The Battle Of Hamra'u'l-Asad

The Battle of hamra'u'l-Asad [a place about eight miles distance from Medina] took place immediately after that of Uhud. Aban ibn `Uthman reported that the day after the Battle of Uhud, the Messenger of Allah called upon the Muslims to prepare for battle. They all responded, even though they had suffered much pain and many wounds in the previous battle. 'Ali preceded him with the banner of the Immigrants until they reached Hamra'u'l-Asad. But they all returned to Medina without fighting. These were :

Those who answered the call of Allah after they had been afflicted with wounds [Qur'an. 3:172] .

Abu Sufyan departed and came to a place called ar-Rawhd', where he remained intending to return and again attack the Messenger of Allah. He said: "Now that we have killed their great warriors, if we return we shall be able to exterminate them!" He met a man called Ma'bad al-Khuza'i, whom he asked: "What news have you, O Ma'bad?" He answered: "By Allah, I left Muhammad and his people burning with the passion of war against you! 'Ali ibn Abi Talib has come leading the men. All those who deserted him before have now rejoined his forces. This has inspired me to compose some verses." Abu Sufyan asked: "What did you recite?" "I recited: ", Ma'bad answered.
My mount came, nigh collapsing from all the clamor,When the ground was covered with flocks of warring vultures.You shall fight with noble lions, not cowards,In the confrontation of battle; nor are they hollow men who fled!This caused Abu Sufyan and those who were with him to change their minds. 

Then a small caravan belonging to the people of the tribe of `Abdu'l-Qays passed by on their way to Medina for trade. Abu Sufyan said to them: "Go and tell Muhammad that I intend to return to his Companions in order that I might exterminate them. As for you, I would fill your loading sacks with raisins when you come to the Market of `Ukaz (in Mecca)." The men conveyed the message to the Prophet and the Muslims with him in Hamra'u'l-Asad, and they all exclaimed: "Allah is sufficient for us; He is the best trustee." The Messenger of Allah then returned to Medina on Friday.

It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah went for the raid of Hamra'u'l-Asad, a lewd woman of the tribe of Khatmah called al-`Asma' Umm al-Mundhir ibn al-Mundhir went around the assemblies of the Aw,, and Khazraj tribes reciting verses inciting people against the Prophet. There was then only one Muslim in the tribe of the Banu Khatmah, called `Umayr ibn `Adiyy. When the Messenger returned, `Umayr went to the woman and killed her. He then came to the Messenger of Allah and said: "I have killed Umm al-Mundhir because of the invective poetry which she recited." The Messenger of Allah struck his shoulders, exclaiming "This is a man who lent support to Allah and His Apostle in his absence! By Allah, not even two rams shall butt one another concerning her (i.e., no two men shall fight over her blood)." `Umayr ibn `Adiyy said: "I passed by her home the next day while she was being buried; no one stopped me or spoke to me."

The Battle Of Ar-Raji`

After this came the Battle of ar-Raji`. The Messenger of Allah sent Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al-Ghanawi, who was Hamzah's ally, Khalid ibn Bukayr, `Asim ibn Thabit ibn al-Aflaj, Khubayb ibn `Adiyy, Zayd ibn Dathnah, and `Abdullah ibn Tariq, all under the leadership of Marthad, with a delegation of the tribes of `Adl and ad-Dish who came requesting that some Muslims go with them to teach them the Qur'an and the fundamentals of the faith. They travelled with the people until they reached the depression of ar-Raji`, a spring of water belonging to the tribe of Hudhayl. Some men of one of the quarter of Hudhayl called Banu Lihyan then killed the entire company.

Aban reported that the people of Hudhayl, when they killed `Asim, wanted his head to sell to Sulafah daughter of Sa'd, she had vowed after he had killed her son in the Battle of Uhud that if she were able to obtain his head, she would drink wine in his skull. They were, however, prevented from cutting off his head by wasps. As they were unable to approach `Asim's corpse, they agreed to leave it to the night, when the wasps would have left it. At night, however, Allah caused a heavy rainfall, so that the valley was flooded and the waters carried the corpse away. This was because `Asim had made a covenant with Allah that he would never touch an Associator, nor an Associator touch him all his life. Thus Allah protected him after death against that which he had protected himself during his life.

The Raid Of Ma'nnah

Four months after the Battle of Uhud, the raid of Ma`unah took place. This was when Abu Bara' Amir ibn Malik ibn Ja'far, nicknamed `Muld'ibu'l-Asinnah' (the welder of spears) came to the Messenger of Allah in Medina and accepted Islam. The man then suggested to the Prophet that he send men to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. "I hope," the man continued, "that they will answer your call." The Prophet answered: "I fear lest the people of Najd do you harm." But Abu Bard' insisted saying: "I have a pact of protection with them." The Messenger of Allah sent al-Mundhir ibn `Amr with twenty some men. It is also reported that they were forty, or seventy men of the best Muslims. Among them were al-Harith ibn as-Simmah, Haram ibn Milhan and `Amir ibn Fuhayrah, Abu Bakr's client.

They all travelled until they reached the well of Ma'unah, which was located between the land of the Banu `Amir and the plain of the Banu Sulaym. From there, they sent Haram ibn Milhan with a letter from the Messenger of Allah to `Amir ibn at-Tufayl. But `Amir did not take the time to look at the letter before he rushed at Haram and killed him. He then cried out: "Allah is Most Great; I have achieved victory, by the Lord of the Ka'bah! " He called the men of Banu `Amir to aid him in fighting against the Muslims, but they refused saying: "We shall not betray the covenant of Abu Bard'." He then called upon some of the clans of the tribe of Sulaym: `Asiyyah, Ri'l and Dhakwan, who answered his call. These were the people against whom the Prophet invoked Allah's curse. They surrounded the Muslims as they sat around their goods. Seeing this, the Muslims took up their swords and fought with them until they all died.

`Amr ibn Umayyah ad-Damri had taken out the animals of the Muslims to pasture along with a man of the Ansar. They were so close to the battlefield that they could see birds flying over the fighters. They said to one another: "No doubt these birds mean something." When they went to see, they found the men lying dead in their blood. The man of the Ansar asked `Amr: "What do you suggest?" He answered: "I suggest that we go immediately to the Messenger of Allah and tell him what happened." But the man of the Ansar replied: "I would not save myself and leave a place where al-Mundhir ibn `Amr is." He thus fought against the enemies of the Muslims until he was killed.

`Amr returned to Medina and related to the Messenger of Allah what had happened. The Prophet said: "This was the deed of Abu Bard'; I did not wish to engage in it." When Abu Bard' heard the news, he was angry with `Amir for betraying his covenant of protection, and for what had happened to the people of the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bard', however, died soon after. His son Rabi`ah attacked `Amir ibn at-Tufayl, stabbing him as he sat in the assembly of his people. He missed killing him, and instead stabbed him in the leg. `Amir said: "This must be the deed of my uncle Abu Bard'. If I die, my blood belongs to my uncle, and no one should demand it from him. But if I live, I shall decide what to do about it."

The Battle Against The Banu 'N-Nadir
These events were followed by the battle against the Jewish tribe of Banu 'n-Nadir. This happened when the Messenger of Allah went to Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf to ask for a loan. The man welcomed him saying: "You are welcome to our home, O Abu 'l-Qasim! " When the Messenger of Allah and his Companions had settled down, Ka'b got up as though to prepare some food for them. But he thought to himself that he should kill the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel came down and told him about the treacherous intentions which the people had for them. The Prophet, therefore, went out as though to answer a call of nature, knowing that they would not kill his friends while he was alive.

He thus took the road to Medina where he met with a group of Ka`b's people on whom Ka'b had called to help him against the Messenger of Allah. Ka'b was informed of what had happened, and the Muslims got up and left quickly for their homes. Then `Abdullah ibn Suriya, who was the most learned for the Jews, said: "It was his Lord, by Allah, who informed him of the treachery you had planned for him. Soon, by Allah, the emissary of Muhammad shall come to you commanding you to migrate, all of you. Obey me, therefore, in two things, for there is no good in any third - either you accept Islam and thus be secure in your homes and properties, or depart when a man shall come to order you to leave your homes." They replied: "The second is preferable to us." Ibn Suriya then said: "The first is surely better for you. Had I not wished not to disgrace you, I would have myself accepted Islam.

The Prophet soon sent Muhammad ibn Maslamah to them ordering them to vacate their homes and properties and depart. He instructed him to give them only three days respite.[50]

The Battle Against The Tribe Of Lihyan

The next battle was that against the tribe of Lihyan. It was the battle during which the Prophet offered salatu'l khawf (the prayer of fear, which is usually attenuated and hurriedly offered in times of war) in a place called `Asfan, near Medina, where he then received revelation from Allah informing him of what the Associators were intending. It is reported that this battle took place after that of the tribe of Banu Qurayzah (6 /627) .

After this the raid of Dhatu'r-Riqa' took place, [two months after that of Banu'n-Nadirl. (al-Bukhari reported that it was after the Battle of Khaybar 7/ 628.) The Prophet met a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan in a place called Dhatu'r-Riqa', but there was no fighting between them. This was because both groups feared the other. The Prophet offered salatu'l khawf and departed with his people. It is reported that the place was so called because it was a mountain with red, black and white patches (riqa'). It is also reported that the reason was that the skin of men's feet began to crack, so that they were obliged to cover them with patches of cloth.

The Prophet stood at the side of a valley and his Companions on the other side. In the meantime the valley filled with water, so that he was separated from his men. A man of the Associators called Ghawrath saw him alone. He said to his people: "I shall kill Muhammad for you!" He thus took his sword and came to the Prophet saying: "Who shall save you now from me, O Muhammad!" "My Lord shall save me! ", the Prophet answered. The man fell flat on the ground. The Prophet took the sword from him, and sitting on his chest, asked: "Who shall save you from me now, O Ghawrath?" He answered: "Your clemency and generosity, O Muhammad! " The Prophet let him go. He stood up repeating: "You are more generous and more noble than I ! "

Then came the second journey to Badr in Sha'ban of that year, in response to the challenge of Abu Sufyan of the previous year after the Battle of Uhud. He remained at the well of Badr for eight days. Abu Sufyan came to meet him with the people of Tihamah (that is, the district of Mecca), but when the two groups met, Abu Sufyan decided to turn back. The Messenger of Allah and his Companions, however, stayed on for the market, where they traded and made good profit.

The Battle Of The Trench (Al-Khandaq )

This was followed by the Battle of the Trench (Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (al-Ahzdb). This was during the month of Shawwal in the 4th year of the hijrah (March, 626). Huyayy ibn Akhtab, Kinanah ibn ar-Rabi`, and Sallam ibn Abi 'l-Huqayq with a group of their fellow Jews came to Mecca. They were accompanied by other men of the Quraysh, Kinanah and Ghatafan tribes. They all went to Abu Sufyan and others of the chiefs of Quraysh to call them to wage war against the Messenger of Allah. They promised them: "Our hands shall be with your hands, and we shall fight together with you until we exterminate them utterly." They also went to the tribe of Ghatafan and called them to war against the Messenger of Allah. They assured them of the agreement of Quraysh; they thus all prepared for war. The fighters of Quraysh were led by Abu Sufyan. The leader of the men of Ghatafan was `Uyaynah ibn Hisn of the Fazarah clan. Leading the tribe of Banu Murrah was al-Harith ibn `Awf. Mis'ar ibn Rukhaylah ibn Nuwayrah ibn Tarif led his people, the men of the tribe of Ashja`. These together were -the Confederates.

The Messenger of Allah heard their coming, and thus went out to meet them after consulting with Salman, the Persian who suggested that a trench be dug. In this action there were clear signs of the Prophethood of Muhammad. One of these signs was that reported by Jabir ibn `Abdillah. He said that the men encountered a hard rock in the trench which they could not break. They complained of this to the Apostle of Allah, who then had a vessel filled with water and brought to him. He expectorated in the water and prayed silently to Allah, then sprinkled the water on the rock. An eye-witness reported: "By Allah Who sent him as a prophet with the truth, no sooner had he done this, than it became like sand, repulsing neither axe or shovel."

Another miracle, also reported by Jabir, was the feeding of a large multitude of people on a small quantity of food. We have already recounted this event. A third miracle was that reported by Salman the Persian who said: "As I was digging in one corner of the trench, the Messenger of Allah turned towards me, as he was standing nearby. Seeing me exerting myself in a hard spot, he came down and took the pick-axe from my hand and struck a rock. A spark, as though of lightning, shone forth from beneath the pick-axe. He struck a second time, and another spark shone forth. A third time he struck, and again a spark glittered. I asked in amazement `O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be a ransom for you, what is this I see?' `As for the first', he replied: `It is a sign that Allah shall grant me conquest of Yemen. The second is a sign that Allah shall grant me Syria and the West (that is, North Africa and Southern Spain). As for the third, it is a sign that Allah shall grant me victory over the East (that is, the Asian domains of Islam).' " When the Confederate armies came to meet the Prophet in battle, the Muslims were troubled and afraid. They encamped at one side of the trench, where they remained for twenty some days. No actual fighting occurred between them and the Muslims except with arrows and stones. Finally, some fighters of the Quraysh came out calling for single combat.

Among them were `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd, `Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Hubayrah ibn Wahb and Dirar ibn al-Khattab. They made ready for fighting and rode their horses to the edge of the trench. When they looked at it they said: "By Allah, this is a trick which the Arabs never before practised." They then came to a narrow spot of the trench and spurred their horses on, so that they in fact jumped over it. The horses, however, galloped aimlessly with them in a salty marsh between the trench and a mountain on the edge of Medina called as-Sulay` (or Sal').

`Ali ibn Abi Talib went out with a few men and blocked that breach in the trench which had been penetrated, so that they were unable to go back. `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd came forth and challenged the Muslims for single combat. 'Ali came out to meet him, and slew him. (We shall return to this event in greater detail later, if Allah wills.) [51] When `Ikrimah and Hubayrah saw `Amr dead, they fled. The Commander of the Faithful composed verses concerning this event, some of which are:

He (`Amr) foolishly lent support to stone idols,But I have wisely lent support to Muhammad's Lord.I thus struck him and left him,Hugging the earth like a dry branch between quick sands and hills.His rich garments I did not pillage,Even though he would have pillaged my garments, were I the one killed.

Think not that Allah shall abandon His religion,Nor abandon His Prophet, O people of the Confederates!

Then Ibnu'l-`Araqah shot an arrow which hit Sa'd ibn Mu'adh in the medial vein of the arm. He exclaimed: "Take this from me, for I am Ibnu'l-`Araqah!" Sa'd retorted: "May Allah cause your face to sweat in the Fire!" Sa'd went on: "O Allah, if you will that war shall continue between us and the Quraysh, then preserve me, if only for the sake of this war; for there is no people against whom I desire to wage war more than those who have rejected your Apostle and driven him out of your sanctuary (haram). O Allah, if you so will that war shall end between us and them, then let this (injury) be the cause of martyrdom for me. Yet, do not cause me to die until you grant me the satisfaction of (defeating) the tribe of Banu Qurayzah." The Messenger of Allah had him brought to him, and there the man spent the night on the ground.

Aban ibn `Uthman reported on the authority of a man who heard Abu `Abdillah (the sixth Imam) say: "The Messenger of Allah one dark and cold night stood on the hill on which now stands Masjidu'l-Fath (the mosque named after the conquest, `Fath' of Mecca). Addressing his Companions, he said: "Who shall go and bring us news of the (fighters) and have Paradise for a reward? " He repeated this a second and a third time, but no one came forward. Finally, Hudhayfah ( a man well-known for his strict moral and spiritual discipline) arose. The Prophet said to him: "Go and listen to their words and bring me news of them." As Hudhayfah set out, the Prophet prayed: "O Allah, watch over him in the front and in the back, on his right and on his left until you bring him back to me." The Prophet said further: "Do not do anything until you return to us."

When Hudhayfah departed, the Apostle of Allah rose up and prayed, then cried out with a most sorrowful voice: "O You Who hear the cry of those who are in sorrow, You Who answer the prayers of those who are in distress, remove my sorrow and distress, for You see my state and the state of those who are with me!" Gabriel came down to him and said: "O Messenger of Allah, Allah, be He exalted, has heard your cry and answered your prayer! He shall spare you dread of those who have allied themselves against you and opposed you." The Messenger of Allah then knelt down on his knees and let his eyes shed tears. He cried out again: "All thanks be to You for sheltering me and those who are with me! " Gabriel then said: "O Apostle of Allah, He has indeed granted you support, for He has sent against them a wind from the heaven of this world carrying pebbles, and another wind from the fourth heaven carrying stones."

Hudhayfah reported: "As I reached the place, I saw the fires. of the people put out and utterly extinguished. This was because the first army of Allah had come - a strong wind blowing pebbles. Thus it left no fire of the enemy but that it extinguished it, a tent but that it blew it away, or a spear but that it broke it. This went on until they had to shield themselves from the pebbles, and I heard the clatter of the pebbles against the shields. Then the greater army of Allah came! Abu Sufyan rushed up to his mount and cried out: `Save yourselves, save yourselves! '`Uyaynah ibn Hisn did likewise, and so also did al-Harith ibn `Awf. Thus the Confederates went away." Hudhayfah then returned to the Apostle of Allah and recounted to him what had happened. Then Allah sent down to His Apostle: Remember the favor of Allah towards you when great hosts came against you, and We sent against them a wind and hosts whom you did not see [Qur'an 33 :9].

The Messenger of Allah presented himself early next morning before the Muslims of Medina, and Fatimah his daughter prepared water to wash his head (in special celebration of the occasion). But suddenly Gabriel came to him on a mule, his face covered with a white turban and clad in a garment of brocade adorned with pearls and rubies. He was, however, covered with dust. Thus. the Messenger of Allah rose and wiped away the dust from his face. Gabriel exclaimed: "May your Lord have mercy upon you; you have laid down your arms, yet the denizens of heaven have not laid theirs down! I have pursued them until they reached ar-Rawha.' " Gabriel continued: "Rise now against their brethren of the People of the Book, for by Allah, I shall crush them as would an egg be crushed against a rock! "

The Messenger of Allah then called `Ali and ordered him, saying: "Carry the banner of the Immigrants against the tribe of Banu Qurayzah." He further ordered his Companions: "I charge you not to offer the mid-afternoon prayers except in the quarters of Banu Qurayzah." 'Ali arose with the Immigrants, the men of the Banu `Abdi 'lAshhal and those of Banu'n-Najjar all of them; not even one was left behind. The Prophet continued to send men to assist `Ali. Some of the men did not pray the mid-afternoon prayers until after the time for the night prayers.

The people of Banu Qurayzah came out to 'Ali and cursed him, saying: "May Allah curse you and your cousin (that is, the Prophet)." But 'Ali stood in his place and did not answer them. When the Messenger of Allah arrived with the men of faith all around him, the Commander of the Faithful met him saying: "Do not come near them, O Apostle of Allah, may Allah make me a ransom for you! Allah shall surely punish them." The Messenger of Allah knew that they had insulted 'Ali. Thus he said: "If they see me, they will say nothing of what they said against you." He thus approached them and said: "You brothers of the apes! [52] Thus have we come to the quarters of a people to warn them, evil be the morning of those who are warned! O servants of Satan, be you humbled, may Allah humiliate you! " They (Banu Qurayzah) cried from right and left: "O Abu 'l-Qasim (that is, Muhammad), you have never been a lewd man; what has happened to you? " as-Sadiq reported that a lance which he was holding fell from his hand, and his outer garment fell off behind him. He began to walk backward, ashamed of what he had said to them.

The Messenger of Allah besieged them for twenty-five days until they agreed to abide by the judgment of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh which was that their men be slain and their women and children be taken as slaves. He further decreed that their homes and lands be given to the Immigrants, and their wealth divided among the Muslims. The Prophet said to him: "You have judged them according to Allah's judgment, which issues from above, from the seven heavens."

When the captives were brought, they were imprisoned in a house. Ten were brought out, whom the Commander of the Faithful beheaded. Another ten were brought out whom az-Zubayr beheaded. A man of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah said: "Would it not be better to kill one or two men at a time?"

The wound which Sa'd had suffered in his arm suddenly opened and the blood continued to gush out until he died. The Messenger of Allah took off his outer garment (as an expression of grief ) and walked with his funeral without an outer garment. He then sent `Abdullah ibn `Atik to Khaybar (another Jewish settlement) where he killed Abu Rafi` (Sallam) ibn Abi ' l-Huqayq (one of the chiefs of the Banu Qurayzah).