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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Battle of Ajnadein

March to Ajnadein. From Damascus and other parts of Syria, the Muslim forces marched to Ajnadein, and there camped at some distance from gigantic camp of the Byzantines.

Khalid's address. The total strength of the Muslim army was 40,000, while the strength of the Byzantine army was over one hundred thousand. The odds appeared to be against the Muslims, but Khalid had firm faith in God. He inspected the ranks, and addressed the Muslim warriors thus: "O Comrades-in-arms, you are to face the biggest army that the Byzantines could muster. Should you come out of the battle victorious all is yours. Fight in good earnest and remain steadfast to the teachings of Islam. See that you do not turn back for God sees you. Close your ranks, keep your heads, and do not lose heart."

Khalid's address to women contingent. Halting before the women's contingent in the Muslim army, Khalid said: "Sisters-in-faith, make sure that your actions be acceptable to Allah and His prophet. Your participation in this war will go down in history, and I know that you will acquit yourself honorably. Should the Byzantines attack you, show your mettle and the heroic stuff you are made of. Should you find any Muslim fleeing from the field, reproach him until he turns again to face the enemy. It is by these means that you will infuse the menfolk with a spirit that can stand up against the heaviest odds."

Zarrar. Khalid sent Zarrar on a reconnaissance mission. He stripped himself to the waist and rode up to the center of the Byzantine camp. Here he was seen by the Byzantines, and a body of thirty Byzantine soldiers rode out to catch him. Zarrar killed nineteen of the Byzantine soldiers before the survivors turned and galloped back to their camp. In the Byzantine camp, Zarrar became a legend for daredevilry.

The Byzantine spy. The Byzantines sent a Christian Arab to the Muslim camp to get information about the strength and quality of the Muslim forces. The spy then went back in the Byzantine camp reported about the Muslims in the following terms: "By night they are like monks; by day they are like warriors. If the son of the ruler were to commit theft, they would cut off his hand, and if he were to commit adultery, they would stone him to death."

On getting this report, Qubuqlar the Deputy Commander of the Byzantine forces declared: "If whet you say is true, it would be better to be in the belly of the earth than to meet such people upon its surface. "

Commencement of the battle of Ajnadein. The battle of Ajnadein began on 30th July 634 C.E. The Muslim army was deployed on a front of about five miles. Thc center was placed under M`uadh bin Jabal; the right wing was placed under Saeed bin 'Amir; while, the left wing was placed under Abdur Rahman the son of the Caliph Abu Bakr. Khalid commanded the force as a whole, and he kept a reserve with him who could be commissioned for special jobs. This reserve included among others: 'Amr bin Al Aas; Zarrar; Rafe' and Abdullah the son of Umar.

Peace offer of the Byzantines. The Byzantines took the battle position about half a mile away from the Muslim front line. Before the battle began, a venerable old man dressed in black emerged from the Byzantine ranks and walked up half way towards the Muslim army. Khalid stepped forward to meet him. Addressing Khalid, the Byzantine bishop said: "Lo', we have an army numerous as the atoms, and it is not like the armies you have met before. With this army, Caesar has sent his mightiest Generals. My master is nevertheless inclined to be generous with you. Withdraw and we will give each of you a dinar, a robe, and a turban, and for you there will be a hundred diners, hundred robes, and hundred turbans."


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