Battle of Dayr al-Jamajim

The Battle of Dayr al-Jamajim ("Battle of the monastery of Skulls" after a nearby Nestorian monastery), was fought in 701 CE in central Iraq between the largely Syrian Umayyad army under al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf against the mostly Iraqi followers of Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath, who had rebelled against al-Hajjaj's overbearing attitude towards the Iraqis.


Initially, Ibn al-Ash'ath managed to drive back al-Hajjaj and even entered Kufa in triumph, leading Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan to discuss terms with the rebels, which were however rejected by the more hardline rebel leaders. Al-Hajjaj and Ibn al-Ash'ath's troops skirmished with each other for several months before the decisive battle at Dayr al-Jamajim in April 701, where a cavalry charge by the Syrians broke the rebel army. The defeat marked the end of the rebellion, as Ibn al-Ash'ath fled with the remnants of his troops to the east, but also of the power and influence of the Iraqi Arabs: Iraq was garrisoned by Syrian troops and came under tight control by the Syrian-dominated Umayyad government. It was not until the Abbasid period and the foundation of Baghdad that Iraq would regain its prominence.[1]

Further readingEdit

  • Kennedy, Hugh N. (2001). The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London and New York: Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0-415-25093-5.
  • Kennedy, Hugh N. (2004). The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century (Second Edition). Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. pp. 101–103. ISBN 0-582-40525-4.
  • Streck, M. (1987). "Dair al-Djamādjim". In Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor (ed.). E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Volume II: Bābā Fighānī–Dwīn. Leiden: BRILL. p. 897. ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6.


Coordinates: 32°02′00″N 44°24′00″E / 32.0333°N 44.4000°E / 32.0333; 44.4000