The Quraysh wanted nothing more than to recoup their defeat at the Battle of Badr. They began a systematic preparation for the new battle of Uhud, because the pagans could not leave the current situation. The reason for this was their need to regain the respect of all the Arabs. They also could not allow further strengthening of the Muslims.
After that, they started planning a military campaign to Medina and carefully prepare for the battle of Mount Uhud. All the preparation took them a year. An army of three thousand fighters was formed, led by Abu Sufyan (RA). Khalid bin al-Walid (RA) was placed at the head of the cavalry.
The Battle of Uhud went down in history as a revenge battle of the Quraysh for the Muslim-won Battle of Badr in the early seventh century. The Battle of Uhud took place almost a year after the Battle of Badr, 3 Shawwal 3 AH or 23 March 625. Mount Uhud was located in the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. In the battle near Mount Uhud, the forces of the army from Medina under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Quraysh from Mecca under the leadership of Abu Sufyan (RA) fought.
But not only in the desire to recoup the past defeat was not the only reason for the active preparation of the Quraysh. Their intention to defeat the faithful was also quite prosaic economic reason: the route of the Quraysh caravans ran to Palestine and Syria along the coast, but now these lands were closed to them, after the battle of Badr ended in their defeat.
After the caravan sent to Syria via Iraq, which Safwan ibn Umayyah sent, being sure that this route was safe, in order to expand trade, was intercepted by Zayd ibn Harisa (RA) with a hundred soldiers on the orders of the Messenger of Allah. The pagans came to the conclusion that their economic well-being directly depends on trade with Syria. Abu Sufyan (RA) agreed to this, and the two leaders, after consulting, decided that the army of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) should be crushed at all costs.
After the pagan leaders were killed in the battle of Badr, Abu Sufyan (A) was chosen as their leader. The funds and property that had arrived from Syria with the caravans were not returned to their owners by common agreement, but everything was left for the needs of the upcoming military campaign, during which the Quraysh intended to take revenge on the Muslims of Medina for all the losses they had suffered in the battle of Badr. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) soon learned that a huge army was being prepared against the Medinites and began to hold a council with his companions regarding further actions.
Opinions were divided: those who were older advised to meet the enemy in Medina, and those who were younger, who did not mainly take part in the battle of Badr, warmly advised to go to meet the enemy at Mount Uhud. Eventually, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) decided to march against the Quraysh to Mount Uhud and, leading an army consisting of a thousand people, moved out of Medina.
On the way to Uhud, about three hundred men, led by Abdullah ibn Ubayy (RA), separated from their army and returned. After this incident, the enemy forces began to outnumber the army from Medina by four times, but the army led by Muhammad (PBUH) arrived at the foot of Mount Uhud.
By order of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), fifty of the best archers were stationed on Mount Uhud, who were told not to leave Uhud under any circumstances, unless ordered by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Their task was to protect the rear of the army from the enemy. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) appealed to his companions to show patience, because only in this case they will win.
The Course of Battle
At the beginning of the battle, the soldiers of the Messenger of Allah took the initiative immediately, but during the battle they had to leave their fortifications unprotected, continuing to push the Quraysh out of Mecca, and then storm their camp, but after the unexpected entry of the Meccan cavalry into the rear led by the then non-Muslim Khalid ibn Walid (RA), the ranks of the Muslims were broken, confusion and panic arose among the Muslims, which caused a retreat from the battlefield. The troops from Mecca refused to pursue the enemy – they preferred to return home and declare victory.
Start of the Battle
In the first minutes of the battle, the Muslims began to actively push the infidels, and soon put them to flight, and the Medinans themselves continued to push the enemy, capturing trophies along the way. At the sight of the enemy fleeing and collecting the spoils, the archers rushed to collect the spoils, considering that the battle was won, thus they voluntarily left their places on Mount Uhud, which they were ordered not to leave in any case, and did not listen to the orders of their commander Abdullah ibn Jabir (RA).
Khalid bin Walid’s (RA) Attack
As a result, only six or seven people remained on Mount Uhud with the commander. This situation did not escape the attention of Khalid bin Walid (RA), who realizing that the enemy’s rear was left unprotected, attacked the Medinans from the rear with his cavalry. The remaining archers were unable to hold off the onslaught of Khalid’s cavalry and were defeated. When the faithful were surrounded, the pagans, who had previously been put to flight, felt confident and returned to the battlefield.
At some point, the battlefield became a point of real chaos and panic among the Muslims. А rumor grew that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was martyred and Muslims out of panic began to retreat. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the groups of Muslim soldiers were scattered and not everyone was aware of the situation with the Prophet (PBUH).
In order to save the Messenger (PBUH), his companions who were with him at the time sacrificed their lives: They leaned over the Messenger (PBUH), shielding him with their backs from the arrows of the Quraysh archers, as if shielding him with shields. One of those who shielded the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) from the enemy’s arrows was Abu Dujana (RA) – his back was so full of arrows that he even resembled a porcupine. Another hero who covered the Prophet (PBUH) with his body is Talha (RA). He lost a finger when he covered the Prophet’s face from an arrow shot into his face by the enemy.
Some of his companions, trying to protect the Prophet (PBUH), fell with weapons in their hands on the battlefield. Some of the soldiers who defended the Prophet (PBUH) received up to seventy wounds in battle, which caused their death. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself was wounded in the face, lost a tooth, and as a result of serious blood loss, he could not even get up.
He commanded his companions to ascend Mount Uhud, which was inaccessible to the Quraysh cavalry. In the same battle, the faithful suffered a great loss: Hamza, the lion of Allah (SWT), the uncle of the Prophet, who received the title of “Lord of all Martyrs”, died, but before that he destroyed a large number of infidels.
Ending of the Battle
The Medinan losses amounted to more than seventy men in this battle. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) returned to Medina with the remnants of his army, taking every precaution to prevent the enemy from attacking the city again at night. But the next day, on the order of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Muslims again marched against the infidels, but their leader ordered only those who had participated in the last battle to participate in this battle, and the companions of Muhammad (PBUH), even those who were seriously wounded and exhausted, came to Ghazawat.
When they reached the area called Hamra al-Asad, the Quraysh heard the news that the Muslims were again on the offensive, and they left the land in fear.
The Results of the Battle
Thus, it is clear that it is not correct to assume that it was the Quraysh who won the battle at Mount Uhud. Because instead of attacking the city and finally defeating the Muslim army, they simply fled.
According to Arab historians, it is the Muslims who should be considered the winners in the Battle of Uhud. This is due to the fact that the Arab battle time tradition in those days were accepted that the winning side remains on the battlefield to consolidate their victory. But in the battle of Mount Uhud, the Quraysh not only left the battlefield, but also attacked their opponent from the rear. The Muslims, with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the head, remained on Mount Uhud and left Uhud only after the battle was over. So we can assume that it was the Muslims who won this battle at Uhud.
However, the Muslim losses were plenty and many great Muslims were martyred and lost their lives. So naturally the Battle of Uhud was a big blow to the Muslim military.
- Battle of Uhud Caravan Route – Wikimedia Commons
Uhud, the battle of (625C), in Islam – ResearchGate