In the previous article, we discussed that Islam was faced with many enemies and threatening obstacles, therefore resulting in numerous wars. The first war Badr, discussed in the previous article, was a trial to test the Muslims faith and love towards their religion. The battle that followed Badr, namely Uhud, also resulted in the victory of Prophet Muhammed PBUH along the Muslims, and had a great impact on the history of Islam.
During the battle of Badr, many of the leading chiefs in the army of Abu Sufyan were killed by the Muslims such as, Abu Jahl, Utbah, and Hanzala bin Abu Sufyan, may Allah’s curse be upon them. Therefore the enemies wanted to take revenge for their losses. Abu Sufyan forbade the families of those who lost a family member in the battle of Badr to cry and lament for their losses, as he knew that tears could wash away malevolence from the hearts. Therefore swearing an oath to himself, Abu Sufyan though that he would be able to make the Muslims pay by spending an entire year equipping and recruiting one of the largest armies.
With nearly three thousand well-equipped soldiers, Abu Sufyan and his army marched towards Medina and occupied a vantage position near the hills of Uhud, a short distance of three miles from Medina. Prophet Muhammed PBUH also had an army of a thousand men, however this number decreased as the prophet travelled to the destination named “Uhud”. On the way, 'Abdullah ibn Ubay with three hundred of his followers, also known as the “hypocrites” deserted the Prophet, leaving him PBUH with an army of only seven hundred men.
Upon reaching the destined place, The Islamic forces arrayed themselves opposite the invading and aggressive forces of Quraysh, and selected an intelligent camping site as it provided a natural barrier, which was Mount Uhud, between them and the enemies. Now one may wonder curiously as how the Muslims came to be victorious, even though they were limited in terms of men and war equipment, compared to the army of Quraysh. The key behind their miraculous victory relied mostly on the fact that the hearts of the majority of the men on Prophet Muhammed PBUH’s army were enlightened with enough love and faith to the point where they persevered to defend the Prophet and Islam, and did not mind sacrificing their holy lives.
The beginning of the battle of Uhud, was very similar to the to battle of Badr, as the main chiefs of the enemies army came forward and asked the Prophet PBUH for someone to step forward and fight against them. Sending the Lion of Allah forward, Imam Ali AS killed many of the arrogant leaders who came forward to fight him, after this the battle began. Many casualties on both ends occurred however the battle of Uhud, unlike the battle of Badr, took a greater time to end. After battling for a number of hours, the strategies the Muslim’s army took on were of a great advantage as they took on the lead in battle and came close to victory. However a commander in Abu Sufyan’s army named Khalid Ibn Al Walid found an opportunity to ambush the Muslims and surrounded them around Mount Uhud. However by the Mercy and grace of Allah SWT, the Muslims were able to defeat the army of Abu Sufyan and lead a victorious battle.
It was during the battle of Uhud that Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle was brutally martyred. This was done by Hind the daughter of Utba and wife of Abu Sufyan, may Allah’s curses be upon her, as she ordered a malevolent and heartless Ethiopian slave, to kill Hamza AS, and had promised to give him not only his freedom but many valuable things such as gold, silver and silk in the event of his success. This slave was a part of the battle, and was on the lookout for opportunities to kill Hamza, and this opportunity soon came as he charged at Hamza AS with a spear when there was not much defense. Hamza AS was struck by this spear and passed away immediately. This was a great loss for the Muslims, as Hamza AS was not only Prophet Muhammed PBUH’s uncle, but was also one of the greatest supporters of the religion of Islam and the Prophet PBUH.
It has been narrated that Hind and the women of Makkah mutilated the bodies of the dead companions of the Prophet and They cut their ears and noses and Hind made them into anklets and collars. Hind then cut out the liver of Hamza AS and attempted to it raw. These devastating and inhuman events reveal to us the great ignorance and malevolence the people of Makkah lived in.
The battle of Uhud was a victory for the Muslims; however it was quite different than the battle of Badr. Through the war, the Muslims were put under extreme pressure and there was a rumor going out throughout the battlefield that Prophet Muhammed had passed away. This was a trial to see if the companions of the Prophet were honest and loyal towards the religion of Islam and the Holy Prophet, and it turned out that some were not.
During the battle when the Muslims were attacked from every direction, some Muslims decided to give up fighting as they were afraid of losing their lives. To this Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran, “(Believers, remember) When you ran off precipitately and did not wait for any one, and the Messenger was calling you from your rear”.
To those who turned their backs and refused to fight further more after hearing the rumour that Prophet Muhammed PBUH had died, Allah SWT says, “And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means does harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful.”
One of the most important things learned from this great event, and one can certainly benefit and learn from, is the selfless way Imam Ali AS sacrificed his life to defend the holy Prophet in the battle. When the Prophet was attacked from all directions, Imam Ali hurried to defend the prophet while facing hundreds of men. When Imam Ali AS was able to save the Prophet the Angel Gabriel descended and said to the Prophet, “'It is the height of sacrifice which this officer is displaying” meaning Imam Ali AS. At that time it has been narrated that a loud and clear voice called out in the battlefield, enough for everyone to hear, “There is no brave man except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar”
Reality Of Islam
Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (PBUH) has said that: “Reciting the Qur’an from the pages of the Qur’an (meaning to look at it and recite it - not from memory) lightens the punishment of one’s mother and father, even if they are both disbelievers.” Usulul Kafi, Volume 2, Page 613
Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (PBUH) has said that: “Reciting the Qur’an from the pages of the Qur’an (meaning to look at it and recite it - not from memory) lightens the punishment of one’s mother and father, even if they are both disbelievers.”
Usulul Kafi, Volume 2, Page 613