The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

Main Index
Chapter 3: The Battle of Uhud

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

 

Page: 8

The battle was now divided into two separate actions. There was the main body of the Muslims holding out against the main part of the Quraish army, and there was the group with the Holy Prophet holding out against part of Ikrimah's squadron and some of the; Quraish infantry which had returned to attack him.

Now began the ordeal of the Prophet. (See Map 2. below)

map 2 chapter 3

When the Muslims left their positions in pursuit of the Quraish, the Holy Prophet remained at his battle location. Here he had with him 30 of his Companions who stuck to him and refused to be tempted by the prospect of plunder. Among these 30 were some of the closest of his followers, including, Ali, Abu Bakr, Sad bin Abi Waqqas, Talha bin Ubaidullah, Abu Ubaidah, Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, Abu Dujanah and Mus'ab bin Umair. With the group were also present two women who had busied themselves with carrying water to the Muslims and had now joined the Prophet.

As Khalid captured the archers' position and the Quraish cavalry began to wheel round to attack the Muslims in the rear, the Prophet realised the seriousness of the predicament in which the Muslims were placed. He could do nothing to control and direct the actions of the main body, for it was too far away; and he knew that his own group would soon be under attack. His present position was utterly untenable, so he decided to move to the foot of the spur immediately behind him (not the spur at the foot of which the Muslim right wing had been placed), and with this intention he started to move backwards. But he had not gone more than about a quarter of a mile with his 30 Companions when Ikrimah with his horsemen moved up and barred his way. The Prophet determined to stand and fight where he stood; and it was not long before a Quraish infantry group also arrived to attack the Prophet.

The Prophet's group found itself assailed from front and rear. The Muslims formed a cordon around the Prophet to defend him and the fighting gradually increased in intensity. The Prophet himself used his bow to effect and continued to use it until it broke. Thereafter he used his own arrows to augment those of Sad, whose superb archery gave a great deal of trouble to the Quraish. Every Muslim took on an opposing group of three or four men and either fell himself or drove his opponents back.

The first of the Quraish to reach the Prophet's position was Ikrimah. As Ikrimah led a group of his men forward the Prophet turned to Ali and, pointing at the group, said, "Attack those men." Ali attacked and drove them back, killing one of them. Now another group of horsemen approached the position. Again the Prophet said to Ali, "Attack those men." 1 Ali drove them back and killed another infidel.

As the fighting increased in severity, the Quraish began to shower the Prophet's group with arrows and stones, They would use these missiles from a distance and then charge with swords, either mounted or on foot. To shield the Prophet from the arrows, Abu Dujanah stood in front of him, with his back to the Quraish infantry, from which came most of the arrows. After some time the back of Abu Dujanah was so studded with arrows that he looked like a porcupine, but he continued passing his own arrows to Sad. Talha also stood beside the Prophet. On one occasion, when an arrow seemed about to hit the Prophet in the face, Talha put his hand in the arrow's line of flight and stopped it with his hand. Talha lost a finger as a result, but saved the Prophet.

Against the main body of the Muslims, Khalid was launching assault after assault with his squadron and doing severe damage. About now he killed his second man-Sabt bin Dahdaha-with his lance. In this battle Khalid relied mainly on his lance, with which he would run down and impale his adversary. Every time he brought a man down, he would shout, "Take that! And I am the Father of Sulaiman!" 2

The first rush of the counter-attack passed, and was followed by a lull in the Prophet's sector, as the Quraish withdrew a short distance to rest before resuming their attacks. During this lull, one of the Muslims, noticed that the Prophet was looking cautiously over his shoulder. The man asked the reason for this, and the Prophet replied casually, "I am expecting Ubayy bin Khalf. He may approach me from behind. If you see him coming, let him get near me". He had hardly said this when a man detached himself from Ikrimah's squadron and slowly advanced towards the Prophet, mounted on a large, powerful horse. The man shouted, "O Muhammad! I have come! It is either you or me!" At this some of the Companions asked the Prophet for permission to deal with the man, but the Prophet said, "Let him be!" 3 The Companions moved aside, and left the way open for the rider to approach.

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 197.
2. Waqidi: Maghazi, p.198.
3. Ibid: pp. 195-6; Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, p. 84.