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SUMMARY OF WAR
This war was waged by the disbelievers to take revenge of the Battle of Badr, where seventy of their prominent leaders were killed and another seventy were arrested, while only fourteen Muslims became martyrs.
The disbelievers consisted of three thousand soldiers, three thousand camels and two hundred horses. There were also fifteen ladies in this army acting as cheerleaders for these men.
Muslim army initially consisted of one thousand soldiers. When Muslim troops reached near Uhud Mountain, Abdullah bin Obey, and the head of hypocrites, suddenly left the Muslim army and went back to Madina with his three hundred followers. Father of Jaber (AS) reminded them of their duty to Allah (SWT) but they did not listen.
Allah (SWT) exposed these hypocrites in Al-Imran #167
And that He might test the hypocrites, it was said to them: “Come, fight in the Way of Allah or (at least) defend yourselves.” They said: “Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you.” They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to Faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal.
Finally two armies faced each other near Uhud Mountain. The Prophet (SAS) used excellent war strategy in placing his troops. Some arrow men were stationed at a hillock to stop the advancement of enemy. Initially the enemy suffered defeat. Consequently most of the Muslim arrow men left their station to collect booty. The enemy took advantage of this and attacked the Muslim army from this direction. Many Muslim fatalities took place and even the Prophet (SAS) was badly injured. The disbelievers mutilated the martyrs and left for Makkah with a feeling of success.
DETAILS OF WAR
Let us touch upon a few of the events of this battle when about several hundred Muslims fought the mighty three thousand disbelievers.
Initially Zubair bin Awwam (RU), Saad bin Abi Waqas (RU) Asim bin Thabit (RU), Ali (RU) and Hamza (RU) killed ten persons of same household and nobody was left from this family to carry the flag of the disbelievers.
The arrow men initially did a fantastic job by defeating the enemy troops thrice. The enemy started running away. As mentioned in Bukhari and narrated by Bra bin Azib (RU), even their cheerleaders were madly running away and lower part of their legs were bare to help them fleeing fast.
Wahshi, the slave of Jubair bin Muttan hid himself behind a rock and treacherously attacked Hamza (RU) and Hamza (RU) became a martyr. Inspite of this Muslims had clearly upper hand.
The arrow men were instructed by the Prophet (SAS) not to leave their station under any circumstances. Most of the arrow men felt that Allah (SWT) has granted victory to the Muslim army. They could not resist collecting booty of the rich enemy. Abdullah bin Jubair (RU), leader of the arrow men reminded them about the instructions of the Prophet (SAS). Unfortunately Abdullah bin Jubair (RU) was left there with only nine arrow men. The enemy took advantage of this opportunity and once again attacked these arrow men. All nine became martyrs. The enemy horsemen advanced further and encircled the Muslim army. Muslims got confused and disorganized and some were forced to run away for their lives. The victory rapidly changed into an extreme emergency.
Even in this situation many companions fought very gallantly. For example, as mentioned in Bukhari, Anas bin Nadar (RU) became martyr and there were seventy cuts on his body. His sister could identify his body only by the tips of his fingers.
The Prophet (SAS) was left with only nine Companions around him. A bloody battle took place around the Prophet (SAS). The seven Companions became martyrs one by one while defending the Prophet (SAS). As mentioned in Bukhari, only Talha bin Ubaidullah (RU) and Saad bin Abi Waqas (RU) were left to defend the Prophet (SAS).
PROPHET’S (SAS) INJURIES.
Enemy’s stone hit the Prophet (SAS). He fell down, and one of his lower teeth broke off and his lower lip was also injured. Another enemy injured his forehead. A third enemy hit the Prophet (SAS) very hard with his sword. As a result of this two rings of the helmet of the Prophet (SAS) penetrated into his cheek. The blood started flowing down on his face.
DEFENCE OF THE PROPHET (SAS)
Saad bin Abi Waqas (RU) was shooting arrows on the enemy. Prophet (SAS) was extremely pleased with him and made the following unique dua for him,
“May my father and mother be sacrificed for you.”
Talha (RU) was fighting the enemy very bravely till his hand was injured and his fingers were cut off. While fighting the enemy, he also shielded the Prophet (SAS) with his chest in this critical moment. As stated in Tirmidhi, the Prophet (SAS) said,
“If someone desires to see a martyr walking on this land, let them look at Talha bin Obaidullah.”
As mentioned in Bukhari, Saad bin Abi Waqas (RU) said,
“On the day of the Battle of Uhud I saw two persons dressed in white around the Prophet (SAS). They were fighting fiercely on behalf of the Prophet (SAS).I never saw them before and after this occasion.”
By another narration, they were Jibreal (AS) and Michael (AS) angels. In the meanwhile about thirty Companions rushed to this location. Each one of them showed an extraordinary heroism as seen in the books of history.
Enemy had also dug some ditches as traps. Unfortunately, the Prophet (SAS) fell into one of these ditches. The Prophet’s (SAS) knee was injured badly. Ali (RU) and Talha bin Obaidullah (RU) pulled him out of this ditch.
Abu Obaida bin Jarrah (RU) tried to pull the rings of helmet from the cheek of the Prophet (SAS) by his teeth. In first attempt Abu Obaida (RU) lost his one lower tooth.He lost another lower tooth while pulling second ring.
EXAMPLES OF HEROISM
(a) Musab bin Omair (RU) was raising the flag of Muslim army and was fighting very fiercely. During the fighting his right hand was cut off. He held the flag with his left hand. Later on his left hand was also cut off by the enemy. He sat down on his knees and held the flag supported by his chest and neck. He became martyr in this condition. Since Musab (RU) resembled the Prophet (SAS) very much, the disbelievers announced that the Prophet (SAS) was killed. This disheartened many believers.
(b) Abu Dajana (RU) stood in front of the Prophet (SAS) with his back towards the enemy to shield the Prophet (SAS). Many arrows of the enemy hit his back but he did not budge an inch.
© Umm Amara (RU) her husband and two sons also gathered around the Prophet (SAS) when there were only a handful Companions around him. Umm Amara with her naked sword defended the Prophet (SAS) from all directions. The whole family demonstrated extraordinary bravery. The Prophet (SAS) said,
“O Allah, have mercy on this family.”
The Prophet (SAS) also made this dua for this family,
“O Allah please make all of them my Companions in Paradise.”
WOMEN IN THE BATTLEFIELD
As mentioned in Bukhari and narrated by Anas (RU), some Muslim women came to the battlefield at the end of the fight. They were carrying water bags to provide water to the wounded soldiers. Among them were Aisha (RUH) Umm Saleem (RUH), Umm Saleeth (RUH) and Umm Aiman (RUH).
MUTILATION OF MARTYR
When Musab bin Omair (RU) became martyr, the enemy announced that the Prophet (SAS) was killed since he resembled the Prophet (SAS) very much. The disbelievers felt that their mission was accomplished. Hence the disbelievers started mutilation of the martyrs. They cut their ears, noses, and private parts and made garlands out of them. Hind bint Utba, the wife of Abu Sufyan, cut the belly of Hamza (RU) and grabbed his liver and chewed it to satisfy her anger. The idolaters decided to go back to Makkah since, in their view, their main mission was accomplished.
THE STATUS OF COMPANIONS
There were three factors, which changed this victory into a defeat like situation for the Muslims.
(a) Disobedience of the Prophet’s (SAS) instructions by the arrow men.
(b) News of the Prophet’s (SAS) death. It disheartened many believers.
(c) Disagreement in battlefield about the instructions of the Prophet (SAS)
This is described in Al-Imran #152
And Allah did indeed fulfil His Promise to you when you were killing them with His Permission; until you lost your courage and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed after He showed you which you love. Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them, that He might test you. But surely, He forgave you, and Allah is Most Gracious to the believers.
Allah (SWT) says that this extreme hardship was to sort out the hypocrites from the sincere believers. Allah (SWT) consoles the believers by declaring that Allah (SWT) has forgiven them. Hence they will not have to account for it on the Day of Judgment. Allah (SWT) is very Gracious with the Muslims.
There is detailed description of this awkward situation in Al-Imran #153-155
(And remember) when you ran away without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger was in your rear calling you back. There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you. And Allah is Well-Aware of all that you do.
Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you.
Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, it was Shaitan who caused them to backslide because of some they had earned. But Allah, indeed, has forgiven them. Surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.
Here it is pointed out that it was to test the believers. Some of believers were influenced by Satan due to some of their deeds. There is again very clear verdict of Allah (SWT) in the last verse stating that Allah (SWT) has already forgiven the Companions since Allah (SWT) is often Forgiving, Most Forbearing.
It is a shame that in spite of above two verdicts of Allah (SWT), some people talk unkindly about the companions. As mentioned in the above verse, Allah (SWT) showered his additional blessings on some Companions by covering them with slumber in the battlefield. This revived them and made them more secure. Note that slumber in a battlefield is a blessing while it is a curse during the performance of salat. Similar blessing of Allah (SWT)was showered on the extremely worried Muslims during the battle of Bad. Al-Anfal#11
(Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him,
Consider another mistake of the Companions and how Allah (SWT) responded to that. When the head of the hypocrites went away from the battlefield with his three hundred followers, it affected the morale of some other Muslim tribes. In fact, Bani Hartha and Bani Salma got very disheartened. They felt like following the example of hypocrites and were about to abandon Muslim army. Allah (SWT), due to His Mercy on the Companions, did not let this idea develop too much in their hearts. Allah (SWT) rather became their supporter and protector from this mistake .
When two parties from among you were about to lose heart, but Allah was their supporter and protector. And in Allah should the believers put their trust.
These tribes used to speak proudly that,
“Allah (SWT) is our supporter and protector.”
Note that Allah (SWT) is so very kind to the Companions even when they were committing some mistakes. I wonder how much pleased Allah (SWT) was with the Companions when they were engaged in good deeds one after another.Not only Allah (SWT) forgave the Companions but also instructed the Prophet (SAS)to be kind to them. Al-Imran #159
So pass over their faults and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs.
Examine these four instructions to the Prophet (SAS).
1-Totally forgive your Companions in spite of their mistakes.
2- Pray for them.
3- Request Allah (SWT) for their forgiveness.
4- Honor them and take them into confidence by consulting them in important affairs.
No other religion has such high codes of ethics and broadmindedness.
After reviewing this guidance of Allah (SWT), how can a person dare to speak against the Companions of Prophet Mohammed (SAS).
ANOTHER GIFT OF ALLAH (SWT)
Towards the end of the Battle of Uhud, the idolaters were victorious. They could have attacked Madina village to cause sever damage there. Allah (SWT) infused fear in their hearts and hence they went back home to Makkah instead of attacking Madina. Al-Imran #151
We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah, for which He had sent no authority; their abode will be the Fire and how evil is the abode of the polytheists.
I hope that the visitors of the site of the Battle of Uhud will benefit from the lessons provided in this article.
The Prophet (SAS) and his Companions took a brief rest at the site of masjid Al-Mustrah on their way back to Madina. This masjid lies on the road now known as Sayyid-Shuhada road. During our visit to this mosque we should pray for the Muslim soldiers and compare our comfortable lives with the injured Prophet (SAS) and his Companions.
May Allah induce in us the perseverance and steadfastness of the Companions of the Prophet (SAS).