Twenty - first century Pakistan

Khalid bin Waleed

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Companions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH

. . . . Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu. . . . .

A Sleepless Man Who Will Not Let Anyone Sleep.

His story is a rather perplexing one. He was the deadly enemy of Muslims in the Battle of Uhud and the deadly enemy of the enemies of Islām in the remaining Muslim battles.

I feel at a loss concerning where to begin and what to begin with. He himself hardly believed that his life had really begun until that day on which he shook hands with the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam as a sign of his allegiance to him. If he could have ruled out all the years, even the days that preceded that day, he would not have thought twice.

Let us then begin with that part of his life which he himself loved most. Let us begin from that glorious moment when his heart was affected by Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and his spirit was blessed by the Most Merciful. Thus, it overflowed with devotion to His religion, His Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and to a memorable martyrdom in the way of the truth. This martyrdom enabled him to erase the burdens of his ad vocation of falsehood in the past.

One day, he sat alone in deep thought concerning that new religion that was gaining momentum and gaining ground every day. He wished that Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, the All-Knower of what is hidden and unseen, would guide him to the right path. His blessed heart was revived by the glad tidings of certainty. Therefore, he said to himself, "By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, it is crystal clear now. This man is indeed a Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam, so how long shall I procrastinate. By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I will go and submit myself to Islām."

Now, let us hear him narrate his blessed visit to the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and his journey from Makkah to Madīnah to join the ranks of the believers: I hoped to find an escort, and I ran into `Uthmān bin Affan Radi-Allahu 'anhu and when I told him about my intention, he agreed to escort me. We travelled shortly before daybreak and as we reached the plain, we ran into `Amr Ibn Al-' Aas Radi-Allahu 'anhu.

After we had exchanged greetings, he asked us about our destination, and when we told him, it turned out that he himself was going to the same place to submit himself to Islām. The three of us arrived at Madīnah on the first day of Safar in the eighth year. As soon as I laid my eyes on the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam, I said, "Peace be upon the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam," so he greeted me with a bright face. Immediately, I submitted myself to Islām and bore witness to the truth. Finally, the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam said, "I knew that you have an open mind and I prayed that it would lead you to safety." I took my oath of allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam then asked him, "Please ask Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala forgiveness for me for all the wrongdoings I have committed to hinder men from the path of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." The Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam said, "Islām erases all the wrongdoings committed before it." Yet I pleaded with him, "Please pray for me. Finally, he supplicated Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, "O Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, forgive Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu for all the wrongdoings he committed before he embraced Islām." Then `Amr Ibn Al-'Aas Radi-Allahu 'anhu and `Uthmān bin Affan Radi-Allahu 'anhu stepped forward and submitted themselves to Islām and gave their oath of allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam.

Notice these words "Please ask Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala forgiveness for me for all the wrongdoings I have committed in the past to hinder men from the path of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." Now, whoever has the perception and insight to read between the lines will find the true meaning of these words of Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu, who became the sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and the hero of Islām. When we come across various incidents in the course of his life story, these words are our key to understanding and elucidation.

For the time being, let us accompany Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu, who had just embraced Islām, and watch the Quraish's great warrior who had always had the reins of leadership. Let us see the subtlest of Arabs in the art of attack and retreat as he turned his back on the idols of his ancestors and the glory of his people and welcomed, along with the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and the Muslims, the advent of a new world that Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala had destined to rise under the standard of Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and the slogan of monotheism.

Let us hear the Muslim Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu impressive story. To start with, do you recall the story of the three martyrs of the Battle of Mut'ah? They were Zaid Ibn Harith Radi-Allahu 'anhu, Jafar Ibn Abū Tālib Radi-Allahu 'anhu and `Abdullāh Ibn Rawaha Radi-Allahu 'anhu. They were the heroes of the Battle of Mut'ah in Syria, in which the Romans mobilized 200,000 warriors. Nevertheless, the Muslims achieved unprecedented victory.

Do you recall the glorious, sad words with which the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam announced the sad news of the death of the three commanders of the battle? "Zaid Ibn Harith Radi-Allahu 'anhu took the standard and fought holding it until he died as a martyr; then Jafar Ibn Abū Tālib Radi-Allahu 'anhu took it and fought clinging to it until he won martyrdom; and finally, `Abdullāh Ibn Rawaha Radi-Allahu 'anhu gripped it and held it fast until he won martyrdom."

This is only part of the Prophet Muhammad's Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam speech, which I have written before, but now I find it appropriate to write the rest of the story: "Then it was gripped by a sword of the swords of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and he fought until he achieved victory."

"Who was that hero? He was Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu, who threw himself into the battlefield as if he were an ordinary soldier under the three commanders whom the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam assigned. The first commander was Zaid Ibn Harith Radi-Allahu 'anhu, the second was Jafar Ibn Abū Tālib Radi-Allahu 'anhu, and the third was Abdullāh Ibn Rawaha Radi-Allahu 'anhu. They won martyrdom in the same order on the vicious battlefield.

After the last commander had won martyrdom, Thabit Ibn Aqram Radi-Allahu 'anhu took the standard with his right hand and raised it high amidst the Muslim army. His purpose was to stop any potential disarray inside the lines. Thabit Radi-Allahu 'anhu then carried the standard and hastened towards Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu and said, " Take the standard, Abū Sulaimān Radi-Allahu 'anhu." Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu thought that he did not deserve to take it since he had newly embraced Islām. He had no right to preside over an army that included the Banī Ansār and Muhaajiruun who had preceded him in embracing Islām.

These qualities of decorum, modesty, and gratitude were becoming of Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu worthiness. He said, "I will not dare to hold it. Go on, hold it, for you deserve it better than me. First, you are older. Second, you witnessed the Battle of Bad." Thabit Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, "Come on, take it, you know the art of fighting far better than me. By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I only held it to give it to you." Then he called on the Muslims, "Do you vote for Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu command?" They readily answered, "Yes, we do!"

At that moment, the great warrior mounted his horse and thrust the standard forward with his right hand as if he were knocking on closed doors that had been closed for too long and whose time had finally come to be flung wide open. So this act was to lead the hero to a long but passable road on which he would leap during the Prophet Muhammad's Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam life and after his death until destiny brought his ingenuity to its inevitable end.

Although Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was in charge of the army command, hardly any military expertise could change the already determined outcome of the battle, turning defeat into victory or turning victory into defeat. The only thing that a genius could manage to do was to prevent more casualties or damage in the Muslim army from occurring and end the battle with the remainder of the army intact. Sometimes a great commander must resort to that kind of preventive retreat measure that will prevent the annihilation of the rest of his striking force on the battlefield. However, such a retreat was potentially impossible, yet if the saying, "Nothing stands in the way of a fearless heart" is true, there was no one more fearless and ingenious than Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu.

Instantly, The Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala flung himself into the vast battlefield. His eyes were as sharp as a hawk's. His mind worked quickly, turning over all the potentialities in his mind. While the fierce fight raged, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu quickly split his army into groups, with each assigned a certain task. He used his incredible expertise and outstanding craftiness to open a wide space within the Roman army through which the whole Muslim army retreated intact. This narrow escape was credited to the ingenuity of a Muslim hero. In this battle, the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam gave Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu the great epithet `The Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala".

Shortly thereafter, the Quraish violated their treaty with the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and the Muslims marched under Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu to conquer Makkah. The Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam assigned the command of the right flank of the army to Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu entered Makkah as one of the commanders of the Muslim army and the Muslim nation. He recalled his youth when he galloped across its plains and mountains as one of the commanders of the army of paganism and polytheism. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu stood there recollecting his childhood days playing on its wonderful pastures and his youthful memories of its wild entertainment. These memories of the past weighed down on him, and he was filled with remorse for his wasted life in which he worshipped inanimate and helpless idols. But before he bit the tips of his fingers in remorse, he was overpowered by the magnificence and spell of this scene of the glorious light that approached Makkah and swept away all that came before it. The astounding scene of the weak and oppressed people, on whose bodies the marks of torture and horror still showed, was magnificent as they returned to the land they had been unjustly driven out of. Only this time, they returned on horseback under the fluttering standard of Islām. Their whispers at Dar Al-Arqam's house yesterday turned today into loud and glorious shouts of "Allāhu Akbar", that shook Makkah and the victorious cry "There is no god but Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala", with which the entire universe seemed to be celebrating a feast day.

How did this miracle come about? What is the explanation of what had happened? Simply, there was no logical or rational explanation whatsoever, but the power of the Ayāt that the victorious marching soldiers repeated with their "There is no god but Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala" and "Allāhu Akbar" as they looked with joy at one another and said, "

Sūrah Ar-Rūm (The Romans) XXX, Ayāt 6:
وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

(It is) a Promise of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala (i.e. Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala will give victory to the Romans against the Persians), and Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala fails not His Promise, but most of men know not. (TMQ* 30:6).

Then Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu raised his head and watched in reverence, joy and satisfaction as the standard of Islām fluttered on the horizon. He said to himself, "Indeed, it is a promise of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala fails not in His promise." Then he bent his head in gratitude and thanks for Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala blessing that had guided him to Islām and made him one of those who would usher Islām into Makkah rather than one of those who would be spurred by this conquest to submit themselves to Islām.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was always near the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam. He devoted his excellent abilities to the service of the religion he firmly believed in and devoted his life to. After the glorious Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam had died and Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu became the Khalifah, the sly and treacherous cyclone of those who apostatized from Islām shrouded the new religion with its deafening roar and devastating outbreak. Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu, quickly chose the hero of the battlefields and man of the hour, namely Abū Sulaimān Radi-Allahu 'anhu, The Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu. It is true that Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu himself was at the head of the first army that fought against the apostates; nevertheless, he saved Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu for the decisive day and Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was truly the mastermind and inspired hero of the last crucial battle that was considered the most dangerous of all the apostasy battles.

When the apostate armies were taking measures to perfect their large conspiracy, the great Khalifah Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu insisted on taking the lead of the Muslim army. The leaders of the Companions tried desperately to persuade him not to, yet his decision was final. Perhaps he meant to give the cause for which he mobilized and rallied this army a special importance, tinged with sanctity. He could not achieve his aim except by his actual participation in the deadly battle and his direct command of some or all of the Muslim troops. It was a battle between the power of belief against the power of apostasy and darkness.

The outbreak of apostasy posed serious threats, in spite of the fact that it started as an accidental insubordination. Soon, the opportunists and the malicious enemies of Islām, whether from the Arab tribes or from across the borders where the power of Romans and Persians perched, seized their last opportunity to hinder the sweeping tide of Islām. Therefore, they instigated mutiny and chaos from behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, mutiny flowed like an electric current through the Arab tribes, like Banī Asad, Banī Ghatfān, Banī `Abs, Banī Tii, Banī Dhubyaan, then Banī `Ammar Hawāzin, Banī Sulaim and Banī Tamiim. Hardly had the skirmishes started with limited numbers of soldiers than they were reinforced with enormous armies, often of thousands of warriors. The people of Bahrain, Oman and Al-Mahrah responded to this horrible plot.

Suddenly, Islām was facing a dangerous predicament, and the apostate enemy closed in upon the believers. But Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu was ready for them. He mobilized the Muslim armies and marched to where the armies of Banī `Abs, Banī Murah and Banī Dhubyaan gathered.

The battle started and went on for a long time before the Muslims achieved a great victory. No sooner had the victorious Muslim army reached Madīnah than the Khalifah sent it on another expedition. News spread that the armies of the apostates were increasing in number and weapons by the hour.

Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu marched at the head of the second army, only this time, the prominent Companions lost their patience and clung to their opinion that the Khalifah should remain in Madīnah. Accordingly, Imam Ali bin Abi Tālib Radi-Allahu 'anhu stood in Abū Bakr's As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu way as he was marching at the head of the army and held the reins of his she camel and asked, "Where to, Khalifah of the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam? I will tell you the same words that the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam told you in the Battle of Uhud: Sheathe your sword, Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu, and don't expose us to such a tragic loss at this critical time." The Khalifah had to comply with this consensus. Therefore, he split the army into eleven divisions and assigned a certain role for each one. Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu would be the commander over a large division. When the Khalifah gave every commander his standard, he addressed Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu saying, "I heard the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam say, `Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu is truly an excellent slave of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and a brother of the same Banī. He is a sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala unsheathed against disbelievers and hypocrites."

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and his army fought one battle after another and achieved one victory after another until they reached the crucial battle.

It was in the Battle of Al-Yamama that Banī Hanīfa and their allies from the Arab tribes organized one of the most dangerous armies of the apostasy, led by Musailama the Liar. A number of Muslim forces tried to defeat Musailama's army but failed. Finally the Khalifah ordered Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu to march to where Banī Hanīfa was camped.

No sooner had Musailama heard that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was on his way to fight him than he reorganized his army, turning it into a devastating and horrible enemy machine. Both armies met in fierce combat. When you read the history of the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam a perplexing awe will take hold of you, for you will find yourself watching a battle that resembles our modern battles in its atrocity and horrors, though it differs in weapons and tactics.

Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu army stopped at a sand dune that overlooked Al Yamama. At the same time, Musailama marched haughtily and with great might followed by endless waves of his soldiers. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu assigned the brigades and standard to the commanders of his army. As the two armies clashed in a terrible, large-scale, devastating war, the Muslim martyrs fell one by one like roses in a garden on which a stubborn tempest blew!. Immediately Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu realized that the enemy was about to win the battle, so he galloped up a nearby hill and surveyed the battlefield. He realized that his soldiers morale was waning under the pressure of the blitz of Musailama's army.

Instantly, he decided to trigger a new feeling of responsibility inside the Muslim army, so he summoned the flanks and reorganized their positions on the battlefield. He cried out victoriously, "Fight together in your own groups and let us see who will surpass the other and win the field." They all obeyed and reorganized themselves in their own groups. Thus, the Muhaajiruun fought under their standard, the Banī Ansār fought under theirs, and every group fought under its standard. It became fairly easy to determine where defect came from. As a result, the Muslims were charged with a enthusiasm, firmness, and determination.

Every now and then, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was careful to cry out, "Allāhu Akbar" and "There is no god but Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." He ordered his army in such a way that he turned the swords of his men into an inevitable victory that no one could escape. It was striking that, in a few minutes, the Muslim army turned the tables on Musailama's army. Musailama's soldiers fell in tens of hundreds and thousands like flies that were suffocated by the deadly spray of a pesticide. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu ordered his soldiers with a kind of enthusiasm that flowed into them like an electric current. This was a manifestation of his striking genius. This was the manner in which the most decisive and fierce battle of apostasy was conducted. In the end, Musailama was slain and the bodies of his men were scattered on the battlefield. Finally, the standard of the liar impostor was buried forever.

On hearing the good news, the Khalifah offered the Salāt of Thanksgiving to Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala the Great and Most High for bestowing victory on the hands of this hero.

Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu had enough discernment and insight to realize the danger of the evil powers that perched on the borders, threatening the promising future of Islām and Muslims. These evil powers were the Persians in Iraq and the Romans in Syria. These two dwindling empires that clung tenaciously to the distorted remnant of their past glory were not only afflicting the people of Iraq and Syria with horrible torment, but also manipulating them. Notwithstanding the fact that the majority populations were Arabs, they instigated them to fight Muslim Arabs who carried the standard of the new religion which sought to pull down the vestiges of the ancient world and eradicate the decay and corruption in which it was steeped. The great and blessed Khalifah sent his orders to Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu to march towards Iraq, so the hero did so.

I wish that 1 were given more space to follow up in detail the proceedings of his magnificent victory.

Upon arriving in Iraq, the first thing that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu did was to dispatch messages to every governor and deputy who ruled the provinces and cities of Iraq in the name of the emperor. These messages were as follows: In the name of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu sends this message to the satraps of Persia. Peace will be upon him who follows the guidance. All praises and thanks be to Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala Who dispersed your power and thwarted your deceitful plots. On the one hand, he who performs our prayers directing his face to our Qiblah to face the Sacred Masjid in Makkah and eats our slaughtered animals is a Muslim. He has the same rights and duties that we have. On the other hand, if you do not want to embrace Islām, then as soon as you receive my message, send over the Jizyah (tax levied upon non-Muslim people who are under the protection of a Muslim government) and I give you my word that I will respect and honour this covenant. But if you do not agree to either choice, then, by Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I will send to you people who crave death as much as you crave life.

Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu scouts whom he planted everywhere warned him against the enormity of the armies that were organized by the commanders of Persia in Iraq. As usual, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu did not waste much time. Therefore, he flung his soldiers against the falsehood of disbelief so as to devastate it.

Victory followed him wherever he went, from Al-Ubullah, to As-Sadiir, An-Najaf, Al-Hijrah, Al-Anbaar then Al-Kaadhimiya. There was one victory procession after another. The glad tidings of Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu arrival blew like a fresh breeze wherever he went to usher in Islām. The weak and oppressed people found sanctuary in the new religion that saved them from the occupation and oppression of the Persians.

It was impressive that Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu first order to his troops was, "Do not attack or hurt the peasants. Leave them to work at peace unless some of them attack you. Only then, I permit you to defend yourselves".

He marched on with his victorious army, swept his enemies, and cut through their ranks like a knife cutting through melting butter. The Adhān resounded everywhere. I wonder if it had reached the Romans in Syria? Did they realize that cries of "Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala is the Greatest" signalled the end of their deteriorating civilizations? Indeed, they must have heard. In fact, the Adhān cast terror into them, yet in a desperate attempt to recapture the phantom of their empire, they decided heedlessly to fight a battle of despair and perdition.

Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu mobilized his armies and chose a group of his prominent commanders such as Abū `Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah Radi-Allahu 'anhu, Mar Ibn Al-'Aas Radi-Allahu 'anhu, Yazid Ibn Abi Sufyan Radi-Allahu 'anhu and Mu'āwiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan Radi-Allahu 'anhu to lead them.

When the Roman emperor heard the news of the mobilization of these armies, he advised his ministers and commanders to make peace with the Muslims to avoid inevitable defeat. However, his ministers and commanders insisted on fighting and maintained, "By our Lord, we will make Abū Bakr's As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu hair stand on end before his horses breed in our land." Consequently, they mobilized an army estimated at 240,000 warriors.

The Muslim commanders dispatched this terrifying news to Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu, who pledged, "By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I will rid them of their doubts through Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu." Thus, the antidote of their evil suggestions of mutiny, aggression, and disbelief, namely Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu, was ordered to go on an expedition to Syria, where he was to command the Muslim armies.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu promptly acted upon his orders and left Iraq under Al-Muthanna's Ibn Harith āh Radi-Allahu 'anhu supervision and marched with his troops until they reached the Muslim headquarters in Syria. His ingenuity enabled him to organize the Muslim armies and coordinate their different positions in no time. Shortly before the outbreak of war, he addressed his warriors after he had praised and thanked Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, saying, "This is Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala day. On this day, we must not give way to pride not let injustice overrule. I advise you to purify your Jihād and your deeds for Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. Let us take turns in command. Let each and everyone of us take over the command for a day."

"This is Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala day." What a wonderful onset! "We must not give way to pride nor let injustice overrule." This sentence is even more graceful, adequate, and awesome. On the one hand, the great leader was not lacking in self-denial and cleverness, for in spite of the fact that the Khalifah had assigned the command of the army to him, he did not want to give Satan a chance to whisper in the breasts of his soldiers. Therefore, he relinquished his absolute hold on the army to every soldier in the ranks even though he was already the commander. Thus, the commander of the army rotated from day to day.

The enormous and well-equipped Roman army was really terrifying. On the other hand, the Roman commander realized that time was in the Muslims' favour, for they were given to protracted battles which would guarantee their victory. Therefore, he decided to mobilize all their troops for a quick battle to finish off the Arabs once and for all.

Undoubtedly the courageous Muslims, on that day, were gripped by fear and anxiety, yet in such Predicaments they always resorted to their faith, in which they found hope and victory. Notwithstanding the might of the Roman armies, the experienced Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu had firm belief in Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu abilities; therefore he said, "Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu is the man for it. By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I will rid them of their doubts with Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu."

Let the Romans parade their terrifying, enormous forces, for the Muslims had the antidote. Ibn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu mobilized and rallied his army, then divided it into brigades. He laid out a new plan for attack and defence that adhered to the Roman war strategy and tactics with which he was well-acquainted from his past experience with the Persians. He was ready for all possibilities. Strangely enough, the battle raged exactly as he had imagined it would, step by step and one fight after another. If he had actually counted the number of strokes of swords, he would not have been much more accurate. Before the two armies clashed, he was worried about the possibility that some of the soldiers, especially those who had newly embraced Islām, might flee upon seeing the terrifying and enormous Roman army.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu believed that the ingenuity of victory and firmness were one and the same. He believed that the Muslim army could not afford the loss of even one of its soldiers, for it was enough to spread malignant panic and havoc inside the army, which was something that even the entire Roman army could not succeed in doing. In consequence, he was extremely firm concerning anyone who deserted his post and weapon and ran away. In the Battle of Yarmūk, in particular, and afterwards, his troops took their positions. He called the Muslim women and, for the first time, gave them swords. He ordered them to stand at the rear of the lines to "Kill anyone who flees." It was the magic touch of a mastermind.

Shortly before the battle erupted, the Roman commander asked Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu to show himself, for he wanted a few words with him. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu rode towards him, then they galloped to the area that separated the two armies. Mahan, the Roman commander, addressed Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu saying, "We know that nothing but weariness and hunger made you leave your country and go on this expedition. If you wish, we shall give ten dinars, clothes, and food to every one of you, on one condition, that you return to your country and next year we will do the same.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu gnashed his teeth, as he was provoked by his flagrant lack of manners, yet he repressed himself and answered confidently, "We didn't leave our country out of hunger as you said, but we heard that Roman blood is very delicious and tasty, so we have decided to quench our thirst with it."

Swiftly, the hero rode back to the ranks of his army and raised the Muslim standard to the full length of his arm, then he launched the attack. Allāhu Akbar. Let the breeze of Paradise blow!

At once, his army was like a missile as it charged into the battlefield. They met in an extraordinary, monstrous, and deadly combat. The Romans rushed into the battlefield with an enormous number, yet they found that their foes were not an easy prey. The self-sacrifice and firmness that the Muslims displayed on that day were impressive.

In the first place, one of the Muslim soldiers rushed to Abū `Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah Radi-Allahu 'anhu during the battle and said, "I have set my mind on martyrdom. Do you want me to take a message to the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam when I meet him?" Abū `Ubaidah Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, "Yes, tell him we have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us." Immediately, the man darted like an arrow into the horrors of the battlefield. He craved death; therefore, he fought fiercely with one sword while thousands of swords were trusted into him until he won martyrdom.

Secondly, Ikram āh lbn Abū Jahl yes, he was the son of the infamous Abū Jahl. He called out to the Muslims when the Romans were killing anyone who came within the sweep of their swords and said, "I fought against the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam before Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala guided me to Islām, so how can I possibly be afraid of fighting Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala enemy after I submitted myself to Islām?"

Then he cried out, "Who gives me the pledge to death?' He was given the pledge to death by a group of Muslims. Then they broke through the enemy lines. They preferred martyrdom to victory. Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala accepted the bargain they had concluded through their pledge and they won martyrdom.

Thirdly, other Muslims were badly wounded and water was brought so that they might quench their thirst, yet when it was offered to the first one, he pointed to his brother who was lying next to him more seriously wounded and who was more thirsty. Again, when this brother was offered water, he in his turn pointed to his brother. Finally, the majority of them died thirsty after they had demonstrated an incredible example of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Indeed, the Battle of Al-Yarmūk witnessed unprecedented and unmatched instances of self-sacrifice.

Among these striking masterpieces of self-sacrifice exhibited by the determined will of the Muslims was the extraordinary portrait of Khalid lbn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu at the head of only 100 soldiers who flung themselves against 40,000 Romans. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu kept calling out to his 100 soldiers saying, `By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, the Romans seemed to have lost their patience and courage, therefore I pray to Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala to let you have the upper hand over them."

How could 100 soldiers have the upper hand over 40,000? It is, indeed, incredible! Yet, were not the hearts of these 100 soldiers filled with faith in Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala the Most High, the Most Great? Were they not filled with faith in His trustworthy and honest Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam? Were they not filled with faith in that cause which represents the most persistent vital issue in life? This cause represents piety and righteousness. And was not their Khalifah Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu the man who, while his flags were raised above the whole world, sat there in Madīnah, the new capital of the new world, milking with his own hands the ewes of widows and kneading with his own hands the bread of orphans? Was not their Commander Khalid lbn Al-Waleed Radi-Allahu 'anhu the antidote for the doubts of tyranny, arrogance, oppression, and transgression? Was not the Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala drawn against the powers of backwardness, decay, and disbelief? Were not all these portraits a depiction of truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

So let the breeze of victory blow! Let it blow strong, mighty, And victorious!

Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu ingenuity impressed the Roman officers and commanders so much so that Jerjah, a Roman commander, asked Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu to show himself during a rest in the fighting. When they met, the Roman commander asked him, "Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu, tell me the truth and do not lie, for the freeman doesn't lie. Did Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala send down on your Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam a heavenly sword and he gave it to you, so that it enables you to kill anyone who comes within its sweep?" Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, "No." The man exclaimed, "Then why do they call you the Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala?" Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu explained, "Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala sent His Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam to us. Some of us believed in him and others disbelieved in him. I was among the disbelievers until Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala guided my heart to Islām and to His Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and I gave him my allegiance. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam supplicated Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala for me and said, `You are the Sword of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala."' The Roman commander asked, "What do you invite people to?" Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, "We invite people to monotheism and to Islām." He asked, "Does anyone who submits himself to Islām have the same reward as you?" Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, " Yes, and even better." Jerjah exclaimed, "How, when you embraced Islām before he did?"

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu answered, "We lived with the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and saw with our own eyes his signs and miracles. Now anyone who had the chance to see what we saw and hear what we heard was expected to submit himself to Islām sooner or later. As for you who did not see or hear him, if despite this you believe in him and in the unseen, you will find better and greater reward if you purify your conscience and intentions to Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala."

The Roman commander cried out as he urged his horse closer to Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and stood next to him, "Please, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu, teach me Islām!" He submitted himself to Islām and prayed two Rak'ah. Soon, combat erupted and once again, the Roman Jerjah fought, but this time on the Muslim side until he won martyrdom.

Now, let us watch closely how human greatness was manifested in one of its most remarkable scenes. The first version narrated by the historian said that while Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was commanding the Muslim army in this bloody and crucial war and wresting victory out of the claws of the Romans with admirable master strokes, the new Khalifah, `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu, Commander of the Faithful, dispatched a message to him in which he saluted the Muslim army and announced the sad news of Abū Bakr's As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu death . Then he ordered Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu to give up his command to Abū `Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah Radi-Allahu 'anhu. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu read the message and supplicated Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala to have mercy on Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu and bestow His guidance on `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu. Then he strictly ordered the messenger not to tell anyone about the purport of the message and not to leave his place or communicate with anyone.

Then Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu resumed his command of the combat and concealed the news of Abū Bakr's As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu 'death and `Umar's bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu orders until they had achieved victory. Finally, the hour of victory came and the Romans were defeated.

It was only then that the hero approached Abū `Ubaidah Radi-Allahu 'anhu and saluted him. At first, Abū `Ubaidah Radi-Allahu 'anhu thought that he did so in jest, yet he soon realized how serious and true this news was. Instantly, he kissed Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu between his eyes and praised his greatness.

The second version of the same incident is that the message was sent to Abū 'Ubaidah Radi-Allahu 'anhu, who concealed the news from Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu until the burden of war was over. Which of the two versions is authentic is not our concern here. The only thing that interests us here is Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu conduct, which was superb in both versions.

I cannot think of a situation in which Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu manifested more loyalty and sincerity than this one. It did not matter to him whether he was a commander or a soldier. Both ranks were one and the same to him as long as they enabled him to carry out his duties towards Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala Whom he believed in, the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam whom he gave allegiance to, and, finally, towards the religion which he embraced. This great self-control of Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and of other Muslims was not possible without the help and guidance of the unique type of khalifah's who were at the head of the Muslim nation at that time. These Khalifah's were Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu and `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu. The mere mention of either name conjures up all the unique and great traits created in mankind. Notwithstanding the fact that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu were not exactly best friends; `Umar's bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu decency, justice, and remarkable greatness were not in the least questioned by Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu. Hence, his decisions and judgments were not questioned. The unbiased conscience of the man who issued these orders reached the apex of piety, steadfastness, and veracity.

`Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu, had nothing against Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu but his overburdening and sharp sword. He vented these reservations when he suggested to Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu should be dismissed after the death of Mālik Ibn Nuwairah. He said, "Khalid's Radi-Allahu 'anhu sword is overburdening." He meant that it was swift, sharp, and harsh. The Khalifah Abū Bakr As Siddīq Radi-Allahu 'anhu said, "I would not sheathe what Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala had unsheathed against the disbelievers."

Notice that `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu did not say that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was overburdening but used "overburdening" to describe the sword rather than the man! Not only did these words manifest the elevated politeness of Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu but also his profound appreciation of Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu.

Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu was a man of war from head to toe. He dedicated his whole life before and after his Islām to becoming a shrewd and daring knight. Even his environment and the way he was brought up were devoted to that ultimate goal.

Whenever he travelled back in time, he saw the wars he waged against the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam and his Companions and the strokes of his sword that had slain believers and worshipers. Those memories agitated him and made him conscience stricken: Therefore, his sword longed to devastate the pillars of disbelief to compensate for his wrongdoings in the past.

I think you still remember what went on between Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam at the beginning of this chapter, particularly when Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu asked the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam, "Please ask Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala forgiveness for me for all the wrongdoings I committed to hinder men from Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala path." You also remember that even when the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam told him that Islām erases all the wrongdoings committed before it, he pleaded with him until he finally promised him to ask Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala forgiveness for him for all the mischief he had committed before he submitted himself to Islām.

Surely when the sword is carried by such an extraordinary knight as Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu and thrust upon the commands of a conscience, revived by the warmth of purification, sacrifice, and absolute loyalty to a religion that was surrounded by conspiracy and animosity, it will be impossible for this sword to throw aside its strict principles or its spontaneous sharpness.

For instance, when the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam sent him to some Arab tribes after the conquest of Makkah, he said to him, "I am sending you there not as a warrior, but as a Muslim who invites to the way of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." Unfortunately, his sword got the better of him and forced him into the role of the warrior, obliterating the role of the Muslim who invites to the way of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala that the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam had ordered him to follow. When the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam heard what Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu had done, he was stricken with anxiety and pain. Then he turned in the direction of the Qiblah and raised his hands in supplication and apology to Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and said, "O Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, I free myself from blame for what Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu has committed." Then he sent `Ali bin Abi Tālib Radi-Allahu 'anhu to give compensatory blood-money to the family of the deceased.

Narrators said that Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu absolved himself from blame when he said that `Abdullāh lbn Hudhaifa As-Sahmi Radi-Allahu 'anhu told him, "The Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam has ordered you to attack them for their rejection of Islām." In spite of that, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu possessed superhuman energy. He was overtaken by an irresistible urge to devastate the idolatry of the ancient world. If we watched him pulling down the `Uzza idol which the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam ordered him, to destroy, we would see that the resentment and wrath he showed while striking were so aggressive and violent that he did not seem to be striking at a mass of rock but at a whole army, cutting the throats of its soldiers and spreading death everywhere. For he kept striking with his right hand, then with his left hand, then with his foot. He yelled at the scattered rubble and dust, "`Uzza, I don't believe in you! Glory is not to be yours! I can see that Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala has humiliated you!"

We will always repeat the words of `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu about Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu: "Women who give birth to men like Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu are extremely rare," as well as our earnest wish along with `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu that his sword would lose its rashness.

On the day of his death, Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu cried excessively. Later, people learned that his grief was not only caused by his personal loss, but also by the loss of his last chance to return the command to Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu now that people were no longer infatuated with him. The reasons behind his dismissal were now gone. Only this time, unfortunately, the man was gone too.

Indeed, the great hero rushed to take his place in Paradise. For it was about time he caught his breath, considering the fact that no one on earth had been more restless than he. It was really about time his exhausted body would sleep for a while, considering that he was described by his friends and enemies alike as "A sleepless man who would not let anyone sleep!"

If it were for him to decide, he would have chosen to live on until he had demolished all the decaying ruins of the ancient world and continued his Jihād in the way of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and Islām.

The sweet fragrance of this man's spirit will linger forever more whenever horses neigh and the edge of swords glitter and the standards of monotheism flutter over Muslim armies. He used to say, "Nothing is dearer to me than a frosty night in the company of an infantry of Muhaajiruun when we are to attack the disbelievers in the morning. Not even the night in which I was wedded to a new bride or received the glad tidings of the birth of a new child."

Therefore, the tragedy of his life, in his Opinion, was dying in bed after he had spent his entire life on horseback, raising his glittering sword. It was difficult for him to accept that he was to die in bed after all the battles he had fought next to the Prophet Muhammad Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam, and after he had annihilated the Roman and Persian empires and after he had galloped to Iraq where he achieved one victory after another until he had liberated it. Then he had turned to Syria where he had achieved one victory after another until he had set it free from the bonds of disbelief.

In spite of his position as a commander, he was so modest that if you had seen him you would not have distinguished him from among his soldiers, yet at the same time, you would have known at once that he must be a commander from the way he shouldered responsibilities and set himself as a good example.

Again, the tragedy of this hero's life was dying in bed. He said as his tears flowed, "All the battles I fought in left my body scarred with wounds and stabs everywhere, yet here I am dying in bed as if I had never witnessed war before. I hope that the cowards will not have a day's rest even after I am dead."

These words were becoming of such a man. When the moment of departure was close, he dictated his will. Can you guess to whom he left all his valuables? It was to `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu himself. Can you guess what were his valuables? They were his horse and his weapon. And what? He had nothing else to bequeath but his horse and weapon.

Thus, his only obsession while he was alive was achieving victory over the enemies of truth. He was not in the least obsessed with life, with all its splendours and luxury. There was one thing that he obsessively cherished and treasured. It was his helmet. He lost it in the Battle of Al-Yarmūk, and he exhausted himself and others in searching for it. When he was criticized for that, he said, "I keep it for luck, for it has some hairs of the Prophet Muhammad's Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam forehead. It makes me feel optimistic that victory is within reach."

Finally, the body of the hero left his home carried on the shoulders of his companions. The deceased's mother took one last look at the hero, her eyes full of determination tinged with sadness as she commended him to Allāh's Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala protection and said, `there are far, far better than a thousand men who flung themselves into the battlefield. Do you ask me about his valour? He was much more courageous than a huge lion that protects its cubs in the time of danger. Do you ask me about his generosity? He was far more generous than an overwhelming torrential rain that slides down from the mountains!" `Umar's bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu heart throbbed and his eyes flowed with tears when he heard her recite these lines of poetry: "You spoke the truth. By Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, he was everything you said he was."

The hero was buried. His companions stood at his grave in reverence. They felt that the whole universe was so peaceful, humble, and silent that it seemed as if the whole world went into mourning.

I imagine that this awesome stillness was broken only by the neighing of a horse that tugged at its halter and went to its master's grave guided by his scent. As if reached the silent congregation and the moist grave, it shook its bead and neighed sharply as it used to do when the hero was on its back devastating the thrones of Persia and Rome, curing the delusions of paganism and oppression, and eliminating the powers of backwardness and disbelief to pave the way for Islām. As it fixed its eyes on the grave, it kept on raising and lowering its head as if it were bidding its last farewell to its master and hero. Then it stood still with its head raised, yet its eyes flowed with tears. Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu bequeathed it along with his weapons to `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu in the way of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. Yet who is valiant and great enough to deserve to mount it after Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu?

Alas, you hero of all victory, the dawn of all nights. You soared with your army above the horrors of war when you said to your soldiers, "The darkest hour is that before dawn." This became a saying afterwards.

May Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless your morning, Abū Sulaimān. May Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bestow glory, praise, and eternity on you, Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu.

Let us now repeat after `Umar bin Al- Khattab Radi-Allahu 'anhu. The sweet elegy with which he paid his last farewell to Khalid Radi-Allahu 'anhu: "May Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala have mercy on you, Abū Sulaimān. What you have now is far better than what you had in life, for you are now with Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. You were honoured in life and content in death."

* = Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'ān Al Kareem. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Sūrah : Ayāt) of the Qur'ān Al Kareem. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'ān Al Kareem can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

Islam - Submission to the will of Allah