Khālid ibn al-Walīd
Khālid ibn al-Walīd (Arabic: خالد بن الوليد; 592-642) also known as Sayfu al-Lāh al-Maslūl (the Drawn Sword of God), was a Sahabi, a companion of Islamic prophet Muhammad, and one of the most successful commanders in history. He is noted for his military prowess, commanding the forces of Prophet Muhammad and those of his immediate successors of the Rashidun Caliphate; Abu Bakr and Umar. It was under his military leadership that Arabia, for the first time in history, was united under a single political entity, the Caliphate. He has the distinction of being undefeated in over 100 battles, against the numerically superior forces of the Byzantine Empire, Sassanid Persian Empire, and their allies. His strategic achievements include the conquest of Mesopotamia and Roman Syria within three years from 633 to 636. He is also remembered for his decisive victories at Yamamah, Walaja, Ullais and his tactical marvel, the Yarmouk.
Khalid ibn al-Walid (Khalid son of al-Walid) was from the Meccan tribe of Quraysh, who initially opposed Muhammad. He played a vital role in Qurayshi victory at the Battle of Uhud. He converted to Islam, however, and joined Muhammad after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and participated in various expeditions for him, such as the Battle of Mu’tah. After Muhammad’s death, he played a key role in commanding Medinan forces for Abu Bakr in the Ridda wars, conquering central Arabia and subduing Arab tribes. He captured the Sassanid Arab client Kingdom of Al-Hirah, and defeated the Sassanid Persian forces during his conquest of lower Mesopotamia (Iraq). He was later transferred to western front to capture the Roman Syria and the Byzantine Arab client state of the Ghassanids. Even though Umar later relieved him of high command, he nevertheless remained the effective leader of the forces arrayed against the Byzantines during the early stages of the Byzantine–Arab Wars. Under his command, Damascus was captured in 634 and the key Arab victory against the Byzantine forces was achieved at the Battle of Yarmouk (636), which led to the conquest of the Bilad al-Sham (Levant). In 638, at the zenith of his career he was dismissed from military services, possibly because of his growing fame.
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (Arabic: صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, Kurdish: سهلاحهدین ئهیوبی, Selah’edînê Eyubî) (c. 1138–March 4, 1193), better known in the Western world as Saladin, was a Kurdish Muslim who became the first Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt and Syria. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, he ruled over Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, and Yemen. He led the Muslims and Arabs against the Crusaders and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem after his victory in the Battle of Hattin. As such, he is a notable figure in Kurdish, Arab, and Muslim culture. Saladin was a strict practitioner of Sunni Islam. His chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the siege of Kerak in Moab, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lionheart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry.
An-Numan ibn Muqarrin
An-Numan ibn Muqarrin (النعمان بن مقرن) (d. December 641) was a companion of Muhammad. He was the leader of the tribe of Banu Muzaynah. The tribe of Banu Muzaynah had their habitations some distance from Yathrib on the caravan route which linked the city to Makkah.
During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar
An-Numan had several brothers, and all of them were accomplished soldiers. During the caliphate of Abu Bakr (r.632-634), An-Numan and his family played a major role in putting an end to the apostasy wars. They fought under Khalid bin Waleed in the wars in Iraq, and later An-Numan fought under Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas. After the battle of Kaskar, Noman was appointed the administrator of the Kaskar district.
An-Numan was unhappy with the civil appointment and wrote to the caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.634-644) requesting active service. In the campaign against the Persians concentrated at Nihawand, Umar appointed An-Numan as the commander of the Muslim army. He was killed during the second phase of the Battle of Nihawānd on the third week of December 641.
Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1058–1111) (Arabic: ابو حامد محمد ابن محمد الغزالی), often Algazel in English, was born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia. He was an Islamic theologian, jurist, philosopher, cosmologist, psychologist and mystic of Persian origin, and remains one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of Sunni Islamic thought. He is considered a pioneer of methodic doubt and skepticism, and in one of his major works, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, he changed the course of early Islamic philosophy, shifting it away from an Islamic metaphysics influenced by ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and towards an Islamic philosophy based on cause-and-effect that was determined by God or intermediate angels, a theory now known as occasionalism.
Ghazali has sometimes been acclaimed by secular historians such as William Montgomery Watt to be the greatest Muslim after Muhammad(traditionally among Muslims, the greatest Muslims after the Prophet, according to authentic hadith, is the generation of his contemporaries). Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic Neoplatonism developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully refuted by Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism. The orthodox theologians still went their own way, and so did the mystics, but both developed a sense of mutual appreciation which ensured that no sweeping condemnation could be made by one for the practices of the other.
Bilal ibn Rabah
Bilal ibn Rabah (Arabic: بلال بن رباح) or Bilal al-Habeshi was an Ethiopianborn in Mecca in the late 6th century, sometime between 578 and 582.
The Islamic prophet Muhammad chose an African slave Bilal as his muezzin, effectively making him the first muezzin of the Islamic faith.He was among the slaves freed by Abu Bakr (see Muhammad and slavery) and was known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers. His name can also be known as, “Bilal ibn Riyah” or “ibn Rabah” and he is sometimes known as “Bilal al-Habashi” or “Bilal the one from Ethiopia”. He died sometime between 638 to 642, dying when he was just over sixty years old.
Bilal Ibn Rabah, was an emancipated slave of key importance in Islam. He is said to have been one of the most trusted and loyal Sahaba (companion) of Muhammad and of Ali. His respected stature during the birth of Islam is often cited by Muslims as evidence of the importance of pluralism and racial equality in the foundations of the religion.