The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 35: Al-Yarmuk

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq

 

Page: 10

One incident remains to be narrated before we come to the end of this account of the Day of Lost Eyes. During a pause in the fighting in Sharhabeel's sector, Khalid suddenly appeared deeply worried, and this surprised his men who had never seen him so. But they understood when he ordered the men to look for his red cap which he had dropped on the battlefield. A search was at once carried out and the cap found, for which Khalid was profuse in his thanks. There were some men who did not know about this cap and asked Khalid what was so wonderful about it. Thereupon Khalid told the story of the red cap:

When the Messenger of Allah had his head shaved on the last pilgrimage, I picked up some of the hair of his head. He asked me, "What will you do with this, O Khalid?" I replied, "I shall gain strength from it while fighting our enemies, O Messenger of Allah." Then he said, "You will remain victorious as long as this is with you."

I had the hair woven into my cap, and I have never met an enemy but he has been defeated by the blessing of the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah and peace. 1

This is the story of Khalid's red cap - the one possession with which he would not part.

Darkness had fallen when Khalid sat on the blood-spattered earth at the left edge of Abu Ubaidah's sector. On one knee rested the head of Ikrimah, his nephew and dear, dear friend. On the other knee lay the head of Amr, son of Ikrimah. Life was ebbing fast from the bodies of father and son. Khalid would now and then dip his fingers into a bowl of water and let the water drip into the half-open mouths; and he would say: "Does the Son of Hantamah think we do not get martyred?" 2 Thus died Ikrimah and his son, in the dearly loved arms of the Sword of Allah. The man who for years had been the most blood-thirsty enemy of Islam earned final redemption in martyrdom. The greatest glory on the Day of Lost Eyes, a day such as the Muslims would never again see in Syria, went to Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl.

The night was spent in peace, if there could be peace for exhausted, wounded men who had driven their bodies to perform feats of strength and endurance which the human body was never intended to perform. Normally Abu Ubaidah would nominate a general as duty officer for the night, whose task it would be to go round the guards and the outposts and check the vigilance of the sentries. But on this night the generals themselves were so tired that Abu Ubaidah, kind and considerate as ever, did not have the heart to ask any of them to carry out this onerous task. Although his own sword dripped with the blood of several Romans and his need for rest was no less than that of the others, Abu Ubaidah decided to act as duty officer himself. Along with a few selected Companions of the Prophet he began his round. But he need not have worried. Everywhere that he went he found the generals up and mounted, going about and talking to the sentries and the wounded. Zubair was doing the rounds accompanied by his wife, also on horseback!

1. Waqidi: p. 151.
2. Tabari: Vol.2, p. 597. The Son of Hantamah was Umar, and by 'we' Khalid meant the Bani Makhzum.