The Battle of Dhi Qar and Pavlov's Theory

If we go back to the roots of the Arab-Persian relations, we will find that the Persians looked at the Arabs with contempt and arrogance because they regard  themselves as the owners of an empire that had sovereignty and a great global political and economic status, and they were the owners of a great civilizational renaissance. On the other hand, the Arabs were divided into small states and tribes that were hostile to each other, possessing none of the elements of a real state that would grant them sovereignty and prestige in the hearts of their enemies. They were divided into two states: Banu Al-Mundhir who were loyal to the Persians, and the Ghassanids who were loyal to the Romans. This division, in turn, contributed to the survival of the Persians’ anti-Arab view, which with the passage of time turned into hatred after the repeated defeats of the Persians by the Arab tribes in the Battle of Dhi Qar. Those defeats continued until the rule of the Persian Empire was eliminated in the Islamic era.

Here, the reader may wonder about the relationship of “Pavlov’s Theory” to the battle of Dhi Qar, the most famous battle in the Arab history, and to the defeat of the Persians. It is known that this theory of learning or the theory of conditional association is based mainly on the process of conditional association, according to which any neutral environmental stimulus can acquire the ability to affect the normal and psychological functions of the body if it is accompanied by another stimulus that actually provokes another normal or conditioned reflex response. This theory was linked in one way or another with the Persian mentality and its hateful imagination for everything that is Arab through the name of the battle or through some of the names of its heroes who did well in inflicting the humiliating defeat on the Persians.

We recall the historical narrative that Al-Tabari mentioned about the Battle of “Dhi Qar” in his saying: “The people had consulted and Hanzala IbnTha’labah Ibn Sayyar Al-Ajli took their command. They trusted him, and he told them: I only see fighting. They followed his command, and he was the one who took over the leading of the fight, and he had a great deal in it. He led his people from the “Banu Ajl” in that fight, and he had the largest share of it. Hanzala took over the march of Hani Ibn Qabisah Ibn Hani Ibn Masoud, head of Bakr tribes, in the fighting that took place in Dhi Qar at the well. Hani, head of Bakr tribes, was in the middle during the attack on the Persians on the day of Dhi Qar. On his right was Yazeed Ibn Mushar Al-Shaybani, and Hanzala was on his left, protecting him from every side attack that fell on him from, as I mentioned. Yazeed Ibn Hammar Al-Sakkuni, who was an ally of Banu Shayban, had been ambushed with his people from Banu Shayban in a place in Dhi Qar, which is the well. When Iyas Ibn Qabisah came with the Persians to this place, he went out with his ambush, so Iyas and those with him were surprised, and Iyad was defeated, so that matter helped a lot in defeating the Persians”. In fact, the two forces clashed, and Banu Iyad joined Banu Bakr in the fierceness of the battle. The Persians could not keep pace with the Arabs in the speed of dispersal and gathering with the speed and intensity of the attacks, so they suffered their first defeat by the Arabs. This was a victory that awakened the confidence of the Arab tribes in themselves and emboldened them to confront the foreigner and the stranger. The evidence for this is that the day of Dhi Qar was a surprise to the Persians and the Arabs as well. Those names mentioned led the Arabs’ victory over the Persians. Perhaps the name “Yazeed” and they are: Yazeed Ibn Hammar Al-Sakkuni and Yazeed Ibn Mushar Al-Shaybani made a breakthrough in that fateful battle for the Arabs. There is no doubt that they have been linked conditionally with the Persian mentality, which still has a lot of hatred for these two names throughout history and the evidence for that is abundant in our history.