The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 13: Tulaiha The Imposter

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy

 

Page: 4

Soon after the two forces were arrayed for battle, Khalid launched an attack along the entire front. For some time the apostates resisted stubbornly, especially the Bani Fazara, but after a while the pressure of the Muslims began to tell and dents appeared in the apostate front line. Uyaina, alarmed at the severity of the Muslim attack, rode to Tulaiha's tent, hoping that divine guidance would come to their aid. "Has Jibril come to you?" he enquired. "No", replied the impostor with a solemn expression. Uyaina returned to battle.

Some more time passed. Then Khalid was able to drive a wedge into the infidel centre, but it still held, and the fighting became more intense with every inch of ground hotly contested. Uyaina again rode to Tulaiha and asked, "Has Jibril come to you?" "No, by Allah!" replied the impostor. Again Uyaina returned to battle.

Scenting victory, the Muslims now attacked more fiercely and gained some more ground. It was all the apostates could do to prevent a complete rupture of their position. Seeing the situation turn hopeless Uyaina went for the third time to Tulaiha. There was a nervous impatience in his voice as he asked the familiar question: "Has Jibril come to you?" The impostor answered, "Yes." "What did he say?" asked Uyaina.

Calmly Tulaiha replied, "He said 'You have a handmill just like his, and this is a day that you will not forget!'" "By Allah!" Uyaina exploded as the scales fell from his eyes, "This is a day that you shall certainly not forget." He then dashed to his clan. "O Bani Fazara!" he shouted. "This man is an impostor. Turn away from the fight!"1

The Bani Fazara, the hard core of Tulaiha's centre, turned and rode away. With their departure the entire front gave way and the apostate opposition collapsed. Groups of infidels raced from the battlefield in all directions. The victorious Muslims cut those who resisted to pieces. Some hapless fugitives rushed to Tulaiha and asked, "What are your commands?" Tulaiha replied, "Let those who can, do as I do and save themselves and their families." 2

With this parting instruction Tulaiha placed his wife on a fast camel, which he had kept ready saddled for just this eventuality. He himself sprang on to his horse, and man and wife disappeared in a cloud of dust.

The Battle of Buzakha was over. Khalid had been victorious. The second most powerful enemy of Islam had been defeated and his forces scattered.

Tulaiha fled to the border of Syria, where he took up residence among the Kalb. His imposturing days were over. But he had not been long with this tribe when he heard that the Bani Asad had re-entered Islam. Consequently he too became a Muslim and rejoined his tribe. He even visited Makkah for the pilgrimage during the time of Abu Bakr, but the Caliph, though informed of his visit, took no notice of him.

About two years later he visited Madinah and came to see Umar, who did not forgive easily. On seeing Tulaiha, Umar said to him, "You killed two noble Muslims, including Ukasha bin Mihsan. By Allah, I shall never love you."

Tulaiha had a subtle wit. He replied, "Allah blessed them with paradise by my hand, while I did not benefit by theirs. I seek forgiveness from Allah."

Umar, unrelenting, tried again. "You lied when you said that Allah would do you no harm."

"That", replied Tulaiha, "arose from the mischief of disbelief which Allah has destroyed. I cannot now be blamed for it."

Umar saw that he was not getting far with this exchange and made a last attempt. "O trickster! What remains of your clairvoyance?"

"Nothing but a gust or two from the bellows!" 3

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 485.
2. Ibid
3. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 489; Balazuri: pp. 105-6.