Confrontation of the Syrian Army and the Medinan Forces

Combatants and defenders of Medina had, as mentioned above, reconstructed the trench and created a defensive and safety barrier blocking the enemy on the western side of the city that consisted of flat lands and seemed easy for the enemy to pass. They ruled out the possibility that the Syrian army can launch their assault from the rocky and rough side of the east of Medina or even if they did launch it from there, they can barely make headway.

The prediction of the Medinan combatants came true, as the Syrian army was never able to pass the Western side of the city and cross the trench, and thus was forced to move to the rocky eastern side to invade the city.

First the Syrian archers entered the battle. Ibn Hanzala told his troops: “We are now targeted by arrows; whoever wishes to enter paradise should sacrifice his life around this banner - the banner of Medinans!”

Upon Ibn Hanzala's speech, the self-sacrificing combatants accompanied him and got into a fierce battle against the Syrian army and an unprecedented war broke out in that land.1

'Abd Allāh b. Hanzala told his companions: “It is true that your enemy has found the way to fight, but I do not think they will be able to resist more than one hour. You are the Muhājirin and the companions of the Prophet (s); I do not think God is more pleased with any other people than you! Death is the indispensable destiny of all human beings, but no death is superior to martyrdom; martyrdom is in front of you, take advantage of it!2

  • 1. Tabarī, Ta’rīkh, vol. 2, p. 250; Ibn Athīr, Al-Kāmil fī al-Ta’rīkh, vol. 4, p. 117.
  • 2. Ibid, vol. 4, p. 117.