Abu Ubayd al-Thaqafi

Abū 'Ubayd ibn Mas'ūd ibn 'Amr ibn 'Umayr ibn 'Awf ibn Uqda ibn Ghayra ibn Awf ibn Thaqif al-Thaqafi[1] (also al-Thaqīfī) (Arabic: أبو عبيد بن مسعود بن عمرو بن عمير بن عوف بن عقدة بن غيرة بن عوف بن ثقيف الثقفي‎), or simply Abu Ubayd (أبو عبيد), was a commander in the army of the Rashidun Caliphate. He was from Ta'if in western Arabia,[2] and belonged to the tribe Banu Thaqif.

Abu Ubayd al-Thaqafi
Native name
أبو عبيد الثقفي
Other name(s)Abū 'Ubayd ibn Mas'ūd ibn 'Amr ibn 'Umayr ibn 'Awf ibn Uqda ibn Ghayra ibn Awf ibn Thaqif al-Thaqafi (full name)
DiedOctober 634
Bank of the Euphrates, near Babylon, Sasanian Empire
AllegianceRashidun Caliphate
Service/branchRashidun army
RankField commander
Battles/warsMuslim conquest of Persia
  • Jabr
  • Mukhtar
  • Safiya (daughter)
  • Jariah (daughter)
Relationsal-Hakam (brother)
Mas'ūd ibn 'Amr (father)

Al-Muthanna, commander of the Muslim Arabs in al-Hira, had asked Abu Bakr and later Caliph Umar for reinforcements against Sasanians in Mesopotamia, who were fighting him back. Umar chose Abu Ubayd who volunteered first, although he was not among the Muhajirun or Ansar (the Companions of Muhammad),[3] and dispatched him. Abu Ubayd arranged a force of 1,000 from his Thaqif tribe and increased his numbers in the way north.[4] He took over command from al-Muthanna for the second time, becoming commander of the forces in al-Hira region.[5] The combined Arab forces conducted raiding in the plains between al-Hira and Ctesiphon (the Sawad). The commander of the Sasanian army Rustam Farrukhzad dispatched an army under Bahman Jadhuyih to attack them.[4] In the upcoming battle at the bank of the Euphrates river near Babylon, known as the Battle of the Bridge, a white war elephant tore Abu Ubaid from his horse with its trunk, and trampled him under its foot. The Arab forces panicked and were defeated. His brother al-Hakam and his son Jabr were also killed after him.[6][7][8]

Abu Ubayd was also the father of the revolutionary leader al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, who rebelled against the Umayyads to revenge the Karbala event during the Second Fitna. Safiyah, wife of Abdullah ibn Umar, was also his daughter.[9]: 305  Jariah, another of his daughters, was married to Umar ibn Sa'ad.


  1. ^ أسد الغابة، جـ6/ص 201. Archived 2020-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Mazhar-ul-Haq, A Short History of Islam: From the Rise of Islam to the Fall of Baghdad, 571 A.D. to 1258 A.D., 2nd edition, Bookland, 1977, p. 229.
  3. ^ Mujahid, Abdul Malik. "Golden Stories of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (R.A)". Darussalam Publishers – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Crawford, Peter (16 July 2013). "The War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians and the Rise of Islam". Pen and Sword – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Ibrahim, Mahmood (1 November 2011). "Merchant Capital and Islam". University of Texas Press – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Biladuri, Ahmad Bin Yahya Bin Jabir Al (1 March 2011). "The Origins of the Islamic State: Being a Translation from the Arabic Accompanied With Annotations, Geographic and Historic Notes of the Kitab Futuh Al-buldan". Cosimo, Inc. – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Richard Nelson Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran: The period from the Arab invasion to the Saljuqs, (Cambridge University Press, 1975), 8-9.
  8. ^ Nafziger, George F.; Walton, Mark W. (30 August 2017). "Islam at War: A History". Greenwood Publishing Group – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.