By: Mir M.Hosseini
One of the first recorded uprisings against the Caliphates was that of the Azarak sons in the Sistan Province. After Harunolrashid, the Abbasi Caliph heard of this uprising, he sent an army from Khorasan to suppress it. Ali Bin Isa Bin Mahan, the governor of Khorasan sent his son Isa at the head of an army to put revolutionaries to sword.
Hamzeh Azarak received the intelligence in time and sent a group of top-notch partisans to mountains en route to Sistan. They successfully dispersed the occupying Arab army on Jan, 11, 798.forcing them to retreat. This ambush, by few hundreds of courageous men was a great blow that shook the Caliph authority which was believed to be invincible. Azarak uprising leaded to liberation of Sistan.
The Azarak sons underlined the fact that the Abbasi Caliphates were doing exactly what was prohibited in Islam, drown in greed and lust and leading a luxurious life while general public was poor. It was the time where Arab rulers were assimilating all subdued nations including great nations like Egypt and Syria, banning their local languages and forcing them to speak Arabic, and thus giving up all of their own culture and traditions. According to Azarak ideology, Iranians did not need Arab clergies to tell them what to do, pan-Arabism is a dilemma that emerged with Islam. Azarak encouraged people not to pay Jaziyah, a tax levied by Arabs on non-Arabs.
The Khorasan governor labeled freedom fighters as Khawarej, a group that objected Rashedin Caliph. Yet, the Arab forces faced similar defeats in Rhagae and Hamedan during the next 14 years. Harunolrashid mobilized an army to face the Azarak movement personally but he died in Mashhad before engaging a battle.
Hamzeh Azarak passed away in 830 AD. The Azarak movement was followed by Yaghub Leis and other revolts finally leading to Iran's independence in 931.