Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Nakhla)

Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Nakhla)

The expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid [1] to Nakhla took place in January 630 AD, 8AH, in the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar.[2]

Khalid ibn al-Walid was sent to destroy the idol Goddess al-Uzza which was worshipped by polytheists; he did this successfully.[3][4]

Expedition and demolition of Temple

Statues of Pagan goddess Al-Uzza, from the Manatu temple at Petra, the Main Temple in Nakhla, dedicated to Al-Uzza was demolished by Khalid ibn al-Walid[5][6][7]

Soon after the Conquest of Mecca, Muhammad began to dispatch expeditions on errands aiming at eliminating the last symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices.

He sent Khalid bin Al-Walid in Ramadan 8 A.H. to a place called Nakhlah, where there was an idol of the goddess called Al-‘Uzza worshipped by the Quraish and Kinanah tribes, and guarded by custodians from Banu Shaiban. Khalid, at the head of thirty horsemen, arrived at the spot and destroyed the idol.

Upon his return, Muhammad asked him if he had seen anything else there, to which Khalid replied, "No". He was told that the idol had not been destroyed and that he must go back and fulfill the task. Khalid went again to Nakhlah and there saw a black Abyssinian (Ethiopian) woman, naked with disheveled hair. He struck her with his sword and cut her into "two pieces", according to the Muslim scholar, Saifur Rahman al Mubarakpuri. He returned once again and narrated his story to Muhammad, who then confirmed the fulfillment of the task, saying that the black Ethiopian woman was the real "al-Uzza". [8][9][10]

Islamic Primary sources

The Muslim historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi mentions the event in his book the "Book of Idols" as follows: The event is also mentioned in the Sunni Hadith collection Al-Sunan al-Sughra, which was collected by Al-Nasa'i. The Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir references the Hadith and the event in his Tafsir, as follows

See also


  1. ^ Abu Khalil, Shawqi (1 March 2004). Atlas of the Prophet's biography: places, nations, landmarks. Dar-us-Salam. p. 226.  
  2. ^ List of Battles of Muhammad
  3. ^ The sealed nectar, By S.R. Al-Mubarakpuri, Pg256
  4. ^ "He sent Khalid bin Al-Waleed in Ramadan 8 A.H", Witness-Pioneer.com
  5. ^ The rights of women in Islam, By Asgharali Engineer, Pg 42
  6. ^ The sealed nectar, By S.R. Al-Mubarakpuri, Pg256
  7. ^ "He sent Khalid bin Al-Waleed in Ramadan 8 A.H", Witness-Pioneer.com
  8. ^ The life of Mahomet and history of Islam, Volume 4, By Sir William Muir, Pg 135 See bottom, Notes section
  9. ^ The sealed nectar, By S.R. Al-Mubarakpuri, Pg256
  10. ^ "He sent Khalid bin Al-Waleed in Ramadan 8 A.H", Witness-Pioneer.com
  11. ^ Muhammad and the origins of Islam, By Francis E. Peters, Pg 237
  12. ^ Ibn al Kalbi, Hisham (1952). The book of idols: being a translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-asnām. Princeton University Press. p. 25.  A full online version of it is available here
  13. ^ Tafsir ibn Kathir: (abridged), By Ibn Kathir, Translated by Safiur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri,Pg 320 and, see also Tafsir Ibn Kathir,53:19- Text Version