June 11, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 3027

Egyptian Clerics Reminisce about the Victories of Early Islam and Lament the Loss of Andalusia

June 11, 2010
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 3027

The following excerpts are from an interview with Egyptian cleric Hamdan Badr of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which aired on Al-Shabab TV on December 8, 2009.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Hamdan Badr: "Khaled [Ibn Al-Walid] went to the Byzantine army commander, who looked at him and said: 'Khaled, I have heard that what made you leave your homes was hunger and thirst. Go back with the rest of the Muslims.' You and the viewers had better pay close attention – 'Go back with the rest of the Muslims, and each of you will get food, drink, and clothing, you will get this every year.' Because he was the commander, they wanted to give him a little... "

Interviewer: "He could have finished the job and gottent back... No problem."

Hamdan Badr: "Right?"

Interviewer: "Yes, no problem."

Hamdan Badr: "Am I making myself clear?"

Interviewer: "Yes, our viewers get this."

Hamdan Badr: "What did Khaled say to him? He said: 'You are right, commander!'"

Interviewer: "What honesty."

Hamdan Badr: "Right. 'It was thirst that made us leave our homes. We have heard that Byzantine blood is the tastiest, and we have come to drink it.' Don't take this the wrong way. It doesn’t mean that we should... No. We suggested that they convert to Islam and be saved, or pay the jizya poll tax, or else, we would wage war against them. This does not constitute aggression, because we are defending the borders of the Islamic state. We are commanded to enjoin people to worship Allah. We are commanded to enjoin the creatures to worship their Creator, to save whoever wants to be saved from worshipping slaves so that they will worship the Master of Slaves, and bring them from the injustice of the other religions to the justice of Islam, from the narrow straits of this world to the spaciousness of the world to come. That is the mission of every Muslim in this life.

"Khaled said these things, and the man was filled with wrath. Khaled clutched his horse's reins, and rode toward the army of the Muslims, calling out to them at the top of his voice: 'Blow, oh wing of Paradise!'"

Interviewer: "How beautiful."

Hamdan Badr: "What leaders..."

Interviewer: "What a beautiful expression."

Hamdan Badr: "Where are those leaders? I would like... We would like leaders like that, but..."

Interviewer: "They could take a lesson from Khaled..."

Hamdan Badr: "He clutched his horse's reins and rode, calling out: 'Blow, oh wing of Paradise!' One of the Muslims in that battle approached Abu Obeida Ibn Jarrah, and said to him: 'Abu Obeida, would you like to pass anything on to the Prophet Muhammad [in Paradise]?' Do you know who it was? It was Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. He knew that within a matter of minutes, he would be joining the Prophet in Paradise.

"Ibn Obeida said: 'Why do you ask?' Omar said: 'I have resolved to be martyred for the sake of Allah.' I would like the nation to awaken and return to be what it was, to stop looking for thorns everywhere and start looking for roses, to smell them and give them to the other."

Interviewer: "It reminds me of the story about how Andalusia was lost. [The Christians] sent their spies, who encountered a young man who was crying. They asked him: 'Why are you crying, young man?' He said: 'I shot ten arrows, and one missed. That's why I am crying.' So the spies returned to Ferdinand and Isabella, the monarchs of Castile and Aragon, and said: 'No, you cannot overcome them.'

"Ten years later, the spies returned, and encountered a young man crying. 'Why are you crying?' they asked. 'My girlfriend dumped me,' he said. The spies returned and said: 'Now is the time!'"

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