The defeat at Badr was an ignominy which the Quraishites pride could not leave unavenged. Revenge was, therefore, the catchword all over Makkah. The Makkans even forbade lamenting over their murdered people, or ransoming their captives at Badr Battle lest the Muslims should realize the grave degree of sadness and feeling of tragedy they were experiencing.
In the wake of Badr event, Quraish was in common consent and started fresh preparations to launch an overall war against the Muslims in order to restore their blemished prestige and wounded pride. The most enthusiastic polytheists desiring to go into a new battle were ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Safwan bin Omaiyah, Abu Sufyan bin Harb, and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Rabi‘a. They were determined to crush the commonwealth of Islam once and for all. Emissaries were sent to all the tribes to make common cause against the rising Faith. As a consequence of this, they managed to enlist the support of two well-known tribes Kinana and Tihamah besides some desert bedouins Ahabish. It was also decided that the profits of the escaped caravan headed by Abu Sufyan, which amounted to 1000 camels and 50 thousand Dinars, should be devoted for providing equipment to the army. The Noble Qur’ân has alluded to this decision of theirs in the following words:
“Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the path of Allâh, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcomed.” [8:36]
They also devised other ways of recruitment including hiring poets to entice the tribes into fighting the Muslims. Safwan bin Omaiyah allured Abu ‘Azza, the poet to work in this context in return for riches after the war or supporting his daughters if killed. Incidentally, this poet was prisoner of war (in the context of the Badr events) in the hands of the Muslims and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was gracious enough to release him unransomed provided he would not engage in fight against him.
Abu Sufyan nursed the most grudge against Muslims because he had lost most of his supplies in As-Sawiq invasion, let alone the heavy economic losses that Quraish had sustained in the aftermath of the events that featured the platoon of Zaid bin Harithah.
In the light of these successive failures, Quraish precipitated and accelerated their preparations for a decisive battle with the Muslims. At the turn of the year everything was ready for the move. The Makkans also decided to take their women along with them for they might arouse them to fight manfully. Thus a contingent of three thousand pitched warriors, of whom seven hundred were mailed soldiers and two hundred well-mounted cavalry with three thousand camels and fifteen women marched towards Madinah. The general leader was Abu Sufyan bin Harb, the cavalry under the leadership of Khalid bin Al-Waleed assisted by ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, and Bani ‘Abd Ad-Dar were entrusted with the flag.
Old deep-seated feelings of hatred, with heart-based grudge enveloped the whole process foreshadowing bitter, bloody revenge-instigated fighting between the two parties.
Meanwhile Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, was closely watching the military movements and preparations for war, and these were all included in an urgent message sent by him to Prophet (Peace be upon him) who received it while he was in Qubâ’ Mosque. Ubai bin Ka‘b read the letter to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who asked him to be reticent with respect to its serious contents. He hurried back to Madinah, convened a meeting with the Helpers and Emigrants and conducted with them serious consultations as regards the measures to be taken.
The whole of Madinah was put on the alert and all men were heavily armed even during prayer in anticipation of any emergency. A group of Helpers volunteered to guard the Prophet(Peace be upon him) and kept watchful eye all night at his door, amongst whom there were Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, Usaid bin Hudair and Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah. Lest they should be taken by surprise, armed groups of the Madinese began to police the entrances and roads leading to the city. To reconnoitre the movements of the polytheists, Muslim platoons began to patrol the routes for any probable enemy raids.
The Makkan army, on the other hand, continued the march along the usual western road. On reaching Al-Abwâ’, Hind bint ‘Utbah, Abu Sufyan’s wife, suggested that they dig up the grave of the Prophet’s mother, but the leaders of the army refused to do so for fear of the consequent results. The army then followed Wadi Al-‘Aqeeq and turned right to encamp themselves at a place called ‘Ainain near Uhud Mountain. That was on Friday, 6th Shawwal, 3 A.H.
A CONSULTANT ASSEMBLY FOR A DEFENCE PLAN:
The scouting party of Madinah conveyed the news of the Makkan army step by step. Then the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) held a head military consultation assembly to exchange views about the situation. He told them about a dream he had. He said: “By Allâh, I have dreamt of — I implore Allâh to be a dream of bounty — cows slaughtered and that there was a groove at the pointed top of my sword, and that I had inserted my hand into an immune armour.” The interpretation of ‘the cows’ was that some of his men were killed, and ‘the groove at the pointed top of his sword’ was that a member of his House would be hurt. As for ‘the armour’ it was Madinah. Then he offered a suggestion that his Companions should not go out of Madinah and that they should encamp themselves within the city. He was of the opinion that the enemies should be left in the open to exhaust themselves and thus the Muslims would not risk a battle. But if they thought of attacking Madinah, Muslim men would be ready to fight them at the mouths of lanes; whereas Muslim-women would help from over the house roofs.” ‘Abdullah bin Ubai bin Salul — the head of the hypocrites; who attended the meeting as a chief of Al-Khazraj — supported the Prophet ’s plan.
As a matter of fact his agreement was not based on the righteousness of the plan but rather on personal benefit. He did not want to fight. On the contrary he secretly aimed at being far away from fight. However it was Allâh’s Will that he should be disclosed and disgraced in public — for the first time. It was His Will that the curtain which concealed their disbelief behind should be uncovered and pulled down. Allâh’s Will enabled the Muslims to recognize the reality of those snakes that were creeping within their garments and inside the sleeves of their clothes. Thanks to Allâh they recognized them in one of the most critical times of their lives.
Some of the best honourable Companions, who had missed Al-Jihâd in Badr invasion, suggested that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) should go out of Madinah and urged him to accept their point of view. One of them said: “O, Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), for long time we have been looking forward to this day; and we have implored Allâh to make such a day draw near. Thanks to Allâh it is time to fight. So let us go out and fight our enemies lest they should think that we have lost heart and do not dare to fight them.” Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib the paternal uncle of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who had already covered the ornaments of his sword with idolaters’ blood in Badr Battle, was ahead of those enthusiastics who urged him to go out and meet the disbelievers. He said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him): “By Allâh, Who has sent the Book down unto you, I will not taste food till I fight them with my sword outside Madinah.”
After weighing carefull the pros and cons of the issue, it was decided that the enemy should be resisted outside the city at Uhud.
DIVIDING THE ISLAMIC ARMY INTO PHALANXES DEPARTURE TO THE BATTLE-FIELD:
Ascending the pulpit at the Friday congregational prayer, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) urged the people in his sermon to fight courageously. “If you remain steadfast,” he said “you will be helped by the Power of the All- Mighty.” Then he commanded his men to make ready for the battle. Most of them rejoiced greatly.
He led the afternoon prwith crowds of people. Then he entered his house accompanied by his two friends Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. They helped him dress and wear his headcloth. He armed himself and wore two armours one over the other. He wore his sword and went out to meet people.
People were waiting for him impatiently. Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh and Usaid bin Hudair blamed people for pressing on the Prophet (Peace be upon him). They said: “You have forced the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) to fight the enemy outside Madinah.” Therefore they were determined to leave the whole matter to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and blamed themselves for what they had already done. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came out, they said: “O Messenger of Allâh, we should have not disagreed with you. So, you are free to do what you desire. If you prefer to stay inside Madinah we will stay with you. Upon this the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) remarked: “It does not become a Prophet that once he had put on armour, he should take it off, until Allâh has decided between him and the enemy.”
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