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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 wasallam) 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 wasallam) to immigrate to alMedina. This carefully planned and prudent escape of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) and the Sahabah created great anxiety and rancor in the hearts of the disbelievers. The new abode of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wasallam), 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 wasallam). 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 wasallam) cautioned Abdullah and his men from taking any cruel steps against
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 wasallam) 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]
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 wasallam) 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.
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 alMedina 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 alGhimad, 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 (alMedina) 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
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 wasallam) marched towards the wells of Badar.
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 wellequipped 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 alAnfal (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
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 alAnfal (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
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 Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) continuously prayed to Allah day and night. When the battle became very crucial, he (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) 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-
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 wasallam) 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]
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 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 wasallam) 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
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.
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
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,
they are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)." [Soorah an-Nur (24): 55]
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
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,”
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
seventy of their warriors and leaders, along with seventy captives, in a oneday 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
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.
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
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 bloodshed 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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: «»ما ينبغي لنبي إذا لبس لمته أن يرجع حتى يحكم ال له َ ُ َ ُ ْ َ َّ َ ِ ْ َ ْ َ ُ َ َ َ َ َِ َ ِ َ ِ َِ ِ َ ْ َ َ ْ (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, «»ل يقاتلن أحد حتى نأمره بالقتال َ ِ ْ ِ ُ َ ُ ْ َ ّ َ ٌ َ َ ّ َِ َ ُ َ (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, »انضحوا الخيل عنا، ول نؤتين من قبلكم، والزموا مكانكم، إن كانت النوبة لنا أو علينا، وإن رأيتمونا تخطفنححا الطيحر فل تبرحححوا ُ َ َْ َ َ ُ ّْ َ ُ َ ْ َ َ ُ ُ ْ ََ ْ َِ َ ْ ََ ْ َ َ َ ُ َ ْ ّ ِ َ َ ْ ِ ْ ُ َ َ َ ُ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َِ ِ ْ ِ ّ َ َ ْ ُ َ َ َّ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ ْ «مكانكم َُ ََ (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
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, ﴾﴿وإذ غدوت من أهلك تبوىء المؤمنين مقاعد للقتال ِ َ ِ ْ ِ َ ِ َ َ َ ِ ِ ْ ُ ْ ُ ّ َ ُ َ ِْ َ ْ ِ َ ْ َ َ ْ َِ (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. ﴾﴿وال سميع عليم ٌ َِ ٌ ِ َ ّ َ ُ (And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower), He hears what you say and knows what you conceal in your hearts. Allah said next, ﴾﴿إذ همت طآئفتان منكم أن تفشل َ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ ِ ِ ََ ِ ّ ْ ّ َ ْ ِ (When two parties from among you were about to lose heart,) Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "The Ayah, ﴾﴿إذ همت طآئفتان منكم أن تفشل َ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ ِ ِ ََ ِ ّ ْ ّ َ ْ ِ (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, ﴾﴿وال وليهما َ ُ ّ َِ ّ َ ُ (but Allah was their Wali (Supporter and Protector)) ﴿3:122 Muslim recorded this Hadith from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.
Site of the battle of Uhud Uhud
Battle of Uhud: Archer's Mount
During the Battle of
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)
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 binNu’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 AlMugheerah tried to kill the Prophet (pbuh), but was killed by Al-Harith bin AsSimma. 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
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.
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'nNadir 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
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.'
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.
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
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.'
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.'
'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
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.
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 alHuqayq 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.
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
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).
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
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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