Khalid ibn al-Walid – The Sword of Allah | Islamic History

Khalid ibn al-Walid

The Sword of Allah


Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Do not hurt Khalid because he is one of the swords of Allah against infidels.”

Khalid bin Waleed is a prominent figure in Islam who has amazed and bewildered Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He remained undefeated and history remembers him as the greatest warrior. He defeated armies of the Sasanian Persian Empire and Byzantine Roman Empire. Infidels feared his very name. Once in battlefield he shattered numerous of his swords. He fought for Prophet Mohammad and after his death for the Rashidun Caliphate, helping them to expand the Muslim Empire. Also he is a hero for Muslims whose life sparks fervour, zeal and passion for the cause of Islam.

He was a skilled horseman and he had mastery over such weapons as spear, lance, bow and sword. Khalid bin Waleed was a military strategist, a genius and an expert in political tactics. Moreover, he was brave, daring, pure and devoted.


The lineage goes as Khalid son of Walid son of Mughirah son of Abdullah son of Umar son of Makhzum.

His father Walid ibn al-Mughirah was the leader of Banu Makhzum and a prominent figure among Quraish who said about him, “If Allah had to send Quran then it should have been him.” His mother was Lubabah al-Sughra who was sister of the Prophet’s wife Maymunah bint al-Harith.

Khalid bin Waleed got the title of Saifullah, the Sword of Allah from Prophet Mohammad. The first encounter of Muslims with him was during the Battle of Uhud as opponents. He was not a Muslim then. He was leading a cavalry of enemy. Prophet Mohammad assigned fifty archers on a hill and ordered them to not leave their posts under any circumstance. The reason was the cavalry of Khalid ibn al-Walid which could attack Muslims from that side. Majority of the archers disobeyed seeing Muslims winning the battle. Khalid saw the weakness and at once attacked. His cavalry martyred seventy Companions. Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib stood like a mountain between Khalid and Prophet Mohammad and fought until martyrdom.

Embracing Islam

Prophet Mohammad admired Khalid even before he entered the circle of Islam. So much so that whenever someone praised Khalid quoting his attributes, the Prophet would add that a person with such qualities will surely accept Islam one day. The way Prophet Mohammad prayed to Allah in favour of Umar ibn Khattab, he also wished the same for Khalid. Hence it happened. Before the conquest of Makkah in 8 AH Khalid bin Waleed, Amr ibn al-As and Uthman ibn Talhah pledged allegiance to him accepting Islam.

Haris bin Hasham relates that Khalid ibn al-Walid said, “Before accepting Islam I would fiercely enter the battlefield against the forces of Prophet Mohammad but each time his majesty would engulf me breaking away all the might. I was at last assured that some hidden forces are protecting Prophet Mohammad and Muslims will rule the world one day.” (Tabaqat ibn Sa’d)

Prophet Mohammad also blessed Khalid with the title of Saifullah, the Sword of Allah.

Battle of Mu’tah

Battle of Mu’tah is one of the battles fought by Khalid bin Waleed by the permission and order of Prophet Mohammad. It was the first battle fought by him after converting to Islam. The Prophet said that Zayd ibn Harithah will lead the army and if martyred then Jafar ibn Abi Talib will take command. He further said that if Jafar ibn Abi Talib is martyred then Abd Allah ibn Rawahah will take command and on his martyrdom Muslims should appoint one among themselves.

When the Muslim army arrived at Mu’tah they faced the enemy forces consisting of 100,000 men. During the intense battle all the three Muslim commanders fell one after the other. Khalid ibn al-Walid was appointed as leader and was handed the standard. He addressed the Muslims, raising spirits and attacked. They overpowered and defeated them.

Khalid ibn al-Walid narrated, “On the day of (the battle of) Mu’tah, nine swords broke in my hand leaving only a Yemenite sword.” (Bukhari 4265, 4266)

Prophet Mohammad told the following incidents which occurred during the battle of Mu’tah while he himself was present in Madina. Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Holy Prophet informed the Companions, “Zayd ibn Harithah received the standard and was martyred, then Jafar ibn Abi Talib took it and was martyred, then Abd Allah ibn Rawahah took it and was martyred (Prophet Mohammad was in tears) and then Khalid took it without being appointed and Allah gave him victory.” (Bukhari 3063)

Since that day onwards Saifullah which means ‘the Sword of Allah’ became the title of Khalid ibn al-Walid.

Abu Hurairah narrates the hadith of Holy Prophet, “What an excellent slave of Allah is Khalid bin Waleed, a sword among the swords of Allah.” (Tirmidhi 3846)

Conquest of Makkah

The second important event after Khalid ibn al-Walid accepted Islam was the conquest of Makkah. Prophet Mohammad made him commander of one of the four columns of Muslim army and ordered to lead it to Makkah through north-east. Prophet Mohammad instructed to refrain from fighting unless Quraish attacked. He did as ordered but due to a skirmish his column had to kill twelve attackers. Two Companions also received martyrdom. After five days of conquest Prophet Mohammad sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to Nakhlah, to destroy a huge and famous idol of Quraish named al-Uzza. He was successful in destroying it.

Battle of Hunayn

In Shawwal 8 AH, Prophet Mohammad with an army of 12,000 Muslims headed to the Hunayn Valley from Makkah against the tribe of Hawazin. Ten thousand Muslims included those present at the time of conquest of Makkah along with two thousand new Muslims. Khalid bin Waleed was also with him. Allah gave Muslims victory. They also collected a huge amount of war-wealth. Many defeated infidels entered the city of Ta’if. Afterwards Prophet Mohammad with 1,000 Muslims sent Khalid to Ta’if. He himself with complete Muslim army also went to Ta’if.

Siege of Ta’if

 Defeated Hawazin sought refuge in Ta’if and started preparing for the battle. Muslim army of 12,000 in the leadership of Prophet Mohammad besieged the city. Despite severe injuries Khalid ibn al-Walid joined and was commander. He challenged infidels to fight multiple times but no one dared. The chieftain of Ta’if atlast answered, “No one among us will come to fight because we have enough resources to last two years.” As they did not pose threat, Prophet Mohammad ended the siege.

Expedition to Tabuk

In Tabuk the enemy did not dare to face the forces of Prophet Mohammad. Though the neighbouring Christian chiefs visited him and accepted Islam. A local Arab Chief of Dawmat al-Jandal was under the influence of Byzantines. Prophet Mohammad appointed Khalid bin Waleed with an army of 400 to make the chief submit. Khalid defeated and captured him. Prophet Mohammad set him free once he accepted a few of his conditions.

Battle of Yamama

In Dhul al-Hijjah 11 AH, Abu Bakr appointed Khalid ibn al-Walid as commander of an army of 13,000 to defeat Musaylimah a false prophet. Musaylimah with an army of 40,000 of his tribesmen came to Yamama against them. Khalid ibn al-Walid with his mastery in battles, insight and after encouraging address to Muslims attacked valiantly defeating the enemy. Wahshi ibn Harb (the same man who killed Hamza, uncle of Prophet Mohammad in the Battle of Uhud) targeted Musaylimah killing him.

Iraq and Iran

After Battle of Yamama, Abu Bakr ordered Khalid bin Waleed to advance towards Persian Empire. In Muharram 12 AH, after conquering Uballa he moved to the province Hufeir. The chief of the province, Hormozd was famous for valour across Arab, Iraq, Iran and India. To assist Hormozd, the Iranian king gave him a further army of 100,000 men against 13,000 Muslims.

Khalid strategically and bravely went into the battlefield first. In front of the camp of Hormozd, he stopped and challenged him. Accepting the challenge, the fight began between the two. Khalid in the end knocked Hormozd to the ground and beheaded him. It all happened very fast and the enemy ran away losing all hope.

Khalid ibn al-Walid stayed in Iraq for two years and despite shortage of men and resources he won fifteen battles defeating enemies of Islam.

Battle of Yarmouk

Khalid bin Waleed entered the battlefield with 40,000 Muslims against forces of 240,000 Byzantine soldiers. This battle killed 130,000 men of enemy. Muslims fought valiantly ultimately winning the battle.

Battle of Damascus

The Muslim army with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their commander conquered Damascus. After Abu Bakr’s death Umar ibn Khattab became the Caliph. He appointed Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah as commander in chief. Khalid fought many battles throughout his life and remained undefeated. History remembers him as one of the greatest warriors and military generals.


This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine ‘Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore’ for the month of January, 2020. The title of the Urdu article is:

سیف اللہ حضرت خالد بن ولیدؓ | Saifullah Hazrat Khalid bin Walid

Penned in Urdu by Noreen Abdul Ghafoor Sarwari Qadri from Sialkot and translated in English by Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link

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34 thoughts on “Khalid ibn al-Walid – The Sword of Allah | Islamic History”

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