The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 7: The Conquest of Makkah

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

 

Page: 6

"Lay down your arms!" ordered Khalid. "All the people have become Muslims and there is no need for you to carry weapons."

One man from the Bani Jazima now shouted to his comrades: "This is Khalid, son of Al Waleed. Beware of him! After the laying down of arms there will be a binding of hands, and after the binding of hands there will be a severing of heads!" 1

There was an old feud between the clan of Khalid and the Bani Jazima. In pre?Islamic days a small Quraish caravan was returning from the Yemen when it was set upon by the Bani Jazima, who looted the caravan and killed two important individuals-Auf, father of Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, and Fakiha, son of Al Mugheerah, an uncle of Khalid. Abdur-Rahman had later killed the murderer of his father and thus avenged his father's blood, but the death of Fakiha had not been avenged. All this, however, happened during the Ignorance.

The people of the Bani Jazima now began to dispute with the man who was warning them against Khalid. "Do you want to have us slaughtered?" they asked him. "All the tribes have laid down their arms and have become Muslims. The war is over." 2 After a brief argument the tribe laid down its arms.

The cause of what happened next is not clear. Perhaps Khalid reverted momentarily to the tribal vindictiveness of the Ignorance. (He had been a Muslim for only a few months.) On the other hand, perhaps there was an excess of Islamic zeal in the heart of Khalid and he doubted the truth of the declaration of faith by the tribe. As the tribesmen laid down their arms, Khalid ordered his men to tie their hands behind them. He then ordered that all the captives be put to the sword. Luckily only the Bani Sulaim obeyed the order and killed the captives in their hands, whose number is not known. Other tribal contingents refused to carry out the order. There was a strong protest from Abdullah, son of Umar, and Abu Qatadah, but Khalid rejected the protest. Abu Qatadah immediately rode to Makkah and informed the Prophet of what Khalid had done.

The Prophet was horrified. He raised his hands towards heaven and exclaimed: "O Lord! I am not responsible for what Khalid has done." 3 He then sent Ali with a good deal of money to soothe the feelings of the Bani Jazima and pay indemnity for the blood that had been shed. Ali carried out the mission with generosity and did not return until the tribe was fully satisfied.

Khalid was now sent for by the Prophet who demanded an explanation for what he had done. Khalid said that he did not believe that they really were Muslims, that he had the impression that they were deceiving him, and that he believed that he was killing in the way of Allah.

Present with the Prophet was Abdur-Rahman bin Auf. When he heard the explanation of Khalid, he said, "You have committed an act of Ignorance in the days of Islam."

Khalid now thought that he saw a way out of this delicate predicament, and he replied, "But I took revenge for the killing of your father." "You lie!" snapped Abdur-Rahman. "I killed the murderer of my father a long time ago and vindicated the honour of my family. You ordered the slaughter of the Bani Jazima in revenge for the death of your uncle, Fakiha."

This led to a heated argument between the two. And this was a mistake on the part of Khalid, for Abdur-Rahman was one of the Blessed Ten and thus had a position which few could challenge. Before the argument could get out of hand, however, the Prophet intervened and said sternly, "Leave my Companions alone, O Khalid! If you possessed a mountain of gold and spent it in the way of Allah, you would not achieve the status of my Companions." 4 He was referring, of course, to his early Companions, for Khalid too was a Companion.

Thus was Khalid put in his place. He was pardoned; but he learnt the important lesson that he, as a later convert, did not have the same status as the early Companions, especially the Blessed Ten. He was to keep this lesson in mind on many future occasions.

1. Ibn Sad: pp. 659-60; Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 429.
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. Ibn Sad: Vol. 2, p. 431.