Youm-ul-Amas and Lailat-ul-Hurair

On the third and the final day of battle of Qadisiyyah called Youm-ul-Amas in Arabic, the opposing forces could not disengage, the battle continued into the night, making it the night of freedom: Lailat-ul-Hurair. On the night before Youm-ul-Amas, it was decided by command and control of Islamic forces to create a feeling of parity by feeding the battle ground with reinforcements in stages, given that Iranian forces held the edge in numbers. Apart from the reinforcing squads led by Hazrat Q’aqa (RA) seven hundred horsemen, commanded by Hazrat Hisham (RA) were dashing in from Syrian front. Iranians were also replenishing their forces by reinforcements, supervised by Persian monarch–Khosrow Yazdegerd III. The paucity of resources compared to the accumulated armour of a millennium of warfare by Persians was overcome by the steel that Islam had put in the nerve and verve of Muslims. The millennium old battle experience of enemy was met by an ever elevating learning graph by Amir-al-Momineen, the spiritual and the temporal head of Muslims, as well as his generals. Nothing was left to chance, enemy’s combat tactics were minutely studied and counter measures worked out in group discussions. Allah’s help was constantly sought, no doubt; however the cardinal principle of divinity was kept in mind–God helps only those, who help themselves.

The third day started with the battle cry–Allah-o-Akbar (God is great). The first contingent of one hundred horses dashed down from the back of Muslim lines towards Syria, as Hazrat Q’aqa (RA) had directed. It so happened, that re-enforced troops with seven hundred horsemen commanded by Hazrat Hisham (RA)  arrived at the same moment, conveying the glad tidings that Syria with Allah’s grace stands conquered and Persia would follow suit. The day as usual started with single combats of known and famous warriors on either side, the Muslims were known to pocket an early advantage in these one to one combats. As usual there were Quranic recitations and heart warming rhetoric followed. The single combats gave way to general charges. While the battle was raging, the Persian elephants continued to be a menace, even though several ingenious methods were devised to counter the trump card of Persian Cavalry. Two massive masses of flesh on move, two elephants, the pride possession of the Persian army, named Abyad and Arjab were causing havoc, wherever they moved into Muslim ranks.

The commander of Islamic forces–Hazrat Saad (RA) thought of consulting the two recent Persian coverts, Salam and Dakham on the most effective way to counter the threat of the menace in the enemy ranks. They proposed targeting the eyes of elephants, blinding them and then knocking off their trunks in surgical strikes. Hazrat Saad (RA) sent for Hazrat Q’aqa (RA) Hazrat Asim [RA] Hazrat Hamal [RA] and Hazrat Rabil [RA] four of the most trusted fighters in his ranks and explained the tough undertaking. Hazrat Q’aqa [RA] initially sent the horsemen and the foot soldiers to cordon off the elephants. He then advanced with Hazrat Asim [RA] and attacked Abyad, while Hazrat Hamal [RA] and Rabil [RA] attacked Arjab. Piercing their eyes with accurate throw of spears, they then knocked off their trunks with neat strikes of the sword. The act of valour had the elephants turning on their own troops in excruciating pain.

As the day wore off and night shadows started descending, the troops meaning to disengage waited for one another to make the first move. As the two sides were reluctant to leave the field and concede the advantage of a surprise attack to the enemy, the forces stayed put, glued to their formations. The misunderstanding of each others motives led to resumed battle with renewed formations. This set-off Lailat-ul-Hurair (Night of Rumbling Noises) the legendary night long battle, when the sword met the sword, the hard strikes causing flashes of lightening and rumbling noises, as steel met steel. Unable to shake the Persians, with their heavy armour and deep formations, Hazrat Q’aqa (RA) finally decided to go for the jugular. Descending from the horses, Muslim warriors moved swifter and faster on their feet, penetrating the enemy defenses, until they reached the commander’s camp, where Rustam—the Iranian commander was sitting on a throne directing troops. As he saw the unexpected movement of Muslims on foot making a dash towards him, he joined the battle. He fought for some time, but seeing the siege around him, he ran away. Coming to a brook, he plunged into a swim. A pursuing Muslim warrior, Hazrat Hilal (RA) got hold of him, pulled him out and dealt the death blow to the Persian commander and exclaimed in a loud voice ‘I have killed Rustam’.

Following the decisive blow, there was some token resistance; however it soon melted. Qadisiyyah, the battle that raged for three days and the night of rumbling noises was won and with it the fate of Persia was sealed, though a few more battles remained ahead. The news of victory was conveyed to Hazrat Omar Farooq (RA) who was waiting in feverish anticipation, in the outskirts of Medina, as the messenger arrived. The messenger did not recognize him, so his pleading to let him know the result of the battle fell on deaf ear. The messenger was making a dash to the quarters of Amir-ul-Momineen, hardly knowing that one of the greatest rulers history has ever known was on his trail. As they entered the city and the reality of one trailing him became evident, the messenger got eager to dismount the galloping horse. The revered Caliph asked him to stay on and say, whatever he has to convey. As Caliph heard the news of victory and it spread, there were jubilations, as people started collecting in Masjid-i-Nabavi, to hear the sermon of the Caliph.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]