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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Life in Madina and Early Battles

Battle Of Uhud

The battle of Uhud was an extension of the battle of Badr.

The Quraish of Mecca came with a force of 3,000 men to avenge the defeat of Badr. The Muslims could muster a force of 1000 persons only, and out of these three hundred persons under Abdullah bin Ubbay a hypocrite withdrew at the last moment thus leaving only 700 persons to face the hostile Quraish.

The Holy Prophet arranged his force in battle array and posted a small contingent of archers to guard a vulnerable passage in the rear. The archers were instructed that they were not to leave their positions at any cost unless otherwise directed by the Holy Prophet.

With the Quraish was a contingent of women. They beat drums and sang songs to excite their men to action. They sang:

"We are the daughters of the morning star;

We tread on carpets;

If you advance we embrace you;

If you turn back we leave you."

The Quraish charged with full force, but the Muslims held fast. Then in the counter attack the Muslims broke the enemy line, and the Quraish fell back. At this stage the contingent of the Muslim archers, contrary to instructions, left their position in order to plunder the camp of the retreating Quraish. Khalid who was still a non-Muslim, and was fighting on the side of the Quraish rushed with his contingent and occupied the position vacated by the Muslim archers. The Quraish rallied, and launched an attack on the Muslims both from the front as well as the rear. In the confusion that followed, many Muslims were martyred. Even the Holy Prophet was wounded seriously, and he fell in a pit where many of his followers lay dead. Thereupon a cry rose from the ranks of the enemy that they had killed the Prophet of Islam.

When the news of the Holy Prophet's death got wind, panic seized some of the Muslims, and thinking that all was over, they fled to Madina According to tradition when Umar heard the news that the Holy Prophet had died, he flung his arms declaring that it was no use fighting any longer.

It is related that Anas b Nadar passing by Umar asked him how it had fared with the Prophet. Umar replied that he had heard that the Prophet had been killed. Anas observed that the Prophet's death should not prevent him from fighting in the way of Allah, for Allah was alive. Saying this Anas rushed at the infidels, and was martyred after having received seventy wounds.

Later, the Holy Prophet was found lying in a pit. At this stage Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar, Talha, Zubair, and Harith gathered round the Prophet, and removed him to a place of safety.

Abu Sufiyan the leader of the Quraish climbed a hillock and shouted, "Is Muhammad there?" The Holy Prophet asked his companions to remain quiet.

Abu Sufiyan then called for Abu Bakr and Umar. No reply was made, and thereupon Abu Sufiyan shouted, "All of them have been killed.'

At this Umar could not restrain himself, and shouted in reply, "O enemy of Allah, all of us are alive."

Abu Sufiyan in a mood of exultation cried, "Hubbal glory to thee."

Umar retorted, "Only Allah is Most High and Great. "

Abu Sufiyan said, "We have Uzza with us, and you have no lord."

Umar retaliated, "Allah is our Lord, and you have no lord."

When the two armies withdrew from the battle-field, seventy Muslims lay dead on the battle-field. In the battle the Quraish had the upper hand. They felt satisfied that they had avenged their defeat at Badr. The Quraish were in no mood to press their advantage to march to Madina. They chose to return to Mecca.

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