The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 35: Al-Yarmuk

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq


Page: 5

The battle had got beyond the stage of 'sparks of fire'. It had not yet reached the stage of 'raging conflagration', but the fire was nevertheless burning with fearful heat as the battle entered its third day. This was to be, for the Muslims, a right-handed action.

The army of chains made no move on this day as it had suffered more heavily on the previous day than the army of Qanateer. The army of Qureen made a limited effort on the front of Abu Ubaidah as a diversionary measure to tie down Muslim reserves. But the Armenians and the left wing of the Roman army, both now under the command of Qanateer, struck with extreme severity at the Muslim right and the corps of Sharhabeel, selecting as the main point of attack the junction between Sharhabeel and Amr bin Al Aas.

The initial attack was again repulsed by Amr and Sharhabeel, but the Roman advantage of numbers, against which the Muslims could only put up the same tired soldiers, soon began to tell. Thus, shortly before midday, Qanateer broke though in several places. The corps of Amr fell back to the camp, and the right part of Sharhabeel's front was also pushed back, while his left still held firmly to its position. Several gaps now appeared in the Muslim front.

Again the Muslim women came into action with tent poles and stones and sharp tongues; and again the Muslims recoiled from them to face the Romans. One of these Muslims confided to his comrades: "It is easier to face the Romans than our women!" 1 The bulk of the two corps re-established a second line and held the Roman efforts to break through. Amr even took the offensive and struck at the Romans with his cavalry and infantry, intending to dislodge them from their forward positions, but had little success.

At the stage a Muslim lady came running to Khalid. She had suddenly got a bright military idea and wanted Khalid to get the benefit of it - just in case he did not know. "O Son of Al Waleed" said the lady, "you are among the noblest of the Arabs. Know that the men only stay with their commanders. If the commanders stand fast the men stand fast. If the commanders are defeated the men are defeated." 2

Khalid thanked her politely for the advice and assured her that in this army the commanders would not be defeated!

Now Khalid launched his cavalry reserve against the flank of Qanateer. At the same time Amr's cavalry regiment manoeuvred from the right and struck Qanateer in his left flank, while the infantry of Amr and Sharhabeel counter-attacked frontally. (See Map 22 below) This time the Roman opposition to the Muslim counter-attack proved much more stubborn and hundreds of Muslims fell in combat, but by dusk the Romans were pushed back to their own position and the situation restored as at the beginning of the battle.

map 2 chapter 35

1. Waqidi: p. 142.
2. Ibid.