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So we discussed Salman al Farasi suggested building a trench.

In Ibn Sa'ad its r

eported the prophet PBUH drew the lines as to where the trench would be drawn. I
n any case the prophet PBUH took in charge of the logistics as we expected - and
he immediately told the sahabah to build.
For some reason there seemed to be a food storage from the very beggining of bui
lding the trench. Some reasons are:
1. The battle took place in winter; therefore fruits are not growing at the tie
so they have to rely on their stored food.
2. They had not prepared for a siege.
3. The people are no longer able to indulge in commerce, trade and selling etc s
o the supplies naturally dwindled.
We learn from the very first day from digging the trench there was a serious foo
d storage. The books of seerah don't explicitly mention why. But we can infer th
is took them by such a suprise they had no time to replenish their stocks; its w
inter season etc. On this there are so many stories narrated with regards to the
miracles of food. Bhukari mentions the sahabah would only have dried barley wit
h oil that they mixde together, just to make something edible to eat and they th
emselves said it had a bad smell but they forced themselves to eat. Jaabir narra
tes he ate the pits of dates.
Once the prophet PBUH was digging, as he put his hand up, Jaabir narrates that h
e saw a big rock tied to the prophet PBUHs stomach. In those days when they were
hungrey they would tie a rock to his stomach very tightly to make them psycholo
gically feel they were not hungrey. After seeing this Jaabir narrates (and he wa
s newly married) he came back to his wife saying that "I saw something that I do
n't have the strength to bear. What do you have at home?" And she said "I have a
little bit of bread and a small goat" - this goat wouldn't typically be sacrifi
ced, but Jaabir sacrificed it anyway, cooked the meat, gathered the meat and whi
spered to the prophet PBUH "Ya RasulAllah you and one or two people come and we
can eat". The prophet PBUH stood up and said "Ya Khandak, Jaabir and his wife ha
ve prepared a meal for us, and everyone is welcome". But Jaabir went running bac
k to his wife and said "What will we do?! We only have a small amount of food".
The wife said "IF the prophet PBUH announced it, he will take care of it". And h
e was the one who came to the food and he told Jaabir "dont lift the pot until I
get there". The prophet PBUH made dua over the meat and bread, spit into the fo
od and then told 10 people to come in the room. Every one of them came, went and
then left - and then another 10, and so on. So the whole people of Khandak ate
from one pot. And Jaabir later said "1000 people ate from the pot".
There are many other miracles: at least three or four. The exact same thing happ
ened, the prophet PBUH took the food, asked Allah to bless it and the food was i
ncreased in good. This truly demonstrates when we ask Allah sincerely we will ge
t baraqah. And we ask Him to give us baraqah in all that he has given us. The qu
antity appears to be the same - but the quality of it is increased tenfold.
Also of the miracles reported in the hadiths of digging, was that the sahabah ca
me across that were in the line which the prophet PBUH drew out. So the sahabah
tried to hack this stone but it would not break. And one sahabah said "let us go
around the stone" but the sahabah said "No - we must ask the prophet PBUH". Whe
n they asked him "Bismillah Allahuakbar" - he hit it once and with one hit '1/3
of the stone crumbled'. When it crumbled he said "Allah has given me the keys of
Syria, by Allah I can see the keys of Syria now". And of course the very first
land conquered in Umars khalifah was As Sham. He hit it again and said "Allahuak
bar I've been given the keys to Persia and I can see the white pillars of tesifa
an". To this day those pillars are high in the sky. And indeed after Sham the se

cond lands conquered was the lands of Persia (the two big battles in Umars calip
ha). How can it be that a group of military backward uneducated people conquer t
he persian and roman empires? Its clearly one of the greatest miracles of the tr
uthfullness of Islam. Then the third strike which crumbled the entire stone he s
aid "Allahuakbar I have been given the keys to Yemen and walahi I can see the do
ors of San'aa (city that had walls around it)". And of course Yemen was conquere
d. All these lands are lands surrounding Arabia and the prophet PBUH predicted a
ll of them would be conquered.
Another prediction the prophet PBUH gave while he was digging the trench was tha
t he saw Ammar ibn Yasir doing double the work of everything else. And he was an
enthusiastic and determined young man especially after seeing his parents die i
n Meeca. And the prophet PBUH saw Ammar covered in dust, tired, sweating and hun
grey and he said "may Allah have mercy on you oh Ammar - the group that has gone
outside of the law will kill you". This came true in the reign of Ali ibn Ali T
alib when the two armies fought: Ali RA was closer to the truth, Muawayia made a
n itjihaad and Allah will forgive him - we say he is apart of 'radialho anho'. T
he forces of Muawayia shot Ammar with an arrow that killed him right in the neck
, and the forces of Ali RA took this as a clear sign they are on the right path.
Notice the prophet PBUH did not say "the kuffar groups" he simply said "the gro
up that went outside the law" - and that is, Mawayia and his forces disobeyed th
e khalifa Ali RA. But again we say 'radialo anho' for the sahabah and Muawayia w
as for sure a sahaba. Some scholars said this narration occured twice i.e. when
the prophet PBUH was building the masjid; and in the building of the trench.
Ibn Sa'ad mentions there were around 4000 people of the Quraysh taking part - th
is is the largest force Quraysh has ever gathered in their history. 300 horses,
150 camels etc. There were lots of other tribes, and this is why this battle is
called 'Ahzab'. It means the 'confederates', the 'groups' - it wasn't just Quray
sh, it was a combination of several groups. The maximum was the Quraysh so they
had the biggest say, but there was no unified leader. And this proved to be thei
r downfall: without unity they easily broke apart. There was only an alliance an
d treaty, and this evenually collapsed.
The overall plan was the muslims would camp such that their backs are towards a
mountain, and they are facing the trench. It was during this time the prophet PB
UH suggested all of the women and children go inside the fortress of the Banu Ha
rithah, Al Fari'. He was worried mainly of the possible trechary of the Banu Qur
Who were the leaders of Ahzab? We know the primary leader of the Quraysh is Abu
Suffyan. His name was Sakar ibn Harb ibn Ummayah. And the Banu Ummayah are the c
ousins of the Banu Munafd. And so the Banu Hashim and the Banu Ummayah are rival
clans. Abu Suffyan was born 10 years before the prophet PBUH, and he of course
remained a noble enemy. He was an enemy but he never stooped to dirty tactics th
at Abu Jahal, Ummayah bin Khalaf, Uqbah etc. Now Abu Suffyan was the most noble
and senior most of the people of Quraysh after Badr. Thus he became the automati
c unquestionable leader. He started Badr, he led Uhud and leads Khandak - so he
is an enemy but he never went 'below the belt' and Allah guided him. Abu Suffyan
was that person whom the prophet PBUH gave perhaps the most amount of booty eve
r at Hunayn. The prophet PBUH had the equivalents of 10s of millions - he did no
t return with a single penny in Madinah. People got valleys, sheeps and hundreds
of camels. The fact is when Abu Suffyan converted it wasn't out of conviction it was just "ok you won". But by giving him this money, Abu Suffyan realised "t
his man is not interested in wealth". And its narrated when the prophet PBUH gav
e all this money, Abu Suffyan said "Walahi you are the most generous person I've
ever met - may my mother and father be randsom for you. I fought you and you re
mained a noble enemy, now I am at peace with you, you've remained the most noble
friend". Therefore Islam entered his heart. And of course he had leadership in
his blood, thus his son Muawayia became the first 'king' of Islam and founded th

e Ummayad dynasty.
Another leader was Uyaynah ibn Hisn - he was a crude beduoin, known for his immo
ral manners. Its narrated Uyaynah came to visit Madinah, before hijab was reveal
ed; he just barged in to the prophet PBUHs house without knocking. The prophet P
BUH said "where are your manners? You have to ask to enter?" His response was "I
've never once asked permission from a mudari to enter his house". Look at his c
omplete lack of manners. And then he said "who is this young girl?" And he said
to the prophet PBUH "why I don't give you one more beautiful than her? I will gi
ve you one of my own". The prophet PBUH said "Allah has made this haraam". When
he left Aisha RA said "who is this man?" The prophet PBUH said "this is the fool
that is obeyed amongst his people". The prophet PBUH said "the worst of people
are those who people have to force themselves to be nice just to avoid their evi
l". And Uyaynah was such a person.
A question arises: how did he while he was so uncivilised and barbaric, become t
he tribal leader? He really was a complete immoral thug. The story is as follows
; Hisn his father had ten sons and at the end of his life he suffered a severe d
isease that made him sick and painful. So he called his sons one by one and test
ed them "If I tell you to do something will you do it on my death bed?" And all
his sons promised "of course". But then he said "take this knife and stab me so
this pain leaves me". When they are asked this every one of his sons said "have
you ever heard a son killing his own father?" and this was especially in those t
ribal days when lineage and tribalism was everything. But Uyaynah comes along an
d says "what do I get in return?" He says "whoever listens to me, he will be the
chiefton after me". So Uyaynah was the one who killed his own father. This is U
yaynah ibn Hisn.
Towards the end of the seerah, all of Arabia accepted Islam so Uyaynah had to ac
cept Islam too. But as soon as Tulayha, the 3rd false prophet who declared himse
lf a prophet, Uyaynah joined him. Then when Khalid ibn Waleed came, won the batt
les of Riddah, he captures Uyaynah, brings him back to Madinah and he is tied up
. The people rebuke him and say "you were a muslim how could you accept Tulayha?
" And he said "I never really accepted Islam in the first place". So Abu Bukr RA
was afraid to kill him because of the backlash of the tribe - so he let him go
and Allah knows his affairs after that.
Another leader was Tulayaha from the Banu Assad - they had around 700 people in
Ahzab. He has a very interesting history. He is standing outside Madinah willing
to fight and kill the muslims; of course this fails, he goes back to his tribe
and eventually in the 9th year he embraces Islam outwardly. As soon as the proph
et PBUH dies, Tulayha was one of those 10 people who declared himself to be a pr
ophet. Musalyama was the most famous, Sajah was the 2nd and Tulayha was the 3rd.
They were the most famous ones - and he said he has his own Quran, and he start
ed spewing forth crap. Khalid ibn Waleed came, demolished his tribe, and the tri
be repented and came back to Islam. Tulayha had a horse he had prepared to escap
e, and so he fled to Syria. Amazingly in Syria he genuinely accepted Islam and h
e came back to Madinah asking forgiveness. And Tulayha was always guilty for wha
t he had done. And he kept on making dua to Allah to accept him for what he done
. And he actually fought alongside Khalid ibn Waleed, and died a shaheed fightin
g against the Romans. Therefore there is some hope for us - someone who does the
unbelievable and declares himself to be a prophet, but then he genuinely repent
s - and he died a very brave sincere death; so insh'Allah we hope his dua accept
ed. Thus if Allah can forgive him, He can also forgive us.
So these were some of the leaders. Before the Ahzab arrived, the second largest
group after Quraysh was the Gatafaan. And they were promised by jews: half of Kh
aybar - a large fortune for them. From some reason they weren't willing to fight
to they sent an emmacery to Madinah and said "these are the stakes - they've gi
ven half of Khaybar to fight you. If you give us a third of Madinah we won't fig

ht you!" SubhanAllah look at how bedouin and backward they are. So they said "gi
ve us a third of Madinah and we won't come". And they numbered 2000-4000 people
so this was a lot of people. The prophet PBUH made Shura and called Sa'ad ibn Mu
'ad and Sa'ad ibn Ubada (leaders of the Aws and Khazraj). And he asked them what
their position was. Some books of seerah mention the prophet PBUH was willing t
o agree - he was open. And so both Sa'ad said "is this something Allah has comma
nded or something that ijitihaad is there? If its from wahi then we will obey, b
ut if its not, then we have never bowed down to anyone in Jaheleya, so why shoul
d be bow down to them in Islam?" And this is one of the wisdoms as to why Allah
chose Madinah: the Aws and Khazraj have never lost a battle or war. The prophet
PBUH was happy with the response and send the messenger back to Gafataan.
How long did it take to build the trench? Ibn Sa'ad said 6 days, others say 15 d
ays, one book even said 1 month - but this is clearly a mistake, the one month w
as the siege not the building. It could not have been more than 2 weeks, the mor
e authentic books say 6 days. So it must have taken between 6 days and 2 weeks not longer than this since the Ahzab were coming and they did not give the musl
ims any longer than 2 weeks. As we said sahabah were assigned sections to the tr
Now when the sahabah narrate 40 days, they won't say "day 1 this happened, day 2
that happened etc". The actual seige took 1 month, plus 10 days of building, th
e whole event is around 40 days Uhud and Badr was only 3-4 hours, Khandak is 40
days! This is the big problem we have: every narration we have from sahabah are
two, three main events, but we don't know what happened when. So we have to peic
e the events together. Ibn Sa'ad said the prophet PBUH left his house on the 8th
Dhul Qa'da, 5H. Others say it was Shawwal (but this is only a matter of weeks d
ifference). So this was when he divided the muslims in various portions to guard
the trench. And all the muslims were sent to guard: the houses were empty, they
weren't sleeping in their houses for the entire duration and this is why the wo
men and children were sent to Al Fari'. Ibn Ishaaq mentions a group of sahabah h
ad a job to patrol the trench all night and simply shout out "Allahuakbar" just
to make people think if they got to the trench there's a large group on the othe
r side. Umme Salama said "the al Muraysi, Khaybar, Hudabiyah, Fateh Makah, Hunay
an but none was more tiring or more fearful than Khandak. For the muslims were i
n a very precurious sitution - we were worried for our children from the Banu Qh
urayda, and we would hear takbirs all night right until Fajr". SubhanAllah their
whole job was to patrol the trench all night and say "Allahuakbar".
Aisha RA narrates one night she heard the clinking of armour, and the prophet PB
UH was outside and he said "who is that?" And the man said "Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas
- I have come to relieve you of your duties". And so the prophet PBUH said "Ok
you stay here and patrol and I will rest". And Aisha RA says he came into the te
nt and falls asleep immediately so much so she could hear his snores. That is, h
e was so tired and fatuiged. And Aisha said she never forgot that favour which S
a'ad ibn Abi Waqqas gave the prophet PBUH that he gave up his own sleep so the p
rophet PBUH could sleep himself. Also we learn it was in the middle of winter, a
nd it so cold the sahabah had to go into the tent to warm up and then go back ou
It was at this point in time the final blow came and shifted the entire scenario
which brought about an unprecented fear for the sahabah. It was the shifting of
the Banu Quraydhas alliance. First it was rumours: but then the Banu Nadheer se
nt a secret emissary, Huyay ibn Aktar, the father of Suffiyah to the Banu Qurayd
ha. And note this shows us the difference between families: Ibrahims father is t
he idol maker, and Ibrahim is the friend of Allah. Here we have Saffiyah the wif
e of the prophet PBUH, and now Huyay her father who has sneaked his way back int
o Madinah to plot a plan to kill the muslims. This also shows the trench was not
watertight. You cannot stop one person from coming in, and indeed Huyay knows M
adinah like the back of his hand, so Huyay makes his way in and finds the Banu Q

uraydha. The most respected person of the Banu Nadheer meets the cheifton of of
the Banu Quraydha, Ka'ab ibn Asad al Quradi. Initially Ka'ab said "No way I can
do this we made a promise to Muhammad etc" but Huyay knows what can bribe his ow
n people. So he promised protection, immunity, riches, fortune etc until finally
Ka'ab agreed to shift over.
This was the deadly blow, and it was none other than Zubair ibn Al Awwam who inf
ormed the prophet PBUH about this: the prophet PBUH said "I fear something about
the Banu Quraydha, who will volunteer to go see them?" And Zubair stood up and
he went to find out how what they were up to. And most likely he saw preperation
s for war, and so he informed the prophet PBUH that "they have destroyed the tre
aty". The prophet PBUH cannot act upon a presumption - so he sent four of the le
aders of the Ansar that were close to the Banu Quraydha in the days of Jaheleya
to lay it out straight. And the four notice evasive answers: they clearly see th
e treaty has been nullified and the Banu Quraydha are just giving vague response
s. They come back and confirm with the prophet PBUH that the Banu Quraydha has f
lipped. And so many reports say "this was the worst night of our lives: we didn'
t know what to expect, 10,000 people outside and now we have at least 2,500 insi
de." And it was not just affecting them, it was the women and children in the Al
Fari' which was completely unprotected. This was literally a life threatening s
ituation and Allah says this in the Quran:
"[Remember] when they came at you from above you and from below you, and when ey
es shifted [in fear], and hearts reached the throats and you assumed about Allah
[various] assumptions.
There the believers were tested and shaken with a severe shaking."
So even the sahabah were literally shaken and they began to think thoughts 'Alla
h won't help us - how can we win, we will never win!'. And put yourself in their
shoes: weeks have gone by, food is vanishing, you have 10,000 outside, 2000 ins
ide - where will the help come from?! How can they win this war? Of course after
this the tide changes and Allahs promised help reaches the muslims.