THE SWORD OF ALLAH, KHALID BIN WALEED (RA)
BY: MUBASHIR IQBAL KITABA
Khalid bin Waleed (RA) was born in a highly respected family of Banu Makhzum of the tribe of Qureysh in Makkah in nearly 585 AD. His folks were one of three primary people of its clan and were also in charge of the matters relating to battles. That is why he grew up as having finest skills and abilities of warfare and later earned the recognition of being one of the best commanders known in the history. His father, Waleed bin Mughira was famous poet and was amongst the richest men in Makkah. He was cousin of Umer (RA) the second righteous caliph of Islam and both shared similar physical appearance.
Right from the early age, Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) was sent to Bedouins in barren region as a family tradition to learn on his own. He mastered many of the combating proficiencies like using sword, spike, bow and spear etc. and became qualified. Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) was tall with big shoulders and was bodily very strong. He was also considered to be among the best wrestlers of his times. At first he was among the enemies of Islam, but later converted to the religion of peace because of his awareness and conscious. He never lost a battle as a Muslim.
Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) had not accepted the message of Allah and His Apostle (SAW) late until after the treaty of Hudaibya between Madinans and the Makkans that occurred in 628 AD. It has been said that Rasullah (SAW) had told the brother of Khalid that a brave and intelligent man like him should not keep himself away from uprightness for so long. So, when his brother told Khalid (RA), he was swayed towards this kind gesture of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and decided to embrace the religion of Allah. When he told his childhood friend Ikrimah Ibn Abi-Jahl about it, he was opposed by him, although Ikrimah saved him from torment of Abu Sufiyan and other non believers by declaring him free to choose his faith.
In 629 AD, Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) set out for Madina to join the Muslims officially. On his way, he came across two other new reverts, Amr Ibn Al-As and Uthman Ibn Talha. On their arrival in the Holy city, they went straight to the house of Messenger (SAW) of the Almighty Allah and took an oath on his blessed hands. Khalid (RA) asked Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to pray for all his wrongdoings and fighting against the Muslims in the past upon which he was assured of forgiveness by Allah as he had accepted the word of righteousness.
In Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) Muslims attained one of the best commanders and strategists in the battlefield. He got the great honor in the shape of very first dream come true opportunity to be among the ranks of Muslim army as a result of their clash with Byzantine armed forces in the encounter of Mutah held on the northern peripheries of Arabian peninsula. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ordered them to save the fresh embracers of Islam from anguish of their disbelieving rulers. The Prophet (SAW) then appointed three commanders who were well known for their combating skills in order to lead the Muslims into Syria.
Muslims were outnumbered against the multitude of Byzantines. Soon, the three chief officers’ as appointed by Rasullah (SAW) were martyred and the Muslim flag was about to fall on the ground surface till Thabit Ibn Al-Arqam (RA) managed to save it from falling, who decided to make Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) the leader of the believers because of his wisdom and familiarity with the matters related to warfare. Due to extreme difficulty in matching the great number of disbelievers, it apparently seemed to be the time for Muslims to retreat. But, Khalid Bin Waleed stood firm and through his tactical mind, he rearranged the Muslim army to from rear to front so as to cast fear in hearts of the infidels that disciples of Islam were still many in quantity and quality. Eventually, it was due to his amazing strategic abilities that the Muslims managed to defeat a grand army of Byzantine in that epic battle of Mutah and upon hearing the news of great victory of the believers and the outstanding valor and gallantry on the front line shown by the Khalid the Prophet (SAW) gave him the title of “saifullah, meaning sword of Allah”.
Soon after the passing away of of Rasulullah (SAW), under the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), many people refused to pay Zakah and some went too far in claiming the false Prophethood like Musaylimah . The caliph foresaw the major crises among the believers and decided to fight against the transgression. Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) was given the task of finding and killing Musaylimah who had formed a large army of his own. At first, many Muslims were martyred but due to expertise of Saifullah in matters of combat, he climbed on nearby hill, studied the situation, regrouped his force and ended up killing Musaylimah and defeating his armed forces and killing them in large numbers.
The second most distinguishing contribution of Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) under the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) is release of the Iraqis from torture of their unjust and disbelieving Persian rulers.
At first, Abu Bakr (RA) had appointed two leaders, Obaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (RA) and Amr Ibn Al-As (RA) and sent them to conquer Roman territories. But, after knowing about the high number of Romans awaiting them, the caliph told Khalid (RA) to go and take charge there. Khalid (RA) knew that it would make things distasteful if he had taken authority in place of the former two appointees. Therefore, He (RA) opted for rotating the power among three for the sake of equal share. After devising a careful strategy, the “sword of Allah” was able to overcome the Romans despite being better equipped and greater in quantity than the Muslims.
After departure of Abu Bakr (RA), Umer (RA) decided to make Abu Obaidh (RA) the leader of the Muslim army instead of Khalid. The second caliph exceeded in justice to such a high extent that He (RA) felt inappropriate to keep employing Khalid as the commander, as both were cousins. Therefore, Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) clearly understood the delicacy of the matter, and left his place for Abu Obaidah (RA) after winning the conflict of Yarmouk.
In short, Khalid Bin Waleed (RA) was one of the righteous companions of Prophet (SAW). He (RA) truly earned the designation of “sword of Allah” from the Holy Prophet (SAW) as he never feared in the combat and went on to win fights against disbelievers for uplifting the name of Islam in an emphatic manner. He (RA) died in 642 AD in Syria at the age of almost 57.
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