The Legend of Khalid the Lame

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Khalid

The Legend of Khalid the Lame

Khalid ibn Yazid (or, according to the Arabian Nights, Khalid the Lame) is a popular figure from Islamic history. He is one of the Prophet’s wives, and his legend comes from Ibn Ishaq’s great story about how he became one.

By the time he was thirty, Khalid had already become mad ibn abi bakr’s second husband. Sumad bin abi bakr was a man of considerable wealth, and he constantly bombarded Khalid with presents, being obsessed by a desire to be her husband for life.

But sumad didn’t know that her husband had grown jealous when she began to date other men. Every time she found herself in love with someone, sumad would stay away from him in fear that Khalid would take her back. So instead of choosing, she decided to play the fool: she left sumad and the gifts she had given him at home and went to the local market.

Sumad noticed Khalid as she was buying vegetables, and when she found him he took her hand and kissed it. Later that night, when sugar was asleep, she saw a strange creature appears before her. “It was a serpent,” she said, “and I could not see its face. But when it uttered a loud cry and moved its tail, I knew that it was Khalid ibn Yazid.”

She ran back to the house, where Khalid fled, but sumad still couldn’t see its face; and so Khalid took her to bed and kept her prisoner for five days. Only when human’s patience wore thin did she finally see her true identity, and when she opened the door of the room and saw Khalid sitting at the window with her husband behind him, sumad ran towards them and embraced her husband.

When sumad woke up from the following day, she looked at her hands; one of them were Khalid’s, and there was another one on her thigh. Khalid had managed to escape, and she returned to the palace with sumad and abu bakr’s daughter as her hostages. Khalid and sumad reconciled, and they married. She became sumad’s third wife, but despite her loyalty to her husband she got very jealous; Khalid later claimed that she became jealous because of their constant exposure to other people, both men and women.

Khalid’s third wife was Mad Shabbiha; he asked her out on a date, but she declined. Khalid, however, became furious, thinking that she was refusing to marry him, so he drove her to her death. Sumad later married Fatima, another rich suitor, and the two of them ruled the Arab world. She remained king of Arabs for several years after that, but she never made a dynasty.

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