Ridda Wars

The Ridda Wars (Arabic: حُرُوب ٱلرِّدَّة, lit.'Apostasy Wars'),[1] were a series of military campaigns launched by the first caliph Abu Bakr against rebellious Arabian tribes. They began shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 and concluded the next year, with all battles won by the Rashidun Caliphate.[2] These wars secured the caliphate's control over Arabia and restored its nascent prestige.

Ridda Wars
حُرُوب ٱلرِّدَّة

Map of the major battles of the Ridda Wars
Date632–633
Location
Result Caliphate victory
Territorial
changes
The Rashidun Caliphate establishes control over the entire Arabian Peninsula
Belligerents
Rashidun Caliphate Rebel Arab tribes
Commanders and leaders
Abu Bakr
Khalid ibn al-Walid
Amr ibn al-As
Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Zayd ibn al-Khattab  
Talha ibn Ubayd Allah
Al-Nu'man ibn Muqrin
Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl
Shurahbil ibn Hasana
Khalid ibn Sa'id
Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami
Hudhayfah al-Bariqi
Arfaja al-Bariqi
Al-Muhajir ibn Abi Umayya
Suwaid ibn Maqaran
Shahr ibn Badhan  
Fayruz al-Daylami
Musaylima 
Aswad Ansi 
Tulayha
Malik ibn Nuwayra 
Sajah 
Umm Zhiml Salma 
Laqeet bin Malik 
Al-Ash'ath ibn Qays 
Ghayth ibn Abd Yaghuth
Qays ibn Makshuh 
Amr ibn Ma'adi Yakrib 

During Muhammad's lifetime, many Arab rebels declared themselves prophets. After Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected as the caliph of the Muslim community at Saqifah. The next day, he launched a successful expedition into the Byzantine Syria. Meanwhile in Arabia, the self-proclaimed prophets started to cause mischief and arranged rebellions against Abu Bakr. The first attack on the caliphate was done by Tulayha, who prepared an army in an attempt to capture Medina, the capital of the caliphate. This was a major failure as Tulayha's forces were crushed in Zhuqissa. In the battle, Tulayha retreated and then again attacked the Muslims at Abraq and Buzakha, both were unsuccessful attempts. After the defeat, Tulayha became a Muslim, though this was not enough to stop the rise of more self-proclaimed prophets.

In September 632, Banu Azd's chief Laqit prepared an army to attack Oman. However, the commander Hudayfa's forces defeated Laqit and his army. The next month, attacks were faced in Northern Arabia and Yemen, though they were easily defeated. Few months later, Banu Hanifa's chief Musaylimah, with an army 40,000 soldiers, killed a large amount of Muslims in the Battle of Yamama, many of them being hafiz. The last major attack was done by the powerful tribe of Kinda in Hadhramaut in January 633. The campaigns came to end in June 633 as Abu Bakr successfully united all tribes of Arabia.

The Rashidun Caliphate secured its control by defeating the rebel tribes. These military campaigns are regarded by historians as Abu Bakr's greatest political and military triumph.[citation needed] These wars also cemented Khalid ibn al-Walid's reputation as a great tactician and cavalry commander. A detailed reconstruction of the events is complicated by the frequently contradictory and tendentious accounts found in primary sources.[3]


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