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Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Campaigns in Seestan

Abdur Rahman b Sumra

As a consequence of the Persian revolt, the process of the conquest of Seestan had to be repeated. This time after obtaining the approval of Uthman, Abdullah b 'Aamir appointed Abdur Rahman b Sumra to command the Muslim forces in the invasion of Seestan. Abdur Rahman b Sumra led the Muslim forces to Seestan and after crossing the frontier and overcoming resistance in the border towns advanced to Zaranj. The old story of siege, blockade and surrender was repeated. Abdur Rahman b Sumra made peace on the Persians undertaking to pay an annual tribute of 2 crore dirhams. The Persians also presented one lakh slaves.

From Zaranj the Muslim force advanced into the interior of the province, and all towns were subjugated. Most of the towns surrendered without offering resistance. In their onward march the Muslim force advanced to the place known as the "Zor's hill", which fell after some resistance. Here was the temple of Zor which was an important place of pilgrimage. In the temple was the idol of "Zor", which had the body of gold and the eyes of precious rubies. As Abdur Rahman entered the temple and stood before the idol, the chief priest of the temple sighed and said, "Alas we have witnessed this evil day because by our sins we had annoyed the deity. " Abdur Rahman told him that whom they regarded as their deity was a helpless thing which was incapable of doing them any good or bad. Thereafter Abdur Rahman broke the idol. He let the chief priest have the gold and rubies that made the idol. Turning to the chief priest he said, 'I do not crave this gold and silver. I have broken your idol merely to show you that the idol whom you worship is helpless to defend itself.' The chief priest thereupon abandoned the religion of his forefathers and became a Muslim. All other persons followed suit, and Abdur Rahman had a mosque constructed at the site of the temple.

Thereafter Abdur Rahman crossed the border and conquered Ghazni and Kabul. After making these conquests Abdur Rahman returned to Zaranj and stayed there as Governor till the end of the caliphate of Uthman.

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