The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 4: The Battle of the Ditch

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

 

Page: 2

When this had gone on for some time, a man with a spear walked up to Khubaib and dispersed the boys. Perhaps by now the boys had tired of the fun. Perhaps the audience had tired of the game. This man now raised his spear and drove it through the heart of Khubaib, putting an end to his agony. The two bodies were left to rot at the stake.

The man who organised this show and prepared the boys for the part which they had to play was none other than Ikrimah, son of Abu Jahl. Little did Ikrimah know, when he arranged this horrible and gory entertainment, that he could be forgiven his savage opposition to Islam and the Muslim, blood that he had shed at Badr and Uhud, but this he could not be forgiven. On this day Ikrimah became a war criminal.

It will be remembered that before leaving the battlefield of Uhud, Abu Sufyan had thrown a challenge to meet the Muslims, again at Badr in a year's time, and the Prophet had accepted the challenge. This would mean a rendezvous during March 626, but as the time of the rendezvous approached, Abu Sufyan felt disinclined to meet the Muslims. The winter rains had been even more scant than usual, and as the winter passed there was a sudden increase in temperature. The weather was hot and dry and the year promised to be an unusually bad one. Abu Sufyan decided to postpone the operation and sent an agent to Madinah to spread the rumour that the Quraish were assembling in vast numbers, and would this time come in much greater strength than at Uhud. His intention was to frighten the Muslims into remaining at Madinah, but when these reports reached the Prophet, he declared, "I shall keep the rendezvous with the infidel even if I have to go alone" 1

In late March, the Muslims marched from Madinah. They numbered 1,500 men, of whom 50 had horses. The army arrived at Badr on April 4, 626 (the 1st of Dhul Qad, 4 Hijri), but there was no sign of the Quraish.

When Abu Sufyan received news of the movement of the Muslims from Madinah, he got the Quraish together and rode out of Makkah. The army consisted of 2,000 men and a hundred horses, and stalwarts like Khalid, Ikrimah and Safwan again rode with the army. When the Quraish got to Usfan, however, Abu Sufyan decided that he was not under any circumstances going to fight this campaign. He turned to his subordinates and said, "This is a terrible year in which to engage in warfare. There is drought in the land and we have seldom known such heat. These conditions are not suitable for battle. We shall fight again in a year of abundance." 2 Having given these reasons for not continuing the movement, he ordered a return to Makkah. Safwan and Ikrimah protested vehemently against this decision but their protests were of no avail. The Makkans returned to Makkah.

The Muslims remained at Badr for eight days. Then, on hearing of Abu Sufyan's return to Makkah, they struck camp and went home to Madinah.

After the return of the Quraish to Makkah, peace may have prevailed between the Muslims and the Quraish had it not been for the machinations of certain Jews. To understand the reasons for this activity, we must go back to the days when the Prophet arrived at Madinah after his flight from Makkah.

When the Prophet got to Madinah, in what was later to be numbered as the first year of the Hijra, the Muslims formed into two groups, viz. the Emigrants (Muhajireen) those who had migrated from Makkah, and the Helpers (Ansar)?the newly converted Muslims of Madinah who had invited the Prophet to come and live with them. A third small group among the Muslims became known as the Hypocrites (Munafiqeen), and these were inhabitants of Madinah who had accepted the Prophet and his faith in order to conform to the general trend of events but were not Muslims at heart. Their leader was Abdullah bin Ubayy, a man who commanded a position of prestige in Madinah and felt that the arrival of the Prophet had somehow reduced him in status and influence. These Hypocrites were the people who had abandoned the Muslim army on the eve of Uhud. They were to continue to create obstacles in the path of the Prophet, and without openly opposing him or his faith, would make every effort to weaken the resolution of the Muslims whenever they had to go to battle.

1. Ibn Sad: p. 563
2. Ibid.