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Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi

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Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi (Arabic: طليحة بن خويلد بن نوفل الأسدي‎)[1] was a prominent Arab clan chief and military commander during the time of Muhammad; he belonged to the Banu Asad ibn Khuzaymah tribe. He was known as a wealthy chief.[2] In 625 he was defeated in the Expedition of Qatan, a Muslim expedition against him. He also took part in the Battle of the Trench in 627 and in Battle of Buzakha and Battle of Ghamra in 632 against Muhammad and later in Battle of Qadisiya and the Battle of Nahāvand on the Muslim side.


He rebelled against Muhammad in 631 when he claimed to be a prophet and the recipient of divine revelation.[1] Thus, Tulayha became the third person to claim prophethood among the Arabs against Muhammad.[3] Many tribes acknowledged him as a prophet, which made him sufficiently strong and powerful to lead a confederacy of numerous tribes against the Muslims.[1]

In July 632, Abu Bakr raised an army mainly from the Banu Hashim (the clan of Muhammad).[citation needed] Ali bin Abi Talib, Talha ibn Ubaidullah and Zubair ibn al-Awam, were each appointed as commander of one-third of the newly organized force. They fought the Battle of Zhu Qissa against the forces of Tulayha [4] and his followers as they prepared to launch an attack on Medina during the Ridda wars.[citation needed] The Rashidun commanders held until they were reinforced by Abu Bakr. Tulayha was defeated and his forces were driven back to Zhu Hussa.[5][unreliable source?][6][unreliable source?]

Thereafter, Khalid ibn al-Walid was sent to crush him and his confederacy. The armies of Khalid and Tulayha met at a place named Buzaka in 632. In this engagement, the army of Tulayha was defeated in the Battle of Buzakha. Following this battle, many of the rebellious tribes surrendered and accepted Islam. However, Tulayha escaped from Buzaka and sought refuge in Syria. But when Syria was conquered by the Muslims, Tulayha accepted Islam.[1]

In 634, he personally paid homage to Umar after the latter’s assumption of the position of Caliph. Later on, Tulayha enthusiastically took part in the campaign against the Sassanid empire in the Battle of Jalula,[1] the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, and the Battle of Nahavand.

Battle of al-QādisiyyahEdit

The Tabari chronicle records that he played significant roles in the famous battle of al-Qādisiyyah. The translation from Arabic language by Andrew Leber said where the contingent of Bani Assad, the clan of Tulayha played significant role on the Yaum-ul-Armatsh (يوم أرماث) or "The Day of Disorder".[7]

At one time recorded he single-handedly rushed enemy ranks in the dark of night and came back with a prisoner of war,[8] Tabari particularly detailed in one chain of Narrations the circumstances in which Tulayha infiltrated the Sassanid camps under the cover of darkness, singlehandedly wreaking havoc in their camps, killing two Sassanid soldiers, taking two horses and then brought back one captive to Sa'd ibn abi Waqqas[9][Notes 1].

Muhammad Husayn Haykal in his Hadhrat Umar autobiography also borrowed the same circumstances and wrote the aftermath of the raid as following: Sa'd asking the Sassanid captive about what happened, the latter answered:

Since I was a child, I have been told about the stories about heroes. but I never imagined this: This man has travelled about two farsakh 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) into a camp which manned by 70,000 soldiers. He won't return before seizing the enemy's horses and tearing down large tents. After we (the Sassanid soldiers) catch up with him, the first of our champion which equal to 1000 soldiers was killed by him (Tulayha). Then the second man, equal to the first man. Then I catch up with him (Tulayha) and I appoint my reserve to replace my position as I was ready to face death to exact revenge of my peers (who has been killed by Tulayha). But now I am a prisoner.[citation needed]

Another record from the notoriously dubious account of Ya'qubi recorded that Tulayha was among the ones who found the corpse of Rostam Farrokhzād[12][Notes 2]

Later he fought his last battle in the Battle of Nahāvand alongside the Muslim armies and later died as Shahid in that battle.


Tulayha was slain at the last battle in Nahavand.[1] However, his performance was pivotal in Muslims victory in this battle. In fact, the stratagem used by Muslims to lure the Persians and ambush them was created by none other than Tulayha himself.[14][15]


When Saad bin Abi Waqqaas asked Khalifah Umar to send him reinforcement. Umar replied: "I have sent you 2000 men: Amru bin Ma'adi Yakrib and Tulayhah Asadi. Each one of them counts as a thousand."[5] Jabir bin Abdullah has found the praising about Tulayha that he said among soldiers that participating in the battle of al-Qadisiyah that had not desired worldly gain and also exceptionally pious and trustworthy, they are Tulayhah bin Khuwailid Al-Asadi, 'Amr bin Ma'di Karb (another former apostate leader) and Qais bin Mashkuh ('Amr bin Ma'di's nephew and Asma' bint Nu'man second husband)[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Donzel, E. J. Van (1994-01-01). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. ISBN 9004097384.
  2. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam By Mufti M. Mukarram Ahmed, Muzaffar Husain Syed, pg.200
  3. ^ Muhammad, the messenger of Islam By Hajjah Amina Adil, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, pg.551
  4. ^ Hitti, Philip Khuri (1946). History of the Arabs. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 141.
  5. ^ a b "Grande Strategy". Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  6. ^ "Khalid bin Al-Waleed: The Sword of Allah". 2004-12-15. Archived from the original on 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2016-07-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Bani Asad Translated from the Arabic by Andrew Leber, Brown University.
  8. ^ The Early Caliphate; Maulana Muhammad Ali;, 2011 ISBN 978-1934271254
  9. ^ Adil, Hajjah Amina (2002-01-01). Muhammad, the Messenger of Islam: His Life & Prophecy. ISCA. ISBN 9781930409118.
  10. ^ al-Hakim (d. 405 AH) wrote: "Sayf is accused of being a heretic. His narrations are abandoned."
  11. ^ Abu Dawud (d. 316 AH) wrote: "Sayf is nothing. He was a liar. Some of his Hadiths were conveyed and the majority of them are denied."
  12. ^ The Origins of the Islamic State quoting Yalubi volume II page 165 Khuri Hitti, Phillip (2005). The Origins of the Islamic State quoting Ya'kubi vol II page 165,2002. p. 415.
  13. ^ Ya'qubi
  14. ^ Mazhar-ul-Haq (1977-01-01). A Short History of Islam: From the Rise of Islam to the Fall of Baghdad, 571 A.D. to 1258 A.D. Bookland.
  15. ^ ʻUmar Faruq Ibn-al-Khatab (may Allah be Pleased with Him): The Second Caliph of Islam Compiled by ʻAbdur Raḥmān Shād; Kazi Publications, 1977; the University of Virginia
  16. ^ Mujahid, Abdul Malik. Golden Stories of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (R.A). Darussalam Publishers.


  1. ^ Most Hadith scholars expressed their skepticism regarding historical narration of Sayf ibn Umar although non narrative historical informations of him was not criticized[10][11]
  2. ^ Skepticism regarding Ya'qubi works were exist as he was accused with bias of Shiite sympathy regarding his works[13]

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