After the fall of Musailma and the overthrow of the Banu Hanifa, Abu Bakr decided that a campaign should be undertaken against the people of Bahrain who had supported Musailma in the fight against the Muslims. Bahrain comprised the coastal strip to the west of the Persian Gulf. During the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. Mundhir bin Sawa w as the ruler of Bahrain. The Holy Prophet sent a mission to Bahrain, and invited Mundhir to Islam.
Mundhiraccepted the call and was converted to Islam. Mundhir continued to be the ruler of Bahrain under the suzerainty of Madina. Under the influence of Mundhir most of the people of Bahrain accepted Islam. He deputed Jarud bin Mualia a scholar of Bahrain to study Islam at Madina. Jarud returned to his people after some time, and made dedicated efforts to promote Islam with his people The Holy Prophet appointed Al ‘Ala bin Al Hadrami as the Resident at the court of Bahrain.
After the death of the Holy Prophet.
Mundhir died soon after the death of the Holy Prophet His death led to anarchy and chaos, and like the people of the other regions in Arabia, most of the people of Bahrain also apostatized. Jarud remained steadfast in his faith in Islam. His tribe, however, wavered in their allegiance to Islam. The argument of his tribe Abdul Qais was that if Muhammad (peace be on him) had been a Prophet, he would not have died. Jarud asked, “There were prophets before Muhammad (peace be on him); where have they gone?”
They said that they had died. Thereupon Jarud said, “As other prophets before him died, so Muhammad (peace be on him) has also died. If the deaths of the other prophets could not affect their prophethood, how can the death of Muhammad(peace be on him) affect his prophethood? I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (peace be on him)whether dead or alive is His messenger.” The argument of Jarud carried weight with his tribe, and they continued their allegiance to Islam. The other people of Bahrain repudiated their allegiance to Islam, and revolted under the leadership of Al Hotam b Dubayah.
Therebels captured power and installed al Gharur a Lakhmid prince as their ruler Al Gharur was a descendant of the Arab kings of Hirah, and was a bitter enemy of Islam. He was crowned as the king of Bahrain and he took the pledge to fight against Islam. He brought pressure on Jarud and his people to denounce Islam. but they remained steadfast in their faith Thereupon the Bahrain forces led an attack against the Muslims. The Muslims of the Banu Abdul Qais shut themselves in the fort of Jarasi, and the non-Muslims pressed the siege with considerable vehemence.
Action in Bahrain.
Al-Hadrami returned to Madina to seek help and Abu Bakr sent a force under the command of Al-Hadrami to the relief of the besieged Muslims. In the meantime the battle of Yamama was over, and the Banu Hanifa had been won over to Islam. Many men of Banu Hanifa joined the ranks of al-Hadrami, as his forces passed through the Yamama valley on their way to Bahrain, In the meantime the non-Muslims of Bahrain received considerable help from the Persians, and they were fully prepared for a confrontation with the Muslims. Al-Hadrami called upon the Bahrain authorities to offer submission. They ridiculed the offer and declared that the sword would decide the issue. The Bahrain forces were sufficiently strong, and that made Al-Hadrami halt. He sent words to the besieged Muslims at Jarasi to persevere for he was coming to their relief.
He had a ditch dug round his camp, and the Muslims waited for a suitable opportunity to overpower the enemy. This state of stalemate lasted for a month, and that made the Bahrain forces feel that the Muslims were no match for them. One night the Muslims heard a lot of noise from the non-Muslim camp. It was reported to Al-Hadrami that the non-Muslims were celebrating their national festival, were dead drunk and were giving themselves to fun and frolic. Al-Hadrami decided to avail of this opportunity. He ordered his troops to take up arms, cross the ditch and pounce upon the enemy.
Thesurprise attack unnerved the Bahrain forces. They ran helter-skelter in all directions and were cut to pieces by the pursuing Muslim forces. Hotam the Commander of the Bahrain forces was killed, while Prince Gharur was captured alive. Over 10,000 non-Muslims died in the action. The Bahrain forces laid down arms and surrendered. Jarud and his Muslim forces came and joined the victorious Muslim army. The people of Bahrain were admitted to the fold of Islam. Those who refused to accept Islam escaped to the island of Darim in the Persian Gulf.
The battle of Darim.
Al-Hadrami reorganized the administration and appointed his agents in various parts of Bahrain. After settling the affairs in Bahrain proper, Al hadrami decided to take action against the persons who had taken refuge in the island of Darim.
There is a report that on the approach of the Muslim army the water in the channel dried, and they crossed it as if it were a shallow beach. This was interpreted as a sign from the Heaven that God favored the Muslims. Brought to bay the fugitives on the island capitulated and were admitted to the fold of Islam.
Consequences of the battle of Bahrain.
The victory of the Muslims in Bahrain was significant in more than one way. Bahrain was at considerable distance from Madina, and the victory at Bahrain showed that the Muslim military arm was sufficiently long and powerful, and could reach far. The assistance that the Persians gave to the people of Bahrain was originally a cause of great concern to the Muslims, but in the long run this worked to the advantage of the Muslims.
The Muslims had originally intended to confine their operations to Arabia proper, but the alliance of the people of Bahrain with the Persians provided the Muslims an opportunity for settling accounts with the Persians. The Banu Hanifa who had been at one time the greatest opponents of Islam now became the ardent supporters of the faith. Muthanna a chief of the Banu Hanifa organized a flying column, and undertook to protect the barriers against the Persians. The battle of Bahrain thus proved a prelude to the war with Persia. But for the interference of the Persians in the affairs of Bahrain, the Muslims might not have advanced in Persia, and history would have taken a different course.