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Piruz Nahavandi

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(Redirected from Abu Luʼluʼah)

Piruz Nahavandi
Native nameپیروز نهاوندی
Bornc. 600 CE
Nahavand, Sasanian Persia
31 October 644(644-10-31) (aged 43–44)
Medina, Rashidun Arabia
(Sunni tradition)

After 644
Kashan, Rashidun Persia
(Shia tradition)31 October 644(644-10-31) (aged 43–44)
Medina, Rashidun Arabia
(Sunni tradition)

After 644
Kashan, Rashidun Persia
(Shia tradition)
Resting placeTomb of Piruz Nahavandi, Iran
33°58′11.0″N 51°24′59.5″E / 33.969722°N 51.416528°E / 33.969722; 51.416528Coordinates: 33°58′11.0″N 51°24′59.5″E / 33.969722°N 51.416528°E / 33.969722; 51.416528

🏳️ NationalityPersian
Other namesAbū Luʾluʾah, Baba Shuja' al-dīn
💼 Occupation
Known forAssassinating Omar
🥚 TwitterTwitter=
label65 = 👍 Facebook

Piruz Nahavandi (Persian: پیروز نهاوندی‎, Pīrūz Nahāvandī),[Note 1] also known by the teknonymy Abu Luʼluʼah (Arabic: أَبُو لُؤْلُؤَةَ‎, Father of Pearl) and Baba Shuja' al-din (Arabic: بابا شُجاع‌الدین‎, The father brave of the religion), was a Persian Sasanian soldier who was captured in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah (or Battle of Nahavand) in 636 CE when the Sasanians were defeated by the Muslim army of Omar on the western bank of the Euphrates River. After he was brought to Arabia as a slave, he managed to assassinate Omar in the Islamic Hijri year 23 (644–645 CE). Nahavandi has been reported to have been an expert blacksmith and carpenter alongside his career as a soldier. His name indicates that he is originally from the ancient city of Nahavand, Persia.

Early life[edit]

Move to Madina[edit]

After his capture, Piruz was given as a slave to al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba.[1] In addition to his military skills, Piruz was apparently a skilled carpenter and artisan. According to one report he was involved in the design of a vertical-axis windmill.[2] His master allowed him to live in his own household in the Islamic capital of Medina (although according to Ibn Sa'd, Mughira ibn Shu'ba, his owner who was also the governor of Basra, had written to 'Omar from Kufa; and then 'Omar had given Mughira special permission to send Pirūz to Medina, since captives were not permitted to live in Medina).[3]

According to a Sunni Sahih Bukhari hadith, which recounts the assassination and Omar's last days in detail, the companion Amr ibn Maymun described Nahavandi as a "non-Arab infidel". In the same hadith, Omar also describes Nahavandi as a non-Muslim: "All the Praises are for Allah Who has not caused me to die at the hand of a man who claims himself to be a Muslim."[4] Al-Tabari described Nahavandi as a Christian.[5] Nahavandi is referred to with the epithet al-Majusi, indicating Zoroastrian beliefs; however, this is likely a pejorative use because of his assassination of Omar.[6]

Assassination of Omar and death[edit]

Piruz brought a complaint to Omar about the high tax charged by his master Mughirah. Omar wrote to Mughirah and inquired about the tax; he found Mughirah's reply was satisfactory. Omar held that the tax charged to Abu Lulu was reasonable, owing to his daily income. Omar then is reported to have asked Abu Lulu: "I heard that you make windmills; make one for me as well." In a sullen mood, Piruz said, "Verily I will make such a mill for you, that the whole world would remember it".[7]

There were Persian children slaves in Madina. Seeing them, Piruz would say, "You have been enslaved at such a tender age. This Omar sees eaten my heart. I will take his heart out". He made for himself a dagger with a very sharp edge and smeared it with poison.[8]

On 31 October 644, Piruz attacked Omar while he was leading the morning prayers, stabbing him six times in the belly and finally in the navel, that proved fatal. Omar was left profusely bleeding while Piruz tried to flee, but people from all sides rushed to capture him; in his efforts to escape he is reported to have wounded twelve other people, six or nine of whom later died, before slashing himself with his own blade to commit suicide. Omar died of the wounds three days later.[9]

Shia tradition has reported that Nahavandi killed only Omar and following the assassination Ali provided support and advice to Piruz and, through a miracle, transported him to Kashan, where he safely lived out the rest of his days among fellow adherents of Ali.[10][11]


Tomb of Piruz Nahavandi

Pirūz Nahavandi's "revered" tomb[11] is located on the road from Kashan to Fins, constructed in an eleventh-century distinctive Persian-Khwarezmian dynastic architectural style, consisting of a courtyard, porch and conical dome decorated with turquoise coloured tiles, and painted ceilings. The original date of its construction is unknown, but in the second half of the fourteenth century it was fully restored and a new tombstone was placed over his grave."[12]

Veneration by Shias[edit]

Among the Shia, for the act of killing Omar, Nahavandi acquired the honorific title of Baba Shujauddin (roughly translated as 'the honored, brave defender of the religion').[13][14] The day of Omar's assassination (9 Rabi' al-awwal), and the glorification of Nahavandi, is still celebrated in remote Iranian villages and was previously celebrated in major Iranian cities until the protests of Arab countries resulted in its banning there by the authorities. The celebration is known as jashn-e Omar koshi (the celebration of the killing of Omar).[15][16]

In 2010, controversy was caused when the International Union for Muslim Scholars called for Nahavandi's tomb to be destroyed—a request which was not well received by some Iranians, having been perceived as a specifically anti-Iranian act. Al-Azhar University also demanded the Iranian government demolish the shrine; the issue caused the cancellation of diplomatic relations between the university and the Iranian government.[17] These requests were made because the shrine is considered to be "offensive and un-Islamic" by mainstream Sunni scholars.[17] Due to this Sunni pressure, it was reported that the Iranian government shut down the shrine in 2010.[17] It is currently used as the local police head office.[18]


  1. Alternatively spelled Pirouz Nahawandi and Firuz (فیروز, Fīrūz)


  1. Saheeh al-Tawtheeq, Seerah wa Hatat al Farooq, page 369
  2. RJ Forbes. Studies in ancient technology. Vol. 9. Brill, 1964.
  3. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab: His Life and Times, Volume 2, Dr. Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, Page 282
  4. "Sahih Bukhari, Book 5, Volume 57, Hadith 50 (Companions of the Prophet)". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. Ṭabarī (1994). The History of al-Tabari Vol. 14: The Conquest of Iran A.D. 641-643/A.H. 21-23 (illustrated ed.). State University of New York Press. p. xvii. ISBN 9780791412947. Search this book on
  6. Bahaa-eddin M. Mazid (2012). HateSpeak in Contemporary Arabic Discourse. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 9781443836920. Search this book on
  7. The History of al-Tabari - Volume 14
  8. "Islamic History of Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab | Death of Umar - A Persian Stabbed Umar".
  9. The History of al-Tabari, Volume 14
  10. Michael M. J. Fischer (2003). Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution (reprint ed.). University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 9780299184735. ...Firuz made a two-bladed dagger with the handle in the middle and with this he killed 'Omar. He then ran out of the mill where the act had been committed. 'Ali happened to be sitting outside; as Firuz ran past, he rose and changed his seat. When pursuers came to 'Ali, they asked if he had seen Firuz. 'Ali replied, "As long as I have been sitting on this spot, I have not seen him." Having provided a temporary alibi for Firuz, 'Ali then advised Firuz to return to Iran and quickly take a wife. With a special prayer 'Ali transported Firuz to Kashan, normally a journey of several months. There he was welcomed and married. When his pursuers arrived in Kashan several months later inquiring about a certain Firuz recently come from Iraq, they were told that there was such a man but he had come several months ago and had married then, so he could not be the one they sought. Search this book on
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mark Downes (2002). Iran's Unresolved Revolution (illustrated ed.). Ashgate Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 9780754631880. Search this book on
  12. Mohammad-Ali E. (28 June 2007), CAIS NEWS: Tomb of Firuzan (Abu-lolo) in Kashan to be Destroyed
  13. Melville, Charles Peter, ed. (1996). Safavid Persia: the history and politics of an Islamic society (PDF) (illustrated ed.). I.B. Tauris. p. 161. ISBN 9781860640230. Search this book on
  14. India. Office of the Registrar General (1965). Census of India, 1961: Gujarat. Manager of Publications. p. 159. Search this book on
  15. Kessler, E. H.; Wong-Mingji, D.J., eds. (2009). Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 255. ISBN 9781848447387. Search this book on
  16. Raihan Ismail (2016). Saudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam. Oxford University Press. pp. 92–3. ISBN 9780190627508. Search this book on
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Raihan Ismail (2016). Saudi Clerics and Shi'a Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 93. ISBN 9780190627508. Search this book on

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