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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Operations Against Banu Sa'ad

Ali's operations

Ali was commissioned by the Holy Prophet to undertake an expedition against the Banu Sa'ad and Banu Bakr. It was not to be a regular battle it was to be a tactical raid to be carried with utmost secrecy, with a view to springing a surprise on the enemy. Ali had a small force of a hundred persons with him. The force did not march in battle array, the party traveled as a caravan of traders in order to avoid suspicion. A series of forced marches conducted at night to conceal the movements brought the party in close proximity to Fidak, some distance from Khyber. Here they came across a scout of the enemy. He was taken captive. He volunteered to lead Ali and his men to the camp of Banu Saad and Bakr provided he was given amnesty. Ali gave him the amnesty, and the scout led Ali and his men to Fidak where the forces of Banu Sa'ad and Banu Bakr were camping oblivious of any danger. Ali and his men made a surprise attack on the enemy. The attack was so unexpected, sudden and furious that the forces of the tribes could not take a stand and were scattered after suffering heavy losses. So intense was the slaughter that the tribes laid down arms and sought for terms. The tribes undertook to remain faithful to the Muslims and offered a tribute of 100 camels and 2000 goats. Ali and his men returned triumphant to Madina where the Holy Prophet appreciated their services. One fifth of the booty was placed at the disposal of the Holy Prophet as state share, and the rest of the animals were distributed among the men who had participated in the foray.

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