Araisiyan or Ariseen is the word used by the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him in his letter to Heraclius. No other letter written to any other Arab and non‐Arab king and potentate contains the word whose significance is disputed by the scholars of Traditions and lexicographers. According to one version it is the plural of Arisi which means the servants and the peasants. Ibn Mandthoor makes it out as a synonym for cultivators in the Lisan‐ul‐Arab and cites Thʹalab as the authority for holding this view. He also quotes Ibn al‐ ʹArabi in his support while at the same time cites a quotation from Abu ʹUbayda to show that the word also means the chief or the elder who is obeyed or whose orders are carried out.
Now the question arises that if ariseen means peasants, it should have been employed to denote the subjects of Chosroes rather than the population of Byzantine Empire.
The class of cultivators was by far more numerous under the Persian Empire and formed the chief source of its revenues. Ibn Manzoor has cited Azhari who says, ʺthe people of Iraq who followed the religion of Chosroes were peasants and countrymen. The Romans were artisans and craftsmen and, therefore, they had nicknamed the Magis as Ariseen which meant that they were peasants.
Arabs also used to call the Persians as fallaheen or the peasants.ʹ
Ariseen has also been interpreted to denote Arians or the follower of Arius (280‐336) who was the founder of a well known Christian sect. The doctrine of Arius which hovered for a long time between acceptance and rejection as the official creed of the Byzantine Empire, upheld the Unity of God and denied the co‐substantiality of the Son
with the father.