The Battle of Uhud – Part 3

وَبَرَكَاتُهُ اللهِ وَرَحْمَةُ عَلَيْكُمْ السَّلاَمُ

Around 300 of the hypocrites left the army of the Muslims on the way to Uhud, and when the rest of the sahaba saw such a large group leaving they began to debate amongst themselves about what was to be done.

One opinion was that the Muslims themselves should turn back and fight the munaafiqoon as traitors before they got to Uhud. And the other idea was instead to continue on to Uhud and deal with them later. And this actually became a full argument, and although it was still an argument for the sake of Islam, Allah reprimanded them for this in Surah Nisa, ayat 88:

فَمَا لَكُمْ فِى ٱلْمُنَٰفِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَٱللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُم بِمَا كَسَبُوٓاْۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُواْ مَنْ أَضَلَّ ٱللَّهُۖ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُۥ سَبِيلً


Then why should you be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? And Allah has thrown them back (to disbelief) for what they have done. Would you guide those whom Allah has let go astray? For those whom Allah has let go astray, never shall you find for them the Way.



As well as this, when they saw this number leaving some of the other tribes began to hesitate and also think about going back. And one of the tribes of the Aws – the Banu Haritha – and one of the tribes of the Khazraj – the Banu Salama – were almost about to withdraw, however in the end they just about managed to be convinced to stay, and Allah also mentioned this incident in Surah Aal-e-Imran. And so the Muslims were left with a final army of around 700.

Before we continue, it is important to mention that just as with Badr we don’t have a full chronological retelling but only snippets of the actual battle And so in every different Seerah book there will be a different order of events, and the following is just one reconstruction:

In terms of the timeline, by the 13th of Shawwal the two armies were in scouting distance, on the 14th the council was called and the Muslim army made its way to Uhud, and the actual battle took place on the 15th on the morning of the Saturday. On the Quraish side, they only found out about the Muslim’s location by the time that they were already at Uhud, and so also made their way there. And they arrived in the late afternoon of the Saturday, and so both parties knew that the battle was going to be on the next day.

Immediately after the Muslims arrived, the prophet began to organise the army and look over each fighter. And he had to reject around a dozen or so sahaba because they were too young – less than the age of 15 for Uhud – who had all snuck into the army to try to fight. Some of them tried to argue their way to remain, and in fact two of them succeeded – Rafi’ ibn Khadij (RA) and Samurah ibn Jundub (RA). Rafi’ ibn Khadij was 14, and so was initially rejected, however some of his relatives petitioned for him to remain and they made the case that he was an expert archer. And so since he would not be in the frontline he was allowed to remain. However when he was accepted, Samurah ibn Jundub – who was also 14 – stood up and protested, ‘O Rasuallah, if you’re going to allow Rafi’, I am stronger than Rafi’ and I’ve beaten him in wrestling a number of times. It’s not fair- if you’re going to let Rafi’ stay then I should stay as well.’ And it is even said that he then jumped on Rafi’ to show the prophet that he was stronger, and so he was also allowed to stay.

Now the prophet turned the army away from the actual mountain of Uhud so that they were facing back towards Medina, and in front and to the left of the Muslims was a small mountain known as Jabil Al-Aynayn (it was renamed after the battle to Jabil Ar-Rumah, mountain of the Archers). There was only one open area in front of the Muslims where the Quraish could attack from, as the prophet has positioned the army so they were sheltered on three sides by the mountains of Uhud, and Jabil Al-Aynayn was directly in the middle of it. And so the prophet stationed 50 of the best archers there to watch over the battlefield and protect the left flank of Muslims, as the battle would end up taking place in the small stretch of land that was between the right of Jabil Al-Aynayn and Uhud.


Red is the area where the Muslims camped. Note how it is protected on three sides by the mountain of Uhud. Blue is Jabil Al-Aynayn (Jabil Ar-Rumah) where the prophet placed the 50 archers. Note how it protects the Muslim’s from a surprise attack from the left (our right), and separates the battlefield into two. Green is where the battle actually took place. Note how it is only a small stretch of land, making the large numbers of the enemy useless.

The prophet then told the archers, ‘Protect us with your arrows, for the horses will never come forth in response to arrows.’ And another narration in Bukhari, ‘Even if you see the birds eating our bodies, do not leave your places until I send for you.’ He went on to explain the importance of this command, ‘Make sure the enemy does not surprise us from behind, regardless of whether we are the victors or the losers.’ Now these commands would turn out to become very relevant, as we would later see that they were not totally obeyed and this ended up in a disaster for the Muslims.

The next morning before the battle, the prophet wanted to motivate his army. And he was speaking to them and encouraging them, when he drew out his own sword and asked, ‘Who will take this sword from me and fight?’

Immediately everyone responded, vying to be the ones to wield the prophet’s blessed sword. And so the prophet asked, ‘Who will take it from me with its right? Who will give the sword the right that it is owed?’

At this everyone paused. Then Abu Dujana (RA) queried, ‘And what is its right, O Rasulallah?’

‘That you fight the enemy with it until it breaks or cannot be used.’

And so Abu Dujana said, ‘I will take it with that right, O Rasulallah.’ Now Abu Dujana was a fearsome warrior, and he had established a reputation back in the days of Jahilliah of being an incredible fighter. And he had a special, red turban which he would only wear at extreme times of battle, and this was known as the ‘Turban of Death.’ And he donned this turban before the battle of Uhud, and began to strut around fearsomely in front of the army with the prophet’s sword in hand in order to intimidate the enemy.

And the prophet said here, ‘Indeed this type of walking, Allah despises it – except at such a time and such a place.’ So we see that the rules of manners are different on the battlefield.

Now onto the side of the Quraish: the main person in charge of them was Abu Sufyan (RA), and he appointed Khalid ibn Al-Walid (RA) to command the right hand flank of the army and Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahal (RA) to command the left. And even before the battle they tried to sabotage the Muslims by creating a rift between the Ansar and the Muhajiroon, and they did this by sending a messenger in shouting distance of the Muslim army who declared, ‘I have been sent by Abu Sufyan. And Abu Sufyan is saying, “O people of Medina, leave us to our cousins for we have nothing against you.”’

Now the Ansar made up the bulk of the army, and so their desertion would have been disastrous for the prophet. However on hearing this message, the Ansar became furious at the idea and responded back with a string of curses and insults (which is permissible in this situation) and showed clearly that they would not abandon the prophet.

And so the Quraish decided to send in Abu Aamir Ar-Rahib (whose son – the famous Hanzala (RA) – was actually fighting on the other side with the Muslims). Back in the days of pre-Islam, Abu Aamir was a senior member of the Aws, on the same level as Abdullah ibn Ubay. However when the prophet came, he did not want to convert and so he and a small group left for Mecca to settle there with the mushriks. And because he used to be extremely respected, he told Abu Sufyan that he would try to speak to the Ansar because they had always listened to him. And so he went in front of the Muslims and began, ‘O Aws, this is me Abu Aamir-’

And before he could even continue the Ansar shouted back, ‘May Allah curse you and give you no pleasure. You are not Abu Aamir Ar-Rahib (the monk) you are Abu Aamir Al-Fasiq (the immoral)!’

Abu Aamir was so shocked to see his own people turn on him that he could not even continue, and he returned dazed to Abu Sufyan and told him, ‘My people have been afflicted with some disease- I don’t know what has happened to them.’ And when this happened, when the Quraish realise they could not defeat the Muslims with words, they began to prepare for a full scale battle of arms.



Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 046

Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 047