Chapter Four – Analyzing the defenses offered for Khalid and his forgiving Khalifa


Defence One – Abu Bakr exercised ijtihad

Ansar.Org stated:

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr t was guided in this decision by two things. Firstly, the hadith of Rasulullah r wherein he described Khalid as “the sword which Allah unsheathed against the Unbelievers”. The second was the fact that a similar occurrence took place in the time of Rasulullah r , also with Khalid ibn al-Walid. He was put in command by Rasulullah r of an expedition to Banu Jadhimah. When Khalid asked them to accept Islam they responded by saying “saba’na, saba’na”, a word which literally means “We have become Sabeans”, but which had come to be used in the general sense of changing one’s religion. To Khalid this was not sufficient evidence of their acceptance of Islam, and he gave the order for their execution. When the news of their execution reached Rasulullah r he lifted his hands and said, “O Allah, I dissociate myself from what Khalid has done.”8 Although Rasulullah r dissociated himself from the haste Khalid made himself guilty of, he did not punish him, since it was an error in judgement on his part. A very regrettable error it was, but it was still an error

Reply One – Abu Bakr never said Khalid exercised ijtihad

It is amazing that Abu Bakr’s advocates provide defences for their clients that they themselves never claimed. They suggest that Abu Bakr’s decision was based on the above two things, could they show us any authentic source wherein Abu Bakr justified his decision on the basis of the above two things? Why are Ansar.Org placing words into the mouth of Abu Bakr that he never said? He actually based his decision by posing the rhetorical question ‘Can it be more than Khalid interpreted and made a mistake?’ – so where are the two pieces of evidence that Ansar.Org claim shaped his judgment?

Reply Two – Khalid was not a jurist that entitled to make such a ruling

Moreover there is no way that Khalid can be excused on the basis of his use of ijtihaad, since making decisions based in ijtihaad, is only a right for those that have acquired that level of jurisprudential knowledge to make such decision. Not every individual has the Cart Blanche authority to make ijtihaad in light of the Quran and Sunnah, this is a matter that is the responsibility of one versed in the Quran and Sunnah who is a jurist. In the case of Khalid bin Walid he was not a jurist, as attested to by Salafi scholar Shaykh Hassan bin Farhan al-Maliki in his book ‘Daya wa Lesa Babya’ page 71:

ولا يعد خالد من المجتهدين ، انما هو صاحب سيف وترس وليس صاحب علم وفقه رضي الله عنه وسامحه

“Khalid is not among the jurists, but he is a carrier of sword and armor, he has no knowledge may Allah be pleased with him and forgive him”

If as per the admission of this Salafi scholar Khalid was not a jurist, he had no legal basis to deduce that that he had the green light to kill these prisoners of war and rape his wife. The testimony of Hassan bin Farhan al-Maliki makes the entire ijtihaad excuse supposedly deduced by Abu Bakr superfluous.

Let us for arguments sake consider the so called proofs that influenced Abu Bakrs decision:

Does the title Sayfullah exempt Khalid from criminal prosecution?

Ansar.Org stated:

 Firstly, the hadith of Rasulullah r wherein he described Khalid as “the sword which Allah unsheathed against the Unbelievers”.


Reply One – Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) would never reward a title to one undeserving of it

To answer this it is also important to quote this comment:

Ansar.Org stated:

All his services rendered to Islam, and even the title of “Sayfullah” given to him by Rasulullah r are simply ignored, and on the basis of nothing but a fable.

Let us consider the ‘services’ rendered to Islam by Khalid bin Walid that includes the:
- unjustified murder of a Sahabi Malik bin Nuwayrah
- ‘marrying’ of his widow
- maltreatment given to the severed head of martyred Malik bin Nuwayrah
- legitimizing the rape committed by his fellow comrade
- butchery committed to the tribe of Jadhima
- bravery exhibited towards feeble women
- grudge he bore against Ali bin Abi Talib (as)

If after such ‘services’ someone believes that Allah (swt) would give such a person the title of ‘Allah’s sword’ then he is surely committing Kufr for he is indirectly attributing the legitimacy of committing fornication, the murder of innocent Muslims and the possession of an impure lineage to Allah (swt), an allegation that every fearful and devoted Muslim would refrain from.

Reply Two – Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) would only give the title to he who proves that he is Sayfullah on the battlefield

If one looks at war in any country at any time, we see that people are awarded medals of valor on the basis of their achievements on the battlefield. Titles are awarded on the basis of personal fighting excellence; the Head of State recognizes such valor and awards the individual accordingly. Is it logical or just to believe that a person that leads from the front and is the proven to be the greatest warrior on the battlefield against the Kuffar, is overlooked when it comes to issuing an award and it is instead issued to a non participant? If we look at the history of those battles wherein the Prophet (s) was a participant, we see one name shine above all others in fighting the Kuffar, Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)). When it came to unsheathing one’s sword against the Kuffar, it was Maula Ali (as) who excelled above all others. One only needs to pick up the books of classical history.

Defence Two – Rasulullah (s) had complete confidence on Khalid despite his shortcomings shown during incident of Bani Jadhima

A recent defence that we have witnessed rotating over the internet, is that Rasulullah (s) never punished Khalid following his slaughtering the tribe of Jadhima and in fact sent him on another expedition Damatul Jandal that seems to suggest a rather odd inference that Khalid was in affect immune from criticism, having commanded an army after his conduct during the conquest of Makka, he could as he please, he had the blessing of Rasulullah (s), that thus entitled Abu Bakr to do likewise.

Reply One – Rasulullah (s) distancing himself from the conduct of Khalid does nothing to extol his rank

We read in Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 628 contains the response that Rasulullah (s) gave upon receipt of the news of Khalid’s crime:

“O Allah! I am free from what Khalid has done.”

These words are damning, they certainly don’t suggest Rasulullah (s) was pleased with the manner in which Khalid had conducted himself, on the contrary he was disassociating himself from this atrocious act. We would like to ask unbiased Sunnis, as to how they interpret and expand the aforementioned statement of prophet (s)?

Reply Two – Khalid was duly punished as per Sharia and blood money was paid to the legal heirs

 Khalid’s act of killing innocent ones was not overlooked or condoned as the adherents of that thug would like us to believe rather proper Islamic approach was pursued according to which Diya (blood money) was paid to the legal heirs of victims. Imam Sarkhasi records in his authority work al-Mabsoot, volume 20 page 143:

 واعتمادنا ما فيه ما روي أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لما بعث خالدا إلى بني جذيمة داعيا لا مقاتلا وبلغه ما صنع خالد أعطى عليا رضي الله عنه مالا وقال أئت هؤلاء القوم واجعل امر الجاهلية تحت قدميك وأدهم كل نفس ذا مال فأتاهم علي رضي الله عنه ووداهم

We rely on what has been narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) that when he sent Khalid to Bani Jadhima for missionary not for a combat, then when he (pbuh) was informed about what Khalid did, he gave money to Ali (ra) and said to him: “Go to these people and pay compensation to them and keep the rulings of Jahlyia under your feet”. Thus Ali (ra) went to them and paid them Diya.

We should remind our readers that Diya is itself counted among the different categories of punishment prescribed in Sharia and it’s not just a formal compensation to dispense with the punishment. Dr. Waleed Saeed Abdulkhaliq records in his book al-Diya wa al-Taweedh, page 6:

لم يختلف أحد من الفقهاء على أن الدية عقوبة

“There is no disagreement among the jurists about Diya being a  punishment”

Shawkani records in Nail al-Awtar, Volume 7 page 213: 

فمن قتل مؤمنا كذلك وقامت عليه البينة بالقتل وجب عليه القود إلا أن يرضى أولياء المقتول بالدية أو يقع منهم العفو

 If someone murders a believer and it’s proved by solid evidence that he committed the murder, then he must be sentenced to death, unless if the victim’s relatives accept the Diya or they extend a pardon. 


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