The famous general of Islam, Taariq Bin Ziyaad on receiving the command of the Khalifah, set off with a naval force of 7,000 Mujahideen to attack Spain . In the year 92 A.H. he landed at a place which now bears his name, viz. Jablut Taaariq or Gibral-ter.
During the voyage to Spain he saw in a dream Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) giving him the glad tidings of him being the Conqueror of Spain. The first act executed by Taariq was to issue an order to set alight all the ships which had brought them to the shores of Spain . After having burnt out all the ships, he addressed his men: “In front of you is the enemy and behind you is the see.” In view of the glad tidings he had received from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he was confident of victory over the Christians. The Christian king Roderick confronted Taariq’s relatively small band of Mujahideen with a powerful army of 100,000.
The two armies – the army of Islam vastly outnumbered — met on the banks of the Guadalete River . The ferocity with which Taariq and his men fought routed the enemy resulting in a magnificent victory for the Muslims.
The act of setting ablaze the naval ships will undoubtedly be viewed as an act of insanity. Be it as it may. The power of Imaan is inexplicable to the people of the world. It was this power which drove Taariq to bum the ships and push on to victory.
The state of Taariq’s Yaqeen in Allah Ta’ala can be gauged from this episode which no one can ever accomplish. The state of the obedience of his troops also testifies to their degree of Taqwa. The troops readily submitted to the command. There was no fear and no mutiny. It was such states of Yaqeen and Taqwa which resulted in victory upon victory against overwhelming odds.
[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]