Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue mentioning the efforts made by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to combat the disorders which arose during his time.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Khalid bin Walid(ra) also led his envoy towards Malik bin Nuwairah. Malik bin Nuwairah was from Banu Yarbu, a branch of Banu Tamim. He had accepted Islam in 9 AH along with his tribe, of which he was a leader. He had been appointed by the Holy Prophet(sa) as the collector of Zakat from his people.
His Holiness(aba) said that after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), he was among the people who became apostates. In fact, he rejoiced upon the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa). He also killed those Muslims from his tribe who remained firm upon offering Zakat and sending it to Madinah. Thus, not only did he become apostate, refuse the offering of Zakat and return the collected wealth of Zakat to the people, but with Sajah, who was a false claimant to prophethood, and was among those who tried to attack Madinah.
His Holiness(aba) said that Sajah was an Arab soothsayer hailing from the Banu Tamim and the Banu Taghlib who were mostly Christians, and thus was also a Christian herself. She had travelled with an army from Iraq with plans to attack Madinah. Upon arriving in Arabia, she first went to Banu Tamim where there was one group of people which still wished to give Zakat and obey the Khalifah, whereas there was another group of people which opposed this. There was also a third group of people which was unsure of what stance to take. Thus these differences caused discord within the tribe itself. Sajah thought that upon her claim to prophethood, the Banu Tamim would unite and set aside their differences, after which they would set out for Madinah and fight with Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) army.
His Holiness(aba) said that Malik bin Nuwairah and Sajah had been in contact and met. Sajah. They agreed upon a treaty, but Malik bin Nuwairah advised her against attacking Madinah, and instead advised that she should resolve the disputes within the tribe to which she agreed. This however caused great bloodshed within the tribe, upon which they realised that they were mistaken in trusting Sajah, and so the chieftains of Banu Tamim joined together and made a pact, resulting in peace in Banu Tamim.
His Holiness(aba) said that upon realising that her plan had been unsuccessful, she set out towards Madinah, and she was met by Aus bin Khuzaimah and his army, who she fought and lost to. Aus bin Khuzaimah then took a pledge from her that she would leave and not return to Madinah.
His Holiness(aba) said that when her army’s leaders discussed how they would be able to go to Madinah, she said that they would go to Yamamah where they would join forces with Musailimah Kazzab, another false claimant to prophethood. The two met and were quite impressed with one another. Musailimah suggested that they should consolidate their prophethoods and get married, to which Sajah agreed.
His Holiness(aba) said that she would then return to Banu Taghlib, where after some time, she reverted to Islam.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had instructed Khalid bin Walid(ra) to combat the disorder created by Malik bin Nuwairah. There are narrations that Nuwairah was subsequently killed. One night, when it was very cold, Hazrat Khalid(ra) said that the prisoners should be kept warm, however there were some who misunderstood what he said and though he instructed for the prisoners to be killed, as a result of which Nuwairah was also killed. According to another narration, Hazrat Khalid(ra) summoned Nuwairah and reprimanded him for what he had done and the decisions he had made and explained to him that Zakat was a commandment just like offering prayer. Nuwairah said that this was also what the Holy Prophet(sa) desired, but he did not refer to him by his name, instead saying ‘a man from among you’. Hazrat Khalid(ra) then ordered for Nuwairah to be killed. This created an uproar among some who said that Hazrat Khalid(ra) had killed another Muslim.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) summoned Hazrat Khalid bin Walid(ra) and asked him about the events and what had transpired. He explained everything to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and expressed his regret, upon which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) forgave him and offered the blood money for Nuwairah.
His Holiness(aba) said that there was an allegation made against Hazrat Khalid(ra) that he married Nuwairah’s wife during the time of battle without waiting for the prescribed period. His Holiness(aba) presented an explanation by Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi, who said that this is a fabrication against Hazrat Khalid(ra). If he did marry her, then history shows Nuwairah had already divorced his wife but had kept her in his home. Thus Hazrat Khalid(ra) married her after she had been divorced and after the prescribed waiting period had already elapsed.
His Holiness(aba) said that there was another allegation that Hazrat Khalid(ra) married Nuwairah’s wife during or immediately after battle which was against Arab tradition. His Holiness(aba) explained that this is not true. Dr Ali Muhammad Sallabi explained that if this did happen, then there was precedence for this set by the Holy Prophet(sa), who, after the Battle of Muraisi, married Juwairiyah bint Harith. Similarly, the Holy Prophet(sa) married Hazrat Safiyyah(ra) after the Battle of Khaibar. Hence, there is no valid allegation to be levelled against Hazrat Khalid(ra). His Holiness(aba) said that he mentioned all this to show that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) made the correct decision with respect to Hazrat Khalid(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that later, Hazrat Khalid(ra) was sent to combat the disorder raised by the people of Banu Hanifah and Musailimah, the false claimant to prophethood. Thus, Hazrat Khalid(ra) gathered his forces and set out towards Banu Hanifah. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also sent a large army after Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) so that he could not be attacked from behind. Hazrat Khalid(ra) proceeded to Yamamah, where the Battle of Yamamah took place.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would mention the Battle of Yamamah in future sermons.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stated:
The disorders during the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) and the expeditions that were sent against them was being mentioned. In relation to this, the details of the advance of Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid towards Malik bin Nuwairah, who was in Butah, have been recorded in the following manner.
Butah is the name of a fountain in the area where the Banu Asad dwelled. Malik bin Nuwairah belonged to Yarbu, a branch of the tribe of Banu Tamim.
He travelled to Medina along with his people in the ninth year after Hijrah and accepted Islam. Malik bin Nuwairah was one of the chiefs of his people and was counted among the prominent, courageous and skilled horse riders of Arabia. The Holy Prophet(sa) entrusted him with the responsibility of collecting the Zakat [alms] from his people and appointed him as the person to oversee the matters relating to Zakat. However, when the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away and a wave of apostasy and rebellion arose in Arabia, he was also one of those who turned away from Islam. When the news of the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa) reached him, he celebrated with joy and happiness. The women of his household applied henna [to their hands], played the drums and expressed their immense joy and happiness.
Furthermore, they killed those Muslims belonging to their tribe, who believed in the obligation of the Zakat and who were also convinced of sending it to the centre of the Muslims i.e. Medina. It should also be remembered that those who were punished, or against whom strict measures were taken, they were those who tried to harm the Muslims; it was not merely on the basis of them becoming apostates. Nevertheless, further details in relation to him are as follows.
On the one hand, he refused to pay the Zakat and returned the collected Zakat to his people and on the other hand, he joined forces with the rebellious false claimant to prophethood, Sajah, who had set out with an enormous army in order to launch an attack on Medina. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], p. 560) (Abu al-Nasr, Sayyiduna Siddiq Abu Bakr(ra) – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 598, 713) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 63) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 567)
Her name was Sajah bint Harith and her filial appellation was Umm-e-Sadir. She was a soothsayer of Arabia and was among the few claimants to prophethood and rebellious chieftains, who made their claim a short while before or during the wave of apostasy that arose in Arabia. Sajah belonged to the tribe of Banu Tamim. Her mother’s ancestry was linked to the tribe of Banu Taghlab, most of whom were Christians. Sajah was also a Christian and due to her Christian tribe and family, she was a rather scholarly Christian lady. She came from Iraq along with her followers and desired to launch an attack on Medina.
According to some historians, Sajah entered Arabia under a scheme of the Persians in order to investigate the circumstances and to lend some support to the declining power of the Iranian government. Nevertheless, being influenced by these factors, Sajah entered the Arabian Peninsula. It was natural for her to first go to her tribe of Banu Tamim. One party was ready to pay the Zakat and obey the Khalifa of the Messenger(sa) of Allah. However, another party was opposing them. There was a third party, which was unsure what to do. Nevertheless, this disagreement became so severe that the people of Banu Tamim started disputing, fighting and killing one another. In the meantime, these tribes heard of the arrival of Sajah and they also came to know that Sajah intended to reach Medina and fight the armies of Abu Bakr(ra). Upon this, their dispute intensified even more. Sajah marched forward with the intention of suddenly approaching [the people of] Banu Tamim with her enormous army, to announce her claim to prophethood and invite them to follow her. [She believed that] the entire tribe would unanimously join forces with her and thus in similitude to [the tribe of] Uyainah, the Banu Tamim would also start saying in relation to her that the prophetess of Banu Yarbu is greater than the Prophet of the Quraish(sa) as Muhammad(sa) has passed away, but Sajah is still alive. Following this, she intended to march towards Medina along with Banu Tamim. This was her plan; and then to conquer Medina after fighting with the army of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
As it were, Sajah and Malik bin Nuwairah came into contact with one another as well. When Sajah and her army reached the borders of Banu Yarbu, she stopped there, called for the chief of the tribe, Malik bin Nuwairah and invited him to make peace and to accompany her tribe in order to attack Medina. Malik accepted her request to make peace, but he suggested to her to refrain from launching an attack on Medina and said, “Before going to Medina and launching an attack on the armies of Abu Bakr, it would be better to remove the opposition from within your tribe.”
Sajah liked this suggestion and said, “As you please. I am merely a woman of Banu Yarbu and will do as you say.” Aside from Malik, Sajah invited the other chiefs of Banu Tamim to make peace as well. However, only Waki accepted this invitation. As a result of this, Sajah, along with Malik, Waki and her army, launched an attack on the other chiefs. A fierce battle broke out, which caused a large number of men to be killed on both sides and the people of the same tribe captured one another. However, only a short while later, Malik and Waki felt that they had committed a grave mistake by following this lady. Upon this, they made peace with the other chiefs and returned each other’s captives. As a result of this, peace was established among the Banu Tamim.
When Sajah realised that it had become difficult for her to achieve her objective, she packed her belongings, left Banu Tamim and headed towards Medina. When she reached the village of Nibaj, she fought with Aus bin Khuzaimah. Sajah lost the battle and Aus bin Khuzaimah permitted her to return on the condition that she would pledge not to advance towards Medina. Following this incident, the leaders of the army of the Ahl al-Jazirah gathered at one place and they said to Sajah, “What instructions do you give us now? Malik and Waki have reconciled with their people. They are neither willing to help us, nor will they allow us to pass through their territories. We have entered a covenant with them and now our path towards Medina has been blocked. Tell us what we should do now.”
Sajah replied, “If the path towards Medina has been blocked then there is nothing to worry about. Head towards Yamamah [instead].” They said, “The grandeur and glory of the people of Yamamah is greater than ours and the power of Musailimah has already increased immensely.” In another tradition it is mentioned that when the leaders of her army asked Sajah regarding further actions, she replied:
عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْيَمَامَة، وَدَفُّوْا دَفِيْفَ الْحَمَامَة، فَإنَّهَا غَزْوَةٌ صَرَامَة، لَا يَلْحَقُكُمْ بَعْدَهَا مَلَامَة
Meaning, “Head to Yamamah and pounce upon them with the swiftness of a dove. There, shall a magnificent battle ensue, after which you shall have no regret.”
Having heard these rhyming couplets, her army – which considered her to be a prophetess – believed it to have been revealed to her. They felt that there was no other option for them but to follow her command. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Pani Piti [Lahore: Islami Kutub Khana], pp. 193-198) (Urdu Da’irah Ma‘arif Islamiyyah, Vol. 10, p. 738, Lahore)
After Sajah reached Yamamah with her army, Musailimah became very concerned. He felt that if he became embroiled in a fight with the army of Sajah, his power would diminish, the Muslim army would wipe them out and the neighbouring tribes would refuse to pledge their obedience to him. With this in mind, he tried to make peace with Sajah. At first he sent presents, then he sent word that he wished to meet her, upon which she granted Musailimah the opportunity to meet.
Musailimah went to her with 40 men of the Banu Hanifah tribe, and spoke to her in private. During this conversation, Musailimah recited some poetic prose to Sajah which greatly impressed her. In response, Sajah too recited some similar couplets. In order to gain full control over Sajah and to bring about harmony between them, Musailimah proposed they unify their prophethoods and to tie the bonds of matrimony (be wedded). Sajah accepted this proposal and returned with Musailimah to his camp.
After remaining there for three days, she returned to her army and discussed with her companions that she found Musailimah to be in the right, which is why she married him. The people asked if she had settled on a dowry, to which she replied in the negative. They then advised her to return after settling the dowry, for it would be unbefitting for such a figure to be married without a dowry. She therefore returned to Musailimah, informing him of the purpose of her visit. For her sake, Musailimah reduced the Fajr and Isha prayers. In other words, he removed and abolished the Fajr and Isha prayers.
In relation to the dowry, it was settled that half of the income from the lands of Yamamah would be sent to Sajah. Sajah demanded that half of the income for the following year be paid upfront. Musailimah gave her the amount for half a year, which she took back to Jazeerah. She kept some of her men in Banu Hanifah in order to acquire the amount for the remaining half of the year. As was custom, Sajah remained in Banu Taghlab. She later on repented and it is also recorded that she accepted Islam. According to some, she accepted Islam during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar(ra) until Hazrat Amir Mu‘awiyah(ra) sent her with her tribe during the year of the drought to Banu Tamim, where she lived, until she died in the state of belief. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Pani Piti [Lahore: Islami Kutub Khana], pp. 198-199) (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 271) (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 7 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Hajr, 1997], p. 259)
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) ordered Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid that after dealing with Tulaihah Asadi he should go and combat Malik bin Nuwairah who was residing in Butah. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 257)
When Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid reached Butah, he did not see anyone there; he did, however, find that when Malik showed some hesitation in his matters, he sent all his compatriots to look after their property and prohibited them from gathering. He understood that it would have been too difficult to combat them. He had already split from his wife – perhaps this was also a reason. In any case, Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid sent out battalions to different locations, instructing them to first give an invitation to Islam wherever they reached. If anyone failed to respond they were to be held captive, and if anyone fought, they were to be killed.
Among these battalions was one which captured Malik bin Nuwairah, along with a few people of the Banu Tha‘labah bin Yarbu tribe, namely Asim, Ubaid, Arin and Ja‘far, and they were brought to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. One of these battalions – among whom was Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) – had a disagreement amongst themselves. According to one narration from the father of Urwah, that on this occasion, after the mission had been completed, the people bore testimony that when they had said the Azan and Iqamah [first and second calls to prayer] and offered the prayer, the people did the same, but some others testified that no such thing happened. Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) affirmed that they called the Azan and Iqamah and offered the prayer. As a result of this conflict in testimonies, Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid imprisoned those people. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 272, 273)
We find two differing narrations with regard to how Malik bin Nuwairah was killed. According to one narration, the cold was so severe that night that nothing could endure it. When the cold intensified further, Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid gave instructions to a public announcer, who said:
“Keep your captives warm.” In other words, arrange for them to be protected from the cold. However, this saying had a different meaning among the Banu Kinanah, and the expression would have meant to kill them. The soldiers must have comprehended this expression according to their local usage, as though they had been instructed to kill the prisoners, and so they killed them all. Hazrat Dirar(ra) bin Azwar killed Malik bin Nuwairah. According to another narration, it was Abd bin Azwar Asadi who killed him. However, Kalbi states that it was indeed Dirar bin Azwar who killed Malik bin Nuwairah.
When news of this disturbance reached Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid, he left his tent, but by that time the soldiers had already done away with all the captives, so what else could be done? He said, “Whatever Allah desires to happen surely comes to pass.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 273, 274)
In another record it is mentioned that Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid summoned Malik bin Nuwairah to him. He warned him against siding with Sajah and preventing people from giving Zakat, and said to him, “Do you not know that Zakat is equal to prayer (i.e. the commandments for both are equal), yet you refused to give Zakat?” Malik replied, “Your companion was of this thought.” Instead of saying the Messenger(sa) of Allah was of this thought, he said companion or friend. Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid then asked, “Is he only our companion and not yours?” and told Dirar to sever his neck and so he was beheaded. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], p. 332)
This is one narration with regards to his death.
According to the narration of [Jami‘] Al-Tawarikh, Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) spoke to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid regarding this matter and they had a dispute. Owing to his disagreement with Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid, Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) left the army and went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). He accused Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid of having Malik bin Nuwairah killed whilst he was a Muslim and then marrying his wife, and such a marriage during warfare was not deemed correct among the Arabs. Hazrat Umar(ra) also strongly supported the view of Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra). (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], pp. 273-274)
[Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)] greatly expressed his displeasure that Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) had left the army of Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid, the commander of the army, without his permission to go to Medina, so he ordered him to return to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. Hence, Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) returned to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 273)
Further details of this are mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari, that Hazrat Umar(ra) said to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), “Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid has the blood of a Muslim on his hands, and even if that is not proven, there is enough evidence to have him imprisoned.” [Malik] was indeed killed, but Hazrat Umar(ra) was very insistent in this matter. Seeing as Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) never imprisoned his workers and military commanders, he said, “O Umar, remain silent in this matter. Khalid(ra) bin Walid has made an error in interpretation, so say no more regarding him.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then gave the blood money for Malik bin Nuwairah. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) wrote to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid ordering him to return. He therefore returned and shared all the details in relation to this incident and apologised, after which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted his apology. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 273)
According to one narration, the incident of Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid arriving in Medina is mentioned as such, that Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid returned to Medina after this mission, and entered Masjid Nabawi. When he entered the mosque, Hazrat Umar(ra) said that he had killed a Muslim and taken his wife. He further stated that by God, he would stone him to death. Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid had not uttered a word, as he assumed that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was of the same opinion. He went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), explained the entire incident and apologised. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted his apology. Having attained Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) favour, he stood up. Hazrat Umar(ra) was sitting in the mosque when Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid said to him, “O son of Umm Shamlah, come to me, what is it you have to say?” Hazrat Umar(ra) understood from the manner in which Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid was speaking that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was pleased with him. Hazrat Umar(ra) quietly stood up and returned home without saying a word to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 274)
According to one narration, Mutammim bin Nuwairah, brother of Malik bin Nuwairah, came to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) demanding the blood money for his brother and that their captives be released. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted his request to free the captives, had his instructions noted down, and paid the blood money for Malik. Hazrat Umar(ra) strongly insisted that Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid be dismissed, stating that his sword had shed the blood of an innocent Muslim. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied, “O Umar, it is not possible that I place that sword back in its sheath, which God Almighty took out of its sheath against the disbelievers.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 273)
When the blood ransom had been paid, according to the Shariah, justice had been upheld, so there was no need for further action. For this reason, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stated, “Now this case is closed.”
Regarding the story of Malik bin Nuwairah, and in response to the accusation about his killing, Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi has written in his book Tohfah Ithna Ashariyyah that in truth, people had not interpreted this incident correctly. Unless the correct circumstances are understood, it is meaningless to raise allegations.
Details of this incident are mentioned in reliable books of history, mentioning that when Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid had completed the mission regarding the false claimant of prophethood, Tulaihah bin Khuwailid Asadi, he turned his attention to the vicinity of Butah and sent out military contingents to the outskirts. In accordance with the guidance and practice of the Holy Prophet(sa), he instructed them that if they heard the Azan being called in whatever nation, tribe or community they were attacking, then they were to refrain from fighting and killing. If the Azan was not called, then they were to deem it the battlefield and carry out the full military operation. Coincidentally, Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) was among the battalion that captured Malik bin Nuwairah – whom the Holy Prophet(sa) had appointed as the leader of Butah and entrusted him with collecting alms from the nearby areas – and brought him to Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. Hazrat Abu Qatadah(ra) testified that he heard the Azan, but one person from the battalion said that he did not hear the Azan. However, prior to this, it had been proven unequivocally through the reliable sources from neighbouring areas that after hearing news of the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), Malik bin Nuwairah and his family greatly celebrated his demise. Women applied henna to their hands, drums were beaten and they expressed great joy and jubilation as they were happy to see the Muslims endure this difficulty. Furthermore, on an occasion when Malik bin Nuwairah was answering people’s questions, he used such language to refer to the Holy Prophet(sa) which was normally used in conversations by the disbelievers and apostates. In other words, he said:
قَالَ رَجُلُكُم أَوْ صَاحِبُكُم
Meaning “One of your men or one of your friends said such and such.” Apart from this, it was also discovered that upon hearing about the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), Malik bin Nuwairah returned wealth already collected in Zakat to his people saying that due to his demise, they were now free from the trouble they had to endure.
Under these circumstances and due to the manner in which he had spoken, Hazrat Khalid(ra) became certain of his apostasy and ordered for him to be killed. When news of this incident reached Medina, Abu Qatadah became upset and went to the Dar al-Khilafah and laid blame on Hazrat Khalid(ra). Initially, Hazrat Umar(ra) also thought that he was killed unjustly and thus retribution was imperative. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) summoned Hazrat Khalid(ra) for an enquiry of the incident. Following this, the reality of the circumstances and what transpired became clear. Hence he declared him to be blameless and did not take any disciplinary action against him, restoring him to his original post. (Tohfah Ithna Ashariyyah Urdu, pp. 517-518, Translated by Khalil al-Rahman Nu‘mani, Dar al-Isha‘at, Karachi, 1982)
Another author writes with regard to the killing of Malik bin Nuwairah that there are many discrepancies in the narrations regarding Malik bin Nuwairah. There are varying opinions as to whether he was unjustly killed or whether it was warranted. What led to Malik bin Nuwairah’s ultimate ruin was his arrogance and apostasy. Ignorance lingered within him, otherwise he would not have deviated in obedience to the Khalifa of the Messenger(sa) and offering of Zakat to the treasury.
He writes, “In my estimation, this person desired leadership and rank. At the same time, he had taken issue with some of the chiefs and family members from Banu Tamim who had pledged obedience to the Islamic Caliphate and paid their dues to the Islamic government.” He had taken issue with those who were obedient to Khilafat and offered Zakat etc. “Both his words and his actions support this view. His apostasy, support of Sajah, returning the camels given as Zakat, refusal to give Zakat to Abu Bakr(ra) and refusal to heed the advice of his relatives and other Muslims against his rebellion and disobedience, all proved his guilt. This clearly shows that with regard to Islam, he was closer to disbelief. On the one hand he called himself a Muslim, or at least desired to, while on the other hand he was close to disbelief. Had there been no clear evidence or proof against Malik bin Nuwairah, then just the fact that he stopped the offering of Zakat would be enough to render him guilty. It is a matter proven among the earlier scholars that he had refused the offering of Zakat.”
This is in Ibn Abd al-Salam’s book Tabaqat Fuhul al-Shu‘ara. It is an agreed-upon matter that Khalid spoke to Malik and tried to dissuade him from his stance; Malik accepted the injunction of prayer saying that he could offer prayer but refused the offering of Zakat. In the commentary of Muslim, Imam Nawawi says with regard to apostates that there were those who accepted Zakat and did not stop offering it, but were stopped from doing so by their leaders. There were those who wished to continue offering Zakat as this too is obligatory along with the offering of prayers; however, their leaders stopped them from doing so, holding back their hands just like the Bani Yarbu.
They gathered their collective Zakat and intended to send it to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), however, Malik bin Nuwairah stopped them and distributed the Zakat amongst the people. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) conducted a thorough investigation into the matter of Malik bin Nuwairah and concluded that Khalid(ra) bin Walid was not guilty for the killing of Malik bin Nuwairah. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was more apprised of the situation than others and had deep insight into the matter because he was the Khalifa, and all news was conveyed to him. Along with this, his faith was stronger than all others. [Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)] followed the example of the Holy Prophet(sa) in dealing with Hazrat Khalid(ra), because the responsibility given to Hazrat Khalid(ra) by the Holy Prophet(sa) was never taken away from him. Although he may have committed some things that the Holy Prophet(sa) was not pleased with, the Holy Prophet(sa) would accept his justification and tell the people not to distress Hazrat Khalid(ra) because he was a sword among the swords of Allah the Almighty that Allah had drawn against the disbelievers. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], pp. 333-334, 337)
There is another allegation which is made in the same context, that Hazrat Khalid(ra) married the daughter of Umm-e-Tamim bint Minhal. The allegation made against Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid is that he married Laila bint Minhal during a battle before she was able to complete her iddat [a designated period of time before one can marry]. The details of this marriage are mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari in the following words:
“Hazrat Khalid(ra) married the daughter of Umm-e-Tamim Minhal and waited [before establishing any relations with her] until her menstrual cycle had completed [which was the designated period of the Iddat]. The Arabs looked down upon establishing relationships with women during war, and those who did so were reproached.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 273)
Allamah Ibn Kathir writes:
“Hazrat Khalid(ra) married her (Laila bint Minhal) only after it became permissible to do so.” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], p. 318)
Allamah Ibn Khallikan writes, “Umm-e-Tamim completed her iddat of three months, and after that, Hazrat Khalid(ra) sent a marriage proposal to her which she accepted.” (Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat al-A‘yan, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1998], p. 10)
In a rebuttal to this allegation, Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi writes:
“This whole case has been fabricated because there is no record of it in any reliable and certified book. Narrations of this case can be found in some unreliable sources, but alongside those narrations, the answer to the allegation is also recorded. [It is recorded that] Malik bin Nuwairah had divorced that woman a while before that.”
It is alleged that she was the wife of Malik bin Nuwairah, and Hazrat Khalid(ra) killed him and married his wife immediately after, and the true intent of killing him was because he desired to marry his wife. Nonetheless, [Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi] has stated] that “Malik bin Nuwairah had divorced that woman a while before that, and due to the ignorance that existed at that time, had kept her in his home needlessly. It was to end this savage tradition that the following verse of the Holy Quran was revealed:
وَإِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَبَلَغۡنَ أَجَلَہُنَّ فَلَا تَعۡضُلُوہُنَّ
That is, ‘When you divorce women and their period of waiting elapses, then do not hold them back and restrict them.’ In this case, the waiting period of this woman had elapsed well before and it was lawful for her to marry.” (Tohfah Ithna Ashariyyah Urdu, p. 518, Translated by Khalil al-Rahman Nu‘mani, Dar al-Isha‘at, Karachi, 1982)
Her husband had divorced her and merely had her living in his home.
In regard to the marriage of Hazrat Khalid(ra), another author writes that the name of Umm-e-Tamim was previously Laila bint Sinan Minhal. She was the wife of Malik bin Nuwairah. A great conflict has arisen and many debates have taken place as a result of Hazrat Khalid’s(ra) marriage with her.
In short, some people levelled a false accusation against Khalid(ra) by claiming that he was infatuated by the beauty and elegance of Umm-e-Tamim and had fallen in love with her. Hence, as soon as she came to him as a prisoner, he could not wait and married her. Therefore, [they claim] this was not a marriage but in fact adultery, God forbid. However, the fact is that this claim is completely fabricated and there is no truth to it whatsoever and cannot be considered authentic. The historic sources do not even remotely make any reference to this and there is not a single narration or source that can prove this.
Allamah Al-Mawardi states that Khalid(ra) killed Malik bin Nuwairah because he had stopped the Zakat as a result of which the death penalty had become lawful. Moreover, his nikah with Umm-e-Tamim had become annulled and there is a commandment of the Shariah with regard to the wives of the apostates that when they enter the battlefield, they shall be imprisoned and not killed. Imam Sarakhsi has also alluded to this. When Umm-e-Tamim came as a prisoner, Khalid chose to marry her and only when it was lawful for him, he engaged in marital relations with her. Further expounding upon this, Sheikh Ahmad Shakir states that Khalid(ra) took Umm-e-Tamim as a prisoner of war and for such women the prescribed period of iddat does not apply. If she comes in a state whereby she is pregnant, then until she delivers her child, it is unlawful for the one in whose possession she is to go near her. If she is not expecting, then he only has to wait until her menstrual cycle. This is lawful and permissible and no one can object to anyone for this or level any criticism. However, the opponents of Khalid(ra) took advantage of this situation and falsely claimed that Malik bin Nuwairah was a Muslim and Khalid(ra) had him killed in order to take his wife. Thus, an allegation was levelled against Hazrat Khalid(ra) that through his marriage [to Umm-e-Tamim] he went against the traditions and the practices of the Arabs.
Aqqad states that Khalid(ra) killed Malik bin Nuwairah and married his wife whilst still in the battlefield which was against the traditions in the era of Jahiliyyah and the Arabs, and also against Islam, the practices of the Muslims and the Islamic Shariah. This statement of Aqqad is completely untrue. Prior to Islam, there were many occasions whereby the Arabs, after defeating the opponents in war, would marry their women and they would take great pride in this.
In relation to this, Dr Ali Muhammad Sallabi also narrated this incident and stated that in accordance to the Shariah, Hazrat Khalid(ra) acted lawfully. This action of his is also proven by the one who was even loftier than him. If Khalid(ra) is accused of marrying someone whilst the battle was still ongoing, or immediately after, then the Holy Prophet(sa) also married Juwairiah bint Harith immediately after the Battle of Al-Muraysi and she proved to be a great source of blessing for her people. Owing to this marriage, 100 men from her tribe were set free because they now had relations with the Holy Prophet(sa) through his marriage. Another blessed impact of this marriage was that her father, Harith bin Dirar became a Muslim. Similarly, immediately after the Battle of Khaibar, the Holy Prophet(sa) married Safiyyah bint Huyayy bin Akhtab. Thus, when we have the example of the Holy Prophet(sa) before us, then there is no question of any criticism or accusation against Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], pp. 334-336)
The reason why I have mentioned these details is because people falsely level allegations against Hazrat Khalid(ra). Even nowadays, certain people, who have little knowledge, raise the question, and in actual fact raise an allegation against Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in that Hazrat Umar(ra) was correct and that God forbid, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) did not act with justice and incorrectly supported Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) made this decision after assessing all the details and absolved Hazrat Khalid(ra) from any blame.
With regard to Hazrat Khalid(ra) setting off towards Yamamah, it is stated that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had commanded Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid that once he had seen to the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan and also Malik bin Nuwairah etc., he emphasised that he must head towards Yamamah. Sharik bin Abdah Fuzari narrates:
“I was among those who participated in the Battle of Buzakhah. I came to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and he instructed me to join Hazrat Khalid(ra). With me was a letter addressed to Hazrat Khalid(ra). In the letter was written, ‘I received your letter through your messenger in which you spoke of the victory you achieved through Allah’s support and help at Buzakhah and also you mentioned your dealings with the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan. You wrote that you were now heading towards Yamamah. I advise you that you must fear Allah, the One Who has no partner, and show kindness to the Muslims that are with you. You ought to deal with them like a father. O Khalid! Beware of the conceit and arrogance of the Bani Mughirah. Although I would never reject their plea, I have not accepted their statement regarding you. Hence, when you line up against the Banu Hanifah, be on your guard. Remember, until today you have not come up against an enemy the like of the Banu Hanifah. All of them are against you and their land is vast. Therefore, when you reach there, you ought to take command of the army yourself. Appoint someone to command the right and left flanks and also a commander for the cavalry. Seek counsel at all times from the pre-eminent Muhajirin and Ansar companions who are with you and recognise and honour their status. When the enemy is ready and line up in rows in the battlefield, attack them with full vigour; an arrow for an arrow, a spear for a spear and a sword for a sword. Take the prisoners with the use of the sword. Strike fear and despair [into the enemy] through death, burn them. Be warned, do not disobey me. Peace be upon you.’”
When this letter reached Hazrat Khalid(ra), he read it and then said, “We hear, and we shall obey every single command.” Hazrat Khalid(ra) prepared alongside the Muslims, and set off to fight against the Banu Hanifah (i.e. Musailimah or the tribe who Musailimah was leading). Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas was appointed as the commander of the Ansar. Whoever from among the apostates they encountered on the way were punished severely. At the same time, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) dispatched a formidable army, equipped with the best of arms, in order to safeguard the rear of Hazrat Khalid’s(ra) army so that nobody could attack Hazrat Khalid’s(ra) army from the rear. On the way to Yamamah, Hazrat Khalid(ra) encountered many Bedouin tribes who had become apostates. He fought against them and brought them back into the fold of Islam. On the way, he also encountered the scattered army of Sajah and dealt with them, i.e. he killed them and made them a lesson. He then launched an attack on Yamamah. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan: Maktabat al-Furqan], pp. 353-354)
The details of the Battle of Yamamah will be mentioned in the future, insha-Allah.
Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 3 June 2022, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.