Old-centuries Khalid bin Walid mosque’s mausoleum, destroyed by war – al-Khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs, Syria 2013.

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For those who dont know, this man (May God be pleased with him), was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was one of the greatest military commanders in history.

He never lost a single battle.

Here is what happened as he lay on his deathbed:

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Some time in 642 (21 Hijri), at the age of 58, Khalid was taken ill. We do not know the nature of his illness, but it was a prolonged one and took the strength out of him. As with all vigorous, active men upon whom an inactive retirement is suddenly thrust, Khalid’s health and physique had declined rapidly. This last illness proved too much for him; and Khalid’s sick bed became his death bed. He lay in bed, impatient and rebellious against a fate which had robbed him of a glorious, violent death in battle. Knowing that he had not long to live, it irked him to await death in bed.

A few days before his end, an old friend called to see him and sat at his bedside. Khalid raised the cover from his right leg and said to his visitor, “Do you see a space of the span of a hand on my leg which is not covered by some scar of the wound of a sword or an arrow or a lance?”

The friend examined Khalid’s leg and confessed that he did not. Khalid raised the cover from his left leg and repeated his question. Again the friend agreed that between the wounds farthest apart the space was less than a hand’s span.

Khalid raised his right arm and then his left, for a similar examination and with a similar result. Next he bared his great chest, now devoid of most of its mighty sinews, and here again the friend was met with a sight which made him wonder how a man wounded in so many places could survive The friend again admitted that he could not see the space of one hand span of unmarked skin.

Khalid had made his point. “Do you not see?” he asked impatiently. “I have sought martyrdom in a hundred battles. Why could I not have died in battle?”

“You could not die in battle”, replied the friend.

“Why not?”

“You must understand, O Khalid,” the friend explained, “that when the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah and peace, named you Sword of Allah, he predetermined that you would not fall in battle. If you had been killed by an unbeliever it would have meant that Allah’s sword had been broken by an enemy of Allah; and that could never be.”

Khalid remained silent, and a few minutes later the friend took his leave. Khalid’s head could see the logic of what his visitor had said, but his heart still yearned for a glorious death in combat. Why, oh why could he not have died a martyr in the way of Allah!

On the day of his death, Khalid’s possessions consisted of nothing more than his armour and weapons, his horse and one slave-the faithful Hamam. On his last day of life he lay alone in bed with Hamam sitting in patient sorrow beside his illustrious master. As the shadows gathered, Khalid put all the torment of his soul into one last, anguished sentence: “I die even as a camel dies. I die in bed, in shame. The eyes of cowards do not close even in sleep.” 1

Thus died Khalid, son of Al Waleed, the Sword of Allah. May Allah be pleased with him!

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