I don't recall all of the details, but in the 7th century, the Persians under Chosroes II invade Byzantine territory and take Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and most of Asia Minor. The Byzantine emperor Heraclius manages to defeat them. This is on the eve of the rise of Islam. The fact that both empires were weakened as a result of these wars was a factor in the rapid spread of Islam. What if the Byzantines are defeated or are only able to retake part of Asia Minor. Could the Persians have retained their conquests and even held back the rising Caliphate?