* By: Emad Hamdy
In the history of the Arabs, there have been many symbols of heroism who have proved rare courage, bravery and prudent arrangement.
One of those top leaders was Khalid ibn Al-Walid who was gifted with courage, activity, stamina, vigilance, and strong impact .
In fact, I am not aiming to write a full biography of this great hero, but my purpose is to reveal briefly about some aspects of this great genius, and to display a side of the features of his wise and triumphant leadership that put him in the precedence of our military history
Khalid has grown up in the most ancient houses of Banu (clan of) Makhzum. Banu Makhzum was one of the largest tribes of Qurayish. During the pagan era, Banu Makhzum would be responsible for the weapons tent, the horses and its knights.
It was natural that the features of equestrian were emerging on the young man in this combatant and struggling environment, so we see that his father has chosen him to lead the Quraish knights in the battle of Uhud.
Surely, assuming the military leadership in at early age is a clear proof of Khalid’s readiness to leadership and presidency.
Hence, he was able to turn the defeat into a victory in the battle of Uhud. On that day, the watchfulness and perseverance that Khalid were privileged with, have been demonstrated.
He wasn’t astonished by the absolute defeat of his people; instead, he seized the opportunity of breach that was committed by the Muslim archers who left their garrison seeking for spoils. He attacked Muslims from behind using horses, while they were busy with collecting booties. He dispersed their lines and shaken their feet, and thus they fled away frightened and defeated.
Before converting to Islam, Khalid has participated in the trench battle. In this battle, Khalid turned with his horses around the trench seeking for a narrow point of the trench to reach the Muslim camp. He was still fighting all the day and a part of the night, then the two parties has retreated to their garrison. Khalid has tried to attack them again, but the Muslim guardians were vigilant.
For many years, Khalid remained resisting the call of Islam. His dispute to Islam and the Prophet was noble and honest. He refused to attack the Prophet in Hudiaybiyah battle while he was performing the fear Prayer despite Khalid was capable of surprising him.
It was not long for Khalid to convert to Islam and accept its call that has possessed his heart and dominated his feelings.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) recognized the rare military genius, the inspired wise leadership and the bold courage of Khalid. So, he (peace be upon him) surnamed Khalid “the Drawn Sword of Allah”. That designation was before the apostates’ war, and before joining Iraq and the Levant.
After two or three months of his conversion to Islam, Khalid involved voluntary in the battle of Mu’tah. In this battle the Muslims in three thousands has faced the Romans in seventy double of this number in an open square.
In this battle, Zayd ibn Harithah has fought raising the banner of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) until he was killed with spears. Then, the banner was snatched by J`afar ibn Abu Talib who advanced to the Romans in complete persistence and endurance. He was assailed with their swords, his right arm was cut off, and he took the banner with his left one which was cut off as well. He had to embrace the banner with his upper arm, and he continued defending it until he was killed.
`Abdullah ibn Rawaha proceeded to carry the banner; he assaulted the Roman lines until he was killed, although the heat of the battle was in the beginning.
In this terrible moment, the eyes looked forward to a new leadership to save the situation, to reserve the Muslims prestige, and to save their reputation in their first battle with the Great Romans.
At that moment, Muslims turned their faces to the savior commander, they agreed on Khalid ibn Walid, and he took the best decision in this situation which was the safe withdrawal.
In this dilemma, safe withdrawal was more difficult than achieving victory, especially Khalid didn’t want the Roman to notice withdrawal, and he wanted to let them think that he would re-attack them or he intended to do a trick.
To Be Continued
* Emad Hamdy holds a bachelor of Islamic Studies in English from Al-Azhar University, faculty of Languages and Translation. Emad is a previous translator at Al-Huda TV channel, and currently works as an official Imam and teacher in Egypt.