The Capture of Samarkand and Bukhara

s_handshake3.jpgAssalamu-Alaykum (Peace be Upon you)

As many people are aware, Samarkand and Bukhara are places situated in Russia and they were occupied by the Muslims during the reign of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. What many people are not aware of, however, is how the Muslim empire of that time captured Samarkand and Bukhara.

It was prior to the capture of these two places that a Christian monk came to the seat of the Caliphate in Kufa and complained to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz about the behaviour of the Muslims and how they had overrun Samarkand.

He complained of the way in which his country had been captured. This is because, the Islamic way of conquering a country took place in three ways:

1). That the inhabitants agreed to accept Islam.

2). That if they didn’t embrace Islam, there would be no compulsion to do so, but they would have to pay Jizyah tax to the Muslims and continue their life without fear of oppression.

3). If neither of the above were accepted, then fighting would be commenced.

The monk conplained that the Muslim army had not given their country the first two options and had started attacking straight away.

What did the Caliph do?

In an unprecedented move, Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz ordered that the whole Muslim army should withdraw, give the country back and then start again from the borders and give the country the three options – as is the teaching of Islam.

The effect?

The effect was that the regions of Samarkand and Bukhara this time gave up without a fight because they were so impressed by the honesty and justice of the Muslims and were happy to be governed by them.

This then, is an example of Islam in action – of honesty, courtesy, manners and justice. Of a leader and of a people who practised their Faith so wholeheartedly and who acted with such humility towards humanity, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, that others could not help but feel overwhelmed by their integrity and feel naturally drawn towards them because of their depiction of the religion of Islam.

And Allah knows best.


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One Response to “The Capture of Samarkand and Bukhara”

  1. asslam alikum
    thank you very much for this intresting story
    it is realy a great evidence that islam did not spread by sword

    anyway, I have some notes :
    1.Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was in Damascus not Kufa.
    2. the people in Samarkand were not Christian but -I think- Magi .
    3. I have read that there were a trial between Samarkand’s people and Muslims befor the order to muslims to leave.

    however I wolud like to thank you again for your effort to show the others the beuty of Islam.


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