Cii Radio | 08 Safar 1436/01 December 2014

During the Battle of Khandaq (Trench) two people managed to cross the trench. One was Ikramah with a group of men and the other was Khalid bin Walid. With Ikramah was a man called Amr ibn Abd Wud who was the undisputed champion amongst the Arabs, he had never lost a battle. The narration mentions that he descended from his horse and he cut the legs of the horse meaning that he wasn’t going to go back. He said, “Oh Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wasallam], is there anybody amongst you who is ready to fight me?”

Nobody moved because this was Amr ibn Abd Wud. When children wouldn’t go to sleep, women would say, ‘Go to sleep Amr ibn Abd Wud is coming.’ He was equivalent to 500 men and he never spared a man who fought him. Nobody moved so Amr ibn Abd Wud began to laugh, and the Mushrikeen began to laugh. Amr said, “Oh Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wasallam], I heard that you say that your martyrs will go into Jannah and we will go into Jahannum. Is there anybody amongst you who wants to enter into Jannah?” And Ali (radiallahu anhu) jumped up.

Ali (radiallahu anhu) said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, allow me to fight this tyrant.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to him, “Oh sit down Ali! Don’t you know this is Amr ibn Abd Wud?” And Amr ibn Abd Wud began to laugh and again his laughter was followed by the laughter of the Mushrikeen. Amr shouted again, “What about your Nabi Muhammad? What about your Deen?” The sahabah couldn’t take this insult and Ali (radiallahu anhu) said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, allow me to go and fight him.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) allowed him, took his turban off his head and placed it on Ali’s (radiallahu anhu) head and he gave him his sword, Zulfiqaar.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) lifted his hands to the heavens and asked, “Oh Allah! On the day of Uhud you took Hamzah away from me. Today, do not take Ali away from me.” Ali (radiallahu anhu) marched out to fight Amr. It was a mismatch of the nature of David and Goliath but Ali (radiallahu anhu) marched on. When Amr saw Ali (radiallahu anhu) he said, “Couldn’t they find anybody who was bigger than you?” Ali (radiallahu anhu) was amongst the youngest at that time.

Ali (radiallahu anhu) responded, “I am at the lowest amongst the believers, but you deserve nobody besides me.”

Ali (radiallahu anhu) continued, “Before I fight you I’ll give you one of two options, that you recite La ilaha illAllahu Muhammadur Rasulullah.” Amr ibn Abd Wud said, “Even if my head was in the depths of Jahannum, I would not recite these words.” Ali (radiallahu anhu) told him, “Go back. Don’t fight Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Amr said, “People would say I ran away from a small child like you.”

Amr asked Ali (radiallahu anhu), “Who are you?” He said, “I’m Ali, the son of Abu Talib,” and Amr said, “Your father was my friend. My son, I don’t want to kill you.” Ali (radiallahu anhu) told him, “You may not want to kill me but because you’re the enemy of Allah SWT I want to kill you.”

This enraged Amr ibn Abd Wud and he charged for Ali (radiallahu anhu). Ali (radiallahu anhu) was very nimble and he moved from one side to the other side until Amr was totally exhausted. Allah SWT had given Ali (radiallahu anhu) a strong natural power. Even in the Battle of Khayber, he dislodged a whole door. Ali (radiallahu anhu) jumped towards Amr and he grabbed Amr ibn Abd Wud and dropped him. The saying goes, ‘the bigger they are the harder they fall’ and Amr fell to the ground and Ali (radiallahu anhu) took out his dagger. Amr wanted to go out in style and spat in the face of Ali (radiallahu anhu) but Ali (radiallahu anhu) got up and everybody was amazed and he said, “We are believers. Initially I was going to kill you for the sake of Allah but now it’s become personal so I don’t want to kill you.”

Amr ibn Abd Wud could not live with this disgrace and when Ali (radiallahu anhu) was walking away he attacked him and with the blessed sword of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Ali (radiallahu anhu) struck him and killed Amr Ibn Abd Wud.