The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets – Chapter VIII

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Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) was one of the sons of the Promised Messiah(as). Born on April 20, 1893 he passed his matriculation in 1910 with distinction, and according to the wishes of the Promised Messiah(as), attained an MA in Arabic in 1916. A great religious scholar and prolific writer, his books and speeches are easily understandable by the average reader. Some of his important works include Siratul Mahdi (Life of the Mahdi), Silsila-e-Ahmadiyya (The Ahmadiyya community), Tabligh-e-Hidayat (Propagation of Guidance), Kalimutal Fasl (The Decisive Word) and Hamara Khuda (Our God). He also contributed countless articles to magazines and periodicals of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, such as the daily Al-Fazl, and was Editor of The Review of Religions for many years. Sirat Khatamun Nabiyyin is his magnum opus; an outstanding biography of the Holy Prophet(saw), which includes insightful analysis and commentary on various aspects of his life. For the first time this book has been translated into English. The English rendering, “The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets,” will be serialised in various parts in The Review of Religions.

life-and-character

(Chapter VIII Continued) 

The following day, on the 15th of Shawwal 3 A.H.1 or the 31st of March 624 A.D.2 on Saturday, before dawn, the Muslim army marched forward and offering their Salat [formal prayer] en-route, reached the foot of mount Uhud at the start of the morning. It was on this occasion that the evil ‘Abdullah bin Ubaiyy bin Sulul, chief of the hypocrites betrayed the Muslims, and separating himself along with 300 followers, returned to Madinah saying, Muhammadsa did not pay heed to my advice, and being swayed by inexperienced youngsters has come out of Madinah. Hence, I cannot remain with him and fight.” Some people admonished him of their own accord, saying that such betrayal was uncalled for, but he would not have it, and continued to retort, “If this was a battle I too would have taken part, but this is not battle, it is suicide.”3 Now all that remained of the Muslim army was 700 souls, which was even less than a quarter of the 3,000 warriors of the Quraish. Furthermore, with respect to mounts and equipment of war as well, the Muslim army was very weak and insignificant in comparison to the army of the Quraish. The Muslim army only had a hundred men clad in mail, and a meagre two horses.4 By comparison, the disbelieving army boasted 700 men clad in mail, 200 horses, and 3,000 camels.

 

In this state of weakness, which was strongly felt by the Muslims, the treachery of ‘Abdullah bin Ubaiyy’s 300 men, had created a state of restlessness and anxiety in the hearts of various weak hearted Muslims, some of whom began to lose courage. Hence, as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an,5 in this very state of distress and anxiety, two tribes from among the Muslims, the Banu Harithah and Banu Salamah, had even planned to return to Madinah, but since their hearts still possessed the light of faith, they managed to compose themselves. As far as apparent means were concerned, even as death stared them in the eye, they did not leave the side of their Master.6 Putting his trust in God, the Holy Prophetsa marched forward and setup camp on a plain at the foot of mount Uhud, in such a manner that the mountain range fell behind the Muslims, and Madinah was positioned in front of them, as it were. In this manner, the Holy Prophetsa managed to secure the rear of the army. There was a mountain pass in the valley to the rear from where an attack could be made. Thus, the plan which was devised by the Holy Prophetsa in order to secure it was that he positioned fifty archers from among his Companions at this location under the command of ‘Abdullah bin Jubairra, and emphatically instructed them not to leave this place under any circumstances, and that they should continue to shower the enemy with arrows. The Holy Prophetsa was so greatly concerned for the security of this mountain pass that he repeatedly instructed ‘Abdullah bin Jubairra:

 

“Look here, this mountain pass should not be left empty under any circumstances. Even if you see that we have become victorious, and the enemy has fled in defeat, do not leave this place; and if you see that the Muslims have been defeated, and the enemy has prevailed upon us, do not move from this place.”7

 

This instruction was so emphatic that in one narration, the following words have been related:

 

“Even if you see that vultures are tearing away at our remains, do not budge from this place until you receive an order to leave.”8

In this manner, after completely fortifying his rear, the Holy Prophetsa began to arrange the Muslim army in battle array, and appointed separate commanders for the various sections of the army. On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa received news that the flag of the army of the Quraish was in the hands of Talhah. Talhah was from that dynasty, who under the administration of Qusaiyy bin Kilab, the paramount ancestor of the Quraish, held the right of standard-bearing in representation of the Quraish during wars. Upon becoming aware of this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “We are more worthy of demonstrating national loyalty,” and then, the Holy Prophetsa took the flag of the Muhajirin from Hazrat ‘Alira and entrusted it to Mus‘ab bin ‘Umairra, who was also a member of the very same dynasty to which Talhah belonged.9

 

On the opposing end, the army of the Quraish had also aligned in battle array. Abu Sufyan was the commander in chief of the army. Khalid bin Walid was the commander of the right-wing and Ikramah bin Abu Jahl commanded the left flank. The archers were led by ‘Abdullah bin Rabi‘ah.10 The women were positioned behind the army, and while beating their drums, they sang couplets to rouse the martial spirit of their men.11

The first to advance from the army of the Quraish was Abu ‘Amir and his followers (who has already been mentioned above). He was from the Aus tribe and used to reside in Madinah, and was known by the name of ‘Rahib.’12 Shortly after the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa to Madinah, this individual became full of malice and jealousy, and left for Makkah with a few supporters, and continuously incited the Quraish of Makkah against the Holy Prophetsa and the Muslims. Now, in the Battle of Uhud, he came forth in war against the Muslims as a supporter of the Quraish. It is astonishing to note that Hanzalah, the son of Abu ‘Amir was a very faithful Muslim, who was a part of the Muslim army on the occasion of this war, and was martyred fighting valiantly. Since Abu ‘Amir was from among the influential people of the Aus tribe, he was confident that after coming before the people of Madinah following such a long period of separation, they would immediately abandon Muhammadsa and join him. It was in this hope that Abu ‘Amir advanced along with his followers before anyone else, and exclaimed in a loud voice, “O People of the Aus tribe! It is I, Abu ‘Amir.” The Ansar called out in a single voice, “Be gone you wicked man! May you never receive the delight of your eyes.” With this they showered him with stones and Abu ‘Amir along with his followers lost their senses and fled back to where they had come from.13 Upon witnessing this sight, Talhah, the flag-bearer of the Quraish very vehemently marched forward and called for a dual in a very arrogant tone. Hazrat ‘Alira advanced to confront him and cut him down in two or four blows. After this, ‘Uthman, the brother of Talhah came forward; and from the opposing front, Hamzahra stepped forward to challenge him and put him to the ground. Upon witnessing this sight, the disbelievers became furious and launched an all-out attack. Calling out slogans of God’s Greatness, the Muslims also marched forward, and both armies fiercely collided with one another. It was perhaps on this occasion that the Holy Prophetsa took his sword in hand and said, “Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?” Many Companions extended their hands in the desire of this honour,14 which included Hazrat ‘Umarra and Zubairra, and in light of various narrations, even Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat ‘Alira.15The Holy Prophetsa, however, restrained his hand and continued to say, “Is there anyone to do this sword justice?” Finally, Abu Dujanah Ansarira extended his hand and submitted, “O Messenger of Allah! Grant me this honour.” The Holy Prophetsa endowed the sword upon him, and with this sword in hand, Abu Dujanahra strutted forward, marching proudly towards the disbelievers. The Holy Prophetsa addressed the Companions saying, “Allah greatly abhors this gait, but not on an occasion like this.”16 Zubairra, who was most desirous of receiving the sword of the Holy Prophetsa, and who felt that he was more deserving due to his being a close relative of the Holy Prophetsa began to toss and turn in anxiety. He thought to himself why had not the Holy Prophetsa entrusted this sword to him, but endowed it to Abu Dujanahra instead. In order to alleviate his own distress, in his heart he vowed to remain close to Abu Dujanahra in the field of battle, so that he could witness how this sword was put to use. As such, he relates:

 

“Abu Dujanahra tied a red cloth on his head, and taking this sword in hand, whilst softly humming songs of God’s Praise, he penetrated the idolatrous ranks. I saw that wherever he would turn, it was as if he would go about scattering death, and I did not see a single man who came before him and was then spared. This was to such an extent that cutting his way through the army of the Quraish, he emerged from the opposite corner of the army, where the women of the Quraish were standing. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who was encouraging her men with great zeal and commotion came before him. Abu Dujanahra raised his sword upon her and Hind shrieked in a loud voice, appealing to her men for assistance, but no one came to her aid. However, then I saw that Abu Dujanahra lowered his sword on his own accord and moved away from that place.”

 

Zubairra relates:

 

“On this occasion, I inquired of Abu Dujanah, ‘What happened? First you raised your sword, but then lowered it.’ He responded, ‘My heart could not come to terms with the fact that I should use the sword of the Holy Prophetsa against a woman; and then such a woman, who at the time had no male protector.’” Zubairra relates, “It was then that I understood how Abu Dujanahra in fact did justice to the sword of the Holy Prophetsa and that I could perhaps not have done the same, and thus, the misgiving in my heart was dispelled.”17

 

Therefore, after the flag-bearer of the Quraish had been slain, both armies collided with one another and brutal carnage ensued, and for a period in time, this killing and bloodshed continued. At last, slowly but surely, the army of the Quraish began to lose their footing in the face of the Muslim army.

 

Endnotes

 

1.  As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 521, Amru MuhaiyyiSata Wa HuwaiyyiSata / p. 542, Sha’nu ‘ASim bin Thabit, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

2.  At-Taufiqatul-Ilhamiyyatu Fi Muqaranatit-Tawarikhil-Hijriyyati Bis-Sinninal-Ifrankiyyati Wal-Qibtiyyah, by Muhammad Mukhtar Pasha, p. 35, Sanatu 1 Hijriyyah, Mu’assasatul-‘Arabiyyah, First Edition (1980)

3.  * As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 523, Ghazwatu Uhud, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 269, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa Uhudan, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

4.  Tarikhur-Rusuli Wal-Muluk (Tarikhut-Tabari), By Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarir At-Tabari, Volume 3, pp. 63-64, Thumma Dakhalatis-Sanatuth-Thalithatu Minal-Hijrah / Ghazwatu Uhud, Darul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition (2002)

5.  Al-e-‘Imran (3:123)

6.  Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabul-Maghazi, Babu Idh Hammat Ta’ifatani Minkum….., Hadith No. 4051

7.  Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabul-Maghazi, Babu Ghazwati Uhud, Hadith No. 4043

8.  Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabul-Jihadi Was-Siyar, Babu Ma Yukrahu Minat-Tanazu‘i Wal-Ikhtilaf….., Hadith No. 3039

9.  At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 269, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa Uhudan, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

10.  At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 269, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa Uhudan, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

11.  * As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 525, Tahridu Hinda Wan-Niswati Ma‘aha, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 269, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa Uhudan, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

12.  * Rahib is an Arabic word for ‘Monk.’ (Publishers) [reference 488/6 and 488/7 not found in urdu text?? check]

13.  At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 269, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa Uhudan, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

14.  * Sahihul-Muslim, Kitabu Fada’iliS-Sahabah, Babu Fada’ili Abi Dujanah….., Hadith No. 6353

* As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 525, Ghazwatu Uhud / Amru Abi Dujanah, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

15.  Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani,

Volume 2, p. 404, Ghazwatu Uhud, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

16.  As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 525, Ghazwatu Uhud / Amru Abi Dujanah, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

17.  * As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 526, Tahridu Hinda Wan-Niswati Ma‘aha, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 2, pp. 405-407, Ghazwatu Uhud, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

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