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Born Mihragan-kadag, Media
Died 644
Medina, Arabia
Allegiance Derafsh Kaviani.png Sasanian Empire
Service/branch Sasanian army
Rank Spahbed
Battles/wars Battle of al-Qādisiyyah
Battle of Jalula

Hormuzan (Middle Persian: Hormazdān, Persian: هرمزان‎) was the satrap of Khuzestan, a noble of Median origin,[1] and a Marzban, as well as one of the Spahbeds at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. He was later taken as prisoner by the Muslims at Shushtar in 642.


Hormuzan was a wealthy nobleman from Mihragan-kadag,[2] who served as satrap of Khuzestan. He was from one of the seven Parthian clans of the Sasanian Empire and was the brother-in-law of Khosrau II and the maternal uncle of Kavadh II.[1] Being proud of this rich heritage, Hormuzan was permitted to wear a crown upon his head; however, it was smaller than the king's. During the advent of Islam, Hormuzan was checking if his province was safe (because it was one of the richest in Iran). At the battle of al-Qādisiyyah, he commanded the right flank of the army and was defeated. Hormuzan, however, regrouped and fought at the battle of Jalula but also suffered defeat. He then escaped from the region, while many of his forces were captured and killed by the Arab Muslims. In 642, he led the resistance in Shushtar against the Arabs but later surrendered.

What happened after is told by George Rawlinson, in summary, as follows:[3]

Hormuzan, on obtaining an audience, pretended thirst and asked for a cup of water, which was given him; he then looked suspiciously around, as if he expected to be stabbed while drinking. "Fear nothing," said Umar; "your life is safe till you have drunk the water." The crafty Persian flung the cup to the ground, and Umar felt that he had been outwitted, but that he must keep his word.

Hormuzan was then given a pension, but initially refused to convert to Islam in some time. He only converted after being told that he should choose between death and Islam.[4][5] While in Medina, he advised Caliph Umar in making important fiscal and institutional changes. He was killed by the son of Umar after involvement in a plot to kill Umar. His killing was ignored by Uthman, but Ali strongly protested to Uthman[6] and threatened that he would carry out legal punishment for murder if he ever gained the position to do so.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b HORMOZĀN, A. Shapur Shahbazi, Encyclopaedia Iranica
  2. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 240
  3. ^ The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7 (Danish)
  4. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 238
  5. ^ Muir, William The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline and Fall from Original Sources Kessinger Publishing Co (20 September 2004) ISBN 978-1-4179-4889-5 originally published 1891 p. 176 [1]
  6. ^ Wilferd Madelung, "The Succession to Muhammad", Published by Cambridge University Press, 1998. pg 69.