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The Battle of Uhud


category: History & Biographies


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The standard bearers of the Quraish had been killed; their standard was lying in the dust and nobody dared come near it. Suddenly, the Quraish came smashing through the Muslims rear and someone called out: ‘Ha, Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has been killed. The Muslim troops, bounded upon the fugitives, turned back to face the enemy from the rear; the decamping Quraish soldiers were emboldened and returned to resume their attack on the Muslims. The situation now became extremely critical for the Muslims with the enemy being bent upon taking full advantage of the opportunity afforded to it.

The surprise and confusion overcoming the Muslims was as shocking as the two-pronged attack by the Makkans was violent. The Quraish's troops led by "Abdullah b. Qumiyah and ‘Utbah b. Abi Waqqas, made a bold charge and reached close to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). The Muslim troops began to waiver, several were honoured with martyrdom; and the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was hit with a stone. He fell on his side, while one of his front teeth was smashed, his face was swollen and his lips were injured. The blood which was running down his face was wiped by the Prophet, while he said, "How can a people prosper who have stained their prophets' face with blood while he only summoned them to the worship of their Lord?" (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 78-80)

The majority of the Muslim soldiers had been scattered and nobody knew where the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was. ‘Ali took hold of the Prophet's (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) hand while Talha b. Ubaydullah lifted him up until the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) got on his feet. Malik b. Sinan was so carried away that he even licked the blood flowing from the Prophet's (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) face.

The Muslims had actually neither fled away nor had they been completely defeated. The flanks of their army had folded up so they were forced to retreat in order to regroup and reinforce their strength for a similar situation. It was, no doubt, a day of test and trial for the Muslims in which they lost a number of their gallant warriors and virtuous comrades of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), but all this had come to pass because of the mistake of the archers who had exposed the Muslim flank. They had disobeyed the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) by abandoning the post on which the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) had stationed them.

After this Allah revealed to them the following verses concerning the event:

"Allah verily made good His promise unto you when you routed them by His leave, until (the moment) when your courage failed you and you disagreed about the order and you disobeyed, after He had shown you that for which you longed. Some of you desired this world and some of you the Hereafter. Therefore He made you flee from them, that He might try you. Yet now He has forgiven you. Allah is a Lord of kindness to the believers." [Qur'an 3:152]

THE LOVING COMPANIONS (radiallahu 'anhu)

The battle of Uhud also affirmed worthiness of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and the ardent affection of the companions for him. Two rings from the metal chain strap of the helmet worn by the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), had been embedded into his cheek. Abu ‘Ubayda b. Al-Jarrah pulled out one of the rings and one of his front teeth dropped out; he pulled out another ring and another tooth fell down; Abu Dujana leaned over the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to shield him from arrows until many were stuck in his back. S'ad b. Abi Waqqas stood by the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) shooting arrows in his defense, while the Prophet handed him the arrows one by one, saying, "Shoot, may my father and my mother be ransomed for you." (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 80-82: Bukhari)

Qataba b. al-Nu'man received a blow on his face which made one of his eyes popped out of its socket. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) restored it back in its place with his own hand and it was so completely healed that it even became more functional than his other eye. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 82)

The blood-crazy infidels surged toward the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam); they were ready to die a hundred times in order to kill him, but God had willed it otherwise. Ten of his companions laid down their lives, one by one, defending him. Talaha b. ‘Ubaydullah protected the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) from the arrows shot by the enemy with his hands, until his fingers bled profusely and his hands were paralyzed. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) wanted to climb up the mountain. He tried but could not do so due to the weakness caused by his injuries. Talha b. ‘Ubaydullah squatted beneath him and helped him to climb up the rock. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) performed the noon-prayer on the rock sitting, because of the wounds he had received. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 67; Zad al-Ma;ad, Vol. I, p 350)

When the Muslims had been taken by surprise and dispersed by the enemy, with horsemen prodding them from one side and the foot-soldiers on the other, Anas b. An-Nadri(8) continued to fight valiantly; advancing far into ranks. Sa'ad b. Mu'ad happened to pass by him and asked him, "Where do you intend to go?" Anas b. an-Nadri replied, "S'ad, I smell the fragrance of Paradise near the hill of Uhud." (Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 350)

Anas b. An-Nadri passed by a few of the Ansaar and Muhaajirun who were sitting dispondently. He asked them, "what makes you sit there?"

"Alas! The Prophet of God has gone to glory", they replied. "Then what's the use of living after him?" Answered Anas b. An-Nadr, "Come, let us die for what the Prophet offered his life for." Anas then advanced to charge at the enemy and died fighting like a hero. His nephew, Anas b. Malik, later on counted seventy wounds, which his uncle had received that day. Actually, it was difficult to recognize the corpse of Anas b. An-Nadr but his sister identified him by a special mark on the tip of one of his fingers. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 83)

Ziyad b. As-Sakan and five others of the Ansaar were holding the enemy back from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). The friends of Ziyad fought and died, one by one and Ziyad became disabled by numerous wounds. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) asked certain persons to bring Ziyad near him and made his foot a support for Ziyad's head. Ziyad died in that condition keeping his cheeks on the Prophet's foot. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 83)

‘Amr b. al-Jamuh had a lame leg. He had four sons, all of them were young and sturdy and each was anxious to partake in the battle. On the day of Uhud ‘Amr b. al-Jamuh expressed his desire to go to the battle field, but his sons advised him to remain at home, saying that God has excused him. He called upon the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and told him that his sons wanted to prevent him from taking part in the Jihad.(9) "Yet, by God, I wish to be slain so that I may stroll lamely in the Paradise," said ‘Amr b. al-Jamuh. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) replied, "God has not made Jihad incumbent on you;" and to his sons he said, "What is the problem if you allow him to go?" Amr b. al-Jamuh went with the army and was killed in the battle. (Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. p. 353)

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