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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Conquest of the Island of Cypress

Muawiyah's proposal
When Muawiyah became the Governor of Syria, he suggested to Umar the desirability of undertaking a naval expedition and conquering the island of Cypress in the Mediterranean. He argued that in any campaign against Constantinople. Cypress could serve as base

Umar's decision
On receiving the proposal of Muawiyah, Umar asked the opinion of 'Amr b Al 'Aas the Governor of Egypt on the point. He was particularly asked to express his view about naval warfare on the sea.

In figurative language, 'Amr b Al 'Aas described naval action on the sea in the following terms:

"Verily, I saw a huge creature floating on the sea, on which men seemed to be diminutive things. Huge billows as high as mountains rise. If the sea is still it rends the heart. If it swells it terrifies the senses. With it the faculties become numb, and the calamities augment. Those inside it are like worms in a log. If it inclines to one side, they are drowned, if it escapes they are confounded." On receiving this reply from 'Amr b Al 'Aas , Umar turned down the proposal of Muawiyah. He wrote to Amir Muawiyah:

"Let the sea remain a barrier between us and the enemy. BY Allah I will not set a true believer upon it."

Amir Muawiyah did not agree with the logic of fear from the sea. He had, however, no option but to remain quiet.

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