Behzad/Abu Muslim Khorasani E-mail

Behzad or Abu Muslim was born in the city of Balkh in the state of Khorasan. He still remains to be a legendry and highly respected revolutionary figure after 1200 hundred years. 

There are different accounts of his origin and background by different sources but the definite truth is that he was an ethnic Tajik/Persian Zoroastrian from Khorasan which was dominated by Tajiks at the time. It was during his imprisonment for anti Umayyads activities that he met the Abbasid imam who was also briefly incarcerated in 741. The Abbasid imam were set out to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty so taking advantage of the situation Behzad sided with Abbasids and led to numerous revolts in Khorasan that eventually led to the demise of Umayyad dynasty. 

Behzad was an energetic and capable leader who overcame the initial resentment caused among Arabs by his non-Arab origin. He very well took advantage of deep social division and anti arab, and freedom seeking sentiments in Khorasan. He recruited from various discontented and dispossessed social groups and created a coalition of rebellious Arabs and Khorasanians. 

On June 15, 747, Behzad raised the banner of revolution and the revolt quickly spread throughout Khorasan and to other provinces. The revolt eventually led to the overthrow of Umayyad caliph and the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II was defeated and killed in 750. Behzad was the leading factor in defeat of Umayyads and rise of Abbasids. As as-Saffah became the first Abbasid caliph in 749, Abu Muslim was given the governorship of Khorasan in reward for his services. The Abbasids still depended on him on all affairs of the state specially the military and political affairs. 

The Abbasids were basically enthroned and to a great extend influenced by Behzad as he was a leading politician, powerful military leader and a very popular figure in many provinces especially among non-Arabs. As Behzad's power and popularity grew the Abbasids became more and more suspicious of him specially that he was inclined to separate Khorasan from the rest of Abbasid states.

Al Mansur the second Abbasids Caliph was in fear of Behzad’s ever increasing popularity. After having Behzad quell an uprising by the uncle of Al Mansur, stripped away the governorship of Khorasan from him. When Behzad arrived at his invitation to his court, al Mansur treacherously put him to death and in this way eliminated a potential rival for the throne and the possibility of losing the province of Khorasan. 

The unavenged and cowardly murder of Behzad, a legendry hero among Tajiks, inspired many later uprising against Abbasids.

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