Islam means Peace. The opponents of peace caused untold miseries and pains on the holy prophet and the believers. They imposed dozen of battles and smaller fights on them. It was only when the words of Allah had come that the Muslims were told to take up arms against the enemies of Islam. Thus Islam had risen through constant struggles and warfare. Those who laid down their lives in the service of Islam, became Shaheeds (Martyrs); those who survived, are called Gazees.
Necessity is the best virtue. When the fighting was forced on the Believers, they fought shoulder to shoulder with the prophet (SAW) and their commanders. Those who strived in the way of Allah and fought ‘to justify His ways to men’, were brave soldiers, commanders and administrators. They were heroes. Islam has produced many heroes both Shaheeds and Gazees. Some great names are Hazrat Hamza (uncle of the prophet), Hazrat Umer Farooq, Hazrat Ali (Prophet’s cousin and sonin-law) Khalid Bin Waleed, Tariq Bin Zeyad, Bibi Khola, and Gazi Salahuddin and others. Among the staunch followers who kept the standard of Islam flying high, were Muhammad Bin Qasim, Mehmood Ghaznavi, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
In a small essay, only a few great names have been selected. Their deeds shall always shine in the pages of history. To begin with Hazrat Hamza was a great warrior. He was martyred in the battle of Badar. He has been called the great and first Shaheed of Islam. It was the height of cruelty that his heart was torn from his dead body to appease Hinda.
The two names that stand prominent are those of the second and fourth Chaliphs of Islam, Hazrat Omar Farooq and Hazrat Ali respectively. Before embracing Islam, Omer was a bitter enemy of the Prophet and Islam. The Holy Prophet (SAW) prayed Allah to show light to Omer. His prayer was heard and Omer embraced Islam. He had rendered unflinching and gallant services to Islam. He has rightly been called ‘the Builder of the Islamic Empire’. It was during his Caliphate that Byzantine (Turkey) Persia, Iraq, Syria and northern. African countries were conquered. He also sent his emissaries to the East and the Far East. He is famous for his justice, simplicity of life and services.
Hazrat Ali has been called the Sword of Islàm’. He was as brave as a lion. He had been brought up under the glorious influence of the Prophet (SAW). He was always first in Peace and first in wars. He accounted for many enemies of Islam, the Non-believers. He hoisted the Crescent on Khybar. He was well versed in Islamic Theology and Quranic teachings. Nobody can deny the greatness and glory of Omer and Ali as the greatest heroes of Islam.
Those who kept the torch of Islam burning and held the ‘Crescent high, were Khalid Bin Walid, Tariq Bin Zeyad and Ghazi Salahuddin Ayubi. All of them added new chapters to the glory of Islam. They had won many victories for the believers. Tariq’s proverbial ‘burning of the boats’ is famous. He conquered Spain on which the Muslim had ruled for 800 years. Ghazi Salahuddin Ayubi was the ‘terror of the Christian world. He had fought six crusades (holy battles) and always defeated the combined forces of the enemy. They were also the preservers of the Great Tradition (given by the Prophet).
The others were like meteors who start up on the horizon of Islam. Muhammad Bin Qasim was the conquerer of India. Mahmood Ghaznavi was the greatest iconoclast (the idol breaker). Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were brave sons of Islam who fought the last bat tles for the glory of Indian rulers and muslims. We take off our hats to them. I will conclude with the famous words of Tipu Sultan:
Lion’s one day’s life is better than hundred years of jackal.Tipu Sultan