Madina to Jerusalem
Encounters with Byzantine Empire
Traces one of the most dynamic episodes in the History of Islam, that follows immediately after the passing away of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It charts the course of Muslim History from 8-15 AH/ 629-637 CE when the great expansion into al-Sham (Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon) took place.
The Byzantines who ruled Jerusalem were very harsh. They not only barred Jews from entering Jerusalem, but also persecuted Christians who did not follow the same sect as them. but when the Muslims marched into Palestine in 638 CE, the people of Jerusalem gave up the city only after a brief siege. They made just one condition, that the terms of their surrender be negotiated directly with the Khalifah Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, in person. Sayyidna Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, agreed to come and entered Jerusalem on foot. There was no bloodshed or massacres. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to leave, with all their goods. Those who wanted to stay were guaranteed protection for their lives, property and places of worship.
The conquest of Palestine by the Muslims put an end to centuries of instability, religious persecution, and colonial rule. After the advent of Islam, people enjoyed security, safety and peace. Schools, mosques and hospitals were founded. Palestine was a centre of learning from which a large number of scholars graduated. The conquest of Palestine by the Muslims began the 1300 years of Muslim rule, with the exception of the period of the Crusades (1099-1187) in what then became known as Filastin (Palestine).
About The Author
Ismail Adam Patel is the chairman of Friends of Al Aqsa a non-profit making organisation concerned with the defence of basic human rights of Palestinians as supported by various international groups and organisations. It also stands for the protection and safety of Al-Aqsa Haram Sharif (The First Qibla) in Al Quds (Jerusalem).
He is a graduate from UMIST UK and an Optometrist by profession. He is a regular contributor to discussions, debates and articles in the media and international forums on issues effecting the Muslims in general and Palestine in particular.