“Those who were sure that they would meet their Lord said: How often has a small group vanquished a numerous group by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient. ” [AlBaqarah 2:249] “Every time they (Persians & Turks Empires) come against you, they are defeated. Now, the Arabs have defeated you although they are the weakest of all creation. Their bodies are naked and their stomachs are hungry. They have neither gear nor weapons. Yet they still defeated you at Busra, Hawarn, Ajnadayn, Damascus, Ba’labakk & Hims” said the Roman Emperor Heraclius.
After a ridiculous argument with his priests and generals, Heraclius decided to gather his largest force to be assembled from all corners of his kingdom to face against the Muslims. Although there are differences in opinion regarding the size of the army ranging from 200,000-350,000! However others state that it ranged from 600,000-1,000,000! When the 40,000 Muslim force lead by Abu Ubaidah Amr ibn Al Jarrah found out about such a number, they decided to march towards the plains of Al-Yarmouk due to its strategical advantages.
When the Roman army arrived there, they sent out an initial army of 60,000 Christian Arabs lead by Jabalah bin Al-Ayham. After numerous negotiations and pitiful diplomacy with the arrogant Romans, Abu Ubaidah slammed all talks saying: “There can never be peace between us until you pay either Jizyah or accept Islam! Failing that the sword will decide between us! By Allah! Were it not for the fact that we consider treachery to be an evil deed, I would have struck you down with my sword right now! ”.
The Sahabah discussed among themselves of how many soldiers they should send to face the 60,000. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb & Saifullah Khalid bin Waleed were among the ones who were consulted. Khalid bin Waleed gave his opinion to fight them with the elite of Muslims and not the full army in order to drive fear into the hearts of the enemies. Abu Sufyan agreed and enquired how many should they send out. The Sword of Allah SWT, Khalid confidently replied “I propose 30 horsemen! Each of whom will have to face 2000 Christians! ”.
Confounded by such a ludacris answer, Abu Sufyan was the first to reply from the astonished crowd that it was ludicrous to send that much and proposed sending out 60 men, as the ayah in the Qur’an says: “if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand. ” [Al-Anfal 08:65]. Abu Ubaidah agreed to Abu Sufyan’s opinion.
The individuals that Khalid choose were based on “Their patience, steadfastness and the way they forge ahead in battle”. Now dear brothers and sisters, who do who think that Khalid bin Waleed choose for this monumental task? Was it just the average Abdullah like you and me? No! Wallahi, the individuals he selected are among the best of people. ] He called out for 60 Sahabah’s! He called out the veterans of Badr! He called out the Ansar! He called out the Muhajireen! He called out the scribes of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Suhrabil bin Hasanah & Amr At-Tamimi! He called out Hudaifah bin Al Yaman who Raslullah (peace be upon him) trusted with the secret list of the hyprocrites!
He called out the honest Ka’ab bin Malik! He called out the brother in laws of Raslullah (peace be upon him) Abdullah ibn Umar Ibn Al-Khattab & Abdur Rahman ibn Abu-Bakar As-Saddique [The sons of the 1st two Caliphs of Islam]! The cousin of Raslullah (peace be upon him) AlFadl ibn Al-Abbas. He called out Dhirar ibn Al-Azwar the bare-chested warrior descried as a “devil” by the enemies and brother of the brave female companion Khawlah bint AlAzwar! He called out Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan who was one of Khalid’s best generals & brother of Amir Mua’wiya ibn Abu Sufyan!
He even called out the disciple of Raslullah (peace be upon him) and one of the 10 promised paradise AzZubair ibn Al-Awaam! [May Allah SWT be pleased with them all]. After choosing 60 of the “La creme de la creme (“cream of the cream,”) among the Muslim army. Khalid told them “You have already defeated the legions of Rome, so when you defeat these Arabs fear will descend in their hearts and they will turn in defeat”. The 60 replied in “Oh Abu Sulayman, do with us as you please! …” in the affirmative.
Next morning after Fajr, The 60 bare farewell the their loved ones and marched out with the Lion of Islam, Khalid bin Waleed in the centre of the pride. The two armies met under the blazing sun. Like a true champion, Khalid shouted to the Christians: ”Oh worshippers of the sallib! Oh enemies of Ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful), come to the battle and slaughter! ” Jabalah and his army shrugged off the taunt due to the pitiful size of the Muslims who were at a 1000-fold disadvantage in numbers. The 60,000 Christians charged forward but the Muslims remained solid and firm.
The battle was ferocious and nothing but the roars of battle-cry could be heard. Both armies fought with the clashing of bone and sinew, No one whether it be Roman or Muslim thought that the 60 would survive. The onlooking Muslim army looked anxiously at their brethren and wept with sadness, some even said “Khalid has deceived and destroyed the Sahabah of Rasullah (peace be upon him)”. On the other side the Romans were content as they were convinced that they had won. The battle continued with the Sahabah fighting with full vigour, zeal, honor, strength, determination & courage. Shining knights Khalid, Az-Zubair, Abdurahman ibn AbuBakar, Abdullah ibn Umar, Al-Fadl and Dhirar fought side by side, shoulder to shoulder, sword to sword & heart to heart in the intense flames of war whilst never separating. As Allah SWT says the in Qur’an: ”Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall. ” [Surah As-Saff 61:4]. Khalid then cried out to rally the Muslims at a certain point whilst he himself penetrated to the centre of the enemies and was surrounded.
Al-Fadl bin Abbas rushed to aid alongside the brave Az-Zubair, shouting “Leave our friends alone. That is Az-Zubair ibn Al-Awwam and I am AlFadl ibn Abbas, the cousin of Rasulallah (peace be upon him)”. The Muslims then launched a great counter strike against the Romans and fought until Maghrib time! Now the onlooking Muslim army was really worried, especially Abu Ubaidah who anxiously said “O companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Khalid and his men have doubtlessly been destroyed” and got them ready for battle.
But suddenly as the smoke cleared and the dust settled. The thunderous roar of “Laillah illalah Wallahu Akbar” was heard. Each sahabah shouting the Islamic testimony “I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah alone, He has no partner, and Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger! ”. Khalid bin Waleed emerged from the midst of the turmoil with clear signs of fatigue and exhaustion. The army of 60,000 was humiliated by a crushing defeat by 60 heroes, 10 of whom were blessed with martyrdom and 5 of them captured.