The Battle of Uhud (Ghazwa e Uhad) In The Month Of Shawal-A historical Overview With Key Incidents
Quraishites were defeated at Badr and this defeat charged them to take revenge from New Faith presented by Prophet Muhammad SAW. This was unexpected for them and also this was very tough for them to digest what had happened to them as they were proud and considered themselves undefeated. They were unable to leave this defeat unavenged. The defeat of Badr, kuffars enemity against the message of Islam and their revenge were the main reasons behind the Ghazwa e Uhud, the battle of Uhud, that took place in the month of Shawal.
Main characters who were furious to take revenge
Those who were desiring to go into a new war were
Ikrimah bin abi jahal
Safwan bin Omaiyah
Abu Sufyan bin Harb
Abdullah bin abi Rabi’a
These all along with others were determined to crush the power of new faith once for all. So they started a campaign to gather against this new power. They succeeded in collaborating with famous tribes kinana and Tihamah. It was decided that 1000 camels and 50 thousand Dinars should be devoted to the army. There is a reference in the noble Quran for this support in 8:36,
“Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder(men) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end, it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome.”(8:36)
Safwan bin Omaiyah also allured Abu Azza the poet to allure the tribes to fight against Muslims. Later this poet was captured by Muslims and was also released by Prophet SAW unransomed provide he would not engage in the fight against them again.
Abu Sufyan’s role was significant in this battle as he faced much economic loss in the last war. The kuffars were so furious to fight this battle that they also asked their women to fight for their cause. There were 3000 pitched warriors in this battle, almost 700 were mailed soldiers and 200 hundred were well-mounted cavalry with 3 thousand camels, and fifteen women marched towards Madinah.
This was bloody planned revenge by the kuffars fully equipped with whatever they may collect to take revenge from the Muslims.
From Muslim’s side Al abbas bin Abu Muttalib was appointed to watch the military movements and preparations of war.
Situation in Madinah
The whole of Madinah was put on alert even during the prayers people were on alert as anything was expected in such a panic time.
Saad bin Mu’adh, Usaid bin Hudair, and Saad bin Ubadah were among the volunteers to guard prophet SAW against any unexpected attack.
The Makkan Army on reaching Al-Abwa, Hind bint Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan shared a hideous plan to dig the grave of Prophet SAW’s mother but was not allowed to do so fearing the consequences. After that, the army encamped it at a place called Ainain near Uhud Mountain. This was Friday, 3 A.H.
Some of the companions of Prophet SAW including his paternal uncle Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib suggested to go out of Madinah to fight against infidels, so that they may not think that we have lost hearts and do not dare to fight with them, there is a beautiful line spoked by Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, he said,
“By Allah, who has sent the book down unto you, I will not taste food till I fight them with my sword outside Madinah.”
The day of Battle
In the Jumah Sermon Prophet SAW urged people to fight courageously against enemies and said that if they stood steadfast they will be helped by Allah SWT. After that prophet SAW entered into his house with his two friends Abu Bakr RA and Umar RA and got ready for the battle.
Three Battalions created by Prophet SAW
Al muhajireen battalion under the command of Musab bin Umair Al Abdari
Al-Ansari-Aws battalion was commanded by usaid bin hudair.
Al-Ansari-Khazraj Battalion with Al-Hubab bin Al-Mundir to lead.
There were 1000 fighters in the army. Ibn umm Maktum was appointed to lead people in prayer in Madinah.
While passing near Al-Wada mountain Muslims were offered assistance by a group of jews fighters against idolaters by prophet SAW denied their assistance by saying that he would not seek the assistance of disbelievers against the idolaters.
A rebellion by Abdullah bin Ubai
Before the daybreak, just after the fajr prayer, a rebellion arose among Muslims, Abdullah bin Ubai a hypocrite along with almost 300 participants separated himself by giving a false reason. And said, “we do not know why we shall kill ourselves.”This happened at a very crucial time and created confusion among the Muslim army. Banu Haritha of Al-Aws and Banu Salama of Al-Khazraj were partially impressed by this hypocrite but Allah SWT saved them from this disgrace. In Quran Allah says,
“When two parties from among you were about to lose their heart, but Allah was their Wali(supporter and protector). And in Allah should the believers put their trust.”(3:122)
Fifty skillful archers were selected to and assigned the duty to stay on a mountain at the south bank of Qanat Al-Wadi, at about one hundred and fifty meters from the Islamic army. The mountain was later known as the mountain of archers. The messenger of Allah ordered them not to leave the place in any case whether we lose or win, and mind that we are not attacked from your side.
Responsibilities were assigned to army by prophet SAW and it was a proof of his military genious. It was as follows,
On the right wing he appointed Al mundhir bin Amr. On the left he appointed Az-Zubair bin al awwam and made al miqdad bin al aswad his assistant and supporter. Az Zubair’s function was to stand fast in the face of Khalid bin al Waleed’s horsemen. The top and most skilled, notable for readiness, alertness, and bravery and estimated to be equal to thousands of men.
Quraishi-Women’s role in the battle
At a point Quraishi women sang this song to inflame the emotions of their heroes, one excerpt is added here, they said,
“if you fight(bravely) we will embrace
And unfold mats to welcome you.
But if you flee from the battlefield, we leave you,
Desert you and no more love you.”
The first fighting scene was between “the ram of the battalion” from kuffars Talha bin Abi Talha al-Abdari and between Az-Zubair bin Al-Awwam. Talha was one of the bravest fighters from kuffars side but Az Zubair Ra did not give him a chance to fight back and attacked him like a lion and killed him at once. There were the slogans everywhere of Allah Hu Akbar. At this prophet SAW said
“every prophet has a disciple and Az-Zubair is a disciple of mine.”
Then the fight began every where. Talha’s brother uthman was attacked furiously by Abdul Muttalib, who cut his arm and shoulder and went down to his navel to uncover his lung.
Abu saad bin abi Talha was shot by sab bin abi waqqas by a deadly arrow. There is another narration that abu saad bin abi Talha challenged muslims and Ali bin abi talib fought him and in few blows finished him off.
The bitter fighting was going on everywhere and the Muslims fought courageously.
The fatal mistake by the Archers
While the Muslim army was winning the second battle of Islam and the victory was very near, the 40 archers did a fatal mistake by leaving their place instead of the orders of their leader. By this mistake, Muslims were trapped from both sides and it gave courage to the remaining kuffars to fight back.
In the end, there were only 9 companions left to save the prophet saw. They all fought courageously and martyred 6 out of them, then Allah’s help came to save them.
At his difficult moment, the Muslims who provided a shield to prophet SAW were, Abu Dujana RA, Musab bin Umair RA, Ali bin Abi Talib RA, Sahl bin Haneef RA, Malik bin sinah RA the father of Abu said Al khudri, Umm Amara RA, Nusaiba bint kaab RA, Qtada bin an Numan RA, umr bin al Khattab RA, Hatib bin Abi Balta RA, and Abu Talha RA. The Muslims showed heroism and shielded their prophet instead of the mistake of the archers which was a great source of the loss Muslims faced in the battle of Uhud.
Lessons from the battle
According to some Muslim scholars, the reverse and the loss in the battle of Uhud was due to the neglect on the part of the archers. The second most important thing is the success of the Muslims depends upon their obedience to the prophet SAW. As long as they followed it Allah SWT helped them in every hour of trial. But when they neglected His command in their pursuit of worldly riches they are bound to come to grief.
In the battle of Uhud the hypocrites disclosed their real face and Muslims got to realize the real face of these culprits.
It also provided the Muslims a chance to reconsider their strategies to come in the future and it gave them deep inside that what should a Muslim adherent follow and how to follow. The same guidelines are still present for those who think and ponder.
If Ummah follows the footsteps of their beloved prophet in any way Allah will bestow them the victories and success in both worlds, otherwise they may face the defeats and loss as Muslims had faced before in history.
May Allah help us following the footsteps of our prophet SAW, the only way to our success in this worldly life and in the life hereafter. Ameen.