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Life in Makkah was becoming difficult for the Muslims.

The growing oppression


and tortures of the Kuffar became unbearable. The Muslims were prevented
from worshiping Allah.
Consequently, Allah, the Exalted,
revealed orders to migrate. The
Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) and his companions
secretly planned to escape the
watchful disbelievers, who
intended to kill the Prophet and
his companions in their own
homeland and thus bring an end
to the religion of Islam. But
Allah, the Exalted, aided His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) to immigrate to al-
Medina. This carefully planned
and prudent escape of Allah's
Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) and the Sahabah created
great anxiety and rancor in the
hearts of the disbelievers.

The new abode of Allah's


Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam), al-Medina, integrated
the commercial routes to
Makkah. The trade caravans of the disbelievers passing near al-Median now
faced serious danger. The disbelievers had already experienced the love and
devotion of the Sahabah for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam). They knew that the Sahabah were always ready to sacrifice
everything they had for the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). Thus, in
order to safeguard their trade, the disbelievers undertook all possible efforts
to expel the Muslims from al-Medina.

They sent a serious ultimatum to the chief of the disbelievers in al-Medina,


Abdullah Ibn Ubai Ibn Sahul, ordering him to fight or drive out the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) from al-Medina. Otherwise, they would attack
their city and destroy their people. However, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) cautioned Abdullah and his men from taking any cruel steps against

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the Muslims and as a result of his cowardice, Abdullah withheld his devilish
plan. The disbelievers of Makkah also sent a note to the Ansaar (the Muslims
of al-Medina who aided Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam))
threatening to put them to death if they helped the Prophet or defended him.
But the Ansaar loved Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) more
than their lives and therefore paid no heed to the threats.

Permission to Fight the Kuffar -


The First Order of Jihad
For 10 years, while in Makkah, the Muslims were prohibited to openly fight the
Kuffar because the disbelievers were greater in number and the Muslims were
very few. Were the Muslims to fight the disbelievers in Makkah, the results
would have been disastrous. But when the disbelievers went to extremes in
their transgression that they forced Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) and his companions to leave the most sacred place, resolved to kill the
Prophet and sent threats to the Muslims in al-Medina; Allah revealed verses of
the Qur'aan giving permission to the Muslims to fight the disbelievers. Now the
Muslims had the support of the Ansaar, they had a place where Islam
prevailed and where they could retreat. It was an appropriate time for Jihad.

"Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against those


disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers)
have been wronged, and surely Allah is Able to give them (believers)
victory." [(22): 39)]

Following the orders of Allah, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) decided
to first bring the commercial routes to Makkah under control. For which, he
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) signed a peace treaty with the Jews and other
neighboring tribes. He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) also sent groups of
Sahabah from time to time to ambush the caravans along their commercial
routes. The intent was to caution the disbelievers that Muslims had become
strong and any cruel act against the Muslims, whether those who were left in
Makkah or those who resided in al-Medina, might cause danger to their trade
and livelihood. The disbelievers realized the real danger of the Muslims, and as
a result they were discouraged.

Meanwhile, Allah, the All Wise, equipped the Muslims in al-Medina for war
against the enemies. He revealed Qur’aanic verses encouraging the Muslims
for Jihad (fighting in the way of Allah), and teaching them ways of fighting.
"And fight, in the way of Allah those who fight you; but transgress not the
limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. And kill them wherever you find
them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out¦" [(2): 190]

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In Ramadan 2 A.H., the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) was informed
that Abu Sufyan (who was still a disbeliever and later accepted Islam), was
traveling for trade from Syria. He was approaching Makkah with 50 thousand
gold Deenaar guarded by 40 men.

While escaping from Makkah, the Muslims were forced to leave behind all their
wealth and possession. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) saw this
caravan as an opportunity to get back some of their wealth. He (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) called for his companions and marched towards the main
road leading to Makkah and turned towards Badr. His (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) intent was only to capture the wealth and not war. But Allah, the
Exalted, in His Great Wisdom, willed for them to fight.

On the other hand, Abu Sufyan knew that his route was not safe. He was
further informed by his men about the Prophet's movement. He immediately
sent a man to Makkah asking for help. The man reached Makkah, cut off the
nose and ears of the camel, turned its saddle upside down, tore off his shirt
from front and back (this was their way of warning about enemies) and cried,
'O Quraysh! Your goods are with Abu Sufyan. The caravan is being stopped by
Muhammad (r) and his companions. I cannot say what would have happened
to them. Help! Help!' The disbelievers shocked with the news rushed for Abu
Sufyan's help. They took with them a huge army of 1,300 well-equipped
soldiers, including 100 horsemen and a large number of camels to fight the
Muslims.

Meanwhile, Abu Sufyan changed his route; he turned away from the main
road that passed near al-Medina towards Red Sea and thus was out of the
reach of the Muslims. When he found himself completely out of danger, he
again sent a messenger to the people of Makkah on their way, informing them
of his escape and asking them to return back. The Makkan army desired to
return back but Abu Jahl, insisted to march up till Badr and said: "No by Allah!
We will not go back until we proceed to the well of Badr, slaughter camels,
drink liquor and female singers sing for us. This way Arabs will always talk
about our stance and what we did on that day." Now the disbelievers wanted
to humiliate the Muslims, punish them and prevent them from stopping their
caravans in the future. They marched towards Badr and encamped on the
bank of the valley.

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The news of the caravan's escape and approaching of a big army reached
Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). It was a disturbing news, for
the small unequipped Muslim army was no match to the huge well-equipped
army of the disbelievers. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
immediately called for a meeting and discussed the situation with his
companions. He informed them of the gravity of the situation and explained
that it was necessary to fight the Kuffar or else they would easily take over al-
Medina and certainly cause destruction. He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then
asked the Sahabah for their advice.

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) received revelation from Allah.


It was not necessary for him to consult with the Sahabah and seek their
advice. But this practice of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
reflects a very import characteristic of the Muslim leader, i.e. discussing and
seeking advice of other knowledgeable Muslims. A Muslim leader should not
make decision merely based upon his opinion. Rather, he should first consult
with other knowledgeable Muslims, seek their advice and then make
appropriate decisions.

The Muhajiroon (pl. of Muhajir) assured Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe


wa-sallam) that they would fight along with him until the last breath. The first
one to speak was Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu), then Umar Ibn al-Khattab
(radhiallahu anhu) and then al-Miqdad Ibn Amr (radhiallahu anhu) got up and
said:

"O Messenger of Allah! Proceed where Allah directs you to, for we are
with you. We will not say as the children of Israel said to Moosa
(alaihis-salaam), 'Go you and your Lord and fight and we will stay
here.’ Rather we shall say, "Go you and your Lord and fight and we
will fight along with you. By Allah! If you were to take us to Bark al-
Ghimad, we will still fight with determination against its defender
until you gained it." The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
was pleased with the response of the Muhajiroon but the Muhajiroon only
consisted of a small portion of the army.

It was natural for the Muhajiroon to fight against the disbelievers of Makkah
because they were unjustly treated by them and thrown out of their homeland
and property. Moreover, the Muhajiroon had already passed their test of faith
in Allah and shown their love for the Prophet, when they forsake their family,
relatives, property and homeland and migrated to al-Medina not fearing the
consequences. The real test was now for the Ansaar, who had promised to
protect the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) within their territories (al-
Medina) and therefore, they were not obliged to fight outside al-Medina. So,
Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) further said: "Advice me my
men!" By this he wanted the Ansaar to express their view.

Upon this, Sa'd Ibn Mu'adh stood up and said: "By Allah, I feel you want us
(the Ansaar) to speak." The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Oh,
yes!" SA’d said: "O Prophet of Allah! We believe in you and we testify that you

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are the true Messenger of Allah. We bear witness that what you have been
given is the Truth. We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice.

We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us, and by Allah,
Who has sent you with Truth, if you ask us to cross this sea (Red Sea), we will
do that most readily and not a man of us will stay behind¦ We hope that Allah
will show you through our hands those deeds of courage, which will please
your eyes. Kindly lead us to the battlefield in the Name of Allah!"

Shaytan makes Evil seem fair and


makes false promises
When the disbelievers prepared to march towards al-Medina, Shaytan came to
the disbelievers in the form of Suraqah Ibn Malik and made their evil action of
fighting the Muslims seem fair to them. He encouraged them for the battle by
making them believe that no one could defeat them. "And (remember)
when Shaytan made their (evil) deeds seem fair to them and said: "No
one of mankind can overcome you today¦" He also promised them to
protect Makkah from the enemies in their absence and said, "¦and verily, I
am your neighbor." [(8): 48]

Allah says about the promises of Shaytan, "He (Shaytan) makes promises
to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan's promises
are nothing but deception." [(4): 120]

It is from the tricks of Shaytan that he makes false promises to the people
and makes them believe that they are winners in this world and the Hereafter.
But Allah states, on the Day of Judgment, "Shaytan will say when the matter
has been decided. Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too
promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you¦" and those
who follow the whispers of Shaytan Allah says, "the dwelling of such
(people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it." [(4): 120]
See Tafseer Ibn Katheer.

Lack of Means of the Muslims and the well-equipped huge army of the
disbelievers

The Muslim army was not more than 313-317 men, including 82-86 Muhajir
(the Emigrants from Makkah) and the others were the Ansaar. They had only
two horses and 70 camels to ride. Most of them did not even possess simple
weapons to fight; some had swords but no bows and arrows, while others
possessed spears but no swords. The army was not well equipped, nor well
prepared for war. Moreover, the Muslims were old, sick, starving and weak.
But pleased with the words and willingness of the Sahabah to fight the
disbelievers and putting all trust in Allah, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) marched towards the wells of Badar.

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When the Muslims encamped at Badar, the disbelievers sent one of their men,
Umar Ibn Wahab Jumani, to spy about their number and strength. He reported
that the Muslims were not more than 310 men. Hearing this, the disbelievers
increased in their arrogance and pride and showed no desire to fight the
Muslims. Utbah, Ibn Rabi'ah remarked, 'Let us go back without a fight.'
Meaning the low number of the Muslims was no match for the large and well-
equipped army of the Makkans. But they knew that the Sahabah were too
brave to surrender and thus they would fight until the last man killing the
largest number of polytheists possible. However, Abu Jahl opposed them and
expressed his firm determination to kill them no matter how few they were!

Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) said, "When the two armies drew closer to
each other, Allah made the Muslims look fewer in the eyes of the
idolaters and the idolaters look few in the eyes of the Muslims. The
idolaters said: "These people (Muslims) are deceived by their
religion."[Soorah al-Anfal (8): 49]

Because they thought that Muslims were few. They believed without doubts
that they would defeat the Muslims, Allah said: "But whosoever puts his
trust in Allah, then surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." [Soorah al-
Anfal (8): 49] [See Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

In the evening, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) sent Ali Ibn Abi Talib,
az-Zubari Ibn al-Awam and Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas to inquire about the location
of the enemies. Two men were seen drawing water from the wells of Badar.
Upon question, they admitted that they were carrying water for the Makkan
army. But some Companions were not pleased with this answer, since they
thought that the boys belonged to Abu Sufyan. So they beat the two boys,
who finally said that they belonged to Abu Sufyan. When Allah's Messenger
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) was informed, he said angrily, "on telling the
truth, you beat them, and on lying you released them!" Then he (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) himself spoke to the two boys, who informed him about the
army's location, leaders and that they were so huge that they slaughter ten
camels everyday to feed their men. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
then turned towards the Muslims and said: "The Quraysh has sent you their
most precious lives."

Allah's Blessing for the believers


Before the Muslims arrived at Badar, the disbelievers had already taken over
the raised piece of land and so the Muslims had to take the low lying sandy
spot. And between them remained a sandy piece of land. Ibn Abbas
(radhiallahu anhu) said: "¦Muslims felt weak and the Shaytan cast frustration
into their hearts. He whispered to them, 'You claim that you are Allah's
supporters and that His Messenger is among you! However, the disbelievers
have taken over the water resource from you, while you pray needing purity!'
Allah sent down heavy rain allowing the Muslims to drink and use it for purity.
Allah also removed Shaytan's whisper and made the sand firm when rain fell

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on it, and the Muslims walked on the sand along with their animals, until they
reached the enemy¦" [At-Tabaree (13: 423)]

So, Allah sent rain as a blessing for the believers, but for the disbelievers, the
rain was an obstacle that prevented them from further progress. Allah
mentions this great blessing in the Qur'aan: "¦and He caused rain to
descend on you from the sky to clean you thereby and to remove from
you the Rijz (whispering, evil suggestions, etc.) of Shaytan, and to
strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby." [Soorah al-
Anfal (8): 11]

The blessing of rain strengthened the believer's hearts and encouraged them
to fight the enemies of Allah. They experienced a sense of security. Then Allah
descended another blessing on them; slumber overcame the Muslims and they
slept sound the whole night without fear. "(Remember) when He covered
you with a slumber as a security from Him¦" [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 11]
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) spent the whole night in supplication
and prayer.

First Day of the Battle


In the morning, Allah Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) called the
Sahabah to offer the prayer and then positioned them for the battle. He
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) ordered them not to start fighting unless he
ordered them. On the other side, the Quraysh also prepared for the war.
When the two parties approached each other, Allah's Messenger (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) supplicated to Allah saying: "O Allah! The proud and
arrogant Quraysh are already here disobeying you and belying Your
Messenger. O Allah! I am waiting for your victory which You have promised
me. I beseech You Allah to defeat them (the enemies)."

Abu Jahl also prayed saying, "Our Lord, whichever of the two parties was less
kind to his relatives, and brought us what we do not know, then destroy him
tomorrow.' Allah says about this supplication of Abu Jahl: "(O disbelievers)
if you ask for a judgment, now has the judgment come unto
you¦" [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 19]

Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes in the Tafseer of this verse, 'Allah
says to the disbelievers, if you ask for a judgment (between truth and
falsehood) and a decision between you and your believing enemies, and you
got what you asked for.' Meaning Allah accepted their supplication and
distinguished the truthful and
gave victory to Allah's
Messenger (sallallahu alaihe
wa-sallam).

The battle started when a man


from the disbeliever sweared to

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drink water from the water basin of the Muslims, to destroy it or die for it.
Hamzah Ibn Abdul Mutallib (radhiallahu anhu) struck his leg with his sword
and killed him inside the basin.

Then three men from the disbelievers, Utbah Ibn Rabi'a, his brother Shaibah
and his son al-Waleed stepped forward. Three young men from the Ansaar
came forward but the Quraysh (disbelievers of Makkah) yelled they wanted
the heads of their cousins. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then sent
Ubaidah Ibn al-Harith, Hamzah (his uncle) and Ali Ibn Abi Talib (his cousin) to
fight. Hamazah (radhiallahu anhu) killed Shaibah and Ali (radhiallahu anhu)
killed al-Waleed. Ubaidah was seriously wounded but Hamzah fell upon Utbah
and cut off his head. In this way, in one on one combat, the disbelievers lost
many of their brave men. So, they decided to attack the Muslims as a whole.
The Muslims were ordered to carry out a defensive war. They supplicated to
Allah and invoked His Help and fought bravely as they were ordered.

Allah's Help
Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) continuously prayed to Allah
day and night. When the battle became very crucial, he (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) supplicate saying, "O Allah! Should this group (of Muslims) be
defeated today, you will no longer be worshipped."

He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) stretched forth his hand and supplicated to


Allah until his cloak fell off his shoulders. Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) came up
to him, picked his cloak, and put it back on his shoulders and said: "O Prophet
of Allah! You have cried out enough to your Lord. He will surely fulfill what He
has promised you." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and an-Nasa'ee]

Immediately, Allah responded to the supplication and sent Angels for help,
Allah says: "(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He
answered you saying, 'I will help you with a thousand Angels each
behind the other in succession." [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 9]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) raised his head and said
cheeringly: "O Abu Bakr, glad tidings are there for you; Allah's victory
has approached, by Allah I can see Jibreel on his mount in the thick of
a sandstorm." Then he recited the verse: "Their multitude will be put
to flight and they will show their backs." [Soorah al-Qamar (54): 45]

Many narrations speak about the appearance of Angels in the battle of Badar.
It is mentioned in Saheeh Muslim that Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) said:
"While on that day a Muslim from the Ansaar was chasing a disbeliever, he
heard over him the swashing of a whip and the voice of the rider saying: 'Go
ahead Haizum.' He looked at the disbelievers who had fell on the ground on
his back. The man came to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and
related the incident, upon which Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-

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sallam) said: "You have told the truth. This was the help from the third
Heaven."

Another incident is reported, where another man from the Ansaar captured
Abbas Ibn Abdul Mutalib, who said: "O Messenger of Allah! By Allah this man
did not capture me. I was captured by a man who was bald and had the most
handsome face, and who was riding a horse. I cannot see him here among the
people¦" The man from the Ansaar said: 'I captured him, O Messenger of
Allah!' The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) replied: "Be quite, Allah, the
All-Might, strengthened you with the help of a noble Angel."

It is also reported that after the battle, the people used to recognize those
who were killed by the Angels, by wounds over their necks, finger and toes,
because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by Fire.

Angel Jibreel (alaihis-salaam) approached Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe


wa-sallam) and asked him to take a handful of dust and throw at the enemies.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) threw the dust saying, "Confusion
seizes their faces!" A violent sandstorm blew into the eyes of the enemies and
the handful of sand entered the eyes of the idolaters, each one of them was
struck by some of it, and it distracted them making each of them busy. Allah
says regarding it:

"And you (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)) threw not


when you did throw but Allah threw." [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 17]

Meaning the handful of sand which Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) threw at the disbelievers was not by his (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
power and strength that it reached the eyes of the pagans, who were
disturbed and made busy by it. But it is Allah, Who should be praised and
glorified because He helped the Prophet to perform this act.

Iblees (Shaytan), who was in the form of Suraqah Ibn Malik, saw the Angels
helping the Muslims and "¦ ran away and said: "Verily, I have nothing to do
with you¦"

Ibn Abbas said: 'On the day of Badar, Shaytan as well as his flag holders and
soldiers, accompanied the idolaters. He whispered to the hearts of the
idolaters, 'None can defeat you this day and I will help you.' When they met
and Shaytan saw Angels coming to their aid and the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) took a handful of sand and threw it at the faces
of the idolaters, causing them to retreat. Jibreel u came towards Shaytan but
when Shaytan, while holding the hand of a Mushrik man, saw him, he
withdrew his hand and ran away with his soldiers. That man asked him, 'O
Suraqah! You claimed that you are our neighbor.' He said: "¦Verily, I see
what you see not. Verily, I fear Allah for Allah is severe in
punishment." [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 48]

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Another great Help from Allah was that He placed terror and fright in the
hearts of the disbelievers. This is why instead of being greater in number and
being well-equipped and loaded with weapons, the disbelievers fled the
battlefield in awe.” Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have
believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have
disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their
fingers and toes." [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 12]

Instances of the Sahabah's


Bravery and Devotion
Only after Allah affirmed that He will suffice aid, support and help the
believers against their enemies, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) gave
clear order to counter attack the disbelievers reciting the verse, "And be
quick for forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are
the Heavens and the Earth." [Soorah aali-Imran (3): 133]

Allah said: "O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight¦" The Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) encouraged his companions to fight. The
courage and desire for Paradise and willingness to fight the disbelievers that
Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) instilled in his companions is
evident from the actions of the Sahabah.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (radhiallahu anhu), €¦The polytheists advanced


(towards us), and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said:
"Rise to enter Paradise which is equal in width to the Heavens and the Earth."

Umar Ibn al-Humam al-Ansari (radhiallahu anhu) said: "O Messenger of Allah!
Is Paradise equal in extent to the Heavens and the Earth?" He said: 'Yes.'
Umar said: 'Excellent! Excellent!' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-
sallam) asked him: "What makes you say, 'Excellent! Excellent!?" He said: "O
Messenger of Allah, nothing but the desire that I may be among its residents."
He said: "You are (surely) among its residents." He took some dates from his
bag and began to eat them. Then he said: "If I were to live until I had eaten
all these dates of mine, it would be a long life." (The narrator said) He threw
away all the dates he had with him. Then he fought the enemies until he was
killed." [Saheeh Muslim (4680)]

Mu'adh Ibn Amr, a young man from the Ansaar came across Abu Jahl in the
battle and struck his leg so forcefully that his leg was cut off from the shin.
When Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl, saw his father injured, he fell upon Mu'adh
and nearly separated his arm from his shoulder. Mu'adh fought the whole day
with the hanging arm and when it gave him more trouble, he put his arm
under his feet and pulled it apart by force.

Abu Jahl, the Pharaoh of this Nation, died at the hands of two young Muslims

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Abdur Rahmaan al-Awf (radhiallahu anhu) related, 'I was in the thick of the
battle when two youths, still seemingly inexperienced in the art of fighting,
one on the right and the second on the left. One of them spoke in a secret
voice asking me to show him Abu Jahl. I asked him about his intention, to
which he replied that he had a strong desire to engage with Abu Jahl in a
combat until either of them was killed. It was something incredible. I turned to
the left and the other expressed a similar desire. I directly pointed at their
target. They both rushed towards Abu Jahl and without hesitation struck him
together and brought him down to earth. They went back to Allah's Messenger
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), each claiming that he had killed Abu Jahl. The
Prophet saw both their swords and said: "You both have killed him."

At the end of the battle, Abdullah Ibn Mas'oud, saw Abu Jahl at the verge of
death. He stepped on his neck and said: "Have you seen how Allah has
disgraced you?'But look how arrogant is this enemy of Allah, he replied to
Ibn Mas'oud saying: "I am not disgraced. I am no more than a man killed by
his own people on the battlefield." The disbelievers were so terrified that they
even left behind their chief and fled the battlefield. When Ibn Mas'oud was
about to cut off his head, he said: "Cut off my head from near the shoulders
so that it looks bigger than the heads of all others and it is seen as the head of
the chief. Ibn Mas'oud cut off his head and took it to Allah's Messenger
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), who praised Allah upon seeing it. He (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) later said when he saw his dead body: "This is the Pharaoh
of this nation."

Victory for the Believers


With the help of Allah, Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and his
companions fought bravery until the Quraysh suffered great loss and fled the
battlefield. They lost 70 of their best men and 70 were taken as prisoners by
the Muslims. Only fourteen Muslims were martyred in this battle: "And
remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land
and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe
place for you, strengthened you with His help, and provided you with
good things so that you might be grateful." [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 26]After
the battle of Badr, the Muslims emerged as one powerful nation.

11
The Battle of Badar is a great example from our history that teaches; 'victory
does not depend on numbers or collecting weapons and shields - Victory is
from Allah.'

"How often has a small group overcome a might host by Allah's leave.
And Allah is with the patient." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 249]

However, Allah only grants victory to those who


believe in Him and put their complete trust in
Him. Allah sent blessing and help to the believers
in the battle of Badar and made them victorious
over the disbelieving pagans only after putting
them to trial! Allah tested the Muslims for ten
years in Makkah and then He tested them again
by the order to migrate to al-Medina leaving
behind all possessions.

It was the result of the strong trust of the


Sahabah in Allah that they willingly marched
towards the battlefield, even though they knew
that the disbelievers had come with huge army
and weaponry.

It was their craving for Allah's Pleasure and


Paradise that they proclaimed: "¦We will fight
along with you. By Allah! If you were to take us to Bark al-Ghimad, we will still

12
fight with determination against its defender until you gained it." So after
Allah had tested them, He made them stand firm against their enemies, and
granted them the courage to fight them. It was only by the Help of Allah and
His Blessings that the Muslims could defeat the disbeliever who were three
time greater in number and well-equipped.

Otherwise, in the times of Jahiliyyah (ignorance - the time before Islam),


these very same people were the weakest of people found on the face of the
earth as Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) mentions the statement of Qatadah
Ibn Di'amah as-Sadusi in the Tafseer of Soorah al-Anfal (8): 26, 'Arabs were
the weakest of the weak, had the toughest life, the emptiest stomach, the
barest skin and the most obvious misguidance. Those who lived among them
lived in misery; those who died went to the Fire. They were being eaten up,
but unable to eat others! By Allah! We do not know of a people on the face of
the earth at that time who had a worse life than them. When Allah brought
Islam, He made it dominant on the earth and thus bringing provisions and
leadership for them over the necks of people. It is through Islam that Allah
granted all what you see, so thank Him for His favors, for your Lord is One
Who bestows favors and likes praise."

It was due to their cowardice that when Abrahah attacked their most sacred
city, Makkah, and resolved to demolish the Ka'bah; they evacuated Makkah
and ran away with their wives and children to mountain tops. But when they
embraced Islam, believed in Allah, avoided sins and purely followed the
teaching of Allah's Messenger - Allah made them the rulers of the world. They
triumphed at the time of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and
after his death. The Kuffar feared the Muslims!

But when the Muslims abandoned the life of righteousness and adopted sins,
Allah, the Exalted, snatched away His Blessings from them and they were left
to their state of misery. However, even today, if we Muslims were to believe in
Allah and put complete trust in Him Alone, then Allah will help the Muslims
over the Kuffar. It is the result of our sins that in many parts of the world
Muslims are being oppressed by the Kuffar and subjugated to hardships.

Today, if we show willingness to sacrifice our wealth and lives for the sake of
Allah, and purely follow the teachings of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe
wa-sallam), Allah will remove our hardships and grant us victory and
supremacy over the Kuffar

Allah says: "Allah has promised those among you who believe and do
righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession
to(the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those who before
them, and He will grant them the authority to practice their religion
that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give
them in exchange security after their
fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate
anything (in worship) with Me. But whosoever disbelieves after this,

13
they are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)." [Soorah an-Nur
(24): 55]

14
The Battle of Uhud was an extension
of the Battle of Badr. Smarting under
the ignominy of their defeat at Badr,
the Quraish of Makkah assembled a
large army of 3,000 persons, and
marched to Madina to avenge their
defeat at Badr. The force was led by
Abu Sufyan. The force included
every adult among the Quraish. The
force was fully equipped with war
weapons. The force was
accompanied by a considerable
number of women. They sang songs
to inspire the warriors. They said
that if the Quraish won the battle,
they would throw open their arms to
embrace them, but in case they were
defeated, their women would turn
away from them. The Quraish were
confident that this time they would
win and teach the Muslims a lesson.

The Holy Prophet's preparation for


the battle
When the Holy Prophet came to know of the intentions of the Quraish of
Makkah, he held a council of war. He was personally of the view that in view of
the strength of the enemy the proper course for the Muslims was to remain in
Madina and let the enemy besiege the city. The idea was that if the enemy
besieged the city its force would have to be dispersed in a number of sectors,
and the Muslims could strike a blow at the enemy where the enemy's
concentration was the weakest. The younger element among the Muslims,
however, insisted that the battle should be fought in the open at some
distance away from Madina. Their argument was that the enemy should not be
allowed to approach Madina at any cost. Though the Holy Prophet believed
that the defensive strategy proposed by him was the best in the
circumstances, yet in deference to the enthusiasm for the young men to keep
the enemy away from Madina, he agreed to meet the enemy in the open
outside Madina. The Muslims could assemble a force of one thousand persons
only. When the Holy Prophet gave the order for the march to the battlefield,

15
three hundred hypocrites led by Abdullah b Ubayy withdrew and went to their
homes. The Holy Prophet was thus left with 700 persons only and this was one
fourth of the strength of the enemy.

The Battlefield
Uhud, a few miles from Madina was a great stretch of barren rock rising out of
the desert without any growth of vegetation. The Holy Prophet commanded
the Muslim warriors to take up their position at Uhud on the rising ground. A
band of archers took up position on an adjoining mound behind the main
position. The archers were commanded not to abandon their posts under any
circumstances, without the approval of the Holy Prophet.

The Duel
As usual the battle began with a duel. Talha bin Abi Talha the standard bearer
of the Quraish stepped forward, and challenged the Muslims to a single
combat. Ali the standard bearer of the Muslims stepped forward to accept the
challenge. Talha b Abi Talha was an expert swordsman among the Quraish,
and it was the common belief that no body could beat him. As Talha stepped
forward he boasted of his prowess. Talha was the first to attack Ali. Ali warded
off the attack on his shield. Talha was wearing a coat of arms. Ali aimed his
blows at the legs of Talha. The legs were severed and Talha fell dead. Then
another brother of Talha, Abu Shaiba stepped forward to seek a duel with a
Muslim warrior. He was done to death by Hamza. Thereafter the third brother,
Said b Abi Talha rushed waving his sword and seeking vengeance for his two
brothers. He was killed by Saad b Abi Waqas. The murder of the three
brothers’ one after the other made the Quraish furious. Their flag was next
held by Irtas b Sharjeel a formidable man. He challenged the Muslims saying
that he who coveted death should step forward to measure swords with him.
Ali met the challenge, and killed Irtas. Thereupon Asama b Zaid dashed at Ali,
with a view to striking a blow at him, before he could adjust himself after
killing Irtas. Ali moved his sword right and left and struck a mortal blow on his
assailant who reeled and fell down dead. After the death of six warriors from
among the Quraish one after the other, no other warrior of the Quraish could
dare challenge a duel with the Muslims.

The Battle
After the duels, the battle began. The Quraish charged with great force, but
the Muslims held fast. Then in a counter attack the Muslims broke the enemy's
line, and the Quraish fell back. At this stage, the contingent of the Muslim
archers, contrary to the instructions of the Holy Prophet left their position in
order to plunder the camp of the retreating Quraish. Khalid b Walid who was
still a non-Muslim and was commanding a contingent of the Quraish cavalry
rushed with his contingent, and occupied the position vacated by the Muslim

16
archers. That exposed the Muslims to an attack from the rear as well as from
the front. That changed the course of the battle. The defenses of the Muslims
were broken, and in the confusion that followed many Muslims were martyred.
Hamza an uncle of the Holy Prophet fell fighting. His dead body was
desecrated by the Quraish as a mark of their fury against the Muslims. Hinda
the wife of Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Quraish ripped the dead body, took
out his liver, and chewed it. It was a barbarity which an unscrupulous woman
like Hinda alone could practice. Among the Muslims who were martyred was
Mas'ab b Omair. He bore some physical resemblance to the Holy Prophet, and
seeing his dead body the Quraish shouted that Muhammad (peace be on him)
had been killed.

In the confusion that followed, the Holy Prophet was wounded, and he fell in a
pit over the dead bodies of his followers. Ali charged the Quraish with
unprecedented fury, and killed many men of the enemy. He received no less
than sixty-one wounds. When the Quraish continued shouting that the Holy
Prophet had been killed, and Ali could no longer see the Holy Prophet where
he was stationed, he rushed to the spot where the Holy Prophet lay wounded.
He took the Holy Prophet from out of the pit, and with the aid of other
companions including Abu Bakr and Umar escorted the Holy Prophet to a safer
place. Ali fetched water in his shield, and dressed the wounds of the Holy
Prophet, taking no heed of the wounds that he himself had received in the
battle. As in the meantime, the Quraish continued shouting that the Holy
Prophet had been killed, and no contradiction was made from the Muslim
camp. The Muslim warriors engaged in combat with the Quraish were
demoralized. They felt that if the Holy Prophet had been killed, there was no
point in fighting the battle. At this juncture, at the instance of the Holy
Prophet, Umar shouted back at the Quraish to say that the Holy Prophet was
very much alive. On regaining consciousness, the Holy Prophet charged Ali to
launch a counter attack against the Quraish. Ali rallied the Muslim, exhorted
them to fight for the glory of Islam, and fell upon the enemy with the ferocity
of a lion. Ali broke into the lines of the enemy, and caused great havoc in the
ranks of the enemy. So great was the slaughter caused by Ali in the ranks of
the enemy that his sword broke down. Thereupon the Holy Prophet sent Ali his
own sword, and with this sword Ali caused further havoc among the ranks of
the Quraish. He held the flag in his right hand, and when his right hand was
wounded he held the nag in his left hand. Ali drove back the enemy. Because
of the prodigies of valor performed by Ali, the Quraish could not take
advantage of the victory that they had won at an earlier stage of the battle.
Abu Sufyan accordingly commanded the Quraish to return to Makkah. He,
however, shouted in a boastful mood that the Quraish had taken the revenge
for their defeat in the Battle of Badr. Abu Sufyan declared that the Quraish
would soon have another confrontation, when the Muslims would be
annihilated.

When after the battle Ali returned to the camp his entire body was covered
with so many wounds that Umm Salim and Umm Atiya, the Muslim nurses, did
not know how to dress the wounds of Ali. The Holy Prophet washed and
dressed the wounds of Ali himself, and said that God in whose cause Ali had
received the wounds would heal them. Ali said,”

17
May God grant me the patience to bear this suffering. It was indeed a favor of
God that He gave me the courage to stand and fight in spite of these wounds
and not to leave the field". For his marvelous bravery, the Holy Prophet
conferred on Ali the appellation "Asad Allah", the lion of God.

Assessment of the Battle of Uhud


The Battle of Uhud is an important battle in
the annals of Islam. In the early stage the
battle went in favor of the Muslims, but
because of a tactical mistake made by the
archers, the tide of the battle was reversed,
and the Quraish came to have the upper
hand. The Muslims were thoroughly
demoralized and practically lost the will to
fight. It was at this stage that Ali took the
command and prevented the Quraish from
taking advantage of the victory that they had
won earlier. The battle that would have
otherwise ended in the annihilation of the
Muslims concluded as a drawn battle. The Quraish could gain no booty; they
could not make any Muslim a captive. True, many Muslims died as martyrs,
but the casualties in the ranks of the Quraish were larger still.

Ali played the role of a hero in the battle. His services were highly appreciated
by the Holy Prophet and the Companions. Some Muslim poets composed
verses in the honor of Ali. Extolling his bravery one of the poets said: "There is
no sword better than the sword of Ali; and there is no young man superior to
Ali."

There is some controversy about the number of unbelievers killed by Ali at the
Battle of Uhud. According to some accounts the number was about two
hundred. According to more conservative accounts the number was about two
dozen. We need not enter into any controversy about the number of persons
killed. The basic point is that Ali played the role of a great hero at the Battle of
Uhud, and he succeeded in averting a crisis which was fraught with great
danger for the Muslims.

The Qureshites came out from the Battle of Badr with an astonishing result
which they did not expect. They were confident of their capability to annihilate
the Muslims easily. Because of they were more numerous and with a bigger
reserve and more logistics. Yet, they suddenly found themselves losing

18
seventy of their warriors and leaders, along with seventy captives, in a one-
day battle. And above all, the resounding defeat which they received was at
the hand of a group whom they used to be little.

The Qureshites were unwilling to admit a final defeat. They lost a battle, but
they believed that they would never lose the war. All they needed was to
mobilize forces to which the Muslims would not be able to stand. The burning
hatred in the hearts of Qureshites and their desire to wash away the shame of
the defeat at Badr and their eagerness to avenge their lost leaders added to
their physical superiority a tremendous psychological strength.

The Qureshites mobilized for the battle of avenge three thousand fighters
compared to nine hundred and fifty fighters at the Battle of Badr. This army
was financed and its logistics were secured through the gross income of the
commercial caravan which was allotted to the battle of avenge. Thus, the
community of Quraish, one year after the Battle of Badr, marched towards
Medina to annihilate the Muslims, their religion, and their Prophet. The Meccan
army arrived at the area of Uhud which is five miles away from Medina. There,
the expected battle took place.

The Uhud region


The big and lengthy valley which joined the trade route of Syria with Yemen is
called Wadiul Qura. Different Arab tribes and the Jews took up their abode at a
spot where necessities of life were available. A number of villages, therefore,
came into existence and their sides were fences by stones. Yathrib (which was
later named Madinatur Rasul i.e., city of Prophet) was consider to be center of
these villages.

Whoever came from Makkah to Madina was obliged to enter there from the
southern side. However, as this region was stony and it was difficult for an
army to move into it, the army of Quraysh bent its route and established itself
in the north of Madina in the valley named 'Aqiq', situated at the foot of Mt.
Uhud. This area was fit for all sorts of military operations as there was no
palm-grove in it and the land was also even. Madina was more vulnerable
from this side because there were very few natural obstacles in this part.

The Holy Prophet goes out of


Madina
The prophet offered Friday prayers and then left Madina for Uhud with an
army consisting of one thousand men. He did not take with him persons like
Usamah bin Zayd Harith and Abdullah bin Umar on account of their tender
age, but two young men named Samurah and Rafe, who were not more than
fifteen years of age, participated in the battle, because, in spite of their being

19
young, they were good archers. The Prophet (S.A.W.) reached Uhud in the
morning of Saturday, the 7th of Shawwal, 3 AH (January or February 625 AD).

The Islamic forces arrayed themselves opposite the invading and aggressive
forces of Quraysh (Khalid bin Walid on right, Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl on left, Abu
Sufyan in middle). The Muslim army selected as their camping place a point
which had a natural barrier and protection at the back of it in the shape of Mt.
Uhud. There was, however a particular gap in the middle of the mountain and
it was probable that the enemy forces might turn round the mountain and
appear at the back of the Muslim army through that gap and might attack
them from behind.

In order to obviate this danger the prophet posted two groups of archers on a
mount and addressed their Commander Abdullah Jabir in these words: "You
should drive away the enemies (which were led by Khalid bin Walid) by
shooting arrows. Don't allow them to enter the battlefield from behind and
take us by surprise. Whether we are victorious or defeated, you should not
vacate this point.

The elements of the Islamic


defense
In this second battle of destiny for the Muslims, the Islamic defense consisted
of the same three important elements which played their roles at the battle of
Badr:

1. The ideal leadership of the Messenger and his firmness.

20
2. The members of the house of the Holy Prophet and their heroism.

3. An Islamic army consisting of seven hundred companions, the hearts of


many of them were filled with faith and readiness for sacrifice.

The start of the Battle of Uhud followed the method of the beginning or the
Battle of Badr. Talhah Ibn Abu Talhah (from Banu Abdul-Dar clan), the bearer
of the banner or the pagans, challenged the Muslims, saying: "Are there any
duelers?" The respondent to his call was the same respondent of the Battle of
Badr. Ali came to him and when they faced each other between the two hosts,
Ali swiftly dealt him a blow by his sword through which his head was split. The
Holy Prophet was pleased. He exclaimed: Allahu Akbar (God Is Great), and so
did the Muslims, for the biggest hero of the pagan army had died. It is a
noteworthy incident that Talha the first standard bearer of the Meccans lost
one of his legs by a stroke of Ali's sword, fell down and his lower garment
being loosened, he became naked. Ali, instead of finishing him, turned his face
from him and hit him no more. When Prophet asked Ali why he had spared the
man, he said the man was nude and entreated for the sake of Allah to spare
his life.

Abu Saad Ibn Abu Talhah (brother of Talhah) carried the banner and
challenged the Muslims, saying Companions of Mohammad, you allege that
your dead go to Paradise and our dead go to Hell. By "Al Lat", you lie. If you
were so confident, some of you could have faced me. Let one of you come to
fight me.

Ali came to him and Abu Saad was not luckier than his brother Talhah. The
men of Abdul-Dar continued replacing the bearers of their banner with their
men, and the Muslims continued annihilating them. Ali destroyed Artat Ibn
Sharhabeel, Shureih Ibn Qaridh and their servant, Sawab.

Ali and the banner bearers


However, Ibn Al-Atheer reported that Ali, alone, destroyed all the standard
bearers at the Battle of Uhud and said that Abu Rafi reported that. And so did
Al-Tabari.

The death of the bearers of the banner heightened the morale of the Muslims
and shook the hearts of the pagans. Following the death of the banner
bearers, the Muslims undertook a general offensive led by Ali, Al-Hamzah, Abu
Dujanh, and others. The Islamic offensive terrified the pagan army, but the
Muslims lost during this operation a giant hero Al-Hamzah, Lion of God, and
uncle of the Messenger of God. Wahshi bin Harb, an Abyssinian (Ethiopian
slave of Mut'am), transfixed him with his dart while he was fighting. However,
the pagans were forced to flee and leave their camps. The Muslims entered

21
the pagan camps and went on collecting what they found of equipment and
material without meeting any resistance from the pagans.

Who were fighting for the sake of


lust?
It is learnt from the verses, which Hind and other women were reciting with
tambourines to instigate the warriors of Quraysh and to incite them to blood-
shed and revenge, that these people were not fighting for the sake of
spirituality, purity, freedom and moral virtues. On the contrary they were
prompted by sexual and material consideration. The song which the women
sang with tambourine and a particular tune amongst the rows of the army
was: "We are the daughters of Tariq. We walk on costly carpets. If you face
the enemy we shall sleep with you, but if you show your back to the enemy
and flee, we shall disengage ourselves from you".

Defeat after victory


We may mention here as to why the warriors of Islam were victorious. It was
due to the fact that till the last moment of their victory they had no motive
except that of jihad in the path of Allah, acquisition of His pleasure, conveying
the message of Allah and the removal of every impediment in its path.

Why were they defeated thereafter? It was because, after achieving victory,
the aim and intention of most of the Muslims underwent a change. Attention
towards the booty, which the army of Quraysh had themselves thrown in the
battlefield and had fled, affected the sincerity of a large group and they
ignored the orders given by the Prophet.

Here are the details of the event: While explaining the geographical conditions
of Uhud we had mentioned that there was a particular gap in the middle of Mt.
Uhud and the Prophet had entrusted fifty archers under the command of
Abdullah Jibir to guard the valley behind the battle front and had given these
orders to the commander of the group: "Prevent the enemy from passing
through the gap in the mountain by shooting arrows and don't vacate this
point at any cost whether we are defeated or victorious".

The fire of warfare blazed up on both the sides. Every time the enemies
wished to cross this valley they were repulsed by the archers.

When the army of Quraysh threw away their weapons and property on the
ground and ignored everything else to save their lives, a few brave officers of
Islam whose oath of allegiance was perfectly sincere pursued the enemy
outside the battle-field. But the majority ignored the pursuit and placing their
weapons on the ground began collecting the booty and imagined that the
battle had come to an end.

22
The persons guarding the valley behind the battle front also decided to avail of
the opportunity and said to themselves: "It is useless for us to stay here and it
is profitable that we too should collect the booty". Their commander, however,
reminded that the Prophet had ordered that whether the Muslim army gained
victory or was defeated they should not move from their post. Majority of the
archers, who were guarding the passage, opposed their commander and said:
"0ur staying here is useless and the Prophet meant only that we should guard
this passage when the battle was in progress, but now the fighting has
ended".

On the basis of this false presumption forty men came down from the vigilance
post and only ten persons remained there. Khalid bin Walid, who was a brave
and experienced warrior and knew from the very start that the mouth of the
passage was the key to victory and had attempted many times to reach at the
back of the war-front through it, but had to face the archers, took advantage
of the small number of the guards this time. He led his soldiers towards the
backside of the Muslim army and making a surprise attack reached at the
party of the Muslims. The resistance by the small group which was stationed
above the mount could not prove effective till all the ten persons after putting
up a tough fight were killed at the hands of the troops of Khalid bin Walid and
Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl. Soon after that the unarmed and neglectful Muslims were
subjected to a severe attack of the enemy from behind.

After having gained possession of the sensitive point Khalid sought the
collaboration of the defeated army of Quraysh, which was in a state of flight,
and strengthened the spirit of resistance and perseverance of Quraysh with
repeated shoutings and cries. On account of disruption and confusion, which
prevailed in the ranks of the Muslims, the army of Quraysh soon surrounded
the Muslim warriors and fighting commenced between them once again.

This defeat was due to the negligence of those persons who vacated the
passage for their material gains and unintentionally cleared the way for the
enemy in such a manner that the mounted soldiers under orders of Khalid bin
Walid entered the field from behind.

The attack by Khalid was supported by an attack by Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl and
unprecedented and surprising disorder prevailed in the forces of Islam. The
Muslims had no alternative but to defend themselves as a scattered group.
However, as liaison with the command had also been disrupted they did not
succeed in defending themselves and suffered heavy casualties, so much so
that some Muslim soldiers were inadvertently killed by other Muslims.

The attacks by Khalid and Ikrimah strengthened the morale of the army of
Quraysh. Their retreating forces re-entered the field and lent them support.
They encircled the Muslims from all sides and killed a number of them.

23
The rumor about the Prophet being
killed spreads
A brave warrior of Quraysh named Laythi attacked Mus'ab bin Umayr, the
daring standard-bearer of Islam, and after exchange of a number of blows
between them the standard-bearer of Islam was killed. As the Muslim warriors
had hidden their faces Laythi thought that the person killed was the Prophet of
Islam. He, therefore, shouted and informed the chiefs of the army that
Muhammad had been killed.

This rumor spread from man to man in the army of Quraysh. Their chiefs were
so happy that their voices were ringing in the battlefield and all of them were
saying: "O people! Muhammad has been killed! O people! Muhammad has
been killed!"

Publicity of this false news encouraged the enemy and the army of Quraysh
came into motion. Every one of them was keen to participate in cutting the
limbs of Muhammad so that he might secure a high status in the world of
polytheism.

This news weakened the morale of the warriors of Islam much more than it
gave strength to the morale of the army of the enemy, so much so that a
considerable majority of Muslims abandoned fighting and took refuge in the
mountains and none of them, except a few, who could be counted on fingers,
remained in the field.

The Holy Quran reveals some facts


The verses of the Holy Qur'an tear the veils of fanaticism and ignorance and
make it abundantly clear that some companions thought that the promise
given by the Prophet about victory and success was baseless and the Almighty
Allah says thus about this group: Then after sorrow He sent down security
upon you, a calm coming upon a party (a group of companions) of you, and
(there was) another party whom their own souls had rendered anxious; they
entertained about Allah thoughts of ignorance quite unjustly, saying: We have
no hand in the affair. (Surah Al-e-Imran, 3:154)

You can learn the hidden facts about this battle by studying the verses of
Surah Al-e-Imran. These verses fully bear out the facts in which we believe.
We believe that all the companions were not self-sacrificing or lovers of Islam
and some persons with weak faith were hypocrites who were amongst them.
And at the same time there were among the companions a large number of
true believers and pious and sincere persons. Nowadays a group of writers
attempt to draw a curtain on many of these unworthy acts of the companions
(their specimens have been seen by you in connection with the events of this
battle). They protect the position of all of them by offering unrealistic

24
explanations, which only show their fanaticism and cannot hide the real facts
of history.

Who can deny the substance of this verse which says clearly: (Believers,
remember) When you ran off precipitately and did not wait for any one, and
the Messenger was calling you from your rear, (Surah Al-e-Imran, 3:153)

This verse is about the same persons, who were seen by Anas bin Nazr with
his own eyes when they were sitting in a corner and were anxious about their
future.

The following verse is more clear than that quoted above: (As for) those of
you who turned back on the day when the two armies met, only the Shaitan
sought to cause them to make a slip on account of some deeds they had done,
and certainly Allah has pardoned them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.
(Surah Al-e-Imran, 3:155)

Allah reprimands in the following verse those persons who made the news
about the Prophet's assassination an excuse for abandoning fight and were
thinking of approaching Abu Sufyan through Abdullah bin Ubayy to guarantee
their safety:

And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already


passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon
your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means does
harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful.

Five persons conspire to kill the


Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
At the time when the army of Islam was faced with disorder and chaos, the
Prophet was being attacked from all sides. Five notorious men of Quraysh
determined to put an end to his life at any cost. They were:

1. Abdullah bin Shahib who wounded the forehead of the Prophet.

2. Utbah Abi Waqqas who, by flinging four stones, broke his ruba'iyat
(Ruba'iyat are the teeth (four in number) which are between the front teeth
and the canine teeth) teeth of the right side.

3. Ibn Qumi'ah Laythi who inflicted a wound on the face of the Prophet The
wound was so severe that the rings of the Prophet's helmet penetrated into
his cheeks. These rings were extracted by Abu Ubaydah Jarrah with his teeth
and he lost four of his own teeth in doing so.

25
4. Abdullah Hamid, who was killed, at the time of attack, at the hands of the
hero of Islam, Abu Dujanah

5. Abi Khalf. He was one of those persons who fell at the hands of the Prophet
himself. He faced the Prophet at the time when He (the Prophet) had
managed to reach in the valley and some of his companions had come round
him, on having identified him. Abi Khalf advanced towards the Prophet. The
Prophet took a spear from Hasis bin Simmah and thrust it in the neck of Abi
Khalf as a consequence of which he fell down from his horse.

Although the wound sustained by Abi Khalf was minor, he had become so
much terrified that when his friends consoled him he could not compose
himself and said: "I said to Muhammad in Makkah that I would kill him and he
said in reply that he would kill me, and he never tells a lie". All was over with
him on account of the wound and fear, and after some time he breathed his
last on his way back to Makkah.

Defense associated with success


and renewed victory
It will not be inappropriate if we give the name of 'renewed victory' to this part
of the history of Islam. What is meant by this victory is that contrary to the
expectations of the enemies, the Muslims succeeded in saving the Prophet
from death. And this was the renewed victory, which fell to the lot of the army
of Islam.

If we are associating this victory with the entire army of Islam we are doing so
as a mark of respect to the warriors of Islam. In fact, however, the heavy
burden of this victory fell on the shoulders of a few persons who could be
counted on fingers. These were the persons who protected the Prophet by
risking their own lives and in fact it was due to the self-sacrifice of this
minority that the State of Islam remained in tact and this luminous candle did
not extinguish.

The Idolators suffered many casualties among their noble men at the battle of
Badr. The caravan that Abu Sufyan led (before Badr) returned safely to
Makkah, prompting the remaining Makkan leaders and the children of those
who were killed at Badr to demand from Abu Sufyan to, "Spend this money on
fighting Muhammad!'' Consequently, they spent the money from the caravan
on warfare expenses and mobilized their forces including the Ahabish tribes
(tribes living around the city). They gathered three thousand soldiers and
marched until they camped near Uhud facing Al-Madinah. The Messenger of
Allah led the Friday prayer and when he finished with it, he performed the

26
funeral prayer for a man from Bani An-Najjar called Malik bin `Amr. The
Prophet then asked the Muslims for advice, if they should march to meet the
disbelievers, or fortify themselves in Al-Madinah. `Abdullah bin Ubayy (the
chief hypocrite) advised that they should remain in Al-Madinah, saying that if
the disbelievers lay siege to Al-Madinah, the siege would be greatly
disadvantageous to them. He added that if they decide to attack Al-Madinah,
its men would face off with them, while women and children could throw rocks
at them from above their heads; and if they decide to return to Makkah, they
would return with failure. However, some companions who did not attend the
battle of Badr advised that the Muslims should go out to Uhud to meet the
disbelievers.

The Messenger of Allah went to his home, put on his shield and came out. The
companions were weary then and said to each other, "Did we compel the
Messenger of Allah to go out'' They said, "O Messenger of Allah! If you wish,
we will remain in Al-Madinah. '' The Messenger of Allah said:

«‫ل َله‬
ُ ‫حُكَم ا‬
ْ ‫حّتى َي‬
َ ‫جَع‬
ِ ‫ن َيْر‬
ْ ‫لَمَتُه َأ‬
َْ ‫س‬
َ ‫ي ِإَذا َلِب‬
َ ‫»َما َيْنَبِغي ِلَنِب‬

(It is not for a Prophet to wear his shield for war then lay down his arms
before Allah decides in his favor.)

The Messenger of Allah marched with a thousand of his Companions. When


they reached the Shawt area, `Abdullah bin Ubayy went back to Al-Madinah
with a third of the army, claiming he was angry the Prophet did not listen to
his advice. He and his supporters said, "If we knew that you would fight today,
we would have accompanied you. However, we do not think that you will fight
today.'' The Messenger of Allah marched until he reached the hillside in the
area of Uhud, where they camped in the valley with Mount Uhud behind them.
The Messenger of Allah said,

«‫حّتى َنْأُمَرُه ِباْلِقَتال‬


َ ‫حٌد‬
َ ‫ن َأ‬
ّ ‫ل ُيَقاِتَل‬
َ»

(No one starts fighting until I issue the command to fight.)

The Messenger prepared his forces for battle, and his army was seven
hundred men. He appointed `Abdullah bin Jubayr, from Bani `Amr bin `Awf,
to lead the archers who were fifty men. The Prophet said to them,

‫حححوا‬
ُ ‫ل َتْبَر‬
َ ‫طْيحُر َف‬
ّ ‫طُفَنححا ال‬
َ‫خ‬
ْ ‫ن َرَأْيُتُموَنا َت‬
ْ ‫ َوِإ‬،‫عَلْيَنا‬
َ ‫ت الّنْوَبُة َلَنا َأْو‬
ِ ‫ن َكاَن‬
ْ ‫ ِإ‬،‫ َواْلَزُموا َمَكاَنُكْم‬،‫ن ِقَبِلُكْم‬
ْ ‫ن ِم‬
ّ ‫ل ُنْؤَتَي‬
َ ‫ َو‬،‫عّنا‬
َ ‫ل‬
َ ‫خْي‬
َ ‫حوا اْل‬
ُ‫ض‬َ ‫»اْن‬
«‫َمَكاَنُكم‬

(Keep the horsemen away from us, and be aware that we might be attacked
from your direction. If victory was for or against us, remain in your positions.
And even if you see us being picked up by birds, do not abandon your
positions.)

The Prophet wore two protective shields and gave the flag to Mus`ab bin
`Umayr of Bani `Abd Ad-Dar. The Prophet also allowed some young men to

27
participate in fighting, but not others, whom he allowed to participate in the
battle of Al-Khandaq two years later. The Quraysh mobilized their forces of
three thousand men with two hundred horsemen on each flank. They
appointed Khalid bin Al-Walid to lead the right side of the horsemen and
`Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl on the left side. They also gave their grand flag to the
tribe of Bani `Abd Ad-Dar. Allah willing, we will mention the details of this
battle later on, if Allah wills. Allah said here,

﴾‫ل‬
ِ ‫عَد ِلْلِقَتا‬
ِ ‫ن َمَقا‬
َ ‫ك ُتَبّوىُء اْلُمْؤِمِني‬
َ ‫ن َأْهِل‬
ْ ‫ت ِم‬
َ ‫غَدْو‬
َ ‫﴿َوِإْذ‬

(And (remember) when you left your household in the morning to post the
believers at their stations for the battle) ﴿3:121﴾, designating them to various
positions, dividing the army to the left and right sides and placing them
wherever you command them.

﴾‫عِليٌم‬
َ ‫سِميٌع‬
َ ‫ل‬
ُّ ‫﴿َوا‬

(And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower), He hears what you say and knows what
you conceal in your hearts. Allah said next,

﴾‫ل‬
َ‫ش‬َ ‫ن ِمنُكْم َأن َتْف‬
ِ ‫طآِئَفَتا‬
ّ ‫ت‬
ْ ‫﴿ِإْذ َهّم‬

(When two parties from among you were about to lose heart,)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "The Ayah,

﴾‫ل‬
َ‫ش‬َ ‫ن ِمنُكْم َأن َتْف‬
ِ ‫طآِئَفَتا‬
ّ ‫ت‬
ْ ‫﴿ِإْذ َهّم‬

(When two parties from among you were about to lose heart) was revealed
about us, ﴿the two Muslim tribes of﴾ Bani Harithah and Bani Salamah. I (or we)
would not be pleased if it was not revealed, because Allah said in it,

﴾‫ل َوِلّيُهَما‬
ُّ ‫﴿َوا‬

(but Allah was their Wali (Supporter and Protector)) ﴿3:122

Muslim recorded this Hadith from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.

Site of the battle of Uhud Battle of Uhud: Archer's Mount During the Battle of
Uhud

28
The Battle of Uhud Mountain of Uhud

The Battle of Uhud was a great example of what can happen when you
disobey the Messenger of God (pbuh). It was a grave lesson for the believers
and a warning to them. At the same time, it was a defeat and a victory for
both sides. To fully understand the Battle of Uhud, we must divide it into three
parts: the events in chronological order, the analysis of the events and the
wisdom gained from this experience.

From the Quraish’s perspective, this battle was a revenge for the Battle of
Badr. The Quraish sent messengers to the different tribes of Mecca to try to
gain their support against the Muslims in Madinah. There also hired poets to
persuade the people to join. The Makkans even brought fifteen women to
influence the men to fight. The Quraish had three thousand men. Seven
hundred of their soldiers were armored and two hundred on horseback. They
had three thousand camels for the journey. Al Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib sent a
message to the Prophet (pbuh) that the Quraish were planning to attack the
Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh), after receiving the letter, went to Madinah to
discuss the matter. After hearing about the Quraish’s plans, they watched
Madinah very carefully. The Muslims organized groups to watch the routes, so
that they would know of the coming of the Quraish. Meanwhile the Quraish
reached a place near the mountains of Uhud and set up their tents there on
Friday, Shawwal 6, 3 A.H. (After Hijrah). The Muslims found the enemy camp
and told the Prophet (pbuh) about it. The Prophet (pbuh) wanted to avoid war,
so he wanted the Muslims to stay in Madinah, and, if necessary defend it from
the Quraish within the city. The final conclusion was to resist the Quraish
outside of Madinah. The Prophet (pbuh), after Juma prayer, prepared for the
battle. The Prophet (pbuh) made three different groups: Al-Muhajireen, Aws
tribe and the Khazraj. The Muslim army had one thousand men. One hundred
men were armored and fifty were on horseback. The Jews wanted to fight, but
the Prophet (pbuh) did not allow them to. The Prophet (pbuh) sent the
physically incapable and young back to Madinah. When the Muslims set up
camp, fifty guards were appointed to guard the camp. After the Muslim army
was close to the Quraish, Abdullah bin Ubai, a hypocrite, left the battlefield
taking three hundred soldiers. This is explained in the Qur’anic verse [3:167].
This incident almost caused the further split of the army, but Allah (swt)

29
helped them. The Qur’anic Verse [3:122] talks about this. The Prophet (pbuh)
and his followers continued their march until they came to the valley of Uhud
and that is where they settled camp. The Prophet (pbuh) put fifty archers on a
strategic location behind the Muslim army. The Prophet (pbuh) at that point
gave Abu Dujana his sword. The Quraish put their army into rows; this was a
tradition of war that was passed down to them. The battle started with two
fighters, Talha bin Abi Talha Al-Abdari and Az-Zubair bin Al-Awwam. Az-Zubair
killed Talha, so the battle started. The Bani Abd Ad-Dar were the flag-bearers,
but they were all defeated in the beginning of the battle. Abu Dujana was
fighting very bravely. He was about to kill Abu Sufyan’s wife, but said he
respected the Prophet (pbuh)’s sword too much to use on a woman. Humza
fought bravely as well, but was killed by a slave, Wahshi bin Harb, who killed
him to gain his freedom. Hanzala Al-Ghaseel was just married, he was in his
wife’s bed, but when he heard of the battle against the Quraish, he ran to the
battlefield. The archers, who the Prophet set up behind the Muslim army, kept
the cavalry of the Quraish from overtaking the Muslims by surprise. It seemed
the Muslims were winning, so forty of the fifty archers left to collect the spoils.
The Quraish saw this and exploited it. They surrounded the Muslims and
scattered them. The Prophet (pbuh) started calling them back. Some of the
Muslims fled the battlefield out of confusion. The Muslims were lost and there
spread a rumor that the Prophet (pbuh) had been killed. Anas An-Nadr said he
smelled Paradise on the battlefield and died fighting as a martyr. There were
only nine people fighting with the prophet (pbuh). Seven of them, all Ansar,
died and only two Muhajireen were left with the Prophet (pbuh). At this point
in the battle, the Quraish came to the Prophet, seeing he only had two men
with him. The Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s tooth broke, his head was scratched and
his cheek was bleeding. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “How can people who cut
the Prophet’s face and break his tooth, he who calls them to worship Allah,
How can such people thrive or be successful? Allah (swt) replies to the
Prophet’s statement in this verse [3:128]. The only two companions left
protecting the Prophet (pbuh) were Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas and Talha bin
Ubaidullah. They were great fighters and kept the Quraish away. Talha
paralyzed his arm defending the Prophet (pbuh). Abu Dujana protected the
Prophet (pbuh) from arrows by shielding him by his back, while Talha
protected him from the arrows by using his chest as a shield. Qatabah bin-
Nu’man’s eye fell out, when the Prophet (pbuh) put it back in; it was become
better than his other eye. Abdur Rahman bin Awf broke his mouth and
wounded his leg. Umm Amarah fought in the battle until she received 12
wounds. Musab bin Umair carried the flag till his death. Ali received the flag
from the Prophet (pbuh) after Musab’s death. Uthman bin Abdullah bin Al-
Mugheerah tried to kill the Prophet (pbuh), but was killed by Al-Harith bin As-
Simma. The Muslims finally retreated to the mountains of Uhud. Ubai bin
Khalaf was killed by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Al-Harith’s spear. Abu
Sufyan and Khalid bin Al-Waleed tried to pursue them, but some companions
drove them down the mountain. The disbelievers went back on their way to
Makkah. After the battle, the disbelievers mutilated some of the Muslim
bodies. Hind bin Utbah, Abu Sufyan’s wife, ripped open Hamza’s liver, chewed
it and threw it down. Some Muslim women gave water to the Muslim soldiers.
Qazman fought well and killed about seven Quraish, but he fought out of
pride. The Prophet (pbuh) said he was a dweller of Hell-Fire after he

30
committed suicide due to the pains of his wounds. A Jew was among the
martyred. The Prophet (pbuh) said about him, “He, Mukhaireeq is the best
Jew.”

Many people said that the Battle of Uhud was a defeat for the Muslims. In
reality, it was a victory and not that much of a defeat. The Muslims learned
the importance of obeying the leader and especially the Prophet (pbuh). This
will stay as an example for the Muslims of all ages and times. Even one little
mistake can prove disastrous. At the same time, it was made clear to the
Muslims who were the believers and who were the hypocrites. The true Muslim
fought bravely, many were martyred in the way of God. This made the
believers’ inspiration to fight in the way of God and die a martyr greater than
it was before. The hypocrites fled from the battle field, some even openly
opposed the Prophet (pbuh). Even though the Quraish won, they became
cowardly and retreated, knowing that their victory wouldn’t be very long. Even
though the believers ended up retreating, they learned very important
lessons. The only way it can be seen as a defeat is by the loss of Hamza and
the injuries obtained by the Prophet (pbuh). The Quraish had gotten their
moment of triumph, but in the end, truth will always prevail over evil.

There is much wisdom from the outcome of the Battle of Uhud. One thing was
that the believers learned from their mistakes. God tested the believers with
different circumstances. God also made clear to them the true believers and
the hypocrites among them. As was the story of Qazman shows us what
happens to those who fight for the wrong reasons? He fought so bravely, but
only for pride. In the Hereafter, he was one of the losers. God made him as an
example for all people. God made the believers stronger and gave them
chance to earn martyrdom. The story of the Jew from Bani Tha’labah,
Mukhaireeq, who believed in the message and gained martyrdom at Uhud,
was also an example. The Prophet said he was the best Jew. The courageous
Talha bin Ubaidullah, who the Prophet (pbuh) gave glad tidings of Paradise,
proved his selflessness and his love for Allah and his messenger. In these
men, there are examples for us all. We should not fight for nationalistic,
ethnic, social or material reasons. We should fight only for Allah (swt), in the
way of Allah (swt).

In summary, the Battle of Uhud was revenge by the disbelievers against the
Muslims. Although it seemed like a victory for the Muslim, it turned into a
defeat due to the disobedience of a few men. In the long run, it was a clear
victory because it taught the believers obedience and made obvious to them
the hypocrites. This was an example for all future generations of Muslims, and
Allah (swt) knows best.

31
The Battle of the Ditch took place
in Shawwal 5 A.H. It was a decisive
battle but it presented to the
Muslims grave trials that they had
not previously experienced. Allah
says in the Qur'an:

When they came against you from


above you and from below you,
and when your eyes swerved and
your hearts reached your throats,
and you thought thoughts about
Allah; there it was that the
believers were tried, and shaken
most mightily. (33: 11)

The Jews instigated these


hostilities. People from the Banu'n-
Nadir and the Banu Wa'il went to
the Quraysh in Makkah, calling on
them to fight the Messenger
(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of
Allah. The Quraysh who had
already experienced war with the
Prophet were reluctant to get
involved again. However, the
Jewish delegation painted such a
rosy picture of the outcome that
they agreed to co-operate.

'We will support you,' the Jews


promised, 'until you obliterate
him.'

That delighted the Quraysh. They were eager to carry out the Jews' ideas.
They gathered their forces and prepared for battle. The Jewish delegation then
went to the Ghatafan tribes and invited them to join the Quraysh. After the
Ghatafan agreed to join in, they went to other tribes, presenting them with
the same plan backed by the Quraysh.

Thus an alliance was formed between the Quraysh, the Jews, and the
Ghatafan against the Muslims.

Certain conditions were drawn up. The Quraysh had to gather four thousand
fighters and the Ghatafan six thousand, making ten thousand in all. This vast
army was to be commanded by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. The Jews agreed to give
one year's harvest of Khaybar to the Ghatafan to compensate them for their

32
military expenses.

WISDOM IS THE LOST PROPERTY


OF THE BELIEVER
The Muslims decided to fortify themselves in Madinah and defend the city.
Their army numbered less than three thousand so Salman al-Farsi suggested
that a ditch should be dug around the city for protection.

'In Persia,' Salman said, 'when we feared invaders, we would dig a ditch
around us to keep them at bay.' The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)
of Allah agreed to his suggestion and a ditch was dug on the exposed side
from where they feared the enemy would attack. The Messenger (sallallahu
alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah planned the work and assigned forty cubits of
digging to each group of ten Muslims. The length of the ditch was about five
thousand cubits and its depth varied between seven and ten cubits. Its width
was at least nine cubits.

THE SPIRIT OF EQUALITY AND


MUTUAL SUPPORT AMONG THE
MUSLIMS
The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah helped to dig the ditch
and encouraged the Muslims working alongside him. Although it was bitterly
cold and food was in short supply, the work proceeded smoothly.

Abu Talhah said, 'we complained to the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi


wassallam) of Allah of hunger and we showed him the stones that we had tied
round our bellies to ease the pain. Then the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam) of Allah showed us that he had two stones on his belly.'

33
In spite of all this they were happy, praising Allah and chanting poems. No one
complained or expressed any regrets.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, 'The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam) of Allah went out to the ditch when the Muhajiroon and Ansar were
digging in the bitterly cold morning air. They had no slaves to do it for them.
Seeing their state of fatigue and hunger, he said:
O Allah! True life is the life of the Next World. So forgive the Ansar and the
Muhajirun.

In response they said:


We are those who have given homage to Muhammad. To fight in jihad as long
as we have life.
The Muslims came upon a large rock which their picks could not shift. When
they complained to the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah about
it, he took up a pick, saying, 'In the name of Allah.' His first blow broke off a
third of the rock and sent sparks flying.

'Allah is greater!' he said, 'I have been given the keys of Syria. By Allah, I see
its red castles, if Allah wills.'

He struck at the rock a second time and another third broke off.

'Allah is greater. I have been given the keys of Persia and, by Allah; I see the
white castles of al-Mada'in.

With his third blow, he invoked the name of Allah and the rest of the rock
shattered.

'Allah is greater!' he exclaimed, 'Allah is greater! I have been given the keys of
the Yemen. By Allah, I see the gates of San'a' from here.

PROPHETIC MIRACLES:
A number of miracles were witnessed by the Companions at this time. Once
when the ground was too hard to dig in part of the ditch, the Messenger
(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called for some water, spat into it and
prayed a supplication willed by Allah. When he poured the water over the hard
ground, it became soft like sand. On other occasions, a great blessing would
appear when a small amount of food could satisfy a large number of Muslims
or even be sufficient for an entire army of three thousand workers.

"When they came to you from above you and from beneath you"

The Muslims had scarcely finished work on the ditch when the Quraysh and
the Ghatafan arrived and pitched camp outside Madinah with ten thousand

34
warriors. The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah assembled his
three thousand Muslims, keeping the ditch between them and the enemy.
A treaty existed between the Muslims and the Madinan Jewish tribe of Banu
Qurayzah. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of Banu'n-Nadir encouraged the Jews
to break the treaty. When the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of
Allah heard of this, he realised that it was a serious setback and everyone
feared the consequences. Some of the hypocrites displayed their hypocrisy
openly. The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah even considered
making a treaty with the Ghatafan, giving them one-third of Madinah's dates
in order to make things easier for the Ansar who always bore the greatest
hardships during wars.

He rejected that option after SA’d ibn Mu'adh and SA’d ibn 'Ubadah advised
him to remain firm, upright and resolute before the enemy and to refuse any
compromise.

'Messenger of Allah,' they said, 'We and these people all used to associate
other things with Allah and worship idols; none of us worshipped nor
recognized Allah. They would not eat a single date except through hospitality
or purchase. Now that Allah has honoured us with Islam and guided us to it
and made us mighty by you and Himself, shall we still give them our property?
By Allah, we have no need to and, by Allah; we will not give them anything
but the sword until Allah decides between us and them.'

QURAYSH CAVALRY:
The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the Muslims
remained besieged by their enemies but no fighting took place. However,
some of the mounted Quraysh galloped their horses up to the edge of the
ditch. When they saw the ditch, they said, 'By Allah, this is a device which the
Arabs have never used!'

Then, having found the narrowest part, they beat their horses until they
jumped over the ditch into the territory of Madinah. Among them was the
famous horseman Amr ibn Abd Wudd who was said to be the equal of a
thousand horsemen. He stopped and asked, 'Who will face me?'

Ali ibn Abi Talib sprang forward and said, 'Amr!

You swore by Allah that if a man of the Quraysh offered you two alternatives,
you would accept one of them!'

'Yes, I did.'

'I call you to Allah and to His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and to
Islam,' Ali said.

'I have no need of that.'

35
'Then I call on you to encounter me.'
'Nephew,' said Amr to Ali, 'By Allah, I do not want to kill you.'
'But, by Allah,' Ali replied, 'I want to kill you.'

Amr was so furious that he leapt from his horse, hamstrung it, and slapped its
face. Then he advanced on Ali who fought back. They circled one another,
thrusting and parrying. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) eventually
beheaded Amr with a sweeping blow of his sword. The other horsemen rapidly
retreated back across the ditch.

A MOTHER ENCOURAGING HER


SON TO FIGHT AND GAIN
MARTYRDOM:
Before the veil was prescribed, A'ishah, Umm al-Mu'minin, said that she was
with the Muslim women in the fortress of Banu Harithah when, 'Sa'd ibn
Mu'adh passed by wearing armour so short that his forearm was exposed. He
was chanting some verses and his mother called "Catch up, my son. By Allah,
you are late." ' A'ishah continued, 'I said to her, "Umm Sa'd, I wish Sa'd's
armour were longer than that."

What A'ishah feared took place. Sa'd ibn Mu'adh was hit by an arrow which
severed a vein causing excessive bleeding. He died a martyr in the subsequent
battle with the Banu Qurayzah.

TO ALLAH BELONG THE ARMIES OF


THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
Their enemies laid siege to the Muslims for about a month. They invaded all
the surrounding areas creating great hardship. The hypocrites showed their
true colors; some even asked the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of
Allah if they could go into Madinah because they had left their houses
unlocked. In reality, they only wanted to flee from the battlefront.

While the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and his Companions


kept a close watch on the enemy besieging them, Nu'aym ibn Mas'ud from the
Ghatafan came up to him to say,

'Messenger of Allah, I have become a Muslim but my people do not know that.
Tell me what you want me to do and I will do whatever you wish.'

The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah replied, 'You are the only
Muslim there, so stay among our enemies and try to help us in whatever way
you can. War is a clever device.'

Nu'aym ibn Mas'ud then went to the Banu Qurayzah and aroused doubts in
their minds about their position. He mentioned their alliance with the Quraysh

36
and Ghatafan who were distant tribes, and their antagonism towards the
Muhajirun and Ansar who were their close neighbours. He suggested they
should not fight alongside the Quraysh and Ghatafan until they had taken
some leaders as hostages for security. They answered, 'You have given us
good advice.'

When he went to talk to the Quraysh, he told them that the Jews were
regretting what they had done and would be asking for some of their leaders
to be held hostage as security that the treaty would not be broken. He also
said that when they handed them over to the Prophet and his Companions,
they would strike off their heads. Then he told the Ghatafan the same story as
he had told the Quraysh. The seeds of distrust that he planted in their minds
put the two groups on their guard and made them angry with the Jews. A split
developed between the allies as a result, and each of them feared the others.

When Abu Sufyan and the leaders of the Ghatafan were ready to fight a
decisive battle with the Muslims, the Jews put it off, demanding hostages from
both sides first. The Quraysh and Ghatafan were convinced that Nu'aym ibn
Mas'ud had told them the truth so they refused to grant the Jews' request.
The Jews were also convinced that he had told them the truth. Thus their
distrust of each other broke their unity and they split up.

Allah supported His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) by causing a


hurricane to blow during the cold wintry nights. It blew down the enemy's
tents and overturned their cooking-pots. The men were disheartened. Abu
Sufyan got up and said,

'Company of Quraysh! By Allah, we are not in a permanent camp. The horses


and camels are dying. The Banu Qurayzah has broken their promise to us and
we have heard things about them which we dislike. We have suffered from the
harshness of the wind as you can see and we are left without a cooking pot, or
a fire. Not even a tent is standing up. Leave now, for I am going.'

Abu Sufyan went to his camel which was hobbled and mounted it. He beat it
but did not unhobble it until it was standing.

When the Ghatafan heard that the Quraysh had departed, they also left. The
Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was standing in prayer when
his spy, Hudhayfah ibn al-'Yaman, informed him of what had taken place. In
the morning the Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah left the ditch
and returned to Madinah. All the Muslims followed him, laying down their
weapons. Allah Almighty spoke the truth:

O you who believe, remember Allah's blessing on you when hosts came
against you, and We loosed against them a wind, and hosts you did not see.
Allah sees what you do. (33: 9) and, Allah sent back those that were
unbelievers in their rage and they attained no good. Allah spared the believers
of fighting. Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. (33: 25)
The hardships of war were over and the Quraysh never again returned to
fight the Muslims.

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The Messenger (S.W.A) of Allah said, 'The Quraysh will never raid you after
this year. Rather you will raid them. Seven Muslims were martyred on the Day
of the Ditch while four idol-worshippers were killed by the Muslims.

The Battle of the Trench took place after the campaign against Banu Nadir,
who had been expelled from Madina for their treachery and who had mostly
joined their Jewish brethren in Khaybar.

In the fifth year of Hijra, a group of those Jews including Sallam ibn Abi al-
Huqayq and Huyayy ibn Akhtab, together with a number of Banu Wa’il, left for
Makka. They urged the Quraysh to make war on the Prophet Muhammad,
upon him be peace and blessings, and promised help and support.

The Jewish group then went to the tribes of Ghatafan and Qays Aylan and
guaranteeing them help also, encouraged them to fight against God’s
Messenger.

These intrigues of the Jews resulted in the formation of a great confederacy


against Islam. It consisted of the Makkan polytheists, the desert tribes of
central Arabia, the Jews previously expelled for treacheries from Madina, the
Jews (Banu Qurayza) remaining in Madina, and the hypocrites led by Abd Allah
ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. The last two constituted a treacherous network within
Madina.

When God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, heard, through his
intelligence service, of the gathering of the allies or confederates (ahzab) against
him, and the strength of their desire to fight against him, he consulted his
Companions, as he always used to do. It was their unanimous view that they
should remain in Madina and fight from there. Salman al-Farisi suggested to
God’s Messenger that they should dig a trench around Madina.

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The Battle of Badr (2 A.H., 624
C.E.)
The Meccans finally got fed up of Muhammad's antics and attacked him in
Medina. This led to the first major battle in Muhammad's life - the battle of
Badr. In this battle, he realized that the far stronger Meccan army could only
be defeated by guile. He ordered all the water springs outside Medina, to be
sanded-up, so that the attacking Meccans would be without any sustenance.
Now this would have been a legitimate tactic in war, but coming from a
messenger of God to contrive to starve people of his own clan of water in
order to defeat, betrayed Muhammad's ruthless mentality which showed that
he was far from anything saintly.
The Meccans decided to outwit Muhammad and attack Medina during a
cloudburst, to obviate the need for water. But the heavily armored Meccan
army got trapped in the slushy sands outside Medina and they were thrown in
disarray with camels falling over each other in total disorder unable to meet
the infantry charges of the Muhammad's highly motivated followers.
Muhammad had instructed his followers not to take prisoners and all the
Meccans who fell off their camels were instantly beheaded. The carnage that

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followed led to a complete rout of the Meccans and the victory of a man whose
followers were to carry forward this bloodied legacy across continents,
slaughtering millions of people (“Strike of the heads of the non-believers” is
the mentality Muhammad instilled into his followers. And this commandment
found its way into the Quran whose word is followed by Zarqawi and Al Qaeda
even today).
The defeat at Badr stunned the Meccans into disbelief and there was
despondency and mourning amongst the populace. They foresaw worse things
to come.

Lessons from the battle of Badar


In this battle Muhammad ordered for the water springs to be sanded up in this
very first battle. This shows that he would stoop to any level to win a war. This
is more appalling, as Muhammad masqueraded as a spiritual person, as a
prophet of God. If any military commander like Alexander of Hannibal had
used this tactic, it would been looked upon as a legitimate one to secure
victory. But for a person who claimed to be the final prophet of God to do this
is beyond words. This ruthless mentality is still present within Islam today.

The Battle of Uhad (3.AH, 625 C.E.)


The Battle of the Uhud hill was an extension of the Battle of Badr. The
Quraish, who were frustrated at Muhammad's continuing assaults on the
Caravans, re-organized their forces and attacked Medina once again.
After the defeat at Badr, the Quraish gathered a bigger forces comprising of all
able-bodied Quraish men and attacked Muhammad and his followers that was
hold up in Medina. This battle took place at a hillock named Uhud near
Madina.
In this war Muhammad again promised victory to his followers and told them
that as in the Battle of Badr, they would get to plunder the attacking Quraish,
who always went to war well stocked with Tents, Carpets, and Cooking
Utensils. But this lust for plunder was to make Muhammad taste a military
defeat for the first time.
Muhammad had placed a group of archers on the hillock to surprise the
attacking Quraish army, while the main portion of the Muhammad’s army
would engage the Quraish in the ravine below. It so happened that the Muslim
archers who were fighting from an elevation could force the Quraish to retreat.
As the Quraish retreated, leaving behind their tents, cooking pots, carpets, the
main part of the Muslim army which was facing the Quraish, paused the
fighting to collect this plunder left behind by the retreating Quriash. On seeing
their comrades helping themselves to the abandoned wealth of the Quriash,
the archers left their position on the hillock and came down to share in the
spoils of war
On seeing that the attack of arrows had stopped, the Quraish re-grouped and
attacked the Muslims who were by now busy looting the abandoned Quraish
Camp. This led to a massacre of the Muslims, and Muhammad himself was
hurt by an attack from Khalid-ibn-Walid, the brave Quraish general (who was
later to convert to Islam and lend his bravery to the march of Islam).

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This way the Battle of the Uhud hill ended in defeat for Muhammad due to the
lust of his followers for plunder. Muhammad had to save himself by retreating
into the fortified town of Madina. So much for the divine help that Allah
renders the Muslims in warfare

Lessons from the battle of Uhad


The first Muslim converts were those hardened criminals who wanted to loot a
harried and defeated enemy. So the level of morality among the early Muslims
(as also among many of today’s Muslims) was quite low. Their war discipline
was pathetic. After all many of them were there to plunder and rape.
The fact that greed could get the better of the Muslims was the lesson for
Muhammad from the Battle of Uhud. Henceforth, he made violation of
discipline and retreat from a battle an offense punishable with death. A
tradition carried by Muslims till today. This shows the ruthlessness of
Muhammad, who would be merciless with his own followers if they failed in
the objective of defeating an enemy. This coercion played no small role in the
successive victories the Muslims had.

The Battle of the Trench (or Ditch)


In the following year the Quraish built and alliance of different Arab tribes to
fight the Muslims holed up in Medina. They enrolled the help of many tribes,
among them were the Banu Ghaftan. This confederacy of tribes, attacked
Medina with a huge army. This time the tactic used by Muhammad was to dig
a ditch or a trench around the city of Medina. He did this on the suggestion of
Salman Farsi (a follower of his who had returned from Persia). This Salman
was an Arab who originally lived in Persia and who had been banished by the
Persian emperor for his heretical ideas and the crime of fomenting rebellion
against the Persian Empire. To avenge his insult, Salman, returned to his
homeland Arabia and played a major role in instigating Muhammad to form an
army to attack Persia.
Muslim sources would want you to believe that this Salman came to Arabia to
seek spiritual solace in Muhammad. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Salman knew that the Persians had this practice of having defensive trenches
and moats dug around cities. But the Arabs were unaware of this practice as
their battles generally involved attacking and defending passing caravans, and
rarely against the few cities that existed in Arabia at that time. And in
attacking a moving target like passing caravans, static defenses like moats
and trenches played no role.
So when the Quraish confederacy approached Medina, they were confused by
the Trench, and they settled for a long siege, Now Muhammad used his third
trick of applying pressure selectively on the confederate army and promising
the different confederates with friendship if they embraced Islam. Incidentally
he did not tell them then that the punishment for anyone leaving Islam was
death. An ex-Muslim was a Murtad and had to be killed. At the Battle of the
Trench, in the beginning Muhammad's overtures were initially met with scorn.
But as the battle became a long drawn one, with the weather turning
inclement with sandstorms, hail and rain, some of the confederates decided to

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withdraw from battle after accepting Islam as a pretext for withdrawing from
the battle.
The Quraish had not made the acceptance of Islam a punishable offense, the
way Muhammad had ordained death for those leaving Islam. The first of the
confederate tribe to fall for Muhammad’s ruse was that of the Banu Ghaftan.
After this one by one of the confederates withdrew from the alliance by
offering the pretext of embracing Islam
Finally the Quraish decided that the siege could not continue and lifted it to
retreat to Mecca. After the Quraish lifted the siege, Muhammad waylaid those
poets and balladeers in Madina who had formally declared themselves to be
Muhammad’s followers (and had converted to his creed of Islam), but whom
he had suspected of having secretly pledged their loyalty to the attacking
Quraish. He ordered that they should be assassinated.
Mind you, these poets were not combatants, they were balladeers, who loved
the freedom of worship of the pre-Islamic Arab society, and they decried
Muhammad’s tyranny through their poems and ballads. That was enough for
Muhammad to order their assassination. And they had to die not in battle, and
not because they had picked up arms against Muhammad, but because of his
plot to murder them when they least suspected that they would be done to
death. The Islamic tradition to putting Murtads (apostates) to death had
begun.

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