After-effects of the Failed Attempts at Jewish Independence
In Arabia, Eriat was granted rulership over Yemen by Abyssinia, a position he held until he was assassinated by one of his army leaders, Abraha. Abraha, after reconciliation with the king of Abyssinia, took rulership over Yemen and built a Cathedral in San'a to advance Christianity in Arabia. Some of the leadership in Mecca, the Quraish, defiled this Cathedral by going to the bathroom in its halls. In Arabia, where laws of purity were derived from the Temple laws of Tumah and Taharah, this invalidated the house of worship for prayer and was the greatest insult. Abraha commanded his soldiers to demolish the Ka‘bah in Mecca. In 570 CE, Utilizing a massive attack on war-elephants which failed, he and his soldiers came to be known as the “Men of the Elephant”. This is the traditional year when the Prophet Muhammad is born.
After the “Elephant” incident, the people of Yemen, under the leadership of Ma‘dikarib bin Saif Dhu Yazin Al-Himyari, and through Persian assistance, revolted against the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) invaders, restored independence and appointed Ma‘dikarib as their king. However, Ma‘dikarib was assassinated by an Abyssinian. About this time, the Ma'rib dam again collapsed, the main irrigation infrastructure was destroyed. In 575 CE, Khosrau, the Persian king, appointed a Persian ruler over San‘a and thus made Yemen a Persian colony. The family of Dhu Yazin was thus deprived of royalty forever, as the Persian rulers maintained rulership of Yemen.
This had the effect of bringing Arabia in direct contact with Persia, and Bedouins were now seen encamped on the western bank of the Euphrates river. 581 CE, Hormisdas IV king of Persia, tyrannized the Jews, forcing many to flee, including the leaders of the academies; Roman Emperor Maurice defeated Hormizdas after a 4-year campaign. During this time there were many marriages between the Quraish and Jews in Arabia. The daughter of 32nd Exilarch Hofnai married Asad ibn Hashim, and Fatima the mother of the future Khalif, 'Ali abu Talib was born.
In 591 CE, Khosrau II became the Sassanid king of Persia. He followed Khosrau I's liberal policy towards the Jews. Within the Persian royal circles, the Jews had recognized rights and privileges, but due to the fanaticism of the people they were unable to exercise them. The doors of the academies remained shut and there remained much hatred between the Jewish and non-Jewish population. Khosrau considered the idea of relocating the some of the Jews, but the opportunity had not presented itself.
The failure of Persia to come to the aid of the Jews had lasting effects in both Babylon and Arabia. The Arabs blamed the Persians as untrustworthy, and felt the Jews of Persia had abandoned Dhu Nuwas. Arabia was split between those who were for Persia and those for Byzantium. The role of Rabbinite Jews as teachers and judges in Arabia began to be resented; anger at their claims of superiority and "pure" blood inflamed certain Arab tribes. The Exilarch, for his part, vowed revenge on the treachery of Kovad at Mahoza. Still others of the royal family, like Hushiel ben Hofnai, took to the study of Jewish Mysticism and angels. Hushiel distained the materialism of the previous Exilachs, and locked his children in his palace safe from riots, pogroms and politics. Hushiel had two sons, Nehemiah and Shallum – who destiny would be intertwined with the future of the Prophet.
- "We will not say like the Israelites, 'Go and let you and your Lord fight we will wait'", Sura Al-Anfal