The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 3: The Battle of Uhud

 Part I: In the Time of the Prophet (SAWS)


Page: 5

It was the morning of Saturday, March 22, 625 (the 7th of Shawwal, 3 Hijri)-exactly a year and a week after Badr. 1 The armies faced each other in orderly ranks, 700 Muslims against 3,000 unbelievers. This was the first time that Abu Sufyan had commanded in the field against the Prophet, but he had able lieutenants and felt certain of victory. The Muslims repeated to themselves the Quranic words: "Sufficient for us is Allah, and what a good protector He is." [Quran 3: 173] And they awaited the decision of Allah.

The first event, after the forming up of the two armies, was the attempt by the Knave to subvert the Aws. This man stepped forward ahead of the front rank of the Quraish, along with his 50 followers and a large number of the slaves of the Quraish. He faced the Aws and called, "O people of the Aws! I am Abu Amir. You know me!" The reply from the Aws was unanimous: "No welcome to you, O Knave!" This was followed by a shower of stones hurled with great delight by the Aws at the Knave and his group, under which the group hastily withdrew through the ranks of the Quraish. Observing the look of derision on the faces of the Quraish, the Knave assumed a prophetic posture and observed, "After me my people will suffer." 2 But the Quraish were not impressed!

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After the encounter of the Knave, the archers opened up from both sides. This was a kind of artillery duel between the 100 archers of the Quraish and the Muslim archers, who were either in the group on Eniein or dispersed along the front rank of the Muslims. Many salvoes were fired. Under cover of the Quraish archers Khalid advanced with his squadron to attack the left wing of the Muslims, but was forced back by accurate fire from the Muslim archers. As the archers' engagement ended, the song of the Quraish women was again heard on the battlefield: "We are the daughters of the night... "

The next phase was the phase of duels by the champions of the two armies. Talha, the standard bearer of the Quraish, stepped out of the front rank and called "I am Talha, son of Abu Talha. Will anyone duel?" 3 On his challenge, Ali strode out and before Talha could deliver a single blow, Ali struck him with his sword and felled him. Talha was only wounded, and as Ali raised his sword to strike again, Talha begged for mercy. Ali promptly turned away. Later, however, while the general engagement was in progress, the wounded Talha was despatched by the Muslims. On the fall of Talha, another infidel came forward and picked up the Quraish standard. This man was killed by Hamza, As Hamza killed him, he was noticed by the Savage who stood behind the Quraish ranks. Stealthily the Savage began to move towards the right in order to approach Hamza from a flank. Hamza was easily recognisable by a large ostrich feather which he wore in his turban.

Now the duels became more general. One after the other the relatives of Talha picked up the standard, and one after the other they were killed by the Muslims, the largest number falling before Ali's sword, Abu Sufyan also rode up to duel and was faced by Handhalah bin Abu Amir, who was dismounted. Before Abu Sufyan could use his lance or draw his sword, Handhalah struck at the forelegs of the horse and brought it down. Abu Sufyan shouted for help and was assisted by one of his companions, who engaged and killed Handhalah. Abu Sufyan withdrew hastily to the safety of the Quraish ranks.

Another Quraish warrior who came forward was Abdur-Rahman, son of Abu Bakr. He stepped out of the front rank and gave the usual challenge, whereupon his father, Abu Bakr, drew his sword and prepared to move forward from the Muslim position to fight him. But Abu Bakr was restrained by the Holy Prophet, who said to him, "Sheathe your sword," 4 This Abdur-Rahman was later to become one of the most valiant warriors of Islam and acquire glory in the Muslim campaigns in Syria.

1. Some historians have placed the date of the Battle of Uhud a week later, but the earlier date is probably more correct.
2. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 67; Ibn Sad: p. 543.
3. Waqidi: Maghazi, p. 176.
4. Ibid: p. 200.