Table of Contents
Malik against Ibn Zubair
Ibn Zubair didn’t have easy time against Khawarij in Iraq too. They first pledged and renounced their allegiance. They ravaged and plundered place here and there.
Abdul Malik was only a spectator in Mus’ab versus Mukhtar battle. Just as soon as Mus’ab won, he set out to attack Mus’ab. But he had hardly left when news reached him that his cousin Amr bin Said, who was promised the throne had revolted.
Malik returned and suppressed the revolt hurriedly. He put him to death and put death to any further rising too.
The Campaign against Mus’ab: 691
Malik had been waiting for a year. He in that time wrote letters and sent bribes to leaders and common people to defect to him from Mus’ab.
Finally in 691, he marched against Kufa. The two armies met. Malik’s bribes worked and a lot many switched sides leaving Mus’ab and his son al-Ashtar with only handful of people.
All of them were killed and Mus’ab’s head was chopped off. Kufa and then Basra surrendered except for Kharijis in South Persia and Ibn Zubair in Hijaz.
Attack on Ibn Zubair & End of the Civil War: 692
Ibn Zubair remained inactive during the battle of Mus’ab against Malik. Malik after his victory returned to Damascus but sent his able commander Hajjaj bin Yusuf to march against Makkah and Ibn Zubair.
Hajjaj first reached Taif, his birthplace, and write letter to Ibn Zubair to submit which he refuted. Hajjaj then requested permission and reinforcement for laying siege to Makkah by Malik. Malik allowed him.
Hajjaj finally laid siege, which lasted several weeks. Kaaba was burnt down, but how much isn’t precisely clear.
Ibn Zubair’s supporters deserted him, but he fought like a hero and died a hero and martyr’s death.
His head too was brought back to Damascus. This inhumane practice had now become a norm of show of power.
Only one internal enemy remained, Kharijis. They were not fighting for the sovereignty of the empire, in fact, they themselves were disunited. It seemed like they had no specific purpose instead of only hurling vitriol at the Caliphate. They were unruly and fanatic and this is where there little strength ley: fanaticism.
He was elected by Ibn Zubair to suppress the Kharijis. He submitted to Malik after Ibn Zubair’s death. Malik gave him the same task.
He would lead an expedition against the Khariji sect called Azariqa in South Persia.
At that time, Bashr bin Merwan, the brother of Malik, was governor of Iraq. He refused to lend support to Muhallab on the instructions of Malik.
As soon as Bashr died, Malik appointed Hajjaj bin Yusuf (Governor of Hijaz) at that time to the post of Governor of Iraq in 695.
It is to be noted that Muhallab’s army had people of Kufa and Basra that deserted him from time to time. They had deserted him this time too.
Hajjaj first went to Kufa and then to Basra and threatened them dire consequences.
Now everybody flocked towards Muhallab.
Campaign starts again
The fighting ensued again, but even after such reinforcement the revolt could not be suppressed easily.
It was Malik’s luck that Azariqa divided into two blocs. One bloc fled leaving other behind in the battlefield. The half bloc didn’t have any chance now.
Hajjaj was pleased with Muhallab and installed him as governor of Khurasan.
Khariji revolt in North Iraq
Another band of these fanatics started to surface near Mesopotamia. They consisted mainly of Banu Shayban tribe and were led by their chief Shebib bin Yezid.
Hajjaj fought a long and an obstinate war (695 – 697) against them, but they wouldn’t budge.
Hajjaj had to ask for support from Damascus. At last, he defeated them. They flew towards Ahwaz, but most of them fell in the river on their fleeing journey.
For now, the threat of Kharijis was over.
War against Zanbil: 699
He was a king of Sistan whose rule extended from Kabul to Kandahar. He ceased to pay tribute to Malik during the civil war.
Hajjaj sent an army against him, but it was routed back. He sent another army with the best equipment with everything the empire could afford. It came to be known as ‘Peacock Army.’
It consisted of Basrans and Kufans, who didn’t like to go far from their hometowns. The commander was still moving cautiously into the territory of Zabulistan. This angered Hajjaj.
The commander received a letter which said if he cannot lead an army he would be replaced with someone better and the thing would be over in no time. The commander read this in front of the troops.
Rebellion by Peacock Army
This infuriated the troops and the whole army decided to revolt.
They turned their backs to Zanbil and started their march towards Iraq, where Hajjaj was.
The army was so well equipped that Malik tried negotiating with them, but the army wouldn’t agree on any terms.
Malik, after all, sent troops from Damascus to Hajjaj. Hajjaj beat the peacock army.
This episode proved that Iraqis weren’t really happy under Umayyads. They hated Hajjaj’s severity.