The title of Sayfullah (Sword of Allah) for Khalid bin Walid ia a myth instead of history
By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
As the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib is known amongst the Muslims with the title of Asadullah (Lion of Allah), some persons have thought it expedient to create, in comparison with him, a commander, who should carry the title of Sayfullah (Sword of Allah) and such a person should not be anyone except the brave commander of Islam, Khalid bin Walid. They, therefore, say that on his return from the Battle of Mota the Prophet gave him the title of Sayfullah.
No doubt if the Prophet had given him this title on some other occasion there could be no question about it, but the conditions and circumstances after the return of the Muslim army from the Battle of Mota did not necessitate that the Prophet should give him such a title. Is it justifiable that the Prophet should give a title like Sayfullah to a person who is at the head of those people, whom Muslims call fugitives and accord them reception by throwing dust on their heads and faces? And even if he displayed the attribute of being 'the Sword of Allah' in other battles, his achievement in this battle was nothing more than a praiseworthy military scheme, for otherwise he and his subordinates would not have been given the title of fugitives.
Ibn Sa'd writes: "At the time of retreat of the soldiers of Islam, the Roman soldiers pursed them and killed some of them".[ Tabaqat, vol. II, page 129]
The forgerers of the myth of 'Sayfullah' have also added this sentence to support their statement; "When Khalid became the commander, he ordered the soldiers to attack the enemy. He himself attacked bravely and nine swords broke in his hand, and only a shield remained with him". However, the forgerers of this myth have forgotten one thing that is, if Khalid and his soldiers performed such feats of bravery in the battlefield why did the people of Madina call them fugitives, and why did they receive them by throwing dust on their heads and faces when in that case (i.e. if they had fought as bravely as mentioned above) they should have received them honourably, for example, by slaughtering sheep and sprinkling scent and rosewater in their path?
THE PROPHET WEPT BITTERLY ON THE DEATH OF JA'FAR
The Prophet burst into tears on the death and martyrdom of his cousin Ja'far. He went to the house of Ja'far direct to inform his wife, Asma' daughter of Umays, about the death of her husband and also to offer condolences to her. Addressing Asma', he said: "Where are my children?" She brought Ja'far's sons, Abdullah, Awn and Muhammad before the Prophet. On observing the Prophet's intense attachment for the children, she realized that her dear husband was dead. She said: "It appears that my children have become orphans, because you are treating them as such". The Prophet wept bitterly at this moment. Then he asked his daughter, Fatimah, to prepare food and entertain the family of Ja'far for three days. Even after this the Prophet remained sad for Ja'far bin Abu Talib and Zayd bin Harith and as and when he entered his own house he wept bitterly for them.[ Bihar, vol. XXI, pp. 54 - 55 and Mughazi-i Waqidi, vol. II, page 766]