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Did Khaalid ibn al-Waleed kill Maalik ibn Nuwayrah so that he could marry his wife?

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I am asking about something that I have read on a Shi’i website where it says that Khaalid saw the wife of Maalik – who was very beautiful – and after that Maalik said to his wife: You have killed me – meaning, I will be killed because of you. al-Zamakhshari, Ibn al-Atheer, Abu’l-Fida and al-Zubaydi said that Maalik ibn Nuwayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to his wife on the day that Khaalid ibn Waleed killed him: Have you killed me? 

I am asking how true this story is.

Praise be to Allah.


The noble Sahaabi Khaalid
ibn al-Waleed was the Sword of Allaah that was unsheathed against the
mushrikeen, and the leader of the mujaahideen, (known as) al-Qurashi
al-Makhzoomi al-Makki. He became Muslim in 7 AH after the conquest of
Khaybar, or it was said that it happened before that. He died in 21 AH, and
is known for many virtues. Among the most important reports about his
virtues are the following: 


It was narrated from Anas
(may Allaah be pleased with him): 

That the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) announced the death of Zayd,
Ja’far and Ibn Rawaahah to the people before the news came to them and he
said: “Zayd took the banner and was killed, then Ja’far took (it) and was
killed, then Ibn Rawaahah took (it) and was killed,” and his eyes were
streaming with tears, “then one of the swords of Allaah took the banner,
until Allaah granted them victory.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari


It was narrated that ‘Amr
ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: 

The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not regard any of his
companions as equal to me and Khaalid ibn al-Waleed from the day we became

Narrated by al-Haakim in
al-Mustadrak (3/515) and by Abu Ya’la in al-Musnad (13/274).
Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id (9/350): its men are thiqaat. 


This noble Sahaabi has been
exposed to slander and misrepresentation by some of the Orientalists who
accepted all reports without researching or analyzing them, which were
fabricated by some groups of Shi’ah out of hatred towards this Sahaabi who
excelled in fighting the kuffaar and protecting the Muslim state during the
time of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Among these slanders is the famous story
about Khaalid killing Maalik ibn Nuwayrah and marrying his wife Layla bint

Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was
known by the kunyah Abu Hanzalah; he was a poet and knight, one of the
knights of Banu Yarboo’, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) employed him to collect the zakaah of his people. 

The historical reports
agree to some extent that Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was killed by some of the
troops of Khaalid ibn al-Waleed, and that after that Khaalid married his
wife Layla bint Sinaan. 

As for the reason why
Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was killed, and the circumstances surrounding this
incident, the reports vary, but most of the earlier historians who recorded
this incident, such as al-Waaqidi, Ibn Ishaaq, Wuthaymah, Sayf ibn ‘Umar,
Ibn Sa’d, Khaleefah ibn Khayyaat and others, state that Maalik ibn Nuwayrah
refused to pay zakaah and withheld the zakaah camels, and he prevented his
people from paying it, which led Khaalid to kill him, without paying any
attention to his claim that he was Muslim and prayed regularly. 

Ibn Salaam said in
Tabaqaat Fuhool al-Shu’ara’ (172): 

The point on which there is
consensus is that Khaalid debated with him and that Maalik agreed to pray
but refused to pay zakaah. End quote. 

Al-Waaqidi said in
al-Riddah (107-108): 

Then Khaalid ordered that
Maalik ibn Nuwayrah should be brought forward so that his neck might be
struck, and Maalik said: Are you going to kill me when I am a Muslim who
prays facing the qiblah? Khaalid said to him: If you were a Muslim you would
not have withheld the zakaah and you would not have told your people to
withhold it. End quote. 

This was also narrated by
many of the later historians such as al-Tabari, Ibn al-Atheer, Ibn Katheer,
al-Dhahabi and others. 

Some reports speak of the
relationship between Maalik ibn Nuwayrah and the woman Sajjaah who claimed
to be a prophet, and they also mention some bad statments spoken by Maalik
ibn Nuwayrah, from which it may be understood that he had apostatized from
the religion of Islam, as was mentioned by Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah
wa’l-Nihaayah (6/322). He said: 

It was said that Khaalid
summoned Maalik ibn Nuwayrah, and warned him against following Sajjaah and
withholding zakaah. He said: Do you not know that it is the partner of
prayer? Maalik said: Your companion used to say that. He said: Is he our
companion and not yours? O Diraar, strike his neck. So I struck his neck.
End quote. 

So why did some of the
Sahaabah criticize Khaalid for killing Maalik ibn Nuwayrah, as was done by
‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and his son ‘Abd-Allaah, and Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari? 

The reason for that may be
found in some reports, as it seems that the attitude of Maalik ibn Nuwayrah
about zakaah was ambiguous at first, and did not clearly deny that it was
obligatory, and he did not pay it, so these Sahaabah were not certain about
his view on the issue. But Khaalid ibn al-Waleed accused him and killed him.
Because Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was outwardly a Muslim and prayed, Khaalid
should not have been hasty and should have investigated his case further,
and see whether Maalik ibn Nuwayrah would change his mind about zakaah. So
some of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) denounced him for

It says in al-Bidaayah
wa’l-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) (6/322): 

Khaalid sent the troops to
al-Battaah, calling the people to Islam, and the leaders of Banu Tameem came
to him, hearing and obeying, and they paid the zakaah, except for Maalik ibn
Nuwayrah. It is as if he was not certain what to do and he was holding back.
The troops came to him and took him and his companions prisoner, but the
soldiers disagreed about what to do with them. Abu Qataadah al-Haarith ibn
Rib’i al-Ansaari bore witness that they prayed, but others said that they
did not give the adhaan or pray. End quote. 

Because Maalik ibn Nuwayrah
was one of the leaders and nobles of his people, and his stance was not
clear at the beginning, his brother Mutammim ibn Nuwayrah complained to Abu
Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) about what Khaalid had
done, and he rebuked Khaalid and said that he had erred by rushing to kill
Maalik ibn Nuwayrah before referring the matter to Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq and
the senior Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them).  

Khaleefah ibn Khayyaat
(1/17) narrated: 

‘Ali ibn Muhammad narrated
to us from Abu Dhi’b from al-Zuhri from Saalim that his father said: Abu
Qataadah came to Abu Bakr and told him that Maalik and his companions had
been killed, and he was very upset by that. Abu Bakr wrote to Khaalid
telling him to come to him. Abu Bakr said: The worst that Khaalid could have
done is making the wrong decision. Abu Bakr reinstated Khaalid and paid the
diyah for Maalik ibn Nuwayrah, and he returned the prisoners and the wealth.
End quote. 

Ibn Hajar said in
al-Isaabah (5/755): 

His brother Mutammim came
to Abu Bakr and eulogized his brother and urged him to pay the diyah and
return the prisoners, so Abu Bakr set the prisoners free. Al-Zubayr ibn
Bakkaar said that Abu Bakr ordered Khaalid to divorce the wife of Maalik,
and ‘Umar rebuked Khaalid sternly about the case of Maalik, but Abu Bakr
pardoned him. End quote. 

This is the most that can
be said about the story of Khaalid ibn al-Waleed killing Maalik ibn
Nuwayrah. Either he was correct in killing him for withholding zakaah and
denying that it was obligatory after the death of the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or he made a mistake and Khaalid
rushed to kill him when he should have examined the matter and established
proof. Whatever the case, this is not a slander against Khaalid (may Allaah
be pleased with him). 

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said in Minhaaj al-Sunnah (5/518): 

It is not known whether the
blood of Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was protected by sharee’ah, and we have no
proof of that. The most that can be said about the story of Maalik ibn
Nuwayrah is that his blood was protected and that Khaalid killed him as the
result of a misjudgement. This does not mean that it would be permissible to
kill Khaalid (in retaliation), just as when Usaamah ibn Zayd killed the man
who said Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said to him: “O Usaamah, did you kill him after he said
Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah? O Usaamah, did you kill him after he said Laa ilaaha
ill-Allaah? O Usaamah, did you kill him after he said Laa ilaaha
ill-Allaah?” He denounced him for killing him, but he did not order that he
be killed in retaliation or require him to pay diyah or offer any expiation.

Muhammad ibn Jareer
al-Tabari and others narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with
him) that this verse – “and say not to anyone who greets you (by
embracing Islam): ‘You are not a believer’” [al-Nisa’ 4:94] – was
revealed concerning Mardaas, a man from Ghatafaan. The Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent an army to his people, whose
leader was Ghaalib al-Laythi, and his companions fled but he did not flee,
and he said, I am a believer.  The cavalry came to him and he greeted them
with salaam, but they killed him and took his sheep. Then Allaah revealed
this verse and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) ordered that his wealth be returned to his people and that the
diyah for him be paid to them, and he forbade the believers to do such
things. Similarly, Khaalid ibn al-Waleed killed Banu Judhaymah as the result
of misjudgement, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) raised his hands and said: “O Allaah, I disavow before You what Khaalid
has done.” But despite that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) did not execute him because he had acted on the basis of a
misjudgement. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) did not execute him even though he had killed more than one of the
Muslims of Banu Judhaymah on the basis of a misjudgement, so it was more
appropriate that Abu Bakr did not execute him for killing Maalik ibn

As for the accusation that
Khaalid ibn al-Waleed (may Allaah be pleased with him) killed Maalik ibn
Nuwayrah so that he could marry his wife because he desired his wife, it
seems that this is an early accusation that Maalik himself and some of his
followers also made, but they had no clear evidence for that. Rather it
seems that he said that in order to conceal the real reason why he was
killed, which was withholding zakaah. This is indicated by the discussion
between Khaalid and Maalik that was narrated by al-Waaqidi. 

Al-Waaqidi said in
Kitaab al-Riddah (107-108): 

Maalik ibn Nuwayrah turned
to his wife and looked at her, then he said: O Khaalid, for this will you
kill me? 

Khaalid said: No, rather
for the sake of Allaah I will kill you, because of your recanting the
religion of Allaah and your withholding the zakaah camels, and your telling
your people to withhold the zakaah of their wealth that is due from them.
Then Khaalid issued orders that he brought forward and his neck be struck. 

It was said that Khaalid
ibn al-Waleed married the wife of Maalik and consummated the marriage with
her, and the scholars are agreed on that. End quote. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in
al-Isaabah (5/755): 

Thaabit ibn Qaasim narrated
in al-Dalaa’il that Khaalid saw the wife of Maalik – who was very
beautiful – and after that Maalik said to his wife: You have killed me!
Meaning: I will be killed because of you. 

He said this as
speculation, and it so happened that he was killed, but he was not killed
because of the woman as he thought. End quote. 

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said
in al-Sawaa’iq al-Muhriqah (1/91): 

The correct view is that
Khaalid did not deserve to be executed because Maalik apostatized and
returned his people’s zakaah to them when he heard of the death of the
Messenger of Allaah, as the apostates did, and Maalik’s brother admitted
that to ‘Umar. 

With regard to his marrying
his wife, perhaps it was because her ‘iddah ended by her giving birth
immediately after he died, or it may be that she was detained in his home
after the end of her ‘iddah according to Jaahili custom. Whatever the case,
Khaalid was too pious a man for anyone to think that he would do such a
shameful deed that was not done by even the least of the believers, so how
about the Sword of Allaah that was unsheathed against His enemies? What Abu
Bakr did was right, not what ‘Umar suggested to him. That is supported by
the fact that when ‘Umar was appointed caliph, he did not prosecute Khaalid
or rebuke him, and he never mentioned this matter to him, so it is known
that he realized that what Abu Bakr did was right, and he recanted his
objection. Otherwise he would not have ignored the issue when he had the
power and authority to deal with it, because he feared Allaah and would not
compromise with regard to His sacred limits. End quote. 

Dr. ‘Ali al-Sallaabi said
in his book Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (219): 

To sum up, there are those
who accused Khaalid of marrying Umm Tameem immediately after she fell into
his hands, because he could not be patient in the face of her beauty and his
desire for her, in which case his marriage to her – Allaah forbid – would
have been an act of immorality. This is a recently fabricated view that is
of no worth, because the classical sources make no reference to it. Rather
it is contrary to the clear texts. Al-Maawirdi said in al-Ahkaam
al-Sultaaniyyah (47) that what made Khaalid kill Maalik was his
withholding the zakaah, which made it permissible to shed his blood. Thus
the marriage contract between him and Umm Tameem was invalidated, and the
ruling on the wives of apostates, if they live in dar al-harb, is that they
are to be taken prisoner, not killed, as was indicated by al-Sarkhasi in
al-Mabsoot (10/111). When Umm Tameem was taken prisoner, Khaalid chose
her for himself, and when she became permissible for him he consummated the
marriage with her as is stated in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah. 

Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir
commented on this issue by saying: Khaalid took her and had intercourse with
her as a concubine because she was a prisoner, and there is no ‘iddah in the
case of a prisoner, but it is completely haraam for her master to approach
her if she is pregnant, before she gives birth, or if she is not pregnant,
before she has had one menstrual period. Then he may have intercourse with
her and that is something that is permitted according to sharee’ah and no
one criticized that except his enemies who were opposed to him and saw their
opportunity in that action, so they took their chance and started claiming
that Maalik ibn Nuwayrah was a Muslim, and that Khaalid had killed him
because of his wife. As for what they said about him marrying his wife on
the night that he was killed, this is something that is not proven. If it
were proven, there may be a way to explain it which would mean that Khaalid
could not be stoned to death. The fuqaha’ differ concerning the ‘iddah of a
woman whose husband has died – is it required in the case of a kaafir
husband? There are two views. They also differed as to whether a dhimmi
woman is obliged to observe the ‘iddah following the death of her husband.
There are two views that are well known among the Muslims, unlike the ‘iddah
following divorce. The reason for that is intercourse; it is essential that
it be established that the womb is empty. As for the ‘iddah following the
death of the husband, it is required as soon as the marriage contract is
drawn up. If he dies before consummating the marriage with her, should she
observe ‘iddah following the death of a kaafir husband or not? There is a
difference of opinion concerning that. The same applies if he did consummate
the marriage with her and she had one menstrual period following the

This applies if he was
originally a kaafir. As for the apostate, if he is killed or he dies in his
apostasy, then according to the view of al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad, Abu Yoosuf and
Muhammad, she does not have to observe the ‘iddah of a woman whose husband
has died, rather she should observe the ‘iddah of irrevocable divorce,
because the marriage became invalid when the husband apostatized. This
separation is not a divorce (talaaq) according to al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad, but
it is a divorce (talaaq) according to Maalik and Abu Haneefah, hence they
did not oblige her to observe the ‘iddah of one whose husband has died,
rather she should observe the ‘iddah of irrevocable divorce. If he did not
consummate the marriage with her then she does not have to observe ‘iddah,
just as she does not have to observe the ‘iddah following divorce (talaaq)
in that case. 

It is known that Khaalid
killed Maalik ibn Nuwayrah because he thought that he was an apostate. If he
had not consummated the marriage with his wife, then she did not have to
observe ‘iddah according to most of the scholars, and if he had consummated
the marriage, then she had to wait for one menstrual cycle to establish that
the womb was empty, not a full ‘iddah, according to one scholarly opinion;
according to the other opinion, she had to wait for three cycles. If he was
a kaafir then his wife did not have to observe the ‘iddah following death of
the husband according to one scholarly opinion, and if it was required to
establish that the womb was empty by waiting for one cycle, then she may
have already menstruated. Some of the fuqaha’ regard one cycle as sufficient
to establish that the womb is empty, so if she was at the end of her menses,
that could have been taken as evidence that her womb was empty. 

To sum up, we do not know
whether this matter happened in a way that leaves no room for ijtihaad, and
making accusations in such a manner is the speech of one who is speaking
without knowledge, which is something that is forbidden by Allaah and His
Messenger. End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

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