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When the Holy Prophet came to know of the hostile intentions of the tribes he decided to take action against them on a cold day of February 630 C.E. The Muslim forces under the command of the Holy Prophet set out from Makkah. The Muslim army consisted of 12,000 men fully armed. Out of these 10,000 men were from Madina, while 2000 were the Muslim converts of Makkah. It was a large force, and some of the Muslims felt proud of their strength. In order to reach Autas, the Muslim army had to pass the narrow pass of Hunain, some ten miles north east of Makkah. It was narrow defile, leaving little room for the army to pass through except in single file. As the vanguard of the Muslim army entered the defile, a rain of arrows fell on it let loose by a group of archers of the hostile tribes who lay hidden in the precipitous rocks. Taken unaware the advance guard of the Muslim army fled in panic. There was considerable confusion. The camels, horses, and men ran into one another to seek cover. As the advance guard retreated precipitately from the paste, the rest of the army which had still to enter the pass, fled in panic in various directions.