The Battle of Uhud took place on the 15th of Shawwaal in the third year after Hijrat (3AH), a year after the Battle of Badr took place. Uhud is the name of a mountain about 3 miles away from Madinatul Munawwarah and the battle was named after it since it took place within close proximity of this mountain. It is important for us to understand the detailed events surrounding this great battle, so that we may understand the conditions in which the early Muslims lived and the sacrifices that they went through for the sake of Allah Ta’ala.
Similar to the Battle of Badr it was the Kuffaar (disbelievers) that initiated the Battle of Uhud. During the Battle of Badr 70 Kuffaar were killed and 70 were arrested. The majority of those that were killed were leaders and rulers of the Kuffaar of the Quraish, which lead to every individual of Makkah, including women and children, seeking revenge for the killing of their fellow Kuffaar.
A distinguishing characteristic of the Arabs of that time, notably the Quraish, was that they would avenge each killing of their fellow men to an extent that their lives would feel incomplete without fully doing so. They had decided that this should be carried out as soon as possible. Therefore Ikramah (the son of Abu Jahl), Safwaan (the son of Umaya) and other disbelievers of the Quraish whose family members had been killed in Badr, approached Abu Sufyaan and requested, “The Muslims have killed our leaders and family. To take vengeance is a national responsibility. We therefore wish for all profit made from businesses this year to be collected for a war budget. With it we can buy weapons, armour and other vital items for battle, and in doing so prepare a strong army and be able to attack Madina to eliminate the existence of Muhammad and Muslims from the face of this earth!”
He happily accepted their request, however they knew that it was not going to be an easy task to challenge the followers of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), as they had learnt in the Battle of Badr. Therefore they spent every coin in purchasing extra weapons and additional supplies for war and enlisted the help of poets to create an emotion of war and revenge within the Arab tribes by their renditions of poetry. Amr Jahmi and Masaafi were two such poets who toured the Arab tribes gaining support for the impending war against the Muslims. Through their eloquent speech and poems, they were able to win the people over for the cause of the Quraish and a large army was assembled consisting of men and women from prominent families. The women had vowed to seek revenge for their slain family members in Badr, by drinking the blood of those Muslims who had killed them. It was for this reason that Wahshi, the slave of Jubair bin Mut’im, was trained by Hind to slay Hazrat Ameer Hamza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) as he had killed her father, Utba as well as an uncle of Jubair bin Mut’im. Hind promised Wahshi that in return for him killing Hazrat Ameer Hamza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), she would certainly see to it that he is freed.
After much emotion and preparation, the Kuffaar army of Makkah set out for Madina to attack the Muslims, on the command of Abu Sufyaan. At that time, Hazrat Abbas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), the uncle of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), was confidentially still a Muslim living in Makkah. He wrote a letter to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) notifying him of the Kuffaar’s intention for war and their march towards Madina for attack. On the 5th of Shawwaal Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) received this letter and sent two companions, Hazrat Anas and Hazrat Mounis (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhuma) as informants to gather information regarding this. After their return, they informed Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the army of Abu Sufyaan was in close proximity to Madina, in the vicinity of Areed.
After receiving this information the security of Madina was intensified. On the night before Friday the 14th of Shawwaal, Hazrat Sa’d bin Muaaz, Hazrat Aseed bin Adeer and Hazrat Sa’d bin Ubaadah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum), fully armed, guarded the house of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) whilst assisted by other Ansaaris. Other guards had also been positioned at important parts of the city.
In the morning Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) gathered both the Ansaar and Muhaajireen to discuss whether the army should be faced in Madina or the Muslims directly meet their challenge out of the city. The majority of the Muhaajireen and certain elderly Ansaar deemed that the women and children be locked in the forts whilst the men resist the attack of the Kuffaar within the precincts of the city, which was also agreed to by the leader of the Munaafiqs (Hypocrites), Abdullah Ibn Ubai, who was in the meeting was well. Some young Ansaar had the opinion that it was necessary for them to leave Madina to fight the Kuffaar army. After listening to every opinion, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) went into his house, dressed himself in his armour for battle and came out. Outside, the Blessed Sahaabah agreed that the Kuffaar should be met from within the precincts of Madina. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) however, said, “It is unbecoming for a Prophet to wear his armour for war and later remove it before Allah Ta’ala decides his and his enemies’ fate. You should take the name of Allah and proceed to the battlefield. Indeed, if each of you fight bravely Allah Ta’ala will grant us victory.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then proceeded with an army of 1000, out of Madina, to intercept the oncoming army of the Kuffaar.
As Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) exited the city, he noticed another army coming along and enquired as to who they were. He was told, “They are Jews, the haleefs (allies) of Abdullah ibn Ubai (the leader of the Munaafiqs), and have come to help us in battle.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Tell them to go back to Madina. We do not require the help of Mushriks (idol-worshippers) to fight Mushriks.”
Thus the army of Jews returned to Madina and Abdullah Ibn Ubai, who brought 300 soldiers with him to fight for Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), seeing the help of the Jews being refused, also returned to Madina with his 300 soldiers, saying, “Muhammad did not accept my wish and has come out of Madina to meet with the Makkan army against my opinion. I shall not support him.”
Hearing this, the Banu Salma of the Khazraj tribe and the Banu Haaritha of the Aus tribe desired to go back to Madina. However, Allah Ta’ala created such a great love for Islam within their hearts, that their resolution to participate in the battle could not be shaken. SubhanAllah! Regarding them, Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “When two of your groups intended cowardice, and Allah is their Guardian; and upon Allah alone should the believers rely.” [Surah 3, Verse 122]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) now had an army of 700 Sahaabah, with only 100 of them fully armoured, against an army of 3000 Kuffaar consisting of 700 fully armoured soldiers, 200 on horseback, 3000 camels and 15 women.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to seek the knowledge of our Deen and to sacrifice our lives for Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) the way the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam did, Ameen.
[Compiled from Seerat-e-Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam by Hazrat Allama Abdul Mustafa Aazmi Rahmatullah Alaih]