ABŪ ʿEKREMA ZĪĀD B. DERHAM AL-SARRĀJ, otherwise known as ABŪ MOḤAMMAD AL-ṢĀDEQ, a freedman of Banū Ḥamdān, regarded as the first ʿAbbasid propagandist in Khorasan (Madāʾenī quoted by Ṭabarī, II, p. 1501). His activity there in the ʿAbbasid cause began shortly after 100/718-19. Earlier Abū ʿEkrema had been a supporter of Abū Hāšem ʿAbdallāh b. Moḥammad b. al-Ḥanafīya, whose organization already extended to Khorasan, and he was one of those whose names are said to have been given to Moḥammad b. ʿAlī after Abū Hāšem’s death as entirely reliable. Summoned from Kūfa by Moḥammad b. ʿAlī, he took the oath of allegiance and was given charge of the ʿAbbasid mission in Khorasan. Having reached Khorasan, Abū ʿEkrema initiated an active propaganda campaign. His operations coming under suspicion, he was brought before the governor Saʿīd b. ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz and interrogated. His plea that he was a simple merchant was accepted, and he was dismissed; but he continued to operate until his return to Syria after two years. Abū ʿEkrema later went back to Khorasan to continue his work. The governor was now Asad b. ʿAbdallāh al-Qaṣrī, whose vigilance detected something of what was going on. Abū ʿEkrema was summoned and warned to leave the province. He did not do so and was again brought before the governor, who reminded him of the previous injunction and ordered his execution. The account given by Ṭabarī under 109/727-28 suggests the reluctance of Asad b. ʿAbdallāh to condemn Abū ʿEkrema.


Dīnavarī, pp. 334-37.

Ṭabarī, II, pp. 1358, 1453, 1467, 1501-03.

Baḷʿamī, Chronique IV, p. 248.

Taʾrīḵ al-ḵolafāʾ, ed. Gryaznevich, Moscow, 1967, fols. 249b, 252a-53a.

J. Wellhausen, Das arabische Reich und sein Sturz, Berlin, 1902, pp. 315-16.

(D. M. Dunlop)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 19, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 272

Cite this entry:

D. M. Dunlop, ABŪ ʿEKREMA,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 272; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-ekrema-ziad-b (accessed on 30 January 2014).