Istanbul (GPA) – It so happened that historical parallels are not uncommon in world politics. One of the most striking of such parallels is the current events in Aleppo and Idlib. Just as its Byzantine predecessor, modern Turkey under various pretexts, is trying to seize Muslim lands by setting up a pro-Western residence.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif erdogan iran turkey turkey byzantium
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Turkish President Erdogan
Image: Twitter

You may ask what does modern Turkey has to do with Byzantium? Let me explain. Turkey is a member state of NATO – an imperialist military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. Byzantium in the past used to be an imperialist state as well. More so, after the appearance and strengthening of Islamic subjects, Rum (i.e. Byzantium) became a puppet of Western kings and the Vatican. Thus, the historical connection of the Western invaders is evident, and the territories of Sham are under attack once again.

Let us examine the main front-line soldiers on the side of Islam in their struggle against Byzantium. With all due respect to great personalities such as commander of Abbasides – Amr bin Abdullah, then the Fatimid general – Menzhutakin, as for Seljuks – we have Sultan Alp Arslan, Sultan Kilizh Arslan of the Second and the Ottoman Sultans Murad the second and Muhammad the second. One of the most important roles was played by the Shiite Hamdanid state in the district of Aleppo, under the rule of Sef Yafa al-Dawla Ali. Historians often ignore this, but it is obvious that the contribution of the Shiite Emirate to the common victory over Byzantium cannot be denied. Out of all these heroes, it is Hamdanids who are closest in terms of fiqh and madhhab to the current fighters of the resistance of northwestern Syria. The aforementioned Resistance here means the residents of villages of Nouble, Zahra, El Fua, and Kefraya. Proof of devotion to Ahlul Bayt and their policies according to the creed of the Imamate is realized in the personality of Abu Firas al-Hamdani, the brave commander of the army of the emirate and part-time poet. He embodied the noblest codes of honor of Islamic knighthood that are very well known through the poems of the Iranian philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi, the poet Mutanabbi. These are the few devout faithful individuals and outstanding intellectuals who contributed to the development of the Ummah and to the disclosure of the teachings of Ahlu Bayt, may peace be upon them. Sef Yafa al-Dawla Ali regularly defended the emirate against the advances of Byzantines. One of the most prominent battles and victories of his was the battle for Germanicia known for the destruction of Patrikios Leo Maleinos.

It is also worth mentioning some of the negative moments in history. Such as the internecine wars between the representatives of various Arab caliphates, Emirates and Turkic principalities. That is, on par with the wars against the Rum, clashes took place within the Islamic community itself. Hamdanids were a part of it. For instance, on September 15, 994 BC in the war between Rum and the Fatimids, Hamanides fought on the side of Byzantium, which proves not only the fragmentation of Muslims but the thirst for the imperial caliphate to absorb a small Emirate. As a result, the Fatimids eventually achieved their goal by destroying the Hamdanids. I do not justify the then leadership of a small state in the north of Syria and Iraq, but I cannot deny the ever-growing expansionist of the Egyptian Caliphate. It is worth adding that the Hamdanids have always had difficulties in the past in ensuring the stability of southern borders. For example, The Ikhshids unleashed wars for influence over Mesopotamia and parts of Syria. This was followed by the neighboring Buid dynasty often militarily challenging to control over the lands of Mosul.

Further down the line, dynasty internal political conflicts began to develop. So even during the life of Seif ad-Daula Emirate of Aleppo was shocked by the uprisings of the governors in alliance with some lieutenants amongst his own army. The rebels tried to take advantage of the deteriorating state of health of the leader. And consequently, gradually weakening the influence of his authority in the state. Its role in the oblivion of the Emirate of Aleppo played an incident when his brother Seif, Nasir ad-Daula was preoccupied with the intrigues within the Abbasid Caliphate and did not come to the rescue at a difficult hour. And although by 977 internal turmoil was settled, the political situation in the new Middle East scenario will change, and the Emirate will cease to exist. Thus, from the beautiful history of the Shiite dynasty of the north of Syria, only memories will remain, and the reality will be a fragmented quasi-state with the beginning of the struggle in the given territory between the Fatimids and Byzantines, the remnants of the Hamdanid elite will join both sides.

Also by Damir Nazarov: Opinion: Resistance and Faith of Galilee

Now we may attempt to draw a historical analogy between the Emirate of Aleppo and modern villages. The Hamdanids became the mainstay of the Islamic World before the invasive policy of Byzantium, in our time the Shiite villages in Idlib and Aleppo showed the highest form of heroism being in the blockade of the jihadists supported by the West (this includes the NATO member – Turkey, a contemporary of Byzantium, it is worth recalling that the late Ottoman Empire was also often included in all sorts of Western alliances, and in diplomatic circles it was called “the sick man of Europe” ), not allowing the occupation to develop . Participation of IRGC, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqis from Kharakat Hezbollah Al-Nudjaba, together with other Islamic organizations in the liberation of Shiite villages and other areas of the north of Syria is also a supplement to the picture of the defense of the Ummah from encroachments by the forces of the imperialists and its mercenaries. The Governor of Aleppo has even made statements regarding this failure of the plans of the Neo-Ottomans.

The aforementioned defenders of the north of Syria from among both locals and fellows who have come from neighboring countries in their beliefs coincide with the local Shiite dynasty of the past, the Hamdanids of the Seif al-Daula. Such organizations as the National Ideological Resistance, Liva al-Baqir , Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja , Junud al – Mahdi , Ushaq Al-Mahdi battalion ( Sayida Zeinab Regiment) , Al – Ghalibun, with special support from the IRGC and Hezbollah, carry out the task of protecting Sham at the turn of the north of Syria from the promotion of the puppets and mercenaries of the imperialist powers.

We see a certain similarity from the past that reflect the present day events. It warms the heart to see how the symbol of political coincidence is the defense of the Ummah led by the followers of Ahlu Bayt (peace be upon them). Akyda of Imamat, creating certain Islamic ideologies corresponding to the context of time, continues its revolutionary work, the purpose of which is the time finale and the arrival of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him).

This piece is an independent submission to Geopolitics Alert. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and may not necessarily reflect those of the editors.


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