Ghazwat Al-Ahzab

~The Confederates~


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم       


In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful


Occurrence: Shawwal to Dhul Qa’dah, 5 AH

Location: Madinah


“And when the believers saw ‘Al-Ahzab’ (the confederates), they said: ‘This is what Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) had promised us, and Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) had spoken the truth, and it only added to their Faith and to their submissiveness (to Allâh).” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:22)

Three thousand Muslims, with Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) at their head, came out to encounter the idolaters, with Allah’s Promise of victory deeply established in their minds. They entrenched themselves in Sila‘ Mountain with the trench standing as a barrier between them and the disbelievers.

On attempting to attack the Muslims and break into Madinah, the idolaters were surprised to see a wide trench, a new stratagem unknown in Arabia before, standing as an obstinate obstruction. salman al farsi devised the plan to build trenches around madinah as they used to do in persia in their wars. Consequently the the enemies decided to lay siege to Madinah and began to manoeuvre around the trench trying hard to find a vulnerable spot through which they could infiltrate into Madinah.

A couple of miracles took place while they were digging trenches in which per 10 men was given 40 yards of land to dig the prophet and companions were invited for a dinner by jabir bin abdullah. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and thousands who were digging went to the dinner and ate from the mutton that was slaughtered and none of it decreased by the will of Allah. Then dates were given by a woman and as the prophet placed the in his garment for people to eat from the number of dates increased.

The idolaters decided that a group of fighters led by ‘Amr bin ‘Abd-e-Wudd, ‘Ikrima bin Abi Jahl and Dirar bin Al-Khattab, should work its way through the trench. They, in fact, managed to do that and their horsemen captured a marshy area between the trench and Sila‘ Mountain. ‘Amr challenged the Muslims to a duel, and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was deputed. After a short but fierce engagement, ‘Ali killed ‘Amr and obliged the others to evacuate in a state of panic and confusion. However, some days later, the polytheists conducted fresh desperate attempts but all of them failed due to Muslims’ steadfastness and heroic confrontation.

The fight claimed the lives of a small number of fighters, six Muslims and ten polytheists, one or two killed by sword.  During the process of fighting, Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh was shot by an arrow that pierced his artery. Perceiving his end approaching, he invoked Allah saying: “Oh, Allah, you know nothing is closer to my heart than striving in Your way against those people (disbelievers) who belied Your Messenger and banished him from his town. Oh, Allah, I deeply believe that You have decreed that we should fight them, so if there is still more fighting to go with them, let me stay alive in order to strive more against them. If it has settled down, I beseech you to ignite it again so that I breathe my last in its context.” He concluded his supplication beseeching Allah not to let him die until he had had full revenge on Banu Quraiza.

The chief of  bani nadeer who was Huyai caused banu quraizah’s chief; ka’b bin asad al-qurazi to end the covenant with the muslims and he would plot to attack and destroy the muslims. They took aim at parts where women and children were secluded. A jewish man was moving around the fort which had safiyah bint abdul mutalib, hassan ibn thabit and women and children. The site was unproected because the muslim men were busy fighting with bani quraizah and the rest of the companions could not come either as they were busy in battle. Safiyah showed her bravery by taking a tent pole and beat the jew until he died. This discouraged the jews from continuing to fight due to the fact that they thought the sites were protected by men. They did continue to support the mushrikeen with supplies.

The Muslim women and children were now a target for the rest of the disbelievers. The fact that there was nobody there to aid them had become known so the Prophet quickly began to plan ways they could defend them. He was going to offer them 1/3 of madinah’s fruit crops. The companions told him that they thought the best course was to fight them. The Prophet told them this idea was for the sake of the believers as the disbelievers were unified against them. Allah would then send an unforeseen gift to the ummah in which would give them victory.

Nu’aim bin mas’ud was a man from Ghatafan came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and told him that he had become Muslim secretly and was willing to do anything to help the Muslims out. The Prophet suggested that he can do whatever it takes for him to help the Muslims in their current state and any strategy would be welcomed. Nu’aim began creating doubts between the tribes of Ghatafan, Quraish and the Jews. He told the chiefs of banu Quraizah to not trust Quraish and to not aid them in their fight unless they agreed to give them some captives. He also told them that if victory was not going to occur then Quarish would turn on them and then the Muslims would seek revenge against them as well. Nu’aim then went to the quraish and told them no to trust the jews as they have had regular talks with the muslims and felt regret for betraying their covenant with them. He told them not to give the jews any captives. Nu’aim did something of the similar affect to the people of Ghatafan. Sometime later The Quraish and Ghatafan sent a message encouraging the jews to go to war against the Prophet with them. The Jews replied with a message that they would need hostages in return. The plan of nu’aim worked and they began to distrust one another. After the frustration built up with one another they left unsuccessful in their plans to fight the Muslims as Hudhaifah bin al-yaman found out while searching for news of their state of affair.

The defeat of the disbelievers occurred shortly after the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made du’a` to Allah in which he said:

“O Allah! You are quick in account, You are the sender of the Book, We beg You to defeat the Confederates,” (Sahih al-bukhari)

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