A Fighter of the Foremost Muslims
Khaalid Ibn Sa`iid was born into a highly wealthy and power- oriented family. His family lived in luxury and abundance, and his father was proud of his influential high status among the Quraish. Khaalid descended from Ibn Umaiyah, Ibn `Abd Shams and Ibn' Abd Manaaf.
When the first rays of Islam crept in, slowly but surely over Makkah to announce in whispers that revelation had descended upon Muhammad the Trustworthy in the Cave of Hiraa' with a message from Allah to proclaim to His slaves, Khaalid's heart was revived and he gave an ear to the whispering which was like a wonderful light, and he was also heedful to it. He was thrilled with joy as if he had been waiting for this news all his life. He kept on following these rays of light wherever they went. Whenever he heard his people talking about the new religion, he would join them and listen carefully with repressed joy. Every now and then, he would participate in the conversation with a word or two that gave impetus to the new religion to achieve publicity, effect, and guidance.
If you had seen him in those days, you would have the impression that he was a quiet young man who kept discrete silence. Yet beyond this calm appearance lurked a commotion of human feeling that was full of movement and joy. You could almost hear sounds of drums, trumpets, prayers, and glorifications. You could almost see the hoisted flags. His inner-self was feasting in the full meaning of the world. You could feel the joy, thrill, and even the clamor and clatter of the feast day.
This young man kept this big feast to himself and concealed it from all people. He knew that if his father found out that he harbored all this love, enthusiasm, and support for Muhammad's invitation to Allah's way, he would offer him as a sacrifice to the `Abd Manaaf. But when our innerselves are full and saturated with a certain feeling, it is not long before we lose control over it and it overflows freely and excessively. One day. . . No, it was not yet daybreak, and Khaalid was in a state of alert sleepiness when he saw a vision that was highly impressionistic, effective, and telling.
To be more precise, one night, Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid saw in his sleep a vision of himself standing on the brink of a great fire. His father stood right behind him. Strangely enough, his father was incessantly pushing him towards the brink. He wanted to throw him right into the burning fire. Then Khaalid saw Allah's Prophet rush to him and pull him with his blessed right hand away from the burning fire.
When Khaalid woke up he knew what he had to do. He hastened to Abu Bakr's house and told him about his vision which was undoubtedly as clear as broad daylight. Abu Bakr said, "Allah chose you for His Mercy. This is the Prophet (PBUH). Follow him closely, for Islam will keep you away from hell."
Khaalid rushed looking for the Prophet until he found him. Then he asked the Prophet about his message. He (PBUH) answered him saying, "Worship Allah alone and join none with Him in worship. Believe in Muhammad, His slave and Prophet; and, finally, abandon the worship of idols which do not hear, see, or have power to either harm or benefit you."
The Prophet expressed his heartiest welcome as he shook Khaalid's hand. Khaalid instantly said, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger." Simultaneously, the repressed joyful songs within him were set free. In fact, his celebration burst forth, and his father found out about his Islam.
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Now, on the day of Khaalid's Islam, only four or five people had already preceded him in embracing Islam. Sa'iid thought that his son's early Islam would expose him to the humiliation and ridicule of the Quraish people. The Islam of one of Sa'iid Ibn Al-'Aas's sons, had sufficed to shake the ground under Sa'iid's feet and throw doubts upon the credibility of his leadership.
Hence, he summoned Khaalid and asked him, "Is it true that you have followed Muhammad, despite his blasphemy against our gods?' Khaalid courageously answered, "By Allah, he speaks the truth. I do believe in him and I will follow and obey him."
No sooner had he finished these words than his father leaped on him and beat him ruthlessly. Then he threw him into a pitch dark room in his house, where he was imprisoned. He tortured him with thirst, hunger, and exhaustion. Yet Khaalid kept on crying out from behind his bars, "By Allah, he speaks the truth and I do believe in him."
Sa`iid realized that this torture was not enough; therefore, he dragged him to the sun-baked ground and dug a ditch for him between its heavy burning rocks and kept him there for three days without shade or cover. He had absolutely nothing to drink during those three days. His father gave up all hope that his son would turn back from his faith, so he dragged him back home and kept on luring him to apostatize from the new religion, then threatened him.
This maneuver of promising and threatening went on for a while, yet Khaalid was solid as a rock as he said to his father, "I will not turn apostate even if you promise me the world. I will live and die as a Muslim, so help me Allah." Sa'iid lost his temper and shouted fiercely, "Get out of my sight, you fool! By Al-Laat, I will not sustain you from now on." Khaalid answered, "Allah is the best of those who make provision."
Thus, he left the luxurious house that was full of food, clothes, and comfort. He left it to experience need and deprivation. But why should he worry when he had his faith by his side? Was he not in full control over his conscience and destiny? Then why should he be bothered by hunger, deprivation, or even torture? If a man found all he was looking for in the great truth that Muhammad was inviting people to believe in, there should be nothing in the whole world that could prove to be more important to him than his inner self, which he would then sell to Allah in a bargain in which Allah was both the owner and purchaser!
Thus, Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid subdued torture with sacrifice and overcame deprivation with faith. When the Prophet (PBUH) ordered his believing companions to embark on the second emigration to Abyssinia, Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid was one of the muhaajiiruun.
Khaalid settled there for the time destined by Allah. Then he returned to his house with his brethren in A.H. 7. When they arrived, the Muslims had just finished the conquest of Khaibar. Khaalid settled in Al-Madiinah amidst the new Muslim society whose nucleus he was a part of, being one of the five first Muslims who had witnessed its birth and established its foundations.
Khaalid did not miss a war or a battle. He was always the first to go forth during war time.
As one of the foremost Muslims, and highly conscientious and disciplined, Khaalid was always loved and honored.
He respected his conviction. Hence, he refused to hide or bargain with it. For instance, before the Prophet (PBUH) died, he assigned Khaalid to the post of Governor of Yemen. When he heard the news concerning Abu Bakr's nomination as caliph and the consensus of allegiance given to him, he left his work and set out for Al-Madiinah. He knew that Abu Bakr was an unmatched, righteous, and pious believer. However, he thought that the caliphate was Bani Haashim's right. He believed that Al-'Abbaas or `Aliy Ibn Abi Taalib should have been the caliph. He clung to his belief and did not take the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr. Notwithstanding that, Abu Bakr held no grudge against him. On the contrary, he kept his love and appreciation for him. He did not compel him to give the oath nor hate him for refusing. He was hardly mentioned among the Muslims without the great caliph justly praising him. In time, Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid changed his viewpoint, and one day he broke through the lines of the Muslims in the mosque while Abu Bakr was standing on the pulpit and gave the oath of allegiance to him. It was a true and confident pledge to Abu Bakr.
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Abu Bakr marched with his armies to Syria and assigned the command of a regiment to khaalid Ibn Sa'iid. Thus, he became one of the commanders of the armies. But before the troops left Al Madiinah, `Umar objected to Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid's command and prevailed on the caliph until he changed his previous order. Khaalid heard what had happened, yet his only response was, "By Allah, I was not overjoyed with being a commander, nor was I broken-hearted for being dismissed!"
As-Siddiiq (May Allah be pleased with him) hastened to Khaalid's house to offer him his sincere apology and to explain his new decision. Then he asked Khaalid which of the commanders of the army he would like to accompany to Syria. He asked him if he would like to be with his cousin, `Amr Ibn Al-'Aas or with Shurahbiil Ibn Hasanah?
Khaalid's answered was highly revealing of his greatness and inner piety, for he answered, "My cousin is closer to me due to the relation of blood and Shurahbiil is closer to me due to his excellent piety." Then he chose to be a soldier in Shurahbiil Ibn Hasanah's regiment.
Abu Bakr summoned Shurahbill before the outbreak of the war and told him, "Take care of Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid. Treat him as you would like to be treated if you were in his position. You well know his high rank in Islam. You know that when the Prophet died, he was already his governor in Yemen. I myself assigned him as a commander, then I rescinded my decision. I hope that this revoked order will make him even more pious and righteous, for I think that command is a trial. I gave him the chance to choose his commander and he preferred you to his cousin. If you need the opinion of a pious and true adviser, you must resort to Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarraah first; second, Mu'aadh Ibn Jabal; and third, Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid. You will definitely find good advice with them. I warn you against acting upon your viewpoint alone and without consulting them first."
The pioneer of those martyred and rewarded in the Battle of Marj As-Sufar, where the Muslims and Romans met in terrible and deadly combat, was a glorious martyr who took a course in his life, from his early youth to the moment of his martyrdom, characterized by true belief and courageous action.
When the Muslims were examining their wounded and martyred on the battlefield, he lay there as he always was, a quiet young man with a discrete silence and strong determination. They all cried out, "May Allah be pleased with Khaalid Ibn Sa'iid."