Khalid bin Waleed (radhi'allahu anhu) was one of the greatest generals EVER! Before he converted to Islam he fought against Muslims. However, after becoming Muslim he fought courageously and spread Islam to Iraq and Syria.
Khalid (r.a.) commanded Muslim armies in wars against two massive superpowers – the Persians and the Byzantines.
Whilst taking Iraq from the Persians, Khalid (r.a) killed a Persian general in a one-on-one fight. He also fought and killed a man who the Persians thought had the strength of ‘a thousand men’.
Khalid (r.a.) told his representatives in Iraq to be good and kind to the Iraqis. The Iraqis became fond of the Muslims because they weren’t used to justice and kindness from the Persians. They welcomed Muslims as liberators.
Before a battle in Syria, a Byzantine general came to Khalid (r.a.) and asked him how come he always won his battles. Khalid (r.a.) told him, ‘I always win because I fight for the truth. The Prophet of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) showed us the path of truth.’ The Byzantine general read the Kalima (declaration of faith) and became Muslim. He fought at Yarmuk on the Muslim side and died on the battlefield.
Khalid (r.a.) had not always been a courageous and feared Muslim hero. He lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). After the Prophet (s.a.w) received revelation it took a while for Khalid to accept the truth of Islam. For one thing, his father was a leader of the Quraish – and leaders of the Quraish knew that the Prophet (s.a.w)’s message threatened their crooked rule and their worship of idols.
Leader of the Quraish
As a young man Khalid learnt the art of war. He learnt how to ride a horse, how to fight with a sword and archery. Together with his forceful personality and his lean physique Khalid became a respected man amongst the Quraish.
When his father died, Khalid became a leader of the Quraish himself. In this position he led the enemies of Islam in battle and he saved them from near-defeat at the Battle of Uhud. He fought against Muslims again at the Battle of the Trench.
Khalid had always wanted to be a popular hero. But as a man of the Quraish he could only do this by fighting against Muslims.
When Muslims came to Makkah for the Hajj, Khalid left Makkah because he couldn’t stand seeing Muslims going around the Ka’aba. When Muslims started to come to Makkah on a regular basis, Khalid saw how kind and noble they were. This softened his heart and he saw the wonderful change that Islam had brought to them. Khalid began to feel the irresistible pull of Islam.
The Prophet (s.a.w) had said that a man like Khalid must be aware of Islam. When he realised the truth of Islam he left Makkah and went to Madinah to become Muslim. Just like doing the right thing is sometimes hard, crossing the desert was long and arduous. He met the Prophet (s.a.w) and apologised for what he had done in the past. Khalid (r.a.) asked the Prophet (s.a.w) to pray to Allah (subhana wa ta'alah) to forgive him.
The Sword of Allah
At the Battle of Mauta three Muslim commanders were killed in turn, so Khalid (r.a.) took up the command. Khalid (r.a.) kept fighting even though the situation was getting worse. He fought with such daring and skill that nine of his swords broke. But he knew that if he stayed in battle his troops would all be killed, so he took them off the battlefield.
Back in Madinah, people started to accuse Khalid (r.a.) of fleeing the battle. But the Prophet (s.a.w) told them that what he did was right. He (s.a.w) said that Khalid (r.a.) and his troops will fight again for the cause of Allah (subhana wa ta'alah) and they will hit harder. The Prophet (s.a.w) gave Khalid bin Waleed (r.a.) the title of Saifullah – The Sword of Allah. Khalid spent a lot of time with the Prophet (s.a.w), listening to the Prophet (s.a.w) and learning from him (s.a.w) about Islam.
Khalid (r.a.) appeared to be so courageous, so daring and so strong that some Muslims started to call him ‘conqueror’. To show the people that victory was from Allah (subhana wa ta'alah) alone, the Khalifah at the time, Umar (r.a), told Khalid (r.a.) to give up his command of the Muslim army in Syria. Khalid (r.a.) accepted the Khalifah’s decision but continued to fight as a regular soldier.
Khalid bin Waleed (r.a.) was blessed with many qualities. He was a brilliant strategist and a courageous warrior. But it was only when he applied these skills in the cause of Islam that he became the legend that he is. As we face the struggles in our life, we should remember that we can only reach our true potential when we act in the cause of Islam.
Khalid bin Waleed (r.a.) died of illness in the year 642. He left his possessions to Khalifah Umar (r.a.).
I am the noble warrior
I am the Sword of Allah
Khalid bin Waleed!