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We will commence with the Battle of Uhud.

Recall the incidents that took place a


fter the battle of Badr - in paticular, Abu Suffyans attack on Madinah, minor sk
irmeshes and the killing of Ka'ab ibn Al Ashraf. The Meccans began planning for
Uhud immediately after Badr. The loss and calamity of Badr was the immediate cau
se of Uhud. Unlike Badr, Uhud was the first full out war. They were armed to the
hilt. Why are they fighting?
1. Religious - the Quraysh have developed a religious animosity to the prophet P
BUH and Islam.
2. Social reasons - revenge for their lossed relatives. They have lossed the lea
ders, and it was huge embarrasment for them. Ikrimah, his father Abu Jahal died.
Safwan, his father Ummayah died - so they all want revenge.
3. Economic - Madinah intersects the caravan that goes from Mecca to Syria. Furt
her, the muslims intersected and blocked off all other routes to Syria, even dou
bling back. Therefore they cannot trade with Syria anymore and this will literal
ly destroy their economy. The Meccan economy was based on the trade route betwee
n Syria and Yemen. The Quraysh were in charge of it and profited it from it huge
ly. So they are in a desperate situation.
4. Political - the prophet PBUH is a real threat; the Islamic republic is growin
g and many tribes are giving their alliegance to Islam.
Combining these the Quraysh felt a desperate need to launch a real offensive. Ib
n Ishaaq tells us Abu Suffyan made up his mind instantly after Badr to fight. Ba
dr took place 17th Ramadan 2H; Uhud took place Shawwwal 3H. Thus an entire year
of planning went into this. Abu Suffyan took with him Safwan ibn Ummayah and Ikr
imah bin Abu Jahal (both had lost their fathers) and knocks on every single door
of the Quraysh household to return the profits they got from the caravan. Recal
l the actual Badr caravan came back to Mecca - Allah gave the muslims the 'highe
r goal' of victory. So Abu Suffyan went to each and every person to get the mone
y back. Allah references this in the Quran that "Those who have disbelieved are
willing to spend their money to stop people in the way of Allah. They will spend
and regret spending it and will lose". Note this verse is in Anfal and came dow
n right after Badr; here Allah is clearly predicting Uhud. As we said right afte
r Badr the money was being raised. But the muslims of course didn't know this.
And from the Quraysh they decided they needed help. The Quraysh being the busine
ss owners they were, they had many tribes interested in keeping this economic pi
peline being intact. They reached out to the major tribes Qinana and Tihaama - a
nd they said "lend us money, people, armour, weapons etc whatever you can". And
the entire army came out to be 3000. The bulk of the army was Quraysh, but the w
eapons and military armour would have been provided by the other tribes. Logisti
cs, saddles, slaves etc - these were given to the Quraysh. Thus with Uhud we see
the conflict getting between Islam V Kufr. In every conflict the circle widens
until finally now its all out islam vs paganism. And the animosity for the proph
et PBUH united the Arabs for the first time. Islam came and made the Arabs into
two camps: those who opposed and those who acccepted. Eventually of course all u
nite under the prophet PBUH.
On 7th Shawwal in the third year of the Hijrah, literally a year and a few weeks
after Badr, the Quraysh set out. Typically the journey would have taken 2 weeks
- if you speed up it would be around 10 days. But in their eagerness to fight t
hey got there in 7 days. The Quraysh gathered 3000 men, 200 horses, 700 armours
for men (most likely coming from Qinana and Tihaama). Back then the average pers
on did not have weapons and armour. To invest in armour is alot of money - most
people simply did not need it so they didn't have it. Also it is being imported
from Syria, Yemen etc. So its even more expensive. Therefore in the history of b
attles, one of the most prized items a victorious person would take from the ene

my is their armour because it was a prized possession. This time they also took
many of their wives with them around 24 of them. And the women would sing their
poetry, and it was somewhat sensual in nature that they were encouraging the men
to show their manhood. But also when you have women you really have to fight. S
o they are so confident they took their wives with them. Abu Suffyan was the mai
n leader - on the right flank Khalid bin Waleed was in charge; on the left flank
was Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahal.
Al Abbass most likely converted after Badr; and there's a very plausible theory
he was a secret convert. Publically he converts later on but the theory is he co
nverted after Badr. He did after Badr while he was a captive that "they forced m
e to fight and I didn't do much anyway" and the prophet PBUH said "yes you are t
elling the truth". And he remained in Mecca just before the conquest. The follow
ing incident affirms this. Immediately after the Quraysh army leaves, Al Abbas s
ent a trusted servant to the prophet PBUH and explain everything: the army size,
how many horses, how many arms etc. Why did he delay? Firstly perhaps the Quray
sh themselves did not trust Abbas - after all he has not shown his animosity aga
inst the prophet PBUH unlike Abu Jahal. Or more likely he just couldn't send som
eone because they would know. And the servant he sent goes as fast as humanely p
ossible to Madinah in 3 days. It was as fast as possible. The Quraysh did in 7 s
o the clock is ticking. And the servant finds the prophet PBUH in Kuba, and the
servant hands the prophet PBUH the letter but he obviously cannot read, so he te
lls Ubay to read. And Ubay explains the details - and the prophet PBUH tells Uba
y "don't tell anyone about this news". He immediately rushes back to Madinah and
speaks to the leaders of the Ansar. In paticular Sa'ad ibn Rabbiah. After this
he sends out two or three spies to check on the Quraysh. He trusts his uncle yes
still, this news is so big he cannot operate on an assumption. So the prophet P
BUH has to confirm the news. They go and see the 3000 closeby. And they say "the
Quraysh are just a day/two away". This shows the maticulous care of the prophet
PBUH - he is thinking calmly and logically. And he said "acting in haste is fro
m Shaitan". The situation is indeed critical but he doesn't panic. So he finds o
ut the Quraysh are indeed close by, probably around 11th Shawwal. The Quraysh go
t to the outskirts of Madinah on the 12th or 13th. So the prophet PBUH has a win
dow of 2 days to do something. He calls a large meeting of the muslims.
There is a dream that's been narrated the prophet PBUH saw. According to Ibn Ish
aaq he told the sahabah before the battle; according to Bhukari he saw the dream
in Mecca which he couldn't understand until Uhud took palce and then he tells t
he sahabah after the battle. What is the dream? The prophet PBUH said "I saw in
a dream I struck with my sword, but my sword broke. And this is the disaster of
Uhud. Then I hit it again, and it came back as good and strong as it ever was. T
his was the victory Allah gave the muslims and the joining of the muslims." One
of the negatives of Uhud was the muslims showed open disunity i.e. the munaafiqs
broke away. And he said "I saw cows - and Allah is good, and this was the belie
vers on the day of Uhud". In Imam Ahmed he adds the prophet PBUH said "I saw mys
elf wearing armour so I intereperated that to be Madinah". Bhukari has this take
n place after Uhud i.e. he is consoling the sahabah. "I struck with my sword it
broke" - this is Uhud. "Then I struck again and it was as shining and perfect as
ever" - this is after Uhud, i.e. all the next battles. Then the prophet PBUh sa
id "I saw cows". What does this mean? Regarding the cows - there is alot of inte
rpretation of this. Ibn Hajar says the symbolism of a cow is that of the shuhada
of Uhud. It's as if they're being told "those who died have been chosen by Alla
h for something better".
Time was of the essence: the prophet PBUH after consulting with the leaders of t
he Ansar, he called a general gathering. This is truly thoughtful. If its big ne
ws, he will tell a core group and then he widens the circle. The prophet PBUH to
ld the core group, does shura and then opens the floor. It so happened it was Fr
iday anyway so everyone was gathered, and on top of this it was janaaza and thes
e weren't common so everyone came for the janaaza too. So everyone was there. No

w the prophet PBUH tells them everything - nothing to hide. Without opening the
floor, he himself says "I see myself in a protected fortress" i.e. he is saying
I think we should stay in Madinah. As we mentioned, Madinah was a unique city in
that it had very natural protections. On east and west was volcanic rock (the t
wo Haras) - no one would walk on them. On the northwest side is the large mounta
in of Uhud. Towards Kuba in the south there are pockets of date palms. And of co
urse when you have large date plantations no army will march on that. This is wh
y the battle of Khandak could be won: if the muslims had to dig a trench around
the whole city it would be impossible. So the prophet PBUH suggested to stay in
Madinah. And if the army would have attacked, it would have resulted in street t
o street fighting; so the muslims could have easily won. They could have set up
baracades, traps etc. Abdullah ibn Ubay ibn Salool agreed, not because he apprec
iated the prophet PBUH but because it was the correct opinion. And he was the mo
st seasoned warrior amongst them. He said "Yes this is the correct position: Mad
inah has never been successfully attacked from within". He admitted this, and ag
ain not out of respect but out of correctness of the opinion.
However there was a group of younger companions, many of whom didn't fight in Ba
dr. Ibn Ishaaq said they themselves became shaheed. So they said "Why should we
stay in our houses like cowards - let us go and fight them on the battlefield".
So they wanted to show their manliness. And they continued pressuring the prophe
t PBUH to go out, all the while the senior sahabah remained silent. And he kept
on getting pressurised until finally he agreed and went and wore his armour. But
suddenly the older sahabah opened up and scoled the younger sahabah by saying "
the prophet PBUH told us his opinion, and yet you persisted in suggesting the op
pisite until he agreed. How could you have done this?" And the younger sahabah w
ere embarrased and so they sent in Hamza ibn Abdul Muttaib to the prophet PBUHs
house to tell him "we changed our minds". But when Humza entered in, the prophet
PBUH had already put on his armour. "It is not befitting/appropiate, that once
a prophet has worn his armour, he takes it off without engaging in batle" i.e. i
t's too late.
Look over here the benefits we derive.
1. The status of shura in the life of the prophet PBUH. He felt confident stayin
g in Madinah. But he knows like any good leader you need the people behind you.
And Allah says "The way of dealing with matters is to have shura" - therefore wh
en the majority of companions according to the prophet PBUH is they want to figh
t outside Madinah, he gives in and puts on his armour.
2. Notice the wisdom of the older sahabah. They did not argue the younger sahaba
h in his presence. They could have told the younger companions then and there "c
an you be quiet the prophet PBUH has made up his mind!" They could have had this
harshness, but out of respect to the prophet PBUH, they kept his mouth queit. T
hey just waited the prophet PBUH to leave, and then they rebuked. It's literally
unimaginable.
3. It is the sunnah of Allah that young men in paticular are always over zealous
and rash. Impetiousness, rashness, a little bit of arrogance: it's in their nat
ure. This is what makes them 'young men'. And Allah mentions in the Quran "a gro
up of 9 lads were causing alot of chaos in the lands" - they were the one to do
the 'prank' on the she camel. Also the young men of the cave are mentioned in th
e Quran. Thus its human nature sometimes they go in the positive direction, but
sometimes not (even with good intentions). And Ibn Ishaaq says its always helpfu
l for young men to be patient and listen to the elders.
4. The fact the prophet PBUH said he cannot take his armour off shows there is a
special shariah for the prophets. They have a code that they operate by. We kno
w of many such aspects of the prophet PBUH. He would fast three days without eve
r eating or drinking. And when the sahabah tried to do it they fainted. So he wo

uld do this, and he forbade the sahabah to do it. And it was waajib for him to p
ray tuhajjad according to Ibn Tamiyyah. And why regarding the armour? Because ta
king it off may be assumed to be cowardice, fear etc. Indeed how can you expect
a prophet of Allah to do that.
5. Also notice this advice was not the best advice - but what is truly amazing i
s that once the decision has been made, the sahabah were not criticsed after tha
t at all. No one came back to them and said "see I told you so! Look what you do
ne. Are you happy?" Nobody. Because its in the Quran "Once you do shura and make
up your mind, do not look back". And our prophet PBUH said "never say 'What if?
' or 'If only I done this'" because saying 'What if' opens up the door of Shaita
n. Once you make up your mind properly no one should blame anyone - and this is
what happened. Indeed Islam tells us to pray istikhaara, get istishaara (advice)
to make any serious decision.
Ibn Ishaaq tells us the prophet PBUH wore two suits of armour - he is showing if
one wants to engage in any sort of endavour, you have to engage in it properly.
You have to do everything possible. The prophet PBUH could have walked into the
battlefield with no armour - Allah would have protected him. But its foolish. A
nd Allah says in the Quran "take your precautions" regarding battle. And "take y
our food and water with you" regarding going Hajj. So the prophet PBUH is demons
trating the muslims to be fully armed. The prophet PBUH divided the army into th
ree main groups. The muhajiroon under Mus'ab ibn Omair. The Aws under Usail ibn
Hudhay. The Khazraj under Al Hubaab ibn Al Munthir. And because the situation wa
s dire, they only had a handful of horses; 100 suits of armour and the muslims i
n the later afternoon of Friday made their way to the mountain of Uhud.
The mountain of Uhud is not just one mountain. It's a whole series of mountains.
They are over 1 mile long; and they are north/northwest of Madinah. These days
by car it takes less than 10 minutes from the masjid of the prophet PBUH to the
mountains. Because of the increased inhabitants, the city of Madinah goes all th
e way to the mountains. Of course in the time of the prophet PBUH, the city was
very small. The entire core of the city fitted inside what is now the enitre mas
jid of the prophet PBUH. Thus Baqee was outside the city; but now Madinah has in
creased 1000%.
There are many hadith about Uhud. The prophet PBUH said "Uhud is a mountain of J
annah". Some scholars say this mountain is beloved. Others say it will be transp
orted into Jannah. In one hadith when the prophet PBUH came back from an expidit
ion, the first thing they saw was the mountain, and so he said "Uhud is a mounta
in that loves us and we love it" - so its imaan to love Uhud. Its narrated in Mu
slim that once the prophet PBUH was climbing Uhud was Abu Bukr, Umar and Uthman.
And the moutain began to tremble. So the prophet PBUH hit it he said "Calm down
Uhud because you have on you a nabi, a sadeeq and two shaheed". And recall the
boundaries of the haram of Madinah (reported in Bhukari) are between the two mou
ntains Ayr and Thore north and south, and the two volcanic lands east and west.
Ayr is on the north side; it's a small mountain that is after Uhud. So Uhud is i
ncluded inside the haram. Ayr is a small mountain north of Uhud.
The question arises: why did the prophet PBUH go to Uhud? Now he's agreed to go
and fight, there's two options: meet them in an open battlefield (which would ha
ve been a disaster) OR meet them at a place which you know well. Thus going to U
hud the prophet PBUH is maxmising his army. Why? Two side are fully blocked off.
The third side is a small mountain where he places the archers, and therefore t
hat becomes blocked off. The only thing left is an open narrow side from which t
he Quraysh have to come. Thus we've maximised the effectiveness of a small army
against a large army. Again the military genius of the prophet PBUH was amazing.
Allah of course taught him: this is in his fitrah. So the prophet PBUH chooses
to go to Uhud and he is the one who gets there. And thus the prophet PBUH marche
d out of the 14th Shawwal.

On the way there Abdullah ibn Ubay and his people slowly begin retreating, and t
hen going behind the army, until finally they literally turn their backs and bre
ak away from the army completely. When this happens the sahabah rebuked them: Ab
ullah ibn Ubay said "he listened to some youth and did not take my advice - why
should I risk my life when he didn't listen to me". And subhanAllah one of the b
lessings of Uhud was realising how evil the hypocrites were. Allah says "He is d
oing this so that Allah can seperate the filthy from the pure". This was one of
the main points of Uhud. In this incident the true colours of the hypocrites are
shown. Abdullah ibn Amr when he says Abullah ibn Ubay going away he says "I rem
ind you to fear Allah and not leave your prophet when the enemy is about to atta
ck. Did you not promise him you will protect him?" He is referencing the treaty.
Notice he reminds him of Allah and the promise he made, human dignity. And Abul
lah ibn Ubay responded "if we knew they would fight we would not leave, but we d
on't think they will attack". Allah explicitly quotes ibn Ubay in the Quran and
calls him a liar. He knew full well what was happening but he invented an excuse
. "Allah will not allow the muslims to remain in status quo until he seperates t
he filthy and pure". Indeed its only during times of trail when ones imaan is tr
uly shown. And Uhud did this very clearly. For Uhud large sections of Al Imran c
ame down, and sections of Surah Nisa. Allah said
And what struck you on the day the two armies met was by permission of Allah tha
t He might make evident the [true] believers.
And that He might make evident those who are hypocrites. For it was said to them
, "Come, fight in the way of Allah or [at least] defend." They said, "If we had
known [there would be] fighting, we would have followed you." They were nearer t
o disbelief that day than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in the
ir hearts. And Allah is most Knowing of what they conceal Allah quotes Abdullah ibn Ubay here in this verse. Now when the muslims saw such
a large group leaving they started talking amongst themselves what should happe
n. One group said "we should go back, fight them first and then come back to Uhu
". Another group said "we will fight the Quraysh first and deal with them later"
. But Allah disliked this: "Why have you disagreed about the hypocrites and divi
ded into two groups?" This was a positive argument but Allah gently told the sah
abah to stop, that Allah will deal with those who deserted the army, it's not yo
ur job. The second thing that happened is when the 300 went away, some tribes of
the Aws and Khazraj began wavering. But eventually the muslims among them won o
ver and they stayed. Allah mentions this aswell "there were two groups about to
give up but Allah is their protector so Allah protected them. In Allah the peopl
e should put their trust". So Allah mentions the Banu Harith and the Banu Salima
here, and they would always boast about this. Why? Because Allah says "I am the
ir protector". Because of this these tribes to this day boast regarding this ver
se. So eventually 700 muslims reached Uhud and they set up their camps. Ibn Isha
aq mentions their backs were facing the mountain and they were facing the city o
f Madinah. Thus the Quraysh doubled across the entire city of Madinah to reach t
hem. There's an added point here that the muslims are tiring them out even more.
Indeed instead of going to the south of the city, the prophet PBUH went to the
north at Uhud, this was a clear purposeful tactic.
700 participated in Uhud - therefore in the whole world at this time, there were
not more than 1000 muslim men. From this small group, look at how Allah changed
the world. Every fighting man above the age of 15, some even at the age of 14 f
ought in this war. That is all they were. You can add a dozen or so but otherwis
e in the whole world there wasn't even 1000. From this small quantity look at ho
w Allah changed the world. Within 15, 20 years they will be literally wiping aw
ay the Persian empire. Within 50 years they will be in China. There are 1.8 bill
ion muslims today.SubhanAllah. And yet, they didn't have the weapons, armour, ho
rses etc. They had something which we don't have which is the trust and imaan in

Allah. It was so strong that the mightiest superpower in the world could not be
ar it. Indeed when you have Allah on your side you can accomplish anything.