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The Last Stage of the Battle of Uhud and the Campaign of Hamra’ al-Asad

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Prophet Muhammad as Commander

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After the confusion at Uhud, his Companions rallied around the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. He was wounded and fainted, and many of his Companions were also wounded. They had retreated to the safety of the mountain. When the Quraysh army began to leave the battlefield, thinking they had taken revenge for the defeat at Badr and seeing that they were unable to crush the resistance of the Muslims, they mounted their camels and, only leading their horses (not riding), they headed for Makka.

God's Messenger was apprehensive that the Makkan polytheists might return and launch a second attack on Madina. On the second day of Uhud, therefore, he ordered those who had taken part in the Battle of Uhud the day before to gather and urged them to pursue the unbelievers. Although some people from Banu 'Abd al-Qays, appointed by Abu Sufyan, tried to discourage the Muslims to confront the Quraysh once more, saying. 'The people have gathered against you, therefore fear them,' this only increased the heroes of Islam in faith, and they answered: 'God is sufficient for us; what an excellent Guardian He is!' (Al 'Imran, 3. 173). (1)

Most of them were seriously wounded; some were even unable to stand and were carried by their friends. (2) At this highly critical moment, they girded up their loins and were prepared to lay down their lives at the behest of God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. They accompanied him to Hamra' al-Asad, eight miles from Madina.

The Makkan polytheists had halted and were deliberating among themselves about launching a second attack on Madina to crush the power of God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. However, when they saw the believers, whom they thought they had defeated so shortly before, coming towards them, they failed to muster sufficient courage and carried on to Makka.

It was the prudence and military genius of God's Messenger that a defeat resulted in a victory. The enemy could not find the courage in themselves to march upon Madina, a few miles away, and had to go on towards Makka in the face of the resolution showed by the believers. God revealed the following verses in praise of the Muslim heroes who had participated in this campaign:

Those who answered God and the Messenger after the wound had smitten them – to all those of them who did good and feared God, shall be a mighty wage; those to whom the people said, 'The people have gathered against you, therefore fear them'; but it increased them in faith, and they said, 'God is sufficient for us; what an excellent Guardian He is!' So they returned with blessing and bounty from God, untouched by evil; they followed the good pleasure of God; and God is of bounty abounding. (Al 'Imran, 3. 172–4)

1. I. Hisham, 3.120–1; I. Kathir, al-Bidayah, 4.43.
2. I. Hisham, 3.101.