Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tariq bin Ziyad: the Great Muslim Commander
At the time of victory over Spain, Moosa bin Nasir, who was the commander of the Muslim arm in Africa, determined to capture Europe. He sent his slave Tariq bin Ziyad with a small group of people to Spain for spying.
When Tariq reached Spain and observed the enemy from every angle he understood that they were bent upon attacking the Muslims. Tariq thought that if he sends a report to his chief and awaits his response the enemy might become alert. So he ordered his men to burn down the ships in which they had reached the coast of Spain. When the ships began to burn, some took exception to that act and said, “You have made us shelter less by burning our ships. Now we cannot return to our homes.”
Tariq replied, “The Muslim is not like a bird, which has a particular nest.”
Then he got up, stood in the valley which today is known by the name of Gibraltar. Before his eyes the sea was roaring loudly. He delivered such a forceful speech that the audience could hear only his words even in the midst of the lashing of the ocean waves. The sea had, perhaps, become silent.
Tariq said,“Brother! The roaring sea is behind you and the army of the enemy in front of you. Your enemy has heaps of foodstuff and arms whereas you have only that which you can snatch from them with the strength of your hands. You do not have any armor except the swords hanging on your waists.”
This forceful speech inspired much courage in the Muslim warriors. Their blood began to boil in fervor and they forced the enemy to surrender in a very short time as a result of their fearless fighting. Spain was conquered in this way.
“Brother! The roaring sea is behind you and the army of the enemy in front of you. Your enemy has heaps of foodstuff and arms whereas you have only that which you can snatch from them with the strength of your hands. You do not have any armor except the swords hanging on your waists.”