Saturday, May 30, 2009

Khalid-bin-Walid - The Sword of Allah

Khalid-bin-Walid - The Sword of Allah

"I die even as a camel dies. I die in bed, in shame. May the eyes of cowards never find rest in sleep!"

These were the last words of a man who did not have a span of a hand on his body that was not scarred by a wound from a sword or arrow or spear. A man who said ; "I have sought martyrdom in a hundred battles. Why could I not have died in battle?"

"You could not die in battle", replied his friend. "You must understand that when the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah and peace, named you Saifullah - the Sword of Allah, he predetermined that you would not fall in battle. If you had been killed by an unbeliever it would have meant that Allah's sword had been broken by an enemy of Allah; and that could never be."

The conversion of two members of the Quraish, perhaps, made the greatest difference to the fortunes of the early Muslim community. Hazrat Umar and Khalid bin Walid were powerful men who commanded great influence among their people. Their acceptance of Islam was a great moral victory. To the Quraish, on the other hand, it proved to be a death blow in their campaign against Islam.

Khalid-bin-Walid was a born soldier. He was born into a rich family of the Bani Mukhzum and consequently had no need to work for a living. He concentrated on improving his natural ability in the martial arts. An anecdote relates that as a young man Khalid's father wanted his son to be the best warrior of the Quraish so he fed little doses of certain poisons to fortify his immune system. Later as a muslim warrior when a messenger from Persia tried to poison him and failed, the messenger went back to his people and convinced them to surrender since not even poisons could stop the muslim army.

Khalid-bin-Walid is the only man to have inflicted a tactical defeat on the Muslim armies under the Holy Prophet at the Battle of Uhud. Khalid, although initially bitterly opposed to Islam, was noted for many excellent qualities. He was an extraordinarily resolute and temperate man. This prompted the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) to mention that Khalid bin Walid could not be totally unmoved by the message of Islam. Indeed, when this was conveyed to Khalid, it changed his heart and he came to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and gave his allegiance to Islam. He recited the shahada and requested the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) to ask Allah to forgive him for his early antagonism towards Islam.

From that day onwards Khalid bin Walid became the foremost champion of Islam. He fought many decisive battles, humbling his opponents and bringing victory to the religion of Islam. He was the first Muslim commander to leave Arabia to conquer foreign lands and humble two great empires. Almost all his battles are studies in military leadership, especially Uhud, Kazima, Walaja, Muzayyah, Ajnadein and Yarmuk.

In 629 A.D, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) sent an expedition under the command of Zaid bin Harith against the Syrians. In the confrontation that took place at Mutah, Zaid bin Harith was martyred. The command passed to Jafar bin Abu Talib and then Abdullah bin Rawahah who too were both martyred. At that critical juncture, Khalid bin Walid took over the command and by superb strategy he succeeded in retrieving the position and bringing back the Muslim forces safely to Medina. During the battle, Khalid bin Walid broke 8 swords. Because of this, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) gave him the title of "Saifullah" or "The Sword of Allah." The sword that could not be broken !

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