A. I. Akram
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 320 | Size: 6 MB
A Biographical Study of the Greatest Military General in History. Khalid bin Al-Waleed was one of the greatest generals in history, and one of the greatest heroes of Islam. And about Whom Abu Bakr (RA) said ‘Women will no longer be able to give birth to the likes of Khalid bin Al-Waleed.’ (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, The original title of the book, “The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin Al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns” was written by the late Lieutenant-General A.I. Akram of the Pakistan Army, in October 1969. The author learnt Arabic in order to draw on the earliest historical sources and he visited every one of Khalid’s battlefields in order to draw analyses from the viewpoint of military strategy, including reconciling conflicting historians’ accounts.
Chapter 1: The Boy
Khalid and the tall boy glared at each other. Slowly they began to move in a circle, the gaze of each fixed intently upon the other, each looking for an opening for his attack and each wary of the tricks that the other might use. There was no hostility in their eyes – just a keen rivalry and an unshakeable determination to win. And Khalid found it necessary to be cautious, for the tall boy was left-handed and thus enjoyed the advantage that all left-handers have over their opponents in a fight.
Wrestling was a popular pastime among the boys of Arabia, and they frequently fought each other. There was no malice in these fights. It was a sport, and boys were trained in wrestling as one of the requirements of Arab manhood. But these two boys were the strongest of all and the leaders of boys of their age. This match was, so to speak, a fight for the heavy-weight title. The boys were well matched. Of about the same age, they were in their early teens. Both were tall and lean, and newly formed muscles rippled on their shoulders and arms as their sweating bodies glistened in the sun. The tall boy was perhaps an inch taller than Khalid. And their faces were so alike that one was often mistaken for the other.
Khalid threw the tall boy; but this was no ordinary fall. As the tall boy fell there was a distinct crack, and a moment later the grotesquely twisted shape of his leg showed that the bone had broken. The stricken boy lay motionless on the ground, and Khalid stared in horror at the broken leg of his friend and nephew. (The tall boy’s mother, Hantamah bint Hisham bin Al Mugheerah, was Khalid’s first cousin.)
In course of time the injury healed and the leg of the tall boy became whole and strong again. He would wrestle again and be among the best of wrestlers. And the two boys would remain friends. But while they were both intelligent, strong and forceful by nature, neither had patience or tact. They were to continue to compete with each other in almost everything that they did.
The reader should make a mental note of this tall boy, for he was to play an important role in the life of Khalid. He was the son of Al Khattab, and his name was Umar.