Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra

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A Khosrow II Silver Drachm with the insignia of al-Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra. This Arab Sasanian Coin was minted in AD 696 in Bishapur

Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra (Arabic: أبو سعيد, المهلّب بن أبي صفرة الأزدي‎), also known as Abu Sa'id (c. 632  – February 702, Khorasan), was an Azdi Arab warrior and general. He was an important participant in the political developments of his time and the object of many poets' praise. He is also regarded the progenitor of the Bu Said tribe, some of whose members have been Oman's ruling Al Said dynasty since the 18th century.


Al-Muhallab first served under the caliph Muʿāwiyah, campaigning in South Asia and raiding the country between Kābul and Multān. Later he was stationed in the eastern provinces, leading expeditions against the Central Asian city of Samarkand for the governors of Khorasan, in the north-east of modern Iran.[1] Soon after the death of Muʿāwiyah in 680, the Islamic community was convulsed by civil wars. During this time al-Muhallab deserted the Umayyads and sided with the anti-caliph ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Zubayr, who entrusted him with suppressing the Kharijite rebellions in Iraq by the Azariqa. Basra subsequently became known as Basra al-Muhallab.[2]

In 698, he was made governor of Khorasan by Al-Hajjaj until his death when he was succeeded by his son Yazid ibn al-Muhallab.[3] The rise of the Muhallabids and the "Omani Azd" in Khorasan and Basra is linked to their alliance with the Rabi'ah against the Mudar.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wink, pg 51-52
  2. ^ Hawting, pg 65, 66
  3. ^ a b Hawting, pg 73, 74


  • Wink, Andre, "Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World", Brill Academic Publishers, Aug 1, 2002, ISBN 0-391-04173-8
  • Hawting, Gerald R., "The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate Ad 661-750", 2000, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-24072-7
Preceded by
Umayya ibn Abdallah
Governor of Khurasan
Succeeded by
Yazid ibn al-Muhallab