Sayf ibn Dhi-Yazan

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Abū Murra Sayf bin Dhī-Yazan (Arabic: سيف بن ذي يزن‎‎) was a Himyarite king of Yemen who lived between 516 and 578 CE, known for ending Aksumite rule over Southern Arabia with the help of the Sassanid Empire.[1] Al-Kalbī states that he was the son of Dhī Yazan, the son of 'Āfir, the son of Aslam bin Zayd.

To reconquer Yemen, Sayf asked Khosrau I king of the Sasanian Empire to help him fight the Askem. Khosrau agreed and sent 800 men with Wahriz as their leader. Masruq ibn Abraha, king of Yemen, confronted the army but lost in the battle. The Sasanians advanced to conquer San'a, however, Sayf was instated as King on the understanding that he would send taxes to Khosrau. He was later stabbed by Ethiopian servants, and the Sassanians reconquered Yemen and Vahriz was instated as Governor of Yemen, alongside Sayf's son.[1]

Popular Culture[edit]

Sayf entered Arab folklore by means of his widely known "biography" Sīrat Sayf ibn Dhī-Yazan, where much fruit of imagination, including claiming his mother to be a jinni, has been blended with historical facts.


  1. ^ a b Hoyland, Robert (2002). Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam. Routledge. pp. 56–57. ISBN 9781134646340.