Khalid bin al waleed  the sword of allah - lieutenant-general a.i. akram
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Like this? Share it with your network

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. IntroductionCompanionsNotesBiobliographyAuthorChapter 1: The Boy12Chapter 2: The New Faith1234
  • 2. 5Chapter 3: The Battle of Uhud123456789101112
  • 3. 131415Chapter 4: The Battle of theDitch123456789
  • 4. 101112Chapter 5: The Conversion ofKhalid1234Chapter 6: Mutah and theSword of Allah123
  • 5. Chapter 7: The Conquest ofMakkah123456Chapter 8: The Battle of Hunain12345
  • 6. Chapter 9: The Siege of Taif12Chapter 10: Adventure ofDaumat-ul-Jandal12Chapter 11: The GatheringStorm12345
  • 7. Chapter 12: Abu Bakr Strikes12345Chapter 13: Tulaiha TheImposter123456
  • 8. 78Chapter 14: False Lords andLadies123456Chapter 15: The End of Malikbin Nuwaira12
  • 9. 34Chapter 16: The Battle ofYamamah12345678910
  • 10. 1112Chapter 17: The Collapse of theApostasy12345Chapter 18: The Clash withPersia123
  • 11. 45Chapter 19: The Battle ofChains123456Chapter 20: The Battle of theRiver12
  • 12. Chapter 21: The Hell of Walaja12345Chapter 22: The River of Blood1234Chapter 23: The Conquest ofHira1
  • 13. 23456Chapter 24: Anbar and Ain-ut-Tamr123Chapter 25: Daumat-ul-JandalAgain12
  • 14. 3Chapter 26: The LastOpposition12345Chapter 27: The PerilousMarch1234
  • 15. 5678Chapter 28: Deeper into Syria12345Chapter 29: The Battle ofAjnadein12
  • 16. 345678Chapter 30: The Conquest ofDamascus123456
  • 17. 7891011121314151617Chapter 31: The Unkind Cut12
  • 18. 345Chapter 32: The Battle of Fahl123Chapter 33: The Conquest ofEmessa12345
  • 19. Chapter 34: The Eve ofYarmuk12345678Chapter 35: Al-Yarmuk123
  • 20. 4567891011121314151617
  • 21. Chapter 36: The Completion ofthe Conquest1234567Chapter 37: Farewell to Arms1234
  • 22. 5678
  • 23. The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin Al-Waleed Salaam, this EBook was compiled for readers to learn about the life of Khalid bin Waleed, the Sword of Allah. The source text is from, but I gathered everything into an easily to share EBook that you can navigate easily, bookmark, and do full text searches. Enough from me here is a quick intro from the authors of
  • 24. the site:This book contains perhapsone of the most brilliantbiographies written on theCompanion of the Prophet(SAWS), Khalid bin Al-Waleed, Sword of Allah.Khalid bin Al-Waleed wasone of the greatest generalsin history, and one of thegreatest heroes of Islam.Besides him, Genghis Khanwas the only other general toremain undefeated in hisentire military life. A measureof Khalids genius is that hewas the only person to inflicta (temporary) defeat on theProphet Muhammad, (mayAllah bless him and grant himpeace).The original title of the book,
  • 25. "The Sword of Allah:Khalid bin Al-Waleed, HisLife and Campaigns" waswritten by the lateLieutenant-General A.I.Akram of the Pakistan Army,in October 1969. The authorlearnt Arabic in order to drawon the earliest historicalsources and he visited everyone of Khalids battlefields inorder to draw analyses fromthe viewpoint of militarystrategy, including reconcilingconflicting historiansaccounts. The book wasoriginally published by theArmy Education Press,Rawalpindi, Pakistan andprinted by Feroze SonsPublishers in Lahore,Pakistan. The excellence ofthe book was such that it hasbeen translated from English
  • 26. into Arabic and is currentlysold in bookshops throughoutthe Arab World.You can download ourlatest releases, ebooks,and software athttp://www.imaanstar.comIf there are any errors, please
  • 27. The CompanionsContentsIntroduction Twelve Ranks of the CompanionsExcellence of the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS)Excellence of Abu Bakr (RA)Excellence of Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA)The Ten Promised ParadiseExcellence of Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA)The Killing of Imam Hasan (RA)IntroductionScholars are agreed upon the definition ofCompanionship by Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani: ‘ACompanion is the believer who saw and heardAllah’s Messenger at least once and died as abeliever’. Even though some scholars have stipulated
  • 28. that, in order to be ranked as a Companion, a believershould have lived in the company of Allah’s Messengerfor one or even two years, the majority of the scholarsregarded it as enough to have been present in theradiant atmosphere of the Messenger long enough tohave derived some benefit from it.It goes without saying that the Companions are notequal to each other in rank or greatness. Some of thembelieved in Allah’s Messenger at the very outset of hismission, and conversions continued until his sayingfarewell to the world. The Quran grades themaccording to precedence in belief and according toconversion before the Conquest of Makka and after it(Quran 9:100 and 57:10). The same gradation was alsomade by Allah’s Messenger himself. For example, hereproached Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA) for offendingAbdur-Rahman bin Awf (RA), saying: "Do not troublemy Companions!" In the same way, he frowned atUmar (RA), when he annoyed Abu Bakr (RA), andsaid: "Will you not leave my Companions alone? AbuBakr believed in me at a time when all of you deniedme." Abu Bakr knelt down and explained: ‘OMessenger of God! It was my fault!.
  • 29. As recorded by Tabarani and Ibn Al-Athir, Abdullah binMasud, who was among the first to embrace Islam inMakkah and sent to Kufa as a teacher by Umar, said:"Allah looked at the hearts of His true servants andchose Muhammad, upon him be Peace andBlessings, to send to His creatures as a Messenger.Then, He looked at the hearts of people and chosehis Companions as the helpers of His religion andthe ambassadors of His Prophet, upon him be Peaceand Blessings.The Prophet (SAWS) said:"When my Companions are mentioned thenwithhold." [Sahih At-Tabarani]"Whoever abuses my Companions, upon them is thecurse of Allah, the angels and all the people." [SahihAt-Tabarani]back to the top
  • 30. Twelve Ranks of the CompanionsThe Companions were divided into twelve ranks by thescholars. This division was made according to thechronological order and some groups are also includedin others. It was accepted by the majority of scholars:1. The four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, namely Abu Bakr,Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the rest of the ten to whomParadise was promised while alive. They are Zubair binAl-Awwam, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah, Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, Talha bin Ubaidullah, Sa‘d bin AbiWaqqas and Saeed bin Zad, may Allah be pleased withthem all.2. Those who believed prior to Umar’s conversion andfrequently gathered together secretly in the House ofArqam to listen to Allah’s Messenger, upon him bePeace and Blessings.3. Those who migrated to Abyssinia in the first hijrah(migration) for Allahs Sake.4. The Helpers (Ansar) who were present at the firstceremony of taking the Oath of Allegiance to Allah’s
  • 31. Messsenger at Al-Aqaba.5. The Helpers (Ansar) who took the Oath ofAllegiance to the Messenger at Al-Aqaba, the followingyear.6. The first Emigrants (Muhajireen) who joined Allah’sMessenger before his arrival in Madinah during theHijrah (Emigration).7. The Companions who participated in the Battle ofBadr.8. Those who emigrated to Madinah during the periodbetween the Battle of Badr and the Treaty ofHudaybiyah.9. The Companions who took the Oath of Allegiance toAllah’s Messenger under a tree during the expedition ofHudaybiyah.10. Those who converted and emigrated to Madinahafter the Treaty of Hudaybiyah.11. Those who became Muslims after the conquest of
  • 32. Makkah.12. The children who saw Allah’s Messenger eitherduring the Conquest of Makka or during the FarewellPilgrimage, or in any other place and on differentoccasions.According to this ranking, Khalid bin Al-Waleed wouldcome in Rank 10, since he accepted Islam after theTruce of Hudaybiyah.back to the topExcellence of the Companions of the Prophet(SAWS)Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:"Allahs Apostle said, " A time will come upon thepeople, when a group of people will wage a holy warand it will be said, Is there amongst you anyonewho has accompanied Allahs Apostle? They willsay, Yes. And so victory will be bestowed on them.
  • 33. Then a time will come upon the people when agroup of people will wage a holy war, and it will besaid, "Is there amongst you anyone who hasaccompanied the Companions of Allahs Apostle?They will say, Yes. And so victory will be bestowedon them. Then a time will come upon the peoplewhen a group of people will wage a holy war, and itwill be said, "Is there amongst you anyone who hasbeen in the company of the Companions of theCompanions of Allahs Apostle ? They will say,Yes. And victory will be bestowed on them."[Bukhari]Narrated Abdullah:The Prophet said, "The best of generations is mygeneration, then those that come after them, thenthose that come after them." [Bukhari]Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:The Prophet said, "Do not abuse my companions for
  • 34. if any one of you spent gold equal to Uhud (inAllahs Cause) it would not be equal to a Mud oreven a half Mud spent by one of them." [Bukhari]The Prophet(SAWS) said:"The Jews divided into seventy-one sects and theChristians divided into seventy-two sects. MyUmmah will divide into seventy-three different sects,all of which will be in the Fire except one: Thosewho are on the like of what I and my Companionsare on at this time." [Hasan At-Tirmidhi]back to the topExcellence of Abu Bakr (RA)Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:"The person who has favored me most of all bothwith his company and wealth, is Abu Bakr. If I wereto take a Khalil (close friend and protector) other
  • 35. than my Lord, I would have taken Abu Bakr assuch, but he is my brother and my companion. Allthe gates of the Mosque should be closed except thegate of Abu Bakr." [Bukhari]Narrated Ibn Umar:"We used to compare the people as to who wasbetter during the lifetime of Allahs Apostle . Weused to regard Abu Bakr as the best, then Umar,and then Uthman ." [Bukhari]Narrated Jubair bin Mutim:A woman came to the Prophet who ordered her toreturn to him again. She said, "What if I came and didnot find you?" as if she wanted to say, "If I found youdead?" The Prophet said, "If you should not find me,go to Abu Bakr." [Bukhari]Narrated Abu Darda:
  • 36. "While I was sitting with the Prophet, Abu Bakr came,lifting up one corner of h is garment uncovering h isknee. The Prophet said, "Your companion has had aquarrel." Abu Bakr greeted (the Prophet ) and said,"O Allahs Apostle! There was something (i.e.quarrel) between me and the Son of Al-Khattab. Italked to him harshly and then regretted that, andrequested him to forgive me, but he refused. This iswhy I have come to you." The Prophet said thrice, "OAbu Bakr! May Allah forgive you." In the meanwhile,Umar regretted (his refusal of Abu Bakrs excuse) andwent to Abu Bakrs house and asked if Abu Bakr wasthere. They replied in the negative. So he came to theProphet and greeted him, but signs of displeasureappeared on the face of the Prophet till Abu Bakr pitied(Umar), so he knelt and said twice, "O Allahs Apostle!By Allah! I was more unjust to him (than he to me)."The Prophet said, "Allah sent me (as a Prophet) toyou (people) but you said (to me), You are telling alie, while Abu Bakr said, He has said the truth,and consoled me with himself and his money." Hethen said twice, "Wont you then give up harming mycompanion?" After that nobody harmed Abu Bakr."[Bukhari]
  • 37. Narrated Amr bin Al-As:The Prophet deputed me to read the Army of Dhat-as-Salasil. I came to him and said, "Who is the mostbeloved person to you?" He said, " Aisha." I asked,"Among the men?" He said, "Her father." I said,"Who then?" He said, "Then Umar bin Al-Khattab."He then named other men. [Bukhari]Narrated Abu Huraira:I heard Allahs Apostle saying, "Anybody who spendsa pair of something in Allahs Cause will be calledfrom all the gates of Paradise, "O Allahs slave!This is good. He who is amongst those who pray willbe called from the gate of the prayer (in Paradise)and he who is from the people of Jihad will be calledfrom the gate of Jihad, and he who is from thosewho give in charity (i.e. Zakat) will be called fromthe gate of charity, and he who is amongst those whoobserve fast will be called from the gate of fasting,the gate of Raiyan." Abu Bakr said, "He who is
  • 38. called from all those gates will need nothing," Headded, "Will anyone be called from all those gates, OAllahs Apostle?" He said, "Yes, and I hope you willbe among those, O Abu Bakr." [Bukhari]Narrated Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiya:I asked my father (Ali bin Abi Talib), "Who are thebest people after Allahs Apostle ?" He said, "AbuBakr." I asked, "Who then?" He said, "Then Umar."I was afraid he would say "Uthman, so I said, "Thenyou?" He said, "I am only an ordinary person."Narrated Abu Hurairah:The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Gabriel came and takingme by the hand showed the gate of Paradise bywhich my people will enter." Abu Bakr then said:"Apostle of Allah! I wish I had been with you so thatI might have looked at it." The Apostle of Allah(SAWS) then said: "You, Abu Bakr, will be the firstof my people to enter Paradise." [Abu Dawud]
  • 39. back to the topExcellence of Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA)Narrated Abu Huraira:Allahs Apostle said, "Among the nations before youthere used to be people who were inspired (thoughthey were not prophets). And if there is any of sucha persons amongst my followers, it is Umar."[Bukhari]Narrated Abu Huraira:The Prophet said, "Among the nation of Bani Israelwho lived before you, there were men who used to beinspired with guidance though they were notprophets, and if there is any of such personsamongst my followers, it is Umar." [Bukhari]Narrated Ibn Abbas:
  • 40. When (the dead body of) Umar was put on hisdeathbed, the people gathered around him and invoked(Allah) and prayed for him before the body was takenaway, and I was amongst them. Suddenly I feltsomebody taking hold of my shoulder and found out thathe was Ali bin Abi Talib. Ali invoked Allahs Mercy forUmar and said, "O Umar! You have not left behindyou a person whose deeds I like to imitate and meetAllah with more than I like your deeds. By Allah! Ialways thought that Allah would keep you with yourtwo companions, for very often I used to hear theProphet saying, I, Abu Bakr and Umar went(somewhere); I, Abu Bakr and Umar entered(somewhere); and I, Abu Bakr and Umar wentout." [Bukhari]Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:The Prophet said, "I saw myself (in a dream)entering Paradise, and behold! I saw Ar-Rumaisa,Abu Talhas wife. I heard footsteps. I asked, Who isit? Somebody said, It is Bilal Then I saw a palaceand a lady sitting in its courtyard. I asked, For
  • 41. whom is this palace? Somebody replied, It is forUmar. I intended to enter it and see it, but Ithought of your (Umars) Ghira (jealousy regardingwomen) and gave up the attempt." Umar wept andsaid, "Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O AllahsApostle! How dare I think of my Ghira (self-respect)being offended by you?" [Bukhari]Narrated Hamzas father:Allahs Apostle said, "While I was sleeping, I sawmyself drinking (i.e. milk), and I was so contentedthat I saw the milk flowing through my nails. Then Igave (the milk) to Umar." They (i.e. the companionsof the Prophet) asked, "What do you interpret it?" Hesaid, "Knowledge." [Bukhari]Narrated Sad bin Abi Waqqas:Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the permission of AllahsApostle to see him while some Quraishi women weresitting with him, talking to him and asking him for more
  • 42. expenses, raising their voices above the voice of AllahsApostle.When Umar asked for the permission to enter, thewomen quickly put on their veils. Allahs Apostleallowed him to enter and Umar came in while AllahsApostle was smiling, Umar said "O Allahs Apostle!May Allah always keep you smiling." The Prophetsaid, "These women who have been here, roused mywonder, for as soon as they heard your voice, theyquickly put on their veils." Umar said, "O AllahsApostle! You have more right to be feared by themthan I." Then Umar addressed the women saying, "Oenemies of yourselves! You fear me more than youdo Allahs Apostle ?" They said, "Yes, for you areharsher and sterner than Allahs Apostle." ThenAllahs Apostle said, "O Ibn Al-Khattab! By Him inWhose Hands my life is! Never does Satan find yougoing on a way, but he takes another way other thanyours." [Bukhari]Narrated Abdullah:
  • 43. We have been powerful since Umar embraced Islam.[Bukhari]Narrated Aslam:Ibn Umar asked me about some matters concerningUmar. He said, "Since Allahs Apostle died. I havenever seen anybody more serious, hard workingand generous than Umar bin Al-Khattab (till theend of his life)." [Bukhari]Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:I heard Allahs Apostle saying, "While I was sleeping,the people were presented to me (in a dream). Theywere wearing shirts, some of which were merelycovering their (chests). and some were a bit longer.Umar was presented before me and his shirt was solong that he was dragging it." They asked, "Howhave you interpreted it, O Allahs Apostle?" He said,"Religion." [Bukhari]
  • 44. Narrated Ibn Umar:During the lifetime of the Prophet we considered AbuBakr as peerless and then Umar and then Uthman(coming next to him in superiority) and then we used notto differentiate between the companions of the Prophet. [Bukhari]back to the topThe Ten Promised ParadiseNarrated Saeed bin Zayd:Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Akhnas said that when he was inthe mosque, a man abused Ali (RA). So Saeed bin Zaydgot up and said: "I bear witness to the Apostle ofAllah (SAWS) that I heard him say: "Ten personswill go to Paradise: "Abu Bakr will go to Paradise,Umar will go to Paradise, Uthman will go toParadise, Ali will go to Paradise, Talha will go toParadise: Zubair bin Al-Awwam will go to Paradise,Sad bin Abi Waqqas will go to Paradise and Abdur-
  • 45. Rahman bin Awf will go to Paradise. If I wish, I canmention the tenth." The People asked: "Who is he?"so he kept silence. They again asked: "Who is he?"He replied: "He is Saeed ibn Zayd." He then said:"The company of one man whose face has beencovered with dust by the Apostle of Allah (SAWS) isbetter than the actions of one of you for a whole lifetime even if he is granted the life-span of Noah."[Abu Dawud]These Ten Companions are listed below, together withthe dates of when they lived and died:1. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (51 B.H-13 A.H; 573-634 C.E)2. Umar bin Al-Khattab Al-Farooq (40 B.H-23 A.H;584-644 C.E)3. Uthman bin Affan Ghani Dhun-Nurayn (47 B.H- 35A.H; 577-656 C.E)4. Ali bin Abi Talib (23 B.H- 40 A.H; 600-661 C.E)5. Talha bin Ubaidullah (28 B.H-36 A.H; 596-656 C.E)6. Zubair bin Al-Awwaam (28 B.H-36 A.H; 596-656C.E)7. Abdur-Rahman bin Awf (passed away 31 A.H/654C.E)
  • 46. 8. Sad bin Abi Waqqas (23 B.H-55 A.H; 600-675 C.E)9. Saeed bin Zaid (passed away 51 A.H)10.Abu Ubaidah Aamir bin Abdullah bin Al-Jarrah.back to the topExcellence of Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA)Narrated Anas:The Prophet had informed the people of the martyrdomof Zaid bin Haritha, Jafar bin Abi Talib and Abdullah binRawaha before the news of their death reached. TheProphet said, "Zaid took the flag (as the commanderof the army) and was martyred, then Jafar took itand was martyred, and then Ibn Rawaha took it andwas martyred." At that time the Prophets eyes wereshedding tears. He added, "Then the flag was takenby a Sword amongst the Swords of Allah (Khalid binAl-Waleed) and Allah made them (i.e. the Muslims)victorious." [Bukhari]
  • 47. Narrated Khalid bin Al-Walid:"On the day of the Battle of Mutah, nine swordswere broken in my hand, and nothing was left in myhand except a Yemenite sword of mine." [Bukhari]Abu Saeed Al-Khudri reported there was some disputebetween Khalid bin Al-Waleed and Abdur-Rahman binAwf (RA) and Khalid (RA) abused him. ThereuponAllahs Messenger (SAWS) said to Khalid (RA): "Donot abuse my Companions, do not abuse myCompanions. By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, ifone amongst you would have spent as much gold asUhud, it would not amount to as much as one mudd(handful) of one of them or half of it." [Bukhari,Muslim]back to the topThe Killing of Imam Hasan (RA)Information dispelling the fabrication that Hasan bin Ali
  • 48. bin Abi Talib was poisoned by his wife can be found inthe article at
  • 49. NotesNote 1: The Blessed TenThese 10 men were known as Ashrat-ul-Mubashira-literally: "the ten who have been given the good news".Long before their death these men had been told by theProphet that they would enter into paradise. I havetranslated the term idiomatically as the Blessed Ten. Forthose interested, these 10 men were: Ali Abu Bakr Uthman Zubair bin Al Awwam Abdur-Rahman bin Auf Sad bin Abi Waqqas Talha bin Ubaidullah Abu Ubaidah bin Al Jarrah
  • 50. Saeed bin Zaid UmarThe list shows the order of their conversion. Therewere others who became Muslims before some of these(like Zaid bin Harithah, who was the second male toaccept Islam), but they were not among the BlessedTen.Note 2: Khalid and the YemenEarly historians have quoted some sources as sayingthat Khalid was also sent to the Yemen to convert theprovince to Islam; that he had no success; that theProphet then sent Ali, placing Khalid under hiscommand; and that Ali successfully accomplished theconversion of the Yemen. It is true that Ali went andconverted the Yemenis, but I do not believe that Khalidwas sent before him to the Yemen. The conversion ofthe Yemen was too big a job for a new convert likeKhalid; it needed a Companion of high standing, like Ali.Moreover, if as stated, Khalid had no success in theYemen, he was bound to have shed blood; and weknow that there was no bloodshed in the Yemen at thehands of Khalid. Finally, Khalid returned from Najran in
  • 51. January 632 (Ibn Hisham; Vol 2, p. 594), while Ali leftfor the Yemen in December 631 (Ibn Sad: p. 687). Sothe report of Khalid going to the Yemen could not betrue.Perhaps the nearness of Najran to the Yemen led somechroniclers to confuse Khalids actual mission to theformer with an imagined mission to the latter.Note 3: Dates of the Campaign of ApostasyWe know the dates of events more or less accuratelyup to and including the organisation of the 11 corps byAbu Bakr at Zhu Qissa. Thereafter the early historiansgive no dates.We do know, however, that the entire campaign wascompleted by the end of 11 Hijri. We know that theBattle of Yamamah was fought in the early part ofwinter ("The cold has come"-Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 518.) Wealso, know the chronological sequence of the variousbattles and other events. And there are certain pointers,like reinforcements for Battle E being sent onconclusion of Battle C, and so on.
  • 52. From this information, I have worked out theapproximate dates of the various events that have beendescribed, with the help of my military experience andjudgement: for instance, it would take so long for a forceto move from A to B; it would take so long to preparefor battle; it would take so long to completeadministrative actions after battle before the nextoperation could be launched, and so on.Because such estimates cannot be entirely accurate, Ihave given all dates after the formation of the 11 corpsin terms of weeks rather than days. There may still besome inaccuracy, but probably of no more than a weekor so.Note 4: Plan for Invasion of IraqEarly historians quote certain sources as narratinganother version of the Caliphs plan for the invasion ofIraq. This version is as follows:a. Abu Bakr instructed two generals to enter Iraq:Khalid from below, via Uballa, and Ayadh bin Ghanamfrom above, via Muzayyah. Ayadh was thensomewhere in Northern Arabia, between Nibbaj and theHijaz.
  • 53. b. Hira was given as the common objective to bothgenerals. Whichever of them got to Hira first wouldbecome the Commander-in-Chief and the other wouldserve under him.c. The Commander-in-Chief would then leave sufficientforces to guard Hira as a base, and proceed with therest of the army to fight the Persians in the imperialcapital, Ctesiphon.I reject this version for the following reasons:(i) Abu Bakr, who relied heavily on Khalid to fight themain battles of the apostasy, would not plan the newcampaign in a way that might place Khalid under thecommand of an untried general like Ayadh bin Ghanam,who was in any case not in the same class as Khalid.(ii) Abu Bakr believed strongly in the principle ofconcentration of force, as is evident from his conduct ofthe Campaign of the Apostasy. It is unlikely that hewould violate that principle now by splitting the availableforces into two and launching them in two widely
  • 54. separated areas whence they would be unable tosupport each other. A two-pronged invasion, sometimesdesirable and sound, would be a grave error in this case,when the enemy was so much stronger and operated oninterior lines. The Muslims, split into two forces, wouldsuffer defeat in detail.(iii) If this version were true and Ctesiphon was indeedthe ultimate objective of the invasion, Khalid wouldcertainly have attacked it. Actually, we know fromTabari that towards the end of the campaign, Khalidwanted to attack Ctesiphon but did not do so for fear ofthe Caliphs disapproval. And there is no mentionanywhere of Abu Bakr ever cancelling his supposedorder to attack Ctesiphon or, alternatively, remindingKhalid of it.(iv) As it happened, Ayadh was stuck at Daumat-ul-Jandal and was later helped out by Khalid. If hisobjective were "Iraq from above" there was no need forhim to engage in serious hostilities in a region far fromhis objective, especially when other and better routes tothat objective were available to him. Ayadh bin Ghanamdid have a force under his command, but its strength
  • 55. was not very great. His objective was probably noneother than Daumat-ul-Jandal. Abu Bakr may, of course,have had the intention of sending him to Iraq later tosupport Khalid, for after Daumat-ul-Jandal he didproceed to Iraq with Khalid and served under hiscommand.Note 5: The Battle of the RiverThe description of this battle is taken exclusively fromTabari, but Tabari places this battle at Mazar and namesit after both Mazar and the River (Sinyy). Balazuri (p.243) also mentions a battle at Mazar, while the accountsof Ibn Ishaq and Waqidi make no mention of action inthe Kazima-Uballa-Mazar region.Mazar, according to Yaqut(Vol. 4, p. 468) was fourdays journey from Basra on the road to Wasit (whichwas founded in 83 Hijri); and it was on the One-EyedTigris. Mazar is now believed to have stood on the siteof the present Azeir, on the right bank of the Tigris.Azeir is actually about eighty miles from Basra and thisplaces it correctly as the site of Mazar.But it should be noted that Mazar was about 70 miles
  • 56. beyond the River and 25 miles beyond the Euphrates.Thus it could not be reached without an elaboratearrangement of boats for crossing the rivers; and thereis no mention of Khalid crossing any river to go toMazar. The arrangements necessary for the collectionof boats for the crossing of the entire Muslim armywould surely have attracted the attention of historians,as Khalids use of boats after Ulleis did, and an eventlike the crossing of the Euphrates could not have goneunnoticed by the chroniclers.I believe that Khalid never crossed this river. No Arabcommander (of those days, that is) would cross a largeriver and move far beyond it, thus putting a majorobstacle between himself and the desert, while powerfulenemy forces were free to manoeuvre against his rear.This would be even more so when the enemy was theformidable imperial Persian. The desert strategy ofKhalid, and of other Arab commanders after him, wasbased on the principle of staying close to the fringes ofthe desert. Moreover, since Khalids objective was Hira,his crossing the River and the Euphrates to go intoCentral Iraq, thus deviating from his objective, would notmake sense. Hence, in my view, this battle was the
  • 57. Battle of the River only, and not the Battle of Mazaralso.Note 6: Location of Khanafis etc.There is no certainty about the location of Khanafis,Huseid, Muzayyah, Saniyy and Zhumail, and I acceptthe possibility of error in my geographical reconstructionof this operation. Historical indications about theselocations are given below.Khanafis: According to Yaqut (Vol. 2, p. 473), theplace was near Anbar and in the vicinity of Baradan.Musil, in one part of his book (p. 309), suggests that itwas west of the Euphrates, but elsewhere places it atthe present Kazimein, 5 miles above Baghdad, statingthat Baradan was a district 4 leagues from Baghdad.I place it definitely west of the Euphrates (though itsexact location is a guess) on the basis of Tabari andgeographical indications:a. Tabari states (Vol. 2, p. 580) that Khalid left Hira onthe route to Khanafis and caught up with Qaqa and AbuLaila at Ain-ut-Tamr. If Khanafis were east of the
  • 58. Euphrates, there could be no question of Ain-ut-Tamrbeing on the way to it.b. In 13 Hijri, Muthanna wanted to raid Baghdad andKhanafis from Ulleis (Tabari: Vol. 2, pp. 655-6), andwas told by guides that the two were some days journeyapart and that Khanafis was quicker to get to.Muthanna went to Khanafis by "the land route" and thencontinued to Anbar. Thus if Khanafis were at or nearKazimein, it would not be some days away fromBaghdad and could not be reached by reached by "theland route".I place Bardan as the Wadi-ul-Ghadaf, which was alsoknown as Wadi-ul-Burdan, and runs 25 miles north ofAin-ut-Tamr. If there was a place named Bardan orBurdan, it no longer exists, but the Wadi suggests itsgeneral geographical location. This is supported byTabaris statement (Vol. 2, p. 581) that on his marchfrom Ain-ut-Tamr to Muzayyah, Khalid went pastBardan. I have placed Khanafis a little north of theWadi.Huseid:Yaqut (Vol. 2, p. 281) mentions this as a smallvalley between Kufa and Syria. Hence this was
  • 59. definitely west of the Euphrates, but must have beeneast of Khanafis because of the direction ofMahbuzans withdrawal. Had Khanafis been to the east,Mahbuzan would have withdrawn towards Ctesiphonand not to Muzayyah. Musil also (p. 309) places Huseidwest of the Euphrates, but its exact location isuncertain.Muzayyah: Yaqut (Vol. 4, p. 560) calls this place a hillin Najd, on the bank of the Wadi-ul-Jareeb, in the areaof the Rabeea, which was one of the tribes of theTaghlib group in Iraq. (Najd means a high tableland,and this was not the Najd in Arabia.) Tabari (Vol. 2, p.580) places it between Hauran and Qalt. Musil (p. 303)locates it at Ain-ul-Arnab, 270 kilometres from Hira,115 kilometres north-west of Anbar and 75 kilometressouth-south-east of Aqlat Hauran. Ain-ul-Arnab iscorrectly located now 25 miles west of the presentHeet. In the absence of any other indications, I acceptthis as Muzayyah.Saniyy and Zhumail: Both Yaqut and Tabari (andMusil, who follows Yaqut in this) are well off the markin their location of these places. Yaqut (Vol. 1, p. 937)places Saniyy east of Risafa and Zhumail near Bashar,
  • 60. east of Risafa and east of the Euphrates. Tabari (Vol. 2,p. 582) also locates them east of Risafa. Risafa is inSyria, north-north-east of Palmyra and 15 miles south ofthe Euphrates. Musil (p. 312) places the two battlefieldsin the foothills of the Bisri Range, which runs north-eastof Palmyra, and regards Bashar as another name forBisri.I reject these locations emphatically. It is unthinkablethat Khalid should take his army 250 miles fromMuzayyah (about 400 miles from his base at Hira-almost a six weeks turn-round-merely to tackle twoArab concentrations which in no way concerned him.Moreover, the Bisri Range and Risafa were deep inSyria, and there could be just no question of Khalidtaking such liberties with the Caliphs instructions, whichconfined his area of operations to Iraq.I have found Zhumail. It is marked on certain maps as aruined town 35 miles north-west of Ain-ut-Tamr, on thebank of the Wadi Zhumail. The one-million scale map(Dept. of Survey, War Office and Air Ministry, London,1962) spells it as Thumail, and this is a much moresensible location for the place. Saniyy must have beenbetween this place and Muzayyah, and I have shown it
  • 61. on Map 14 as 25 miles north-west of Zhumail. (Thiscould be wrong by a few miles; but not much more.)It is possible of course, that there was another Risafasomewhere in Western Iraq, in which case thereference to it by Yaqut and Tabari would be correct.Note 7: Dates of Campaign in IraqThe dates of some battles are given in the earlyaccounts, but for others they are missing. We know thatKhalids march from Yamamah and the Battle ofKazima took place in Muharram; the Battles of theRiver, Walaja and Ulleis were fought in Safar; and Hirawas conquered in Rabi-ul-Awwal. We also know theapproximate date of Khalids arrival at Firaz and theexact date of the Battle of Firaz.The dates of the remaining battles, from Anbar toZhumail, are not given. I have assessed these datesaccording to military judgement, as for the Campaign ofthe Apostasy. And since these are approximations, Ihave given these dates in weeks rather than in days.Note 8: The Camel and Water
  • 62. Early writers have described how, before this marchbegan, many of the camels were made to drink vastquantities of water which they stored inside their bellies.These animals were then slaughtered on the march, afew every day, and the water in their bellies used forthe horses.This is an old legend and, strangely enough, believed upto this day. Actually the camel carries no water as areservoir in any part of its body. The fact is that themuscle tissue of the camel holds a higher percentage ofwater than is the case with other animals, and thus thecamel can go without water for longer periods thanother animals without suffering dehydration. The legendof the water reservoir inside the camel, which the ridercan use for survival as a last resort, is just that-alegend!Note 9: The Route of the Perilous MarchCertain present-day writers have given Khalids route asthe southern one, i.e. via Daumat-ul-Jandal. Accordingto this version, Khalid marched from Hira to Daumat-ul-Jandal and then to Quraqir (and there is such a placeabout 70 miles north-west of Daumat-ul-Jandal).
  • 63. Thence he made the perilous march across unchartereddesert to reach Eastern Syria.Indeed some of the early writers have mentionedDaumat-ul-Jandal. Balazuri gives Daumat-ul-Jandal asthe stage a next after Arak and just before Tadmur,which is clearly impossible. Tabari mentions one sourceas saying that from Hira Khalid went to Quraqir viaDaumat-ul-Jandal, though in his main account of themarch he makes no reference at all to Daumat-ul-Jandal. Waqidi and Yaqubi in their description of thisroute entirely omit both Daumat-ul-Jandal and Quraqir.The fact is that some of the early narrators confusedthis march with Khalids operations against Daumat-ul-Jandal, which have been described in Part III of thisbook. They have even stated that it was on this marchthat he captured Daumat-ul-Jandal, which is incorrect.The operative condition in Abu Bakrs instructions toKhalid was to march with speed. Going via Daumat-ul-Jandal, Khalid could not fulfil this condition as the movewould take a long time to complete. And if he did go toDaumat-ul-Jandal, why should he not take the directcaravan route to Syria and join the Muslim forces
  • 64. deployed in the area of Busra and Jabiya? On this routethere was no enemy on the way, his fears of which wehave mentioned. Why should he risk the annihilation ofthe entire army by traversing an unchartered, waterlessdesert only about 20 or 30 miles east of the maincaravan route? And why should he bypass the Muslimforces, which it was his task to contact and take undercommand, go deeper into hostile territory in EasternSyria, and then fight his way back again to join theMuslim forces? This does not make sense.Moreover, according to both Tabari (Vol. 2, p. 601) andBalazuri (p. 118), Khalid marched from Hira to Quraqirvia Sandauda and Muzayyah. These two places arenorth-west of Hira, the distance to Muzayyah beingabout 200 miles. Why should Khalid travel this extradistance north-westwards from Hira and then turn southagain to go to Daumat-ul-Jandal? This makes even lesssense!The correct general alignment of the route is given byWaqidi and Yaqubi and also by Tabari, except for hispassing reference to one source relating to the routethrough Daumat-ul-Jandal. The route that I havedescribed, i.e. the one leading directly from Iraq to
  • 65. Syria, was the quickest route; and Khalids subsequentoperations in Eastern Syria, which followed his entryinto Syria, only make sense in the context of a march onthis route. In fact clear indications of this route aregiven by:a. Khalids fears of being held up by Roman garrisons(Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 603).b. Waqidis mention of Khalids traversing the land ofSamawa, which is in the Badiyat-ush-Sham (theDesert of Syria), which covers Western Iraq and South-Eastern Syria (Waqidi: p. 14).c. Tabaris statement that on completion of the marchKhalid had left behind the frontiers of Rome and itsgarrisons facing Iraq.d. Muthannas accompanying Khalid up to Quraqir,which he would not have done if it were as far away asthe border of North-Western Arabia.Although the general alignment of the route can bededuced from historical accounts, no one can be
  • 66. absolutely certain about the exact route taken by Khalid.The route that I have here offered can only be generallycorrect, and may be out by several miles. Certainpointers used are explained below.Arak is there even now in Syria, about 20 miles east-north-east of Palmyra. Suwa was a days march fromArak, and the spring a days march from Suwa. Thusthe spring was about 50 miles from Arak, and this puts itat about the Bir Warid of today. Quraqir was five daysfrom the spring which means between 100 and 150miles away. This gives us a bel in which Quraqir waslocated. Of course, this Quraqir is not there today andno one knows its precise location, but according toYaqut (Vol. 4, p. 49) it was a valley and a wateringplace of the Bani Kalb in Samawa; and the land ofSamawa is part of the Desert of Syria, as stated above.Thus this Quraqir was certainly in Western Iraq and notin North-Western Arabia.In Western Iraq exist the ruins of several ancient townsand castles which are clearly shown on anarchaeological map of Iraq prepared by the IraqiDirectorate General of Antiquities. West of Muzayyahlie Qasr-ul-Khubbaz, Qasr Amij and Qasr Muheiwir, the
  • 67. last one being 120 miles from Muzayyah; and althoughthe ruins relate to the Parthian period, they are believedto have existed as watering places for caravans untilwell into the Muslim period. This is the route whichKhalids movement must have followed before the startof the Perilous March; and I place Quraqir at or nearQasr Muheiwir, on the Wadi Hauran. This place is 120miles from the spring, which is about the distance of afive days march of that period.Note 10: Battle of Marj-us-SaffarWaqidi says nothing in his account about the Battle ofMarj-us-Suffar. Yaqubi (Vol. 2, p. 139) and Balazuri (p.125), mention this battle as being fought before theconquest of Damascus.Waqidi, strangely enough, describes two sieges ofDamascus, the first one being abandoned after a shorttime, while all other historians have mentioned only onesiege-the successful one. According to Waqidi (p. 18),Khalid came to Damascus from the north-east, afterthe Battle of Busra, fought the battle against Azazeerand Kulus who came out of Damascus to meet him inthe open, and then invested Damascus (p. 21). But soon
  • 68. after, he raised the siege and marched to Ajnadein tofight Wardan.Gibbon accepts this version of Waqidi but it does notappear to be really acceptable. In the context of themission given to Khalid by the Caliph, of takingcommand quickly of the Muslim forces in Syria andfighting the Romans (whose most threateningconcentration was at Ajnadein) such an action does notmake sense. It is unthinkable that Khalid should firstapproach Damascus from the north-east and raid MarjRahit; then bypass Damascus, march to Busra andcapture Busra; then again approach Damascus from thenorth-east, fight Azazeer and Kulus and invest the city;then raise the siege and march to Ajnadein.But the events described by Waqidi in the action againstAzazeer and Kulus are real and correct. They did takeplace. So I have assumed that they took place beforethe one and only siege, and this was the Battle of Marj-us-Suffar.Note 11: Date of Conquest of DamascusMost early historians and practically all later ones, have
  • 69. given the fall of Damascus as occurring in Rajab, 14Hijri (September 635). Waqidi is the only one of theearly writers who has placed it a year earlier, i.e. Rajab,13 Hijri, and this I regard as correct. There are variouspointers to this in the early accounts, most of which arelinked with the death of Abu Bakr, which occurred onthe 22nd of Jamadi-ul-Akhir, 13 Hijri, i.e. the monthpreceding the conquest of Damascus, and the removalof Khalid from the command of the army by Umar.The letter which Umar wrote to Abu Ubaidah,appointing him the commander of the army, reached himwhile a great battle was in progress, and Abu Ubaidahwithheld this information from Khalid until after thebattle had been won. This battle could not have beenthat of Ajnadein, which was fought-and on this there isuniversal agreement-in Jamadi-ul-Awwal, 13 Hijri.Some writers have quoted sources saying that the eventtook place at Yaqusa. But this could not be correcteither, as Yaqusa was just a one-day battle. Some whoconsider that the year of the Battle of Yarmuk was 13Hijri have said that the letter reached Abu Ubaidahduring this battle. This too is incorrect, as the Battle ofYarmuk was fought in 15 Hijri.
  • 70. All the early historians have quoted some sources assaying that the letter reached Abu Ubaidah while theMuslims were besieging Damascus, and that he did notinform Khalid of this until after the surrender of the city.In my view this is correct; and if it is, then Damascuscould not have fallen in Rajab, 14 Hijri, for thisinformation regarding the change of command could notpossibly have been concealed from the Muslims for awhole year. It could be concealed for a few weeks-certainly no more than a month-as I have assumed.The pact with the Damascenes was signed by Khalid asthe Muslim commander and witnessed by Abu Ubaidah.This pact was actually seen by Waqidi in the followingcentury. There can be no question of this pact beingsigned by Khalid a year after his removal fromcommand with Abu Ubaidah, the actual commander,only witnessing it.According to Waqidi (p. 62), the oath of allegiance toUmar was taken by the Muslims at Damascus on the3rd of Shaban, 13 Hijri, when they had finished with thesiege of Damascus. And this was after the return ofKhalid from his raid at Marj-ud-Deebaj; which cameafter the fall of Damascus.
  • 71. Another point: The Battle of Fahl, according to everyhistorian, was fought in Zu Qad, 13 Hijri, and allhistorians have quoted some sources as saying that thisbattle took place after the conquest of Damascus.As for the duration of the siege of Damascus, historiansdisagree. It has been given variously as one year, sixmonths, four months and 70 days. I put it at about amonth. It could not have been very long, as thenHeraclius would certainly have made more than oneattempt to relieve the beleaguered garrison. If Heracliuscould raise another large army for the battle of Fahl,fought in Zu Qad, 13 Hijri, he would certainly have usedsuch an army for the relief of Damascus, had the siegecontinued till then. In any case, a garrison and apopulation so large could not have been victualled for along siege in the three weeks which elapsed after theBattle of Ajnadein until the siege began. Here againWaqidis version is the most sensible one.Keeping all this in mind, we must conclude thatDamascus fell on or about Rajab 20,13 Hijri, after asiege of one month.Note 12: Yarmuk-Opposing Strengths
  • 72. There is a difference of opinion about the strength ofboth armies at the Battle of Yarmuk. As frequentlyhappens in such cases, there has been a tendency toshow ones own strength as less than it was and theenemy strength as more than it was.Let us first take the Roman strength. Muslim historiansassess it as follows:a. Tabari, in one place, (Vol. 2, p. 598, where he giveshis main account of the battle) shows it as 200,000 men.Elsewhere (Vol. 3, p. 74) he quotes Ibn Ishaq as sayingthat it was a 100,000 including 12,000 Armenians and12,000 Christian Arabs.b. Balazuri (p. 140) gives the Roman strength as200,000.c. Waqidi (p. 107) exaggerates it to a fantastic figure,but his estimate of the Roman who used chains (30,000,p. 139) seems very reasonable.As for Western writers, Gibbon (Vol. 5, p. 325), takinghis material from early Byzantine sources, gives the
  • 73. Roman strength as 140,000 including 60,000 ChristianArabs.There is obvious exaggeration on both sides, but less soon the Western side, because the Byzantines wouldknow their own strength better than their opponentswould. We should dismiss the figure of 200,000 asincorrect. Such a vast army could not possibly havebeen assembled on one battlefield; and the problems ofthe concentration, movement, supply and feeding ofsuch a force, with the relatively primitivecommunications of the time, would be such that anystaff officer entrusted with the task would promptlyresign his commission! This point will be more apparentto the trained military mind than to the civilian reader.On the Western side, too, there is an attempt tominimise the Roman strength, especially the Europeanpart of it-partly perhaps for reasons of racial pride. It isabsurd to say that the Arab section of the armyamounted to 60,000 men. Just the Arabs of Syria couldhardly have produced such a numerous army, when theentire Muslim State, which included Arabia, the Yemen,Iraq and Gulf States, could only produce 40,000. This istherefore probably nothing more than an attempt to pass
  • 74. the blame on to the Arabs. It is noteworthy that whileGibbon gives the Christian Arab strength as 40 per cent,Ibn Ishaq (a reliable source) gives it as only 12 per cent.Allowing for exaggeration on both sides, I believe thatthe Roman army was 150,000 strong. It is impossible tosay how strong each contingent was, but in the absenceof any data, I have assumed that each of the five armieswhich comprised the Roman army at Yarmuk (includingthe Christian Arab army of Jabla) was roughly a fifth ofthe total Roman strength. There is, of course, thepossibility of some error in this assumption. As for theMuslim strength, Tabari in one place (Vol. 2, p. 592)gives it as 40,000 plus a reserve of 6,000. Elsewhere(Vol. 3, p. 74), he quotes Ibn Ishaq as saying that theMuslims numbered 24,000-this against 100,000 Romans.Balazuri (p. 141) agrees with Ibn Ishaq, while Waqidi(p. 144) places the Muslim strength at 41,000.I doubt that it could have been more than Waqidisfigure, and in order to accommodate Balazuri and IbnIshaq, have given the Muslim strength as 40,000, i.e.Tabaris figure without the reserve. This gives a ratio ofroughly one Muslim to four of the opposition.
  • 75. Note 13: Battlefield of YarmukEarly historians do not say precisely where the Battle ofYarmuk was fought, and as a result, a dispute hasarisen among later writers on this point. Some havegiven the battle-front as the Yarmuk River itself; othershave put it a little south of the Yarmuk; yet others haveplaced it east of the Yarmuk. We shall take up thesetheories in turn.No battle could be fought across the Yarmuk River. Ihave described the ravine, and one look at it wouldconvince any observer of this statement. Cavalry justcannot cross the gorge, and infantry movement is onlypossible in single file, with soldiers picking their waycarefully over the sides, skirting the precipices. This isout!A battle south of the river-on this grand scale that is-isout of the question. The terrain consists of spurs,flanked by steep wadis, running down to the Yarmuk,and nothing more than small-scale actions andskirmishes are possible in this terrain. This could not bethe place which Khalid described as "a plain suitable forthe charge of cavalry". Moreover, if the battle had been
  • 76. fought south of the Yarmuk, the Romans would havebeen pushed into the Yarmuk rather than the Wadi-ur-Raqqad, and this did not happen.As for a battle east of the Yarmuk, the terrain permits agreat battle here, as it consists of an open plain, north ofDara. But there is no indication anywhere in the earlyaccounts of the battle being fought here. In fact thepointers are against it, for as indicated below, theyfavour the geography of the field I have described.Moreover, the Wadi-ur-Raqqad is too far from the plaineast of the Yarmuk (over 20 miles from where theRoman left wing would be) for Khalid to turn theRoman, left, defeat the Roman army in position, herdthe Romans into the Raqqad and then destroy them, allin a one-day counter-offensive.Now for the battlefield I have reconstructed. There arethe following clear proofs:a. Khalids advice to Abu Ubaidah-which wasaccepted-to put Azra behind him. This means facingroughly west.b. Abu Ubaidah, after taking up positions, wrote to
  • 77. Umar that their army was deployed "on the Yarmuk,near Jaulan". (Waqidi.-p. 118).c. The position of the Roman camp near Jaulan, whichis between the Raqqad, Lake Tiberius and the area tothe north. And this was 11 miles from the Muslim camp,putting the Muslim camp a little east of where I haveplaced the battle-line.d. The Hill of Samein, 3 miles south-west of the presentNawa, is now known as the Hill of Jamua (gathering)because, according to local tradition, on it a part ofKhalids army was gathered. This is the clearestindication of the battle-front, as in most Arab countriesthese traditions have been passed down accurately fromfather to son since the earliest times.e. The manoeuvre, as it was conducted, ending at theWadi-ur-Raqqad in a one-day counter-offensive, couldonly be possible, in time and space, from the central orwest-central part of the Plain of Yarmuk.f. The front could not have been further east becausethe Muslims would not then have been on the Yarmuk,
  • 78. which starts at Jalleen, behind where I have shown theMuslim left wing. Moreover, Dhiraars outflankingmovement on the night before the last day of battlewould not have been possible if the Muslim army hadbeen 20 miles away.Hence the battle-front could only have been more orless as it has been described in the chapter on Yarmuk.This should not be out by more than a mile or so, exceptfor the Hill of Jamua, which was definitely in Muslimhands.
  • 79. Bibliography1. Ibn Hisham: Seerat-un-Nabawi, Cairo, 1955.2 . Waqidi: Maghazi Rasulillah: Cairo, 1948; Futuh-ush-Sham, Cairo, 1954.3. Ibn Sad: Tabaqat-ul-Kubara, Cairo, 1939.4. Ibn Qutaibah: Al Maarif, Cairo, 1960.5. Al-Yaqubi: Tareekh-ul-Yaqubi, Beirut, 1960;Al Buldan, Lieden, 1892.6. Al-Baladhuri: Futuh-ul-Buldan, Cairo, 1959.7. Dinawari: Akhbar-ul-Tiwal, Cairo, 1960.8 . At-Tabari: Tareekh-ul-Umam wal Muluk , Cairo,1939.9 . Al-Masudi: Muruj-uz-Dhahab, Cairo, 1958; AlTanbeeh wal Ashraf, Cairo, 1938.10. Ibn Rusta: Alaq-un-Nafeesa, Lieden, 1892.11. Isfahani: Al Aghani, Cairo, 1905.12. Yaqut: Mujam-ul-Buldan, Teheran, 1965.
  • 80. 13. Abu Yusuf: Kitab-ul-Kharaj, Cairo, 1962.14. Edward Gibbon: Decline and Fall of the RomanEmpire, London, 1954.15. Alois Musil: The Middel Euphrates; New York,1927.Ibn Hisham. His abridgement of the last pioneeringwork, Seerah Rasoolullah, by Muhammad bin Ishaq, isinvaluable. Portions of Ibn Ishaq have recently beenrecovered and published. Muhammad bin Ishaq (whodied in 150 or 151AH), is unquestionably the principalauthority on the Seerah (Prophetic biography) andMaghazi (battles) literature. Every writing after him hasdepended on his work, which though lost in its entirety,has been immortalised in the wonderful, extantabridgement of it, by Ibn Hisham. Ibn Ishaq was one ofthe Tabieen (second generation who saw the Sahabahbut not the Prophet SAWS himself) of humblebeginnings as a former slave. Ibn Ishaqs work isnotable for its excellent, rigorous methodology and itsliterary style is of the highest standard of elegance andbeauty. This is hardly surprising when we recall that IbnIshaq was an accomplished scholar not only in Arabiclanguage but also in the science of hadith. For this
  • 81. reason, most of the isnad (chains of narration) that hegives in his Seerah are also to be found in the authenticbooks of hadith. Ibn Ishaq, like Bukhari and Muslim,travelled very widely in the Muslim world in order toauthenticate the isnad of his hadith. It is reported thatIbn Ishaq saw and heard Saeed bin Al-Musayyib, Abanbin Uthman bin Affan, Az-Zuhri, Abu Salamah binAbdur-Rahman bin Awf and Abdur-Rahman binHurmuz Al-Araj. It is also reported that Ibn Ishaq wasthe teacher of the following outstanding authoritiesamong others:(a) Yahya bin Saeed Al-Ansari(b) Sufyan Ath-Thawri(c) Ibn Jurayh(d) Shubah bin Al-Hajjaj(e) Sufyan bin Uyainah(f) Hammad bin ZaidAl-Waqidi. The second most authoritative book onSeerah is that of Al-Maghazi by Muhammad bin UmarAl-Waqidi Al-Aslami (who lived from 130 to 207AHand is buried in Baghdad). This book was widely read invarious parts of the Muslim world. While som
  • 82. Ibn Sad. The third authoritative work on Seerah is IbnSads Tabaqat-ul-Kubara (nine volumes). Ibn Sad wasboth the student and the scribe/secretary of Al-Waqidi.The quality and scholarly excellence of the Tabaqat-ul-Kubara of Ibn Sad say a great deal about the academiccompetence of his teacher and patron.Al-Yaqubi. (Ahmad bin Jafar bin Wahb, died 292AH).Al-Yaqubis work is unique for its examples of theProphets (SAWS) sermons, not to be found elsewhere,especially those containing instruction and admonition.Al-Baladhuri. (Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jabir, died in279AH). The work of this early historian is valuable forthe texts it contains of certain important agreementswhich the Prophet (SAWS) concluded with somegroups and individuals- among others, the texts of hisagreements with the Christians of Najran, his agreementwith the people of Maqna, his book to Al-Mundhir binSawi and to Akaydar Dawmah.At-Tabari. (Ibn Jareer, died in 310AH) in hismonumental world history Tareekh-ul-Umam walMuluk. At-Tabari was not merely a historian, but alsoan unrivalled authority on the Arabic language and
  • 83. grammar, on hadith and fiqh, and on the tafseer(exegesis) and interpretation of the Quran. Evidence ofthe excellence of his scholarship, his prodigious anduntiring intellectual genius, is provided by his majorworks which run into many lengthy volumes each.Al-Masudi. (Abul-Hasan Ali bin Al-Husain bin Ali Al-Masudi, died in 346AH). A well-known Arab historian,descendent of one of the Companions of the Prophet(SAWS), Abdullah bin Masood (RA), author of twobooks on history including long sections on Seerah, bothmentioned above.
  • 84. The Author: Lieutenant- General A.I. AkramLieutenant-General A.I. Akram, Rawalpindi, Pakistan in his own words:M u s lim history is replete with great militaryachievements and glorious feats of arms. In the annalsof war there are no battles which surpass, in brillianceand decisiveness, the battles of Islam; no commanderswho surpass, in courage and skill, the gifted generals ofIslam. The sword has always held a place of honour inMuslim culture. And yet very little is known in the worldtoday about the military history of Islam. There is not asingle work by a trained military mind, written afterproper research and a thorough examination of theground, describing in detail the famous battles of Islam.
  • 85. In fact there has been no real research. There is a void.I became conscious of this void in early 1964 when Iwas Chief Instructor at the Staff College, Quetta.Having always been a keen student of Military History,which subject I used to direct, among others, at theStaff College, I felt that I was perhaps better qualifiedthan many Muslim soldiers to undertake the task offilling this gap in literature. The whole of Muslim militaryhistory would take several hundred volumes, but at leasta beginning could be made; and I decided to accept thechallenge. I would start at the beginning; and I woulddescribe the campaigns of Khalid bin Al Waleed (mayAllah be pleased with him).I found that a good deal of material was available on theearly battles of Islam, but it was all in Arabic. Not allearly Muslim historians have been translated; and wheretranslations exist, they are often inaccurate andsometimes downright dishonest. For such research onewould have to know the language in which the originalaccounts were written. So I learned Arabic.I then prepared a bibliography to include all the earlyhistorians, but excluded from it all writers, Muslim or
  • 86. Christian, who lived and wrote after the Tenth Century.Since the latter obtained all their information from theformer, I decided to concentrate exclusively on the earlysources and thus avoid being influenced in any way bythe opinions and conjectures of later writers. Thepreparation of the bibliography was relatively easy; thereal problem was the procurement of the books, forthese were not available in Pakistan and their cost inArab countries was considerable. In this matter,however, I was helped out by certain friends who verygenerously donated the books as a contribution to thisproject. These friends, who have all been my students atQuetta, are: Brigadier Majid Haj Hassan of Jordan,Brigadier H.U. Babar of Pakistan, and Majors Naif AonSharaf and Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, both of Saudi Arabia.I thus came to possess an excellent library of earlyMuslim historical works; and with the acquisition of thismaterial my research began.One of the most difficult tasks which faces any scholardealing with such research is the absence ofgeographical data. Geography forms the physical basisof military strategy and no military history is possiblewithout knowing, with a reasonable degree of accuracy,
  • 87. the geographical conditions prevailing at the time. I wasfortunate to acquire two excellent geographical worksof the early Muslim period: Al Alaq-w-Nafeesa by IbnRusta and Al Buldan by Yaqubi, which explain inconsiderable detail the physical and political geographyof the time. From these works I was able to reconstructthe terrain conditions and pinpoint accurately thelocations of many places which no longer exist. It tookme several weeks of concentrated study to solve thisproblem and prepare the maps which are included in thisbook.I n my quest for maps I was also helped by BrigadierMajid Haj Hassan of Jordan and Brigadier H.U. Babarof Pakistan. And the last, though by no means least, ofmy geographical aids was a historical atlas of Iraqprepared by Dr. Ahmad Sousa of Baghdad-an excellentpiece of research which covers much more than Iraq inits scope.Although the giants of historical literature in the firstfew centuries of the Muslim era were almost allMuslims (as indeed were the giants of most branches ofliterature), I was anxious to study some early Westernauthors as well in order to know their version of events,
  • 88. especially with regard to the Muslim conquest of Syria.I was able to discover two Byzantine historians, vizNicephorus and Theophanes, both of the late Eighth andearly Ninth Centuries, but unfortunately could not findany translations of their works in languages which Iknow. I therefore decided to rely for the Western pointof view on the celebrated Edward Gibbon whose work:The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, isundoubtedly a monumental contribution to history, hisanti-Muslim prejudice notwithstanding. It only gives abirds-eye view but I had to be content with that in theabsence of other detailed, reliable Western literature.While avoiding all books written after the Tenth Centuryfor reasons already stated, I nevertheless studied certainlater authors for help in matters of geography, so that Icould collect all possible data which would make thisbook more accurate. I made extensive use of thefamous Mujam-ul-Buldan by the Twelfth/ThirteenthCentury scholar, Yaqut. And of Twentieth Centurygeographical works, the one of greatest help to me wasThe Middle Euphrates by Alois Musil, a Czech scholarwho travelled extensively in Iraq and Syria in the seconddecade of this Century and carried out a thorough study
  • 89. of the geography of the region traversed by theEuphrates.Having completed my study of the books and thepreparation of a first draft, I took leave of absence fromthe Army and in early August 1968, set out fromPakistan. I first spent some time in Europe, mainly inLondon and particularly in the British Museum, lookingfor works on Muslim campaigns against the ByzantineEmpire. I could not find any English translations of earlyWestern writers, but did get some useful referencesfrom the Museums library.I n late August I landed at Beirut, and now began mytour of the battlefields of Khalid bin Al Waleed. I wouldsee the lands over which Khalid marched, the placeswhere Khalid fought his battles, and the sands on whichthe blood of his enemies had flowed in rivulets. InLebanon I had no other work than to locate Abul Quds,a place where Khalid rescued a trapped Muslimcolumn; and having located this place, I travelled byroad to Syria.In Syria I stayed at every city which Khalid conquered -Damascus, Emessa, Tadmur, Aleppo-saw every place
  • 90. where Khalid fought his battles, and got the correctlocation of all the remaining places mentioned in Part IVof this book. In Damascus I saw the walls of the fort,traces of which still remain except in its western part,whence it has vanished altogether. I also saw the sixgates which are still named as they were in Khalidstime; but the inside of the fort has changed completely.And while in Damascus I took the opportunity of visitingthe very imposing National Museum and studying somevaluable works of reference which I did not possess inmy private library.I n Emessa I carried out the sacred duty of visiting (itwas almost a pilgrimage) the Mosque of Khalid bin AlWaleed. It was a poignant moment for me when I stoodat the foot of the grave of the master of war-the man Ihad been thinking about and reading about and writingabout for the past four years. I sat in contemplation inthe mosque, beside Khalids tomb, for an hour. Then Istood up and said two rakahs of prayer and prayed toAllah to give to the Muslims of today the victories whichHe had bestowed upon Khalid, even though they be lessdeserving.One of the most interesting days which I spent in Syria
  • 91. was the one on which I searched for and foundQinassareen (the ancient Chalcis), which Khalid hadcaptured, and at which he had held his last command.Many people in Aleppo had heard of Qinassareen andknew that it was somewhere near their city. It was alsomarked on archaeological maps as a site of ancientruins. But nobody knew just where it was and how onecould get there; for no visitor in living memory had evercome to see Qinassareen. However, I engaged a taxiand by good fortune found a Bedouin in the city (a manwhom I took to be a simple peasant) who lived twomiles from Qinassareen and had come to Aleppo on avisit. If I would drop him at his village, he would pointout to me the rest of the way to Qinassareen. I took himalong. We drove on a good road to Zarba, 14 milessouth-west of Aleppo, and here, on the Bedouinsinstructions, turned off the road on to a small countrytrack which later became so bad that the car lurcheda long with difficulty. After five miles of this, wereached the Bedouins village where he alighted fromthe car and told us to "keep going round the hill" and wewould find Qinassareen, The driver and I did keep goinground the hill, and not only found Qinassareen, but alsothat we were back on the very road we had left a few
  • 92. miles back! Qinassareen, or rather the site of it, forthere is no Qinassareen left, is actually on this road, andwe could have driven straight down to it, but were madeto do a wide detour just so the Bedouin could get to hisvillage. Clever Bedouin! But he was a pleasant fellowand did me a service by getting me to within two milesof Qinassareen; for while everybody in the surroundingvillages knew the location of Qinassareen nobody inAleppo did.The most important of my visits to battlefields in Syriawas the visit to Yarmuk. This is a prohibited areabecause of its nearness to the Cease Fire Line, andforeigners are not allowed to visit it; but thanks to thehelp of our Ambassador, Mr. A.A, Sheikh, I was givenpermission by the Syrian Government to visit any part ofthe area that I wished to see. And not only that-theSyrian Army also provided me with transport for cross-country driving and a conducting officer who knew thearea well and proved an indispensable guide. Thus Iwas able to spend many hours, armed with map andcompass, carrying out a thorough examination of thefamous battlefield. I drove along the entire length ofwhat had been the battle front, examined the terrain
  • 93. from several vantage points and had a good look at theYarmuk gorge from the north bank. I could not see theWadi-ur-Raqqad because it is the Cease Fire Line, butfrom a village named Shajara, three miles from theravine, I had a clear view of the area where the lastbloody phase of this battle was fought.After Yarmuk I drove with my conducting officer toBusra, saw the famous fort, examined the terrainoutside Busra and then returned to Damascus.I spent altogether a fortnight in Syria-a country full ofbeauty and full of history. Here my travels were madeeasier and more enjoyable with the help and cooperationof our Ambassador and our First Secretary, Mr. FazalRahim. On September 13, I traveled by taxi to Amman.I arrived in Jordan to find (not entirely to my surprise)that a Pakistani is not an alien in Jordan. In fact, in nocountry in the world does a Pakistani, when outside hisown native land, feel so much at home as in Jordan,where the affection and hospitality shown to Pakistanisis overwhelming and unforgettable. I stayed in Jordan asa guest of the Jordanian Army, and was given everyfacility to see all that I wanted to see, for which my
  • 94. thanks are due to the Chief of the General Staff,General Amer Khammash. And I am indebted to my oldstudent and friend, Brigadier Majid Haj Hassan, fortaking upon his broad shoulders the entire responsibilityof organising my programme and for seeing it through toa successful conclusion with the utmost efficiency.I spent a whole day examining the battlefield of Yarmukfrom south of the Yannuk River. This wassupplementary to the reconnaissance which I hadcarried out earlier from the Syrian side. I visited Fahland saw the area of the Jordan Valley where the Battleof Fahl was fought. I drove down to Mutah and walkedover what is believed to be the site of the battle, in thecentre of which a fine new mosque is now being built.Here, strangely enough, several people claim to haveseen visions of the Battle of Mutah-the movement ofMuslim warriors, the clash of combat-and I myself mettwo men who said that they had seen such visions. Thethree Muslim commanders who fell martyrs in this battleare buried at Mazar, two miles away, and I visited andprayed at the grave of each.My visit to Jordan ended on September 21, 1968, when Iflew to Baghdad, via Beirut, carrying with me memories
  • 95. of an interesting and heart-warming stay in a countrysmall in size but big in spirit.I arrived at Baghdad to find all the arrangements for mytour of Iraq already made, thanks to the foresight of ourMilitary Attache, Colonel H.M.I. Ameen. TheGovernment of Iraq had responded in a positive andbrotherly fashion to my project of writing about theconquests of Islam and the Minister of Culture andGuidance, Mr. Abdullah As-Salum, had already issuedinstructions that I was to be given every facility to seeall that I wished in Iraq, This official help was ofinestimable value to me. I was given transport and aconducting officer, Dr. Muhammad Baqir Al Hussaini,who proved a welcome guide and companion.I first spent a week in Baghdad, studying in the libraryof the Baghdad Museum and holding discussions withsome of the eminent scholars of Iraq-Dr. Saleh AhmadAlAli, Dr. Ahmad Sousa (whose atlas I have alreadymentioned) and Mr Fuad Safan. These discussionsrevolved around historical and geographical themes andwere of definite help to me. But my task of locatingbattlefields in Iraq proved much more difficult than ithad been in Syria and Jordan, for the reason that while
  • 96. in those countries Khalids battles were fought at greatcities and on well-known plains which are still there forthe visitor to see, his battles in Iraq were fought mainlyat small towns which have ceased to exist. Moreover,the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, behaving likeunpredictable women, have capriciously changed theircourse many times, thus altering the geography of theregion through which they flow. This makes the task ofaccurately placing the towns on their banks a matter ofconsiderable difficulty.Nevertheless, I was able to achieve a good deal, byGods grace. I carried out a tour of several daysduration, based first at Baghdad and then at Kufa, anddrove hundreds of miles in the desert and the sown. Ilocated and visited every battlefield of Khalid with theexception of the places where he fought after thecapture of Ain-ut-Tamr, for these places do not existnow and their location is not definitely established. Ithen went on to Basra and saw Mazar (the present AlAzeir) and the sites of Uballa and Hufeir, of neither ofwhich does a trace remain.This brought to an end my two and a half weeks stay inIraq-a stay made more interesting and comfortable by
  • 97. the hospitability of Colonel Ameen. On October 8, 1968,I travelled by road to Kuwait.I had very little to do in Kuwait. I located and sawKazima, the scene of Khalids first battle with thePersians (actually not much remains of Kazima); andtwo days after my arrival from Iraq I flew back toPakistan. In a little more than six weeks in the MiddleEast, I had travelled by road something like 4,000 miles.For four months I remained at my post, rewriting theaccount of Khalids campaigns in Iraq and Syria in thelight of knowledge gained in my travels. Then, in earlyFebruary, 1969, I set out once again for the desert, tocomplete what remained of my tour. I flew to Jedda onFebruary 4, and was received at the airport by ourM ilit a r y Attache, Colonel Nur-ul-Haq, andrepresentatives of the Saudi Arabian Army. ColonelNur-ul-Haq had informed the Saudi Government of mycoming and the purpose of my visit, and with typicalArab hospitality, the Government had invited me to stayas its guest. I happily accepted the invitation and thisproved a great boon, for over the vast spaces whichcomprise Saudi Arabia my extensive travels would nothave been possible without official assistance. In fact,
  • 98. as my tour progressed, and as I drove along sandy trailsand over barren deserts, I became more and moreconscious of my debt to the Saudi Government, and inparticular to the Army, because without their help Icould never have carried out such a thoroughexamination of these battlefields.All my travel arrangements were made by the Armyand I was given a conducting officer, Captain Abdur-Rahman Al Hammad, an intelligent young man whoremained with me as my aide and companion throughoutmy five weeks stay in the country.Soon after my arrival, I did the Umra at Makkah andthen flew to Riyadh. I decided to visit the northern partof Arabia first, as here my travels had to cover a muchlarger region, and I felt that it would be better to get thisbehind me, so that I would then be left with the easierand relatively better known, battles in the region ofMakkah and Madinah. Thus I would first see the placeswhere Khalid fought his battles against the apostates,the battles described in Part II of this book.I stayed three days at Riyadh, during which I spent anentire morning examining the battlefield of Yamamah,
  • 99. and then travelled by road to Buraidah. Using this as abase, I drove out to Nibbaj (the present Nabqiyya) andButah. On February 12, I flew to Hail and wassurprised to see how cold it was. Here I spent threedays-most of the time driving about the desert- and sawseveral places where Khalid fought the apostates. Thedifficulties of a reconnaissance such as I hadundertaken can be judged by the fact that just to seeSameera and Ghamra, which are close to each other, Ihad to drive 200 miles in a round trip from Hail, goingover desert trails and cross-country, a trip that took me10 long, dusty hours. And the problem of locating placeswas further accentuated by the fact that I had to do mymap reading with nothing better than a one million scalemap.I flew back to Riyadh on February 15, and the followingday returned to Jedda. Now began the second phase ofmy tour-the region of Makkah.On February 17, I went up to Taif for a night and a day,and saw the mosque where had stood the Muslim campduring the siege of Taif. I found no trace of any ruinswhich could give an indication of the Taif Fort, but Itook the opportunity to visit a number of places
  • 100. connected with the route of the Holy Prophet to Taif.Then I returned to Jedda, and was sorry to leave Taif asit is a very pleasant spot and delightfully cool.I spent a day over the Battle of Hunain and this proveda long day indeed. The maps show a road to andthrough the Hunain Valley, and this used to be the mainroad from Makkah to Taif before the present highwaywas built, but the road is now in disuse and recent rainshave not been kind to it. Thus I was driving very oftenin sandy and stony wadi beds, and but for the fact that Ihad a land-rover, I would never have got through thevalley. Luckily, I made it and was able to carry out agood examination of the valley in which the battle wasfought.I next spent a day studying Makkah itself, in order toplace on the ground the plan of the cpnquest ofMakkah. Makkah has expanded enormously since thoseearly days of Islam, and it is not possible to determinethe exact limits of the town as they were in theProphets time; yet the places known to exist then stillexist, and I saw all these places. I also climbed the Hillof Kuda, about two miles south of the Kabah, fromwhic h I had a fairly good view of the southern
  • 101. approaches, I even tried to draw & panoramic sketch,but the area is so hilly that the task proved beyond mylimited artistic ability and I had to be content withmaking a map without hills. I have found no large-scaletopographical maps to guide me in this, and I confessthat of all the maps in this book, this (Map 5) is the onewith which I am the least satisfied. Perhaps anotherwriter with cartographical talents superior to mine couldimprove on this infantrymans effort.Thus ended Phase Two: the region of Makkah. And itwas now time for the Hajj; so during the end ofFebruary, I did the annual pilgrimage-the dearest wisho f every Believer- as a guest of the Saudi ArabianGovernment. This duty done, I drove to Madinah, onMarch 4, for the very last phase of my tour of Muslimbattlefields.At Madinah I made a critical examination of the Battlesof Uhud and the Ditch, which are recorded in suchdetail and are so well known that it was quite easy tofollow them on the ground. I made panoramic sketchesof the various hill features which are shown in the mapsof this book; and I visited Abraq about 70 miles fromMadinah, where Caliph Abu Bakr trounced the
  • 102. apostates in the little-known Battle of Abraq. This partof my tour was organised by Major Muhammad AbdulHameed Asad, and I had as guide the best of guides:the learned Sheikh Ibrahim bin Ali Al Ayyashi, a scholarand historian of repute, at whose knowledge of earlyMuslim history and geography I could not but marvel.After a stay of five days at Madinah I returned to Jeddawhence, on March 11, 1969, I flew back to Pakistan. Ileft Saudi Arabia with feelings of deep gratitude for theco-operation and help extended to me by theGovernment and the Army of this vast desert kingdomand the hospitality of all Saudis with whom I came incontact. I felt particularly indebted to His RoyalHighness Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Minister ofDefence whose kindness in treating me as a State guesthad made possible what would otherwise have been analmost impossible task.Back in Pakistan, once I had got over the fatigue of myArabian travels, I pondered deeply over the many facetsof my tour of Khalids battlefields. I was more than alittle surprised that I had been able to carry out this tourentirely on my own, for it was undoubtedly an ambitiousproject; and I was deeply thankful to God Almighty for
  • 103. His help in making it successful. I had to pay a highprice in effort and time and money; but looking backupon it, I was glad that I had done it at my own expenseand not at the expense of a kind donor (not that therehad been any actual offer of help!). This was myservice to Islam, my contribution to Muslim literature myhumble act of worship as one of the Faithful.It took me several months to rewrite the manuscript andin October, 1969, the revised manuscript is being sent topress. It had taken me over five years to carry out theentire project, from the initial collection of material tothe final preparations for printing the book.This is a book of history, specifically of Muslim militaryhistory. It deals with the life and campaigns of one ofthe most remarkable soldiers the world has ever known-Khalid bin Al Waleed, an all-conquering hero who neverknew the meaning of military defeat. Seeking clarity forthe layman as well as the professional soldier, I haveavoided technical terminology and tried to maintain asimple style.A good deal of what appears in this book is notgenerally known to the public; but every incident, every
  • 104. circumstance is historically correct. Every move, everyduel, every blow, every quoted statement is taken fromthe accounts of the early historians. In the interpretationof the facts, I have at times had to rely on judgement,particularly with regard to the description of the battles;but I have tried to be as objective as possible. In myaccount of the battles and my description of the eventswhich occurred in those early, fateful years of Islam, Ihave given credit to the enemies of Islam when theydeserved it (and this was often); and I have pointed outthe mistakes of the Muslims (though these were few).While all the facts are given in the early accounts, thereis a considerable amount of confusion because of theexistence of various, and conflicting, versions. The earlyhistorians have faithfully recorded each version of agiven event, even when these are directly contradictory,and left it to the reader to take his choice, with theremark: "And Allah knows best!" This confusion appliesmost seriously to the Syrian Campaign, with the resultthat the reader is left in doubt as to exactly how thecampaign was fought and just what was thechronological sequence of events.I have tried to dispel this confusion by giving one under-
  • 105. standable version which appears to me the most likelyand sensible. I have not burdened the book withfootnotes explaining differences of opinion among theearly chroniclers, but I have given footnotes to show thehistorical source from which every dialogue or quotedstatement is taken. These footnotes are for referenceby research scholars rather than for the general reader;the latter may well disregard them, if he is not interestedin further study of the subject. Moreover, in the case ofimportant or controversial differences, I have givennotes in an appendix at the end of the book, whichwould be of value to more demanding readers.Some of the battles, particularly in the second half of thebook, are reconstruction, but my account is based onincidents and clear pointers given by early historians.The difference lies in the fact that the early historiansmade no effort to analyse strategy and tactics, whereasI have tried to do so as a soldier as well as a historian.The philosophy of the manoeuvre and the analysis aremy contribution to the account of each battle. All thefacts that I have given belong to history. They are thebright flowers of history. But the thread that holds themis mine; and the arrangement of the flowers is mine.
  • 106. Part I of the book-the battles fought in the time of theHoly Prophet-may appear to the reader to be more amilitary biography of Prophet Muhammad than ofKhalid. This is unavoidable. Events which occurred inArabia in the Prophets time, whether religious, political,economic, cultural or military, were so completelydominated by the Messenger of Allah that no writer candescribe these events without reflecting, in his account,the tremendous impact of the personality of Muhammad(on whom be the blessings of Allah) and the newmessage which he brought as the last Apostle of God.Moreover, a study of the Prophets battles is essential tothe student who wishes to trace the development of theart of war in early Islam from its humble beginnings atMadinah to the complex manoeuvres of Khalid atYarmuk.I have mentioned in these pages many who have beenof assistance to me in carrying out the project. Thereare others who have helped me in various ways, butspace does not permit me to name them all. I would,however, like to acknowledge my debt to my wife fordrawing the maps and checking my draft, and mypersonal assistant, Naib-Subedar Abdul Sattar Shad, for
  • 107. typing the manuscript.To conclude, the object of this book is to record andmake known to the world the life and militaryachievements of Khalid bin Al Waleed. If the booksucceeds in achieving this object, Allah be praised! If itdoes not, even then Allah be praised! A. I. Akram October, 1969 Rawalpindi, West Pakistan
  • 108. Chapter 1: The Boy Part I: In the Time Page:of the Prophet 1(SAWS)“The best of you in Jahiliyyah are the best of you in Islam, as long as they have understanding.” [Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)]1Khalid and the tall boy glared at each other. Slowly theybegan to move in a circle, the gaze of each fixed intentlyupon the other, each looking for an opening for hisattack and each wary of the tricks that the other mightuse. There was no hostility in their eyes-just a keenrivalry and an unshakeable determination to win. AndKhalid found it necessary to be cautious, for the tall boywas left-handed and thus enjoyed the advantage that allleft-handers have over their opponents in a fight.
  • 109. Wrestling was a popular pastime among the boys ofArabia, and they frequently fought each other. Therewas no malice in these fights. It was a sport, and boyswere trained in wrestling as one of the requirements ofArab manhood. But these two boys were the strongestof all and the leaders of boys of their age. This matchwas, so to speak, a fight for the heavy-weight title. Theboys were well matched. Of about the same age, theywere in their early teens. Both were tall and lean, andnewly formed muscles rippled on their shoulders andarms as their sweating bodies glistened in the sun. Thetall boy was perhaps an inch taller than Khalid. Andtheir faces were so alike that one was often mistakenfor the other.Khalid threw the tall boy; but this was no ordinary fall.As the tall boy fell there was a distinct crack, and amoment later the grotesquely twisted shape of his legshowed that the bone had broken. The stricken boy laymotionless on the ground, and Khalid stared in horror atthe broken leg of his friend and nephew. (The tall boysmother, Hantamah bint Hisham bin Al Mugheerah, wasKhalids first cousin.)In course of time the injury healed and the leg of the tall
  • 110. boy became whole and strong again. He would wrestleagain and be among the best of wrestlers. And the twoboys would remain friends. But while they were bothintelligent, strong and forceful by nature, neither hadpatience or tact. They were to continue to compete witheach other in almost everything that they did.The reader should make a mental note of this tall boyfor he was to play an important role in the life of Khalid.He was the son of Al Khattab, and his name wasUmar.Soon after his birth Khalid was taken away from hismother, as was the custom among the better families ofthe Quraish, and sent to a Bedouin tribe in the desert. Afoster mother was found for him, who would nurse himand bring him up. In the clear, dry and unpolluted air ofthe desert, the foundations were laid of the tremendousstrength and robust health that Khalid was to enjoythroughout his life. The desert seemed to suit Khalid,and he came to love it and feel at home in it. Frombabyhood he grew into early childhood among the Arabsof the desert; and when he was five or six years old hereturned to his parents home in Makkah.
  • 111. Some time in his childhood he had an attack of smallpox, but it was a mild attack and caused no damageexcept to leave a few pock marks on his face. Thesemarks did not, however, spoil his ruggedly handsomeface, which was to cause a lot of trouble among thebelles of Arabia - and some -to himself too.The child became a boy; and as he reached the age ofboyhood he came to realise with a thrill of pride that hewas the son of a chief. His father, Al Waleed, was theChief of the Bani Makhzum - one of the noblest clans ofthe Quraish - and was also known in Makkah by thetitle of AlWaheed- the Unique. Khalids upbringing wasnow undertaken by the father who did his best (and withexcellent success) to instil into Khalid all the virtues ofArab manhood-courage, fighting skill, toughness andgenerosity. Al Waleed took great pride in his family andhis ancestors, and told Khalid that he was:Khalidson of Al Waleedson of Al Mugheerahson of Abdullahson of Umarson of Makhzum (after whom the clan was named)
  • 112. son of Yaqzason of Murrason of Kabson of Luwayyson of Ghalibson of Fihrson of Malikson of Al Nazrson of Kinanason of Khuzeimason of Mudrikason of Ilyasson of Muzarson of Nizarson of Maaddson of Adnanson of Uddson of Muqawwamson of Nahurson of Teirahson of Yarubson of Yashjubson of Nabitson of Ismail (regarded as the father of the Arabians)
  • 113. son of Ibrahim (the prophet)son of Azarson of Nahurson of Sarugh (or Asragh)son of Arghuson of Falakhson of Eibarson of Shalakhson of Arfakhshazson of Saamson of Noah (the prophet)son of Lamkson of Mattushalakhson of Idris (the prophet)son of Yardson of Muhlailson of Qeinanson of Anushson of Sheisson of Adam (the father of mankind)1. Bukhari, from Abu Hurayrah. Sahih Al-Jami’ Al-Saghir No. 3267
  • 114. Chapter 1: The Boy Part I: In the Time Page:of the Prophet 2(SAWS)The great tribe of the Quraish that inhabited Makkahhad evolved a clear-cut division of privilege andresponsibility among its major clans. The three leadingclans of the Quraish were the Bani Hashim, the BaniAbduddar (of which the Bani Umayyah was anoffshoot) and the Bani Makhzum. The Bani Makhzumwas responsible for matters of war. This clan bred andtrained the horses on which the Quraish rode to war; itmade arrangements for the preparation and provisioningof expeditions; and frequently it provided the officers tolead Quraish groups into battle. This role of the BaniMakhzum set the atmosphere in which Khalid was togrow up.
  • 115. While still a child he was taught to ride. As a Makhzumihe had to be a perfect rider and soon acquired masteryover the art of horsemanship. But it was not enough tobe able to handle trained horses; he had lo be able toride any horse. He would be given young, untrainedcolts and had to break them and train them intoperfectly obedient and well-disciplined war horses. TheBani Makhzum were among the best horsemen ofArabia, and Khalid became one of the best horsemen ofthe Bani Makhzum. Moreover, no Arab could claim tobe a good rider if he only knew horses; he had to be justas good on a camel, for both animals were vital forArab warfare. The horse was used for fighting, and thecamel for long marches, in which horses were taggedalong unmounted.Along with riding, Khalid learned the skills of combat.He learnt to use all weapons-the spear, the lance, thebow and the sword. He learnt to fight on horseback andon foot. While he became skilful in the use of allweapons, the ones for which he appears to have had anatural gift were the lance, used while charging onhorseback, and the sword for mounted and dismountedduelling. The sword was regarded by the Arabs as the
  • 116. weapon of chivalry, for this brought one nearest to onesadversary; and in sword fighting ones survivaldepended on strength and skill and not on keeping at asafe distant from the opponent. The sword was themost trusted weapon.As Khalid grew to manhood, he attained a great height-over six feet. His shoulders widened, his chestexpanded and the muscles hardened on his lean andathletic body. His beard appeared full and thick on hisface, With his fine physique, his forceful personality, andhis skill at riding and the use of weapons, he soonbecame a popular and much-admired figure in Makkah.As a wrestler, he climbed high on the ladder ofachievement, combining consummate skill withenormous strength.The Arabs had large families, the father often havingseveral wives to increase his offspring, Al Waleed wasone of six brothers. (There may have been more, butthe names of only six have been recorded.) And thechildren of Al Waleed that we know of were five sonsand two daughters. The sons were Khalid, Waleed(named after the father), Hisham, Ammarah and AbduShams. The daughters were Faktah and Fatimah.
  • 117. Al Waleed was a wealthy man. Thus Khalid did nothave to work for a living and could concentrate onlearning the skills of riding and fighting. Because of thiswealthy background, Khalid grew up to disregardeconomy and became known for his lavish spending andhis generosity to all who appealed to him for help. Thisgenerosity was one day to get him into serious trouble.Al Waleed was a wealthy man. But the Quraish were asurprisingly democratic people and everybody wasrequired to do some work or the other-either forremuneration or just to be a useful member of society.And Al Waleed, who hired and paid a large number ofemployees, would work himself. In his spare time hewas a blacksmith 1 and butcher 2 , slaughtering animalsfor the clan. He was also a trader, and along with otherclans would organise and send trade caravans toneighbouring countries. On more than one occasionKhalid accompanied trade caravans to Syria and visitedthe great trading cities of that fair province of Rome.Here he would meet the Christian Arabs of theGhassan, Persians from Ctesiphon, Copts from Egypt,and the Romans of the Byzantine Empire.Khalid had many friends with whom, as with is brothers
  • 118. he would ride and hunt. When not engaged outdoorsthey would recite poetry, recount genealogical lines andhave bouts of drinking. Some of these friends were toplay an important part in Khalids life and in this story;and the ones deserving special mention besides Umar,were Amr bin Al Aas and Abul Hakam. The latterspersonal name was Amr bin Hisham bin Al Mugheerah,though he was to earn yet another name later: Abu Jahl.He was an elder cousin of Khalid. And there was AbulHakams son, Ikrimah, Khalids favourite nephew andbosom friend.Al Waleed was not only the father and mentor of hissons; he was also their military instructor, and from himKhalid got his first lesson in the art of warfare. Helearnt how to move fast across the desert, how toapproach a hostile settlement, how to attack it. Helearned the importance of catching the enemyunawares, of attacking him at an unexpected momentand pursuing him when he broke and fled. This warfarewas essentially tribal, but the Arabs well knew the valueof speed, mobility and surprise, and tribal warfare wasmainly based on offensive tactics.On reaching maturity Khalids main interest became
  • 119. war and this soon reached the proportions of anobsession. Khalids thoughts were thoughts of battle; hisambitions were ambitions of victory. His urges wereviolent and his entire psychological make-up wasmilitary. He would dream of fighting great battles andwinning great victories, himself always the champion-admired and cheered by all. He promised himself battle.He promised himself victory. And he promised himselflots and lots of blood. Unknown to him, destiny hadmuch the same ideas about Khalid, son of Al Waleed.1. Ibn Qutaibah: p. 575.2. Ibn Rusta: p. 215.
  • 120. Chapter 2: The New Faith Part I: In the Time Page:of the Prophet 1(SAWS) "It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to make itprevail over all religion,and Allah is sufficient as a witness." [Quran 48:28]A certain Arab would walk the streets of Makkah atnight, lost in thought. He was a member, no longerwealthy, of the noble clan of Bani Hashim. A strikinglyhandsome man of medium height with broad, powerfulshoulders, his hair ended in curls just below his ears. Hislarge, dark eyes, fringed with long lashes, seemedpensive and sad.There was much in the way of life of the Arabs that
  • 121. caused him pain. Everywhere around him he saw signsof decay-in the injustice done to the poor and helpless, inthe unnecessary bloodshed, in the treatment of womenwho were considered as no better than domesticanimals. He would be deeply anguished whenever heheard reports of the live burial of unwanted femalechildren.Certain clans of the Arabs had made a horrible ritual ofthe killing of infant daughters. The father would let thechild grow up normally until she was five or six yearsold. He would then tell her that he would take her for awalk and dress her up as if for a party. He would takeher out of the town or settlement to the site of a gravealready dug for her. He would make the child stand onthe edge of this grave and the child, quite unaware ofher fate and believing that her father had brought herout for a picnic, would look eagerly at him, wonderingwhen the fun would start. The father would then pushher into the grave, and as the child cried to her father tohelp her out, he would hurl large stones at her, crushingthe life out of her tender body. When all movement hadceased in the bruised and broken body of his poorvictim, he would fill the grave with earth and return
  • 122. home. Sometimes he would brag about what he haddone.This custom was not, of course, very widespread inArabia. Among the famous families of Makkah-theBani Hashim, the Bani Umayyah and the BaniMakhzum-there is not a single instance on record of afemale child being killed. This happened only amongsome desert tribes, and only in some clans. But even theexceptional occurrence of this revolting practice wassufficient to horrify and sicken the more intelligent andvirtuous Arabs of the time.Then there were the idols of Makkah. The Kabah hadbeen built by the Prophet Ibrahim as the House of God,but had been defiled with gods of wood and stone. TheArabs would propitiate these gods with sacrificialofferings, believing that they would harm a man whenangered and be bountiful when pleased. In and aroundthe Kabah there were 360 idols, the most worshipped ofwhom were Hubal, Uzza and Lat. Hubal, the pride ofthe Arab pantheon, was the largest of these gods andwas carved of red agate. When the inhabitants ofMakkah had imported this idol from Syria it was withouta right hand; so they fashioned a new hand of gold and
  • 123. stuck it on to its arm.In the religion of the Arabs there was a curious mixtureof polytheism and belief in Allah-the true God. Theybelieved that Allah was Lord and Creator, but they alsobelieved in the idols, regarding them as sons anddaughters of Allah. The position of the deity in the Arabmind was like that of a divine council, God being thePresident of the council of which these other gods andgoddesses were members, each having supernaturalpowers, though subservient to the President. The Arabswould swear by Hubal or by another god or goddess.They would also swear by Allah. They would nametheir sons Abdul Uzza, i.e. the Slave of Uzza. Theywould also name their sons Abdullah i.e. the Slave ofAllah.It would not be correct to suggest that everything waswrong with the Arab culture of the time. There wasmuch in their way of life which was glorious andchivalrous. There were qualities in the Arab characterwhich would be enviable today-courage, hospitality anda sense of personal and tribal honour. There was alsoan element of vindictiveness, in the blood feuds whichwere passed down from father to son, but this was
  • 124. understandable, and even necessary, in a tribal societywhere no central authority existed to enforce law andorder. Violent tribal and personal retaliation was theonly way to keep the peace and prevent lawlessness.What was wrong with Arab culture lay in the fields ofethics and religion, and in these fields Arab life had hitan all-time low. This period became known in history asthe Ignorance. During the Ignorance Arab actions wereacts of ignorance; Arab beliefs were beliefs ofignorance. The Ignorance was thus not only an era butan entire way of life.The Arab mentioned at the beginning of this chaptertook to retiring to a cave in a hill not far from Makkah,for one month every year. In this cave he would spendhis time in meditation and reflection, and he would wait-not knowing just what he was waiting for. Then oneday, while he was meditating in the cave; he suddenlybecame conscious of a presence. He could see no oneand there was no sound of movement, but he could feelthat someone was there. Then a voice said, "Read!"
  • 125. Chapter 2: The New Faith Part I: In the Time Page:of the Prophet 2(SAWS)Alarmed by the phenomenon of the disembodied voice,the Arab exclaimed, "What shall I read?" The voicewas louder as it repeated, "Read!" Again the Arabasked, "What shall I read?" The voice now seemedterrible as it called sternly, "Read!" Then the voicecontinued in a more gentle tone:Read: in the name of your Lord who created,Created man from a clot.Read: and it is your Lord the BountifulWho taught by the pen;Taught man that which he knew not. [Quran 95: 1-5]This happened on a Monday in the month of August,
  • 126. 610 CE. The world would never be the same again, forMuhammad had received his first revelation. A newfaith was born.When Muhammad (SAWS) received this revelation,Khalid was 24 years old.For three years the Prophet remained silent, receivingguidance through the Angel Jibril. Then he was orderedto start expounding the religion of Allah, and he startedwith his own family and clan. Most of them, however,scorned his teaching and made fun of the new faith.One day the Prophet decided to collect his closerrelatives and give them a good meal at his house. Thiswould give him an opportunity to get them together andput them in a situation where they would have to listento him. The meal was duly arranged and heartily eatenby the guests. The Prophet then addressed theassembled guests and said, "O Bani Abdul Muttalib!By Allah, I do not know of any man among theArabs who has come to you with anything betterthan I have brought you. I bring you the best of thisworld and the next. I have been ordered by Allah tocall you to Him. Who will help me in this work and
  • 127. be my brother and deputy?"The response of the entire gathering was silence. Noone replied, each watching the others to see if anyonewould get up to support this man. And then a thin,under-sized boy with skinny legs, in his early teens,sprang up and piped in a voice which had not yetbroken, "I, O Prophet of Allah, will be your helper!"There was a roar of laughter from the guests at whatappeared at the time to be a ridiculous sight-rude andcontemptuous laughter-as they stood up and began towalkaway. But the boy was impervious to suchrudeness, for the next instant he had been clasped bythe Prophet in a loving embrace. The Prophet declared,"This is my brother and deputy." 1 The boy was theProphets cousin-Ali, son of Abu Talib. He was the firstmale to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet .2Gradually the truth began to spread; and a fewindividuals, mostly youths or weak, helpless people,accepted the new faith. Their number was small buttheir courage was high. And the Prophets sphere ofactivity widened. In spite of the rebuffs and insultswhich were hurled at him by the Quraish, he continued
  • 128. to accost people at street corners and in the marketplace and to warn them of the Fire which awaited theevil-doer. He would deride their idols of wood and stoneand call them to the worship of the true God. As hisactivities increased, the opposition of the Quraishbecame harder and more vicious. This opposition wasdirected mainly by four men: Abu Sufyan (whosepersonal name was Sakhr bin Harb, and who was theleader of the Bani Umayyah), Al Waleed (father ofKhalid), Abu Lahab (uncle of the Prophet) and AbulHakam. Of the first and the last we will hear a lot morein this story.Abu Sufyan and Al Waleed were men of dignity andself-respect. While they directed the opposition againstthe Prophet, they did not demean themselves byresorting to violence or abuse. Al Waleeds initialreaction was one of ruffled dignity. "Is theprophethood to be bestowed on Muhammad," heexploded, "while I, the greatest of the Quraish andtheir elder, am to get nothing? And there is AbuMasud, the chief of the Saqeef. Surely he and I arethe greatest of the two towns." 3 This grand old manlived in a world of his own where everything depended
  • 129. on nobility of birth and rank. He was, of course, beingunfair to the Prophet, for the line of Muhammad joinedhis own six generations back, and the family ofMuhammad was no less noble than his own. In fact, inrecent history the Prophets family had acquired greaterprominence than any other family in Makkah. TheProphets grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, had been thechief of all the Quraish in Makkah.1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 63; Ibn Sad: Vol. 1, p. 171.2. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 245; Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 56.Masudi: Muruj; Vol. 2, p. 283.3. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 361.Quran 95:1-5
  • 130. Chapter 2: The New Faith Part I: In the Time Page:of the Prophet 3(SAWS)According to Ibn Hisham, it was in connection with thisstatement of Al Waleed that the Quranic verse wasrevealed: And they say: If only this Quran had beenrevealed to some man from the, two great towns![Quran 43:31]. The two towns were Makkah andTaif. And another Quranic revelation believed to havereferred to Al Waleed who, as we have stated in thepreceding chapter, was known by the title of AlWaheed (the Unique), reads: Leave Me (to deal) withhim whom I created Waheed; and bestowed uponhim ample means; and sons abiding in hispresence; and made (life) smooth for him. Yet hedesires that I should give more. Nay, for lo, he hasbeen stubborn about Our revelations. On him I
  • 131. shall impose a fearful doom…Then he looked;then he frowned and showed displeasure; then heturned away in pride and said: This is nothing butmagic from of old; this is nothing but the speech ofa man. Him shall I fling into the fire: [Quran 74:11-17 and 21-26]The most blood-thirsty and vindictive of these leaderswas Abul Hakam-cousin and friend of Khalid. As aresult of his violent opposition to Islam he was given bythe Muslims the nickname of Abu Jahl, the IgnorantOne, and it is by this name that posterity was to knowhim. A small, tough and wiry man with a squint, he hasbeen described by a contemporary as: "a man with aface of iron, a look of iron and a tongue of iron." 1And Abu Jahl could not forget that in their youngerdays, in a fierce wrestling match, Muhammad hadthrown him badly, gashing his knee, the scar of whichwas to remain until his death.2These prominent men of the Quraish, and some others,finding it impossible to stop the Prophet by either threator inducement, decided to approach the aged andvenerable Abu Talib, uncle of the Prophet and leader ofthe Bani Hashim. They would have killed the Prophet
  • 132. but for the strong sense of tribal and family unity whichprotected the Prophet. His killing would have led to aviolent blood feud with the Bani Hashim, who wouldundoubtedly have taken revenge by killing the killer or amember of the killers family.The delegation of the Quraish now approached AbuTalib and said "O Abu Talib! You are our leader andthe best among us. You have seen what the son ofyour brother is doing to our religion. He abuses ourgods. He vilifies our faith and the faith of ourfathers. You are one of us in our faith. Either stopMuhammad from such activities or permit us to dealwith him as we wish." 3Abu Talib spoke gently to them, said that he would lookinto the matter, and dismissed them with courtesy. Butbeyond informing the Prophet of what the Quraish hadsaid, he did nothing to stop him from spreading the newfaith. Abu Talib was a poet. Whenever anything of thissort happened, he would compose a long poem and pourall his troubles into it.In the house of Al Waleed, the actions of the Prophetbecame the most popular topic of conversation. In the
  • 133. evening Al Waleed would sit with his sons and otherrelatives and recount the actions of the day and all thatthe Quraish were doing to counter the movement ofMuhammad. Khalid and his brothers heard their fatherdescribe the entire proceedings of the first delegation toAbu Talib. Some weeks later, they listened to him tell allabout the second delegation to Abu Talib, which had nomore effect than the first. The Prophet continued withhis mission.Then Al Waleed took a bold step. He decided to offerhis own son, Ammarah, to Abu Talib in return for theperson of Muhammad. Ammarah was a fine, strappingyouth in whom men and women saw all the virtues andgraces of young manhood. The Quraish delegationapproached Abu Talib with Ammarah in tow. "O AbuTalib" said the delegates. "Here is Ammarah, son ofAl Waleed. He is the finest of youths among theQuraish, and the handsomest and noblest of all.Take him as your son. He will help you and be yoursas any son could be. In return give us the son ofyour brother-the one who has turned against yourfaith and the faith of your fathers and has c