The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 4: The Battle of the Ditch

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

 

Page: 10

The bewilderment on the Giant's face changed to fury. At last he had been thrown, and by this young upstart who was less than half his size! But although he was down, he was not finished. He would still win the battle and re?establish his position as the greatest warrior in Arabia. He would toss this youngster into the air as a leaf is tossed by the wind.

The Giant's face went purple, the veins stood out on his neck and his huge biceps and forearms trembled as he strained to break Ali's grip. But he could not move it an inch. There was the quality of steel in the muscles of Ali.
"Know, O Amr", said Ali gently, "that victory and defeat depend upon the will of Allah. Accept Islam! Thus not only will your life be spared, but you will also enjoy the blessings of Allah in this life and the next." Ali drew a sharp dagger from his waistband and held it close to Amr's throat.

But this was more than the Giant could take. Was he whom Arabia considered her greatest champion to live the rest of his life under the shadow of defeat and disgrace? Was it to be said of him that he saved his life in personal combat by submitting to the conditions of his opponent? No! He, Amr bin Abdu Wud, had lived by the sword. He would perish by the sword. A life spent in violence must end with violence. He gathered the spittle in his mouth and spat into the face of Ali!

He knew what would happen. He knew that there would be a sharp intake of breath, that Ali's right arm would shoot into the air and then plunge the dagger into his throat. Amr was a brave man and could face death without flinching. He arched his back and raised his chin?to offer his throat to Ali, for he knew what was to come. At least he thought he knew!

But what happened next left him even more bewildered. Ali rose calmly from Amr's chest, wiped his face, and stood a few paces away, gazing solemnly at his adversary. "Know, O Amr, I only kill in the way of Allah and not for any private motive. Since you spat in my face, my killing you now may be from a desire for personal vengeance. So I spare your life. Rise and return to your people!"

The Giant rose. But there was no question of his returning to his people a loser. He would live a victor, or not at all. Intending to make one last attempt at victory, he picked up his sword and rushed at Ali. Perhaps he would catch Ali unawares.

Ali had just enough time to pick up his sword and shield and prepare for the fresh assault. The blow which the Giant now delivered in furious desperation was the most savage blow of the encounter. His sword shattered Ali's shield, but in doing so lost its force and impetus, and could then do no more than inflict a shallow cut on Ali's temple. The wound was too slight to worry Ali. Before the Giant could raise his sword again, the Zulfiqar flashed in the sunlight, and it's tip slashed open the Giant's throat. The blood of the Giant gushed forth like a fountain.

For a moment the Giant stood motionless. Then his body began to sway as if he was drunk. And then he fell on his face with a crash and lay still.

The earth did not shake with the impact of that colossal body. The earth is too big. But the hill of Sil'a shook with the cry of Allah-o-Akbar that thundered from 2,000 Muslim throats. The triumphant cry echoed through the length and breadth of the valley before it faded away into the stillness of the desert.

The Muslim group now rushed at the six remaining Quraish. In the sword fighting that ensued, one more Quraish was killed and one Muslim fell. A few minutes later the Quraish group turned and hastily withdrew across the ditch. Ikrimah dropped his spear as he jumped the ditch, on which Hassaan the Poet wrote many a rude verse. A man known as Nofal bin Abdullah, a cousin of Khalid's, was not successful in clearing the ditch and fell into it. Before he could rise, the Muslims were on the bank and hurling stones at him. Nofal wailed, "O Arabs! Surely death is better than this!" 1 Thereupon Ali obliged the man by descending into the ditch and cutting off his head.

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 240.