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Battle of Uhud

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Battle of Uhud
Uhud.jpg
Date 3/625
Location Uhud
Coordination Medina
Result Victorious of Quraysh
Cause Revenge of battle of Badr
Belligerents
Muslims Polytheists of Quraysh
Commanders
The Prophet (s) Abu Sufyan
Strength
700 3000
Casualties
70 martyrs more than 20 were killed

The Battle of Uhud (Arabic:غزوة اُحُد) was a famous Ghazwa of Prophet Muhammad (s) against the polytheists of Mecca in 3/625. Quraysh marched out toward Medina, as they desired to avenge their losses in the Battle of Badr while Abu Sufyan was the commander of the army. Prophet Muhammad (s) and senior members of Ansar and Muhajirun planned to fight against Quraysh within Medina and never left the city; on the other hand young Muslims and also Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, Prophet's uncle, were willing to fight outside the city. Finally Prophet Muhammad (s) decided to accept the wishes of the latter. At first, Muslims defeated Meccans, but a part of Muslim archers having 'Abd Allah b. Jubayr as their commander on Mount 'Aynayn on the left flank of Uhud, left their assigned posts and faced a surprise attack from Meccans which led to defeat of Muslims. They faced a serious defeat with approximately 70 martyred Muslims including Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib who got mutilated, even Prophet Muhammad (s) was badly injured on his face and his tooth.

Meccan Army Marched Toward Medina

Meccans tried to avenge their losses in the Battle of Badr, so they marched toward Medina in 3/625, while Abu Sufyan was leading their army. He persuaded Amr b. al-'As, Ibn Zib'ari and Abu 'Azza to motivate and gather other tribes for the battle. Then they marched toward Medina with three thousand soldiers. According to Al-Waqidi's narration, Prophet Muhammad (s) was secretly informed about Quraysh's army that marched toward Medina by al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, his uncle, in Quba near Medina. But other hadiths did not mention this letter to Prophet Muhammad (s).

On Shawwal 5, Meccan army arrived Urayd area near Uhud. One of prophet's companions informed him about the number and military warfare of enemies. Some senior members of Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws including Sa'd b. Mu'adh, Usayd b. Hudayr and Sa'd b. 'Ubada were guarding in a mosque to early morning of Friday in the fear of Quraysh attack.

Consulting with Sahaba

On Friday Prophet Muhammad (s) hold a meeting over how best to defend against the enemies. Prophet Muhammad (s) and many of senior members of Ansar and Muhajirun suggested that it would be safer to fight against them within Medina, while young Muslims and also Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib were arguing to fight with them outside Medina. Finally Prophet decided to accept the wishes of the latter.

Prophet Muhammad (s) Left Medina

Prophet Muhammad (s) prepared his army and marched toward Uhud with one thousand soldiers. They spent the night at Shaykhan, halfway between Medina and Uhud, and continued their way in the morning.

Departing of 'Abd-Allah b. 'Ubayy

Shortly after Prophet's soldiers settled in Uhud, 'Abd Allah b. 'Ubayy and a number of Muslim soldiers withdrew their support for Prophet Muhammad (s) and returned to Medina, because they were discontent with the plan of fighting outside of Medina. Therefore, the number of Muslim soldiers reduced to 700 as they were ready to face the Meccans' army.

Preparation for the Battle

Prophet Muhammad (s) stationed Muslim soldiers on the slopes of Mount Uhud and facing Medina so that they could face enemies while protected by the towering Mount Uhud. He assigned a group of archers on Mount 'Aynayn with 'Abd Allah b. Jubayr as their commander. The Meccan army positioned itself facing Muslim soldiers, Khalid b. al-Walid and 'Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl were commanders of right and left flanks of their army. Before the battle commence, Prophet Muhammad (s) gave a speech to Muslim soldiers and ordered archers to never leave their positions under any circumstances and only protect the other soldiers.

Initiative Victory of Muslims

At the beginning Talha b. Abi Talha, advanced and challenged Muslims to a duel, then 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) rushed forth and struck Talha down. Afterward Muslims became joyful and attacked through the lines of Meccans. The Meccan army was pushed back and they ran away.

Defeat of Muslims

Muslim archers who were appointed on the left flank disobeyed Prophet's orders and they ran downhill to load plunder. 'Abd Allah b. Jubayr tried to make them return to their posts but it was unsuccessful. Earlier Khalid b. al-Walid had some ineffective attacks to the left flank of Muslim army. When they noticed the scattered Muslim soldiers, they attacked again alongside 'Ikrima b. Abi Jahl to the remaining soldiers on the hill and the rear. Rumors were circulating that Prophet Muhammad (s) was perished. It brought disorder to Muslim army, they scattered all over the place, however some managed to withdraw and regroup on hills. Prophet Muhammad (s) was wounded due to the stones were thrown at him which caused injuries on his forehead and his tooth. Prophet and few remained companions managed to retreat and find a safe place on the mountain.

As Al-Shykh al-Mufid narrated from 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud: "Muslim soldiers were scattered and they tried to run away, only 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) stayed near Prophet Muhammad (s) to protect him. Then some other Muslims joined Prophet (s) including 'Asim b. Thabit, Abu Dujana and Sahl b. Hunayf."

Martyrdom of Hamza

Tomb of Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib before demolishing

Meccans swept through Muslim soldiers and martyred many, most importantly Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib. Jubayr b. Mut'im's slave, Wahshi b. Harb, threw Hamza down with a spear and then cut open his corpse, taking out his liver for Hind, Abu Sufyan's wife. She attempted to eat his liver, because Hamza had killed her father before. After Hamza was martyred and mutilated, Prophet Muhammad (s) was dejected and irritated.

The Number of Martyred Muslims

Muslims buried the dead and Prophet Muhammad (s) performed prayers on each one of the martyred soldiers and also seventy times on Hamza's body. The names of martyred Muslims are exclusively stated in old books; it is also said around twenty Meccans were killed.

Abu Sufyan Reaction

After fighting had ceased, Abu Sufyan came near Muslims who were gathered on slopes of hills, after praising idols he said, this war was a respond to the battle of Badr.

Date

The Battle of Uhud was fought on Saturday, 7th of Shawwal, 3/26th of March, 625. It is also said it was in 15th of Shawwal in 3.

Revealing of Verses

According to the sources, some verses were revealed on this battle, most importantly verses 121 to 129 of Al 'Imran. In addition, some hadiths are mentioned from Prophet Muhammad (s) on this battle. Afterward Prophet Muhammad (s) sometimes visited the burial site of martyred Muslims in Uhud. Since then, travelers visit their burial site on the way to Medina.


Further Reading

References

The material for writing this article is mainly taken from غزوه احد in Farsi WikiShia.