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So, he left him one half of it and carried the other half to the treasury in Al-Madiinah. However, if the
Commander of the Faithful had known that `Amr's love for wealth would lead him to carelessness in his
responibility, it is conceivable that his reasonable conscience would not have allowed him to stay in
power for even one moment.
`Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) was sharp-witted with strong intuitive understanding and deep
vision, so much so that whenever the Commander of the Faithful saw a person incapable of artifice, he
clapped his palms in astonishment and said, "Glory be to Allah Indeed, the Creator of this and the
Creator of `Amr lbn
Al-Aas is one God."
`Amr was also very daring and unhesitant. He used to combine his daring with his wits in some
instances so that he would be thought to be cowardly or hesitant. However, it was the capacity to trick
which `Amr perfected with great skill to get himself out of a destructive crisis.
The Commander of the Faithful Umar knew these talents of his and appreciated their true value. For that
reason, when he sent him to Syria, before his going to Egypt, it was said to the Commander of the
Faithful, "At the head of the armies of Rome in Syria is Artubun; a shrewd and brave leader and a
prince." `Umar's response was, "We have hurled at Artubun of Rome Artubun of the Arabs, so let us see
how the matter unfolds."
Matters unfolded in a massive victory for the Artubun of the Arabs, their dangerous, sly old fox,
`Amr Ibn Al-'Aas over the Artubun of Rome, who left his army to defeat and fled to Egypt. `Amr would
catch him shortly thereafter to raise the standard of Islam above its secure lands.
What are the situations in which the intelligence and wits of `Amr excelled? We do not count
among them his position with Abu Muusaa Al-Ash'ariy in the incident of arbitration when the two of
them agreed to depose `Aliy and Mu'aawiyah to refer the matter back to consultation between the
Muslims. Abu Muusaa implemented the agreement and `Amr relented from carrying out his part of the
If we want to witness a picture of his wits and the skill of his intuitive insight, we find it in his position
with respect to the commander of the Citadel of Babylon (near present day Cairo) during his war with
Rome in Egypt, and, in another historical narration, in the battle we shall mention which took place in
Yarmuuk with Artubun of Rome.
When Artubun and the commander invited `Amr to talk, they gave an order to some of their men to
throw a rock at him immediately upon his departure from the Citadel and to prepare everything so that
the killing of `Amr would be an inevitable matter.
`Amr met the commander, not suspecting anything from him, and their meeting ended. While `Amr
was on his way out of the Citadel, he glimpsed over the walls something suspicious that aroused in bun a
strong sense of danger, and immediately he behaved in an outstanding manner. He returned back to the
commander of the Citadel, in safe, secure, slow steps, with confident, happy feelings, as if nothing had
scared him at all or had aroused his suspicion. He met the commander and said to him, "An idea came
across my mind I wanted you to know. I have with me, where my companions are camped, a group from
among the first Companions of the Messenger to enter into Islam. The Commander of the Faithful would
not decide anything without consulting them and would not send an army unless he put them at the head
of its fighters and soldiers. I will bring them to you so that they hear from you that which I heard, so they
will become as clear in the matter as I am."
The Roman commander realized that `Amr, by his naiveté, had granted him the opportunity of a
lifetime. Therefore, he thought, Let us agree with him, and when he returns with this number of Muslim
commanders and the best of their men and their leaders, we will deliver the coup de grace and finish off
all of them at once, instead of finishing off Amr alone.