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Rebuttal Of Sectarian Attack on Khalid ibn al-Waleed, Sword of Allah (r.a.)
Understanding the Difference between Authentic Hadith-Seerah and Hagiography
by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

[The first part of this discussion indicated the need for rebuttal of the sectarians.
1. The Muslim world is bleeding from oppression and the oppressed are all from the mainstream of Islam. The sectarians have taken this as an opportunity to attack the sahaba, blessed companions of the Prophet, pbuh, in the hope that no one will answer them and their ideas will spread in the weaker sections of society.
2. The sahaba are the people through whom both the Qur'an and the hadith have been transmitted. An attack on the sahaba is an attack on the foundations of Islam. Our first article pointed out that the sectarians attacking the Sahaba are certainly no friends of Ali (r.a.), the 4th Caliph of Islam. Ali (r.a.) never abused or attacked the Sahaba. In fact he accepted for 24 years, the leadership of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Usman (Allah be pleased with them all). As a sign of his acceptance of their leadership, he prayed behind them when each was Caliph in the mosque of the Prophet, pbuh.
We also pointed out that the Imams who have taken their wisdom from Ali, r.a., too did not condone any abuse of or attacks on Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Usman (Allah be pleased with them). We quoted from these Imams to prove the point.
The SECTARIANS were caught and could not answer any of the points we made. They should have apologized because they have violated the teachings of Ali (r.a.) and the imams who learned from him. These SECTARIANS are the hidden enemies of Islam and of Ali (r.a.) as shown by the fact that instead of accepting what Alawite imams have said, they sent me letters of abuse showing how obstinate they are in their enmity to the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh).]


One of the great qualities of Hadith literature, be it the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh), the narrations about his companions, or history of the age and times, is the HONESTY OF NARRATION. The narrators do not try to write a revised history of Islam. They do not try to present the GREATS of Islam as people who never made a mistake. The Hadith narrations show:

1. Islam developing in an atmosphere of paganism. We are told of the paganistic practices of those times such as slavery, oppression of women, women as chattel, idolatry, pride in race and geneology.
2. Then we see the few people who listened to the Prophet (pbuh) emerging from what a writer has called the crucible of Makka.
3. The hadith speaks to us for all times to come because we can see that the people in those pagan times were like people in our own times, broken, oppressed humans. We see in the hadith how the Prophet (pbuh) made them whole and liberated them. Those who were great wrongdoers moved towards greatness till they became the best of peoples (as the Qur'an says) and became world conquerors.
4. The pagan ones became good and great. As one reads Hadith literature, one witnesses the miracle of Islam: One meets people who were primitive in their ways being cleansed and pulling themselves up "by-their-bootstraps" so that the empires of the world could not withstand their power and their spirituality. These were not angels. The way they were changed shows that all humans can be transformed by faith and leadership.

ON THE OTHER SIDE WE HAVE SECTARIAN HAGIOGRAPHY which means the compilation of narratives which cannot be traced back to the first century of Islam. In these stories, Ali (r.a.), Fatima (r.a.) and their line appear to be people of perfection who never made a mistake and who are to be revered as if they were angels. The SECTARIANS call them "mausoomin" which implies that they were immaculate and incapable of sin, an Islamic version of Jesus and Mary (peace be on them). Their stories begin with Hazrat Ali being born in the Ka'aba and go on from there. [The sectarians have the right to their beliefs. I refer to their hagiography to illustrate their methodology in attacking the Sahaba.)

Thus on the one hand there is the sectarian hagiography and on the other there is REALISTIC, HONEST Hadith literature accepted by most Muslims. THE SECTARIANS THEN SELECT THOSE HADITH WHICH INDICATE THE HUMAN WEAKNESSES OF PEOPLE WHO BECAME SAHABA of the PROPHET (pbuh) especially at the time when the Sahaba were transitioning from one way of life to the other. The Hadith frankly point out the process, like the evolutionary process of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly. The sectarians do not see the butterfly: they are fixated on the caterpillar and cannot see the development, or choose not to for their sectarian purposes.

THE LISTING METHOD: The SECTARIANS, like the munkareene hadith, have lists of hadith which indicate the earlier processes of the Sahaba's development. (The Jews have similar lists culled from the Qur'an which give the idea that the Qur'an only teaches murder and mayhem and subservience of women, horrible punishments and the like.)

When such a list is available, even a mediocre sectarian can start pulling choice tit bits from it on the internet and distributing it to the whole world. Such is the case of a person named Zahra Cox. She has been abusing hazrat ‘Ayesha (r.a.) and many other sahaba. She chose her most vicious attack for Khalid ibn al-Waleed (r.a.), the sword of Allah. She went to the extent of shamelessly claiming that Khalid (r.a.) was a hypocrite (may Allah forgive us for mentioning her kufr).

Is Ms. Cox a scholar of Islam who has published extensively on the early history of Islam? I haven't been able to find anything published by her. If a reader knows of her scholarship, please correct us. She seems more probably to be a sectarian infiltrator trying to create fitna among the Muslims and especially trying to mislead the newcomers to Islam. Her intentions to mislead are indicated by her claim that she "converted" from Sunnism to Shi'ism. She forgot that Muslims who accept tawheed, risalat and akhirat are all Muslims. One who changes from one school of thought to another cannot be said to be "converting." The implication of conversion only comes for people who claim to be moving from falsehood to truth. Thus like a typical sectarian agitator Ms. Cox (quite a name for a Muslim) is trying to tell new Muslims that her version of Islam is Islam and the rest is not Islam.
KHALID IBN al-WALEED, when he was not a Muslim, was the only commander of men who outflanked and defeated the army of Islam (at Uhud). Thus his hands were sullied with the blood of the best Muslims. However, he was dealing with a man, Muhammad (pbuh), who could discern the best in a person regardless of outward manifestations.

Khalid (r.a.) became a Muslim. He was not only forgiven by the Prophet (pbuh) but praised with the highest praise.

In the battle of Mauta, when the three top commanders of the Islamic army were killed, Khalid ibn al-Waleed (r.a.) took over command of the army and saved a seemingly doomed force through sheer heroism and his abilities as a commander of men. The Prophet (pbuh) saw the cataclysmic events of the battle in a vision and gave Khalid (r.a.) the title for which he became famous:

" Anas, r.a., narrates that the Prophet, pbuh, gave news of (the martyrdom) of Zaid, Jaafar and Ibn Rawaha although no such news had yet been received. He (the Prophet) said: First Zaid took the banner. When he fell, Jaafar took the banner. When he fell, Ibn Rawaha took it and then he too fell. And tears streamed from his (the Prophet's) eyes when he said this, till he said: A sword of Allah grabbed the banner and Allah gave victory over them (the Romans)." (Sahih of Imam Bukhari, kitab al-Maghazi.)

The Prophet (pbuh) had discerned that Khalid (r.a.) was a diamond in the rough, so to speak. There was a deep spirituality in Khalid (r.a.) which to ordinary people (like our SECTARIANS) was not perceivable owing to Khalid's (r.a.) warlike and physically superb outward appearance. Khalid's (r.a.) spirituality came out as the light of Islam shone on him. He was the combination of the fighter and the man of Allah whom Islam wanted as its vanguard. Our sectarians have made much propaganda against those who came late to Islam. Allah forgave them but our sectarians continue 1400 years later to stoke the fires of hatred. (Khalid, r.a., was not a Hashimi and did not belong to that group of "pure" people in the sectarian hagiography.)
Let us look at an aspect of Khalid's (r.a.) SPIRITUALITY. He is reported to have gone to the Prophet, pbuh, as late as the 8th year of the Hijra (on the first of Safar) to embrace Islam. Khalid (r.a.) himself narrates:
"When I came in front of the messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, I said peace be on you o Prophet of Allah. He very graciously said: peace be on you too. I said I accept Islam and I bear witness to the truth, that there is no God but Allah and you are His messenger. The messenger of Allah, peace be on him, said I want you to follow your good understanding and I hope that your understanding will not lead you to anything but good.After I did the bai'at [oath of allegiance], I said: I Have done much harm in stopping people from the way of Allah. Please pray for me that I be forgiven. He (the Prophet, pbuh) said: Embracing Islam cancels out all previous sins. I insisted: O messenger of Allah, do pray for my forgiveness. He (the Prophet) prayed: ‘O Allah! In whatever ways Khalid ibn al-Waleed has done harm in stopping people from Your way, forgive him for it." [Tabaqat of Ibn Saad, vol.4., "Sahaba who embraced Islam before the conquest of Makka."]

So, here we have the human being changing and transforming himself. Instead of SECTARIAN HAGIOGRAPHY where no person from Ali's (r.a) line ever did anything wrong, we have Khalid (r.a.) himself insisting that he had done wrong and urging the Prophet (pbuh) to pray for him. This is real Islam, believable and related to actual human beings.

Humility is one of the GREATEST VIRTUES in ISLAM, as opposed to TAKKABUR or arrogance, the idea that "I can do no wrong", which is one of the greatest sins, committed by Iblis himself according to the Qur'an.

EVEN AT THE GREAT BATTLE OF MAUTA where Khalid (r.a.) turned a terrible defeat into an amazing victory, Khalid (r.a.) was very humble in accepting the leadership of the Islamic army. He was the best of generals, the greatest general the Islamic world has ever known, but watch his humility:

"Zaid ibn Thabit (r.a.) narrates that in the battle of Mauta when the (three) commanders were killed, Thabit ibn Arqam took the banner (of Islam) and started calling out: O people of Ansar. People starred turning towards him. He saw Khalid ibn al-Waleed and said: O Abu Sulayman, take the banner! Khalid said: I will not accept it. You are more deserving of it. YOU ARE OLDER AND YOU WERE PRESENT AT BADR. Thabit said: O man. Take it! By Allah! I was only bringing it for you. Thabit said: O people do you agree on Khalid? They said: Yes, we are. Khalid took the banner and kept it aloft for a while. The unbelievers directed their attack on him but he remained firm. When the unbelievers wavered a little, Khalid, with his companions, attacked, separating one wing of the enemy force from the other. Then Khalid regrouped the (Islamic) army and defeated the enemy's troops" (TABAQAT of Ibn Saad, Vol.4., Ibid)

[Abu Hazim narrates from Khalid ibn al-Waleed (r.a.) On the day of MAUTA, SEVEN SWORDS BROKE IN MY HAND one after the other (in intense battle) till I was left with one big YEMENI sword in my hand. Sahih of Imam Bukhari, kitab al-Maghazi.]

Khalid ibn al-Waleed (r.a.) took part in many campaigns. He was bursting with Islamic enthusiasm. This does not mean that he had become perfect or that the past way of life had been totally expurgated and he was now like an angel. In some campaigns he was over hasty. He killed some people of Banu Jadhima even while they were laying down their arms and were announcing peace. The Prophet (pbuh) was very hurt by Khalid's (r.a.) action and repudiated the action. Khalid (r.a.) was rough with one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Auf (r.a.). Again, he was corrected by the Prophet (pbuh).

These two incidents are honestly and correctly narrated in our hadith literature. No attempt has been made to conceal the barbarity of these actions. The Prophet (pbuh) with the great wisdom Allah had given him, REPUDIATED KHALID's (r.a.) ACTIONS but kept Khalid (r.a) in the service of Islam. THE PROPHET (pbuh) was right and Khalid's (r.a.) CRITICS (including our sectarians), were wrong. After these errors, Khalid's struggle to serve Islam and to smash the power of oppressive empires is so great that it has few (if any equals) in human history.

In spite of some of Khalid's (r.a.) actions, the sahaba thought of Khalid (r.a.) just as the Prophet (pbuh) did,that he was a SWORD OF ALLAH. Hence when the Islamic armies crossed the deserts to topple the oppressive empires of the time (the U.S. and USSR of the time) Khalid (r.a.) was brilliant and outshone the extraordinary commanders and heroic fighters of the Islamic forces. He was the best among the best.

During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (r.a.), Khalid (r.a.) was often in command of the Islamic armies. In one battle he killed an apostate named Ibn Nuwaira. There was a dispute among the Muslims as to whether Ibn Nuwaira was going to make peace and was wrongfully killed by Khalid (r.a.). Here we find another incident which historians in other religions would have tried to conceal. Some hadith narrations say that ‘Umar (r.a.) was convinced that Khalid (r.a.) was wrong in the case of Ibn Nuwaira and this is said to be the reason why ‘Umar (r.a.) removed Khalid (r.a.) from the command of the Islamic army when he became Caliph. (Tabari's Tarikh, vol.2.)

However, like the Prophet (pbuh), Abu Bakr (r.a.) gave command of various Islamic armies to Khalid (r.a.). The Islamic content of Khalid's (r.a.) leadership was recognized by the entire ummah, so much so that on the way to DAMASCUS, "KHALID PAUSED AT A PLACE TO RAISE THE BANNER OF THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH, PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALLAH BE ON HIM. Since then the site is known as ‘The Site of the Banner. The flag was black in color." [Futuh al-Buldan by Ahmed al-Buladhuri, died 279 A.H., chapter on "Khalid's March on Damascus and the Places he conquered on the way."]

In 13 Hijri in the month of Jamada al-Awwal, Khalid (r.a.) scored a victory for Islam which changed the history of the middle east. With a small force, he routed a European army of nearly 100,000 troops. Known as the battle of Ajnadin, this battle in itself is enough to place Khalid (r.a.) among the greatest generals of Islam for all time to come. Al-Baladhuri writes: "On that day, Khalid ibn al-Waleed displayed tremendous bravery and chivalry. The enemy forces were dispersed and large numbers of them were slain in the battle."(Futuh al-Buldan, chapter on The Day of Ajnadin.)

‘Umar (r.a.) removed Khalid (r.a.) from the leadership of the battle formations. At that time Khalid (r.a.) had won a string of victories and was extremely popular among the forces. He could have shown reluctance to obey ‘Umar's (r.a.) order to hand over command to Abu Ubaidah (r.a.) but Khalid (r.a.) had mastered his self so well that he did not hesitate at all. In fact Abu Ubaidah (r.a.), the new commander was shy of telling him the Caliph's orders.

Khalid's(r.a.) ego was that of a mu'min. He continued to fight as a part of the Islamic army. His units played a key role in the capture of Damascus. The peace instrument Khalid (r.a.) gave to the Bishop of Damascus is of historic importance. Europe cannot boast of anything comparable in its wars. Khalid (r.a.) wrote:

"In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is the document khalid ibn al-Waleed gave to the people of Damascus when he entered the city. He gave peace and protection to their lives, to their goods, to their churches and to the protective ramparts of their city. None of their homes will be taken over as dwellings (by the Muslim troops). This guarantee is given to them by Allah's trust and the guarantee of Allah's messenger, peace be on him, his vicegerents and the believers in general. If they pay jizya taxes, good will be done to them."
(Ref: Futuh-al-Buldan, chapter on the conquest of Damascus and its environs.)

According to al-Waqidi, Damascus was conquered in Rajab of 14 Hijri.

The virtues of Khalid, r.a., sword of Allah, are too many to recount in one article. His dash across the Arabian desert, his spiritual experience in the middle of war to carry out an Umrah to Makka, his consultation with a woman (his sister) to decide on ‘Umar's orders, are beautiful episodes which I would have liked to discuss.

O Sword of Allah, the Ummah of Islam is indebted to you for all time to come. The world has not produced many who can compare with you. Surely your example will inspire the fighters of today in Kashmir, Chechnia, Palestine and Afghanistan to defeat the oppressors.
Dear readers, can you guess who is the Khalid of today? He is the one who slipped miraculously through the forces of the most powerful military power of our times during Operation Anaconda

2002-09-09 Mon 08:47ct