The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)

Friday Sermon Summary 1st December 2023: ‘Incidents from the Life of the Holy Prophet (sa) – Factors Leading to the Battle of Uhud’

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would mention the character and example of the Holy Prophet (sa) during battles.

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

Excellent Character of the Holy Prophet (sa) in Times of War

His Holiness (aba) said that we have already seen how the Holy Prophet (sa) treated the captives during the Battle of Badr and afforded them ease. The Holy Prophet (as) instructed his Companions to treat them well, and the prisoners themselves attested to the fact that the Companions would give them better food than what they themselves ate. The Holy Prophet (sa) also freed them on very simple terms. In fact, for some, their ransom would be teaching others to read and write. This shows that the Holy Prophet (sa) did not have any personal animosity towards anyone, rather his battle was against those who wished to eradicate the chosen religion of God. 

His Holiness (aba) said that on the side of the opponents, there were those who did not actually wish to fight against the Muslims, but were compelled to do so due to their circumstances. The Holy Prophet (sa) would also treat them with great kindness. Many of those people would go on to become Muslims Then the Holy Prophet (sa) also established rules of war and ratified treaties, which he would adhere to. It was not like today’s world, where many rules are made, but are not then followed due to double standards.

His Holiness (aba) said that the life of the Holy Prophet (sa) was a practical reflection of the commandments in the Holy Qur’an which establishes basic principles such as justice and the establishment of peace. For example, the Holy Qur’an states:

‘O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.’ (The Holy Qur’an 5:9)

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) established the loftiest example in this regard which encompassed all aspects. 

His Holiness (aba) said that there are many historical aspects regarding the topic of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) character and example during battles, which may also become a series of sermons. His Holiness (aba) said that in this sermon, he would speak about this topic in relation to the Battle of Uhud. 

Incidents Leading to the Battle of Uhud

His Holiness (aba) said that this battle was initiated by the opponents due to their enmity, compelling the Muslims to come to battle. It is recorded that this battle took place on a Saturday in Shawwal 3 AH, according to most historians. Uhud is the name of a mountain located about 3 miles from Madinah. 

His Holiness (aba) said that in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) has recorded the date of the Battle of Uhud Shawwal 3 AH as being March 624 AD. 

His Holiness (aba) said that one of the bigger factors contributing to the Battle of Uhud was that after the Makkans faced defeat in the Battle of Badr, some prominent chieftains of the Quraish went to Abu Sufyan, as they also had wealth invested into trade caravan which led to the Battle of Badr. Hence, they said to Abu Sufyan that many of their men had been killed, that the wealth which had been brought by the caravan should be used to exact revenge against the Holy Prophet (sa) and that an army should be formed. Abu Sufyan accepted this proposal, after which the Quraish made 50,000 dinars of profit from the caravan and used it to prepare an army. God Almighty mentioned this in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

‘Surely, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to turn men from the way of Allah. They will surely continue to spend it; but then shall it become a source of regret for them, and then shall they be overcome. And the disbelievers shall be gathered unto Hell.’ (The Holy Qur’an 8:37)

His Holiness (aba) mentioned that there were also other factors leading to the Battle of Uhud, such as their failure and frustration in other expeditions following the Battle of Badr. 

His Holiness (aba) said that when an army had been formed to take revenge against the Holy Prophet (sa), the Quraish also formed strategies to have surrounding tribes join them as well. Some tribes were approached on a personal level, while convoys were sent to others. One of the people approached was Abu Uzza Jam’i was among the prisoners of Badr and freed by the Holy Prophet (sa) without any ransom, as he had daughters he needed to take care of. He vowed that he would never fight against the Holy Prophet (sa) nor help anyone against him. However, when approached by the Quriash, he broke this oath and agreed to join the Quraish against the Holy Prophet (sa). Not only did he help, but he would incite others through his poetry. 

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abbas (ra) caught wind of the Quraish’s preparations and informed the Holy Prophet (sa). His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘The revenues generated by the trade caravan which has been mentioned in the events of the Battle of Badr, amounted to 50,000 dinars. This amount was still secure in Darun-Nadwah according to the decision of the chieftains of Makkah, in order to prepare for an attack against the Muslims. Now, this money was brought out and preparation for war began with full force and effort. Had it not been for the vigilance and precautionary measures of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Muslims would not have even known of this preparation and the disbelieving army would have reached the very doorsteps of the Muslims. In other words, the Holy Prophet (sa) had emphatically instructed his paternal uncle, ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdil-Muttalib, who in his heart, was with the Holy Prophet (sa), to remain in Madinah, and he would inform the Holy Prophet (sa) of the movements of the Quraish. As such, on this occasion as well, ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdil-Muttalib dispatched a swift rider from the Banu Ghifar, towards Madinah, promising him a hefty reward, and thus, informed the Holy Prophet (sa) of this motive of the Quraish by means of a letter. Furthermore, he strictly emphasised to this emissary that he should convey this letter to the Holy Prophet (sa) within three days. Incidentally, when the emissary reached Madinah, the Holy Prophet (sa) had gone to Quba’, which was situated to the outskirts of Madinah. The emissary pursued the Holy Prophet (sa) to Quba’ and presented this closed letter to him. The Holy Prophet (sa) immediately handed this letter to his personal scribe Ubayy bin Ka‘b Ansari (ra), and instructed him to read out the letter. When Ubayy (ra) read out the letter, it contained the horrific news that a fierce army of the Quraish was approaching from Makkah. Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) strictly instructed Ubayy bin Ka‘b (ra) to keep the contents of the letter confidential.’ (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophet (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 320-321)

His Holiness (aba) said that the Quraish army departed from Makkah under the leadership of Abu Sufyan with 3,000 soldiers. There were also women who insisted on accompanying the men out of their own passion for revenge. They included Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who was able to convince the men to allow women to accompany them, and as such, it is recorded that 15 women accompanied the army. 

His Holiness (aba) said that Hind conspired with Wahshi, who had a sharp spear that killed whoever it struck, and Hind instructed him to kill Hazrat Hamzah (ra), for he had killed her uncle in battle. 

Armies Set Forth Towards Uhud

His Holiness (aba) said that both the Quraish and the Muslim armies set out towards Uhud. A census was taken among the Muslims, it was gathered that there were 15,000 Muslims living in Madinah at that point, which was considered a large number at the time.

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘Perhaps toward the end of Ramadan 3 A.H., or the beginning of Shawwal, the army of the Quraish set out from Makkah. Many champions from other tribes of Arabia were also a part of the army. Abu Sufyan was the commander of the army. This was an army of 3,000 men, among whom 700 warriors were clad in armour. There was also ample means of conveyance; 200 horses and 3,000 camels. Equipment of war was also more than adequate. Some women also rode along, of whom Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan; the wives of Ikramah bin Abu Jahl, Safwan bin Umayyah, Khalid bin Walid, ‘Amr bin Al-‘As; and the idolatrous mother of Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair (ra) are especially worthy of mention. According to the ancient custom of Arabia, these women had brought along their musical instruments, so that they could sing motivational couplets and beat their drums, in order to rouse the spirits of their men.

After a journey of about ten or eleven days, this army of the Quraish reached close to Madinah, circled to the north of Madinah and stopped near the Mount of Uhud. The lush green field of ‘Arid was situated nearby, where the animals of Madinah would graze, and some farming took place here as well. Before anything else, the Quraish raided this pasture and wreaked havoc in it to their hearts’ content. When the Holy Prophet (sa) received news from his informants that the army of the Quraish had reached nearby, he sent a Companion named Habbab bin Mundhir (ra) to obtain information as to the enemy’s number and strength. Moreover, the Holy Prophet (sa) also emphasised that if the strength of the enemy was greater than their own and the Muslims were in a state of danger, Habbab (ra) should not announce this news openly upon his return in the gathering; rather, he should convey this news privately, so that no one was disheartened. Habbab (ra) quietly left and returned with great skill in a short period of time, submitting his report to the Holy Prophet (sa).

It was now Thursday, and news of the arrival of the army of the Quraish had spread throughout Madinah. Their raid on ‘Arid had also become widely known. Although the masses had not been given detailed knowledge with respect to the army of the disbelievers, even so, this night in Madinah was one of great fear and danger. Select Companions guarded the home of the Holy Prophet (sa) all night long.’ (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 321-322)

Dream of the Holy Prophet (sa) Regarding the Battle

His Holiness (aba) said that when consulting with the Companions about this battle, the Holy Prophet (sa) related a dream to them in which he had seen that he was slaughtering a cow and the tip of his sword was broken. He explained this to mean that the slaughtering of the cow meant that some of his Companions would be martyred, and his sword breaking meant that someone from among the family of the Holy Prophet (sa) would be martyred. The Holy Prophet (sa) suggested that they should remain in Madinah and that the women and children should be kept safe in fortresses. If the enemy were to infiltrate Madinah, then they would fight with them in the streets, which they knew better than the enemy, and they could pelt them with stones from atop the hills. The senior Companions agreed with the Holy Prophet’s (sa) suggestion. However, there was a group of Muslims who had not taken part in the Battle of Badr and were covetous of martyrdom, and so requested that the Holy Prophet (sa) take them out of Madinah to fight. Some other Companions also agreed, lest the enemy think that the Muslims were scared. Those of this opinion were so insistent that the Holy Prophet (sa) accepted their suggestion, and announced that the Muslims should prepare to go out for battle.

His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue mentioning these details in the future.

The Mubarak Mosque

Appeal for Prayers for Palestinians

His Holiness (aba) urged continued prayers for the Palestinians. His Holiness (aba) said that after the pause in fighting, there will be indiscriminate bombardment upon them once again, as a result of which more innocent people will lose their lives. What will be the extent of this cruelty? Only Allah knows best. The intentions of the greater powers for them are very dangerous. Hence, we must pray a great deal for them, that Allah the Almighty has mercy. 

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions