Plague of Emmaus

The Plague of Emmaus (طاعون عمواس in Arabic, ţā`ûn 'amwās transliterated), also known as the Plague of Amwas, was an outbreak of plague, possibly bubonic plague, that occurred in 639 AD (18 AH) in the town of Emmaus (Amwas) in Palestine.

The town had been re-founded as Nicopolis in 221 AD by the Roman Emperor Elagabalus, and was given the title of 'city'. Shortly after its conquest by the forces of the Rashidun Caliphate, who set up a military camp there, the plague struck.

The epidemic is famous in Muslim sources because of the death of many prominent companions of the Messenger Muhammad. It is estimated that 25,000 people died in this outbreak, which is considered part of the outbreaks of plague in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries that followed the major pandemic of the 6th century, the Plague of Justinian.