Khalid bin al-Waleed in Islamic History
Hasan Yahya Ph.ds: Professor of Comparative Sociology
Hasan Yahya, D.E. Ph.ds
Khalid bin Al-Waleed (592–642 A.D) is a well known in Islamic history as “The Sword of Allah” named by the Prophet Muhammad, (pbuh). Khalid and Umar bin al-Khattab were cousins. According to al-Waqidi, Khalid bin al-Waleed was a victorious leader in battle especially at Uhud, against Muslims. After years of Muslim victory in many battles against Quraysh, the Prophet’s pilgrimage to Makkah made Khalid’s mind regarding his religious beliefs. He had never been deeply religious and was not unduly drawn towards the gods of the Kabah. He had always kept an open mind. Now he began to ponder deeply on religious matters, but did not share his thoughts with anyone. And then suddenly it flashed across his mind that Islam was the true faith. This happened about two months after the Prophet’s pilgrimage.
One night After Hudaibiyah treaty, Khalid took his armors, his weapons and his horse, and set out for Madinah. On the way he met two others travelling in the same direction: Amr bin Al Aas and Uthman bin Talha (son of the Quraysh standard bearer at Uhud) and there was mutual astonishment when they found that each was travelling to Madinah with the same purpose, for each had regarded the other two as bitter enemies of Islam! The three seekers arrived at Madinah on May 31, 629 (the 1st of Safar, 8 Hijri), and went to the house of the Prophet. Khalid entered first and made his submission. He was followed by Amr and then Uthman. All three were warmly welcomed by the Prophet; their past hostility was forgiven, so that they could now start with a clean sheet. Khalid and Amr bin Al Aas were the finest military minds of the time and their entry into Islam would spell victory for Muslim arms in the following decades.
Khalid won many battles, for example, the Battle of Chains, the Battle of the River, the River of Blood Battle, the Conquest of Hira. However, the most famous battles were, Daumat-ul-Jandal, Mu’tah Battle, Marj Dabiq Battle, the Battle of Ajnadein and al-Yarmuk battles which was followed by Jerusalem surrender .
How he was called “the swords of Allah”? Three months after his arrival at Madinah, Khalid got his chance to show what he could do as a soldier and a commander for the faith which he had just embraced. The Prophet had sent an envoy to the Ghassan, Chieftain of Busra, with a letter inviting him to join Islam. While passing through Mutah this envoy was intercepted and killed by a local Ghassan chieftain forces. This was a heinous crime among the Arabs, for diplomatic envoys held traditional immunity from attack no matter how hostile a power they represented. The news of this outrage inflamed Madinah.
An expedition was immediately prepared to take punitive action against the Ghassan, and the Prophet appointed Zaid bin Harithah as the commander of the force. If he were killed, the command was to be taken over by Jafar bin Abi Talib (brother of Ali). If he were killed, the command would devolve upon Abdullah bin Rawahah. Having appointed these officers in the chain of command, the Prophet said, “If all three of these are killed, let the men select a commander from among themselves.”
It was the second week of September 29 (the third week of Jamadi-ul-Awwal, 8 Hijri), when Mu’tah took place against Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor armies. The three Muslim leaders were killed, and Khalid was elected to lead the battle which gave Khalid an opportunity to show his skill as an independent commander; and it gained him the title of the Sword of Allah. So when the Prophet –pbuh-heard the news of victory at Mu’tah, he said: “What an excellent slave of Allah: Khalid ibn al-Walid, the swords of Allah, one of unleashed against the unbelievers!”
After the death of Abu Bakr, Umar the second Caliph, appointed Abu Ubaidah Amir bin al-Jarrah instead of Khalid as the leader of armies. For that reason, Khalid took the orders and said: “I am only a solder in Islam, I do not fight for Umar, but for the God of Umar.”
Since Khalid was his finest general, the Caliph Abu Bakr, had made up his mind to use him to deal with Musailima, the lier, after he had finished with the other enemies of Islam. Later on, Khalid was appointed to lead the armies to fight the Romans in what is called: “Al-Yarmuk Battle.” North of Jordan River. Where the Roman armies were defeated.
His genius thinking, when he was asked to cross the desert for the help of other Muslim Armies near Damascus. Khalid selected a shorter route to Syria which unconventionally passed though the Desert. He marched his army though the desert, where traditions tells that his soldiers marched for two days without a single drop of water, before reaching a pre-decided water source at an oasis. Khalid is said to have solved the water shortage issue using a Bedouin method. Camels were made to drink water after intentionally denying them water for a lengthy time period, encouraging the camels to drink a lot of water at one time. Camels have the ability to store water in their stomach which in turn could be obtained by slaughtering them when necessary. Muslim troops rode entirely on camels and this method became an effective one for the Muslim army.
On 22 August 634, Abu Bakr died, having made Umar, Khalid’s cousin, his successor. Umar’s first move was to relieve Khalid from supreme command of Muslim Forces and appoint Abu Ubaidah as the new commander in chief of the Islamic army. Umar was reported as saying:”I did not fire Khalid ibn al Waleed because I am angry with him or because of betrayal of trust or responsibility but the reason was just that I wanted people to know that it is Allah who gives victory”. Khalid, gave a pledge of loyalty to the new caliph, and continued service as an ordinary commander under Abu Ubaidah. He is reported to have said: “If Abu Bakr is dead and Umar is Caliph, then we hear and obey“.
On 15 August, the Battle of Yarmouk was fought, it lasted for 6 days and ended in a devastating defeat for the Byzantines. The Battle of Yarmouk is considered to be one of the most decisive battles of history. It was a historic defeat that sealed the fate of Byzantium in the Levant, the magnitude of the defeat was so intense that Byzantine forces were unable to recover from it for some time. It left the whole of the Byzantine Empire vulnerable to the Muslim Arab invaders, who failed, however, in every attempt to exterminate it. The battle was the greatest battle ever fought on Syrian soil up to that point, and is believed to be the tactical marvel of Khalid.
As a result the Byzantine defeat in Yarmuk, Jerusalem city agreed to surrender, after four months Siege, Amr ibn al-Aas, one of the corps commanders, suggested that Khalid should send to the Caliph Umar. Umar came and Jerusalem surrendered in April 637.
After retirement, Khalid died on his bed. He expressed the pain of this sadness through one last, anguished sentence: “ I fought in so many battles seeking martyrdom that there is no place in my body but have a stabbing scar by a spear, a sword or a dagger, and yet here I am, dying on my bed like an old camel dies. May the eyes of the cowards never sleep.” (1263 words) www.albahaspace.com
يرجى التكرم بعد قراءة هذه المقالة إذا وافقت هوى في نفوسكم أن تخبروا أصدقاءكم عن طريق الموبايلات أو وسائل الإتصال الإلكترونية الأخرى لتعم الفائدة من المعلومات فيها، وشكرا لكم.
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Hasan Yahya is an Arab-Palestinian-American theorist, sociologist, philosopher, writer and historian. He’s a former professor of Comparative Sociology and Educational Administration at Michigan State University, Lansing Community and Jackson Community Colleges. He is the Board Editing member at International Humanities Studies (IHS) Journal (Jerusalem-Spain) and several other USA, journals. Dr. Yahya is the originator of Arab American Encyclopedia and Ihyaa al Turath al Arabi fil Mahjar-USA. His (270 plus) publication may be observed on Amazon and Kindle. To reach the writer: Email:email@example.com
Dr. Yahya Credentials: Ph.D in Comparative Socioloy 1991, Michigan State University.Ph.D in Educational Administration, Michigan State Univ.(1988). M.A Psychology of Schools Conflict Management, Michigan State Univ.1983. Diploma M.A, Oriental Studies, St. Joseph Univ. Beirut, Lebanon. (1982) B.A Modern and Classical Arab Literature, (1976). Life Achievements: Publishing 260 plus Books and 1000 plus articles.
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