Battle of Humral Asad

Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Aban bin Uthman and Ali bin Ibrahim has mentioned in his Tafsir, and Nomani in his Tafsir narrates from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that after the Quraish returned from Uhud, they regretted their failure and said: “Come let us go and plunder Medina.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Who can inform me about the Quraish?”

No one replied, but Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in spite of his wounds said: “I will go and see.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Go and see, if they are mounted on horses and leading the camels empty, it means that they are heading to Medina and I will curse them if it is so. And very soon they will be chastised. If they are on camels and leading the horses, they are heading to Mecca.

So Amirul Momineen (a.s.) followed them and saw that they were mounted on camels and pulling the horses. So the Prophet set out for Medina. When he reached Medina, Jibraeel came and said: “The Almighty Allah commands you to pursue them and only those should accompany you, who are injured.”

Immediately the Holy Prophet (S) had it announced: O Muhajireen and Ansar all of you who are injured should accompany me and those who have not received any injury should remain in Medina. The wounded were having their wounds dressed when this verse was revealed:

وَلَا تَهِنُوا فِي ابْتِغَاءِ الْقَوْمِ ۖ إِنْ تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ ۖ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ 

“And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain, and you hope from Allah what they do not hope…”1

At this divine command, the companions, despite their wounds and pain, set out from Medina. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) raised the standard and began to lead them. When the Holy Prophet (S) reached Hamraul Asad, which is eight miles from Medina, Quraish had halted at called Roha.

Akrama bin Abu Jahl, Harith bin Hisham, Amr bin Aas and Khalid bin Walid favored an attack on Medina because “We have finished their leaders and killed Hamza the bravest of them; now we should go and plunder their property and make their ladies our captives.” A traveler who was going from Medina to Mecca passed them and they asked him about the Prophet and his men.

“I have left Muhammad and his men at Hamraul Asad and they are in your pursuit and they are moving very fast and in a serious manner and Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is about to reach here with the vanguard.” Abu Sufyan said: “Returning from here is cowardice and rebellion and those who rebel are never successful.

Now when we have gained victory, if we return we would be defeated. Then Naeem bin Masud Ashjai passed them. Abu Sufyan asked where he was headed. He said that he was going to Medina to purchase goats for his family. Abu Sufyan said: “If you pass by Hamraul Asad and you happen to meet Muhammad and his men, tell them that the chiefs of Arab tribes and their confederates have gathered in our support and make them terrified so that they may return to Medina.

I will give ten camel loads of dates and raisins. Naeem accepted the offer and he reached Hamraul Asad the following day. He asked the companions of the Prophet where they were headed and they said that they were in pursuit of Quraish. He said: “Go back, because all the confederates of Quraish who had not joined them in Uhud have gathered in their support; now very soon their vanguard is about to arrive you don’t stand a chance against them.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Allah is sufficient for us and how good a protector He is. We don’t care for them.”

Jibraeel arrived and informed him to return “because the Almighty Allah has put his awe in the hearts of the infidels of Quraish and they have gone back to Mecca.” The Holy Prophet (S) returned to Medina on Friday and the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses:

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

“(As for) those who responded (at Uhud) to the call of Allah and the Apostle after the wound had befallen them, those among them who do good (to others) and guard (against evil) shall have a great reward.”2

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

“Those to whom the people said: Surely men have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector.” 3

فَانْقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ لَمْ يَمْسَسْهُمْ سُوءٌ وَاتَّبَعُوا رِضْوَانَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَظِيمٍ

“So they returned with favor from Allah and (His) grace, no evil touched them and they followed the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.” 4

It is mentioned in authentic traditions that one who says to the enemy, “Sufficient is Allah for us as a protector,” will receive no harm from the enemy, because the Almighty Allah says: When they said this, they returned safely through the grace of Allah.

Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Aban bin Uthman that when the Holy Prophet (S) went to the expedition of Humraul Asad, a woman of loose morals, named Asma, who was from Bani Hatma and attended the gatherings of Aws and Khazraj and recited poems disparaging the Holy Prophet (S); incited people to fight against him. At that time no one had accepted Islam in Bani Hatma, except Umair bin Adi.

When the Prophet returned, Umair killed that woman the following day and came back to the Prophet and said: “I have killed Asma because she used to talk ill of you.” The Holy Prophet (S) placed his hand on him and said: “This is the man who helps Allah and Prophet in a concealed manner. The blood of that woman is wasted and no one will claim the blood money.” Umair says: “When I went back, I saw her sons burying her and no one claimed her blood money.”

Ibn Abil Hadid and Ibn Athir have narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) returned from the expedition of Humraul Asad and on the way he arrested Muawiyah bin Mughira, Ibn Abil Aas and Abu Uzza Hamji who had come to spy from Quraish. Under the command of the Prophet, Abu Uzza was eliminated as we have previously mentioned. Muawiyah bin Mughira had cut off the nose and ears of Hamza and he had lost his way.

He reached the house of Uthman in the morning to take refuge who said: “You have killed yourself and me also.” He said: “You are my closest relative. I have come to you so that you may stand as a surety from me.” Uthman hid him at home and he same to the Prophet to find out what was being discussed about him. When he came there, he heard the Prophet say: “Search for Muawiyah, because he is in Medina.” A companion said that he was in Uthman’s house. People came to his place. Umm Kulthum the ward of the Prophet told them he was concealed at a certain place. They apprehended him and brought him to the Prophet. When Uthman saw that he has been apprehended he said: “By Allah, I only come to sue for his safety.

Please forgive him from my sake.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I agree, but he should leave Medina and the surrounding areas within three days; and if he is seen anywhere, he will be killed. Uthman prepared for his journey and bought a camel for him and sent him away from there. And the Holy Prophet (S) departed from Humraul Asad and Muawiyah lived in Medina for three days so that he may inform the infidels about the circumstances of the Prophet. On the fourth day, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Who can apprehend Muawiyah for me?”

Zaid bin Haritha and Ammar Yasir began to search for him. Since he had lost his way and was in the vicinity of Medina Zaid attacked him with the sword and Ammar said: “I also have a right.” He shot him with an arrow and he died.5

Sayyid Ibn Tawus has narrated that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) received eighty wounds in Uhud which had to be filled with burnt lamp wicks. The Messenger of Allah (S) paid him a visit and Imam Ali (a.s.) was lying on a skin. When the Holy Prophet (S) saw him he began to weep and said: “One who bears such hardships on the way to Allah, Allah is bound to give him limitless rewards.”

Imam Ali (a.s.) also wept and said: “Thanks be to Allah, that I did not turn away from you and run away, but I regret not having achieved martyrdom.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “You will gain martyrdom also. Then he said: “Abu Sufyan has threatened me that they will confront us at Humraul Asad. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, I am ready to fight first of all even though I need support to walk. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:

وَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُوا لِمَا أَصَابَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُوا وَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And how many a prophet has fought with whom were many worshippers of the Lord; so they did not become weak-hearted on account of what befell them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves; and Allah loves the patient.”6

  • 1. Surah Nisa 4:104
  • 2. Surah Aale Imran 3:172
  • 3. Surah Aale Imran 3:173
  • 4. Surah Aale Imran 3:174
  • 5. The author says: That is why Uthman martyred Kulthum, his wife, who was an adopted daughter of the Prophet, because she had exposed the hiding place of Muawiyah as will be explained in more detail later.
  • 6. Surah Aale Imran 3:146