The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

Main Index
Chapter 2: The New Faith

 Part I: In the Time of the Prophet (SAWS)


Page: 3

According to Ibn Hisham, it was in connection with this statement of Al Waleed that the Quranic verse was revealed: And they say: If only this Quran had been revealed to some man from the, two great towns! [Quran 43:31]. The two towns were Makkah and Taif. And another Quranic revelation believed to have referred to Al Waleed who, as we have stated in the preceding chapter, was known by the title of Al Waheed (the Unique), reads: Leave Me (to deal) with him whom I created Waheed; and bestowed upon him ample means; and sons abiding in his presence; and made (life) smooth for him. Yet he desires that I should give more. Nay, for lo, he has been stubborn about Our revelations. On him I shall impose a fearful doom…Then he looked; then he frowned and showed displeasure; then he turned away in pride and said: This is nothing but magic from of old; this is nothing but the speech of a man. Him shall I fling into the fire: [Quran 74: 11-17 and 21-26]

The most blood-thirsty and vindictive of these leaders was Abul Hakam-cousin and friend of Khalid. As a result of his violent opposition to Islam he was given by the Muslims the nickname of Abu Jahl, the Ignorant One, and it is by this name that posterity was to know him. A small, tough and wiry man with a squint, he has been described by a contemporary as: "a man with a face of iron, a look of iron and a tongue of iron."1 And Abu Jahl could not forget that in their younger days, in a fierce wrestling match, Muhammad had thrown him badly, gashing his knee, the scar of which was to remain until his death.2

These prominent men of the Quraish, and some others, finding it impossible to stop the Prophet by either threat or inducement, decided to approach the aged and venerable Abu Talib, uncle of the Prophet and leader of the Bani Hashim. They would have killed the Prophet but for the strong sense of tribal and family unity which protected the Prophet. His killing would have led to a violent blood feud with the Bani Hashim, who would undoubtedly have taken revenge by killing the killer or a member of the killer's family.

The delegation of the Quraish now approached Abu Talib and said "O Abu Talib! You are our leader and the best among us. You have seen what the son of your brother is doing to our religion. He abuses our gods. He vilifies our faith and the faith of our fathers. You are one of us in our faith. Either stop Muhammad from such activities or permit us to deal with him as we wish." 3

Abu Talib spoke gently to them, said that he would look into the matter, and dismissed them with courtesy. But beyond informing the Prophet of what the Quraish had said, he did nothing to stop him from spreading the new faith. Abu Talib was a poet. Whenever anything of this sort happened, he would compose a long poem and pour all his troubles into it.

In the house of Al Waleed, the actions of the Prophet became the most popular topic of conversation. In the evening Al Waleed would sit with his sons and other relatives and recount the actions of the day and all that the Quraish were doing to counter the movement of Muhammad. Khalid and his brothers heard their father describe the entire proceedings of the first delegation to Abu Talib. Some weeks later, they listened to him tell all about the second delegation to Abu Talib, which had no more effect than the first. The Prophet continued with his mission.

Then Al Waleed took a bold step. He decided to offer his own son, Ammarah, to Abu Talib in return for the person of Muhammad. Ammarah was a fine, strapping youth in whom men and women saw all the virtues and graces of young manhood. The Quraish delegation approached Abu Talib with Ammarah in tow. "O Abu Talib" said the delegates. "Here is Ammarah, son of Al Waleed. He is the finest of youths among the Quraish, and the handsomest and noblest of all. Take him as your son. He will help you and be yours as any son could be. In return give us the son of your brother-the one who has turned against your faith and the faith of your fathers and has caused dissension in our tribe. We shall kill him. Is that not fair-a man for a man?"

Abu Talib was shocked by the offer. "I do not think that it is fair at all," he replied. "You give me your son to feed and bring up while you want mine to kill. By Allah, this shall not be."4 The mission failed. We do not know how Ammarah reacted to the failure of the mission-with disappointment or relief!

1. Waqidi: Maghazi, p.20; Ibn Rusta p. 223.
2. Tabari: Vol. 1, p. 265; Ibn Sad: p. 186.
3. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 265; Ibn Sad: p. 186.
4. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 267; Ibn Sad: p. 186.