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: 6

Soon after the duels, the fighting became general and both armies were locked in fierce hand-to-hand fighting. The Muslims were superior in swordmanship and courage, but these advantages were offset by the numerical superiority of the Quraish. As this general engagement of the main body progressed, Khalid made another sally towards the left wing of the Muslims, where the Prophet stood, but was again driven back by the Muslim archers on Ainain.

The Prophet himself participated in this action by firing arrows into the general mass of the Quraish. Beside him stood Sad bin Abi Waqqas, who was an arrow-maker by profession and was among the best archers of his time. The Prophet would indicate targets to Sad and Sad would invariably score a hit.

Hamza was fighting near the left edge of the Muslim force. By now he had killed two men and found a third one approaching him-a man named Saba hin Abdul Uzza, whom Hamza knew well. "Come to me!" shouted Hamza, "O son of the skin-cutter!" 1 (The mother of Saba used to perform circumcision operations in Makkah!) The colour rose in Saba's face as he drew his sword and rushed at Hamza.

As the two men began to duel with sword and shield, the Savage, crawling behind rocks and bushes, approached Hamza, At last he got within javelin range and with an experienced eye measured the distance between himself and his victim. Then he stood up and raised his javelin for the throw. Hamza struck a mortal blow on the head of Saba, and Saba fell in a heap at Hamza's feet. At this very moment the Savage hurled his javelin. The cruel weapon, thrown with unerring aim, struck Hamza in the abdomen and went right through his body. Hamza turned in the direction of the Savage and, roaring with anger, took a few steps towards him. The Savage trembled as he waited behind a large rock, but Hamza could only take a few steps before he fell.

The Savage waited until all movement had ceased in Hamza's body, and then walked up to the corpse and wrenched out his javelin. He then casually walked away from the scene of fighting. He had done his job. The Savage would fight more battles in his life, but there would be no more battles for the noble Hamza- "Lion of Allah and of His Prophet!" 2

Soon after this, the Quraish army began to waver and the Muslims pressed harder in their assault. When several Quraish standard-bearers had been either killed or wounded, their standard was picked up by a slave who continued to fight with it until he too was killed and the standard fell again. As it fell, the Quraish broke and fled in disorder.

There was now complete panic in the ranks of the Quraish. The Muslims pursued them, but the Quraish outran their pursuers. The Quraish women wailed when they saw what had befallen their men. They also took to their heels; and raising their dresses in order to be able to run faster, gave a fine view of their flashing legs to the delighted Muslims. All the women ran except Amra, who remained where she had stood, close behind the original Quraish battle line.

The Muslims got to the Quraish camp and began to plunder it. There was complete confusion in the camp with women and slaves milling around, hoping not to be killed, while the Muslims rifled everything they could find and shouted with glee. There was now no order, no discipline, no control, for the Muslims felt that the battle was won. The first phase of the battle was indeed over. The casualties had been light, but the Quraish had been clearly defeated. This should have marked the end of the Battle of Uhud, but it did not.

As the Quraish fled and the Muslims, following in their footsteps, entered the Quraish camp, the two mobile wings of the Quraish stood firm. Both Khalid and Ikrimah moved back a bit from their previous positions but kept their men under complete control, not permitting a single rider to retreat. And Khalid now watched this confused situation, looking now at the fleeing Quraish, now at the plundering Muslims, now at the archers on Ainain. He did not quite know what to do; but he was capable of a high degree of patience and waited for an opportunity which would give him a line of action. Soon his patience was rewarded.

1. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 70.
2. Waqidi: Maghazi, p. 225.