The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 28: Deeper into Syria

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq

 

Page: 5

"By Allah," replied Khalid, "but for the necessity of obeying the orders of the Caliph, I would never have accepted this command over you. You are much higher than me in Islam. I am a Companion of the Prophet, but you are one whom the Messenger of Allah had called 'the trusted one of this nation." 1 And on this happy note Abu Ubaidah came under the command of Khalid.

The Muslims now laid siege to Busra. The Roman commander lost hope, for he knew that most of the available reserves had either moved or were moving to Ajnadein, and doubted that any help would be forthcoming. After a few days of inactivity, he surrendered the fort peacefully. The only condition Khalid imposed on Busra was the payment of the Jizya. This surrender took place in about the middle of July 634 (middle of Jamadi-ul-Awwal, 13 Hijri).

Busra was the first important town to be captured by the Muslims in Syria. The Muslims lost 130 men in the two days of fighting that preceded this victory. The casualties suffered by the Romans and the Christian Arabs are not on record. Khalid now wrote to Abu Bakr, informing him of the progress of his operations since his entry into Syria, and sent one-fifth of the spoils which had been won during the past few weeks. Hardly had Busra surrendered when an agent sent by Shurahbil to the region of Ajnadein returned to inform the Muslims that the concentration of Roman legions was proceeding apace. Soon they would have a vast army of 90,000 imperial soldiers at Ajnadein. This acted as a reminder to Khalid that there was no time to waste.

At this time Yazeed was still south of the River Yarmuk; Amr bin Al Aas was still at the Valley of Araba; and several detachments of the corps of Abu Ubaidah and Shurahbil were spread over the District of Hauran. Khalid wrote to all commanders to march at once and concentrate at Ajnadein; and the Muslims marched, taking with them their wives and children and vast herds of sheep which served as a moving supply depot. At Ajnadein would be fought the first of the mighty battles between Islam and Christendom.

1. Waqidi: p. 23.