You will not find a people believing in God and the Last Day making friends with those who oppose God and His messenger even if these were their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their clan. God has placed faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Him. He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which streams flow that they may dwell therein. God is well pleased with them and they well pleased with Him. They are the party of God. Is not the party of God the successful ones? (58:22).
In the year 625, he participated in the Battle of Uhud. In the second phase of the battle, when Khalid ibn Walid’s cavalry attacked Muslims from the rear changing the victory of Muslims into defeat, bulk of Muslim soldiers routed from the battle field and few remian steadfast, Abu Ubaidah was one of them, he guarded Muhammad from the attacks of Qurayshi soldiers. On that day, Abu 'Ubaidah lost two of his front teeth while trying to extract two links of Muhammad's armor that had penetrated into his cheeks.
Later in the year 627 he took part in the Battle of the Trench and also in the Battle of Banu Quraydah. He was also made commander of a small expedition that set out to attack and destroy the tribes of Tha'libah and Anmar, who were plundering nearby villages..
In the year 629 Muhammad sent 'Amr ibn al-'Aas to Zaat al-Salaasil from where he called for reinforcement and Muhammad sent Abu 'Ubaidah in command of an army that contained Abu Bakr and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. They attacked and defeated the enemy. Later in the same year, another expedition was sent under his command to locate the routes of Quraishi caravans. This skirmish is known as Saif al-Jara..
In the year 630, when Muslims armies rushed for the Conquest of Mecca, Abu 'Ubaidah was commanding one of the four Muslim armies that entered Mecca from four different routes. Later that year, he participated in the Battle of Hunayn and the Siege of Ta'if. He was also part of the Tabuk campaign under the command of Muhammad himself. On their return from Tabuk, a Christian delegation from Najran arrived in Medina and showed interest in Islam and asked Muhammad to send with them a person who will guide them in the matters of religion and in other tribal affairs according to Islamic laws, Abu 'Ubaidah was appointed by Muhammad to go with them. He was also sent as the tax collector ('aamil) to Bahrain by Muhammad. He was present in Mecca when Muhammad died in 632.
He remained commander in chief of Muslim armies until Khalid ibn Walid arrived from Iraq to Syria in 634.He was ordered by Khalid ibn Walid to remain where he is until Khalid ibn Walid reached the city of Bosra. Khalid and Abu Ubaidah met at Bosra. The castle surrendered the city After the Battle of Bosra. 130 Muslims died by now it was almost mid of July 634.
Soon Muslims heard of gathering of 90,000 Roman army at Ajnadeen, all the divisions of Muslim army joined khalid at ajnadeen on 24th July 634,which was about 32,000 in number ,Muslims defeated Roman there on 30th July 634 AD in Battle of Ajnadayn under the command of Khalid ibn Walid. After one week Abu Ubaidah along with khalid moved to Damascus, on their way to Damascus, they defeated another Roman army in the Battle of Yakosa in mid-aujust 634 AD. Tomur, the son-in-law of Emperor Heraclius, sent another army to stop khalid’s corps but they were also defeated in the battle of Maraj-al-Safar after the corps of Abu Ubaidah and Shurabil bin Hasana joined him on 19th August 634 AD.
The next day Muslims finally reached Damascus and sieged the city which continued for 30 days. After defeating the Roman reinforcements sent by emperor Heraclius at Battle of Sanita-al-Uqab 20 miles from Damascus, Muslims finally attacked and conquered the city. The Conquest of Damascus held on 18th September 634 AD.
Abu Ubaidah was appointed by Khalid ibn Walid to siege the Jabiya Gate of Damascus.It was Abu Ubaidah who gave peace to Damascus after Khalid ibn Walid attacked the city and conquered by force but as Abu Ubaidah, Shurabil bin Hasana and Amr ibn al-A'as gave peace to them unaware of khalid’s attack from the gate of his side, the Peace treaty was signed by Khalid. Roman army was given deadline of 3 days to go as far as they can with their families and treasure, other simply agreed to stay at Damascus and pay tribute .After three days deadline was over, Muslim cavalry under khalid's command attacked Roman army by reaching them from unknown shortcut at Battle of Maraj-al-Debaj.|
Due to different style of commands, there was a slowdown in the pace of operations, as Abu Ubaida moved slowly and steadily, in contrast to Khalid who is said to rush 'like a tornado from battle to battle'; using surprise, audacity and brute force to win his battles. The conquest of Syria continued under the new commander. Abu-Ubaida used to rely heavily on the advice of Khalid, whom he kept with him as much as possible.
Emperor Heraclius assembled an army to defeat Muslims and evict them from Syria at the Plain of Fahal. Muslims to moved to Fahal, the cavalry under Khalid ibn Walid's was first to arrive at the battle scence. Muslims defeated them at the Battle of Fahal on 23rd January 635 CE. After the battle Abu Ubaidah along with Khalid moved towards Emesa city, with Khalid in-command of the cavalry. Meanwhile, emperor Heraclius sent General Theodras to Damascus to recapture it as there was only a small defensive army in the city under the command of Yazid bin Abi Sufyan. Theodras met the Muslim army at Maraj-al-Rome, and moved with half of his army towards Damascus at night, while Abu Ubaidah and Khalid were engaged with the remaining Byzantine army. A Spy informed Abu-Ubaidah about this move. Khalid's cavalry was dispatched by Abu Ubaidah to defend Damascus. Abu Ubaidah defeated the Byzantine army in the Battle of Maraj-al-Rome, while Khalid attacked and defeated Theodras in the 2nd Battle of Damascus.
After a week, Abu Ubaidah himself moved towards Balaq, while he sent Khalid to Emesa. Both cities surrendered and agreed to pay tribute (Jizya). Emesa and Qinassareen city signed one year peace treaty. In the November of 635 CE, Abu Ubaidah along Khalid moved towards city of Hamaa'; it surrendered and agree to pay tribute. Later Abu Ubaidah sent Khalid to Shairzer, Afamia and Matar-al-Hamz which all surrendered. Meanwhile, the city of Qinassareen and Emesa broke peace treaty, Abu Ubaidah sent Khalid to reclaim Emesa, there he defeated the Byzantine army in 1st Battle of Emesa, Byzantines retreated to the Castle of Emesa. Soon Abu Ubaidah reached Emesa with rest of his army, and gave the command of the siege to Khalid. He defeated Byzantine once again in the 2nd Battle of Emesa and finally conquered the city in the 3rd Battle of Emesa in the March of 636 CE, after two months of siege.
Afterward, Abu Ubaidah sent Khalid to conquer northern Syria, he defeated there a small group of Byzantine soldiers in a skirmish and took many as prisons. These prisoners informed him about Emperor Heraclius's final effort to take back the Byzantine province of Syria. They told him that an army of possibly 200,000 will soon emerge to take back the lost land. Khalid halted his advance, on June 636 CE this huge army set out for there destination. As soon as Abu Ubaida got this news he gathered all his officers to decide their next step. Khalid gave suggestion that they should call all of there forces present in province of Syria (Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel) to utilize the combined forces of the Muslim army and then moved towards the plain of Yarmouk for the battle.
Abu Ubaida ordered all Muslim commanders to withdraw from the conquered areas and pay back their tribute (Jizya) to them and move towards Yarmouk. Heraclius's army also moved towards Yarmouk. The Muslim Army reached there in the July of 636 CE. Within two weeks the Byzantine army arrived to the battleground. In the mid of July there was a skirmish between Khalid's cavalry and Christian Arab auxiliaries of Byzantine army. Khalid defeated them. For a whole month there was no action in the plain of Yarmouk. On the third week of August, the Battle of Yarmouk was fought, which lasted for 6 days. The Muslim army defeated the Byzantine army.
On October of 636 CE, Abu Ubaida held a meating with his high command officers to decide future conquests, they decided to conquer Jerusalem. Siege of Jerusalem lasted for 4 months, the city finally agreed to surrendered, but only to the Caliph himself.
Umar came from Medina and the city surrendered on April 637 CE. After the victory Abu Ubaida sent his 'Amr-ibn al-Aas, Yazid bin Abi Sufyan and Sharjeel bin Hassana back to there areas to reconquer them. Most of these areas submitted without any fight.
Abu Ubaida moved his armies to Northern Syria once again to conquer them with army numbering 17000. Khalid along with his cavalry was sent to Hazir, and Abu Ubaida moved to Qasreen city. Khalid defeated a strong Byzantine force in the Battle of Hazir and reached Qinassareen before Abu Ubaidah. The city surrendered to Khalid in the June of 637 CE, soon afterwards Abu Ubaida arrived. Abu Ubaidah moved on to the city Aleppo (Halb). After the Battle of Aleppo city finally agree to surrendered in the October of 637 CE. After this battle, Abu Ubaidah moved to Antioch, in there way to Antioch Byzantine army stopped them near a river on which there was an iron bridge, because of this the battle following is known as Battle of Iron bridge. Abu Ubaidah defeated them and the city of Antioch surrendered on 30th October 637 CE.
Abu Ubaidah sent Khalid to conquer the remaining cities. Khalid, in a series of small battles conquered the cities of Lazkia, Jabla and Tertoos. Abu-Ubaida sent Khalid to conquer north-eastern Syria. Khalid conquered all the areas up to Munbij city, and finished all resistance up to the Euphrates river. After these conquests Khalid return to Abu Ubaidah at Aleppo city in the January of 637 CE. Later, Abu Ubaidah dispatched Khalid and another of his general, Ayaz ibn Ghanam with armies separately. Khalid's conquered the city of Maresh in the Autumn of 638 CE.
I am sending you the Caravans whose one end will be here at Syria and the other will be at Madinah.
Abu Ubaidah's caravans of food supplies was the first to reach Madinah. With his 1st supply of 4000 camels full of food Umar appointed him to distribute the food among the people who were living around Madinah in thousands of numbers, when Abu Ubaidah did that Ummar wanted to give him 4000 Dinars as a reward but he refused to take them saying that he did all that for sake of Allah.
O’ Umar do you run from the Allah’s will ?Umar was shocked by this and said in sorrow: if only some one else would have said this other than you Abu Ubaidah and said then
“ Yes I am running from Allah’s will, but to Allah’s will. Umar returned from Syria because of the prophet Muhammad once instructed that one should not enter the place where epidemic is unless it is absolutely safe. So Abu Ubaidah returned to his army at Emesa. It was then that a plague hit the land of Syria, the like of which people had never experienced before. It devastated the population. As Caliph Umar wanted to make Abu Ubaidah his successor he didn't want him to remain there in the epidemic region. Umar dispatched a messenger to Abu Ubaidah with a letter saying:
"I am in urgent need of you. If my letter reaches you at night I strongly urge you to leave before dawn. If this letter reaches you during the day, I strongly urge you to leave before evening and hasten to me.
When Abu Ubaydah received Umar's letter, he said, '"I know why Umar needs me. He wants to secure the survival of someone who, however, is not eternal." So he wrote to Umar:
"I know that you need me. But I am in an army of Muslims and I have no desire to save myself from what is afflicting them. This is the army which didn't separate from me in the battlefield and didn't betray me. How can I now betray them? I do not want to separate from them until God wills. So, when this letter reaches you, release me from your command and permit me to stay on.
When Caliph Umar read this letter tears filled his eyes and those who were with him asked, "Has Abu Ubaidah died" ? he replied "No, but death is near to him.". Caliph Umar sent another messenger to him saying that if you are not coming back at least move to any highland with less humid environment Abu Ubaidah moved to Jabyia.
''Let me give you some advice which will cause you to be on the path of goodness always. "Establish Prayer, Fast the month of Ramadan, Give charity, Perform the Hajj and Umrah, Remain united and support one another, Be sincere to your commanders and do not conceal anything from them. Don't let the world destroy you for even if man were to live a thousand years he would still end up with this state that you see me in. Peace be upon you and the mercy of God.".
He then appointed Mu'adh ibn Jabal as his successor and order him to lead people in the prayers after the prayers Ma’az came to him and at the moment his soul departed.
Ma’az got up and said to the people…
O' people, you are stricken by the death of a man. By God, I don't know whether I have seen a man who had a more righteous heart, who was further from all evil and who was more sincere to people than he. Ask God to shower His mercy on him and God will be merciful to you..
He died in 639 C.E. and was buried at Jabiya.
Three persons in the tribe of Quraysh were most prominent, had the best character and were the most modest. If they spoke to you, they would not deceive you and if you spoke to them, they would not accuse you of Lying: Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, Uthman ibn Affan and Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah.’’
His way of life was very simple he used to dress in a simple clothing, When during the conquest of Jerusalem Caliph Umar came to Syria he saw Khalid ibn Walid and Yazid bin abu Sufyan dressed in very beautiful and charming dress, Caliph Umar dismounted from his camel and threw sand over them saying that "it has not been even a year since you have came out of the hunger and hard life of Arabia and you have forgotten all the simplicity when you saw the glamor or Syria’s Emperors !?",but he was cooled down when Khalid ibn Walid explained to him that under these clothes they are still armed to counter any enemy any time, Abu Ubaidah who was there too was still dressed in his simple dress Umar was pleased to see him at evening when Umar went to his home he saw that Abu Ubaidah didn’t have any thing at home except one bed, sword and shield. Umar said to him :
‘’ O’ Abu Ubaidah, you may have arranged some things of comfort for yourself at home ‘’ replied Abu Ubaidah ‘’ O’ Umar that’s enough for me ‘’ ...
Christians of the Levant accepted Islam inspired by Abu Ubaidah such as the whole tribes of Banu Tanookh and Banu Saleej who were Christians accepted Islam after the conquest of Qasreen city. More over, there were many reliefs given by Abu Ubaidah to the non-Muslims living as his subjects in Syria. He is regarded by Muslims to be one of the ten companions of Muhammad who were promised paradise for them during their life.(see the ten who were promised paradise.
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