By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
"Khaybar knows well that I am Marhab whose weapon is sharp, a warrior tested.
"Sometimes I thrust with spear; sometimes I strike with sword, when lions advance in burning rage.”
These boastful words uttered by a fearsome Israelite warlord over a millennium, four centuries, and thirty-five years ago, amuse us today in the same manner as the almost daily threats of the usurper state of Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Marhab’s bragging of his awesome strength and his dexterity in brandishing his heavy sword and lance was, however, not amusing to most of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). Whenever these neo Muslim stalwarts summoned up their courage to lead a group of warriors towards the impregnable fortress of Qamous in the Khaybar region, north of Medina, the iron-clad Israeli warrior’s mere thunderous roar, without the need to unsheathe his dreaded sword, was enough to make them flee from the battlefield.
The situation in the year 7 AH seems similar to that of our own times, when talk of the doomsday arsenal assembled by the Zionists has bludgeoned the senses of Arab reactionaries into submission to Israel, to the extent that today their collaboration against Islam is no longer secret anymore.
Some examples in this regard are establishment of trade, diplomatic, cultural, economic, and military relations of the unrepresentative regimes in the UAE and Bahrain with the illegal Zionist entity, while the rootless Aal-e Saud regime of Jewish origin in Riyadh, is eying the appropriate opportunity to openly dance with its long lost Israelite cousins by further betraying the Palestinian cause.
The logic is that, especially after having failed to destabilize Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, through the takfiri terrorists armed with Israeli-made weapons against the Resistance Front, it is no longer a matter of shame for these so-called Arab regimes to worship at the altar of Zionism, in the same manner that their pagan ancestors used to serve the cause of the Rabbis of Khaybar by raiding Muslims with the weapons and money provided by the Jews.
As a matter of fact, in 7 AH, the unholy Arab-Israelite alliance had become so alarming that the region of Khaybar on the highway to Syria had turned into a virtual headquarters for the plan to attack Medina, kill the Prophet, and wipe out Islam.
In the same way as God Almighty had empowered Moses with miracles and sent him along with his loyal brother Aaron to confront the Egyptian Pharaoh in his own den, He commanded Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) to proceed to the heartland of the enemy and seal the argument by inviting the Israelites to Islam.
The sudden appearance of a force of determined Muslims unnerved the Israelites and many of them wisely came to terms with God’s Last and Greatest Messenger foretold in the Torah, and in turn were allowed to continue their peaceful trade and agricultural activities.
The hard-skulled Israelites, however, thought that armed confrontation with what appeared to them as a lightly-armed though numerically large force of Muslims would decide the matter in their favour forever.
Marhab the guardian of Fortress Qamous was one such hare-brained warlord deceived by his physical strength and the stockpile of dangerous weapons that the Israelites possessed.
Weeks turned into a month, as the timidity shown by the ever-fleeing neo Muslim companions of the Prophet gave a false sense of security and hopes of eventual victory to the progenitors of modern-day Zionism.
It was then that the Prophet expressed his famous statement: "Tomorrow I will give the standard to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and whom Allah and His Messenger love, the one who is an intrepid attacker (Karrar) and does not flee (ghayra farrar); the one who will stand firm and will not return till victory is achieved.”
On the next morning, that is the 24th of Rajab, some of the formerly pagan Arabs thought that the honour would be theirs, despite their humiliating retreats of over a month, but to their utter surprise, the Prophet said a phrase that has ever since remained immortal:
"Nad-e Aliyan, Mazhar al-Aja’eb (Call Ali, the Manifestor of Wonders)”
Imam Ali (AS), who was not part of the campaign because of sore eyes, was brought forth. The Prophet applied his saliva to his cousin’s eyes and handed him the command of the Muslim forces.
To quote the Sunni scholar, Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlavi in his book "Madarij an-Nubuwwah”: "Then Ali started with the standard in his hand and on nearing the walls of the fortress of Qamous firmly planted it on a rock. A Rabbi who was watching from the ramparts yelled, ‘O standard-bearer! Who are you?’ The reply came: "I am Ali son of Abu Talib.” The Rabbi told the Israelites, ‘By the Torah, you will be defeated! This man will not go back without winning the battle.”
The rest is history. Imam Ali (AS), introduced himself to Marhab as "Haydar” (Lion), thereby sending shivers down his spine for the Israelite warlord had been told not to fight with a person named as such.
The Imam then shattered the myth of invincibility of the Israelites by dispatching to the netherworld Marhab and other fearsome warlords who charged at him. He then, aided by spiritual force and divine strength, leapt across the moat and tore from its hinges the huge gateway.
These are the undeniable facts which we should focus upon in order to reassert Islamic superiority – facts which are the key to Iran’s continued success against the Great Satan and its devilish surrogates over the past 42 years, and facts that inspired Lebanon’s legendry anti-terrorist movement, the Hezbollah to victory over Israel in 2006 during the 33 day war.