The area was under the command of Uqba, but in 684 they (Berbers) revolted because the Arabs treated them as an inferior race. The Berbers chief, Kusayla, was given a minor position in the government, which he resented.
He called on his people to rise against the Arabs. The Greeks joined them too from Sicily. Although Uqba reiterated from Qayrowan, he was still killed in 685.
In 688, Malik sent another commander Zuhair to recapture the lands. He indeed did capture Qayrowan but again lost it to the berbers. At this time, Malik had his hands full with revolts and tensions in Arabia. He stalled further opposition against Berbers for now.
Kusayla died leaving behind a woman successor called ‘Kahina.’ She had magical control over the Berbers. Malik, in 693, sent Hassan to reclaim the land, but he lost the battle.
He again remained inactive for another 5 years. At last in 698, reinforcements were sent from Syria and Berbers tasted the defeat. Hassan became the governor of Qayrowan.
The Berbers would then go onto convert to Islam in large numbers, but Arabs always treated them unequally. This condition was exploited by few Kharijis that had fled the Khariji wars.
War with Byzantine: 692 – 703
Malik was paying annual tribute to them. It was a defeat before a war for him.
The Greeks used to import papyrus which passed through Egypt, for which Muslims got paid in golden dinars.
The papyrus had watermarks from Christian scriptures, but Malik changed it and now had “Say there is One God’ written on it. This angered the Greeks.
They threatened with war which Malik was all ready for.
But the war remained highly inconclusive. Some areas were gained while some were lost from both sides.
The chief losers of the renewed conflict were tribes residing in the border regions who were displaced and sometimes caught in crossfire.
For complete Islamic history notes click here.