The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 15: The End of Malik bin Nuwaira

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy

 

Page: 2

Feeling helpless and forsaken, Malik decided to save what he could from the wreckage. He would atone for his crimes by repentance and submission, which was also a political necessity, for there was nothing else that he could do. Malik gathered the clan of Bani Yarbu' and addressed them as follows:

"O Bani Yarbu'! We disobeyed our rulers when they called upon us to remain steadfast in faith. And we prevented others from obeying them. We have come to no good."

"I have studied the situation. I see the situation turning in their favour while we have no control over it. Beware of fighting them! Disperse to your homes and make peace with them." 1

Under these orders his warriors dispersed. Malik then went quietly to his house, not far from Butah, to be consoled by the charming Laila.

In one more gesture to show his change of heart, Malik collected all the tax that was due to Madinah and sent it to Khalid, who was on the march to Butah when the envoys bringing the tax met him. Khalid took the tax, but did not accept this as sufficient atonement, for the tax was in any case due as an obligation.

"What made you enter into a pact with Sajjah?" Khalid asked the envoys. "Nothing more", they replied, "than a desire for tribal revenge against our feudal enemies." 2

Khalid did not question the envoys further, but retained his suspicions. This could be a trick to lull him into a false sense of security and draw him unsuspecting into an ambush. Ever since the ambush at Hunain, Khalid had never relaxed his vigilance. He continued the advance as a military operation against an armed opponent.

Khalid found Butah undefended and unmanned. There was no army to fight-not even an occasional group of soldiers. He occupied Butah and sent out mounted detachments to scour the countryside and deal with the apostate clans of the tribe of Bani Tamim. To the commanders of these detachments, he repeated the instructions of the Caliph-on approaching any clan, they would call the Adhan, if the clan responded with the Adhan, it would be left alone; if it did not, it would be attacked.

The following day a detachment commanded by Dhiraar bin Al Azwar got to the house of Malik bin Nuwaira, where Dhiraar seized Malik and Laila and a few men of the Bani Yarbu'. The other detachments had no trouble, for all the clans submitted without opposition.

Malik and Laila were ushered into the presence of Khalid, Malik appearing as a rebel and apostate chief on trial for crimes against the State and Islam. He looked defiant, true to the nature of a proud, noble?born chieftain who faced the trials of life with dignity. He could not be humble.

Khalid began to talk. He spoke of the crimes that Malik had committed and the damage that he had done to the cause of Islam. Then Khalid asked him some questions. In his reply, Malik referred to the Holy Prophet as "your master". Khalid was angered by the unrepentant and supercilious attitude of the accused. He said, "Do you not regard him as your master?" 3

Khalid felt convinced that Malik was guilty, that he remained an unbeliever. He gave the order for his execution. Dhiraar took Malik away and personally carried out the sentence. And it was the end of Malik bin Nuwaira.

Laila became a young widow, but not for long. That same night Khalid married her! She had hardly made up her mind to mourn her departed husband when she became a bride again, this time of the Sword of Allah!

When Khalid announced his intention of marrying Laila some Muslims did not take kindly to the announcement. Some even began to suggest that perhaps Malik was not really an unbeliever but had returned to the Faith, that perhaps Khalid had ordered his execution in order to be able to have Laila for himself. One man in particular, Abu Qatadah, a Companion of high standing, remonstrated with Khalid, but Khalid put him in his place with a few well-chosen words. Feeling slighted and angry at what he regarded as Khalid's high-handedness, Abu Qatadah next day mounted his horse and set off at a gallop for Madinah. On arrival at the capital, he went straight to Abu Bakr and told him that Malik bin Nuwaira, was a Muslim and that Khalid had killed him in order to be able to marry the beautiful Laila. This Abu Qatadah was the same man who, shortly after the conquest of Makkah, had ridden to the Holy Prophet and complained that Khalid had ruthlessly killed the Bani Jazima despite their surrender. His disapproval of Khalid was not new.

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, Pp. 501-2.
2. Ibid
3. Ibid: Vol. 2, p. 504.