Roomana Rais Khan familiarizes us with ‘the sword of Allah (swt)’ on earth
Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed (rta) was born in a prominent family of the Quraysh tribe. He was a strong and courageous soldier, trained in horsemanship and the use of all types of weapons.
In the battle of Uhud, he showed superior military skill against the Muslims, and as a result was appointed Commander General by the Quraysh. His Muslim brother sent him a letter from Madina and mentioned the Prophet’s (sa) concern for Khalid (rta). This impressed Khalid (rta) so much that he travelled to Madina on the 1st of Safar, 8 A.H. and embraced Islam.
Khalid’s (rta) ultimate battle was that of Mutah in the 8 A.H., when 3000 Muslims fought against an army of 200,000 men. After three Muslim commanders were martyred consecutively, Khalid (rta) led the army, and as a result, the Mujahideen were able to retreat intact. Because of this, the Prophet (sa) gave him the title of ‘the sword of Allah (swt).’ During this battle Khalid (rta) also broke nine swords and there were only twelve casualties.
In the battle of Hunain 8 A.H., many Muslims fled and only 12 Companions, including Khalid (rta), remained to protect the Prophet (sa).
After the death of the Prophet (sa), Abu Bakr (rta) used Khalid’s (rta) services in the wars against apostasy, false prophets, and those, who stopped paying Zakat. He commanded a large division against Musailimah the liar in the battle of Yamamah in 11 A.H. Despite Musailimah’s strong and well-equipped army, Khalid (rta) was able to slay Musailimah himself. Thus, the threat of the imposter was buried forever.
When the Roman Emperor challenged the Muslims with an army of 240,000, Muslims made great self-sacrifice and displayed steadfastness. Under Khalid’s (rta) influence, one of the Roman commanders, by the name of Jerjah, embraced Islam.
During the war against the Romans, Khalid (rta) received news from Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta) about the death of Abu Bakr’s (rta), and new orders to hand over command to Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (rta). It did not matter to Khalid (rta) as long as he was able to carry out his duties towards Allah (swt). He concealed the news, till they had gained victory. Upon seeing this gesture of Khalid’s, (rta) Abu Ubaidah (rta) kissed him on his forehead and praised his greatness.
There was only one thing that Khalid (rta) treasured obsessively-his helmet. In the battle of Al-Yarmuk, he lost it and exhausted himself and others searching for it. He kept it for luck, for it had some of the hairs of the Prophet’s (sa) forehead. He said: “It makes me feel optimistic that victory is within reach.”
When he died in 21 A.H., his mother took one last look at the hero, commended him to Allah’s (swt) protection and said: “There are far, far better than a thousand men, who flung themselves into the battlefield. Do you ask me about his valor? 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 (rta) eyes flowed with tears and he said: “You spoke the truth. By Allah (swt), he was everything you said he was.”