Claims of Massacre and Persecution Attributed to Khurasan Governor Qutayba Ibn Muslim al-Bahili


CUMHURIYET ILAHIYAT DERGISI-CUMHURIYET THEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.22, no.1, pp.515-542, 2018 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.18505/cuid.417935
  • Page Numbers: pp.515-542


Qutayba ibn Muslim al-Bahili is one of the leading soldier-bureaucrats of the Umayyads period. During the time he served as the governor of Khurasan, he consolidated the Umayyad's rule in Tokharistan and Transoxiana provinces, and expanded the borders of the state to China by conquering the Kashgar region. His activities for conversion of the people of the conquered regions have great importance in the history of Islam since the intense relations of the Turkish people with Islam fell upon the time of his governorship. It is possible to argue that by introducing the religion to these people Qutayba had played an important role in their conversion to Islam. It is also known that he had sent a delegation to the emperor of China for the same purpose. However, despite all his achievements, it is seen that the academic studies about Qutayba in our country are very rare. Besides, some of the recent studies about him claim that he was a fraud, a trickster, and an untrustworthy person in his military activities; and had committed mass murders and massacres, persecuted innocent people, destroyed and burned the cities of conquered lands. In this article, it is examined that whether these claims and accusations have their justifications or not by consulting the main sources. In fact, what is expected from constructive criticism in this subject and every other area is to clarify the matter and make it more comprehensible of its context. However, it should not be forgotten that some conclusions over Qutayba in these studies might have been drawn to quickly in order to manipulate the conquest movements of the Umayyad period.