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In 98 AH, a Roman commander named Alqaun came to Sulaiman ibn Abdul Malik’s court and induced him to conquer Constantinople. He sent his son Dawood and brother Maslama to Constantinople with an army and Maslama as the commander.

He laid a siege to the city. When the Islamic army reached the vicinity of the siege, Maslama asked each of his soldiers to take a handful of grain and deposit it near the army’s headquarters. When the grain was collected near the end of the siege, it was piled so high it looked like some hills. He had houses of clay and stone built for the soldiers and ordered them to cultivate the land and the fields ripened.

When a year had passed, the Romans sent secret messages to Alqaun the Roman commander and offered him half of the territory if he could get the Muslims to raise the siege. He agreed. Then he advised Maslama, “If you set your store of grains and fields on fire, the Romans will think that now the Muslims are going to launch a final and decisive attack. Out of fear they will probably hand over the city to you and without loss of life it will be easily captured,” Maslama believed his words and fell into his trap burning the store grains and all the grain fields.

If the siege had continued, there is little doubt that it would have resulted in a victorious conquest.

– The history of Islam by Akbar Shah Najeebabadi, Volume 2, Page 191.

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