7. Tijani’s condemnation of Abu Bakr for how he dealt with Khalid ibn al Walid

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7. Tijani’s condemnation of Abu Bakr for how he dealt with Khalid ibn al Walid

 

Tijani says:

 

The third incident which took place during the early days of Abu Bakr’s caliphate in which he found himself in disagreement with Umar, and for which certain Qur’anic and Prophetic texts were interpreted, was that of Khalid ibn al Walid who killed Malik ibn Nuwayrah and took his wife and married her on the same day. Umar said to Khalid, O enemy of Allah, you killed a Muslim man, then you took his wife … by Allah, I will stone you.”

But Abu Bakr defended Khalid, and said, “O Umar, forgive him, he made a mistake, but do not rebuke him!”

This is another scandal that history has recorded for a prominent Companion, and when we talk about him, we talk with respect and reverence; we even gave him the title “The ever drawn sword of Allah.” What can I say about a Companion who did all that? Who killed Malik ibn Nuwayrah, the honourable Companion, leader of Bani Tamin and Bani Yarbu, famous for his courage and generosity, and furthermore the historians tell us that Khalid killed Malik and his followers after they put down their arms and stood together to pray. They were tied by ropes and with them was Leyla bint al Minhal, wife of Malik, who was considered to be one of the most beautiful Arab ladies of her time, and Khalid was captured by her beauty. Malik said, “O Khalid, send us to Abu Bakr and he will be our judge. “And Abdullah ibn Umar together with Abu Qutadah al Ansari intervened and urged Khalid to send them to Abu Bakr, but he refused and said, “Allah will never forgive me if I do not kill him.”

Malik then turned to his wife Leyla and said, “This is the one who will kill me.” After that Khalid ordered his execution and took his wife Leyla and married her that very night.[1]

 

Refuting Tijani’s condemnation of Abu Bakr for how he dealt with Khalid ibn al Walid

The hallmark feature of Tijani’s objectivity is that it ignores some narrations while he focuses on others. It is not surprising that the narrations presenting the Sahabah in a negative light are the only ones put on display; regardless of their credibility. While the sound narrations, which bring to the fore the reality of these murky situations, are conveniently ignored; although it is remotely possible that Tijani was ignorant of them. Any other explanation would reveal his research to be nothing more than a calculated attack on the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum under the guise of academic enquiry.

These two narrations, which Tijani has shielded his readers from, have been documented by the historians in relation to the incident of Malik ibn Nuwayrah:

 

The First Narration

 

When Khalid arrived in Bitah he sent out regiments instructing them with inviting to Islam and that they were to round up those who did not respond, and to kill anyone who further resists. Abu Bakr used to advise them to call out the adhan when they reached a locality [to establish if those people were Muslim], and if the people of the locality called out the adhan they were left to be. If they did not call out the adhan, then they were to be killed and their property seized. If they responded positively towards the call of Islam then they were to be questioned about Zakat. “If they confirm it (as part of the integrals of Islam) then accept it from them but if they refuse (to pay the Zakat) then fight them!” Thereupon Malik ibn Nuwayrah, his own group, along with a band of riders from the Banu Tha’labah ibn Yarbu’ arrived.

The Muslim regiment was divided about them (Malik ibn Nuwayrah and his companions). Abu Qatadah was one of those who witnessed them calling out the adhan, and establishing the salah. As a result of their dispute the instruction was given that they be detained. Owing to the fact that it was a cold night Khalid instructed the announcer to call out, “Warm your detainees!” This expression, however, according to the language of the Kinanah (tribe) meant, figuratively, to kill them.

The people, therefore, assumed that Khalid wanted them executed; whereas he only meant for them to provide some warmth for them. The people killed them, and Dirar ibn al Azwar killed Malik ibn Nuwayrah. Khalid heard the commotion but only came out after the deed was done; he then said, “When Allah decrees a matter it occurs!”[2]

 

As for the second narration:

 

Khalid summoned Malik ibn Nuwayrah and rebuked him on account of his following Sujah (a false prophetess) and his refusing to pay the Zakat. He said to him, “Do you not know that Zakat is the partner of salah?” Malik said, “That is certainly what your companion claims!” Khalid said, “Is he our companion and not yours? O Dirar, smite his neck!” and his head was severed.[3]

 

If we consider either of these narrations it becomes evident that Malik ibn Nuwayrah and his party were either killed because the Muslim army misunderstood Khalid ibn al Walid, or that Malik ibn Nuwayrah responded in a manner that caused Khalid ibn al Walid to doubt his Islam. The romantic element that Tijani introduces in his version of this incident has no mention in any of these two narrations.

As a matter of fact, Tijani’s version with the romantic motive has been dismissed by the historians on account of its irregularity and anomalous nature. Tijani references it to the following sources, Tarikh Abi al Fida, Tarikh al Yaqubi, Tarikh Ibn Sahanah and Wafayat al Ayan.

Interestingly, when we consulted these texts to investigate whether Tijani has provided an honest presentation of the facts, we realised that our original suspicions were confirmed. Tijani’s snide remarks and accusations amount to nothing more than a premeditated attack on the Sahabah.

In Wafayat al Ayan, Ibn Khallikan provides a very different account of what happened. It does not corroborate the details of Tijani’s version. This is what Ibn Khallikan writes:

 

When Khalid ibn Walid departed to fight them during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr al Siddiq he captured Malik ibn Nuwayrah who was the head of his people, Banu Yarbu’, and he had taken their Zakat and disposed of it. Khalid spoke to him about it and Malik replied, “I uphold salah not Zakat!” Khalid said to him, “Are you not aware that the salah and the Zakat are inseparable, the one is not accepted without the other?” Malik said, “Your companion (referring to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say that!” Khalid said, “Do you not consider him your companion? By Allah! I was on the verge of smiting your neck!” Then they spoke for a long time until Khalid said, “I am going to kill you!” Malik said, “Did your companion instruct you to do that?” Khalid said, “This after that? By Allah! I will most definitely kill you!” ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and Abu Qatadah al Ansari were present and spoke to Khalid concerning him (Malik ibn Nuwayrah) but he disliked their view. Malik said, “O Khalid! Send us to Abu Bakr and let him be the one to judge us as you have sent to him others besides us whose crime was greater than our crime!” Khalid said, “My Allah will not forgive me if I do not kill you!” Dirar ibn al Azwar al Asadi came to the front to smite his neck and Malik turned to his wife, Umm Mutammim, and said to Khalid, “This is the one who has killed me,” as she was very beautiful. Khalid said to him, “Rather, Allah has killed you on account of your deserting Islam!” Malik said, “I am upon Islam!” Khalid said to Dirar, “Smite his neck,” and he removed his neck.[4]

 

This is Tijani’s account of Khalid’s marriage to Layla, Malik’s wife, “He took (married) Layla, his (Malik’s) wife, and consummated the marriage the same night.”

This is referenced to Wafayat al Ayan but when referring directly to the book it tells of something different:

Khalid took his wife. It has been said that he purchased her from the booty and married her, and it has been said that she observed the ‘iddah for three menstrual cycles then Khalid proposed marriage to himself and she accepted.[5]

 

Tijani has manipulated the details to provide a sensational story. It is not an accurate reproduction of what is mentioned in the original text that he refers to, albeit a late reference.

Ibn Khallikan completes the story and says at the end of it:

This is how the previously mentioned Wathimah and Waqidi transmit this event in their respective books and the responsibility [of authenticity] is with them.[6]

 

In other words, he did not transmit it relying on the truthfulness of the report. Rather, he transmitted it as it comes in their books. Therefore, any criticism of the narration is their responsibility; or that of the researcher to verify the reliability from the earlier sources.

As for Tarikh al Yaqubi, he narrates the incident in an undignified manner. He says:

 

He wrote to Khalid to turn his attention to Malik ibn Nuwayrah al Yarbu’i. He, therefore, marched towards them and it has been said that he incinerated them. Malik ibn Nuwayrah stepped forward to debate him and his wife followed behind him. When Khalid saw her he was amazed with her beauty and said, “By Allah! I will not attain what is in your house until I kill you and he looked at Malik.” Then he removed his neck and married his wife.[7]

 

This version of events might align with what Tijani has written. However, it is necessary for us to be aware of who exactly al Ya’qubi actually is and how credible is his presentation of history.

Muhammad ibn Samil al Sulami writes about the methodology of some of the early books on Islamic history. This is what he writes about al Ya’qubi:

 

He presents the history of the Islamic empire from the Shia Imamiyyah perspective and he only acknowledges ‘Ali’s Caliphate and his sons in accordance with the line of Imams by the Shia. He calls ‘Ali the Wasi’ (the instated one). When documenting the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman he does not add the title of the Caliphate in front of their names. He simply says, “Such a person took control of the matter.” Also, he does not spare any of them from criticism, even the senior Sahabah. He mentions many disparaging reports about ‘Aisha, and the same applies to Khalid ibn Walid, ‘Amr ibn ‘As, and Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. He presents the incident of Saqifah in a scandalous manner. He claims that there was a conspiracy against ‘Ali ibn Talib to remove him from the Caliphate as ‘Ali was the Wasi in his opinion. His extremism caused him to reach the point where he mentioned that Allah’s words:

اَلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِيْ وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.[8]

He claims it was revealed concerning Amir al Mu’minin, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib on the Day of al Nafr. His methodology in presenting the critical junctures in history is the methodology of his people from the Shia and Rafidah, which is: fabricating the entire report, or adding to the report, or presenting it outside of its context in order to distort its meaning.[9]

 

Thus, we realise that this account of what happened with Malik ibn Nuwayrah is not only subjective and prejudiced, but suffers from a lack of credibility due to the predisposed hostile attitude towards the Sahabah by the author, al Ya’qubi. It is significant to note that this anomalous detail is only recorded by those with Shia association, in addition to the defective chains of transmission.

We realise that, according to one version of reports, Khalid ibn Walid instructed for Malik ibn Nuwayrah to be killed considering him to have apostatised due to his rejecting the duty of Zakat. It is evident that the embellished fabricated versions of this report distort historical fact in the attempt to discredit Khalid wherein he is purported to have killed Malik because of his wife. The other version refers to the misunderstanding of Khalid’s instructions.

The next issue is Tijani’s claim that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Khalid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “O enemy of Allah! You killed a Muslim then you pounced on his wife! I will pelt you with stones!” He ascribed this narration to Tarikh al Tabari, Abu al Fida[10], al Yaqubi and al Isabah. Not surprising; after consulting Tarikh al Yaqubi and al Isabah we can safely confirm that they do not mention anything of this nature.

The narration found in Tarikh al Tabari is problematic due to the severe weakness in the chain of transmission. Appearing in this chain is Muhammad ibn Humaid ibn Hayyan al Razi, an untrustworthy narrator.

  • Ya’qub ibn Shaybah al Sadusi says about him, “He transmits many anomalies.”
  • Al Bukhari says, “His hadith are problematic.” Al Bukhari often uses this expression for one who has serious flaws in his narration.
  • Al Nasa’i says, “He is not reliable.”
  • Al Jawzajani says, “He subscribes to a despicable school. He is not reliable.”[11]
  • Al Dhahabi says, “A group of them have accepted him, but (after investigation) his position is among those whose narrations are abandoned.”[12]

Furthermore, Muhammad ibn Ishaq, a narrator in this chain, is known for Tadlis [omitting his actual source and ascribing the narration to someone further up the chain, whom he came into contact with, in a manner that is ambiguous]. In this narration he has not transmitted it in a way that establishes his original source.

This narration is therefore severely flawed in terms of its chain. This is in addition to the anomalous details found in the text. This has been pointed out by some researchers who examined this report:

 

Abu Bakr summoned Khalid. When he arrived in Madinah he entered the Masjid bearing the expression of a victorious general. Then ‘Umar went to him, took his arrows, and broke them into pieces, and made that threating statement to him about breaking the back, “You killed a Muslim then you pounced on his wife! I will pelt you with stones,” all this while the hero of Islam, Khalid ibn Walid did not respond to him considering that Abu Bakr shared these sentiments.

I say (the author): If ‘Umar knew Abu Bakr’s view on the issue, as mentioned in the narration, before Khalid’s arrival as they had debated the issue and ‘Umar was critical of Khalid. However, Abu Bakr restrained him, and said to him, “Raise your tongue from (criticising) Khalid,” and praised Khalid and vouched for him in the manner that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam vouched for him when he said, “Indeed Khalid is a sword Allah has unleashed upon the unbelievers, I will not shame him.” How then could ‘Umar ibn Khattab have interacted with Khalid in this manner which was in opposition of the view of the khalifah? Someone might say, “Indeed ‘Umar ibn al Khattab was that stern person of the din who stood by his opinion and did not stand down from it on account of anyone else’s opinion?” We then say: Where did that sternness disappear to after Khalid met Abu Bakr and conveyed to him the reality of the situation, as Abu Bakr and the Sahabah predicted? And where was that sternness when Khalid came to ‘Umar and threatened him with this belittling statement, “Come here, O son of Umm Shamlah”? ‘Umar knew that Abu Bakr was pleased with Khalid and therefore he did not speak to him and entered his house. ‘Umar knew this before his meeting Khalid and taking his arrows and shattering them into pieces. Did the transmitters forget or were they incompetent? Or did ‘Umar change his view and realise that Khalid was innocent of what he was accused of?[13]

 

We are now assured that the report found in al Tabari is not only severely flawed in terms of its chain, but the report itself suffers from internal inconsistency. For some, it appears to be the pinnacle of objectivity that history be constructed on such shaky narrations.

As for Tijani’s statement:

This is another scandal that history has recorded for a prominent Companion, and when we talk about him, we talk with respect and reverence; we even gave him the title “The ever drawn sword of Allah”. What can I say about a Companion who did all that? Amazing!

 

The initial impression from Tijani’s statement above will lead one to think he is speaking about the chief of the munafiqin. Tijani clearly expresses his disdain for anyone speaking about this Companion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in a respectful and honourable manner. But who cares whether Tijani is pleased or offended, when it is the Leader of all the Prophets, Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who bestowed Khalid ibn al Walid with the epithet Saif Allah!

This is the narration as it appears in Sahih al Bukhari:

 

نعى زيدا وجعفرا وابن رواحة للناس قبل أن يأتيهم خبرهم فقال ‏‏ أخذ الراية زيد فأصيب ثم أخذ جعفر فأصيب ثم أخذ ابن رواحة فأصيب وعيناه تذرفان حتى أخذ الراية سيف من سيوف الله حتى فتح الله عليهم

The Prophet announced the death of Zaid, and Jafar, and Ibn Rawahah before the news of their martyrdom had reached the Companions (in Madinah) and said, “Zaid took the flag and was killed, then Jafar took the flag and was killed, then Ibn Rawahah took the flag and was killed,” he said this while his eyes were flowing with tears, “Until a Sword from the swords of Allah took it and Allah granted them victory.”[14]

 

Al Tirmidhi narrates it by way of Abu Hurairah:

 

قال نزلنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم منزلا فجعل الناس يمرون فيقول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏ من هذا يا أبا هريرة فأقول فلان فيقول نعم عبد الله هذا ويقول من هذا‏ فأقول فلان فيقول‏ بئس عبد الله هذا‏ حتى مر خالد بن الوليد فقال‏ من هذا‏‏ فقلت هذا خالد بن الوليد فقال‏ نعم عبد الله خالد بن الوليد سيف من سيوف الله

We stopped over with the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at a place and the people started walking by. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Who is this, O Abu Hurairah?”

I said, “It is so and so,” and he said, “This is a good slave of Allah!”

Then he asked, “Who is this?”

I said, “It is so and so,” and he said, “This is a bad slave of Allah.”

Then Khalid ibn Walid passed by and he said, “Who is this?” I said, “This is Khalid ibn Walid.” and he said, “Khalid ibn Walid is a good slave of Allah and a sword from the swords of Allah.”[15]

 

Is Tijani going to reject these authentic narrations on the basis of them not aligning with the spurious details he provided us with, from the books they are not even found in, with chains of transmission that are weaker than cotton wool? What a resourceful research! What innovative research methods!

Tijani suddenly developed an affinity for the Companions as he theorises that Malik ibn Nuwayrah was a noble Sahabi, despite their being no evidence to support this idea. It appears that anyone who was at variance with any of the popularly recognised Sahabah must have been from the category of good Sahabah, based on Tijani’s definition.

The historians confirm that Malik ibn Nuwayrah apostatised after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise and that he did not pay the Zakat but distributed in amongst his people. When he was brought to Khalid and argued with him about the issue of Zakat he made the statement, “Your companion used to claim that?” Thus implying that he did not acknowledge the obligation of Zakat. Secondly, he referred to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with the words, “your companion,” which was the phrase used by the Mushrikin when referring to the Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

This version of events is mentioned by all the historians including Isfahani in al Aghani and Ibn Khallikan. The only exception is al Ya’qubi who is known for his lies. How then can it be said that Malik ibn Nuwayrah was a noble Sahabi?

The historians have produced further proof that supports the idea that Malik ibn Nuwayrah died an apostate. They say:

 

‘Umar ibn al Khattab met Mutammim ibn Nuwayrah, Malik’s brother, and asked him to recite some verses of poetry in which he could mourned his brother’s death. Mutammim then recited his poem which includes the following couplets:

We were close for a period of time to the point where it was said, “They will never part,”

However, when we parted it was as if Malik and I, despite the length of Companionship, did not spend a single night together.

When ‘Umar heard that, he said, “By Allah! This is an eulogy. I wish I was skilled at poetry so I could express my mourning over the loss of my brother Zaid, as you have mourned your brother.”

Mutammim said, “If my brother died as your brother died (i.e. a martyr) I would not have mourned him.”

‘Umar was pleased with Mutammim’s remark and said, “No one consoled me about my brother as Mutammim consoled me.”[16]

 

Mutammim’s statement is even clearer in another narration:

 

He said, “O Amir al Mu’minin! Indeed your brother died as a believer while my brother died as an apostate.” ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “No one consoled me in a better manner than the way Mutammim consoled me.”[17]

 

Even the brother of Malik mourns the fact that his brother died on apostasy!

There remains the matter of Khalid marrying Malik’s wife. Tijani claims that he bedded her the same night. This is contrary to fact and is a serious allegation.

Ibn Kathir mentions that Khalid radiya Llahu ‘anhu observed praiseworthy traits in her and therefore, when she became lawful for him to marry, he married her.[18]

Al Tabari mentions Khalid’s marriage, “Khalid married Umm Tamim, the wife (widow) of Malik. He waited for her period of waiting to expire before wedding her.”[19]

In al Kamil it comes, “Khalid married Umm Tamim, the wife (widow) of Malik.”[20] He did not say, as Tijani claims, that he bedded her the same night, rather, it says that he married her after she became lawful to marry (i.e. after the completion of her iddah). If that was not the case Ibn al Athir would have mentioned that.

Ibn Khallikan whom Tijani cites, says, “Khalid married his (Malik’s) wife (widow). It has been said that he purchased her from the booty and married her. It has (also) been said that she observed the ‘iddah, then he proposed to her for himself and she responded (positively).”

So much for objectivity and fair representation!

Tijani arrogantly continues his tirade:

 

What can I say about those Companions who trespassed on what Allah deemed to be forbidden; they killed Muslims because of personal whims and permitted themselves to have women that Allah had forbidden us to have. In Islam, a widow cannot be wed by another man before a definite period of time had elapsed, and this period of time has been specified by Allah in His Glorious Book. But Khalid followed his whims and debased himself.[21]

 

Which continues until he says:

 

For what would this period of time [Iddah] mean to him after he had already killed her husband and his followers despite the fact that they were Muslims. Abdullah ibn Umar and Abu Qutadah have testified to this, and the latter became so angry about Khalid’s behaviour that he returned to al Medinah and swore that he would never serve in an army led by Khalid ibn al Walid. [He references this to Tarikh al Tabari, Tarikh al Ya’qubi, Tarikh Abu al Fida].[22]

 

Our comment:

The initial complaint against one Sahabi has been amplified. Suddenly it becomes “those Companions”, insinuating that there were many. Our previous comments have already pointed out the feeble evidence upon which Tijani’s argument rests. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the fictitious nature of the narration that says Khalid wed the widow of Malik ibn Nuwayrah the next day. I merely want to remind the esteemed reader of Tijani’s deception; that a spurious narration is elevated to fact and conjecture is taken as reality. Tijani has crossed the red line too many times to be taken seriously.

This narration referenced to al Tabari is the very narration whose severe weakness was pointed out in the previous pages.

The narration that mentions Abu Qatadah getting angry with Khalid cannot be found in al Isabah even though Tijani references it there. It appears that Tijani falsifies the references, assuming that no one would verify them, in order to create the impression that he has researched the subject thoroughly. He does not realise that research methodology is equally important, and it is on that basis that we are able to reveal his deceit.

Tijani cites a conglomeration of ideas from Hussain al Haykal’s book al Siddiq Abu Bakr, which suffers from the lack of discretion between reliable and spurious narrations. He says:

 

May we ask Mr. Haykel and his like from our scholars, who would compromise in order to preserve the honour of the Companions: Why did Abu Bakr not bring Khalid to justice? And if Umar was an ideal example of firm justice, as Haykel puts it, why did he only remove him from the command of the army, and not bring him to justice so that he would not be a bad example for all Muslims of how to respect the Book of Allah, as he said. And did they respect the Book of Allah and discharge the laws of Allah? Nay! It was politics! It does wonders; it changes the truth and throws the Qur’anic texts over the wall.[23]

 

Our comment:

Repeating the arguments that exonerate Khalid from the charge of murdering Malik ibn Nuwayrah runs the risk of boring out the reader. We will, however, address some of the other issues raised.

Tijani advocates for the execution of Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Assuming that Khalid was unjustified in what he had done, the most that can be said about this incident is that Khalid made a mistake in killing Malik based on his interpretation of the situation. This, however, does not warrant his execution. In fact, a similar incident involving Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu occurred during the lifetime of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

During a battle he killed a man who said, “La ilaha illa Allah.”

When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to know of this he said to him, “O Usamah, did you kill him after he said La ilaha illa Allah? O Usamah, did you kill him after he said La ilaha illa Allah? O Usamah, did you kill him after he said La ilaha illa Allah?”

In this hadith the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rebuked Usamah for killing the man. That being said, he did not impose the Hadd upon him; nor blood money nor expiation.

Consider the explanation of this verse which al Tabari and others narrate from Ibn ‘Abbas and Qatadah:

 

وَلَا تَقُوْلُوْا لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا

And do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, “You are not a believer”[24]

 

They say it was revealed concerning Mirdas, a man from the Ghatafan tribe. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent an army to his people. Their leader was Ghalib al Laythi. Mirdas’s companions fled but he did not. He said, “I am a Muslim.” When the cavalry arrived in the morning he greeted them but they killed him and took his possessions. Then Allah revealed this verse, and instructed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to return his wealth to his family and to pay them blood money. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade the Muslims from that in the future.

Likewise, there is an incident where Khalid ibn Walid killed Banu Judhaymah on account of his interpretation of the situation and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam raised his hands and said, “O Allah! I absolve myself from what Khalid did!” Despite that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not execute him for the incorrect interpretation of the situation.

If the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refrained from executing him for killing more than one Muslim from Banu Judhaymah because he interpreted the situation incorrectly; then surely Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu cannot be censured for not executing him because of his killing Malik ibn Nuwayrah, since the circumstances were in Khalid’s favour to a greater extent.[25]

It is ironic that Tijani presents the narration of Khalid with Banu Judhaymah as a complaint against Abu Bakr.

Even though he knows that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not execute him. Why did he not cite that in favour of Abu Bakr for not killing him? However, the one who follows his base desires it blinds him from following the truth.[26]

 

Now, let us pose the question to Tijani: Why did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not impose the Hadd upon Khalid? As a matter of fact, he did not even remove him from the leadership of the army. Instead, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kept him in that position until he passed away? Is Tijani going to point a finger at the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Any finger to be pointed at Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu leads back to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam directly.

He goes on to say:

 

Some of our scholars tell us in their books that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once became very angry when Usamah tried to mediate on behalf of an honourable woman accused of stealing, and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Woe unto you! Do you mediate about one of the laws of Allah? By Allah if it was Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad, I would cut her hand. He destroyed those before you because they would let the thief go if he was an honourable person, but would bring him to justice if he was a weak one.” How could they be silent about the killing of the innocent Muslims, and the marriage of their widows on the same night despite the tragic loss of their husbands? I wish they had remained silent! But they try to justify Khalid’s misdeed by inventing various virtues for him, they even called him “The ever drawn sword of Allah” I remember being surprised by a friend of mine, who used to like joking and changing the meaning of the words, when I mentioned the virtues of Khalid ibn al Walid during my days of ignorance and called him “The ever drawn sword of Allah”. He replied, “He is the crippled sword of the devil!”

I was surprised then, but after my research, Allah has opened my eyes and helped me to know the true value of those who seized the caliphate, changed the laws of Allah and violated the boundaries of Allah.[27]

 

Our response:

Bukhari narrates the hadith with the following wording:

 

عن عائشة رضى الله عنها أن قريشا أهمتهم المرأة المخزومية التي سرقت فقالوا من يكلم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ومن يجترئ عليه إلا أسامة حب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏‏ فكلم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال‏ أتشفع في حد من حدود الله ثم قام فخطب قال‏ يا أيها الناس إنما ضل من قبلكم أنهم كانوا إذا سرق الشريف تركوه وإذا سرق الضعيف فيهم أقاموا عليه الحد وايم الله لو أن فاطمة بنت محمد سرقت لقطع محمد يدها

‘Aisha narrates the (incident) of the Makhzumi lady who stole and the Quraysh said, “Who will speak to the Messenger? There is none brave enough besides Usamah, the beloved of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

He (Usamah) went to speak to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (and interceded on her behalf) and he replied, “Are you interceding concerning one of the prescribed punishments of Allah?”

Then he stood up and addressed (the people). He said, “O people! Those before you only went astray because when the noble (amongst them) stole they left him and when the weak (amongst them) they imposed upon him the prescribed punishment. By Allah! If Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad stole, Muhammad would cut her hand!”[28]

 

This hadith is one of the clearest arguments against Tijani as it clearly discloses the fact that Usamah intended to intercede on behalf of a woman whom it was clearly established that she stole. The Hudud, as is well known, are warded off on account of ambiguities. Therefore, had there been ambiguity (in this particular case) Usamah would not have been urged to intercede on behalf of the Mukhzumi lady. This is clear from the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam words, “Are you interceding in one of the prescribed punishments of Allah?”

This is in contrast to Khalid’s case since he believed Malik to have turned apostate after his argument with him and therefore killed him. The least that can be said is that he interpreted the situation and erred. What then if Malik’s apostasy has been established through clear proofs? If we consider the different circumstances, Tijani’s objection is obsolete.

Again it is ironic that Tijani accuses the Ahlus Sunnah of inventing lies and virtues for the warrior, Khalid ibn Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He finds fault with the epithet “The Unsheathed Sword of Allah” even though it has been established that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the one who bestowed this on him. Why not; when it was he who led the Muslims from victory to victory? Why not; after the great service he rendered to Islam, fighting in the path of Allah such that nine swords were crushed in his hands on the day of Mu’tah and only a Yemeni sword stood firm with him?[29]

It has also been confirmed that he said, “Fighting in the path of Allah often prevents me from reading much of the Qur’an.”[30] When his end drew near, he uttered such profound words which deserve to be etched in gold. He said:

 

A night in which my newly wedded bride is presented to me or (a night) in which I am given the news of a son born for me is not more beloved to me than a cold night in which I am in a military detachment with the Mujahidin waiting to attack the enemy in the morning. You have to go in Jihad![31]

 

Ibn ‘Abd al Barr mentions in al Istiab:

 

When death approached Khalid ibn Walid he said, “I witnessed nearly one hundred military campaigns. There is not a single part of my body except that there is a strike (of a sword on it), or a stabbing (from a dagger on it), or a shot (from an arrow on it). Despite that, here I am on my bed dying like a stead. May the eyes of the cowards never sleep!”[32]

 

Even the scholars of the Rafidah acknowledge the heroism and bravery of this honourable leader. Their great scholar, ‘Abbas al Qummi, says in his book al Kuna wa l-Alqab:

 

He is the hero who witnessed many great battles and who used to say, according to what has been narrated about him, “I witnessed this battle and that battle. There is not a single part of my body except that there is a strike (of a sword on it), or a stabbing (from a dagger on it), or a shot (from an arrow on it). Despite that, here I am on my bed dying like a donkey dies and the eyes of cowards do not sleep.”[33]

 

Look at Tijani when he said to one of his friends during his ‘days of ignorance’ about Khalid ibn Walid, that he was “The Unsheathed Sword of Allah”, as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam referred him. His resentful friend responded that Khalid ibn Walid was the “crippled sword of the devil.” Thereafter Tijani retracts that statement ‘after research’ in which ‘Allah opened his eyes.’ We seek Allah’s protection from such ‘guidance’.

Thereafter he says:

 

Historians have recorded that after this terrible misdeed, Abu Bakr sent Khalid on a mission to al Yamamah, from which he came out victorious and subsequently married a girl from there in the same way as he had Leyla, before the blood of those innocent Muslims and the blood of the followers of Musaylama had dried. Later, Abu Bakr rebuked him about what he had done and used stronger words than those he used during the affair of Leyla.

Undoubtedly, this girl’s husband was killed by Khalid who took her for himself, in the same way as he had Leyla, the widow of Malik. It must have been so; otherwise Abu Bakr would not have rebuked him using stronger words than the previous event. The historians mention the text of the letter which Abu Bakr sent to Khalid ibn al Walid in which he said, “O Ibn Umm Khalid. Upon my life you are doing nothing but marrying women, and in the yard of your house there is the blood of one thousand two hundred Muslims yet to dry!” When Khalid read the letter, he commented, “This must be the work of al A’sar” meaning Umar ibn al Khattab.[34]

 

Our comment:

This narration is weak. Appearing in its chain is Muhammad Ibn Humaid ibn Hayyan al Razi who is weak.[35] This tradition is severely flawed and cannot be relied upon.

Assuming its reliability still does not put Khalid in an awkward position. All that it amounts to is that he approached Maja’ah ibn Mirarah seeking to marry his daughter and he (Maja’ah) married him to his daughter. Is there anything in this proposal of marriage that disparages Khalid? His marriage to more than one wife is also not a reason for rebuke or a prohibition in Islam?

If we consider Abu Bakr’s objection, then Khalid had done well to defend himself and justify his action with his statement:

 

By my life! I did not marry any woman until consent was granted to me and the (people of the) household were pleased with me. I have married into the family of a man whom if I had to travel from Madinah to propose I would not have bothered (myself about it). Indeed, I elicited my proposal to him from beneath my own feet. If you disapprove that for me on account of din or worldly matters then I disagree with you.

As for the politeness of my condolences for the fallen Muslims, by Allah, if grief could keep the living alive or return the dead to the living then grief would have kept the living alive and returned the dead to the living for indeed I dived into situations to the point where I had lost hope in life and was certain of death.

As for Maja’ah deceiving me, according to the opinion of some, I do not fault my opinion today but I do not have knowledge of the unseen. Indeed, Allah has decreed goodness for the Muslims. He has bequeathed to them the land and gifted the outcome to the pious.[36]

 

It appears that Tijani cannot rid himself from his most distinguished quality; lying! He camouflages the truth with his statement, “no doubt this other girl also had a husband who Khalid killed then pounced on her as he did with Layla.” I cannot believe that Tijani who mentions this incident and references it to its sources in the footnotes of his book is unaware that this narration mentions that Khalid went to the father of this woman, namely Maja’ah, for her hand in marriage and he consented to Khalid’s marriage with his daughter.[37]

What this narration does highlight though is Tijani’s resentment for Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Tijani finds fault with him in unreliable narrations, even when there is no fault to be found.

 

NEXT ⇒ Chapter Seven – Tijani’s Criticisms of the Second Khalifah, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab


[1]Then I was guided, p. 155.

[2]Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 2, p. 273, 11th year after the hijrah; Tarikh Ibn al Athir, vol. 2, p. 217, 11th year after hijrah; al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah, vol. 6, p. 326; Tarikh ibn Khaldun, vol. 2, p. 500-501.

[3]Tabari, vol. 2, p. 273-274; Tarikh Ibn al Athir, vol. 2, p. 216-217; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 6, p. 326-327.

[4]Wafayat al A’yan wa Amba Abna al Zaman by Ibn Khalkhan, vol. 6, p. 14, Dar Sadir: Beirut

[5]  Ibid

[6]  Ibid

[7]Tarikh al Ya’qubi, vol. 2, p. 131.

[8]  Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[9]Manjaj Kitabah al Tarikh al Islami by Muhammad ibn Samil al Sulami, p. 430-431.

[10]  Sadly, I have not found Tarikh Abu al Fida or Ibn Sahanah. That being said, what we mentioned should satisfy the searcher of the truth.

[11]Al Tahdhib, vol. 25, p. 102, biography no. 5167

[12] al Kashif, vol. 2, p. 166

[13]Khalid ibn Walid by Sadiq Ibrahim ‘Arjun, p. 166-167.

[14]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 3, hadith no. 3547.

[15]Sunan al Tirmidhi, hadith no. 4117, Bab Manaqib Khalid ibn Walid; See also Sahih al Tirmidhi, hadith no. 3021.

[16]Jowlah Tarikhiyyah fi ‘Asr al Khulafa’ al Rashidin, p. 42, by Muhammad al Sayyid al Wakil; See also Futuh al Buldan by Ahmed al Baladhuri, p. 108; And Tarikh Ibn al Athir, vol. 2, p. 218.

[17]Kitab al Amali by ‘Abdullah al Yazidi, p. 25-26, ‘Alam al Kutub (Printing house)

[18]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah by Ibn Kathir vol. 6, p. 326.

[19] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 2, p. 273, the year 11 after the Hijrah.

[20]Al Kamil by Ibn al Athir, vol. 2, p. 217, the year 11 after the Hijrah.

[21]Then I was guided, p. 156.

[22]  Ibid, p. 156.

[23]Then I was guided, p. 157.

[24]  Surah al Nisa: 94.

[25]Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 5, p. 518.

[26]  Ibid.

[27]Then I was guided, p. 157.

[28]Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 6, Kitab al Hudud, Hadith no. 6406.

[29]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi, Bab Ghazwah Mu’tah min Ard al Sham, vol. Hadith no. 4017-4018.

[30]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1, p. 375-376; Abu Ya’la also narrates it in the Musnad, vol. 13 under the ahadith of Khalid ibn Walid, Hadith no. 7188, the examiner of the book says, ‘its chain is reliable’.

[31] Al Isabah by Ibn Hajar, vol. 2, p. 253.

[32]Al Isti’ab by Ibn Abd al Barr, vol. 2, p. 430.

[33]Al Kuna wa al Alqab by ‘Abbas al Qummip. 38-39.

[34]Then I was guided, p. 158.

[35]Refer to earlier discussion on this page.

[36]Khalid ibn Walid by Sadiq al ‘Arjun, p 201

[37]Al Tabari, vol. 2, p. 284, the year 11 after Hijrah.