We learn from Arabian and Greek historians that previous to Muhammad's birth,
and during his life, many parts of the Peninsula were ruled over by Persian
kings. For example, Kesra Nousherwan having sent an army to Hîra, put down
Hârith the king, and in his room placed the subservient Mandzar on the throne.
He also sent an army to Yemen, and having expelled the Abyssinian invaders,
restored the old king, whose progeny followed him in the government of the land.
Abulfeda tells us that "the family of Mandzar, and race of Nasr son of
Rabia, were the Kesra's governors over the Arabs of Iraq"; also that after
the Himyarites, "there were four Abyssinian governors of Yemen, and eight
Persians, and then it became ruled over by Islam." It is clear, then, that
both in the time of Muhammad and previously, the Persians had constant
intercourse with Arabia; and being incomparably more learned than its ignorant
people, must have had an important influence on their religion, on their
customs, and on their knowledge at large. Both history and Qur'anic
commentaries shew that the tales and