بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful
~The Battle of Uhud~
“Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the path of Allâh, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcomed.” (Surah al-anfal 8:36) The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) held a head military consultation assembly to exchange views about the situation. He told them about a dream he had. He said: “By Allâh, I have dreamt of, I implore Allah to be a dream of bounty, cows slaughtered and that there was a groove at the pointed top of my sword, and that I had inserted my hand into an immune armour.”
The interpretation of ‘the cows’ was that some of his men were killed, and ‘the groove at the pointed top of his sword’ was that a member of his House would be hurt. As for ‘the armour’ it was Madinah. Then he offered a suggestion that his Companions should not go out of Madinah and that they should encamp themselves within the city. He was of the opinion that the enemies should be left in the open to exhaust themselves and thus the Muslims would not risk a battle. But if they thought of attacking Madinah, Muslim men would be ready to fight them at the mouths of lanes; whereas Muslim-women would help from over the house roofs.” ‘Abdullah bin Ubai bin Salul — the head of the hypocrites; who attended the meeting as a chief of Al-Khazraj — supported the Prophet ’s plan.
Hamza said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him): “By Allâh, Who has sent the Book down unto you, I will not taste food till I fight them with my sword outside Madinah.”
THE PROPHET (Peace be upon him) DIVIDED HIS ARMY INTO THREE BATTALIONS: 1) Al-Muhajireen battalion, under the command of Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair Al-‘Abdari.
2) Al-Ansari-Aws battalion was commanded by Usaid bin Hudair. 3) Al-Ansari-Khazraj battalion with Al-Hubab bin Al-Mundhir to lead it.
The army consisted of a thousand fighters; a hundred of them armoured; another fifty horsemen.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) mobilized his army. He arranged them into two rows to prepare them for fight. He selected fifty skillful archers that formed a squad and made them under the command of ‘Abdullah bin Jubair bin An-Nu‘man Al-Ansari Al-Awsi Al-Badri. He issued his orders to them to stay where they were — on a mountain(side) at the south bank of Qanat Al-Wadi (i.e. a canal of the valley), south east of Muslims camp at about one hundred and fifty metres from the Islamic army. Later on this mountain was called the Mountain of Archers.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) clarified the mission of this squad in words he directed to them. He said to their leader: “Drive off the horses from us by means of arrows, lest they should attack us from behind (the rear). Whether we win the battle or lose it, stand steadily in your position and mind that we are not attacked from your side.”
He added: “If you see us snatched into pieces by birds, do not leave this position of yours till I send for you. And if you see that we have defeated the enemy and trodden on them do not desert your position till I send for you.”
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) forbade the Muslims to start the fight without having an order from him. He, then, wore two armours — a front armour and a back one.
To wage and inflame his Companions and in order to standfast in the fight, he took a sharp sword, held it in his hand and called out unto his Companions and said: “Who is ready to take this sword and give it its proper due?” Many a man set out to take it. Some of them were ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Az-Zubair bin Al-‘Awwam and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab. But it was granted to none. Abu Dujana Sammak bin Kharsha inquired: “O Messenger of Allâh, what is its price?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “It is to strike the enemy’s faces with it till it was bent.” So Abu Dujana said: “O Messenger of Allâh I will take it for that price.” and he was given the sword.
The first combatant was the standard-bearer, Talha bin Abi Talha Al-‘Abdari, who was the most distinguished idolater. He was one of the bravest men of Quraish fighters. Muslims nicknamed him ‘the ram of the battalion.’ He came forth riding a camel and challenged the Muslims to a single combat. People refrained from fighting him due to his bravery; but Az-Zubair bin Al-‘Awwam advanced for the fight. He did not give the ‘Ram’ any chance to fight but fell on him like a lion on his camel’s back, pulled him down to the ground and slaughtered him with his sword.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) who was watching that wonderful incident exclaimed: Allâhu Akbar that is ‘Allâh is the Greatest’ and the Muslims exclaimed Allâhu Akbar too. He praised Az-Zubair when he said:“Every Prophet has a disciple and Az-Zubair is a disciple of mine.”
Hamzah’s assassin, Wahshi bin Harb, described how he killed Hamzah. He said: Jubair said to me: ‘If you kill Hamzah, the uncle of Muhammad, stealthily you shall be manumitted.’ ”
“So I marched with the people to Uhud.” He used to describe himself as, “I am a picaro good at spearing.” “So when the two parties fought, I set out seeking Hamzah. I saw him amidst people fighting. He was like a white and black striped camel, striking severely with his sword and no one could stand on his way. By Allâh! When I was getting ready and trying to seize the fit opportunity to spear him, hiding sometimes behind a tree or a rock hoping that he might draw nearer and be within range — at that moment I caught sight of Siba‘ bin ‘Abd Al-‘Uzza going closer towards him. When Hamzah observed him, he said: ‘Come on! O son of the ‘clitoris-cutter.’ — for his mother used to be a circumciser. Then he struck one strong stroke that could hardly miss his head.”
Wahshi said: “Then I balanced my spear and shook it till I was content with it, then I speared him and it went down into his stomach and issued out between his legs. He attempted moving towards me but he was overcome by his wound. I left him there with the spear in his entrails till he died. Then I came to him, pulled out my spear and returned to the encampment place. I stayed there and did not go out, for he was the only one I sought. I only killed him to free myself. So as soon as I got back to Makkah, I became a free man.”
Although the death of Asad (Lion) of Allâh and His Messenger — Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib — was a great loss, the Muslims maintained full control over the whole situation on the battlefield. On that day, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Az-Zubair bin Al-‘Awwam, Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair, Talha bin ‘Ubaidullâh, ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, Sa‘d bin Ar-Rabî‘ and Anas bin An-Nadr and others — all of them fought so fiercely, effectively and efficiently that they broke the strong will of the idolaters and scattered them.
Hanzala Al- Ghaseel, who was newly married, left his wife’s bed for Al-Jihâd (Fight in the cause of Allâh). He set out the moment he heard of the call to Al-Jihâd. When he faced the idolaters on the battlefield, he made his way through their ranks till he reached their leader Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and had almost killed him, if he had not been ordained to be a martyr. For at that moment he was seen by Shaddad bin Al-Aswad who struck him to death.
In spite of those strict orders, and their leader’s — ‘Abdullah bin Jubair — warning, forty archers deserted their posts, enticed by the too soon roar of victory as well as worldly avarice for the spoils of war. The others, however, nine in number and ‘Abdullah, their leader, decided to abide by the Prophet ’s order and stay where they were until they were given leave or killed to the last. Consequently the cleft was left inadequately defended.
The shrewd Khalid bin Al-Waleed seized this golden opportunity to turn swiftly round to the rear of the Muslim army and encompass them. Exterminating Ibn Jubair and his group, they fell promptly upon the rear of the Muslims and his horsemen uttered a shout that signalled the new military developments. The polytheists returned once again to counterattack the Muslims. An idolist woman — called ‘Umra bint ‘Alqama Al-Harithiyah — rushed to the lying-on-earth standard, picked it up and hoisted it. The idolaters gathered together around the standard and called out unto one another till they encircled the Muslims and stoodfast to fight again.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) was then among a small group of fighters — nine in number at the rear of the army, watching the engagement and braving the Muslim fighters. Khalid and his men took him by utter surprise, and obliged him to follow either of two options:
1) To flee for his life and abandon his army to its doomed end, or
2) To take action at the risk of his life, rally the ranks of the Muslims again and work their way through the hills of Uhud towards the encompassed army.
The genius of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), his peerless and matchless courage made him opt for the second course. He raised his voice calling out unto his Companions: “Slaves of Allâh.” He did that though he knew that hisloud voice would be heard by the idolaters before it was heard by the Muslims. He called out unto them risking his life in this delicate situation.
Anas bin An-Nadr passed by those people who were shuddering of fear and panic, and inquired: “What are you waiting for?” They said: “The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) has been killed.” “What do you live for after Muhammad (Peace be upon him)? Come on and die for what the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) has died for.” Then he said: “O Allâh I apologize for what these people (i.e. the Muslims) have done; and I swear disavowal of what the idolaters have perpetrated.” Then he moved on till he was encountered by Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh who asked him: “Where to, Abu ‘Umar?” Anas replied: “Ah, how fine the scent of the Paradise is! I smell it here in Uhud.” He went on and fought against the idolaters till he was killed. Nobody but his sister could recognize his dead body. It had been cut and stabbed by over eighty swords, arrows or spears. It was by the tip of his finger that she — after the battle — recognized him.
There were three groups of Muslims on the battlefield of Uhud after the confusion happened:
1) The first group were those who were only interested in themselves and they went so mad that they fled.
2) The second Muslim group were those who returned to the battle, but mixed with the idolaters in such a way that they could not recognize one another. Consequently some of them were killed by mistake. On the authority of Al-Bukhari, he states that ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: “When it was Uhud Battle, the idolaters were utterly defeated. Satan then called out: ‘O slaves of Allâh. Beware the rear (i.e. the enemy is approaching from behind)’. So those who were at the front turned back and fought the ones who were behind.”
3) The third group of Muslims were those who cared for nothing except the Prophet (Peace be upon him). At the head of them were notable Companions like Abu Bakr, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib and others (May Allah be pleased with them), who hastened to protect the Prophet (Peace be upon him) through unrivalled devotion.
Muslim, on the authority of Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) along with seven Helpers and two Emigrants, was confined to a trap when the idolaters attacked him. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) then said: “ He who pushes back those idolaters, will be housed in Paradise.” or “He will be my Companion in Paradise.” One of the Helpers stepped forward and fought the idolaters in defence of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) till he was killed. Then they attacked the Messenger (Peace be upon him) again. The same process was repeated again and again till all the seven Helpers were killed. Then the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) said to his two Quraishite Companions: “We have not done justice to our Companions.”
The last of those seven Helpers was ‘Amara bin Yazeed bin As-Sakan, who kept on fighting till his wounds neutralized him and he fell deadbloUtbah bin Abi Waqqas pelted him with stones. One of the stones fell on his face. His lower right incisor Ruba‘iya (i.e. the tooth that is between a canine and a front tooth) was injured. His lower lip was wounded. He was also attacked by ‘Abdullah bin Shihab Az-Zuhri who cleaved his forehead. ‘Abdullah bin Qami’a (Qami’a means ‘a humiliated woman’), who was an obstinate strong horseman, struck him violently on his shoulder with his sword; and that stroke hurt the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) for over a month — though it was not strong enough to break his two armours. He dealt a heavy blow on his cheek. It was so strong that two rings of his iron-ringed helmet penetrated into his holy cheek. “Take this stroke from me, I am Ibn Qami’a.” He said while striking the Messenger with his sword. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) replied — while he was wiping the blood flowing on his face: “I implore Allâh to humiliate you.” (i.e. Aqma’aka Allâh). In Al-Bukhâri it is stated his incisor broke, his head was cleaved, and that he started wiping the blood off it and saying: “(I wonder) how can peopwho cut the face of their Prophet (Peace be upon him) and break the incisor of his — he who calls them to worship Allâh. How can such people thrive or be successful?” About that incident, Allâh, Glory is to Him, sent down a Qur’ânic verse saying:
“Not for you [O Muhammad (Peace be upon him) but for Allâh] is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardons) them or punishes them; verily, they are the Zâlimûn (polytheists, disobedients, and wrong-doers).” [3:128]
In a version by Jabir — authorized by An-Nasa’i — concerning the attitude of Talha bin ‘Ubaidullâh towards the gathering of idolaters around the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) — when there were only some Helpers with him Jabir said: “When the idolaters reached him, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Who will suffice us their evils (i.e. fight them back)?’ Talha said: ‘I will.’” Then Jabir mentioned the advance of the Helpers to fight and how they were killed one after the other in a similar way to Muslim’s narration — “When all the Helpers were killed, Talha proceeded forward to fight as much as the other eleven ones did till his hand was hurt and his fingers were cut off. So he said: ‘Be they cut off!’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: ‘If you had said: In the Name of Allâh, the angels would have raised you up before the people’s very eyes.’” Then he said: “Allâh drove the idolaters off them.” In Al-Ikleel — a book by Hakim — it is stated that Talha had sustained thirty-nine or thirty-five wounds, and his fingers (i.e. the forefinger and the one next to it — got paralyzed.
In a version by Sa‘d — cleared and authorized in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim — he said: “I saw the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) on Uhud Day with two men — dressed in white defending him fiercely — I have never seen similar to them neither before Uhud nor after it.” In another version: “He means to say that they were Gabriel and Michael”.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) himself was involved in shooting arrows. In a version by Qatadah bin An-Nu‘man that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) shot so many arrows that the two ends of his bow were flattened. So Qatadah bin An-Nu‘man took it to remain with him for good. On that day his eye was so hurt that it fell down onto his cheek; but the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) reput it in its socket with his hand and it became the better and the more sharp-sighted of the two.
Malik bin Sinan, the father of Abi Sa‘eed Al-Khudri sucked the blood out of the Prophet ’s cheek till he cleaned it. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Spit it!”. But Malik said: “By Allâh, I will never spit it”. Then he set out to fight. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) then said: “He who wants to see a man of the people of Paradise, let him look at this one.” No sooner had he resumed fighting than he was martyred in the thick of the battle.
Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair, in his turn, fought fiercely and violently defending the Prophet (Peace be upon him) against the attacks of Ibn Qami’a and his fellows. He was carrying the standard with his right hand. In the process of fighting, it was cut off, so he grabbed the standard in his left hand till this was also amputated so he knelt down and shielded it with his chest and neck. Ibn Qami’a then killed him, mistaking him for the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) on account of resemblance in appearance. Only then did Ibn Qami’a shout ‘Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has been killed.’
When Mus‘ab was killed, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) delivered the standard to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. ‘Ali, in conjunction with the other Companions, went on fighting bravely and set marvellous examples of heroism, courage and endurance in both defence and attack.
Then the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) made his way to his encircled army. Ka‘b bin Malik, who was the first one to recognize the approaching Prophet (Peace be upon him), shouted as loudly as he could: “O folks of Muslims, be cherished! The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) is here.” But the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) signed to him to stop lest his position should be located by the idolaters. Upon hearing the shout, the Muslims immediately raced towards the source of the shout which brought about thirty Companions to gather around the Prophet (Peace be upon him). With this assembled number of his Companions, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) started drawing a planned withdrawal to the hillocks nearby.
During this bitter fight, a desire to sleep overwhelmed the Muslims — that was a security and tranquillity to help His slave Muslims as the Qur’ân spoke in this context. Abu Talhah said: “I was one of those who were possessed by a desire to sleep on Uhud Day. On that day my sword fell off my hand several times. Again and again it fell down and again and again I picked it up.”
In a regular withdrawal and with great bravery and boldness, the Muslims finally retreated to the cover of Mountain Uhud. Then, the rest of the army followed them to that safe position. In this manner, the genius of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) foiled that of Khalid bin Al-Waleed.
When the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) settled down in his head quarters in the hillock, the idolaters started their last attack upon the Muslims. Ibn Ishaq related that: “While the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was on the way to the hillock, a group of Quraishite elite ascended the mountain. They were led by Khalid bin Al-Waleed and Abu Sufyan. So the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) implored his Lord saying: ‘O Allâh, they (i.e. the idolaters) should not be higher (i.e. in position or in power) than us (i.e. the Muslims). Therefore ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab and some of the Emigrants fought the idolaters till they drove them down the mountain.
Abu Sufyan said: “Well deeds! Today is a vengeance for Badr Day. This for that. War is attended with alternate success.” ‘Umar’s reply was: “No. They are not the same. Our killed men are housed in Paradise; but yours are in Fire.”
After the departure of the Quraishites, people went out to check the identity of the killed and the wounded. Zaid bin Thabit said: “The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) sent me on Uhud Day to seek Sa‘d bin Ar-Rabî‘ and said: “When you see him, say: ‘peace be upon you from me.’ and say to him ‘the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) says: How do you feel?’” Zaid said: “I started wandering about checking the killed till I came across Sa‘d when he was dying — with about seventy strokes or stabs of a sword, a spear and an arrow in his body.So I said: “O Sa‘d, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) sends you his greetings. and says ‘peace be upon you, tell me how do you feel?’” Sa‘d said: “And let peace be upon the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), too. Tell him, I smell the scent of the Paradise. And tell the Helpers, my people, ‘you shall not be excused before Allâh if the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) is hurt and your eyes are blinking’ (i.e. you are still alive and not dead).” Then he died. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) supervised the martyrs’ burial and said: “I bear witness that anyone who is wounded in the way of Allâh, Allâh will resurrect him with his wound bleeding a liquid which is blood-like in colour but musk-like in scent.”
Some of the Companions carried their men killed in the war to Madinah, but the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) ordered that they should be sent back in order to be buried where they were killed. He ordered that they should not be washed but buried as they were after stripping them off their armours and leather clothes. He used to bury every two or three martyrs together in one grave and even join two men in one garment while saying: “Who is the more learned of the Qur’ân?” and he would commit him to earth first. He would say: “I bear witness to those on the Day of Resurrection.” He buried both ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haram and ‘Amr bin Al-Jamuh in one grave due to the affection they used to possess to each other.
They missed the coffin of Hanzalah, they sought it and found that it was on a spot nearby with water dripping off it. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) told his Companions that the angels were washing him and said: “Ask his wife”. They asked her and she confirmed that he had been in a state of ceremonial impurity. That was why Hanzalah was called ‘Ghaseel Al-Malâ’ikah’ (i.e. the one washed by the angels).
When the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) saw how his uncle and foster brother, Hamzah, was mutilated, he was extremely grieved. When his aunt Safiyah came to see her brother Hamzah, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) ordered her son Az-Zubair to dismiss her in order not to see what happened to her brother. She refused and said, “But why should I go away. I have been informed that they have mutilated him. But so long as it is in the way of Allâh, whatever happens to him satisfies us. I say: Allâh is Sufficient and I will be patient if Allâh wills.” She approached, looked at him and supplicated Allâh for him and said: “To Allâh we all belong and to Him we will verily return.” and she implored Allâh to forgive him. Then the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) ordered that he should be buried with ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh — who was his nephew as well as his foster brother.
Ibn Mas‘ud said: We have never seen the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) weeping so much as he was for Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib. He directed him towards Al-Qiblah, then he stood at his funeral and sobbed his heart out.
Al-Imam Ahmad reported that when it was Uhud Day and the time that the idolaters returned, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) said: “Istawoo (i.e. form rows as for prayer) so that I offer thanks and praise to my Lord, the Great and the All-Mighty.”
So they stood in rows behind him. Then he said: “O Allâh, no one can withhold what You permit or permit what You withhold. No one can guide whom You decree to go astray or make go astray the one whom You guide. No one can grant provisions you have withheld and no one can withhold what you grant. No one can near what You ordained to be distant, or detach what You decree to be close. O Allâh, spread onto all of us Your Mercy, Your Grace, and Provisions.”
“O Allâh, I implore You to grant me permanent bliss that neither changes nor vanishes. O Allâh, You Alone we seek for Help at hardships. You Alone we resort to for security on a day of terror. O Allâh, to You Alone I resort to protect us frthe evils of Your grants (i.e. the evils they may lead us to) and from the evils of Your deprivation. O Allâh, make us love Faith and make it pleasant and beloved wholeheartedly by us! Make disbelief, ungodliness and disobedience detestable to us. Let us be among those who are rightly guided. O Allâh, make us live as Muslims and cause us to die as Muslims; and make us join with the righteous but not with the disgraced and misled ones. O Allâh, make Your enmity befall the disbelievers, who belie Your Messenger and divert from Your righteous way. O Allâh, let Your wrath, Your chastisement and Your enmity befall the disbelievers, and those on whom You sent down the Book. Let them be afflicted with war decreed by You. O Allâh, the Author of Truth.”
Hamnah bint Jahsh met the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) on the way back, and he announced the death of her brother — ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh — to her. She said: “To Allâh we belong and to Him we will verily return. I ask Allâh’s forgiveness.” Then he announced the death of her maternal uncle Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib. She said: “To Allâh we belong and to Him we will verily return. I ask Allâh’s forgiveness.” But when he announced the death of her husband Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair to her, she shouted and woed. Seeing her doing so, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) said: “The woman’s husband is extremely dear to her.”
Most of the narrations confirmed that seventy Muslims were killed and most of them, sixty-five, Helpers; forty-one of whom were from Khazraj and twenty-four from Aws. This, besides one Jew and four Emigrants. As for the polytheists, twenty-two of them were killed, but some versions speak of thirty-seven; after all, Allâh knows best.
On Saturday night, the eighth of Shawwal, and after their return from Uhud, the Muslims spent that night in an emergency case — though they were dead-beat, extremely exhausted. They stayed on the alert, and spent that night guarding the outlets and inlets of Madinah. They were specially busy guarding their general leader, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) for fear that some suspects could commit an unexpected folly.