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 highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and the armies he sent towards Syria in order to stop the enemy.
His Holiness(aba) said that the fourth army he sent was under the leadership of Hazrat Amr bin Aas(ra). Seeing as Hazrat Amr(ra) had played a pivotal role in stifling the rebellion that had arisen, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gave him the option of either remaining in Khuza’ah or going to Syria to help fortify the Muslims. Hazrat Amr(ra) replied that he was an arrow for the sake of Islam, and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) should fire him in whichever direction he deemed best. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) ultimately decided to send him to Syria. Hence, Hazrat Amr(ra) went to Madinah so that an army could be formed. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed him to set up camp outside of Madinah so that people could join him.
His Holiness(aba) said that before sending him off, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gave some guidance to Hazrat Amr bin Aas(ra), saying that he should listen to the opinions of the senior members who were accompanying him, for there was no telling whose advice could prove to be a means for success. It is recorded that Hazrat Amr’s(ra) army numbered six to seven thousand and set out towards Palestine. Hazrat Amr(ra) formed a battalion of a thousand Muslims to go forward and battle a Syrian army, which they did and proved victorious. When they returned with some prisoners, Hazrat Amr(ra) questioned them and learned that the Syrians were planning an attack against them. Hence, Hazrat Amr(ra) prepared his army and when the Syrians attacked, they were able to stop them and utterly destroy their army, causing them much damage.
His Holiness(aba) said that after sending these armies, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) took a breath and was certain that Allah the Almighty would grant the Muslims victory over the Syrians through these armies. He was content because these armies comprised a thousand Muhajireen(migrants) and Ansar (natives of Madinah), who had proven their loyalty and steadfast devotion, including some of those who had participated in the Battle of Badr.
His Holiness(aba) said that when Heraclius learned of the Muslims’ preparations and advancements, he gathered various chieftains and incited them with passionate speeches to fight back and combat the Muslim armies. After inciting the Palestinians, Heraclius travelled around and incited people to fight against the Muslims in a similar manner. There are some other narrations which record that initially Heraclius had said that they should form treaties of peace with the Muslims, however his people did not agree with this, and so he gathered them and took them to Homs where he began forming an army. He intended to form the same number of armies as the Muslims had in order to combat each one.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) heard that Heraclius had formed a large army to combat his forces in Antakya. Hence, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to seek guidance as to further steps. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied saying that despite the large numbers of the Romans in Antakya, they were destined to lose and the Muslims destined to win. He was confident because the Muslim army loved death just as much as the enemy army loved life. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also informed him that he would be sending reinforcements and so there was nothing to worry about.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Amr bin Aas(ra) had also written a letter to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied that the victories which had been granted to the Holy Prophet(sa) were not due to his being greater in number. In fact, during the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims only had a single horse, upon which the Holy Prophet(sa) rode. Yet, despite limited numbers and means, God would help the Muslims and grant them victories. He reminded Hazrat Amr(ra) that the greatest followers of God are those who despise disobedience. Hence, he should remain obedient to God.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Yazid bin Sufyan(ra) had also written a letter to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), to which he replied saying that God had promised victory to the Muslims despite their small numbers. He also reassured him that he was sending further reinforcements so that he wouldn’t feel the need for more soldiers.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gathered troops under the leadership of Hazrat Hashim bin Utbah(ra) who he was going to send to reinforce the Muslims. He gave them a speech in order to encourage them, and when the army numbered one thousand, he sent them off. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) advised Hazrat Hashim(ra) that any hardship which they bore along this journey would translate into the equivalent of good deeds on their part. Hazrat Hashim(ra) either said that he would continue fighting until he was martyred, or that he wished to keep fighting and be continuously martyred.
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was preparing another army and he decided to make Hazrat Sa’eed bin Amir(ra) its leader. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed Hazrat Bilal(ra) to make an announcement and gather people to form an army. Hazrat Bilal(ra) requested Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to also allow him to be part of this army, since he had freed him so that he may be of service. Hazrat Bilal(ra) said that if Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would remain with him, however Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he did not wish to hold Hazrat Bilal(ra) back from his desire of Jihad. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that they may not meet again until the hereafter, and so he encouraged him to continue doing good works so long as he remained alive and he would receive an excellent reward for this. Hence, Hazrat Bilal(ra) joined Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) and his army set off.
His Holiness(aba) said that another army was formed under the leadership of Hazrat Hamzah bin Abi Bakr Hamdani(ra) which numbered one thousand. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed him to join any one of the armies which had already been deployed. Hence, he joined Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra). As such, armies would continue to arrive in Madinah, and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would send them to help reinforce the Muslim armies.
His Holiness(aba) said that ultimately, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also instructed Hazrat Khalid bin Walid(ra), who had been in Iraq, to lead the forces in Syria. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) wrote to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), informing him that he had now appointed Hazrat Khalid bin Walid(ra) to lead the entirety of the Muslim forces, due to his esteemed prowess in warfare. Upon Hazrat Khalid bin Walid’s(ra) arrival, all the Muslims gathered in Busra and laid siege, as a result of which the people agreed to the terms of Jizyah in exchange for security and peace.
His Holiness(aba) said that then there were the events of Ajnadayn. After the victory at Busra, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) set off towards Palestine in order to aid Hazrat Amr(ra). Hazrat Amr(ra) wished to meet the Muslims army, however the Romans were following him and attempting to incite him to fight. When the Romans heard of more Muslims arriving, they went to Ajnadayn. Then, Hazrat Amr(ra) met with the Muslim armies, upon which the Muslims proceeded to Ajnadayn and formed their ranks in front of the Romans. On the way from Damascus to Ajnadayn, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) was attacked from behind by the army from Damascus. He fought valiantly against them, and upon hearing of this, Hazrat Khalid(ra) also turned back to help him defeat the enemy. In the meantime, more Roman forces gathered in Ajnadayn, and Hazrat Khalid(ra) also instructed all Muslims to gather in Ajnadayn.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Romans proposed to give some gifts of clothes to the Muslims in order to avert them, as they saw the Muslims to be poor and without means. Hazrat Khalid bin Walid(ra) took offence and strongly refused, saying that they would eradicate the Romans. Hazrat Khalid(ra) organised the Muslim ranks and ultimately a fierce battle ensued. The Romans were suffering defeat, and so they sent a messenger to Hazrat Khalid(ra) in order to discuss terms of peace. Initially, the Romans did this with plans of a secret attack. However, the messenger they had sent told Hazrat Khalid(ra) about this plan. Hence, when Hazrat Khalid(ra) went to speak with the Roman Emperor, Roman soldiers took hold of him. However, as the Muslims were prepared for this, when they heard this happening, they came forward and attacked, which resulted in the Roman Emperor’s death. There had been about 100,000 Romans and 30,000 Muslims in this battle. 30,000 Romans were killed and upon suffering defeat, many others fled to various cities. Hazrat Khalid(ra) sent a letter to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) informing him of this victory, upon which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) expressed great happiness and joy.
His Holiness(aba) clarified with regards to the timing of this battle that there were two battles at Ajnadayn; once during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in 13 AH, and another time during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue narrating these incidents 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 accounts relating to the armies sent by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to Syria in order to halt their aggression were being related. The mention of three armies has already been made in the previous sermon. The fourth army was led by Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas. In relation to this, it is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) dispatched an army towards Syria under the leadership of Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas. Prior to this, Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas was appointed to collect alms from half of the region of Quza’a. Hazrat Waleed(ra) bin Uqba was appointed to collect alms from the remaining half of Quza’a. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) decided to send various armies towards Syria, he desired to send Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas as well. However, due to the role Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas had in putting an end to the wave of apostasy, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gave him the choice to either stay in Quza’a, or go to Syria and strengthen the Muslims. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, pt. 7, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001] p. 3.), (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], p. 340)
As such, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) sent a letter to Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas saying, “O Abu Abdullah! I would like to occupy you in a task which is excellent for your life in this world and in the hereafter, unless you prefer continuing the task you are currently occupied in.” In reply to this, Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) saying, “I am one of the arrows of Islam and after Allah, you are the only person who can shoot or collect these arrows. You may decide to shoot the strongest, most fearsome and most excellent arrow into the direction from which you anticipate danger.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 332)
That is to say, he was absolutely prepared to face all kinds of dangers.
When Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas came to Medina, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed him to set up his camp outside of Medina so that people could gather around him and many noble men of the Quraish joined him. When the decision was made to head towards Syria, Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas was called to Medina. He came and in order to prepare an army with him, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed him to set up his camp outside of Medina so that people would come to him. When he decided to depart, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) came to send them off and said, “O Amr! You are wise and experienced and well aware of matters pertaining to combat. You are setting off with noble men of your tribe and righteous Muslims and you will meet your brothers. As such, do not leave any shortcomings in their welfare and do not prevent them from making good suggestions as your view in matters relating to combat is praiseworthy and may prove to be blessed in the end.” That is, do not prevent them from making good proposals and if you are given a good suggestion then you may act accordingly. Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas replied, “How wonderful would it be for me to prove your perception of me to be true and that your opinion about me is not proved wrong.” [Following this,] Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas set off with his army, which consisted of 6000 to 7000 men and their destination was Palestine. Hazrat Amr(ra) prepared a battalion of 1,000 men and sent it under the leadership of Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Umar towards the advancing Byzantines. Subsequently, this battalion encountered the Byzantine and shattered the strength of the enemy, gained victory over them and returned with some prisoners. Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas interrogated these prisoners and it came to light that the Byzantine army, under the leadership of Ruwais, was in preparation to launch a sudden attack on the Muslims. Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas arranged his army in light of this information. When the Byzantines launched their attack, the Muslims were successful in stopping them and the Byzantines were forced to retreat. Following this, the Muslims launched a counter attack, shattered their strength and forced them to retreat and leave the battlefield. The Muslim army followed them and thousands of Byzantine soldiers were killed and this is how the battle came to an end. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], pp. 448-449.)
Having dispatched these armies, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) felt relief as he was hopeful that Allah would make these Muslim armies victorious over the Byzantines. The reason for this was that more than 1,000 Muhajir and Ansar companions were among these armies, who had proven their utmost loyalty on every occasion and who had fought alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) right from the inception of Islam. Among these were the people of Badr as well, regarding whom the Holy Prophet(sa) supplicated to his Lord: “O Allah! If You destroy this small community today then You will not be worshipped on this earth again.” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Panipati [Lahore: Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers], p. 322.)
It is written that in those days the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius was in Palestine. When he received news of the preparations of the Muslims he gathered the chieftains of the area and made passionate speeches in front of them, inciting them to fight against the Muslims. He said in relation to the Muslims, “They are starving, naked, uncultured people of the Arab desert who wish to attack you. Give them such an emphatic response that they never have the courage to even look your way again. You shall be fully supported with military apparatus and personnel. Willingly obey those who have been appointed commanders among you and you shall be victorious.” This is the speech that Heraclius delivered to the people there in order to incite them against the Muslims.
Having prepared the people of Palestine to confront the Muslims, Heraclius travelled to Damascus. From there he went to Homs and Antakya, and just as he did in Palestine, he delivered the same passionate speeches, preparing them for war against the Muslims. He made Antakya the headquarters for the preparations against the Muslims. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Panipati [Lahore: Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers], p. 347)
The Byzantines had two armies in Syria – one in Palestine and the other in Antakya. These two armies had established their headquarters in the following places:
1) Antakya – This was the headquarters of Syria in the time of the Roman Empire.
2) Qinnasrin – This is at the north-western border of Syria, adjacent to Persia.
3) Homs – This is at the north-eastern border of Syria, adjacent to Persia.
4) Oman – The headquarters of Balqa’ was situated here in a fortified and well-protected fortress.
5) Ajnadayn – This was the military headquarters of the Byzantines in the south of Palestine, which reached both the eastern and western boundaries of the Arab lands, stretching to the border of Egypt.
6) Caesarea – this is situated in northern Palestine, 13km from Haifa, the remains of which are still present today. The Byzantine command centre was either Antakya or Homs. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], p. 450.)
It is also mentioned in one narration that when Heraclius heard of the impending arrival of the Muslim armies, he advised his own people to refrain from participating in the war, saying, “I believe that you should make a treaty with the Muslims. By God, if you agree upon them having half of the produce of Syria and the other half remaining with you and also having control of Rome, then this is better than them capturing the entire land of Syria and half of Rome.” However, the Byzantines got up and left, disregarding what he said. For this reason he brought them to Homs and began preparing the soldiers and armies. Heraclius then went from Homs to Antakya. Seeing as he had a large army he decided to send separate battalions to combat each of the Muslim armies, in order to weaken them by facing each division of their army separately. Therefore, he sent his brother Tazariq with an army of 90,000 to combat Hazrat Amr(ra), and he sent Jarjah bin Tuzar to face Hazrat Yazid(ra) bin Abi Sufyan. Similarly, he sent Qaiqar bin Nastus with an army of 60,000 to combat Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) and sent Duraqis to face Hazrat Shurahbil(ra) bin Hasanah. (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2006], p. 255.), (Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, p. 347)
When Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) bin Al-Jarrah was close to Jabiah a person came with news, “Heraclius is in Antakya and has brought such a large army to face you, an army the likes of which none of their ancestors had assembled to combat anyone.” Upon this Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stating, “I have been informed that the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius has come and stationed in a city of Syria called Antakya and sent people from his empire to gather. Therefore, people have flocked towards Heraclius from every easy and difficult path. I have therefore deemed it appropriate to inform you of this so that you may decide in the matter.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) wrote in response to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), “I have received your letter and I have understood what you wrote in regards to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius.” He then wrote, “His remaining in Antakya will be the means to his defeat and that of his cohorts, and the victory from Allah for you and the Muslims. Therefore, there is no need to worry. As for what you wrote in relation to Heraclius gathering the people from his empire and the large number of people assembling, we both knew prior to this that they would do so, for no people can abandon their emperor nor leave the empire without a fight.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then wrote, “All praise belongs to Allah, I am aware of the fact that many Muslims fighting them love death just as much as the enemies love life, they are hopeful for a great reward from Allah in this fighting and have greater love for striving in the way of Allah than their love for virgin women and valuable possessions. One of them during battle is better than a thousand polytheists. Combat them with your army and worry not about the Muslims who are not with you. Surely Allah, Whose remembrance is lofty, is with you, and at the same time, I am sending more people to assist you, that is to say, further armies which shall suffice you, after which you shall, God willing, not require any more. Peace be upon you.” (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, [Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009] pp. 212-213)
Similarly, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) received a letter from Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas. In reply to the letter, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stated:
“I have received your letter in which you have mentioned about the Byzantine army gathering. Remember, Allah the Almighty did not grant His Prophet(sa) victory and help because he had a large army. Our condition was such that we would perform Jihad alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) and we would only have two horses in our possession and we would take turn to ride on the camel. On the day of Uhad, we were with the Holy Prophet(sa) and we only had one horse upon which the Holy Prophet(sa) was mounted. But despite these conditions, Allah the Almighty would grant us victory over the enemy and bestow His help.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stated, “Amr! Remember that the one who is most obedient to Allah the Almighty is the one who has the most dislike for sin. Obey Allah and also instruct those with you to show obedience to Allah.” (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], pp. 452-453.)
Hazrat Yazid(ra) bin Abi Sufyan also wrote a letter in which he mentioned the circumstances in his area and sought help. In reply, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) wrote, “When you come up against your opponents in battle, take your men and launch an attack upon them and fight against them. Allah the Almighty shall not destroy you. Allah the Almighty has revealed to us that even a smaller army can overcome a much larger army with the command of Allah. But despite this, I shall send more Mujahideen for your help and they will be sufficient for you and you will not require the need of any more, insha-Allah. Peace be upon you.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also signed it.
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) sent this letter in the hands of Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Qurt to Hazrat Yazid(ra), and he departed. He reached Hazrat Yazid(ra) and read the letter out in front of the Muslims, upon which the Muslims became very impassioned. (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, [Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009] p. 213)
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) called Hashim bin Utbah and said, “O Hashim, you are very fortunate and privileged that you are from among those people whom the Muslims are attaining support from against their disbelieving enemy; those who are known and trusted for their well-wishing, good advice, chastity and command in military prowess.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said to Hashim, “The Muslims have written to me requesting support against their disbelieving enemy. So go with your companions. I am preparing people to go with you. Set off from here until you meet Abu Ubaidah.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stood up among the people and praised Allah. He then stated, “Indeed some of your Muslim brothers are doing well, others will be wounded and are being defended and tended to. Allah Almighty has placed a fear of them in the hearts of the enemy, for they sought refuge in their fortresses and closed the gates. The messenger on behalf of the Muslims has brought news that the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius fled past him and sought shelter in a town at the border of Syria. He has brought us news that Heraclius has sent forth a large army from there to combat the Muslims. I desire to send your army forth to aid your Muslims brothers. Allah the Almighty will strengthen and reinforce them through this, i.e. the Muslims will be strengthened through this army, the enemies will be disgraced and He will place fear in their hearts. May Allah have mercy on you. Prepare alongside Hashim bin Utbah and hope for rewards and blessings from Allah. If you prove successful, you shall attain the spoils of war, but if you are defeated, you shall attain martyrdom and honour.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then returned home and the people began gathering by Hazrat Hashim bin Utbah, to the point where the numbers were greatly exceeding.
When they reached a thousand in number, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed them depart. Hashim conveyed the greeting of peace to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and took leave. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said to him, “O Hashim, we used to benefit from the suggestions and good planning of the elderly and would depend upon the forbearance, strength and bravery of the youth. Allah the Almighty has combined all of these qualities within you. You are still young and heading towards prosperity. When you clash with the opponent, remain firm in combating them and exhibit forbearance. Remember, any step you take, whatever you spend, the thirst, fatigue, and hunger you will endure in the way of Allah, will be recorded for you by Allah the Almighty as good deeds. Allah the Almighty does not let the reward of those who do good go to waste.” Hashim said, “If Allah desires good for me, then this is exactly what I will do. Strength and might can only be granted by Allah. I intend that so long as I am not killed, I will continue to fight again and again and again.” Then he said, “I trust that so long as I am not killed, I will fight continuously.” Or he said, “I desire to be martyred, and to be martyred over and over again.” These are two narrations. Then, his paternal uncle, Sa’d(ra) bin Abi Waqas said to him, “O my nephew, whatever arrows you fire and whatever strikes you blow should all be for the sake of attaining Allah’s pleasure. Know that you will soon depart from this world, and return to Allah. From this world to the hereafter, you will be accompanied by every step you took with truthfulness or your good deeds which you did.” Hashim said, “Dear uncle, you have no need to worry about me in this regard. If my resting and my travelling, my manoeuvring by day and night, striving and fighting, injuring with my arrows and striking with my sword are merely to show others, then I will be among those who have incurred loss.” In other words, his every action would be for the sake of Allah, not for other people. Then, he departed from Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and set off towards Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) until he reached him. The Muslims rejoiced upon his arrival and informed one another about the good news of his arrival.
Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) bin Aamir bin Hizyam came to learn that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) wished to send him to Syria to carry out Jihad, as part of another army which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was preparing. Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) thought that this army would be sent under his leadership. In any case, this news reached him, however, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) delayed this for some time and did not mention anything to him for a few days. Hence, Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and said, “O Abu Bakr, by Allah, I have received news that you intend to send me towards the Byzantines, however I observed that you have remained silent. I do not know what impression of me has entered your heart. If you wish to send someone other than me as the leader then send me along with him; nothing would make me happier. If you do not intend to send anyone, then owing to my passion for Jihad, grant me permission to join the Muslims. May Allah have mercy on you. It has been mentioned to me that that Byzantines have gathered a large army.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “O Sa’eed bin Aamir, may the Most Merciful of all have mercy on you. As far as I know you, your rank is among those who are humble, kind to their relatives, offer tahajjud in the morning, and remember Allah much.” Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) said, “May Allah have mercy on you. Allah has bestowed even greater favours upon me. All is due to his grace and favour. By God, as far as I know you, you manifestly declare the truth, you stand firmly with justice, you are merciful to the believers and severe in combating disbelievers, you make just decisions and do not give preference when distributing wealth.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said to him, “That is enough, O Sa’eed, that is enough. May Allah have mercy on you. Go and prepare for war. I am about to send an army to the Muslims already in Syria and I appoint you as their leader.” Then he instructed Hazrat Bilal(ra) to make an announcement to the people. He announced, “O Muslims! Prepare for an expedition to Syria alongside Hazrat Sa’eed bin Aamir bin Hizyam.”
Within a few days, seven hundred people gathered with him to form an army and when Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) intended to depart, Hazrat Bilal(ra) went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and said, “O Caliph of the Holy Prophet(sa), if you freed me for the sake of Allah the Almighty, so that I am free to do what I wish and contribute to something beneficial, then grant me permission to perform Jihad for the sake of my Lord. I would much rather go for Jihad than to just remain idle.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “Allah is witness to the fact that this is the very reason for which I freed you, and I seek no reward or thanks in return. This land is vast, so tread upon the path which you choose.” Hazrat Bilal(ra) said, “O Siddiq, perhaps you have minded what I said and you are displeased with me.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “No, by God, this has not displeased me. I do not wish for you to abandon your desires for mine, because your desire calls you towards obeying Allah.” Hazrat Bilal(ra) said, “If you wish, then I will stay back with you.” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “If you desire to go for Jihad, then I will never instruct you to remain behind. I only desire to have you for the Adhan [call to prayer]. O Bilal, I dread the thought of being separated from you, however such separation is necessary after which we will not meet until the Day of Judgement. O Bilal, always continue to do good deeds. May good deeds be the provisions for your journey and so long as you are alive, Allah will keep your memory alive for this very reason and when you pass away, he will grant you an excellent reward.” Hazrat Bilal(ra) said to him, “May Allah grant you the best reward on behalf of this friend and brother. By God, the instructions you have given us regarding obedience to Allah, patience, truthfulness and doing good deeds are nothing new, and I do not wish to call the Adhan for anyone after the Holy Prophet(sa).” Hence, Hazrat Bilal(ra) also set off alongside Hazrat Sa’eed(ra) bin Aamir. (Al-Iktifa’ bima Tadmanuh min Maghazi Rasul Allah wa al-Thalathah al-Khulafa, Vol. 2, pt. 1, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1997], pp. 130-132)
He also requested that if he was only being held back to call the Adhan, then his desire was to not call the Adhan, because his heart was not content to call the Adhan for anyone else after the Holy Prophet(sa). Afterwards, more people came and gathered by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). He appointed Hazrat Mu’awiyah(ra) as their leader and instructed him to join his brother Hazrat Yazid(ra). Hazrat Mu’awiyah(ra) departed and joined Hazrat Yazid(ra). When Hazrat Mu’awiyah(ra) passed by Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Sa’eed, then the remaining part of the army joined him as well. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 333.)
Then, Hamzah bin Malik Hamdani also presented himself before Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) with an army numbering close to one thousand, or even more. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) observed their numbers and preparation, he became very happy and said, “All praise belongs to Allah for this favour of His upon the Muslims. Allah always helps the Muslims through these people and procures the means for their happiness. He uses them to strengthen the Muslims and uses them to crush the opponents.” Then, Hamzah said to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), “Will there be any leader over me, aside from you?” Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “Yes, we have appointed three leaders, you may join whichever one of them you choose.” Then, when Hamzah joined the Muslims and inquired which of their leaders was the highest in rank and had benefitted most from the company of the Holy Prophet(sa), he was told that it was Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) bin Jarrah; hence he joined him. This was also a manner in which people expressed their love for the Holy Prophet(sa), that they would remain with the person who had spent the most time with the Holy Prophet(sa). Groups prepared for Jihad continued to arrive in Medina and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would send them on expeditions. Meanwhile, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) continuously wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra); “The Byzantines and their associate tribes are gathering in large numbers in order to fight the Muslims. Hence, please instruct as to what should be done.” (Al-Iktifa’ bima Tadmanuh min Maghazi Rasul Allah wa al-Thalathah al-Khulafa, Vol. 2, pt. 1, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1997], pp. 132-133)
As a result of the constant letters from Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) decided to send Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid to Syria. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, “By Allah, through Khalid bin Walid, I will cause the Byzantines to forget their satanic ploys.” Hazrat Khalid(ra) was in Iraq at the time when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) instructed him to go to Syria in order to lead and tend to the Muslim armies. He wrote to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), “I have entrusted leadership to Khalid in the war against the opponents in Syria. Do not oppose him. Obey him and do as he commands. I have not appointed him over you because I do not think that you are greater than him, however in my view, you do not possess the same prowess in warfare as he does. May Allah the Almighty intend good for us and for you. Peace be upon you.” (Al-Iktifa’ bima Tadmanuh min Maghazi Rasul Allah wa al-Thalathah al-Khulafa, Vol. 2, pt. 1, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1997], p. 148), (Tarikh Al-Khamis, Vol. 3, p. 220)
It is recorded with regards to Hazrat Khalid’s(ra) journey from Iraq to Syria that when Hazrat Khalid(ra) received the letter from Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), he set out towards Syria with what is recorded in various narrations as being an army of eight hundred, or six hundred, or five hundred, or even as high as nine thousand, or six thousand or somewhere in the thousands. He took this army and left for Syria. Some narrations record them to have been in the hundreds, others in the thousands. In any case, they set out towards Syria, When Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid reached a place called Quraqir, he launched an attack against its people. Then he crossed the desert and after an arduous journey, he raised his black flag as he entered a place near Damascus called Thaniya al-‘Uqab. With regards to the flag, it is recorded that this was the flag of the Holy Prophet(sa) which was called ‘Uqab and it was due to the flag that this valley became known as Thaniyah al-‘Uqab. (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2006], pp. 156-157.), (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Panipati [Lahore: Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers, 2004], p. 350.)
Thereafter, Hazrat Khalid(ra) set up camp a mile out from the eastern border of Damascus. According to some narrations, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) met with him there and they lay siege to the enemy on that very same day. It is also recorded in some narrations that Hazrat Khalid(ra) did not stay outside of Damascus for too long and instead reached Qanat-e-Busra. When Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid along with the Muslims reached Busra, all the armies gathered there and made him their leader in battle. He lay siege to the city. Some say that the leader in this battle was Hazrat Yazid(ra) bin Abu Sufyan, because this was in the jurisdiction of Damascus, for which he was the governor and leader. Upon this, the residents agreed to pay Jizyah to the Muslims in exchange for the Muslims protecting their lives, wealth and their progenies. (Imam Abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Yahya al-Buladhari, Futuh al-Buldan (translated by Abu Al-Khair Maududi) [Lahore: Nafees Academy, 1986], p. 174.), (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Siddiq Akbar – Translated by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Panipati [Lahore: Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers, 2004], p. 351.)
In relation to the Battle of Ajnadayn or Ajnadin – it is written in both forms – this is the name of a well-known settlement in the suburb of Palestine. (Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi], p. 129.)
After the conquest of Busra, Hazrat Khalid(ra) took Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra) and Hazrat Yazid(ra) bin Abi Sufyan and left Medina for Palestine in order to help Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas. Hazrat Amr(ra) at the time was in the mountainous region of Palestine. He wanted to come and meet the Islamic army but the Byzantine army was in pursuit of them and was in an effort to compel them into battle. When the Byzantine army heard about the arrival of the Muslims, they moved towards Ajnadayn. When Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas heard about the Islamic army, he left from there until he met the army and they all gathered at Ajnadayn and formed their rows for battle against the Byzantine army. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], pp. 346-347.), (al-Salabi, Al-Khalifatul Al-Awwal Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Shakhsiyyatuhu Wa Asarahu, Dar-ul-Ma’rifah, p. 312)
According to another narration, prior to going to Ajnadayn, Hazrat Khalid(ra) had laid siege of Damascus as opposed to Busra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) was also alongside him. During this siege, Heraclius had sent an army for the people of Damascus whom the Muslim had a battle with, however details of this will be narrated with regards to the conquest of Damascus. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) [Jhelum: Book Corner Showroom], pp. 379-380)
During the siege of Damascus, Hazrat Khalid(ra) and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) learnt that the governor of Homs had gathered an army in order to intervene the path of Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra) bin Hasanah, who at the time was in Busra and they also found out that a large army of the Byzantines had arrived in Ajnadayn. This news caused concern to Hazrat Khalid(ra) and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) as they were engaged in fighting against the people of Damascus. Hazrat Khalid(ra) and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) consulted one another and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) was of the opinion that they should leave and go towards Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra) before the enemy could reach him. Upon this, Hazrat Khalid(ra) stated that if they left to towards Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra), then the Byzantine army stationed in Ajnadayn would pursue after them and so he suggested that they ought to travel towards Ajnadayn and fight against that very large army there. He also suggested that they send a message to Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra) and inform him of the enemies’ movements against him and tell him to meet them in Ajnadayn. He also suggested that a message should be sent to Hazrat Yazid(ra) bin Abi Sufyan and Hazrat Amr(ra) to meet in Ajnadayn and then they would fight against the enemy. Upon this suggestion of Hazrat Khalid(ra), Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) stated, “this is an excellent suggestion; Allah shall bless this. We should act accordingly.”
According to another narration, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) suggested to Hazrat Khalid(ra) that all of their various armies were positioned in various locations in Syria and so a letter should be sent to all of them to meet in Ajnadayn. And so, when Hazrat Khalid(ra) decided to leave Damascus for Ajnadayn he wrote to all the governors and instructed them to meet in Ajnadayn. Hazrat Khalid(ra) and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) left the siege of Damascus and took their men and quickly headed towards Ajnadayn. Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) was in the rear part the army. The people of Damascus went in pursuit of them and surrounded Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra), who at the time was with 200 of his men. This contingent in fact comprised of women, children and also their wealth and possessions. According to one narration, there were a 1000 horse-riders with them in order to protect and guard them. In any case, the people of Damascus were in large numbers and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah(ra) engaged with them in an intense battle. When news of this incident reached Hazrat Khalid(ra), who was in the front part of the army along with the horse-riders, he returned along with his men. These horse-riders attacked the Byzantines and pushed them three miles back till they reached Damascus again. Meanwhile, the Byzantine army in Ajnadayn wrote a letter to its other army and also instructed them to come to Ajnadayn. This army of the Byzantines was heading towards Busra in order to attack Hazrat Shurahbeel(ra). Similarly, on the instruction of Hazrat Khalid(ra), all the Islamic armies gathered in Ajnadayn as well. (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009, pp. 228-230), (Mardan-e-Arab, pp. 214, 216)
The commanders-in-chief of the Byzantine army initially tried to send the Muslims away in exchange of giving them some wealth. Just like the Persians, they also thought that these Arabs were lowly people, with no food or clothes and had simply left their impoverished land to loot money and wealth from others. For centuries, the Arabs were uncivilised, lowly, impoverished people who dwelled in the desert and no one could expect them to have any lofty objectives. And so, they proposed to Hazrat Khalid(ra) that if his army returned they would give each soldier a turban, one set of clothes and one gold dinar and the ranking officers would get 10 set of clothes and 100 gold dinar and the Khalifa would get a 100 set of clothes and a 1,000 gold dinars. They thought that these people are thieves and bandits and by offering them this amount they would be able to get rid of them. When Hazrat Khalid(ra) heard this, he rejected it as a completely worthless offer and said in a very strict manner, “Byzantines! We reject your offer of wealth and consider it to be completely worthless for very soon we shall take control over your wealth, possessions, clans and tribes.” (Bashir Sajid, Ashrah Mubashrah, [Lahore: Al-Badr Publications] pp. 156-157)
When both armies drew near to each other, one of the Byzantine leaders told one of his men who was an Arab to infiltrate amongst the Muslims. He was not a Muslim and he told him to spend one day and one night with them and to then come back and provide him with the information about them. And so, this man entered amongst Muslims. Since he was an Arab, nobody thought him to be a stranger and so he remained amongst the Muslims for one day and night. When he returned, the Byzantine commander asked him to provide him with information and he said, “If you are asking for information about them, then the information is that they spend the night praying and in the day they are cavaliers. In order to uphold justice amongst them, if even their leader’s son would commit a theft, they would cut off his hand and stone him if he were to commit adultery.” Upon this, the Byzantine commander stated, “If what you say is true then it would be better to be buried beneath the ground than fighting against them on the land. All I desire from Allah is that He leave us as we are and not to help me against them and nor grant them help against us.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 347.)
This has been recorded in Tarikh al-Tabari. In the morning, the armies drew close to one another and Hazrat Khalid(ra) formed the army rows for battle. Hazrat Khalid(ra) would walk through the soldiers and exhort them for Jihad. He would not stand in one place. He commanded the Muslim women to remain resolute and stand behind the army. He told them to continue supplicating to Allah and whenever someone from among the Muslims walked past them, they should raise their children towards them and should say, “Continue to fight in order to save your children and women!” Hazrat Khalid(ra) would stand next to the various contingents and say, “O servants of Allah! Fear Allah and fight in the way of Allah against those who rejected Allah. Do not turn back on your heels and nor become overawed by your enemy. In fact, advance ahead like lions until their influence is no more. You are a free and honourable people. You have been granted the bounties of this world and Allah has ordained to grant you a reward in the hereafter as well. Do not allow the size of the enemy to cause you fear. Verily, Allah is going to send down His wrath and chastisement upon them.”
Hazrat Khalid(ra) said to the people that when he launches an attack, they should also do the same. (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009, pp. 230-231).
Thereafter, a fierce battle took place between the two armies. Hazrat Saeed(ra) bin Zaid advised the people in the following manner:
“O people! stand before Allah and remember your deaths and do not flee from the battlefield and thereby make the hellfire incumbent upon you. O Ye who protect the faith and recite the Qur’an, show patience.”
When a fierce battle ensued, the Byzantines fled in order to save their lives. When they reached their location, Wardan addressed his people and said, “If the situation remains like this then this land and wealth will be taken away from you. It is better that even now we should try and cleanse our hearts of its corrosion. Our hearts never even entertained the thought that these Arab slaves, who were shepherds and did not possess any food or clothes would fight against us. Drought and famine has driven them towards us and now having come here they are enjoying exquisite provisions, such as fruits, raisins and bread made of wheat instead of barley, and instead of vinegar they are eating honey, fig, grapes, etc.”
He then sought suggestions from some of his commanders and one of the commanders suggested that if they wanted to defeat the Muslims then they should somehow bring their leader to them through deceit or a ploy and then kill him. Subsequently, the rest of them will run away. He further stated that they should send ahead ten soldiers from among them so that they could sit in ambush and then they should invite the leader of the Muslims to come on his own in order to talk to him and as soon he would come for this, the soldiers in hiding should attack him suddenly and kill him. And so, the leader of the Byzantines sent a very eloquent and well-spoken person to Hazrat Khalid(ra). When this emissary came to the Muslims, he said in a loud voice, “O Arabs! Will you not cease from this bloodshed and fighting? We have thought of a way to establish peace, thus your leader should come forward to discuss this matter.” Hazrat Khalid(ra) came forward and said, “Tell us the message you have brought us, but me mindful to speak the truth!” He replied, “The reason why I have come here is because our leader does not like bloodshed and he is stricken with sorrow over those who have been killed so far. Therefore, he is of the view that he enter a treaty with you and give you something in exchange, so that the battle can come to an end.”
During the course of this conversation, Allah the Almighty filled the emissary’s heart with such awe that he revealed the entire plan of his leader in exchange of seeking protection for his family. In other words, he revealed the entire plan of how they had hid and were planning to kill Hazrat Khalid(ra). Hazrat Khalid(ra) stated that, “If you do not deceive us then we shall protect your family.” The emissary then left and told his leader that Hazrat Khalid(ra) was willing to speak to him. Their leader rejoiced at this and instructed ten of his soldiers to hide behind a mound at the location which had been specified for their meeting. Hazrat Khalid(ra) was aware of their conspiracy and so he sent Hazrat Zirar(ra) with ten other Muslim soldiers to the same location where the enemy was hiding. The Muslims arrived there and killed the byzantine soldiers and sat in their place. Meanwhile, Hazrat Khalid(ra) left to speak to this leader of the Byzantines. Both armies were stood facing one another and ready for battle. The Byzantine leader also arrived. Whilst speaking to him, Hazrat Khalid(ra) stated, “If you accept Islam then you shall become our brothers, otherwise pay the Jizyah or prepare for battle.”
The Byzantine leader was in the hope that his men were hiding and so he suddenly drew his sword in order to attack Hazrat Khalid(ra) and grabbed both his arms. Hazrat Khalid(ra) also fought back. The Byzantine leader then called for his men to quickly come for he had taken hold of the leader of the Muslims. Hearing this from behind the mound, the noble companions drew their swords and came towards him. Initially, Wardan thought that these were his men but when he saw Hazrat Zirar(ra), he was left stunned and thereafter Hazrat Zirar(ra) and the others killed him. When the Byzantines heard the news of their leader’s death, they became dejected. (Maulana Fazl Muhammad Yusuf Zai, Fatuhat-e-Sham [Maktabah-e-Iman-o-Yaqeen, 2011] pp. 97-104)
After this, the battle commenced. Another leader of the Byzantine saw how the Muslims were fighting and he ordered for a cloth to be tied around his head. People asked him the reason for this and he said, “Today is such a terrible day that I do not wish to witness it. I have never seen such a day of hardship in the world as I am seeing today.” The narrator states that when the Muslims severed his head, it was covered in a cloth. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 347.)
In this battle, the Byzantines numbered around 100,000. (Imam Abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Yahya al-Buladhari, Futuh al-Buldan [Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2000], p. 74)
And the Muslims were 30,000. (al-Salabi, Al-Khalifatul Al-Awwal Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Shakhsiyyatuhu Wa Asarahu, [Dar-ul-Ma’rifah, Beirut, 2006] p. 312)
And according to another narration, the Muslims numbered 35,000. (Bashir Sajid, Ashrah Mubashrah, [Lahore: Al-Badr Publications, 2000] p. 805)
During this battle, 3,000 Byzantine soldiers were killed and their defeated army was compelled to seek refuge in various different areas. (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009, p. 231)
After the victory at Ajnadayn, Hazrat Khalid(ra) informed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) of this good news through a letter as follows.
“Peace be upon you. I would like to inform you that a battle took place between us and the idolaters and they had gathered huge armies in Ajnadayn in order to fight us. They were holding high their crosses and also their books and they swore by Allah that they would not flee until they were completely destroyed or expelled from their areas. We, too, departed with absolute belief in Allah and placing our complete trust in Him. We first fought against them with arrows and then drew out our swords and attacked them. And we continued striking them for the same amount time it takes one to slaughter an entire camel and prepare it. Allah then bestowed His help and fulfilled His promise. The disbelievers were defeated and were slain in every open path, valley and area of low terrain. All praise is due to Allah for granting triumph to His religion and humiliating the enemy and affording excellent treatment to His friends.”
When this letter was read before Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), he was in the last stages of his life. News of this victory brought happiness to him and he stated, “All praise is due to Allah, Who helped the Muslims and has granted coolness to my eyes through this.” (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009, pp. 231-232)
There are some varying opinions with regards to when the Battle of Ajnadayn took place. According to some, it took place during the era of Hazrat Umar’s(ra) Khilafat. I will clarify with regards to the question of when the battle of Ajnadayn took place. According to some narrations, this battle took place in 13 AH and it is reported to have taken place either 24, 20 or 34 day prior to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) demise. (Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2009, p. 232), (Imam Abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Yahya al-Buladhari, Futuh al-Buldan [Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2000], p. 74.)
According to another opinion of historians, this battle took place in 15 AH during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra). (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2006], p. 266.),
In any case, according to the research of our researchers – and their view on this seems to be correct – that most likely a battle was fought twice in Ajnadayn. It was first fought during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Khilafat and the second time during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar(ra). This is because in some books of history, there is separate mention of the Islamic forces for both occasions. The commander-in-chief in the battle which took place in 13 AH was Hazrat Khalid(ra) bin Walid and the commander-in-chief in the battle which took place in 15 AH was Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas. In any case, Allah knows best.
The details with regards to the conquest of Damascus shall be mentioned in the future insha-Allah.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, pp. 5-10, 16 September 2022. Translated by The Review of Religions.)