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Khalid Bin Al-waleed: Sword of Allah: A Biographical Study of One of the Greatest Military Generals in History Hardcover – August 10, 2007
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Khalid bin Walid (ra) victories speak volumes of what he accomplished. He was undefeated in 41 battles (100 if minor engagements are considered) against professional Persian and Roman armies. He was a man built for war, a military genius who had a sharp strategic mind, brilliant tactical skills and the strength and endurance to go up against any champion the enemy could throw at him in individual combat. Mr. Akram argues that Khalid bin Walid (ra) was probably the only general in history to possess all of these instruments of war in one man.
Mr. Akram's biography of Khalid bin Walid (ra) is broken into 4 parts. The first part of the biography is told through the lenses of the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This is the only way the story could be told because Khalid (ra) life was interwoven with that of the Prophet (pbuh). This period covers Khalid (ra) youth to the end of the Prophetic mission.
After the passing of the Prophet (pbuh), Mr. Akram's focus on Khalid (ra) becomes sharper and he now takes center stage. This is where part 2 begins and covers the battles against the apostates that occurred over an 11 month period.
Part 3 and 4 of the biography is where Khalid (ra) and the Muslims face the professional armies of Persia and Rome. This covers the 12 month campaign against the Persians in Iraq and the 4 years against the Romans in Syria with the climax at the banks of the Yarmuk river where Khalid (ra) destroyed a massive 100 000 to 150 000 Roman army with only 40 000 Muslims.
Mr. Akram provides the context of all the battles that Khalid (ra) fought in. This includes the military situation in Arabia and the political situation in Medina to give the reader the context of what Khalid (ra) was up against and why his battles were so important to the new Muslim community.
The Sword of Allah is the best biography of Khalid bin Walid (ra) written in the English language. I highly recommend it.
About the author: The Sword of Allah carries weight because of the high degree of military expertise the author brings to the table. Agha Ibrahim Akram joined the British Indian army in 1942. He served in Burma during the World War II and served with the Pakistan army during the first 3 Indo-Pakistan wars. He taught military history at the Command and Staff College in Pakistan in 1963 as the Chief Instructor. Mr. Akram held the rank of Lieutenant-General at the time of his retirement in 1978. After his retirement, he served as Pakistan's Ambassador to Spain (source - Wikipedia). In order to write this book, he learned Arabic so he could read the original texts rather than interpretations by later scholars. Not only, he travelled to the majority of the battles fields that Khalid bin Walid (ra) fought in order to have a better appreciation of the battle tactics he deployed and the strategy he used.
I don't agree with some aspects of the author's research but certainly would take his account over that of rabid orientalists as is suggested by the other reviewer-- their sole purpose and since the inception of Islam is to distort history and present a secondary or even a tertiary opinion over documented historical facts to further their agenda- precisely why his name will remain an indelible mark as one of history's great military figures- the numbers and demographics of his victories speak volume where inaccurate conjectures and hyperbole of seething orientalists perish like their person to nothing more than forgotten fodder for maggots!