The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 16: The Battle of Yamamah

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy


Page: 6

The Muslims launched violent assaults all along the front, and the apostates were hard put to hold their ground; yet hold it they did. Their front would not break. Apostates fell in hundreds, and Muslim casualties also began to mount. With the apostates superior in numbers and the Muslims superior in skill and courage, the two sides were evenly matched. Parts of the two fronts, locked in mortal combat, heaved back and forth. The dust from thousands of stamping feet rose and hung like a cloud over the heads of the belligerents. Broken swords and spears littered the wadi and the plain as mangled and torn bodies fell in heaps on the blood-sodden earth. The most dreadful carnage took place in the gulley in which human blood ran in a rivulet down to the wadi. As a result, this gulley became known as the Gulley of Blood-Shueib-ud-Dam-and it is still known by that name. But the battle hung in the balance and gave no promise of a decision.

Khalid now realised that with their fanatical faith in their false prophet the apostates would not give in. It was evident that only the death of Musailima could break the spirit of the infidels, it would be a moral setback, which would lead quickly to physical defeat. But Musailima was not duelling in front like Khalid. He would have to be drawn out of the safety of the apostate ranks in which he stood surrounded by his faithful followers.

As the first violent spasm of combat spent itself, the warriors stopped to regain their breath. There was a lull. Then Khalid stepped out towards the enemy centre and threw a challenge to single combat: "I am the son of Al Waleed! Will anyone duel?" Several champions came out of the apostate ranks to accept the challenge of Khalid and advanced towards him one by one. Khalid took perhaps a minute to dispose of each opponent. After each duel he would recite his own extemporised verses:

I am the son of many chiefs.
My sword is sharp and terrible.
It is the mightiest of things
When the pot of war boils fiercely.

Slowly and steadily Khalid advanced towards Musailima, killing champion after champion. Then there were none left brave enough to come forth against him. But by now he was close enough to Musailima to talk to him without shouting. The Liar, however, was surrounded by his guards, and Khalid could not get at him.

Khalid proposed talks. Musailima agreed. He stepped forward cautiously and halted just outside duelling distance of Khalid. "If we agree to come to terms, what terms will you accept?" 2 enquired Khalid.

Musailima cocked his head to one side as if listening to some invisible person who stood beside him and would talk to him. It was in this manner that he 'received revelations'! Seeing him thus reminded Khalid of the words of the Holy Prophet, who had said that Musailima was never alone, that he always had Satan beside him, that he never disobeyed Satan, and that when worked up he foamed at the mouth. Satan forbade Musailima to agree to terms, and the Liar turned his face to Khalid and shook his head.

Khalid had already determined to kill Musailima. The talks were only bait to draw him close enough. He would have to work fast before Musailima withdrew to the safety of his guards. Khalid asked another question. Again Musailima turned his head to one side, intently listening to 'the voice.' At that instant Khalid sprang at him.

Khalid was fast. But Musailima was faster. In a flash he had turned on his heels and was gone!

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 513.
2. Ibid: Vol. 2, p. 514.