Abd Allah ibn Khazim al-Sulami

ʿAbd Allāh ibn Khāzim ibn Ẓabyān al-Sulamī (died 692) was the Umayyad governor of Khurasan in 662–665 and late 683/84, before becoming the nominal Zubayrid governor of the same province between 684 and his death.

Abdallah ibn Khazim al-Sulami
Umayyad Caliphate. temp. Mu'awiya II ibn Yazid. AH 64 AD 683-684.jpg
Sasanian-style silver dirham minted in 683/84 in the name of Abd Allah ibn Khazim
Umayyad governor of Khurasan
In office
MonarchMu'awiya I
Preceded byQays ibn al-Haytham al-Sulami
Umayyad and Zubayrid governor of Khurasan
In office
MonarchMu'awiya II (r. 683–684)
Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (r. 684–692)
Preceded bySalm ibn Ziyad
Succeeded byBukayr ibn Wisha al-Sa'di
Personal details
Shahmighad, north of Merv
ParentsKhazim ibn Zabyan al-Sulami
Ajla (mother)


Early careerEdit

Abd Allah ibn Khazim was the son of a certain Khazim ibn Zabyan of the Banu Sulaym tribe and the latter's wife Ajla.[1] In 651/52, during the first Muslim campaign into Khurasan, Abdallah ibn Amir put Ibn Khazim in command of the Arab army's advance guard and the latter captured the town of Sarakhs.[2] He was later appointed by Caliph Uthman (r. 644–656) governor of Nishapur, alongside Ibn Khazim's paternal cousin Qays ibn al-Haytham al-Sulami.[1] Toward the end of his reign, Uthman combined the administrative districts east of Basra into the single province of Khurasan, though it remained a dependency of Basra, under the governorship of Qays.[1] The latter made Ibn Khazim his envoy to the governor of Basra, Ibn Amir.[1] According to historian al-Tabari, Ibn Khazim acquired a document from Ibn Amir that declared Ibn Khazim governor of Khurasan should Qays depart the province.[1] Indeed, when Uthman was assassinated in January 656, Qays departed Khurasan to probe the situation in Iraq and Ibn Khazim was given authority over the province until being dismissed by Caliph Ali (r. 656–661) later that year.[1] Abdallah ibn Amir was reinstated as governor of Basra that year, he dispatched Ibn Khazim and Abd al-Rahman ibn Samura to restore Muslim rule to Balkh and Sijistan (Sistan), while Qays was made governor of Khurasan.[2] When the latter proved incapable of controlling the province, he was replaced by Ibn Khazim, who put down a rebellion in Qarin in 662. He remained governor of the province until being dismissed in 665 by Ziyad ibn Abih, who had since replaced Ibn Amir as governor of Basra.[2]

Governor of KhurasanEdit

Ibn Khazim was later part of a group of Arab tribal commanders that accompanied Salm ibn Ziyad to Khurasan in 681 from Basra when Salm was appointed governor of Khurasan by Caliph Yazid I (r. 680–683).[2][3] Salm left Ibn Khazim in charge of the province after fleeing in the wake of the successive deaths of caliphs Yazid and his son Mu'awiya II in 683 and 684, which caused the collapse of Umayyad rule.[4][5][6] Ibn Khazim gave his allegiance to the Mecca-based caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.[7] Early on, he contended with mutinies by troops from the Rabi'a tribe and the military governors of Herat and Marw al-Rudh, who both hailed from the Banu Bakr tribe.[7] He was assisted in their suppression by troops from the Banu Tamim, another large tribal faction from which many Khurasani Arab troops hailed.[7] He installed his son Muhammad at Herat while he took up his headquarters at Marw al-Rudh.[7] Afterward, the Tamim revolted, captured Herat and killed Muhammad before turning their attention toward Ibn Khazim.[7] However, before they could move against him, dissension developed among them and their rebel army disbanded.[7]

Ibn Khazim's position in Khurasan was strong when the Umayyads under Caliph Abd al-Malik defeated and killed Ibn al-Zubayr and his brother Mus'ab in Mecca and Iraq.[7] Thus, he refused to pay allegiance to Abd al-Malik when the latter demanded it, despite being offered the governorship for a further seven years.[7][8][9] In response, Abd al-Malik allied with a factional leader of the Tamim, Bukayr ibn Wisha al-Sa'di, who agreed to eliminate Ibn Khazim in return for the governorship of Khurasan.[7] By the end of the year, Ibn Khazim had been confronted on his way to his son Musa's fortified stronghold at Tirmidh, but was intercepted and killed by Bukayr's troops.[7][9] According to al-Tabari, the troops of a rival Tamimi commander, Bahir ibn Warqa, killed Ibn Khazim in the village of Shahmighad, north of Marw, but Bukayr seized Ibn Khazim's severed head and sent it to Abd al-Malik taking credit for the slaying.[10] Before he died, Ibn Khazim reportedly spat at his killer, a tribesman whose brother Ibn Khazim had previously executed, exclaiming defiantly that he was chief of the Mudar tribal confederation, while his killer's brother was a mere peasant.[9] A poet from his tribe lamented his loss, declaring "Now only barking dogs remain. After you there is no lion's roar on Earth".[11] Indeed, Ibn Khazim's career was posthumously chronicled in epics that extolled his military prowess, which historian H. A. R. Gibb asserts "makes it difficult to establish many details with precision."[12] Ibn Khazim's grandson, Salim ibn Sulayman, was a lieutenant commander in the army of Muslim ibn Sa'id al-Kilabi, governor of Khurasan in 722–724.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Humphreys 1990, pp. 36–37
  2. ^ a b c d Gibb 1960, p. 47.
  3. ^ Howard 1991, p. 186.
  4. ^ Bosworth, C. E. (1995). "Salm b. Ziyād b. Abīhi". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W. P. & Lecomte, G. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume VIII: Ned–Sam. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 997. ISBN 90-04-09834-8.
  5. ^ Ja’fariyan, Rasul (2014). History of the Caliphs. Lulu Press, Inc. p. 1020. ISBN 9781312541085.
  6. ^ CNG Coins
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Zakeri 1995, p. 230.
  8. ^ Fishbein 1990, p. 209.
  9. ^ a b c Kennedy 2007, pp. 240–241.
  10. ^ Fishbein 1990, pp. 210–211.
  11. ^ Kennedy 2007, p. 241.
  12. ^ Gibb 1960, p. 48.
  13. ^ Blankinship 1989, p. 10.