The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 6: Mutah and the Sword of Allah

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

 

Page: 3

As the Christian Arabs stepped back, Khalid restrained the Muslims and broke contact, pulling his force back a short distance. The two armies now faced each other out of bow range, both seeking time to rest and reorganize. This last round of the battle had ended in favour of the Muslims of whom so far only 12 had been killed. There is no record of enemy casualties but they must have been considerable, for each of the Muslim commanders before Khalid was a brave and skilful fighter and the nine swords that Khalid broke were broken on the bodies of Christian Arabs. The situation, however, offered no further prospect of success. Khalid had averted a shameful and bloody defeat and saved the Muslims from disgrace and disaster; he could do no more. That night Khalid withdrew his army from Mutah and began his return journey to Madinah.

The news of the return of the expedition preceded it at Madinah, and the Prophet and those Muslims who had remained in Madinah set out to meet the returning soldiers. The Muslims were in an ugly temper, for never since the Battle of Uhud had a Muslim force broken contact with the enemy and left him in possession of the battlefield. As the army arrived among the Muslims, they began to throw dust into the faces of the soldiers.

"O you who have fled!" they cried. "You have fled from the way of Allah." The Prophet restrained them and said, "They have not fled. They shall return to fight, if Allah wills it." 1 Then the Prophet raised his voice and shouted, "Khalid is the Sword of Allah." 2

Later the resentment against Khalid died down, and the Muslims realised the wisdom, judgement and courage which he had shown in the Battle of Mutah. And the name stuck to Khalid. He now became known as Saifullah, i.e. Sword of Allah. When the Prophet gave Khalid this title, he virtually guaranteed his success in future battles.

Some historians have described the battle of Mutah as a victory for the Muslims; others have called it a defeat. As a matter of fact it was neither. It was a drawn battle; but drawn in favour of the Christians, for the Muslims withdrew from the battlefield and left it in possession of their opponents. It was not a big battle; it was not even a very important one. But it gave Khalid an opportunity to show his skill as an independent commander; and it gained him the title of the Sword of Allah.

1. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 382.
2. Waqidi: Maghazi, p. 322.