15 December 2023
Muhammadsa: The Great Exemplar
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
The Battle of Uhud was being mentioned in relation to accounts from the life of the Holy Prophetsa. Further details in this regard are as follows:
When the Holy Prophetsa set up camp in the plains of Uhud, the mountain of Uhud was behind the Muslim army, and was protecting the Muslim army from the rear. However, there was a mountain pass in another direction, which could give the enemy an opportunity to launch an attack from there. As such, assessing this risk and danger, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Abdullah bin Jubairra as the commander of a unit of 50 Companions as archers and assigned them to this mountain pass. (Sirat Khatamun Nabiyyin, p. 487)
With regards to the guidance the Holy Prophetsa gave to these archers, the following words are found in Sahih al-Bukhari:
إِنْ رَأَيْتُمُوْنَا تَخْطَفُنَا الطَّيْرُ فَلَا تَبْرَحُوْا مَكَانَكُمْ هٰذَا حَتّٰى أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ، وَإِنْ رَأَيْتُمُوْنَا هَزَمْنَا الْقَوْمَ وَأَوْطَأْنَاهُمْ، فَلَاتَبْرَحُوْا حَتّٰى أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ
“If you see that the vultures are tearing away at our remains, do not move from your station until I send for you and if you see that we have defeated the enemy and overcome them, even then, do not move until I instruct you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-jihad wa s-siyar, Bab ma yakrahu min al-tanazu’ wa l-ikhtilaf fi l-harb, Hadith 3039)
Another narration of Sahih al-Bukhari states that the Holy Prophetsa said: “Do not leave this place; if you should see us defeating the enemy, do not leave this place, and if you should see them defeating us, do not help us.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-maghazi, Bab ghazwa hhud, Hadith 4043)
Do not leave this place under any circumstance.
One historian has written that the Holy Prophetsa stated: “Keep the cavalry of the enemy away from us, so they are unable to attack us from behind. If we are victorious, remain in your place so that they do not attack us from behind. Remain firm in your place and do not leave from there. And when you see that we have defeated them and penetrated their army even then do not leave your place. And if you see that we are being killed, even then do not help us and do not defend us. Rather, shoot arrows at them, because horses do not advance forth due to arrows. There is no doubt that we will remain victorious for as long as you remain firm in your place.” Following this, he said: “O Allah! I hold You as a witness over them.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 190)
Another historian has written that on this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa said: “If you see us collecting the spoils of war, do not join us. Protect us under all circumstances!” (Sirat Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, Dar al-Salam, p. 231)
Mentioning these 50 archers, another historian writes: “A person who gets the chance to see the battlefield and the location of Jabal al-Rumah, which is situated at the edge of the valley of Kinah, will come to know of the magnificent military strategy of the Holy Prophetsa, which made him unique in terms of his planning for battle, his expertise in organising the units of the army and his exceptional preparation [for battle], which are essential for victory.” (Muhammad Ahmad Bashmil, Ghazwa-e-Uhud, Nafees Academy, Karachi, pp. 101-102)
Discussing the Holy Prophet’ssa strategic expertise in wars, another historian has written:
“This battle strategy was so excellent and profound, from which we grasp the true brilliance of the Holy Prophet’ssa military leadership (meaning we ascertain his exceptional ability) and it becomes clear that any commander, however intelligent he may be, cannot devise a more sublime, refined or wise battle strategy than him. This is because though he stood in the field of Uhud against his enemies, from a military perspective, he stationed his soldiers at such a place that was the most effective on the battlefield. The Holy Prophetsa used the tall mountains as protection to shield his rear and right flank. On the left flank, with archers, he closed off the lone mountain pass – meaning the area through which the enemy could pass to reach the rear flank of the Muslim army – and encamped on the higher side of the battlefield, so that if, God forbid, they faced defeat, rather than deserting or being captured by pursuers, the Muslim army would be able to easily reach a secure place, and if the enemy were to cut straight through the heart [of the Muslim army] and advance to capture the core of the Muslim army, then [the enemy] would have to suffer very heavy losses.
“On the other hand, the Holy Prophetsa forced the enemy to position themselves on the lower ground on the battlefield. Though the Quraish thought that the Muslim army would exit Medina and encamp on the field right in front of it, however, the Holy Prophetsa turned the Muslim army 180 degrees, leaving the enemy to the west, and positioning himself in a secure location behind them. The location of the Muslim army was now an excellent position. Due to the mountains of Uhud and Ainain, the rear and right sides were secure. On the left, atop Jabal alRumah, the archers guarded the mountain pass, and to the south-east past Jabal al-Rumah, there was the main corner of the Kinah Valley, from where it was impossible for the enemy to attack.” (Allama Muhammad Azhar Farid, Ghazwat-o-Saraya, Faridiyah Printing Press, Sahiwal, pp. 166-167)
Regarding this, in his book, The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes:
“Putting his trust in God, the Holy Prophetsa marched forward and set up camp on a plain at the foot of Mount Uhud, in such a manner that the mountain range fell behind the Muslims, and Medina was positioned in front of them, as it were. In this manner, the Holy Prophetsa managed to secure the rear of the army. There was a mountain pass in the valley to the rear from where an attack could be made. Thus, the plan which was devised by the Holy Prophetsa in order to secure it was that he positioned fifty archers from among his Companions at this location under the command of Abdullah bin Jubairra, and emphatically instructed them not to leave this place under any circumstances, and that they should continue to shower the enemy with arrows. The Holy Prophetsa was so greatly concerned for the security of this mountain pass that he repeatedly instructed Abdullah bin Jubairra:
“‘Look here, this mountain pass should not be left empty under any circumstances. Even if you see that we have become victorious, and the enemy has fled in defeat, do not leave this place; and if you see that the Muslims have been defeated, and the enemy has prevailed upon us, do not move from this place.’
“This instruction was so emphatic that in one narration, the following words have been related:
“‘Even if you see that vultures are tearing away at our remains, do not budge from this place until you receive an order to leave.’” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Vol. 2, pp. 327-328)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states regarding this:
“The Holy Prophetsa finally reached Uhud. There he appointed 50 soldiers to guard a mountain pass, and emphatically instructed the commander of the soldiers that this mountain pass is so important that, whether we are defeated or victorious, do not move from this place. After this, he marched with the remaining 650 soldiers to face the enemy, which was now one-fifth of the size of the enemy.” (Dibacha Tafsirul Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 249)
After positioning the unit of archers atop the mountain pass, the Holy Prophetsa was content, and began arranging the rows [of the army], and allocating the responsibilities of leadership. At first glance, the position of the Muslims was very weak compared to the disbelievers; in terms of numbers, they were weak, in terms of provisions, they were weak, in terms of the quality of weapons and armour, they were also weak. There was a great disparity in this regard. In terms of numbers, one Muslim was facing at least four idolaters. Similarly, the army of the idolaters was also far superior in terms of the weapons and armour of the cavalry unit. In addition to this, the majority of the Muslim army’s youth were without armour, and among them, only 100 were armoured, whereas the Meccan army – i.e., the army of the disbelievers – had 700 armoured soldiers, and this number alone was equivalent to the entire army of Medina. (Muhammad Ahmad Bashmil, Ghazwa-e-Uhud, Nafees Academy, Karachi, p. 103)
The army of the idolaters arranged themselves in 10 rows, whereas the Muslim army only had 2 rows and 50 archers who were appointed to the mountain pass, but the significant and stronger part of the battlefield was with the Muslims. (Allama Muhammad Azhar Farid, Ghazwat-o-Saraya, Faridiyah Printing Press, Sahiwal)
The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Zubair bin Awwamra to [command] the right side of the Muslim army, and appointed Hazrat Mundhir bin Umar Ghanawira to the left side, and asked “Who is carrying the flag of the Idolaters?” Someone responded, “Talha bin Abi Talha”, so the Holy Prophetsa said, “We have more of a right than them to fulfil the oath” so he took the flag from Hazrat Alira and gave it to Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umairra. He was from the very same tribe that the flag-bearer of the Quraish was from, which is the Banu ‘Abd al-Dar bin Qusai tribe. Meaning the Holy Prophetsa gave his flag to someone from the same tribe as the flagbearer of the Quraish.
An author writes:
“It is also written by someone that prior to Islam, the responsibility of flag-bearing was in the hands of this tribe, meaning the Banu ‘Abd ad-Dar tribe, and fulfilling the oath meant fulfilling a national oath. Regarding this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘We are the ones who fulfil the oath.’ And on this day, the call or the slogan of the Muslim army was ‘Amit! Amit!’”. (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut; Sharh al-Zurqani, Vol. 2, p. 398, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, pp. 190-191)
With intense humility, in the court of the Lord of Honour, the Holy Prophetsa prayed for victory. In the Muslim army, the right and left sides comprised the Ansar of Medina. The Holy Prophetsa, and the Muhajirin were in the centre of the army, which is where the enemy focuses its attacks during battle. The Holy Prophetsa was standing behind the first row, in the middle of the second row. The Holy Prophetsa commanded the Companions that no one should advance until his command. (Allama Muhammad Azhar Farid, Ghazwat-o-Saraya, Faridiyah Printing Press, Sahiwal, p. 174)
There is a narration in Sahih Muslim narrated by Hazrat Anasra that on the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa was reciting the following prayer:
اَللّٰهُمَّ، إِنَّكَ إِنْ تَشَأْ لَا تُعْبَدْ فِي الْأَرْضِ
That is, “O Allah, if You so desire, then no one on earth will worship You.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-jihadi wa s-siyar, Bab istijabi d-du‘a, Hadith 1743)
In other words, if God’s help did not come, this would be the outcome. According to some narrations, the Holy Prophetsa made this prayer at the Battle of Badr and is mentioned in relation to that as well. It is written in the commentary of Sahih Muslim, that it is possible the Holy Prophetsa made this same prayer on both occasions. Allah knows best. (Nawawi, Al-Minhaj Shahr Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-jihad wa s-siyar, Bab istijabi d-du‘ai bi n-nasr […], Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2002, p. 1341)
Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqasra narrates that Abdullah bin Jahshra said to him, “Come with me. Let us pray to Allah together.” Following this, the two of them found seclusion, where Hazrat Sa’dra supplicated, saying, “O my Lord! When we face our enemy tomorrow, grant me the opportunity to challenge a strong, aggressive warrior. I wish to fight against him for Your pleasure. He would fight back, and I pray that You grant me victory over him so that I overcome him and seize his belongings.” Then, Abdullah bin Jahshra stood and supplicated, saying, “O my Allah, tomorrow, I wish to face an exceptionally strong warrior. I desire to fight against him for Your pleasure. He would fight back, seize me, and cut my ears and nose. Then, when I meet You tomorrow, You would ask me, ‘O My servant, why have your ears and nose been severed?’ I would respond and say, ‘O Allah, it is for the sake of attaining Your pleasure and the pleasure of Your Messengersa that I have endured this.’ Then, God would respond and say that I have spoken the truth.’” Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqasra said, “O my son! The prayer of Abdullah bin Jahsh was superior to mine. On the evening of that very day, I saw that the ears and nose of Abdullah bin Jahsh were hanging by a thread.” (Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Kitab al-jihad, Hadith 2409, Vol. 3, Maktabah Nizar Mustafa, Riyad, 2000, p. 907 )
In other words, the enemy had mutilated his body. Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haramra narrates, “One day before the Battle of Uhud, I saw Mubashir bin Abdul Mundhir in my dream […].”
The prayers of both these individuals [mentioned in the previous narration] were accepted; one was victorious over his enemy, and the other fought valiantly and was martyred in the end. This was an account of the prayers made by these two individuals. It is further recorded that Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haramra narrates, “One day before the Battle of Uhud, I saw Mubashir bin Abdul Mundhir in my dream (he was martyred in the Battle of Badr). He said to me, ‘It is but in a few days that you, too, will join me.’ I asked, ‘Where are you?’ He replied, ‘In paradise. I can go anywhere I please in paradise.’ I inquired, ‘Were you not martyred on the day of Badr?’ He replied, ‘Yes, however, I was brought to life once again.’” Hazrat Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haramra mentioned this dream to the Holy Prophetsa, who said, “O Abu Jabir, this is a glad tiding of your martyrdom.” (Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Kitab ma’rifati s-sahabah, Hadith 4979, Vol. 3, Dar al-Fikr Beirut, 2002, p. 413; Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 75)
Thus, according to the narration, Hazrat Jabirra reports that his father was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. (Abu Na’im, Ma’rifah al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Narration 4356, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 194)
Further details about this mention that the polytheists formed their rows at a place called Sabakah and made extensive preparations for war. They numbered 3,000, led in their front by 200 horses. Khalid bin Walid was appointed on the right flank of their horses, and Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl was appointed on the left. The infantry was under the command of Safwan bin Umayyah, or according to others, ‘Amr bin ‘Aas. The archers were under the command of Abdullah bin Abi Rabi’ah. All these individuals later accepted Islam. Their flag was entrusted to Talhah bin Abu Talhah, who was from among the people of Abd al-Dar. This is the same flag pertaining to which the Holy Prophetsa said, “We have a greater right [in fulfilling our oath].” Some of the details of this have also been mentioned. In any case, Talhah bin Abu Talhah was the flag bearer, who was from among the Banu Abd al-Dar. Whilst inciting the flagbearers of Banu Abd al-Dar, Abu Sufyan said, “O people of Banu Abd al-Dar! You bore our flag even on the day of Badr. You were a witness to the defeat we suffered. The outcome of a war is decided by the flagbearers of an army. If the flag-bearers are strong, the rest of the people remain resolute. When the flagbearers retreat, so too do the rest of the people (if the flagbearers flee the battlefield, others also run away out of fear). Thus, either you carry our flag and safeguard it, or step aside from our path. We are sufficient in representing you.” This was said in an effort to rouse their indignation. They responded by saying, “Shall we hand over our flag to you? You will soon find out – when the battle ensues – what we are capable of.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 191)
At the rear of the army were the tents of the women of the Quraish, who were continuously beating drums and recounting the names of those lost at Badr in order to incite and impassion their warriors and for them to seek redemption for their past humiliation. (Da’irah Ma’arif Sirat Muhammad Rasulullahsa, Vol. 6, p. 470)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra elaborates on this in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa:
“After completely fortifying his rear, the Holy Prophetsa began to arrange the Muslim army in battle, and appointed separate commanders for the various sections of the army. On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the flag of the army of the Quraish was in the hands of Talhah. Talhah was from that dynasty, who under the administration of Qusayy bin Kilab, the paramount ancestor of the Quraish, held the right of standard-bearing in representation of the Quraish during wars. Upon becoming aware of this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘We are more worthy of demonstrating national loyalty,’ and then, the Holy Prophetsa took the flag of the Muhajirin from Hazrat ‘Alira and entrusted it to Mus‘ab bin ‘Umairra, who was also a member of the very same dynasty to which Talhah belonged. On the opposing end, the army of the Quraish had also aligned in battle array. Abu Sufyan was the commander-in-chief of the army. Khalid bin Walid was the commander of the right wing and Ikramah bin Abu Jahl commanded the left flank. The archers were led by ‘Abdullah bin Rabi‘ah. The women were positioned behind the army, and while beating their drums, they sang couplets to rouse the martial spirit of their men.” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Vol 2, pp. 328)
When both armies were forming rows, Abu Sufyan, addressing the Ansari Muslims, loudly proclaimed, “O people of Aus and Khazraj! Do not come in between our relatives and us. We are not at all concerned with you.” In response, the Ansar reviled Abu Sufyan and cursed him. (Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 303)
This is where the battle begins. The one to initiate the battle was Abu ‘Amir Fasiq. He was referred to as Rahib during the Age of Ignorance [prior to the advent of Islam]. The Holy Prophetsa thus named him Fasiq. He had previously fled from Medina to Mecca, and he told the Quraish that when he would reunite with his people, they would follow him. He was under the impression that when he would return and make himself known, the Ansar would leave the Muslims and join him. Nonetheless, he arrived with 50 men from among his people. It is said that 15 individuals accompanied him from Mecca, and the rest were gathered from different tribes, or from the slaves of Mecca. He [Abu ‘Amir Fasiq] called out and said, “O people of Aus! It is I, Abu ‘Amir.” The Ansar replied, “O Fasiq! May Allah deprive your eyes from all delight.” When he heard this response from the Ansar, he remarked, “My people have been afflicted after my departure.” Thereafter, he began to fight furiously and hurl stones. (Ibn Hisham, Sirah al-Nabi, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 525; Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 191)
Abu ‘Amir’s son, Hazrat Hanzalahra, took part in this battle on behalf of the Muslims. He had accepted Islam and sought permission from the Holy Prophetsa to kill his father himself, however, the Holy Prophetsa prevented him from doing so. (Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 327)
These were pressing times of war, and despite that, the Holy Prophetsa ensured there was calmness and composure, and instructed, “No, do not do this. Someone else will kill him.” After Abu ‘Amir, another man from the Quraish who was riding a camel entered the battlefield and demanded a duel. No one paid any attention to him but after calling out [the Muslims] three times, Hazrat Zubairra advanced toward him. He swiftly jumped up, grabbed his neck, and the two began to wrestle atop the camel. The Holy Prophetsa said, “Whoever of the two touches the ground first would be killed.”
At the same time, the idolater fell down from his camel, upon which Hazrat Zubairra attacked him and immediately killed him. The Holy Prophetsa commended Hazrat Zubairra and said, “Every prophet has a disciple, and my disciple is Zubair.” The Holy Prophetsa continued, “Had Zubair not gone forward to combat this disbeliever, then I would have gone forth myself.” (Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 303)
When the battle began between the people and they drew near one another. Hind bint Utbah stood by the women and the women began beating drums as Hind recited the following couplets, “Look, O Banu Abd al-Dar look! O you who are watching your backs, go forth and display your excellent swordsmanship. We are the daughters of honourable people (these are the couplets she was singing). We walk on soft carpets, we wear pearls around our necks, and our hair is filled with musk. If you advance forward then we will embrace you, but if you turn away, then we will be upset with you and we will feel no remorse in turning away from you.” She was trying to incite their emotions. When the Holy Prophetsa heard these couplets, he said:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بِكَ أَجُوْلُ وَبِكَ أَصُوْلُ وَ فِيْکَ اُقَاتِلُ حَسْبِيَ اللّٰهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ۔
“O Allah, I make rounds with You, I attack with You and it is for Your sake that I fight. Allah is sufficient for me and He is the Best of Protectors.” (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, pp. 191-192)
They [i.e., the disbelievers] were using worldly means, whereas the Holy Prophetsa said that his means were purely through Allah the Almighty.
In any case, the battle between the two armies officially commenced. On that day, the people fought fiercely and there was an intense battle. The likes of Abu Dujanah Ansarira, Talhah bin Ubaidullahra, Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalibra, Ali bin Abu Talibra, Anas bin Nazarra, and Sa’d bin Rabi’ra displayed great bravery in battle. Allah the Almighty bestowed His help upon the Muslims, fulfilling His promise and the Muslims killed many disbelievers with their swords, to the extent that they caused their army to disperse. The horse riders in the disbelieving army launched three attacks against the Muslims, but each time they were driven back by the arrows from the Muslims. On that day, Hazrat Umarra said to his brother Zaid, “O my brother, don my armour.” Zaid said, “I desire martyrdom just as much as you do.” Hence, both brothers went to battle without any armour with the passion of attaining martyrdom. On that day, when the fighting reached its peak in severity, the Holy Prophetsa sat under the flag of the Ansar and sent a message to Alira that he should take the flag and press forward. Upon this, Hazrat Alira advanced and said, “I am Abu al-Qusam.” Upon this, Talhah bin Abu Talhah emerged from the disbelieving ranks and he was holding the flag of the disbelievers. This was because, in battles, the duty of bearing the flag was an honour reserved for the family of Banu Abd al-Dar, seeing as the flag had been made by the Banu Abd al-Dar. Talhah bin Abu Talhah was looking for a fight, [saying], “Who will stand up against me?” He called out to the Muslims several times; however, no one advanced towards him. Eventually, Talhah called out and said, “O companions of Muhammadsa, you think that your dead (i.e., martyrs) go to heaven while our dead go to Hell.” Another narration relates that he said, “O companions of Muhammadsa, you think that Allah the Almighty swiftly succumbs us to the blades of your swords and then drives us into hell and after killing you with our swords, He swiftly enters you into heaven. Hence, who from among you will use their sword to swiftly send me to hell or will swiftly enter heaven with my sword?” He was trying to incite them. He began saying, “By Lat and Uzza, you are liars. If you truly held fast to this belief of yours, then there would certainly have been someone from among you to face me at this time.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Alira went before him to face him. Both started fighting with their swords and Hazrat Alira killed him. According to one narration, both fought each other whilst standing between both armies. Hazrat Alira immediately pounced on him, overcame him, cut his leg and took him to the ground. The private areas of his [Talhah’s] body also became exposed, and Talhah said, “O my brother, I call upon God, I beseech you to have mercy.” Hearing this, Hazrat Alira returned and did not attack him any further. Upon this, some Companions asked Hazrat Alira why he didn’t kill him. Hazrat Alira said, “His lower garment opened, and he was facing me and so I had mercy on him and I knew that Allah the Almighty had ruined him.”
According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa asked Hazrat Alira, “Why did you spare him?” Hazrat Alira said, “He called upon God and begged me for mercy.” The Holy Prophetsa said that he should kill him and so Hazrat Alira killed him. The killing of the disbelievers’ flag bearer was a fulfilment of the Holy Prophet’ssa dream, in which he was riding upon a ram. The Holy Prophetsa was very happy and glorified God’s Greatness in a loud voice, upon which the Muslims did the same, and then they launched such a fierce attack against the disbelievers that their ranks became completely scattered. The Holy Prophet’ssa Companions split up into groups and began killing the enemy with their swords until they drove them away. After Talhah was killed, the disbelievers’ flag was taken up by his brother, Abu Shaibah Uthman bin Abu Talhah. Then, Hazrat Hamzahra attacked him and severed his arm from his shoulder and his sword cut him to his collarbone. After killing him, Hazrat Hamzahra returned, saying, “I am the son of the water carrier for the pilgrims (i.e., Abd al-Muttalib).” After this, the disbelievers’ flag was taken up by Uthman and Talhah’s brother, whose name was Abu Sa’eed bin Abu Talhah. Upon this, Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqasra launched an arrow, which struck his chest and thus he too was killed. Then, the flag was taken up by Musafih, son of Talhah bin Abu Talhah, who had been killed by Hazrat Alira. Upon this, Hazrat Asim bin Thabitra launched an arrow and thus he too was killed. Then, Musafih’s brother Harth bin Talhah took up the flag, and Hazrat Asimra launched another arrow, thus killing him as well. The mother of Musafih and Harth, both children of Talhah, was also with the disbelieving army. Her name was Salafah; when Hazrat Asim’sra arrow would strike, the son who was injured by it would return to his mother and rest his head in her lap. Salafah would say, “Who has injured you?” The son would reply, “I heard the person’s voice and after striking me with an arrow, he said, ‘Take care of him. I am the son of Abu Aflah.’” Hence, his mother vowed, “If I get a hold of Asim bin Thabit’s head, I will fill it with wine and drink it.” She announced, “Whoever severs Asim bin Thabit’s head and brings it to me, I will give that person a hundred camels as a reward.” However, Hazrat Asimra was not martyred in the Battle of Uhud. In fact he was martyred during the Expedition of Raji’. Hence, after both brothers were killed, their third brother, Kilab bin Talhah, took up the flag and he was killed by Hazrat Zubairra. According to one narration, he was killed by Quzman. Then their brother Julas bin Talhah took up the flag and he was killed by Hazrat Talhah bin Ubaidullahra.
In this way, all four brothers, Musafih, Harth, Kilab and Julas were killed along with their father, Talhah. Furthermore, two of their uncles, Uthman and Abu Sa’eed were also killed during the Battle of Uhud. After this, the flag of the Quriash was picked up by Utar bin Shurahbil, but he was killed by Hazrat Alira, whereas according to one narration, he was killed by Hazrat Hamzahra. Subsequently, Shuraih bin Qariz took up the flag and he was also killed; however, it is unknown who he was killed by. Upon this, the flag was picked up by Abu Zaid bin Amr, but he was killed by Quzman. After this, the son of Shurahbil bin Hashim picked up the flag but was killed by Quzman. After him, the slave, Suwab picked up the flag. He was of African origin and fought until his hand was cut. He quickly sat down and held the flag using his chest and his neck until he was also killed by Quzman. In one narration, it is said that he was killed by Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqasra whereas another narration states that he was killed by Hazrat Alira. When all the flag bearers were killed, the idolaters turned on their heels and started running away, while their women began cursing them. All the flagbearers were killed according to the dream of the Holy Prophetsa in which he saw that the flagbearer would be killed. Thus, they were all killed. The Muslim army chased them in order to kill them. Eventually, they were moved away from the other army. The women that came along with the Quraish army also ran away. After this, there was no doubt left about the defeat of the Quraish. The Muslims entered into the heart of the idolater’s army and began gathering the spoils of war. (Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, pp. 303-305; Subul al-Huda (Translated), Vol. 4, pp. 184-186)
Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes:
“The first to advance from the army of the Quraish was Abu Amir and his followers. He was from the Aus tribe, used to reside in Medina, and was known by the name of ‘Rahib.’ Shortly after the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina, this individual became full of malice and jealousy, left for Mecca with a few supporters, and continuously incited the Quraish of Mecca against the Holy Prophetsa and the Muslims. Now, in the Battle of Uhud, he came forth in war against the Muslims as a supporter of the Quraish. It is astonishing to note that Hanzalah, the son of Abu ‘Amir was a very faithful Muslim, who was a part of the Muslim army on the occasion of this war, and was martyred fighting valiantly. Since Abu Amir was among the influential people of the Aus tribe, he was confident that after coming before the people of Medina following such a long period of separation, they would immediately abandon Muhammadsa and join him. It was in this hope that Abu ‘Amir advanced along with his followers before anyone else, and exclaimed in a loud voice, ‘O People of the Aus tribe! It is I, Abu Amir.’
“The Ansar called out in a single voice, ‘Be gone, you wicked man! May you never receive the delight of your eyes.’ With this, they showered him with stones and Abu ‘Amir along with his followers, lost their senses and fled back to where they had come from. Upon witnessing this sight, Talhah, the flag-bearer of the Quraish very vehemently marched forward and called for a duel in a very arrogant tone. Hazrat ‘Alira advanced to confront him and cut him down in two or four blows. After this, ‘Uthman, the brother of talhah, came forward; and from the opposing front, Hamzahra stepped forward to challenge him and put him to the ground. Upon witnessing this sight, the disbelievers became furious and launched an all-out attack. Calling out slogans of God’s Greatness, the Muslims also marched forward, and both armies fiercely collided with one another.
“Therefore, after the flag-bearer of the Quraish had been slain, both armies collided with one another and brutal carnage ensued, and for a period of time, this killing and bloodshed continued. At last, slowly but surely, the army of the Quraish began to lose their footing in the face of the Muslim army.
“The renowned British historian, Sir William Muir, writes:
“‘Pressed by the fierce ardour of the Muslims, the Meccan army began to waver. Their horse sought repeatedly to turn the left flank of Mohammad [sic]; but they were each time forced back by the galling archery of the little band of 50 men which Mohammad [sic] had posted there. The same daring contempt of danger was displayed as at Bedr (this is being written by an English historian). The Meccan ranks might be seen to quiver as Abu Dujana, distinguished by a red kerchief round his helmet, swept along the enemy’s ranks, and, with a sword given him by Mohammad, dealt death on every hand. Hamza, conspicuous from his waving ostrich feather; ‘Ali, known by his long white plume, and Al-Zubeir, by his bright yellow turban, like heroes of the Iliad, – carried confusion wherever they appeared.’”
The Iliad, referred to by Sir William Muir, consists of heroic tales of Greek warriors. Nonetheless, Sir William Muir says: “‘Such were the scenes in which were reared the great leaders of the Muslim conquests.’
“Hence, battle was waged, and fierce indeed it was, and for quite a while, victory remained obscure. Eventually, however, by the Grace of God, the Quraish began to lose footing, and signs of confusion and disarray began to prevail throughout the army. The flag-bearers of the Quraish were slain one after the other, and about nine of them took up the national flag in turns, but one by one, all of them were cut down at the hands of the Muslims (as mentioned in the details above). Finally, an Abyssinian slave of Talhah, whose name was Sawab, courageously advanced and took hold of the flag, but he too was met by a Muslim, who stepped forward, and severing both his hands with a single blow, mixed the flag of the Quraish to dust. However, Sawab was a brave and passionate man – he dived to the ground along with it, and attempted to raise the flag with the support of his chest, but that Muslim who knew well the worth and value of a downcast flag, struck his sword from above and finished Sawab there and then. After this, not a single individual from the Quraish could muster the courage and strength to take up the flag. On the opposing end, upon orders from the Holy Prophetsa, whilst calling out slogans of God’s Greatness, the Muslims waged another fierce onslaught. Piercing through and scattering the odd enemy ranks which had remained, they reached the opposite end of the army where the women of the Quraish were positioned. Absolute chaos broke out within the Meccan army, and in no time, the field was more or less cleared; so much so that the Muslims were put to such ease that they became occupied in gathering spoils of war.” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Vol. 2, pp. 329-332)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:
“The battle commenced and with the help and succour of Allah the Almighty, the Muslim army, comprising of just 650 men, caused the experienced Meccan army, which was 3,000 strong, to flee in a very short time. The Muslim army went in pursuit of them and those who were stationed on the mountain to protect the rear of the army said to their commander that since the enemy had been defeated, they should also be permitted to partake in the Jihad. The commander warned them against doing so and reminded them of what the Holy Prophetsa stated. They replied that whatever the Holy Prophetsa stated was in order to emphasise the importance of this position; however, he did not mean that even if the enemy flees, they should still remain there. Having said this, they came down from the mountain and entered the battlefield.” (Dibacha Tafsirul Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 249)
The events that unfolded as a consequence of their disobedience will be mentioned in future.
In relation to the sword of Abu Dujanahra which William Muir has also mentioned, there are further details regarding this Companion who took the sword of the Holy Prophetsa and did justice to it. Hazrat Anasra relates that on the day of Uhud, the Holy Prophetsa held a sword and asked:
مَنْ يَاْخُذُ مِنِّيْ ھٰذَا
“Who will take this from me?” All the Companions extended their hands and expressed their willingness. The Holy Prophetsa again asked, saying:
فَمَنْ يَاْخُذُہٗ بِحَقِّہٖ
“Who will take it and do justice to it?” Hazrat Anasra relates that upon this, the Companions stopped; however, Hazrat Simak bin Kharasha Abu Dujanahra spoke up and said he would take it and do justice to it.
Hazrat Anasra relates that thereafter, he took hold of the sword and split the heads of the idolaters, thereby doing justice to it. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab faza’ili s-sahabah, Bab min faza’ili abi dujanah, Hadith 6353)
This is a narration from Sahih Muslim.
Ibn Utbah has stated that when the Holy Prophetsa showed the sword, Hazrat Umarra expressed his willingness to take it however, the Holy Prophetsa restrained his hand from giving it. First, Hazrat Umarra asked for it and then Hazrat Zubairra asked for it, however the Holy Prophetsa did not give it to him either. They both felt this in their hearts [from being deprived of this opportunity].
Another narration states that Zubairra requested this sword three times, yet every time the Holy Prophetsa did not give it to him. Hazrat Alira also stood up and requested the sword but the Holy Prophetsa told him to sit down and did not give it to him. (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 192)
In another narration, it is stated that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was also among the Companions who expressed their desire to be bestowed the sword. (Sharh al-Zurqani, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 404)
Another tradition states that Hazrat Abu Dujanahra asked how one could do justice to it. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Do not kill any Muslim with this and never flee from the disbelievers [in battle] whilst you are in possession of it.” In other words, to fight against them courageously.
Upon this, Abu Dujanahra submitted, “I shall take this sword and will indeed do justice to it.” When the Holy Prophetsa granted this sword to Hazrat Abu Dujanahra, he split the head of the idolaters with it and he recited the following couplets:
أَنَا الَّذِيْ عَاھَدَنِيْ خَلِيْلِيْ
وَنَحْنُ بِالسَّفْحِ بصفا لَدَي النَّخِيْلِ
اَنْ لَّا أَقُوْمَ الدَّھْرَ فِي الْکَيُوْلِ
أَضْرِبْ بِسَيْفِ اللّٰہِ وَ الرَّسُوْلِ
“I am the one whose friend had taken an oath from me whilst we stood near the date palms of Safaa. I pledged that I shall not stand in the rows at the rear of the army. And I shall fight the enemy with the sword of Allah and His Messengersa.”
When Hazrat Abu Dujanahra took the sword, he began to proudly walk amongst the army rows and observing this the Holy Prophetsa stated:
اِنَّ ھٰذِہٖ مِشْيَةٌ يُبْغِضُھَا اللّٰہُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ اِلَّا فِيْ ھٰذَا الْمُقَامِ
“The manner in which he is walking is one that Allah is displeased with except for occasions like this,” (Al-Isabah, Vol. 7, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 100 Usd al-Ghabah, Vol. 2, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, p. 317)
In other words, during battle. Whilst mentioning Hazrat Abu Dujanahra, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has mentioned in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa:
“Upon witnessing this sight, the disbelievers became furious and launched an all-out attack. Calling out slogans of God’s Greatness, the Muslims also marched forward, and both armies fiercely collided with one another. It was perhaps on this occasion that the Holy Prophetsa took his sword in hand and said, ‘Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?’ Many Companions extended their hands in the desire of this honour, which included Hazrat Umarra and Zubairra, and in light of various narrations, even Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Alira. The Holy Prophetsa, however, restrained his hand and continued to say, ‘Is there anyone to do this sword justice?’ Finally, Abu Dujanah Ansarira extended his hand and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Grant me this honour.’ The Holy Prophetsa endowed the sword upon him, and with this sword in hand, Abu Dujanahra strutted forward, marching proudly towards the disbelievers. The Holy Prophetsa addressed the Companions saying, ‘Allah greatly abhors this gait, but not on an occasion like this.’ Zubairra, who was most desirous of receiving the sword of the Holy Prophetsa, and who felt that he was more deserving due to his being a close relative of the Holy Prophetsa began to toss and turn in anxiety. He thought to himself why had not the Holy Prophetsa entrusted this sword to him, but endowed it to Abu Dujanahra instead. In order to alleviate his own distress, in his heart he vowed to remain close to Abu Dujanahra in the field of battle, so that he could witness how this sword was put to use.
As such, he relates:
“‘Abu Dujanahra tied a red cloth on his head, and taking this sword in hand, whilst softly humming songs of God’s Praise, he penetrated the idolatrous ranks. I saw that wherever he would turn, it was as if he would go about scattering death, and I did not see a single man who came before him and was then spared. This was to such an extent that, cutting his way through the army of the Quraish, he emerged from the opposite corner of the army, where the women of the Quraish were standing. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who was encouraging her men with great zeal and commotion came before him. Abu Dujanahra raised his sword upon her and Hind shrieked in a loud voice, appealing to her men for assistance, but no one came to her aid. However, then I saw that Abu Dujanahra lowered his sword on his own accord and moved away from that place.’
“‘On this occasion, I inquired of Abu Dujanah, “What happened? First, you raised your sword, but then you lowered it.” He responded, “My heart could not come to terms with the fact that I should use the sword of the Holy Prophetsa against a woman; and then such a woman, who at the time had no male protector.”’
“(This is an Islamic principle of war)
“Zubairra relates, ‘It was then that I understood how Abu Dujanahra in fact did justice to the sword of the Holy Prophetsa.’” (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa, Vol. 2, pp. 329-331)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also mentioned this incident wherein the Companion raised his sword against a woman but then did not kill her. He writes that upon being asked this question, Hazrat Abu Dujanahra replied, “My heart did not permit me to use the sword given to me by the Holy Prophetsa against a helpless woman.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes, “The Holy Prophetsa would always exhort to honour and respect women. It was due to this that the women of the disbelievers became even more daring in their ploys to attack the Muslims, yet the Muslims continued to patiently endure all of this.”
From this account, it is evident that this incident transpired as it did because the Holy Prophetsa would exhort to respect women and it was for this reason that they became even more emboldened and would seek to cause harm, however, the Muslims would continue to patiently endure all of this. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, pp. 421-422)
Thus, these are the rules of war in Islam. God willing, the remaining details will continue in the future.
Continue praying for the Palestinians. The injustices are reaching their limits by the day; in fact, they continue to increase. May Allah the Almighty procure the means for the oppressors to be brought to task and may He create ease for the oppressed Palestinians. May He grant Muslim countries wisdom and understanding so that their voices may become united and they may strive to uphold the rights of their Muslim brothers.
(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 5 January 2024, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)