Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Governors of Uthman: 'Amr b Al 'Aas

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Governors of Uthman: 'Amr b Al 'Aas

Early Life
'Amr b Al 'Aas belonged to the Sahm section of the Quraish. When the Holy Prophet declared his mission, 'Amr was one of the great opponents of Islam. He even planned the murder of the Holy Prophet. When some of the Muslims migrated to Abyssinia, the Quraish sent a delegation to Abyssinia to prevail upon the Negus to expel the Muslims from his State. 'Amr was one of the members of this delegation. 'Amr was an active member of the delegation, but the delegation failed in its object. At the battle of Uhud, 'Amr commanded the Quraish cavalry.

Conversion to Islam
After the Hudaibiya Pact, 'Amr b Al 'Aas and Khalid b Walid came to Madina and were converted to Islam. On conversion, 'Amr b Al 'Aas wanted an assurance that his past sins had been forgiven, and the Holy Prophet gave him the necessary assurance. Thereafter he participated in all the battles fought under the Holy Prophet. In the apostasy wars under Abu Bakr, he undertook a campaign against the Kalb tribe. When Abu Bakr declared Jihad against the Byzantines, 'Amr offered his services and said, "I am one of the arrows of Allah, shoot me where you will."

Conquest of Egypt
Under Umar, 'Amr became the Governor of Palestine in 63X C.E. In 639 C.E. after the death of Ubaidullah b Jarah, 'Amr became the supreme commander of the armed forces in Syria. That provided him an opportunity to conquer Egypt. Umar was averse to the extension of Muslim dominions. When 'Amr b Al 'Aas pressed for the conquest of Egypt, Umar reluctantly gave his permission to try his luck in Egypt. 'Amr b Al 'Aas invaded Egypt with a small force in the closing months of 639 C.E. Egypt fell before the Muslim arms as if by a miracle.

'Amr b Al 'Aas as the Governor of Egypt
After the conquest of Egypt, Amr b Al 'Aas became the first Governor of Egypt. Egypt was the richest province in the Muslim dominions, but the revenues that 'Amr b Al 'Aas sent to Madina from Egypt were not commensurate to the importance of the province Amr b Al ~Aas was a good administrator and a skilful General, but he was not an expert in financial affairs. There were complaints that the financial affairs of the province were not managed efficiently.

Later, Umar partitioned Egypt into two provinces, namely Upper Egypt with the capital at Fayyum, and Lower Egypt with the capital at Fustat. 'Amr b Al 'Aas remained the Governor of Lower Egypt, while Abdullah b Sa'ad b Abi Sarah was appointed as the Governor of Upper Egypt.

The measure of the partition was not popular with the people. 'Amr b Al 'Aas felt dissatisfied that his charge had been curtailed. Umar was a stern and hard task master and he suppressed all opposition with a stern hand.