The Prophet Muhammad: Bringing the Situation under Control

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Monday, 19 April 2010

Bringing the Situation under Control

Bringing the Situation under Control:


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.

From his Wife’s lap to Sword-fights and Sorrows:

One of the brave adventurers of that day was Hanzala Al-Ghaseel — He was Hanzala bin Abu ‘Amir. Abu ‘Amir was the very monk that was nicknamed ‘Al-Fâsiq’ (i.e. the dissolute, evildoer). He is the very one that we have recently mentioned. Hanzala, 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.

The Contribution of the Archers Squad to the Battle:

The archers squad whom the Messenger of Allâh PBUH located on the Archers Mountain, had the upper hand in administering the war activities to go in favour of the Muslim army. The Makkan horsemen — commanded by Khalid bin Al-Waleed, supported by Abu ‘Amir Al-Fâsiq — had for three times attacked the left wing of the Muslim army with the aim of crushing it and then infiltrating into the rear to create a sort of confusion and disorder in the ranks of the Muslims and subsequently inflict heavy defeat on them. But thanks to the dexterity and great efforts of the archers, the three assaults were thwarted.[]

War activities went on and on fierecly with the Muslims in full command of the whole military developments until the idolaters finally staggered and retreated, leaving all motives of alleged pride, and affected dignity in oblivion, and their standard trodden by the feet of the fighters with none ever courageous enough to approach it. It seemed as if the three thousand idolaters had been fighting thirty thousand Muslims and not merely several hundreds.

Ibn Ishaq said: "Then Allâh sent down His Help unto the Muslims and verified His Promise to them. They chased the idolaters and evacuated them from their camp. No doubt it was a certain defeat." In a version by ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair that his father had said: "By Allâh, I was watching the servants of Hind bint ‘Utbah and her women friends fleeing with their garments gathered up. No one was there to prevent us from capturing them."[]

In another version by Al-Barâ’ bin ‘Azib — mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhâri — he said: "When we fought them, they fled, and their women could be seen fleeing in the mountains with their anklets and legs revealed."[] The Muslims pursued the enemies putting them to sword and collecting the spoils.

The Archers’ Fatal Mistake:


While the small army of Islam were recording the second absolute and clear victory over the Makkans — which was no less in splendour and glory than the first one at Badr — the majority of the archers on the mountainside committed a fatal mistake that turned the whole situation upside down, and constituted a source of heavy losses amongst the Muslims. It has almost brought about the murder of the Prophet PBUH, and left a very bad impression on the fame and dignity they deservedly earned at Badr Battle.

We have already spoken about the positive orders given to the archers to hold on to their position whatever the course of the main engagement. 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 PBUH’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 Muslims consequently got entrapped between two millstones.

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH 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 PBUH, 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 his loud 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.

The idolaters, indeed, recognized him and reached his position even before the other Muslims could do so.

The encompassment of the Muslims revealed three categories of people: The first group were those who were only interested in themselves and they went so mad that they fled. They left the battlefield and did not know what happened to the others. Some of this group fled as far as Madinah. Some others went up the mountain.

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."

Then Hudhaifah caught sight of his father ‘Al-Yaman’ about to be killed by other Muslims. So he said: "O servants of Allâh! Beware! This is my father. This is my father." ‘Aishah - may ALlah be pleased with her - said: "But they did not part with him till he was killed." Hudhaifah then said: "May Allâh forgive you." And ‘Urwa said: "By Allâh, from that time on Hudhaifah has always been blessed and wealthy till he died."[] That was because he forgave them and refused to take any blood-money for his father’s murder but recommended that it be spent in charity.

This Muslim group suffered from great bewilderment, and disorder prevailed among them. A lot of them got lost and did not know where to go. At this awkward time they heard someone calling: "Muhammad is killed." This news made them even more bewildered and almost out of sense. Their morale broke down, or almost did in a great number of individuals. Some of them stopped fighting, slackened, and cast down their weapons. Others thought of getting in touch with ‘Abdullah bin Ubai — the head of the hypocrites — and seeking his assistance to fetch them a security pledge from Abu Sufyan.

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 PBUH has been killed." "What do you live for after Muhammad PBUH Come on and die for what the Messenger of Allâh PBUH 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.[]

Thabit bin Ad-Dahdah called unto his people saying:

"O kinfolk of Helpers, if Muhammad PBUH were killed, Allâh is Everlasting and He never dies. Fight in defence of your Faith. Allâh will help you and so you will be victorious." A group of Helpers joined him and all set out and attacked a battalion of Khalid’s horsemen. He kept on fighting till he and his friends were killed.[]

An Emigrant passed by a Helper who was besmeared by blood. He said: "O fellow! Have you heard of Muhammad PBUH’s murder?" The Helper answered: "If Muhammad PBUH were killed, then he must have completed the delivery of the Message. So fight in defence of your religion!"[]

With such boldness and encouragement, the Muslims soon recovered their spirits, came round to senses and desisted the idea of surrender or contacting the hypocrite ‘Abdullah bin Ubai. They took up arms and resumed the fight attempting to make way to the headquarters, particularly after the news of the Prophet PBUH’s death had been falsified. The glad tidings nerved them, and helped them to manage quite successfully the break of the military blockade, and concentrate their forces in an immune place to resume a relentless and fierce fight against the polytheists.

The third group of Muslims were those who cared for nothing except the Prophet PBUH. At the head of them were notable Companions like Abu Bakr, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib and others PBUH, who hastened to protect the Prophet PBUH through unrivalled devotion.

As those groups of Muslims were receiving the blows of the idolaters and resisting instantly, the fight flared up around the Messenger of Allâh PBUH, who had only nine people around him. We have already mentioned that when the idolaters started their encompassment there were only nine persons around the Messenger of Allâh PBUH; and that as soon as he called out unto the Muslims: "Come on! I am the Messenger of Allâh PBUH," the idolaters heard his voice and recognized him. So they turned back and attacked him with all their power before any of his Companions ran to his aid.

A violent raging struggle broke out between the nine Muslims and the idolaters during which peerless sort of love, self-sacrifice, bravery and heroism were revealed.

Muslim, on the authority of Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH along with seven Helpers and two Emigrants, was confined to a trap when the idolaters attacked him. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH 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 PBUH till he was killed. Then they attacked the Messenger PBUH again. The same process was repeated again and again till all the seven Helpers were killed. Then the Messenger of Allâh PBUH 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 dead.[]

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