Despite the betrayal

“Al-Mushaqar” is the second victory of the Arabs that humiliated the Persians

There are endless stories and experiences in the history of the Arabs and Persians. Although the balance of power was not equal and the situation was in favor of the Persians, the Arabs took advantage of every opportunity they had to take revenge. There were days and battles, most of which revolved around the strong desire of the Persians to subjugate, occupy, and humiliate the Arabs. It is an inferiority complex that has been going on since the famous battle of the “slam” between the Arabs and the Persians, which is called Al-Mushaqar Day. On this day, a major battle took place until it became one of the most famous days of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic era.

At the decisive time, the Arabs repeated their unity on the day of the “slam” as they did on the day of Dhi Qar.

Despite the weak capabilities of the Bedouin man, the son of the Arabian Peninsula, he did not give in to any attempt to occupy. His pride of himself, his origins and his land was beyond description. Describing the Arab who was overwhelmed by the idea of victory over his circumstances and not giving up, the researcher “Amal Kabir” affirms: “The days of the Arabs have turned into legendary epics”.

What happened in Al-Mushaqar Palace is one of those days immortalized in the memory of the Arabs and a true epic. The palace is one of the most famous buildings of the pre-Islamic era and is the most famous fort in Hajr. The fort is located in the eastern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Al-Ahsa, to the east of the city of Al-Hofuf, in a village known as the village of Al-Qarah. The fort was built on top of Al-Mushaqar hill, known to the people of the region as Ras Al-Qarah, and it contains Hajr spring, now known as Al-Khasif spring. There are no visible traces of the fort as it disappeared over time, but there are evidences and indications of its existence on which the researcher Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Janbi based his theory of locating Al-Mushaqar. The fort was called Al-Mushaqar because it was painted with red sand, a type of red sand known for its hardness and strength. Historians differed about who built the wonderful red fort, but there are narrations that indicate who built the palace and the fort revolving around Banu Abd Al-Qays, but their poems indicate that they came to the area after the construction of Al-Mushaqar. Some of them also said that it is Kinda tribe, and it was said that it is Tasm tribe. The last saying is the most likely one for the presence of historical evidence, including what was recorded by Ibn Salam that Tasm tribe inhabited before Banu Abd Al-Qays and Kinda, and it was the one that built this building and was building great palaces.

About the events of Al-Mushaqar day, and it was due to the road of the caravans coming from Persia passing through the Arabian Peninsula, where Khosrau had control over the Al-Mushaqar market, and he had sent camels to his deputy in Yemen, as the narrations say. The caravans of Khosrau were protected by the fighters from Al-Mada’in until they reached Al-Nu’man Ibn Al-Mundhir in Al-Hira. Al-Nu’man used to protect them from Banu Rabi’ah until they reached Houza Ibn Ali Al-Hanafi at Al-Yamamah, so he would protect them until they went out of the land of Banu Hanifa, then they reached Banu Tamim, and they used to receive a reward, so they would proceed with them to Yemen, and they were handed over to the deputies of Khosrau in Yemen.

In a research published by ASharq Al-Awsat newspaper, it was narrated that Dr. Afif Abdulrahman said in his book “Poetry and the Days of the Arabs in the Pre-Islamic Era”: “Al-Mushaqar day, which is also known as the day of the slam, was between Tamim and the Persian deputy in Yemen. Bazan, the deputy of Khosrau in Yemen, sent a caravan carrying clothes and musk to Khosrau, but Banu Hanzalah Ibn Yarbou’a intercepted the caravan and killed its guards in a place called Haradh”.

After the defeat that Banu Tamim inflicted on the Persian caravan, the Arabs who benefited from the protection of the caravans went to the Persian followers that were plundered and released by Banu Tamim. They helped them and gave them clothes. After that, some of those Arabs went to Khosrau and agreed with him to fight Tamim. However, those Arabs warned Khosrau that this land is stronger than his followers and soldiers, and he would not be able to conquer it. They suggested preventing Al-Mira from Tamim until their condition worsens.

According to the plan that some Arabs set for Khosrau, when Tamim’s condition worsens, Khosrau sends his soldiers to the Al-Mushaqar market, and thus he can take revenge and slaughter everyone who comes from Banu Tamim to the market. Khosrau did what the Arab allies advised him to do, and forbade Al-Mira for a year, then he sent to them a thousand of his soldiers led by a man called Al-Mukaa’br. They walked until they reached Al-Mushaqar and set up a market for Tamim tribe to come and buy their needs from the market.

Tamim was betrayed by the Persians and their allies, and Khosrau took revenge on them after the gate of the fort was closed after groups of shoppers entered through Al-Mushaqar door. They made them enter individually so that the man would be taken to the Persian leader, Al-Mukaa’br, and his neck would be struck after he had been stripped of his weapon before he entered.

During that, a man from Banu Tamim named Al-Khaybri Ibn Ubadah noticed his people entering and not leaving. He said: “O people, where is your intelligence? What happens after a weapon is stripped is killing”. He took a sword and struck a chain that was at the door of Al-Mushaqar, cutting it off and cutting off the hand of a man who was standing next to it. The door opened and they found people being killed. Banu Tamim entered the fort, and a battle took place in which the Persians were defeated.

Tamim did not fight the Persians alone, but the Arabs who came to buy from the market participated too. They fought with Tamim until they defeated the Persians and their Arab allies. Therefore, it is considered one of the hardest days for the Arabs in the pre-Islamic era.

  1. Ibrahim Shams Al-Din, All the Days of the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times and in Islam (Beirut: Baydoun Publications, 2002).
  2. Hussein Mujib Al-Masri, Relationships between Arabs, Persians and Turks (Cairo: Al-Dar-Althakafia Publishing, 2001).
  3. Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Janbi, Hajar and its Three townships (Beirut: Dar Al-Mahaja Al-Bayda, 2004).
  4. Ibn Abd Rabbo Al-Andalusi, Al-Iqd Al-Farid, investigated by: Muhammad Al-Arian, 2nd Edition (Cairo: Al-Istiqama Press, 1953).
  5. Afif Abdulrahman, Poetry and the Days of the Arabs in the Pre-Islamic Era (Hail: Dar Al-Andalus, 1984).
  6. ASharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Al-Mushaqar, a strange-shaped hill inhabited by the giants and located in the middle of Al-Ahsa Mountain (Al-Qarah Mountain), Issue. 9371 (2004).