Meaning of 'AMR IBN AL-'AS in English


died 663, Al-Fustat, Egypt the Arab conqueror of Egypt. A wealthy member of the Banu Sahm clan of the important tribe of Quraysh, 'Amr accepted Islam in 629630. Sent to Oman, in southeastern Arabia, by the Prophet Muhammad, he successfully completed his first mission by converting its rulers to Islam. As the leader of one of the three military forces sent to Palestine by the caliph Abu Bakr, he took part in the battles of Ajnadayn (634) and the Yarmuk River (636) and was responsible for the Muslim conquest of southwestern Palestine. He achieved lasting fame, however, for his conquest of Egypta campaign that, according to some sources, he undertook on his own initiative. After defeating large Byzantine forces at Heliopolis (now a suburb of Cairo) in 640 and Babylon (a Byzantine town on the site of the present Old Cairo) in 641, he entered the capital, Alexandria, in 642. A successful general, 'Amr was also a capable government administrator and an astute politician. In Egypt he organized the system of taxation and the administration of justice and founded the garrison city of Al-Fustat adjacent to Babylon, where he built a mosque (still standing) bearing his name. At the Battle of Siffin (657), fought to decide the succession to the caliphate, he sided with Mu'awiyah I, governor of Syria, against 'Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam. In the ensuing arbitration, he faithfully represented Mu'awiyah, who rewarded him with the governorship of Egypt at the advent of the Umayyad caliphate (named for the Banu Umayyah clan of Mu'awiyah) in 661.

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