When we look at the twelve Imams of the Shi’a Immanate, we learn that the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, Fatima Zahra was from his first wife Khadiija. She was born in Mecca around 614 from the Shi’a traditions or 606 from the Sunni traditions and was married to the cousin of the Prophet, Ali Ibn Abi Talib. He is now recognized as the First Imam of Caliphate of the Shi’ite Muslims.
Ali’s son, Hussayn ibn Alī, was born to Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. He in turn became the husband of the eldest daughter, Shahr Banu, of the last of the kings of the Second Persian Empire.
The controversy between the Sunni and the Shi’a Muslim about the first three caliphs of Islam was over whether they are legitimate Imams or Caliphs. According to the Shi’as, the Imams had to be a member of the family of the Prophet. According to the Sunni Muslims, the Imams were one of the Prophet’s close “Companions”.
As such the first three Caliphs of Islam are in dispute as they were nominated from the companions and confidants of the Prophet. According to the Shi’ites, Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the first Caliph, but is stated to be the fourth Caliph after the first three Sunni Imams starting with Abu Bakr as the first Sunni Caliph or Imam of the Muslims.
Fatima Zahra was also the mother of Hasan Ibn Ali the second Shi’a Imam and Husayn ibn Ali, the third Shi’a Imam. This would have made Fatima Zahra the mother-in-law to the Persian princess Shahr Banu whom she never knew as Fatima died in 632 soon after her father, Muhammad’s death.
The Daughters of King Yazdgerd III of the Sassanid Persian Empire
and the Jewish Exilarchs in Baghdad
And so, the eldest princess of Persia became the wife of the third Imam, Hussayn Ibn Ali and the mother of the fourth Imam, Ali Ibn Hussayn. She claims as her descendants all the rest of the revered Imams of the Twelve Shi’ite Imams of the Shi’a Immanate.
Yet that is not all, according to the Heritage Society of the Ismaili Islamic sect in an article on the life and times of the fourth Imam Alī ibn Hussayn titled, “Zayn al-Abidin (680-713)”, we read the following:
Ismaili Web – “Tradition has it that during the caliphate of Ali bin Abu Talib, his governor at Fars, Hurais bin Jabir had sent two daughters of Yazdigard as captives to Medina, one of whom was married to Imam Hussain, called Shahr Banu, and other to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr.”
So of two daughters of the Persian ruler during the rule of first Shi’a Imam of Islam, one was married to one of his sons, Imam Hussain and the other daughter was married to the first Sunni Caliph of Islam, Muhammad bin Abu Bakr.
Yet the story does not end here. Contrary to the stories of the radicalization of the relationship between the Jews and the Arabs after the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad, this tense relationship was not necessarily in existence prior to the era of the rise of the Islamic Empire.
According to the Genealogies of the Davidian Jewish Exilarchs by the Davidian genealogist, David Hughes, we find with these most fascinating articles and genealogical lists one called the “Davidic Dynasty.” In this genealogy, we find all the “kings and princes of the Jews” that stayed to live in Baghdad, Iraq after the return of the Jewish exiles with Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubabbel.
The Jewish Baghdad ruler called Bostonai (Bustanai) was recognized as the first Exilarch after the Islam-Arabic conquest of 642 CE. He was married first to an Arabic- Jewish princess called Adoa, the daughter of Quraysh chief Assad Ibn Shaim of the family of the Prophet Muhammad and his wife, Zahna, the daughter of the 34th Exilarch mar-Zutra III.
Yet Bostonai’s second wife was Dara (-Izdadwar) who was called Izdundad. She was a Persian princess and the daughter of King Yazdegerd III, the last Sassanian Shah of the Second Persian Empire. As written by David Hughes:
David Hughes, Davidic Genealogist - “The Jewish prince Bostonai, who had been overlooked in the succession by the exilarch's court [due to his young age], was appointed by the Arabic Caliph as the new exilarch, in 642, thus, founding of a new [3rd] dynasty of exilarchs, the Bostonaite Line. The interruption in the succession equates to a change in the direction of the dynasty's line of succession, from one descent-line to another.
The House of Bostonai developed into two great branches which were (a) his descendants by his 1st wife, Adoa, an Arabic-Jewish princess, daughter of Assad Ibn Hashim (d582), a Quraysh sheik, and Zahna, daughter of the 34th Exilarch Mar-Zutra III; and (b) his descendants by his 2nd wife, Dara[-Izdadwar], a Persian princess, daughter of Yazdegerd III, Persian-Shah, who was considered by the Jews to have been a "foreign wife".
The dynasty's main-line descended from Baradai [= Bar-Adoi], the son of Bostonai by his 1st wife; its offshoots were:
(a) the Karaite Line [series of anti-exilarchs who reigned in opposition to the orthodox-line];
(b) the Hananiahite Line; &
(c) the Meirite ["A"] Line.
Descent-lines from his 2nd ["foreign"] wife were considered secondary-lines [for it is absolutely untrue that "the birthright" passed to the offspring of Bostanai and his second wife as the "Bahai' Faith" pretends, when history clearly records that "the birthright" passed to the offspring of his first wife.
The son and descendants of Bostanai and his 1st wife were his successors in the Jewish exilarchate, that is, they were the medieval Jewish exilarchs; while the three sons of Bostanai and his 2nd wife founded regional-dynasties in three Iranian provinces, which were
(a) Tabaristan [the Buwayhids, that is, the Shaharite Line];
(b) Gilan [the Dabwaihides]; &
(c) Mazandaran [Baduspanides].”
The City of Arabs and Jews - Yathrib (Madinah) in Arabia – 622 CE
The city of Madinah (Medina) is located in the region of Hejaz in western Saudi Arabia with almost a million populations today. Originally known as Yathrib, it was later changed to Madīnat an-Nabī, the "city of the prophet" and Al Madīnah al Munawwarah ("the enlightened city" or "the radiant city"). Today it is the second holiest city of Islam, next to Mecca (Makkah).
Here in this city is the shrine of the Prophet Muhammad called Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet). It was the second mosque built in Medina. Next to the site of Muhammad’s home the Qubbat an-Nabi, Prophet's Green Dome was built.
Here also in this same city, the first Islamic mosque ever to be built, the Masjid Quba (Quba Mosque) just built outside of the city. According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad on his Journey (hijrah) to the city of Mecca (Makkah) he positioned the first stones and the mosque was then completed by his Companions. Here the Prophet spent about 20 nights in prayer in this mosque while he was waiting for the Imam Ali, whose residence was just behind the mosque.
Using 636 CE and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah between the Sassanid Empire and the new Islamic power, as our bench mark in time, we return to the land of Arabia and the town of Yathrib (pre-Islamic Medina). The city was an active trading center in Arabian desert region. Its citizens were mostly Arab pagans and Jewish merchants, the former who were members of two Arab tribes, the Aus (Aws) and the Khazraij (Khazraj). These were mostly pagans who would travel to Mecca in pilgrimages to visit the shrines of the chief goddess of Mecca and Medina, Manāt, who was one of the three “daughters of god” and the goddess of fate. (Qur’an, Sura 53:20)
Madinah (Medina) was also a large center for wealthy Arab Jews who worked and lived with their fellow Arabs and were distinguished only by the practice of religious faith and the God in which they served. There were three Jewish tribes, the Banu Qainuka’a (Qaynuqa), the Banu Nadhir and the Banu Qurayza. Two of these Jewish tribes the Banu Nadhir and the Banu Qainuka’a were political allies with the Arab tribe called the Aws. The Banu Qaynuqa was an ally with the rival Arab tribe called the Khazraj tribal faction.
In 622 CE, the self-styled prophet in Mecca was being persecuted so the Prophet Muhammad decided to move to Medinah in what is now called the “Hijra migration.” There in Yathrib, Muhammad drafted the Madinah (Medina Charter) and the city became known as the al’Madinah al-Nabi (the city of the Messenger.) The Medina Charter was passed around and eventually agreed to, if with forced consent, by all the Arab and Jewish tribes.
In one of the Muslim hadiths (writings on the Prophet) called the Hadith Bukhari, we read:
Hadith Bukhari - “Muhammad urged all people in the city to follow the new religion of Islam, and the Medina Charter refers to Muhammad as a prophet of God. However, he had trouble convincing the majority of the Jewish population (which was actually quite large) and the Christian population that Islam was the true version of Judaism or the true religion of Jesus.”
Three years later, 625 CE, the tensions were rising between the Jewish and the Muslims within the city. Most of these tensions were over the new Medina Charter designed by the Prophet himself. Now came the time to enforce the Charter in the Arabian public domain.
The Jewish Banu Nadir tribe was the first to be expelled from Medina in 625 after what the Islamic hadiths claim were a violation of the treaty. Then the Jewish Banu Qaynuqa tribe was expelled after a quarrel in which an insult to a Muslim woman’s honor precipitated a murder.
In 627 CE, an army from Mecca led by Abu Sufyan arrived in opposition to the Prophet Muhammad to attack the city of Medina. Prior to this invasion, Abu Sufyan of Mecca sought the alliance of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe for their assistance in letting them into the town or attacking the Muslims from behind the lines.
The Arab historian Ibn Ishaq claims that the Jewish chief, Ka’b ibn Asad of the Banu Qurayza was not willing initially to join alliance with the Meccan military forces. He was persuaded by Huyavv, the Jewish chief of the exiled Banu al-Nadir tribe. According to the Muslim hadith called the Sahih Bukhari, the Jewish Banu Qurayza had broken the Medina Charter once before when they allied themselves with the Jewish Banu al-Nadir tribe yet did not suffer any losses and were allowed to remain in the city.
The historical evidence shows that the Mecca forces of Abu Sufyan did arrive and laid siege to the city. Not able to gain access into the walled city, the army from Mecca retreated back to Mecca and abandoned their allies to their fate. That same day, the Prophet Muhammad moved his troops to the citadel of the Jewish Banu Qurayza in what was called the Battle of Trench. As stated in the histories:
Wikipedia on the Banu Qurayza – “The very day of the victory, Muhammad led the Muslim troops towards the Banu Qurayza's neighborhood. As the Banu Qurayza morale waned (according to Ibn Ishaq), their chief made a speech to them, suggesting three alternative ways out of their predicament: embrace Islam; kill their own children and women, then rush out for a "kamikaze" charge to either win or die; or make a surprise attack on Saturday (the Sabbath, when by mutual understanding no fighting would take place). But it seems that none of these alternatives were accepted. After a siege that lasted several weeks, the Banu Qurayza surrendered unconditionally.”
From all of the hadiths (sayings of Muhammad), it appears that it was the intent of the Prophet to eliminate the Jewish presence in Medina. The Arab Muslim Aws pled for the Jewish people so the Prophet claimed that Sa’d ibn Mu’adh would be their judge as he had prior good relationships with this Jewish tribe.
According to Sa’d’s ruling, all the adult males of the Banu Qurayza would be killed. This according to the Muslim hadiths did not have universal approval and the chiefs of the other tribes urged clemency, yet the Prophet refused. The Prophet also approved the ruling calling it the judgment of God. So in the Islamic history, the blame for the ruling to kill the Jews was not the Prophet but his appointed judge, Sa’d ibn Mu’adh.
The intent of the Prophet was not one of conciliatory grace, according to Ibn Ishaq:
Ibn Ishaq – “Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.”
As this history goes, modern scholars are quite divided over. Understanding that there is no other history except from Muslim sources and these were written a century and a half later. Most of the information is from one source only, the history by Ibn Ishaq. A Christian scholarly site has studied these ancient sources in depth. In these site called Answering Islam.org, the article was posted titled “The Bani Quraytha Jews – Traitors or Betrayed?” Concerning the relationship between Muhammad the Prophet and the Jews they write:
Islam – “When Mohammed first
entered Yathrib (Al-Madina Al-Munawwarah), he was counting on the support
of its people. One particular ethnic group he thought would give more
authority to his prophethood were the Jews because they had the Torah
and all the previous Prophets were Jewish… At first, Mohammed was trying
to befriend the Jews and get them on his side. He insisted that the People
of the Book (Jews and Christians) worship the same God [Quran Surah 29:46].
He said that the same God sent down the Torah [Quran Surah 5:48].
He ordered the Muslims to fast Aashoora' or the Passover [Saheeh Bukhari - 2004].
Even the Qibla (the direction the Muslims face in prayer) was towards
Jerusalem - the same direction the Jews faced in prayer [Saheeh Bukhari - 41].
But no matter how hard Mohammed tried to convince them that he is a prophet he just couldn't. Once he even barged into a Jewish Synagogue in Yathrib (Al-Madina Al-Munawwarah) and said that if only twelve Jews would believe in him then Allah would spare them his wrath [Musnad Ahmad - 23464]. When he realized that the Jews wouldn't believe in him, and that their unbelief would turn against him, because they have the Torah which has the criteria for any prophet, he realized that they should be eliminated. So at first he switched the Qibla (the direction the Muslims face in prayer) from Jerusalem to Mecca [Quran Surah 2:144 and Saheeh Bukhari - 41]. Then warned them; they either become Muslims and be safe, or sell their possessions and leave their land [Saheeh Muslim - 1765 & 1767 and Sunan Abi Dawood - 3003].
Mohammed marched towards the Jews in order to either exile them or make a treaty with them. The Bani Al-Nadheer Jews refused to make a treaty with Mohammed so they fought against him, lost, and subsequently were exiled. The Bani Quraytha Jews saw the fate of their Bani Al-Nadheer brethren so they had no choice but to make a peace treaty with him. [Saheeh Muslim - 1766 and Sunan Abi Dawood - 3004]….
Ghazwat Al-Khandaq (The Battle of the Trench or Ditch) came. The Pagan Arab tribes retreated and Mohammed was ready for battle. Mohammed went to the Bani Quraytha Jews and eliminated them because it was claimed that they betrayed the Muslims and renounced the treaty, but did they?
Relooking over the Battle of the Trench (Ditch) a new version begins to unfold:
Islam – “Quraysh and Ghatfan,
encouraged by the exiled Bani Al-Nadheer Jews, wanted to eliminate
Mohammed once and for all. They gathered up a great army and put Yathrib
under siege [Saheeh Bukhari - 4103].
Mohammed, based on a suggestion by Salman Al-Farisi, dug a trench
around Yathrib [Saheeh Bukhari - 2837],
except for the Bani Quraytha side that is, because they had great
fortresses and it would be practically impossible for the Pagan Arabs to
get through their fortresses unless Bani Quraytha allowed it. Now
since Mohammed and Bani Quraytha had a treaty, Mohammed had nothing
to fear [Saheeh Muslim - 1766 and Sunan Abi Dawood - 3004].
Thus all was set.
Now the siege has started, Mohammed was running low on food and resources [Saheeh Bukhari - 4101 and Musnad Ahmad - 13808], his companions were terrified [Saheeh Bukhari - 4103 and Musnad Ahmad - 10613], and above all that it was rumored that Bani Quraytha were going to break the treaty between them and Mohammed and let the Pagan Arabs come through their side. But after a while, a sandstorm hit the armies of the Pagan Arabs, and since Bani Quraytha refused to let them in through their fortresses, the armies had no choice but to retreat [Musnad Ahmad - 22823].
Mohammed on the other hand was ready for battle, he had a full army equipped and eager to fight in the name of Allah. The rumors that Bani Quraytha wanted to betray him were his only excuse, that and an order sent from Allah via Jibreel (Gabriel). He went to them; put them under siege for 14 days. Finally they surrendered. So Mohammed killed all their men, enslaved their women and children [Saheeh Muslim - 1769]. Now there was one less Jewish tribe to worry about.”
With the Jewish presence in Medina eliminated, the future of the Islamic surge was firmly on its own track and future destiny. The future jihad would be not only to the infidels the Christians but to the infidels the Jews.
Between the years of 622 to 632, Medinah was the base from which the Prophet Muhammad went to war and was also besieged. From here he marched upon the city of Mecca, this time conquered it without a fight, becoming Mecca’s new ruler. It remained during the life of the Prophet the most important city and by rights of its location and use the capital of the first Caliphate.
The first four Caliphs are known today as the “Rightly Guided Caliphs.” They include the Sunni Caliphs who accept all four Imams.
The Sunni’s regard Abu Bakr as a lieutenant who the Prophet trusted. He placed him high in the Muhammad’s council. During Muhammad’s final illness, Abu Bakr led the prayer according to the instructions of Muhammad. Many saw this as the sign that the Prophet was placed the mantle of authority upon Abu Bakr.
The Shi’as on the other hand felt that Abu Bakr instead of being devout, wise, humble and trusting was in fact a schemer that established a coup and usurped the title as a dynastic succession to Muhammad’s son-in-law, Ali. They establish the fact that both Abu Bakr and Umar (Omar) persecuted Ali with his family and followers and as such were responsible for the death of the daughter of Muhammad and the wife of Ali, Fatima Zahra and Al Muhsin, her unborn child.
The Sunnis accept Omar as the second Caliph because he was a decisive leader and a strict militant, a noted jurist, a bold statesman yet sometimes harsh on religious ideology and Sharia law. At times when the Prophet wanted to be merciful to those recognized as religious and political enemies, he opposed the Prophet. Yet the Prophet reputedly stated that “if there was ever a person with prophet-like qualities, it was Umar. Omar refused to allow his family to become the dynastic Islamic successors.
The Shi’as on the other hand criticizes him harshly for being a usurper. He did not respect the Prophet’s decisions, was a coward in battle and harsh to his daughter for her behavior to the Prophet. As a jurist, Omar “ruled capriciously as caliph, at times giving legal rulings which contradicted the Qur’an and Sunnah (way of the Prophet).
It was Omar who the Shi’as believed was the most responsible for the death of Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet. She died of complications when she was crushed behind a door and her unborn child miscarried when Omar’s lieutenants tried to capture Ali.
Uthman was a member of the leading Meccan family called the Ummaya and part of the patrician class of Arabs. Under their influence, he soon gave the high government offices to either his family or members of the elite aristocracy of Mecca. The nepotism and favoritism cause significant resentment by the military until he was assassinated by those he chose to eliminate.
The Shi’as regard Uthman also as a usurper and enemy of Ali and that he was truly not the son-in-law of Muhammad as he married the Prophet’s two step daughters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad. The biggest neglect as charged was turning over the government to the Ummayads who were former enemies of Muhammad.
Ali was accepted by the Shi’a Muslims as the First Imam or Rightful Caliphs that were descendants of the family of the Prophet Muhammad. He was the cousin to Muhammad who married the Prophets daughter, Fatima Zahra and so became the Prophet’s son-in-law.
According to the Shi’as, the first Caliph or Imam began with the fourth Caliph who was recognized as the First Shi’ite Imam. By 661 CE, the Islamic Empire ranged from Tripoli on the Northern Mediterranean border of Africa eastward to include the former Empire of the Sassanids. The main centers of learning were at Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad.
After the death of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the Fourth Imam, the era of the “Rightly Guided Caliphs” accepted by the Sunni Muslims ended. The era of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib was the beginning as the First Imam that was appointed by the Prophet Muhammed and thereby the first caliph that was rightfully appointed since he was of the family of the Prophet, being his cousin and his son-in-law after marrying Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima Zahra. With the death of ‘Alī, the fourth righteous caliph and first Shi’ite Imam, the capital was moved from Medina to Damascus by the fifth Muslim caliph, Muˤāwiyya ibn Abī-Sufyān
The Islamic Age of the Caliphates can now be divided into three primary eras:
The Umayyads were descendants of the Fifth Caliph Muawiya I who assassinated ‘Alī (Ali) ibn Abī Ṭālib, the Fourth Caliph. As we have seen, it was Uthman who installed the patrician class especially from his family, the Umayyah family, who at one time were bitter opponents of the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca. Since Uthman was murdered by his own military officers and left no heir, it was to be another Ummayad, Muawiya I who would be credited with establishing the Ummayad Dynasty. Both the family of Muhammad and the Umayyads carried a common ancestor, Abd-Munaf.
à Abd-Munaf à Hashim à Abdul Muttalib à Abdullah à Prophet Muhammad
Quraish Tribe à
à Abd-Munaf à Abd-Shams à Umayyah
The Shi’as claim that Ummayad was not the real child of Abd-Shams. Abd-Shams, being childless saw a child living in a miserable life when traveling to Rome and chose to adopt this child and take him back to Arabia. As such the genetic legacy of the Ummayads and their dynasty was in question. Even the family of the Prophet Muhammad was bitterly opposed to him at first especially from the Abbasid lineage from the House of Hashim.
The finger of the Lord produced a division within the Islamic people. This division was political between the Abbasids and the Ummayads as they became the biggest rivals for political dominance in the Muslim world.
The religious world of the Islamic faith was politically for religious domination of the Islamic world between two main religious sects of Islam; the Sunnis and the Shi’as. This religious division, as we have already studied in depth, was between how to select the rulers of the religious world of the Islamic people; between the descendents from the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, the Sunnis, or the descendants from the family of the Prophet Muhammad called the Shi’as.
The elements of power, greed and control was early inserted into the Islamic people even before they could establish the teachings of the Prophet that would later be written into their holy book called the Qur’an. The succession of ecclesiastical control was more important than the faithful following of the primitive or early religious teachings of their “master” called the “Prophet”.
Earlier, the religious world of the Christians was politically divided between the disciples or students of the Companions (Apostles) of the Jewish messiah Jesus the Nazarene (Nazareth) and the dynastic family of Jesus through James the Just, the half-brother of Jesus, Simeon ben Cleopas, the half-brother and cousin of Jesus of the House of Joseph.
The first lineage of the succession of the leadership of the People or the Sect of the followers of the Jewish messiah, Jesus came in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem when they elected the first president or Nasi of the Sanhedrin of the Jewish Nazarenes from the dynastic family of Jesus, the brother of Jesus, James the Just.
Later the Roman Christian Church would choose their religious leaders, now called bishops, by what we call the Apostolic Succession of the Roman Catholic Christian Church or from the friends and Companions of Jesus who personally knew Him while he was alive. They were called the Apostles. So today, the Apostolic Succession of the Roman Catholic Church comes from whom they believe to be the first bishop of Rome, the Apostle Peter.
The fact that the first bishop of Rome was the British Silurian prince, Linus, the son of Caradactus, the Pendragon of Britain and the most feared enemy of Rome in the first century CE is only a suppressed and forgotten fact of Roman Christian religious historical revisionism. That Linus was a gentile convert of Celtic Britain to the Jewish messiah by Joseph of Arimathea, the “rich man of Jerusalem” who gave his new family tomb to his nephew, Yahshua ben Yosef, and later became the Apostle to the British is only another forgotten and suppressed historical fact of Roman Christian historical revisionism.
This all came about in the power battles to claim the right to be the ascendant and leading church of the Christians between the Christian Churches of Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus, Antioch and the Culdee Church in Britain after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the exile of the Desponai, the family leadership of the “Jerusalem Church of Acts” (Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia) to the wilderness of Perea to escape the impending destruction of the Roman legions under the Roman Generals, Vespacion and Titus.
The dynastic family of the House of Joseph would later be called the Desponai. They were hunted and persecuted by the Roman Emperors as potential messianic rivals to the now deified Roman Caesar of the “Emperor Cult” of Rome. They also were hunted and persecuted by the disciples of the Apostle Peter, the “Companion of Jesus” throughout the centuries.
Even though the Abbasids were a closer family to the Shi’as than the Ummayads, both of these families persecuted the Shi’a sect of Muslims throughout the Middle East except as we shall soon see, the land of ancient Persia, now the land of Iran. It appears that the land of the ancient Persians would become the homeland that would over the centuries preserve the less powerful but more messianic Islamic sect, the Shi’ite faith of the Muslims from the more politically powerful Islamic sect of the Sunnis.
With the entry of the Ummayads, the religious fervor with replaced with diplomatic and management skills of the Sunni Umayyads. The first family dynasty was the Dynasty of the Sufyanids that was started with Muawiya I, the fifth Imam who was part of the assassination plot against the 4th Imam, Ali. This dynasty lasted until 661 to 683 CE when the last of the Sufyanids died with not heir, Yazid. The Dynasty of the Marwanids then took over and ruled from 684-750 CE.
Of even more interest, the Umayyad Caliphs all “rested” or held their court in the city of Damascus, the city that the God of Israel plans to claims as His Zion and resting place.
Umayyad Caliphs at Damasus
Muawiyah I ibn Abi Sufyan, 661–680
Yazid I ibn Muawiyah, 680–683
Muawiya II ibn Yazid, 683–684
Marwan I ibn Hakam, 684–685
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, 685–705
al-Walid I ibn Abd al-Malik, 705–715
Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik, 715–717
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, 717–720
Yazid II ibn Abd al-Malik, 720–724
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, 724–743
al-Walid II ibn Yazid II, 743–744
Yazid III ibn al-Walid, 744
Ibrahim ibn al-Walid, 744
When Muawiyah I, the Fifth Caliph came to power as the Caliph of all Muslim lands, the Umayyad Dynasty and the capital of the caliphate was moved to Damascus, Syria. Most westerners do not associate Damascus with the power center of the Sunni Muslim world, but it truly was. This beautiful city set under the spires of Mount Hermon became the international home of Islamic power. And powerful Islamic religious center it truly was.
Once the tribal wars were settled, at least in part, they turned their eyes to a global jihad, a war not seen since the lightning streak of Alexander the Great as he “flew” across the Middle East towards India. The Muslim armies, once they began to move or migrate, found few rivals for their religious fury and might.
Through the late 600s they pushed across Northern Africa and Iran. When it was over, they set their empire from the setting sun on the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula at the base of the Pyrennes Mountains in Northern Spain to the Hindu Kush in Northern Pakistan in the east. As they moved, the diversity of the peoples that they now had under their control became the source of their strength and the foundation for their future demise.
As with their global expansion, the seeds for their destruction were already planted. Even though the Islamic jihad (“holy war”) was the philosophical foundation for their imperial expansion, the reality to the individual Arab, was a pursuit of wealth that could be gleaned from the booty of the dispossessed.
As the people of other lands were incorporated by conversion into Islam, the Arab armies then used them as their “holy warriors.” There was one problem, Islamic law, in spite of conversion, did not give equality to the new converts as it did to the Arabs. Even though the conquered did convert to Islam, they also still had to pay the Jizya, that was a per capita tax that was imposed on non-Muslim adult males, known as the dhimmis.
The Dhimmi was “free” non-Muslim citizen in a state that is governed by the Islamic Sharia law. The “dhimma” is an Islamic pact that is contracted between non-Muslims and the Muslim government in which they are living. Initially this pact was only between the “People of the Book” in reference to Jews and Christians. Later this included Zoroastrians, Mandeans and Hindus. From the Atlantic to India, large portions of the population were dhimmi citizens that were taxes yet the full privileges of the national law did not apply to them.
At times, especially in Northern Africa, India and in Andalusia Spain, the conversion to Islam was forced. What is interesting is that whenever the Sunni are the dominate power, the Shi’a were persecuted and forced to convert to Sunni Islam. When the Shi’as were in power the reversed privilege existed. In other words, they wanted purity with no divergence even within their own Islamic faith. The dhimmis were allowed to “practice their religion” with a certain amount of “communal autonomy” in which their personal safety and property were guaranteed under two conditions; a tax or tribute to Muslims and accepting the supremacy of Islam.
Naturally a dhimmi was a subjected person. The Muslims knew this and the Islamic attitude as a dominate group only enhanced their contempt for the non-Muslim who still chose to “remain in their disbelief” while the opportunity to accept the “truth” was given to them. As such prejudices and humiliations were inevitable. Yet, in relationship to the Medieval times, the dhimmi in the Muslim world according to the Near Eastern historian, Bernard Lewis, “was very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe.”
The discontent of autonomy with subtle religious suppression eventually led to a backlash and uprisings. As we study this strange event from a world in which most western nations allow full autonomy of religious expression, it gives us pause. Even today, we have the oppressed and the oppressors, the haves and the have nots, the rich and the poor. With the Golden Internationale, the western globalists seeking to maneuver the whole planet towards a global economy under democratic freedom, we have to consider that economic suppression, national or ethnic suppression is not less virulent than religious suppression.
Soon the Umayyads were hated in many sectors of their dominions. They were eventually defeated in the east by the Abbasid dynasty at the Battle of the Zab in 750. Most of the Umayyad royal family and followers were massacred from the Caliphate of Damascus. The fatal flaw in the Umayyad dynanstic experience was that the inheritance of the kingdom was only shared with the sons of House of Muawiyah to the exclusion of the other Arab tribes. It set a precedent in national relations that the leaders, the Shah, Caliph or President were not elected but earned their rights to own land by conquering the land. That fact alone is forbidden in the Holy Qur’an and Shara Law.
The last remaining Umayyad prince, Abd-ar-Rahman I escaped to Spain and there the al-Andalus Islamic Sunni dynastic nation in Andalusia Spain prospered until the 1490s.
History of the Middle East from Wikipedia
Go to Part Two of the Influence of the Persian Ram –
Daniel 8 – The Epic War of Civilizations between the Golden Internationale and the Red Internationale
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Message from BibleSearchers
BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end. It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”. Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth. In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest. Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace. Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth. The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel. In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information. We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.
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