The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

Main Index
Chapter 16: The Battle of Yamamah

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy

 

Page: 8

Many apostates ran in despair to Musailima. "Where is the victory that you promised?" they asked. "Fight on, O Bani Hanifa!" was the impostor's set answer. "Fight on till the end!" 1

Musailima knew that he would get no quarter from Khalid, that he was doomed, and evil genius that he was, he decided to take his tribe down with him. The blood of several Muslims dripped from his sword, and his guards, as fanatical as ever, fought around him. Then he came under the hawk-like gaze of the Savage. The Savage was one of the 'war criminals' whose names had been announced by the Holy Prophet on the eve of the conquest of Makkah. Fearing the worst, he had fled Makkah and gone to Taif, where he lived among the Thaqeef for some time. In 9 Hijri, when the Thaqeef submitted to the Prophet, he too embraced Islam and went personally to swear allegiance to the Prophet.

The Prophet had not seen him for many years, and was not certain if he was the man. "Are you the Savage?" he asked.

"Yes, O Messenger of Allah!"

"Tell me how you killed Hamza." 2

The Savage recounted the whole story from beginning to end. It never occurred to him that there was an ethical angle too to this episode, that he had killed one of the noblest and most gallant of the Faithful. He narrated the story as a proud veteran would regale his audience with tales of his daring exploits. And the killing of a matchless warrior like Hamza was undoubtedly a military achievement. The Savage excelled himself as a story-teller.

But there was no applause. On the face of the Prophet was a look of deep sorrow as he said "Never let me see you again." 3 Something inside him warned the Savage that to remain in Madinah, where the memory of Hamza was deeply cherished, might be unhealthy for him. He left at once.

For the next two years he lived in various settlements around Taif, seeking obscurity and avoiding travellers. He was troubled by his conscience and feared for his life. It was a wretched existence. Then came the apostasy. The Savage remained loyal to his new faith and elected to fight for Islam against the unbelievers. Now he was serving under the banner of the Sword of Allah.

The Savage tightened his grip on his javelin when he saw Musailima-the javelin that had sent so many men to their death. The Liar was fighting ferociously. In beating off the assaults of Muslims who strove to get to him, he would fight now in front of his guards, now amongst them. At times he was covered by his guards, but he was never lost to the unblinking gaze of the black killer. The Savage had chosen his next victim-one whose death might ease the gnawing pain in his heart.

From his position some distance behind the Muslim front, the Savage stealthily moved forward to get within javelin range of his target. The throng of swearing, sweating, blood-covered warriors around Musailima seemed to disappear from his sight. In the terrible mind of the Savage only his victim remained.

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 514.
2. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 72.
3. Ibid.