MUSCAT: A symposium on ‘The Omani Al Muhallab bin Abi Sufra Al Azdi,’ which kicked off at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the Wilayat of Bausher on Wednesday, confirmed the ‘Omanism of this important historical personality’ based on various literary and historical references. The symposium was opened under the auspices of Abdulaziz bin Mohammed al Rowas, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, in the presence of ministers, members of the State Council, Majlis Ash’shura, under-secretaries and researchers.
The two-day symposium, organised by the University of Nizwa, aims to draw a clear picture on the life of Al Muhallab bin Abi Sufra, and highlight his military and political role, the role of his parents in Oman, Hijaz, Iraq, Africa and Gorgan, to study the historical roles of the Muhallaba heroine and to determine their archaeological sites in the Wilayat of Adam in the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah. Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Mahrooqi, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Symposium, Director of Al Farahidi Centre, University of Nizwa, said that this international symposium comes within the framework of the national efforts exerted by scientific research to make an effective contribution to safeguarding the legacy of our great nation in both material and non-material aspects.
He added that in this pursuit, the efforts of Al Khalil bin Ahmed al Farahidi Centre for Arabic and Humanities Studies at Nizwa University, through a series of seminars deals with the figures of Oman, in recognition of their human and scientific excellence.
Al Mahrooqi added: “The figure of this symposium is the Omani Al Muhallab Bin Abi Sufra al Azdi, this outstanding leader, who excelled in the art of war and the making of victories, as well as in the management of the regions and the consolidation of the reign.
“He grew up in the house of leadership of his people, he is Abu Sufra Sariq bin Dhalim al Atki al Azdi who accepted the faith of Islam and was named by the Prophet as Abu Sufra.
“Then, he came to the Caliph Abu Baker as part of an Omani high-ranking official delegation headed by Abd al Julanda. He was the preacher of the delegation. He delivered the delegation’s speech in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah. History keeps for this leader an unforgettable lesson in educating leaders.”
In his speech, Al Mahrooqi stressed that Omani history is deep rooted for 7,000 years.
In many stages of history, the Omani Empire was strong and dominated the seas of the world and extended to Asian, Indian and African lands.
He added: “This land has produced many great leaders and scholars, the intellectual and cultural legacy of Oman with its manuscripts and documents, which are witnesses to these achievements although they are distributed in the countries of the world in Persia, India, Portugal and eastern Africa to the Comoros and Madagascar”.
Dr Al Mahrooqi, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Symposium, Director of Al Farahidi Center at Nizwa University, added that with the great efforts of the official institutions, the task is very large, calling on universities and governmental and civil research centers to start documenting this heritage and presenting it inside and outside Oman and the world.
He added that work should be intensified to present this heritage for young people in order to preserve the identity and originality that characterise Oman, considering that the abandonment of heritage “an option for those who has no options, calling for the establishment of a Waqf fund to contribute to by all to support those efforts and that the income of that fund is allocated to finance scientific research”.
Dr Said bin Mohammed al Hashemi from Sultan Qaboos University presented the first working paper entitled “Illuminations from Omani History”. It dealt with three themes in which he touched on the geography of Oman and the Omani state, as well as illuminations from the Omani History and civilization.
He dealt in his paper with the arrival of Malik bin Al Fahm al-Azdi to Oman and liberated it from Persians,
and arrival of Islam to Oman in the era of Abd and Jafir; sons of Al Julanda.
In his paper, Al Hashemi dealt with the succession of the imamate, including the state of Al Ya’ariba and the beginning of the state of Al Busaid in the era of Imam Ahmad bin Said al-Busaidi and the empire of Oman under the reign of Saif bin Sultan.
He concluded his paper by referring to the blessed Renaissance in the prosperous reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
After that, Dr Farouk Omar Hussain Fawzi from Iraq presented a paper entitled “The Role of Al Muhallab Bin Abi Sufra Al Azdi in the Islamic Mashreq during the Umayyad period (51-132 AH/661-750 AD). He discussed the leading role of Al Muhallab Bin Abi Sufra in Iraq and the Islamic Mashreq in one of the most politically complicated eras where Al Muhallab Bin Abi Sufra played a role in the Islamic expeditions in the Rashidi caliphate, especially since the settlement of Al Azad in Basra.
He indicated that the name of the Al Muhallab emerged early in expedition in Al Mashreq since the era of the Caliph Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufian where he proved to be a professional military and a seasoned politician.
He noted that when sedition happened in the Levant and the Hijaz in 64 Hijri, he withdrew to Basra and did not participate in it.
In his paper, he discussed the role of Al Muhallab in confronting the greatest threat to the state and society, which is the danger of the Azariqa where he managed with his military skill and political leanings to uproot them in a relatively short time during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan in 65 AH despite the hatred, envy and conspiracies of some governors in Iraq and Khorasan.
The paper dealt with the positions held by Al Muhallab in Iraq, Khorasan and other regions in the Islamic Mashreq, where he and his children remained loyal to legitimacy to avoid sedition.
It also touched on the biography of children of Al Muhallab who took the path of their father, indicating that the political situation changed during the reign of Yazid bin Abdul Malik, who did not estimate the positions of the sons of the Al Muhallab, led by Yazid bin Al Muhallab, resulting in ordering his Walis to confiscate their money and imprisonment, which led to the revolution of Yazid bin Al Muhallab in Basra against the state.
The researcher added that the family of Al Muhallab’s loyalty to the Islamic state remained rooted in them, and this is illustrated by the interest of the successors of the Abbasid state. — ONA