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HAMADAN HISTORY, ISLAMIC PERIOD

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HAMADAN HISTORY, ISLAMIC PERIOD

Hamadān did not give up resisting Arab rule even after the decisive defeat at Vājrud. Once Noʿaym left for the conquest of Ray and Khorasan following his victory at Vājrud, Moḡira b. Šoʿba, who had replaced ʿAmmār b. Yāser as governor of Kufa, sent Jarir b. ʿAbd-Allāh Bajali to Hamadān.

Estar  Mordkhai a Jewish Tomb
Estar  Mordkhai a Jewish Tomb

Hamadān was captured by the Arabs after their victory at the battle of Nehāvand, which took place in 19/640, or 21/642, or 23/643 . The date varies according to different sources. A Persian general, Ḵosrow-Šonum, confronted the Arabs at Qaṣr-e Širin, and subsequently withdrew to his base and gave sanctuary to the Persian soldiers fleeing from the battlefield. When the Arabs arrived at the gates of Hamadān, one of the important local rulers by the name of Dinār made peace with the commander of the Arab forces, Ḥoḏayfa b. Yamān, and agreed to the payment of tribute (jezya). The proposed document offering peace and protection was signed by the Arab generals Noʿaym b. Moqarren Mozani and Qaʿqāʿ b. ʿAmr Tamimi, who had reached Hamadān in pursuit of the defeated army. The name Māh Dinār used in Arabic sources referring to the district of Nehāvand was, according to Ṭabari, coined after the name of this ruler.

Despite the decisive defeat at Nehāvand, the resistance against the Arab invasion persisted in various parts of the country, and the people of Hamadān revoked their treaty of peace. The Caliph ʿOmar b. al-Ḵaṭṭāb dispatched four armies to Persia to crush the resistance. The already mentioned Noʿaym b. Moqarren was sent to Hamadān at the head of an army of 12,000. The governor of Hamadān, a certain Ḵiš , or Koftār who claimed descent from Bahrām C¦ōbin prepared to defend the city. The Arab army besieged the town and eventually conquered it for the second time in 22/642. When Noʿaym b. Moqarren learned that Ḵošnum and other leaders had joined forces in Daštabi (the present-day Buʾin Zahrā) near Qazvin, he renewed the peace treaty with the city, appointed Yazid b. Qays al-Hama-dāni as its governor, and moved with his army to meet Ḵošnum and his allies. Along the way he conquered towns and villages as far as Jarmiḏān (the present day township of Āb-e Garm).

Hamadan Babataher Tomb
 Babataher Tomb

He met the Persian forces on the banks of the Vājrud river, the present-day Āvaj river, in the northern valley of the Ḵaraqān range. In the large-scale battle that followed, the Persians suffered a heavy defeat and left behind many casualties (22/624). The Arabs hailed this as signaling an end to Persian resistance and Noʿaym himself celebrated the victory in a poem.
It seems, however, that Hamadān did not give up resisting Arab rule even after the decisive defeat at Vājrud. It is reported in the events of 23/643 that once Noʿaym left for the conquest of Ray and Khorasan following his victory at Vājrud, Moḡira b. Šoʿba, who had replaced ʿAmmār b. Yāser as governor of Kufa, sent Jarir b. ʿAbd-Allāh Bajali to Hamadān. The people of Hamadān rose up against him and in the course of the battle Jarir was injured in the eye by an arrow. He is said to have remarked that the loss of an eye was his offering to the Almighty, who had thus adorned his face . At the end of the same year (23/643) Jarir conquered Hamadān and its surroundings again by force, and made peace with the populace on terms similar to those of the Nehāvand settlement. According to some sources, Moḡira himself led the expedition against Hamadān, with Jarir in command of his vanguard. According to yet another tradition, when the third Caliph ʿOṯmān  appointed Saʿd b. Abi Waqqās as the governor of Kufa, he appointed ʿAlāʾ b. Wahb ʿĀmeri as governor of Hamadān, but the people of Hamadān once again broke the peace agreement and had to be forcefully subdued by ʿAlāʾ b. Wahb (26/644). They agreed to pay tax on their land (ḵarāj) as well as the poll tax (jezya), in addition to 100,000 dirhams in cash to safeguard the security of their property, women, and children.During the remaining years of ʿOṯmān’s caliphate (23-35/643-55), Jarir continued to rule in Hamadān, while ʿOṯmān’s viceroys in Māh were Wahb b. ʿAbd-Allāh of Banu Qays, followed by Mālek b. Ḥabib Yarbuʿi, and

 

Nosayr b. Ṯur ʿEjli, who was succeeded by his son Serri .The next Caliph, ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb (35-40/655-60), came to Basra in 36/656 and dismissed the governors appointed by ʿOṯmān, including Jarir. This drove Jarir to join Moʿāwia in his campaign against ʿAli . After the battle of Ṣeffin, ʿAli made ʿAmr b. Salema his representative and governor of Hamadān (Abu’l-Šayḵ, I pp. 87-88; Monqori, pp. 15-20, 105). He was most likely the eponym of the Banu Salema Arabs of Hamadān, who appear in the sources on Hamadān until the 9th century. Historical sources also indicate that two other Arab tribes, the Banu Ḥanẓala and Banu Johayna, also settled in the Hamadān area , while, according to a report from the year 77/969, some of the Banu ʿEjl and Rabiʿa tribes were also settled in Hamadān.

The conquest of Persia continued under the Omayyads and contingents of Arab tribes moved from their two centers of Baṣra and Kufa towards Persia, eventually settling in its cities and their surroundings. Occasionally they would execute the local Zoroastrian landowners and divide their property among themselves , and at other times they would make peace with the local population by designating them as their own clients (mawāli) in return for a share of their wealth. Starting in the early years of the conquest in the 7th century, Hamadān, like Isfahan, Qom, and Kāšān, was on the migration route of the Arab tribes, a place of settlement and a seat of government. The ḵarāj (property tax) of Jebāl (Māhayn) and Hama-dān and their dependencies at the time of Moʿāwia amounted to about 40 million dirhams.

 

A faction of the Banu ʿEjl, having joined the revolution that began in Khorasan and ended with the fall of the Omayyads, moved to the Jebāl in the early 8th century. They settled there and acquired landas eqṭāʿs in the area between Hamadān and Isfahan, which was referred to as the Karaj of Banu Dolaf . The caliph eventually assigned to them the government of Jebāl. Abu Moslem Ḵorāsāni , the leader of the revolution against the Omayyads, was raised among these Banu ʿEjl, who were known, as implied above, as Banu Dolaf. The Abbasids rewarded the Banu ʿEjl for their services by granting them a number of eqṭāʿs in the area. They reached the height of their power under Ḥārun al-Rašid and al-Maʾmun, when Abu Dolaf Qāsem b. ʿIsā ʿEjli Karaji (185-226/801-41) ruled over the entire Jebāl province . After the murder of Abu Moslem, Jebāl became a hotbed of nationalistic movements of the Ḵorramis and Mazdakites, and its populace was actively involved in the uprising of Sonbād. The Caliph al-Manṣur sent one of the same ʿEjli amirs at the head of an army of 10,000 (136-37/754-55), to quell the uprising, which he did in a battle that took place between Ray and Hamadān.
The office of the tax-collector in Hamadān belonged to the already-mentioned Banu Salema tribe. The government in the city had been hereditary in this tribe since its migration to the city in the middle of the 7th century. They were charged with the levying of taxes (ḵaraj) on all estates and villages in the area as far as the borders of Qom and Qazvin. Complaints against them were so frequent that when Hārun al-Rašid reached Hamadān (189/804) on his way to Khorasan, he issued orders for reforms concerning the measurement of lands, the administrative divisions of provinces (welāyāt), and the assessment and levying of taxes. The ḵarāj levied on Hamadān and Daštabi at that time amounted to 11,800,000 dirhams in cash in addition to 1,000 mans of pomegranate and rhubarb concentrated juice

 

and 20,000 raṭls (both man and raṭl are units of measurement which vary in quantity according to locality) of honey of the Alvand piedmont in kind. After Hārun al-Rašid, Hamadān became the main zone of warfare between the army of Khorasan supporting al-Maʾmun and that of his brother, al-Amin, coming from Iraq (190/810). At first ʿEṣma b. Ḥammād Hamadāni was in charge of the forces of al-Amin in Hamadān, but later al-Amin sent ʿIsā b. Māhān as the commander of a military force of 40,000 and the governor of Jebāl, and he also instructed Abu Dolaf ʿEjli to join ʿIsā at the head of 5,000 men. Ṭāher b. Ḥosayn, known as Ḏu’l-Yaminayn, led the army sent by al-Maʾmun. ʿIsā b. Māhān was defeated in a battle near Ray, in which he also lost his son (Šawwāl 190/September 806). Al-Amin sent another army of 20,000 under ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān b. Jabala, who met Ṭāher near Hamadān. ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān was defeated and withdrew into the city. Ṭāher cut the city’s water supply, and ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān, under siege and doubtful of the loyalty of the local population, had to sue for peace . hese events paved the way for the eventual victory of al-Maʾmun.
Disturbances and movements seeking independence continued during the caliphate of al-Maʾmun with the uprising of the Ḵorramis, Mazdakites, Deylamites, and the Bāteniya, and they were often met by forces led by the above-mentioned Abu Dolaf ʿEjli (Aḏkāʾi, 1988, pp. 42-43). According to one tradition, Maʾmun gave the government of Dinavar and Hamadān to Abu Jaʿfar Moḥammad b. Jahm Barmaki, an astronomer and author of Persian descent, who is also known as a translator of Pahlavi books.

With the death of Maʾmun and the caliphate of al-Moʿtaṣem (218-27/833-41), the people of Hamadān and Jebāl began to

 

turn to Zoroastrian, Ḵorrami, and Bāṭeni religions, and the movement spread over an extensive area from Azerbaijan to Fārs and Isfahan. People rose up in rebellion in the whole area at a pre-arranged date, killed government functionaries (ʿommāl), and then set up camp in the Hamadān plain in preparation to join Bābak , the leader of the Ḵorrami movement. The caliph dispatched an army of 40,000 men against them under Esḥāq b. Ebrāhim , who routed them. They dispersed, leaving behind 60,000 dead; some evidently reached Azerbaijan and Armenia . Then the Caliph al-Moʿtaṣem sent Afšin against the Ḵorramis. Abu Dolaf ʿEjli , who harbored strong resentments against Afšin, was at this time the governor of Jebāl and in charge of the military operations against the Deylamites.

The ʿEjlis ruled over part of Jebāl for one hundred years from 185/801 to 285/898, producing a number of famous amirs. At times Hamadān and Isfahan fell within the area ruled by them . The administration of Hamadān up to the middle of the 3rd/9th century was in the hands of the Banu Salema tribe. From among them Abu’l-Wafāʾ Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-ʿAziz b. Salema has been mentioned as a poet and an erudite man of letters. In the mid-9th century C.E., a branch of Ḥasani sayyeds (the ʿAlawis of Hamadān) moved to Hamadān, where they rose increasingly in prestige and power, and eventually the honorific title of the headship of the town, a kind of elected mayor, became hereditary in their family up to the 13th century .

With the weakening of the ʿAbbasid Caliphate (9th-11th cent.), the northern and western parts of Persia became virtually independent under Deylamite, Kurdish, and Lor rulers. Asfār b. Širuya Deylami conquered the entire Jebāl, including Hamadān and Karaj in 317/929, after the fall of the Banu ʿEjl dynasty in the 10th century, and called forth the Samanids of Khorasan. After him, one of his generals the Ziyarid Mardāvij (316-26/928-38), who rallied the Deylamites around him,

Jameh  Mosque
Jame Mosque

emerged as the dominant figure. However, Mardāvij himself did not have sufficient resources to pay his men, and was obliged to consign various cities of Jebāl to his generals. He captured Hamadān in 319/931 and inflicted a four-day massacre on the city for its resistance against him. After Mardāvij, the Buyid ʿEmād-al-Dawla ʿAli was able to bring the entire area under his control with the assistance of the Ḵorrami, Shiʿite, and Zoroastrian factions. He agreed to pay the caliph in Baghdad an annual sum of 200,000 dinars for taxes levied on Hamadān and Dinavar.

Hamadān suffered damages in an earthquake of 345/956, and six years later it was the scene of sectarian conflicts, in which many people lost their lives . In 366/976, the Buyid Rokn-al-Dawla Ḥasan divided his realm among his sons, giving Hamadān, Ray, and Qazvin, along with their dependencies, to Amir Faḵr-al-Dawla . Faḵr-al-Dawla’s territory became the foundation of the Deylamite and Kakuid principality of Jebāl. After him, his sons Majd-al-Dawla  and Šams-al-Dawla  ruled over Ray and Hamadān respectively. Later, ʿAlaʾ-al-Dawla Kākuya, a cousin of their mother, ruled in Isfahan, and for a while brought Hamadān under his sway, after defeating its last Deylamite ruler Samāʾ-al-Dawla , son of Šams-al-Dawla. But ʿAlaʾ-al-Dawla Kākuya was himself driven out of Hamadān in 421/1030, when the Ghaznavid Sultan Masʿud I led an expedition against him . It must be noted in this connection that the same period witnessed the emergence of the power of some chieftains of the Barzekāni Kurds. Their leader, Abu’l-Fawāres Ḥasanuya/Ḥasanwayh b. Ḥasan Barzekāni , captured a large part of Kurdistan (including Dinavar, Nehāvand, Šāpur-ḵᵛāst, Yazdegard, and Asadābād) in about 348/958 and made Sarmāj, a fortress to the south of Bisotun, his capital. The Ḥasanuya amirs ruled in parts of western Persia for about sixty years (345-405). The most celebrated among them was Abu Najm Badr b. Ḥasanuya, renowned for his sagacity and largesse. He was a stalwart supporter of the Deylamites of Jebāl against the Samanids of Khorasan












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