When the Holy Prophet came to know of the intentions of the Quraish of Makkah, he held a council of war. He was personally of the view that in view of the strength of the enemy the proper course for the Muslims was to remain in Madina and let the enemy besiege the city. The idea was that if the enemy besieged the city its force would have to be dispersed in a number of sectors, and the Muslims could strike a blow at the enemy where the enemy's concentration was the weakest. The younger element among the Muslims, however, insisted that the battle should be fought in the open at some distance away from Madina. Their argument was that the enemy should not be allowed to approach Madina at any cost. Though the Holy Prophet believed that the defensive strategy proposed by him was the best in the circumstances, yet in deference to the enthusiasm for the young men to keep the enemy away from Madina, he agreed to meet the enemy in the open outside Madina. The Muslims could assemble a force of one thousand persons only. When the Holy Prophet gave the order for the march to the battlefield, three hundred hypocrites led by Abdullah b Ubayy withdrew and went to their homes. The Holy Prophet was thus left with 700 persons only and this was one fourth of the strength of the enemy.