Khalid bin Walid
Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl
Khālid ibn al-Walīd (May Allah be pleased with him)
(خالد بن الوليد (رضي الله عنه
Ever since he was a young adult, Khalid Al-Walid had always wanted to become a warrior for the Quraysh clan. He was ever so eager to prove his worthiness therefore he became involved with numerous amounts of battles.
Khalid’s father, Al-Walid Al-Mughirah was a very wealthy and influential leader for the Quraysh tribe at his time. The people of Mecca had great respect for him because of his kindness and generosity. In addition, Khalid’s father was well known for this love towards the Kaabah. Every alternate year, he will prepare the cloth needed to cover over the cubicle building of the Kaabah. Also, during the month of the Hajj, Khalid’s father would give out free meals for those who came to gather at Mina before pursuing their pilgrimage.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) believed that because Khalid was a popular figure amongst his people, many of them would follow him to Islam should he decide to convert. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had always been hopeful that someday Khalid Al-Walid would convert to Islam.
Khalid Al-Walid was an important figure during his time with the Quraysh clan. He appeared prominently among his friends and was able to seize the hearts of his people. The Quraysh people had grown very fondly of their own customary beliefs therefore they became concerned with the young yet rapidly growing movement of Islam. Furthermore, they felt that it was necessary for them to take stern actions to prevent Islam from growing any further. Thus, they decided to wage war against the people of Islam with the purpose of destroying the religion altogether. Being the warrior that he is, Khalid Ibn Al-Walid decided to engage himself in a war against Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Islam. As Muslims we believe that this is the will of Allah the Almighty.
Battle of Uhud
The defeat at battle of Badr left the Quraysh people angry and embarrassed. They felt that the victory for the Muslims was un-deserving because they believed that they were the stronger clan. It is known that every Quraysh army personnel that took part during the battle of Badr splodged their faces with mud because of their shame at losing. Not long after, the Qurayhs decided to avenge their lost at battle of Badr by deciding to go for another war with the Muslims.
As a young Quraysh member, Khalid Al-Walid was no exception. He had his heart set out to avenge the Quraysh defeat at Badr. Khalid was so determined to avenge his people that he called upon his troops to fight until they are victorious or they should die trying to do so.
The Muslims were prepared for the battle of Uhud but due to the inconsistent condition of the land surrounding the mountain of Uhud, the army of Quraysh managed to break through the Islamic forces. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) then called upon 50 of his best archers to stand and defend the land with all their might. In whatever circumstances, they should not be allowed to leave their position.
Khalid Al-Walid was the commander of one of the Quraysh battalion that took part during this battle. The entire battalion of the Quraysh was 4 times greater than the Muslims but because of the courage that they had shown during the previous war at Badr, the Quraysh army grew wary and doubtful that they could defeat the Muslims. The Quraysh army started attacking strongly and all was looking well for them until the Muslims cornered their troops. They had failed at defending their ground. As a result, they Quraysh army became divided. A lot of the Quraysh army were running away because they know that the battle of Uhud will share the same fate as the previous battle of Badr.
Everyone was in fear but Khalid Al-Walid as he kept his heads up and was more determined than ever to attack the Muslims. He reassembled his troops and started to look for a precise and ideal moment to attack the Muslims. Seeing that the Quraysh army was fleeing, the Muslim army became drawn towards the valuable war property that was left behind. They became greedy and the archers that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had instructed to defend at all cost, left their positions to grab the jewelleries that were left by the Quraysh army.
Khalid Al-Walid took notice of this and decided to attack the Muslims while their defences are down. As fast as lightning, Khalid ambushed the Muslims at the heart of their defence. The Quraysh army that was earlier fleeing took notice of Khalid Al-Walid’s actions and they assembled themselves at haste to strive forward together with Khalid and his troops. What seemed like a victory for the Muslims was now staring at a defeat simply because of a single man’s brilliant quick thinking. Stories such as this made Khalid Al-Walid the legendary warrior that he is today. Khalid went on to fight another battle against the Muslims, the battle of the Trench. That was the last battle he ever fought as an opponent to the Muslims.
Converting to Islam
Before converting to Islam, Khalid Al-Walid was the fiercest enemy known to the Muslims at the battlefield due to his tactical skill and bravery. The Muslims gained valuable knowledge from him, most notably when fighting against him at the battle of Uhud. Khalid Al-Walid had established himself as a fearsome and intelligent warrior. After several invitations from the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Khalid’s brother, Khalid Al-Walid converted to Islam in the year 629. It was known that Khalid was a fond admirer of the work of Islam before and after much consideration, he opted to follow the way of Islam.
The Sword of Allah
It was under Khalid's military leadership that Arabia, for the first time in history, was united under a single political entity, the Caliphate. He was victorious in over a hundred battles, against the forces of the Byzantine-Roman Empire,Sassanid-Persian Empire, and their allies, in addition to other Arab tribes. His strategic achievements include the conquest of Arabia, Persian Mesopotamia and Roman Syria. During the war against the Roman Empire, Khalid Al-Walid came face to face with a roman militant. George was the militants name and the two began conversing. George asks Khalid “ Lie not to me as you are a free man, is it true that your god had given you the sword of His will and whoever you should point it at will taste defeat?” Khalid disagreed as he said that isn’t true. George then asked again “Then why are you called the sword of Allah?” Khalid Al-Walid responded by saying that Allah had sent down a Rasul to guide humans through the way of Islam. Some trust him, others disobey him including Khalid Al-Walid before converting. Furthermore, Khalid said to George that he had devoted himself to Islam and when he did so, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) whispered to him that he is Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl (the drawn sword of Allah).
Death of A Warrior
During his last few days on earth, Khalid Al-Walid’s old friend came to visit him and sat by his bedside. Khalid began to show his battle scars to his friend. After looking at the scars, his friend began to ponder how a man that was wounded terribly could have survived. Khalid then began to ask his friend, “All of these scars of wounds and yet I am not dead from the battlefield. Why could I not have died in battle?” Khalid’s friend replied that it was not possible for him to die in battle. Bemused to this, Khalid asked “Why not?” his friend smiled and replied “When the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah and peace, named you 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.”
Khalid put all the torment of his soul into one last, anguished sentence: “I die even as a camel dies. I die in bed, in shame. The eyes of cowards do not close even in sleep.”
- Khalid ibn al-Walid: Sword of Allah Format: PDF
By Lieutenant General A. I. Akram
A biographical study of the greatest military generals in history.