Muslims brag about the Sahaba, the male companions of Prophet Muhammad. One of the most revered Sahaba is Khalid bin Al-Waleed, a great warrior of Islam. His reverence is such in Islam that he is called the “Sword of Islam” (Saif al-Islam).

Well, truth can be stranger than fiction. Khalid was a very greedy and despicable human being. He stayed with the Meccans when they were stronger than Muhammad. But as he watched the power equation tilting toward Muhammad, and that more and more renegades were joining Muhammad and enriching themselves with booty, he joined the Muslim camp in the year 629 AD in order to be on the stronger side and to have a share of Muhammad's booty. And despite bitter past enmity, Muhammad was very happy to receive him, as he was his own kin and a vicious-heart and ruthless warrior, something any mafia gang desperately wants. Khalid did join Islam purely for the greed of booty. For booty, he could commit the most atrocious cruelty in battles. He was a man with no heart or feelings for others. Greed was prime in his life. This makes him a despicable thug in history.

The story of Malik Bin Nuwaira

Malik belonged to the Jadhima clan. They became Muslims during Muhammad’s time. They used to send their “alms” (protection money?) to Muhammad. Malik used to oversee that.

When Muhammad died, except for very few instances, Arab tribes said enough is enough. The tyrant is dead. We won’t send any more money to the Meccan leaders. Abu Bakr became the caliph after Muhammad. He sent Khalid bin Al waleed on campaigns to “re-Islamize” the tribes.

One evening he reached the Malik bin Nuwaira clan, and put the men in custody over night, including Malik bin Nuwaira. Now, Malik told Khalid and the others that they were Muslims too. Khalid loved to obtain loots and booty. The story goes that some of the Arab warriors convinced Khalid to kill Malik and the rest of his men. Come morning, Khalid orders beheading all the prisoners, and collected his booty. Malik’s wife, a very fine looking lady, did not escape Khalid’s eye. He “married” her the same day he beheaded her husband. Remember Muhammad’s capture of Safiyyah at Khaibar or Zuwairiyah at Mustaliq? Perfect emulation of the holy prophet, isn't it?

This is the man Muslims have eulogized as the “Sword of Islam” over the past 14 centuries and the world's over-a-billion-strong Muslims continue revering him in he same vein today.

And who said Muslims should not be proud of their historic champions?


Supplementary References

1. Abdulrazaq – Mu'amar – al Zuhari –from- Aba Qutadah said: During Reda (days), we marched to Ahl Abyaat and reached there at sunset, then we raised our spears, hence they asked: 'Who are you?' We replied: 'We are slaves of Allah.' They said: 'We are slaves of Allah too.' Then Khalid arrested them and when it was morning he ordered their beheading. Then I said: 'Oh Khalid! Fear Allah, this is not allowed for you.' He (Khalid) replied: 'Stay (back); this is not your business.' Then Abu Qutadah swore by Allah never to march with Khalid for any war. Qutadah said: 'The desert Arabs encouraged him (Khalid) on killing them for the sake of booties and that was Malik bin Nuwayrah's case.'
Al-Musanaf, Volume 10 page 174 Tradition 18721

أخبرنا عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الزهري أن أبا قتادة قال خرجنا في الردة حتى إذا أنتهينا إلى أهل أبيات حتى طلعت الشمس للغروب فأرشفنا إليهم الرماح فقالوا من أنتم قلنا نحن عباد الله فقالوا ونحن عباد الله فأسرهم خالد بن الوليد حتى إذا أصبح أمر أن يضرب أعناقهم قال أبو قتادة فقلت اتق الله يا خالد فإن هذا لا يحل لك قال اجلس فإن هذا ليس منك في شيء قال فكان أبو قتادة يحلف لا يغزو مع خالد أبدا قال وكان الأعراب هم الذين شجعوه على قتلهم من أجل الغنائم وكان ذلك في مالك بن نويرة

2. Umar said: "I admonished Khalid for breaking the orders and for what he did with the money. Khalid would distribute the booty amongst the soldiers without informing Abu Bakr. He made decisions that contravened those of Abu Bakr, he killed Malik bin Nuwayra and married his wife. These were met with disapproval by Abu Bakr. So Abu Bakr paid the Diya to Mutammim ibn Nuwayra and ordered Khalid to divorce Layla, the widow of Malik...

وكان سبب عزل عمر خالداً ما ذكره الزبير بن بكار قال: كان خالد إذا صار إليه المال قسمه في أهل الغنائم ولم يرفع إلى أبي بكر حساباً، وكان فيه تقدم على أبي بكر يفعل أشياء لا يراها أبو بكر، أقدم على قتل مالك بن نويرة ونكح امرأته فكره ذلك أبو بكر وعرض الدية على متمم بن نويرة وأمر خالداً بطلاق امرأة مالك، ولم ير أن يعزله، وكان عمر ينكر هذا وشبهه على خالد،

3. ibn Athir wrote in his book Gharib al-Hadith:

She was pretty and Khalid married her after killing him [Malik]"

وكانت جميلة وتزوجها خالد بعد قتله

4. Hussain bin Muhammad al-Diyarbakri wrote in his book Tarikh Khamees:

Khalid ordered them to be killed and killed Malik bin Nuwayrah, marrying his wife on the same night and she was pretty. They said, she might have been divorced (by Malik) and her Idda was over but she was imprisoned by him (Malik). Umar was very angry because of that and said to Abu Bakr: ‘Stone Khalid because he made it lawful for himself.’ Abu Bakr said: ‘By Allah I will not do so if Khalid made an error because he did Ta'weel’

فأمر بهم خالد فقتلوا وقتل مالك بن نويرة وتزوج بأمرأته أم تميم من ليلته وكانت جميلة ، قيل لعلها كانت مطلقة قد انقضت عدتها الا انها كانت محبوسة عنده فاشتد في ذلك عمر وقال لأبي بكر ارجم خالدا فانه قد استحل ذلك ، فقال ابوبكر والله لا أفعل ان كان خالد تأول أمرا فأخطأه

5. Abu Bakr al-Ansar from al-Hassan bin Ali from Abu Umar bin Haywiyah from Ahmad bin Maroof from al-Hussain bin al-Fehm from Muhammad bin Saad from Muhammad bin Umar from Muhammad bin Abdullah from al-Zuhari from Handala bin Ali al-Aslami who said: ‘…When Khalid arrived at Madina, he entered the mosque of Allah's Messenger wearing rusty armor and with his sword. There were some arrows in his turban, he passed by Umar but didn’t talk to him, then he came to Abu Bakr, and he heard from Abu Bakr what pleased him, he then left happy. Umar therefore knew that Abu Bakr had pleased him, therefore he didn’t talk to him (Khalid). Umar was angry at him (Khalid) because of what he had done, by killing Malik bin Nuwayrah and marrying his wife and also for what was in his heart against him (Khalid) about Bani Jadhima case’
Tarikh Ibn Asakir, Volume 16 page 25


Author’s Note: As you read about Khalid, His grave site has been destroyed in the last couple of months, in the city of Halab (Aleppo) in Syria, as a result of the current Syrian civil war. Probably a long due payback to an evil man.

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