The Raid Of Dhu Amarr

This was followed by the raid of Dhu Amarr, which the Prophet undertook after remaining in Medina for the months of Dhu 'l-Hijjah and Muharram (the last and first months of the Muslim calendar, which are also sacred months). He set out on this mission after hearing that a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan had assembled to launch a raid against the suburbs of Medina. They were led by a man called Du'thur ibn al-Harith ibn Muharib. The Prophet set out with four hundred and fifty men with a number of horses. But these Bedouins fled before him to neighbouring mountain peaks. The Prophet then encamped with his men in the spot of Dhu Amarr. It rained heavily while they were in that place. The Messenger of Allah went out to answer the call of nature across the valley from the camp. He took off his clothes and hung them on a tree to dry out, having been soaked by the rain. He lay down under the tree, while the Bedouins watched intently his every movement.

One of the men said to Du'thur, who was their chief and the bravest man among them: "See now, Muhammad has given you control! He has separated himself from his Companions, so that if he were to cry out for help, they would not hear him. Go and kill him!" He thus chose a sharp sword and hastened until he stood at the head of the Apostle of Allah with his sword outstretched. He then exclaimed: "O Muhammad, who shall protect you against me today?" "Allah", he answered. Gabriel struck the man in the chest so that he fell back, dropping the sword from his hand. The Messenger of Allah took up the sword and, standing at the man's head, asked: "Who shall protect you against me now?" The Bedouin replied: "No one! But I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah! By Allah, I shall never again join any group against you! " The Messenger of Allah returned his sword to him. The man turned to go, but then turned back and said: "By Allah, you are a better man than me!" The Messenger of Allah replied: "I am indeed worthy of that."

When the man returned to his people, they questioned him: "Where is all your talk now - he was unprotected before you, and you had a sword in your hand!" He replied: "By Allah, this was the case! But I saw a bright and tall man who struck me in the chest, and I fell flat on my back. I knew that he was an angel. Thus I bore witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah ! By Allah, I shall never add to the number of any group that would assemble against him." The man then began to invite his own people to Islam. Then Allah sent down the verse: O you who have faith, remember the bounty of Allah towards you, when some people intended to stretch out their hands against you; yet He restrained their hands from harming you [Qur'an 5 :111 ] .

The Raid Of Al-Qaradah

This was followed by the raid of al-Qaradah. The Messenger of Allah sent Zayd ibn al-Harithah with a detachment, six months after his return to Medina from Badr. At the well called al-Qaradah, Zayd and his men came upon a caravan of the Quraysh led by Abu Sufyan, who had much silver. After the Battle of Badr, the Quraysh [of Mecca] did not feel safe taking their usual route to Syria. They therefore travelled the Iraq road, having hired as a guide a man of the tribe of Bakr ibn Wail called Furat ibn Hayyan. Zayd ibn al-Harithah was able to capture the caravan, but the men eluded him and escaped. According to the report of al-Waqidi [48] the caravan was led by Safwan ibn Umayyah. The Muslims captured one or two men, whom they brought with the caravan to the Messenger of Allah. Furat was himself a captive. But he accepted Islam, and was thus spared.

The reprisal against the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa` for this action took place on Saturday, in mid-Shawwal, twenty months after the Migration. The Messenger of Allah assembled the people of the tribe in their market and warned them saying: "Beware lest Allah afflict you with the same punishments as those with which He afflicted the people of Quraysh! Enter into Islam, for you know well the grace with which Allah has favored me, and you recognize my characteristics, which are in your scriptures." They answered: "O Muhammad, be not deceived by the fact that you met your own people in battle and defeated them. Yet if we were to wage war against you, you would, by Allah, know that we are not like them! " They nearly came to blows. It was concerning the people of Qaynuqa` that the verse: There was a sign for you (the Muslims) in the two groups which encountered one another: the one fighting in the way of Allah, the other rejecting faith . . . [Qur'an. 3:13] , was sent down.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: "O Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armoured soldiers and four hundred without armour. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of fortunes!" The people of Banu Qaynuqa` were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of Banu Qaynuqa` left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri'at in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe: O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons . . . [Qur'an. 5 : 51- 52] .

The Battle Of Uhud

Then the Battle of Uhud followed, a year after that of Badr. The leader of the Associators in that battle was Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. The Companions of the Apostle of Allah were on that day seven hundred and the Associators numbered two thousand.

The Messenger of Allah set out for the battle after consulting with his Companions. Although his own opinion was that the men should engage in street fighting, while those who were not strong enough for fighting should shoot arrows from the rooftops, yet they insisted on going out to meet the Quraysh in the battle. But on the way they changed their minds and asked to turn back. He refused saying: It is not fit for a prophet to turn back once he has decided to set out to engage a group in the battle." They were actually a thousand men. On the way, however, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy deserted with a third of the men. They said in justification of their decision, "By Allah, we know not for what are we going to kill ourselves, while the enemy are his own people! " The men of Banu Harithah and Banu Salmah likewise were at the point of deserting. However, Allah, be He exalted, restrained them, as He says: When two groups of you had nearly lost heart; yet Allah was their Master . . . [ Qur'an. 3 :123 ] .

The Messenger of Allah woke up next morning ready for fighting. He charged 'Ali with the banner of the Immigrants, and that of the Ansar, Sa'd ibn `Ubadah. The Messenger of Allah joined the banner of the Ansar. He then went to inspect the archers, who were fifty men led by `Abdullah ibn Jubayr. He admonished them and reminded them of their duty saying: "Fear Allah and be steadfast. Even if you see us snatched by wild birds, do not leave your spot until I send you a word." The Prophet then stood at the top c: the valley. At first the Associators were clearly defeated, so that the Muslims slew them with the sword.

The archers under the leadership of `Abdullah ibn Jubayr, seeing this, cried out, `The booty! Your people have vanquished the enemy; what are you waiting for!" `Abdullah said to them, "Have you forgotten the words of the Messenger of Allah? As for me, I shall never abandon the spot which the Apostle of Allah assigned to me." But they disregarded his command and disobeyed him, when they saw what they had desired. They thus hastened to the spoils of war. Khalid ibn al-Walid, who lay in ambush with other men of the Associators, rushed out at them, and Khalid came to `Abdullah and killed him.

The Muslims were put to the sword as men rushed at them from behind. Satan cried out, "Muhammad has been slain!" In the meantime, the Messenger of Allah called out to them as they turned back, "O people, I am the Apostle of Allah! Allah has promised me victory; why are you fleeing?" They heard the voice, but did not turn around. The outcry of Satan went on until it was heard in the houses of-Medina. Thus Fatimah raised the wail; nor was there any Hashimite or Qurayshite woman but that she placed her hand upon her head, wailing.

It is related on the authority of the sixth lmam Ja'far as-Sadiq that as people deserted the Apostle of Allah, he was filled with rage. Whenever he became angry, sweat dripped from his face and forehead like pearls. He looked around, and there was `Ali by his side. He asked him: "Why did you not run to the sons of your father?" 'Ali answered: "O Apostle of Allah, should I reject faith after I have become a Muslim! Rather, I shall stay with you and endure your fate." "If it be so", the Prophet said, "then spare me the evil of these men! " 'Ali rushed out at them, and as he struck the first man he encountered, Gabriel exclaimed: "This -is indeed true consolation, O Muhammad! " "He is of me, and I am of him", said the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel added " I too am of you."

A group of men then turned to the Messenger of Allah and gathered around him. Seventy men of the Muslims were slain. Of these, four were of the Immigrants: Hamzah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib, `Abdullah ibn Jahsh, Mus'ab ibn `Umayr and Shammas ibn `Uthman ibn ash-Sharid; the rest were of the Ansar.

It is reported that at that time Ubayy ibn Khalaf came on his horse to the battlefield saying: "So this is the son of Abu Kabshah (meaning the Prophet)! Turn back with your own misdeeds! May you never be saved, even if you are spared (this time)." The Messenger of Allah was standing between al-Harith ibn as-Simmah and Sahl ibn Hunayf, leaning upon them. Ubayy rushed to attack him, but Mus`ab ibn `Umayr shielded him with his body. Ubayy thus stabbed Mus'ab and killed him. The Messenger of Allah then took a lance which was in the hand of Sahl ibn Hunayf and struck Ubayy with it above the collar of his armour. Ubayy fell over his horse embracing it, and ran to his camp lowing like a bull. Abu Sufyan said to him: "Woe to you, what is it that frightens you? It is only a scratch; it is nothing! " He answered: "Woe to you O son of Harb, do you know who stabbed me? It was Muhammad who stabbed me! He said to me in Mecca, `I shall kill you'. I thus knew that he would be the one to kill me. By Allah, if all the people of the Hijaz were to suffer what I am suffering, it would finish them all! " The accursed man continued to moan until he went to the Fire.

It is reported in the book of Aban ibn `Uthman [49] that when Fatimah and Safiyyah (the Prophet's paternal aunt) came to the Messenger of Allah, he said to `All, "As for my aunt, keep her away from me, but let Fatimah come." When Fatimah came close to the Apostle of Allah and saw that he had been wounded in the face, and that blood was gushing out of his mouth, she began to wipe away the blood, weeping and saying: "May Allah's wrath rage against those who caused the face of the Messenger of Allah to bleed!" The Messenger of Allah took in his hand the blood that ran down his face and threw it up in the air, and not one drop returned to earth. The sixth Imam as-Sadiq is said to have declared: "By Allah, if one drop of that blood had come down to the ground, severe punishment would have come down to earth." Aban ibn `Uthman said: "This was told to me on his authority by as-Sabbah ibn Suyyabah. I asked him, "Were his upper interior teeth broken, as these people claim?' He replied: `No, by Allah, Allah always protected him from all disfigurement. It was rather that he was wounded in the face.' I asked: `What about the cave on Mount Uhud to which they claim that the Apostle of Allah fled?' He answered: `By Allah, he did not move from his spot.' "

Someone said to the Prophet, "Would you not invoke Allah against them?" He said: "O Allah, guide my people aright, for they do not know." Ibn Qami'ah threw a stone at the Messenger of Allah which hit him on the palm so that the sword fell from his hand. The man exclaimed: "Take it from me, for I am the son of Qami'ah ! " The Messenger of Allah replied: "May Allah humiliate and bring you low!" `Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas struck the Prophet with a sword so that blood gushed out of his mouth, and `Abdullah ibn Shihab threw a stone at him, hitting him on the wrist. No one of these died a natural death. As for Ibn Qami'ah, a ram came to him while he was sleeping in Najd and struck its horns in his stomach. The man cried out with pain until the ram penetrated him with its horns to the neck.

Wahshi (the man who killed Hamzah) reported: "Jubayr ibn Mut'im, whose slave I was, said to me, `All you know that `Ali killed my uncle Tu'aymah in the Battle of Badr. If you therefore kill Muhammad, Muhammad's uncle, or Muhammad's cousin, you shall be free.'

I thus went with the army of Quraysh to Uhud with a lance, only seeking freedom. I wished for nothing else, nor did I wish to kill Muhammad. I said to myself, `Perhaps I will meet with 'Ali or Hamzah at whom I would throw my lance', I never missed in throwing lances, an art I learnt in Abyssinia. Hamzah used to rush out on his attacks, after which he would return to his spot." Abu `Abdillah (the sixth Imam) reported that Wahshi struck Hamzah in the chest. He fell, and the men rushed at him and killed him. Wahshi went to Hamzah and splitting his stomach, took his liver and ran with it to Hind daughter of `Utbah (and wife of Ab6 Sufyan), who took it and began to chew it. But the flesh became as hard as a knee bone, so that she spat it out.

It is reported that al-Halls ibn `Alqamah saw Abu Sufyan on a horse stabbing Hamzah's corpse in the mouth with a spear. al-Halls exclaimed: "O people of Ban& Kinanah, look at this man who claims to be the chief of Quraysh - look at what he is doing to his cousin who has become dead flesh!" Abu Sufyan repeated as he did so, "Taste death, you rebel! " He then said to al-Hails: "You are right; it is a grave fault which I have committed. Keep it a secret."

Abu Sufyan stood up and called out to some of the Muslims: "Is Ibn Abi Kabshah (that is, the Prophet) still alive? As for ( `Ail) ibn Abi Talib, we see him still standing in his spot." 'Ali replied: "Yes, by Him Who sent him with the truth, he hears your words!" Abu Sufyan said: "In this battle with you, some mutilation has taken place. By Allah, I neither ordered it nor did I prevent it. Our next appointment with you shall be the time of Badr, next year." The Messenger of Allah said to `Ali, "Say yes." "Yes," `Ali repeated. Abu Sufyan then said to `Ali: "Ibn Qami'ah told me that he had killed Muhammad. But you are more truthful and righteous in my sight." He then went back to his Companions and said: "Take the night as your camel (that is, travel without stopping) and depart."

The Messenger of Allah then called `Ali and said to him, "Follow them. See where they are going. If you see them riding their horses and leading the camels, it means that they will go to Medina. But if they are riding their camels and leading the horses, that means that they are going to Mecca." It is also reported that the Prophet sent Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, who returned and said: "I saw the horses beating around with their tails tied behind and being led by camels, and the men all riding on camels" [i.e., readying for travel and not for war]. The Muslims were glad to see their enemies gone, and scattered about to look for their dead. Every corpse was mutilated except that of Hanzalah ibn Abi `Amir whose father was with the Associators; thus he was spared for him. They found Hamzah with his stomach split open, his nose and ears cut off and his liver taken away. When the Messenger of Allah saw him in this condition, he was choked with tears and said: "I shall mutilate seventy men of Quraysh ! " But Allah sent down: If you punish, then punish in the same manner as you were punished [Qur'an. 16:126] . The Prophet then said: "I would rather be patient." He then asked: "Who is that man whom the angels are washing on the side of the mountain?" They answered: "Here is his wife", and she said: "He left the house impure through sexual intercourse." This was Hanzalah ibn Abi `Amir, who was known thereafter as `the washed one'. 

Aban reported further on the authority of Abu Ja'far (the fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir - a. s.) who said: "A man called Quzman ibn al-Harith al-`Absi (the Hypocrite concerning whom the Messenger of Allah said, `Allah shall strengthen this religion with a reprobate man') was mentioned to the Apostle of Allah, who said, `He is of the people of the Fire.' Someone came to the Messenger of Allah and told him that Quzman was martyred. He observed: `Allah does whatever He wills.' Again, someone came and told him that Quzman had killed himself. The Prophet exclaimed: `I bear witness that I am the Apostle of Allah.' " 

It is reported that Quzman fought valiantly and killed six or seven of the Associators. When he was finally incapacitated by his wounds, he was carried to the quarter of the tribe of Zafar. The Muslims said to him: "Be of good cheer, O Quzman for you have done well today! " He replied: "Of what do you bring me such glad tidings? By Allah I did not fight except for the sake of my people's noble genealogies; had it not been for this, I would have never fought! " Thus, when his wounds had become too painful to bear, he took a sharp arrow from his quiver with which he killed himself.

It is also reported that a woman of the Banu'n-Najjar whose father, husband and brother were killed with the Apostle of Allah, approached the Messenger of Allah while the Muslims stood all around him. She asked a man: "Can I greet the Messenger of Allah and gaze upon him?" "Yes", he answered. The people made room for her, and she came close to him and said: "Every calamity is light since you have returned safe and sound;" having said this, she went away.

After burying the dead, the Messenger returned to Medina. As he passed the quarters of the `Abdu'l-Ashhal and Zafar tribes, he heard the women mourning their dead. The eyes of the Messenger of Allah were filled with tears. He wept saying: "But there are no women mourning for Hamzah today! " When Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and Usayd ibn Hudayr heard this, they said: "Let no woman mourn over her loved one until Fatimah comes and aids her." Thus when the Messenger of Allah heard the wail raised for Hamzah, as he stood by Fatimah at the door of the Mosque he addressed the women saying: "Return, may Allah have mercy upon you. You have indeed consoled us with your grief."