Battle of Kazima

The used to say “No one saw the face of Khalid bin Waleed (ra) except they were already defeated.”

Abu Bakr (ra) sent Khalid to Iraq to fight against the Persians. They had a great empire which they ruled for over 1200 years as a world superpower. Their lands spanned from Greece in the West to Punjab in the East.

Due to the wars already fought by the army, Abu Bakr also told Khalid to grant permission to those soldiers who wished to return home. Hence his army shrunk from 13,000 to only 2,000. He wrote a letter back to Abu Bakr informing him of this and Abu Bakr responded by sending 1 man – Qaqa’ bin Amr. The people asked Abu Bakr how he could replace 11,000 men with 1 man, and he replied “An army with the ranks of those like Qaqa’ will never be forsaken by Allah.”

The Muslims, and especially Khalid bin Waleed, were gaining reputation and the Persians sent one of their greatest warriors named Hormuz as the leader of their army. Hormuz was an amazing warrior, referred to as the ‘Defender of Persia’. He had the highest rank of a 100,000 dirham cap studded with pearls and diamonds.

What made Khalid bin Waleed a great general was his war tactics and psychological warfare which crippled the opposing forces. He knew the Persian warriors carried heavy weapons and heavy armour. So he moved his forces to a place called Hudhair in Iraq. Hormuz, wanting to intercept the Muslim army, rushed his forces to overtake them and managed to reach Hudhair first. When he reached Hudhair, he realised that Khalid had returned back to Kazima. Again Hormuz rushed his army to overtake the Muslims and he reached Kazima first, but by this time his army were exhausted. When Khalid bin Waleed arrived he ordered them to attack straight away, thereby not giving any time for rest.

Hormuz emerged from the ranks and called out for Khalid, challenging him to a duel. Hormuz had carefully manoeuvred the duel to take place closer to his side, positioning people to ambush Khalid and kill him. Initially they fought on horses but then when Hormuz got off his horse, Khalid got off his horse and they continued battling. Then Hormuz threw his sword and Khalid in turn also threw his sword, ready to wrestle to the death. As they were wrestling, Hormuz managed to get Khalid in a hold and called out to his men who came charging, ready to kill Khalid. Abu Bakr knew the worth of Qaqa’, who was all prepared for this possibility and he rode out to intercept the men successfully.

By the end of the day, the Muslims had defeated the Persian army and taken control over the region.


Shuwail and Kiramah

During the time of the Prophet (saws) there was a Christian Arab princess  named Kiramah bint Abd al-Masih who was well known through poems and tales of her beauty. She lived in Hira, a Roman city which was the centre of the Christian Arabs. The Prophet (saws) predicted that the Muslims would conquer Hira and a Bedouin companion named Shuwail (ra) asked the Prophet (saws) if he could have Kiramah. The Prophet (saws) said “She will be yours.” This man was a Bedouin who lived a rough life and was uneducated and unlettered.

When the Muslims conquered Hira under Khalid bin Waleed (ra) during the time of Abu Bakr (ra), Shuwail approached Khalid and asked for Kiramah. Khalid was surprised that a Bedouin would be promised a princess, but he brought forward his witnesses and Kiramah was brought to him. The women of the household objected but Kiramah said she would handle it.

When she stood before him, he was left speechless that she was a wrinkled old woman! She called him a fool and said that those tales were told decades before when she was young. She said “Of what use is an old woman to you? Let me go!”

But Shuwail, despite being uneducated, knew that she was still of worth and he could earn a profit by making her pay for her freedom. She asked for the price and he said “I am not the son of the mother of Shuwail if I let you go for less than ten hundred dirhams (i.e. 1000 dirhams).” She mildly protested but then paid the fee and returned to her family.

Shuwail returned to his comrades full of pride saying that he had made her pay through her nose. He was met by laughter and they exclaimed “1000 dirhams! For Kiramah you could have gotten much much more!”

Shuwail replied “More than ten hundred dirhams?? I didn’t know there was anything more than ten hundred dirhams!”

Hearing this, Khalid bin Waleed laughed and said “Man intends one thing, but Allah intends another.”

Battle at Ajnadein

During the caliphate of Abu Bakr (ra) the Muslims squared off against the Romans in the land of Sham. The first major victory in that area was the capture of Busra, the main trading centre of Syria. One soldier named Dirar ibn al-Azwar (ra) became famous in that battle for taking off his armour and upper garment, earning him the nickname ‘The half-naked warrior’.

After this, they faced a decisive battle against the Romans at Ajnadein. The Romans had gathered a formidable force of 90,000 under the leadership of Wardan. The Muslims assembled their largest army thus far of 32,000 under the leadership of the great Khalid bin Waleed (ra), also known as Saifullah, or the Sword of Allah.

There remained a stand-off for a few days, and Khalid bin Waleed wished to send a spy into the Roman camp. Dirar ibn al-Azwar volunteered, and baring his body he rode out but was intercepted by some Roman soldiers. He turned his horse back and began to gallop. As he rode back, 30 Roman soldiers followed him. Being the adventurous type, he decided to turn his horse to face them and he fought against them, killing 19 of them before they retreated. When he returned, the Muslims cheered him on but Khalid bin Waleed scolded him for being reckless.

Some time later, Khalid bin Waleed decided to square off against the enemy, giving specific orders for them not to attack until he tells them. The Roman bows and slings were far superior to the Muslim army, and the Muslims took heavy losses. The army leaders wished to advance the attack but Khalid stopped them, saying “Not until I give the order.” Again they lost many and the leaders were pushing to fight but Khalid said “Not until I give the order.” Then Khalid allowed a few fighters to go forward and fight in duels, and the Muslims, who were now heated for battle, defeated anyone who dared face them. The Romans became demoralised by this and Khalid ordered a full attack which resulted in massive Roman losses.

That evening, the Roman general, Wardan, gathered his counsellors and decided that they needed to dispose of Khalid bin Waleed himself, so they formulated a plan to lure Khalid out the next morning with the talk of negotiations and then ambush him. They sent a man named David to tell Khalid of this but when they met, David was so amazed by Khalid’s strength and conviction that he informed Khalid of the plot in return of his family’s safety. He informed them that 10 Roman soldiers would be hidden below a hillock, next to where the negotiations between the two generals were supposed to take place.

Khalid initially formulated a plan for some soldiers under the lead of Dirar ibn al-Azwar to intercept the Roman soldiers when they went out to ambush him, but Dirar felt it would be better for them to kill the Romans in the guise of darkness before the morning came. Khalid agreed and Dirar and his 9 men set out shortly after midnight.

The following morning Khalid went out to meet Wardan, who was dressed in bejewelled armour with a bejewelled sword by his side. They spoke for a while and then all of a sudden Wardan grabbed Khalid in a strong hold and called out. From behind the hillock, they saw 10 Roman soldiers emerge and race towards them. Khalid thought that perhaps Dirar’s time had come and he had made no other arrangements for his protection.

As the soldiers surrounded the two men, Khalid noticed that one of them was not wearing any upper garments! It was Dirar and his men who had put on the Roman soldiers’ clothing. Khalid recited the verse “They plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners” and he deposed of Wardan.

Khalid took the opportunity to continue the ruse further and he put on Wardan’s beautiful armour and sword, and walked out of the hillock towards the Roman camp with 10 soldiers dressed in Roman clothing and holding the head of a man. The Romans were thrilled as they thought their leader had decapitated the great Khalid bin Waleed and the Muslims were in complete and utter shock. Then Khalid threw off the armour and called on the Muslims to attack.

Some time later, a letter was received in Medina from Khalid bin Waleed stating that 50,000 Romans had been killed and 450 Muslims martyred in the victory over the superpower of the time.

Hide The Candy

There was once a teacher who had many students. He gave them all some candy and told each one of them to hide the candy before they came back the next day. So each one went to find his hiding spot – one hid it under the bed, another climbed a tree, and yet another dug a hole in the ground.

The next day, all the children came to class without their candy except one boy. The teacher asked him, “Were you not able to do what your other friends were able to?” He replied, “You told us to hide the candy so that no one would find it, but I realised Allah is watching me all the time! I went under the bed but then I realised Allah is watching me. I climbed up the tree but then I realised Allah is watching me. I dug a hole but then I realised Allah is watching me. So you take this candy and try to hide it from Allah!”

The teacher was shocked at this insight, and said to the boy “Truly, you have a gift.”  And indeed he was not mistaken, for this young boy grew up to be one of the Ummah’s greatest scholars – Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris: Imam al-Shafi’i (ra).

True Uprightness

Imam Qurtubi is regarded as one of the most pious and exemplary scholars of tafsir (exegesis of the Quran). He excelled in many fields and accomplished many feats in his native Spanish homeland. This story relates to his exemplary nature in balancing all aspects of his life.

The famous imam, may Allah have mercy on him, only had one pair of clothing to wear. Once, his wife was busy washing his clothes outside the house and their young baby started to cry. Imam Qurtubi quickly covered himself with one of his wife’s garments and picked up the baby to comfort it. He realised the baby was hungry, so he went outside and started kneading the dough to bake some bread.

While in this state, a woman came across his house, recognised him as the famous imam, and asked for his assistance to defend her in court. She insisted he must come immediately. So he left everything he was doing to accompany her to the court. When he arrived, he began speaking the truth to defend this woman, all the meantime in his wife’s garments, holding a baby in one hand, and dough in the other!

The judge, surprised by such action and having been distracted from the case, asked him “What is the condition of your state!?” Imam Qurtubi went on to describe the sequence of events that had occurred, and the judge turned around to the people and said “Have you ever seen such uprightness!”

Unrequited Love

Speaking of the generosity of ‘Aisha (Rd.) –

“… she also was very generous – Bareerah was a woman that ‘Aisha (Rd.) purchased and then set free, and the famous story about Bareerah was that she was married to someone named Mugheeth. Now if two slaves were married and then the woman was freed, then she can leave/divorce her husband if she wants to because now she’s free and the husband is not, so there is no parity between them.

So Bareerah wanted to leave Mugheeth, but Mugheeth loved her.  He went into total distress, and he literally was walking behind her around Madina begging her to take him back.

Abbas (Rd.) was with the Prophet (saw) one day and they saw Bareerah and the Prophet (saw) said: “Isn’t it strange how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah and how much Bareerah dislikes Mugheeth?”

And the Ulema say when the Prophet (saw) said “Isn’t it strange”, the Arabs use the word “strange” only when the means/cause (sabaab, lit. ‘door’) of/to something is unknown – and that there is no need for something to be called “strange” if the cause is known.

So the Prophet (saw) was calling him to the point the strangeness of love.  Love is very strange.

Why do people fall in love?

Why are our hearts are attracted to some people and not other people?

Why love is sometime unrequited (un-returned)?

Because the worst type of love is unrequited love: when you love somebody and they don’t love you – there is nothing worst than that in the world, unrequited love.  And obviously the worst type of unrequited love is with God, because we want the Love of God. That’s why Abu’l-Hasan ash-Shadhili (teacher of Ibn ‘Ata’ Illah al-Iskandari ) use to say:

“Oh Allah –
make my wrong actions, the wrong actions of people whom You Love, and
don’t make my good actions, the good actions of people whom You do not Love.”

In other words – I would rather have wrong actions and be someone who You Love, than have good actions and be someone who You don’t Love.

So the Prophet (saw) went to Bareerah, who was the freed slave of ‘Aisha, and he said: “Won’t you reconsider Mugheeth?”  And she said: “are you telling me to do this, because if you are telling me to, then I have to do it.”  He (saw) replied: “I am only interceding on his behalf”.

And that’s his Shifa – ‘he finds it difficult things you find difficult’.  The Prophet (saw) saw Mugheeth suffering and he wanted to help him. That shows you his shafaaqa, even in love he wanted to help this poor man who was suffering from the loss of his love.

So when the Prophet (saw) replied that he was only interceding, Bareerah replied: “I don’t have any need for him”.  So there was something arrogant in her answer, as she was free and he was still a slave – there was something there from her nafs.

Now when Mugheeth saw that Bareerah rejected intercession from the one that even God had given intercession, Mugheeth suddenly lost all desire for her – it was just taken out of his heart.

And at that point when he lost all desire for Bareerah, suddenly she fell madly in love with him – like a punishment for rejecting the intercession of the Prophet (saw) – he did not want anything to do with her, yet she was now begging him to take her back now!”


– Shaykh Hamza Yusuf,
RIS Knowledge Retreat 2008, Toronto, Canada

Taken from :

Preparation for Battle

The Messenger of Allah (saws) instructed the companions to prepare for battle, and every household in Medina busied itself in preparation. Some women were preparing their fathers; others were preparing their brothers, and still others were preparing their husbands and sons.

In one house, a nursing mother was holding her baby in her arms and crying. Her husband had been martyred earlier and now there were no mature males to send to battle. After crying for a long time, she hugged her baby to her breast and went to the Messenger of Allah (saws). She placed the baby in front of the Prophet (saws) and said “Please accept my baby in your service.” The Messenger of Allah (saws) was surprised and asked how a baby could participate in battle.

The lady broke down and said that there were no mature males in her house to prepare for war. She pleaded with the Prophet (saws) to accept her baby. However, the Prophet (saws) asked the same question again.

The woman sighed and said, “Give this child to a warrior who does not have a shield. He can put this child forward when the enemy let loose their arrows. This baby may not be able to carry a sword, but at least he will be able to stop the arrows of the enemy.”

Such was the love of this lady that she would sacrifice her own nursing child in the cause of Allah!