Khalid ibn al Walid (ra) was born in 592. He was a very well-known companion of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). In addition, to being such a respected companion, he was one of the greatest millitary commanders of ALL TIME. He is extremely noted for his military tactics and prowess. He commanded the forces of our beloved Prophet (saw), and those of his immediate successors of the Rashidun Caliphate; Abu Bakr and Umar. It was under Khalid ibn al Walid (ra) military leadership that the Arabian Peninsula, for the first time ever in history was united under a single political entity, the Caliphate based out of Madinah. He is only one of 3 military generals in history to remain undefeated in battle. He was commonly referred to as “Sayfullah al-Maslul” (The Drawn Sword of Allah).
He wasn’t just commander in a handful of battles. Rather he holds the distinction of being undefeated in over 100 battles against the forces of the Roman and Persian Empire, in addition to various Arab tribes. His conquests include the modern day areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine. His marvelous victories at Yamamah, Ullais, Firaz, and Yarmouk are remembered even today by historians outside Islam. It’s interesting to note that the brave Sword of Allah (swt) was from a family that initially opposed the Prophet (saw). He even played a vital role in the Makkan victory over the Muslims at the Battle of Uhud. However, once he converted to Islam, he became one of the leading military generals of the Muslim army. Following the Prophet (saw) death he commandeered the forces of Abu Bakr (ra) in the Wars of Apostasy. It was during the caliphate of Umar (ra) that he was relieved of his duties.
The Prophet (saw) once said, “A man like Khalid, can’t keep himself away from Islam for long.”
Khalid ibn al Walid (ra) was not necessarily attracted to the idols of the Kabah. He eventually converted to Islam. In 629, Khalid ibn al Walid (ra) left Makkah for Madinah. On the way to Madinah, he coincidentally ran into 2 other staunch opponents of Islam who were also en-route to Madinah to convert to Islam. Among those 2, was the famed Amr ibn al A’as.
Khalid ibn al Walid (ra) died in 642 in the city of Homs, Syria. He lived there since his retirement from military service. It is said that he wanted to die as a shaheed (martyr) in battle and was very disappointed to be dying in bed. He expressed this pain when he said,
“I’ve fought in so many battles seeking martyrdom that there is no spot in my body left without a scar or a wound made by a spear or a sword, and yet here I am, dying on my bed like an old camel. May the eyes of the cowards never rest.
His wife then said, “You were given the title Sayfullah, meaning “The Sword of Allah” and the sword of Allah is not meant to be broken and hence, it is not your destiny to be a martyr but to die like a conqueror.”