of Rabi'ah in Fars, speaks of this war also as a Jihad. Historians openly apply
the same title to each of these wars of conquest. And the terms offered to the inhabitants
of these countries, being those laid down in Surah ix. 29, show that the Muslim generals
fully recognized this. A few examples will suffice to prove this fact.
Abu 'Ubaidah wrote thus to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, when it was besieged by the
Muslim army: "If 1 you conform to our religion, or agree to pay the jizyah-tax,
I shall withdraw from the skirt of your reputation the hand of interference. But if not, I
shall appoint against you a people, in whose opinion it is a more acceptable thing to be
slain for their faith than it is among you to eat the flesh of the hog and to drink
wine." Similarly the Katibu'l Waqidi 2 informs us that Yazid was sent with
the following message to the people of Jerusalem: "What say ye in answer to the
invitation to Islam and the Truth and the Creed of Simplicity? And it is the creed, 'There
is no god but God; Muhammad is the Apostle of God': that our Lord may forgive you those of
your offences which are past, and that ye may obviate the shedding of your blood. And, if
ye refuse and do not assent unto us, then make terms of peace for your town, as others
than you have done of those who were greater than you in number and stronger than you. And
if ye reject these two conditions, perdition is due to you, and may your going be to
Hell-fire!" The interpreter explained all this simply and quite correctly by saying,
"This chieftain says so and so, and he invites you to one of these three terms,
either entrance into Islam, or the payment of the jizyah-tax, or the sword."
The Christians replied: "We shall not turn back from the religion of glory and of
acceptance; and if we be slain, it will be easier for us than that."
Similarly, at the beginning of his account of the invasion of Armenia, the Katibu'l
Waqidi tells us 1 that messengers were sent by the Arabs to the Armenian
Bustius, governor of Yadlis, to say: "We have been sent to you as envoys to summon
you to testify that there is no god but God alone; He has no Partner: and that Muhammad is
His Servant and His Apostle: or that ye should enter into that into which the men have
entered, and that ye should pay the jizyah-tax out of hand, and be brought
When Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas sent Mughairah ibn Shaibah to Yezdijird's court at Mada'in the
message which he delivered in the Khalifah's name to the astonished King of Persia was
this: "We 2 invite thee to the acceptance of the imperishable Law. If thou
dost accept, no one shall set foot within thy realm without permission, nor demand a
copper coin except the zakat 3 and the Fifth.3 And if grace
become not thy companion,4 do thou become subject to the jizyah-tax.
Otherwise, prepare for war." Another account given by the same historian 5
runs thus:. "If thou refusest to accept the faith and to pay the zakat and the
Fifth, give the jizyah-tax, and in that state thou shalt be brought low."
Yezdijird asked the meaning of "low" (or "little"صاغر). Mughairah
replied: "'Low' means this, that, when thou payest the jizyah-tax, thou
remainest standing on foot, and a scourge is held over thine head."
Somewhat similarly the Katibu'l Waqidi relates 6 that Abu Musa' was sent by
Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas to the Persian general Rustam before the battle of Qadisiyyah to say:
"We summon you to bear witness: and, if ye refuse Islam, then pay the jizyah-tax;
and, if ye refuse, then the sword is a very reliable witness."