Migration To Medina

Before migrating to Medina, the Holy Prophet (S) sought assistance from the Arab tribes during the Haj (pilgrimage) season so that he could succeed in propagating his message. At that moment, he came across a group from the tribe of Khazraj, which had come for Haj from Medina and invited them to Islam. This group, which had heard from the Jews the prophecy of the last Prophet’s (S) advent, recognized the Prophet (S) and accepted Islam.

Moreover, while returning to Medina, they gave news about the Prophet (S) to the people of Medina and thus, gradually, Islam spread in Medina. In the subsequent year, a group from Medina came for Haj and there, paid allegiance to the Prophet (S). The Holy Prophet (S) dispatched “Mus.’ab-ibn-Umair“ from amongst the Muslims to accompany them so that he could preach Islam and the Quran to the newly converted Muslims of Medina
and lead them in the congregational prayers.

Thereafter, Islam spread rapidly in Medina until in the third year, more than seventy Medinites came to Mecca for Haj. There, they swore allegiance to the Prophet (S) promosing to establish the Islamic government if the Prophet came to Medina. When this group returned to Medina, they established the congregational prayers under the leadership of Mus.’ab and Islam was recognized as the official religion.

At that very moment, the Holy Prophet (S) issued an order to the Muslims residing in Mecca to migrate secretly to Medina. No Muslim remained in Mecca save Ali (a.s.), and a few other Muslims who were imprisoned by their parents and relatives.

On the other hand, the infidels among the Quraish, who now feared from the increasing number of the Muslims in Medina, gathered for consultation. At the end, they agreed that one person from each tribe should be selected for the task of killing the Prophet (S) and that overnight they should enter the Prophet’s (S) house and kill him so that Islam is uprooted once and for all.

Jibraeel, the Archangel informed the Prophet (S) about their (evil) intention and on behalf of Allah, ordered him to migrate to Medina.

The Prophet (S) charged Ali (a.s.) with four duties:

Firstly, to prepare the required mounts for this journey

Secondly, to sleep on the Prophet’s (S) bed for that night so that the killers would be under the impression that the Prophet (S) is lying on the bed and hence, he (S) could leave Mecca safely.

Thirdly, to return the things, which the Quraish had deposited with the Prophet as trust and to repay his debts

Fourthly, to take along with himself the Prophet’s (S) household members to Medina.

Later, the same night, the Prophet (S) left Mecca along with Abu Bakr and together they hid themselves in the cave of ‘Thaur’, situated outside Mecca. Ali (a.s.) slept on the Prophet’s (S) bed. The Quraish, among them Abu-Lahab (the Prophet’s uncle), besieged the house with the intention of killing the Prophet (S). From behind the wall (which was of a low height in those days), they fixed their eyes over the Prophet’s (S) bed so that with the approach of dawn they would kill the Prophet (S). They reckoned Ali (a.s.) who was lying on the Prophet’s bed to be the Prophet (S). But at dawn, when Ali (a.s.) got up from his bed, they realized their folly. When the infidels recognized their mistake, they searched for the Prophet (S) almost as far off as the cave of Mount Thaur.1

At that moment, Abu Bakr was very scared. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Do not grieve, for Allah is on our side..’2

The Quraishites returned from the cave. Ali (a.s.) purchased a camel for the Prophet (S).3 A camel was brought for Abu Bakr along with Aamer-ibn- Fahira, the slave of Ayesha’s stepbrother.4

They also took along with them a guide by the name of Abdullah ibn Areeqah, a non-Muslim from the tribe of Bani Dail.5

The Prophet (S) migrated from Mecca along with these three fellow travelers until they reached the village of Quba, which was situated two miles from Medina. They remained there until Ali (a.s.) returned the things which the Quraish had deposited with the Prophet (S) and then joined the Prophet (S) in Quba along with his family members.

This news reached the Muslims in Medina. Consequently, they would come out of Medina every morning and await the Prophet’s (S) arrival until the end of the day. This continued till Monday, the eighth or twelfth of Rabiul-Awwal when the Prophet (S) finally arrived in Medina along with his companions.

The Prophet’s (S) camel halted at a place in the centre of Medina. The Prophet (S) bought this place and built there, the mosque of Medina, with bricks and mud and covered its ceiling with branches of date trees. On the rear side of the mosque, he constructed a small shed named “Junhah” and made the homeless “Muhajirs” (the Immigrants) reside in this place.

Similarly, he built houses alike the structure of the mosque for each of his spouses adjoining the mosque. Seven months after migration, he married Ayesha. Thereafter, he got his daughter Fatimah, his daughter from Khadijah (s.a.), married to his cousin Ali, the son of Abu Talib, and constructed a house (which looked similar to his own house) near his own house for Fatimah (a.s.)

The Foundation of the Islamic Society

As such, the Prophet (S) founded the first Islamic society. He created brotherhood between every two persons from the Muhajirs (immigrants) like Abu Bakr and Omar. Moreover, he set every Muhajir as a brother to every Ansar (Helpers) like in the case of Abu-Bakr with Kharejah ibn Zubair Ansari and Omar-ibn-Khattab with Etab-ibn-Malik Ansari.

On both these occasions, he called Ali (a.s.) as his brother and addressed him as such,

“You are my brother in this world as well as the Hereafter “6

Similarly, for the sake of safeguarding this small society, he entered into a peaceful coexistence treaty with the Jewish tribes of Medina who were financially sound and wealthy. Moreover, the Prophet (S) signed a pact of cooperation with them (in particular, the tribes of Bani-Qainaqa who were tradesmen and usurers and the two tribes of Bani-Nazir and Bani-Quraizah, whose professions were farming, gardening and cattle-rearing) to fight against anyone who wanted to attack Medina. In this pact, they had implicitly acknowledged the Prophet’s (S) authority and rule in Medina.7

After concluding these agreements and gaining confidence in the internal security, the Prophet (S) turned his attention to the enemies of Islam (i.e. the Quraish in Mecca). This was while hundreds of Muhajirs existed who had left their entire wealth in Mecca under the occupation of the Quraish and were now living in utmost hardship, with the assistance of the Ansars.

To solve this problem, the Prophet (S) would dispatch warriors to overcome the trade caravans of the Quraish who would pass near Medina on their way to Mecca. On one occasion, they gained control over a small trade caravan belonging to the Quraish and the Prophet (S) distributed the spoils amongst the indigents.

The battle of Badr

This state of affairs continued until the month of Ramadhan 2 A.H. when it was reported to the Prophet (S) that a big trade caravan belonging to the Quraish was on its way from Syria to Mecca. The Prophet (S) persuaded a few Muslims to move out of Medina to keep watch over this trade caravan. For this purpose, one hundred and thirteen men set out of Medina until they halted near a place called “Badr “. The valley of “Badr “ is situated seven stops from Medina.

The big trade caravan of the Quraish, under the leadership of “Abu Sufyan “, received news of this event. Abu Sufyan informed the Meccans about this entanglement but he managed to escape.

The Quraish set out from Mecca with a thousand well-equipped men for encountering the Prophet (S). A few men from Bani Hashim too had accompanied this army, albeit reluctantly, and amongst them were Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle and Talib (Ali’s brother). The Quraish rebuked them and as a consequence, Talib managed to escape and returned to Mecca.

The Prophet (S) became aware of this event. A great portion of the Islamic army was formed by the Ansars (the helpers) who in their allegiance to the Prophet (S) in Mecca had promised to assist the Prophet but only during his stay in Medina. Thus, now that they were outside Medina and they had also not set out of Medina for the purpose of war, it was not out of place for the Prophet (S) to inquire whether they reckoned themselves to be obliged
to fulfill their promise or not under the present circumstances.

For this reason, the Prophet (S) gathered together his army for consultation and informed them about the flight of the trade caravan and the approach of the equipped army. He addressed them, “Let me have your opinion.

What should be done “?

At this moment, Abu Bakr and Omar suggested,

“O Prophet of Allah! We swear by Allah that these are the Quraish who have come forward with all their might and splendor.

We swear by Allah that from the time the Quraish have gained power and splendor, they have never been defeated and humbled.

We swear by Allah that from the day the Quraish have turned infidels they have not brought faith.

We swear by Allah that the Quraish will never forsake their power and splendor and will fight against you. So be prepared for a battle. “8

The Prophet (S) did not pay heed to these two and their intimidating sayings.9

After them, Miqdad said, “O Prophet of Allah! Act according to the divine command as we are on your side. We shall not repeat the statement of Bani Israel who said to their Prophet (S), ‘You go along with your Allah and fight while we shall remain here.’. But, we say, ‘Fight against them. We are on your side and we shall fight against them. I swear by the One who sent you by the truth! If you go as far as the shores of the sea we shall follow suit. “

The Prophet (S) sent blessings on him and repeated his earlier statement and said, (O people let me have your opinion).

The Ansars became aware that the Prophet (S) wanted to know their response. Sa.’d-ibn-Ma.’z, an Ansar chief, stood on his feet and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah. It appears that you want our reply?’

The Prophet (S) replied in the affirmative.

Sa.’d said, “I give my response on behalf of the Ansars and say, ‘O Prophet!

Perhaps you have set out of Medina for some particular task and now, you have received a divine command for another task. O Prophet! We have brought faith in you and have testified in you. We have also vowed to be obedient and submissive before you. You may act as per the divine command. I swear by the One who sent you by the truth, if you head towards the sea we (too) shall head for the sea even if only one amongst us may remain alive. You may establish relationship with whomsoever you wish and severe relationship with whosoever you desire. You may take from our wealth whatever you wish. If you take from our wealth we will be happier, than if you refuse. “

After Sa.’d’s speech, the Prophet (S) said, ‘You have the blessings of Allah who has promised me victory. At the moment, I can see the destruction of the infidels..’

Thereafter, he showed them the killing spot of each of the eminent ones from the Quraish10.

The Prophet’s (S) army descended upon Badr. They prepared a shady place for the Prophet (S) and then put guards near it. Abu Bakr went near this safe spot and remained there till the end of the battle.11

The army of Quraish arrived, all decked up and ostentatious. And on the seventeenth of Ramadhan, the famous battle of Badr came to an end between the Muslims and the infidels.

From the Prophet’s (S) army, Ali (a.s.) and Hamza (a.r.) exhibited their valour more than anybody else and killed the chiefs and champions amongst the Quraish.12 Amongst the Ansars too, the valiant battled fiercely. The few men from the Hashimites who had come to Badr by force, did not assist the polytheists in their fight against the Muslims.

In this war, the Muslims emerged victorious. Amongst them, fourteen achieved martyrdom, six from the Muhajirs and eight from the Ansars. Amongst the polytheists, seventy got killed and another seventy were taken as captives.

Amongst those killed were Utbah, Shaibah and Hanzalah, Hind’s father, brother and son respectively, and Ali (a.s.) and Hamza (a.r.) killed them all.13

On the day of Badr, the Prophet (S) declared as prohibited the killing of certain figures amongst the Bani-Hashim as well as a few others. These people were those who had either come with the Quraish involuntarily, like the Bani-

Hashim, and a few others, or had devoted some kind of service to Islam and had defended the Prophet (S) during his stay in Mecca like Abul Bukhtari, who was amongst those who had cooperated and torn apart the pact of the Qurasih against the Muslims.

In particular, the Prophet (S) announced the name of Abbas and said, ‘Do not kill him as the Quraish have brought him by force’.

At that moment, Abu Huzaifa, the son of Utbah said, “Should we kill our fathers, sons, brothers and near ones but leave Abbas unharmed? I swear by Allah that if I see him, I will pierce my sword in his body “

The Prophet (S) turned to Omar and said, ‘Do they wish to strike the Prophet’s paternal uncle with the sword?

Omar retorted, ‘O Prophet, allow me to severe his head with the sword. I swear by Allah that he has revealed his dissension.’14

The Prophet (S) did not give him permission.

Disagreement in Distribution of the Spoils of War

When the Quraishite army faced defeat and turned its back in the battle-field, a group of Islamic soldiers pursued them in the desert and whoever was caught, was either killed or taken as captive. Another group stormed the enemy’s tents and seized their belongings. A few others guarded the Prophet’s (S) place lest the enemy finds an opportunity and attacks the Prophet (S) when the Islamic soldiers were away.

After the termination of the battle, a dispute arose between these three groups over the distribution of the spoils of war. The group that had brought the booties along with themselves reckoned they were the sole owners and believed that others had no right over them.

The group that had pursued the enemy said, ‘We swear by Allah that you do not deserve this booty more than we do. Had we not pursued the enemy and kept them busy in fighting, they wouldn.’t have allowed you to seize their wealth.

Moreover, the group which was on duty guarding the Prophet (S) said, ‘We saw the enemy’s belongings without any caretaker but resisted from collecting the booty, lest the enemy might see the Prophet’s place unguarded and hence return and attack the Prophet. Thus we remained in our position and guarded the Prophet and so you are not as worthy as we are in acquiring this booty..’

Under such circumstances, a revelation descended upon the Prophet (S) according to which he earmarked this wealth as that belonging to Allah and His Messenger (S). The Prophet (S) commanded all those who had taken these spoils of war to return them back and assigned one of the Ansars to collect and safeguard them. Thereafter, he set out from the land of Badr towards Medina until he reached a territory named “Seer “ near Medina. He halted at this place and issued a command for the equal distribution of the spoils of war amongst all.15

The effect of the battle of Badr on the people of the Arabian Peninsula

Amongst all the tribes in the Arabian Peninsula, the most respected and affluent one was the tribe of Quraish in Mecca and its awesome presence was felt by one and all. In contrast, the most helpless people in the Arabian Peninsula were the Muslims of that time where a group amongst them fled to Ethiopia due to fear of torture and persecution by the Quraish while another group got scattered and secretly sought shelter in Medina. Amongst this helpless group, “one hundred and thirteen” unarmed men set out of Medina for the purpose of laying hands on the trade caravan of the Quraish. And in contrast, “one thousand well-armed and fully equipped men “ from the Quraish set out of Mecca with the aim of destroying the Muslims.

These two groups, with all the differences that existed in their forces, battled fiercely in the land of Badr. Eventually, seventy men (amongst who were Quraishite chiefs) got killed and seventy men were taken as prisoners and this helpless group took with themselves the tents, horses, camels, warring equipment and other belongings of the Quraish to Medina. The survivors fled from the battlefield and retreated towards Mecca. This astonishing phenomenon moved these stonehearted men and altered their assessment on Islam and the Muslims.

With the Prophet’s (S) entry into Medina and the conclusion of a security treaty between the tribes of Ansars and the Jewish tribes, Abdullah ibn Ubai’s wishes came to a naught. (The same Abdullah ibn Ubai who before the Prophet’s migration to Medina was a candidate for being its king and the people had prepared the royal throne for him). Just before the battle of Badr, he passed his days and nights praying for the Prophet’s (S) defeat. But after the battle of Badr, he gave up and accepted Islam along with all his followers.

On the other hand, the Jewish tribes, who had no consideration for this helpless group of new-entrants to Medina, realized their error after the battle of Badr. With the progress of Islam in Medina, they were losing their own factors of advancement, superiority and lordship. For, the Jews always thrived in undisciplined, aimless and chaotic societies and engaged in usury and wealth accumulation.

With the advent of Islam in Medina, the disorder was done away with. The tribes of Aws and Khazraj (whose futile arguments would lead to bloody wars, where each tribe would take on rent, the war-tools from different Jewish tribes and hence provide them the chance of engaging in usury) had now pronounced the formula of brotherhood with each other. They were now living in a society abounding in peace, calmness, purity and stability where no stranger had any influence on it.

After the battle of Badr, the Jews became alert and started engaging in the sabotage of the Islamic affairs and creation of hatred amongst the Muslims. In this subversion, the most arrogant amongst them was the tribe of “Bani- Qainaqah “. Ibn Hisham writes, “The Prophet (S) gathered them in the market of Bani-Qainaqah and addressed them in this manner thus, ‘O Jews!

Fear Allah and accept Islam, lest you suffer the same fate as the Quraish. You are aware that I am the divine Prophet. My prophet hood has been mentioned in your heavenly books and Allah has taken a promise from you regarding my prophet hood. “

The Jews replied, “O Muhammad! Do you think we are like your tribe, the Quraish? Do not become proud as you encountered (and got victory) over a nation that lacked the knowledge of warfare. By God! If we engage in a battle against each other, you will realize our identity (i.e. if there are worthy humans, it is only us!).

The First Encounter with the Jews

The Jews continued their subversive activities and treason until one day the wife of one of the Ansars (the Helpers)16 visited a jeweler shop in the market of Bani-Qainaqah. They forcefully demanded her to uncover her face but she refused. Taking some tool in hand, the goldsmith raised her skirt till her waist and when she stood up, her nakedness was manifested. The Jews had a hearty laugh. When the lady cried for help, a Muslim stepped forward and killed the goldsmith.

A mob of Bani-Qainaqah gathered and killed the Muslim. They broke their pact with the Prophet (S) and gathered in their castles and fortifications and prepared themselves for a war.

The Prophet (S) laid a siege on them for fifteen days i.e. from the 15th Shawwal, 3 A.H. till 1st Zilqad. Eventually, they surrendered before the Prophet (S).17

Amongst those who surrendered were seventy warriors. The Prophet (S) dispatched all of them to the land of Azaraat in Syria and took away their wealth as spoils of war. This wealth did not include their farms and palm groves. They were tradesmen and possessed abundant war tools as well as goldsmith tools.

The Prophet (S) took one-fifth of the war booty and distributed the rest amongst the Muslims.18

After the battle of Badr, the Meccans were mourning for their dead for almost a year and were now preparing for avenging their murder. Finally, they headed for Medina with three thousand soldiers, three thousand camels, two hundred horses and a well-organized army.

The battle of Uhud

Uhud is the name of a mountain situated one mile from Medina. In the year 3 A.H., the Quraishite infidels marched towards Medina under the leadership of Abu Sufyan with a well-equipped army and on Wednesday, 12th Shawwal of the same year, they set up tents near Mount Uhud.

Abu Sufyan had brought along with his army the two idols of the Quraish, Laat and Uzzah. Moreover, fifteen of the Quraishite chiefs.’ wives too, headed by Abu-Sufyan’s own wife (Hind) had joined his army with the aim of encouraging the soldiers.

The Prophet (S) consulted the Muhajirs and the Ansars whether they should remain in Medina and fight the Quraish in hand to hand combat in the streets of Medina, with which the Quraish soldiers are unacquainted, and the women and children attack them from roof-tops? Or, they set out of Medina and fight the Quraish in the desert?

As far as strategy was concerned, the Prophet (S) personally thought it to be more prudent to stay in Medina and fight. Abdullah-ibn-Abi Manafiq, the leader of the Aws tribe, held the same view. But, most of the warriors including Hamza said, ‘If we don.’t go outside Medina to face the enemy, then defeat is certain..’

The Prophet (S) thought it wise to accept the opinion of the enthusiastic Islamic soldiers and confront the Quraish outside Medina because, if he stayed back in Medina, the Islamic soldiers.’ morale (for achieving martyrdom) which was accompanied with fervor and excitement would be shattered.

The Prophet (S) left Medina with a thousand soldiers and amongst them were Abdullah ibn Ubai and his followers. On the way, Abdullah ibn Ubai addressed his followers as such, “The Prophet acted upon the opinion of the youngsters while he disregarded our views. “ Saying this, he returned to Medina with three hundred of his followers.

The Prophet (S) reached near Mount Uhud with seven hundred soldiers and there, they came face to face with the Quraish army. The battle began on Saturday 15th of Shawwal and ended on the same day too. Array of troops on both sides

The Prophet (S) marshalled seven hundred Islamic soldiers in front of Mount Uhud in such manner that Mt. Uhud lay behind them. He placed fifty archers headed by Abdullah ibn Zubair behind the army for the purpose of guarding the mountain slope, so that if ever the Quraish horsemen thought of attacking the army from the rear, the archers would drive them away.

Abu-Sufyan appointed “Khalid-ibn-Walid “ to lead the two hundred Quraishite horsemen and handed over the army banner to the heroes from the tribe of Bani Abdud Dar. Hind and other women, who accompanied her, walked behind the rows of the polytheist army and played the tambourine. They encouraged the soldiers by reciting epic verses. When they reached behind the heroes from the tribe of Abduddar and the standard bearers of Quraish, the ones reciting the epic verses recited as such:

“Behold O men of Bani-Abduddar!

Behold O the heroes supporting the army and guarding the rear side of the army! Strike by your naked swords. “

In the Quraishite army was a black and fearless slave called Wahshi, who from a far distance would take aim at the champions with his sharp weapon and inflict effective blows. Hind said to him, ‘If you kill Muhammad, Hamza or Ali in this battle, you shall be set free; either Muhammad or Hamza or Ali..’

Wahshi said, “I can neither kill Muhammad nor Ali. As for Muhammad, a group of soldiers are guarding him and as for Ali, he attacks like a lion while fighting although at the same time he is vigilant on his left, right and all other sides. However, I can kill Hamza because, even though he advances like a roaring lion, he is not careful on his left or right side. “

The Commencement Of The Battle

Talha ibn Uthman, the standard bearer of the polytheist army, who was called “Kabshul-Katibah “ (indicating the hero of the army) started the battle and cried out, ‘O champions of Muhammad! Do you think that God will send us to Hell by means of your swords and will send you to Paradise through our swords? Is there anyone amongst you whose sword can dispatch me to Hell or that my sword will dispatch him to Paradise?!

Ali (a.s.) approached him and said, “I swear by the One to Whom I owe my life, I shall not depart until you step into Hell by means of my sword or I enter the Paradise by means of your sword. At that very moment, Ali (a.s.) struck him with his sword. He lost one of his legs and fell on the ground with his private part exposed.

At that moment, Talha said: “O cousin! For the sake of God and our kinship, let me free..’ Ali (a.s.) left him unharmed and the Prophet (S) cried, “Allah- O-Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest).

When Ali (a.s.) went back to his position, the companions said, ‘Why didn.’t you kill him?.’ Ali (a.s.) said, ‘When my cousin’s private part was exposed, he swore by our kinship and (so) I felt ashamed..’

At that very time, the battle between the two armies began. Ali (a.s.) displayed such magnanimity that he destroyed the standard bearers of Quraish. When one would fall, the other would raise the flag on his shoulder. The battle continued in this manner until ten amongst them were killed. Thereafter, the freed one amongst them carried the flag. Ali (a.s.) killed him as well. At this moment, the Quraishite flag fell on the ground.

When the Quraish witnessed this scene, they began to flee. Hamza, Abu Dajjaneh Ansari and other Muhajir and Ansar warriors too exhibited their valour. The Muslim warriors pursued the Quraishite soldiers until they reached their camps. The Quraish fled from their tents as well and headed for the desert.

The Prophet’s (S) army went inside the Quraishite camp and became busy in collecting the spoils of war.

When the men guarding the mountain slope saw this, they felt that the battle had come to an end. Amongst them, forty disobeyed their commander and abandoned their duty and joined the Islamic soldiers in plundering the Quraishite tents.

Observing this scene, Khalid ibn Walid took advantage of this opportunity and appeared from the rear of the mountain with two hundred horsemen and killed Abdullah ibn Jubair and a few of his associates. Thereafter, he attacked the rear side of the Prophet’s (S) army from the mountain-peak. He entered the battlefield and attacked the Prophet’s (S) soldiers who were now in disarray.

Under these circumstances, a man from the Quraish picked up the Quraishite flag from the ground. When the Quraishite army found the situation changed and witnessed their flag raised once again, they returned from the desert and attacked the Prophet’s (S) army from another side. The Prophet’s (S) army found itself sandwiched, being attacked by the Quraishite army from two sides. A fierce battle took place.

At this moment, Wahshi found Hamza unguarded and flung a spear at him. Hamza fell on the ground and was martyred. A group amongst the Prophet’s (S) army was martyred.

The polytheists attacked the Prophet (S) from all sides, when Nasibah Mazniah, a lady from the Ansars who had come to the battlefield for providing water to the injured19 saw this situation, rushed to defend the Prophet (S). She received injuries and became weak as a result of the battle.

The news spread in Medina. Men from the Ansars who were in Medina came to the battlefield and got martyred. Under such circumstances, a polytheist flung a stone at the Prophet’s (S) face. The Prophet’s (S) blessed forehead and tooth broke. His nose received injuries and blood flowed down his face.

At this moment, one group after another from the Quraishite heroes attacked the Prophet (S) from all sides with the aim of killing him. The Prophet (S) cried out to Ali, ‘O Ali! Repel this group..’ At this time, Jibraeel (a.s.) addressed the Prophet (S) thus, ‘O the Messenger of Allah, this is what is called self-sacrifice.’ The Prophet (S) retorted, “Ali is from me and I am from Ali. “

Jibraeel (a.s.) said: “ And I am from you two. “

Thereafter, they heard a cry:

‘There is no sword but Zulfiqar (Ali’s sword) and there is no stalwart but Ali.’

Under such circumstances, a polytheist killed Mu’sab-ibn-Umair, one of the Prophet’s (S) companions and thinking that he had killed the Prophet (S), he cried out, ‘I have killed Muhammad..’

This cry spread on both sides of the army and had a disastrous impact. The Islamic soldiers fled in all directions from the battlefield. Ya.’qubi says, ‘No one remained near the Prophet (S) save Ali, Talha and Zubair..’

A group of deserters, who had climbed on Mount Uhud, assembled together and said, ‘We wish someone would go and request Abdullah ibn Ubayy to seek protection for us from the Quraish..’

The Prophet (S) himself saw a few fleeing from the battlefield. He called them one by one by names. A few amongst them returned until they became fifteen in number and they rallied around him (S). Moments later, they took the Prophet (S) on top of Mount Uhud. Ali (a.s.) brought water and washed the Prophet’s (S) wounds.

The battlefield became devoid of Islamic warriors. Hind brought her female accomplices to the battle arena and personally cut off Hamza’s and other martyrs.’ noses and made a necklace and an anklet out of them. She then wore them and gave away her own necklace and anklet to Wahshi. Her accomplices too did the same. Hind split open Hamza’s stomach and extracted his liver. She tried to chew the liver but it fell off from her mouth.

Abu-Sufyan came over Hamza’s corpse and while striking Hamza’s face with the tip of his spear, said, ‘Taste it for you have broken off ties of kinship..’

Halees, the chief of the Ahabeesh tribe (an ally of the Quraish), was a testimony to the entire scenario. He cried out: .‘O tribesmen see what the Quraish chief is doing to the lifeless body of his cousin!.’ Abu-Sufyan said to him, ‘Excuse me! It was an error!.’

Thereafter, Abu-Sufyan cried out, ‘Is Muhammad (still) alive?.’ His people replied in the affirmative.

Once again Abu-Sufyan cried out, “Exceed in superiority O Hubal! Exceed in superiority O Hubal!

The Prophet (S) replied: “Allah is most High and Glorified. “

Abu-Sufyan yelled, “We are having the idol Uzzah with us while you do not! “

The Prophet (S) said: “Our Master is Allah whereas you do not have a Master! “

The battle of Uhud ended with sixty-eight Muslims dead. On Prophet’s (S) command, the dead were buried in that very mountain slope and all returned to Medina on the same day.

A Brief Comparison

In this battle, Ali’s (a.s.) behavior with the standard bearer of Quraish is worthy of attention in contrast to Abu-Sufyan and Hind’s (Muawiya’s parents) behavior with Hamza, the chief of the martyrs. Similarly, the behavior of one Ansar woman (Nasibah) in connection with her love and self-sacrificing attitude towards the Prophet (S) and the behavior of one Quraishite woman (Hind) in connection with her hatred against the Muslims are also noteworthy.

The battle of Hamrah-ul-Asad

On their return journey to Mecca, the Quraish consulted with one another and said, ‘After the defeat of Muhammad’s army, why didn.’t we make an assault on Medina so that Muhammad’s affairs would come to an end!.’

The Prophet (S) received this news on the first night after his arrival from Mount Uhud. The next day, Sunday, 8th of Shawwal, he commanded his army to set out of Medina with the aim of pursuing the enemy. For this task, he permitted only those who had fought and received wounds to participate. This itself was a severe admonition for those who had deserted the battlefield. On the same day, the soldiers who had suffered injuries left Medina and moved forward until they reached Hamrah-ul-Asad, situated at about eight miles away from Medina. The soldiers halted at this place and two persons were dispatched in the direction of the Quraishite army for the purpose of collecting information.

A man belonging to the tribe of Khazah (an ally of Bani-Hashim) gave news of this event to Abu Sufyan and in an elegant poem, warned him of the aweinspiring army of the Prophet (S).

Fear-struck and scared, Abu-Sufyan commanded the Quraishite army to move in the direction of Mecca and dispatched someone to warn the Prophet (S) not to pursue the Quraish. After staying in Hamrah-ul-Asad for three days and receiving news of the Quraishite army’s departure to Mecca, the Prophet (S) returned to Medina.20

  • 1. Seerah Ibn Hisham vol.2, p.127
  • 2. It is in reference to the blessed verse: إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَنَا
  • 3. Muruj az-Zahab - Masoudi; Chapter of “Migration “
  • 4. Uyoon al-Athar 1/181
  • 5. Uyoon al-Athar 1/184 and Murooj az-Zahab, Chapter of “Migration “ 2/279
  • 6. Refer to Uyoon al-Athar 1/200-201.
  • 7. Refer to Uyoon al-Athar 1/197.
  • 8. The references for this statement as well as the Prophet's (S) consultations with the companions will appear in the next reference.
  • 9. About the Prophet's (S) heedless behaviour towards these two figures, one can refer to Sahih Muslim; Book of Jihad and As-Sair; Chapter of Badr.
  • 10. Refer to the incident of the battle of Badr in “Maghazi “ of Waaqedi, Oxford publication; 1/48-49 and “Emtah al-Asmah “ of Muqrizi; 1/74--75.
  • 11. Refer to Seerah Ibn Hisham 2/267.
  • 12. Refer to the incident of the battle of Badr in Seerah Ibn Hisham. In this book, Ali’s name has been mentioned seventeen times in the list showing the killers of the Quraishite infidels.
  • 13. Refer to Seerah Ibn Hisham 2/365.
  • 14. Refer to the word "…" in Mu'jam al-Buldaan and Seerah Ibn Hisham 2/281.
  • 15. Refer to the word "Seer" in Mu'jam al-Buldaan.
  • 16. Waaqedi has narrated that the lady was the wife of one of the Ansars.
  • 17. The history of this event was narrated from “At-Tanbih wal Ashraf” of Masoudi.
  • 18. Refer to the battle of Bani-Qainaqah in Maghazi of Waaqedi 1/176-180 and Seerah Ibn Hisham 2/426-428.
  • 19. Anyone, who bleeds profusely, becomes severely thirsty. In the past, it was the practice to appoint a few people in the battlefield for the job of providing water and first aid to the injured. Nasibah fulfilled this responsibility in the battle of Uhud. Those who set forth Nasibah’s participation in the battle as the proof for permissability of women’s participation in other such activities should take note of the following:
    Firstly, this war took place only a mile away from Medina and did not involve travelling. Secondly, Nasibah had entered the battlefield for the purpose of providing water to the injured and when she saw the polytheists attacking the Prophet (S), she hastened to defend the Prophet (S) and defending the Prophet (S) is obligatory upon every Muslim. However, this affair cannot be taken as a proof for permissibility of women’s participation in all other fields.
  • 20. The battle of Hamrah-ul-Asad has been mentioned in “Maghaazi “ of Waaqedi 1/334 and Seerah Ibn Hisham 3/52.