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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Campaign Against Bani Tamim

The Bani Tamim. Having reduced the Bani Asad and Bani Fazara, Khalid bin Walid decided to march against the Bani Tamim who lived on a plateau to the east. The Bani Tamim had accepted Islam during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. After the death of the Holy Prophet when the waves of apostasy spread over Arabia, the Bani Tamim were also affected. The tribe came to be divided into two sections. One section remained faithful to Islam, while the other section repudiated their allegiance to Islam. There was however some confusion as to who among the tribe favored Islam and who were against it. When Khalid gave order to march to Bataha the headquarters of the Bani Tamim, the Ansars in the army refused to march to Bataha. Their stand was that the Caliph had not sanctioned any operation against the Bani Tamim. Khalid said that being the Commander of the forces operating in the region, he was in the best position to know which operations should or should not be undertaken in the interests of the mission for re-establishing the supremacy of Islam. He, however, declared that if the Ansars were unwilling to follow him, it was open to them to withdraw. When the main army of Khalid marched forward the Ansars stayed behind. After some time on second thought, the Ansars also decided to accompany Khalid. They accordingly rejoined the main Muslim army at the next stage of their march.

Murder of Malik bin Nuweira. The orders of Abu Bakr were that if any tribe professed faith in Islam, no action should be taken against it. If a tribe did not profess faith in Islam, it was to be invited to repent and be reconverted to Islam. Operations were to be undertaken against a tribe only in the event of its refusal. It was laid down that if on reaching the settlement of a tribe, the Muslim army heard the tribe give Azan it was to be understood that the people of the tribe professed Islam. In the absence of such response it was to be presumed that the people had apostatized. Before the Muslim army reached Bataha, a delegation of Bani Tamim waited on Khalid. They brought with them the amount of the Zakat payable to the Muslims Khalid took the amount, but continued his advance to Bataha. When the Muslim army reached Bataha, there were no forces of the Bani Tamim to oppose the Muslims. The position was confused. Malik bin Nuweira the chief of the Bani Tamim neither came forward to offer his submission, nor did he come forward to oppose the Muslims. On the other hand he went into hiding. That made him the subject of suspicion. Khalid directed his soldiers to forage in the neighborhood. As a result of such operations, Malik and his wife Laila were taken captive and brought before Khalid. Malik's wife Laila was known far and near for her breath taking beauty. Her long glossy hair flowed up to her knees. She had gorgeous legs, and she carried herself with peculiar grace and charm. What exactly transpired when Malik and his wife were presented before Khalid is not known. According to one account after his talk with Malik, Khalid was satisfied that Malik had repudiated Islam. According to another account, Malik is reported to have said that his wife was his undoing, and that after Khalid had seen her, his death was certain. The prisoners retired for the night. At the dead of night, Malik and his male companions were killed. Here again the accounts differ. According to one account, Khalid had merely ordered that the night being cold, the prisoners should be kept warm, and this order was misunderstood to be an order for murder. The other account is that Khalid in fact ordered the murder of Malik as he had apostatized.


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