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Abu-Lu'lu'ah Al-Majose ( ; Abu-Lu'lu'ah The Magus); (Persian name: پيروز نهاوندى Pirouz Nahāvandi) was a Persian slave who assassinated the Muslim ruler, or caliph, Umar al-Khattab in CE. His original name was Pīrūz (Arabicized: Fīrūz, "the victorious"; other transliterations of his name include Feroz, Firouz, Abu-Lo'lo'a, Abu Lulu, Abu Lolo, and Baba Shuja-e-din). He was a Zoroastrian.


Early life

Not much is known about Piruz, except that he was born in Nahavandmarker and was probably of a Zoroastrian background.

Moving to Medina

In addition to his superb military skills, Pirouz was a skilled workman, a carpenter and artisan, and his owner allowed him to live in his own household in the Islamic capital of Medinamarker (although according to Ibn Sa'd, Mughira ibn Shu'ba, his owner who was also the governor of Basramarker, had written 'Umar from Kufa; and then 'Umar had given Mughira special permission to send Abu Lu'lu'ah to Medina—since captives were not permitted to live in Medina).

Some controversial stories (all stemming from one Arab source) say that Abu Lu'lu'ah hired himself out as a carpenter, and gave two dirhams a day to his owner in return for his limited freedom [while Ibn Shihab's account states that every month Mughira took 100 dirhams from his wages (although the account of Abu Huwayrith, also in Ibn Sa'd's Tabaqat, states 120 dirhams, four per day)]. He supported a wife and child on the rest of his earnings.

This version of the story is highly unlikely since as a slave, Pirouz would not have been allowed to earn wages. A more likely version of the story is that Mughira, who was present at the battle of Nahavand, captured and brought Pirouz to his home on main land Araba as a slave. He then sold Pirouz to Omar, who kept Pirouz in his home as a slave, where Pirouz was able to plan and execute his assassination plan. Additionally, it is unlikely that Pirouz had brought his family with him to Arabia as POW's were not allowed to bring their families with them.

Umar's murder

One controversial story [which summarizes and is largely in agreement with the account (ultimately deriving from Ibn Shihab) included by Ibn Sa'd in his Tabaqat] goes thus: Abu Lu'lu'ah felt that he had to give too much of his wages to his owner. He approached Umar, the caliph, and begged for relief, saying (according to Abu Huwayrith's account in Ibn Sa'd's Tabaqat) "The taxes [Mughira] are levying on me are more than I can bear." Mughira (his owner), as a Muslim, was subject to Umar; surely Umar could enforce justice.

However, Umar, after questioning him about how much his income was in proportion to the tax that Mughira was demanding from him (according to Ábu Huwayrith), told Abu Lu'lu'ah that he was such a skilled workman that he was sure to make a good wages; there was no need to reduce his obligation to his owner. The slave was enraged at the reply and swore vengeance. [Ibn Sa'd adds: So in his robe he wrapped his two-headed dagger, the grip of which was in the middle, and hid himself in a corner of the Medina mosque.]

When Umar went to wake up those sleeping in the mosque for morning prayers, Abu Lu'lu'ah leaped upon him and stabbed Umar six times [three times, according to Ibn Sa'd]. He attempted to make his way out of the mosque, slashing at the bystanders [11 men besides 'Umar, according to Ibn Sa'd] as he fled.


There are different narrations of how he died. Bukhari's Sahih states that he killed himself when he got caught minutes after murdering Umar. Some Shia say he escaped and ended up in Kashanmarker, where, seven years later, he was captured and killed.

On hearing about his father's murder, Ubaydullah ibn Umar (not to be confused with his brother Abdullah) killed people related to Abu Lu'lu'ah. Possible victims include Abu Lu'lu'ah's wife, daughter, and sons, a Christian man named Jufaynah, and the Hormuzan of Khuzistanmarker (A Muslim-convert who lived in Medina). Caliph Uthman ibn Affan pardoned Ubaydullah.

Some sources say that when Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib decided to have qisas done, Ubaydullah fled to Mu'awiyah I and joined his forces.



Currently some people in Iran, mainly in Kashan and Aran Bidgol claim that they are descendants of Abu-Lu'lu'ah. They usually use the family name Azimi (عظیمی) .

The shrine in Kashan

See also


  1. The Succession to Muhammad, By Wilferd Madelung, pg. 75

External links

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