“O! you Arabs, here comes the Prophet you have all been waiting for,” shouted a man from the tribe of Bani Israel. There appeared two shapes in the distance, coming through the hot desert haze towards Madinah.

When they heard the shout, every man, woman and child dropped whatever they were doing and lined the streets of Madinah. Many of the new Muslims in Madinah had not met the Messenger, Muhammad (saw). At first they mistook Abu bakr (ra) for Muhammad (saw), until he covered Muhammad (saw) with his own cloth from the blazing, afternoon sun.

Muhammad (saw) stayed a few days in a place called Quba and built the first Masjid there. He then rode his camel towards the center of Madinah and let Allah (swt) guide his camel until she came to rest on her knees.

The land on which the camel came to rest belonged to two orphans called Suhail and sahl. It is here that Muhammad (saw) built his Masjid and his home next to it. The Muslims who welcomed Muhammad (saw) and the Muhajirun were called the Ansar or the helpers.

Muhammad (saw) soon became the leader of Madinah. The Muhajirun and the Ansar were true brothers in Islam. The Ansar loved Muhammad (saw) and the Muhajirun that they were willing to share their wealth, property and even their wives. The other tribes who were mainly Jews were given protection under the Muslim and were allowed to live in peace.

After the Messenger Muhammad (saw) came to Madinah, more people became Muslims and those who went to Abyssinia, came back later to join them. Meanwhile the Quraish who were angry with Muhammad (saw) for leaving Makkah, were preparing an army to fight the Muslims in Madinah. An army of about thousand men were marching to Madinah under Abu Jahl, the leader of the Quraish.

This was the first time that Allah (swt) gave the Muslims the rights to fight and defend Islam. Many Muslims were now ready to sacrifice their lives for Allah (swt). Muhammad (saw) put all his trust in Allah (swt), to give the Muslims victory over their enemies.

When the battle of Badr began, the Muslims fought bravely and killed many of the Quraish leaders including Abu Jahl. There were three hundred Muslims against a thousand Quraish. Allah (swt) the Most Merciful sent down the angels to fight alongside the Muslim army.

Victory was for the Muslims on that day and the Quraish army ran away in fear. Muhammad (saw) ordered the Muslims to be kind to their prisoners and to share the war booty among the Muslims. The Muslims grew strong in their belief and in their support for Muhammad (saw) after this victory. Now the tribes around Madinah were afraid of the brave Muslim army.

The next battle between the Quraish and the Muslims was fought on a mountain called Uhud, four kilometers north of Madinah. The Quraish were angry at their loss to the Muslims at Badr. This time they were better prepared, with an army of three thousand men, two hundred on horses and seven hundred wearing armor plates.

The Muslim army could only gather a thousand men, of which there were only a hundred who wore armor plates. Muhammad (saw) was keen to fight the enemies of Islam in Madinah but the young Muhajirun and the Ansar were keen to fight them at Mount Uhud.

When Muhammad (saw) and his army reached Mount Uhud, the leader of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubay, along with three hundred men ran back to Madinah. They were afraid when they saw the huge Quraish army coming towards them.

Muhammad (saw) was now left with only seven hundred men. The battle began soon after the morning Fajr prayer. Fifty archers with Abdullah bin Jubair, as their leader, were on top of Mount Uhud. The archers were ordered not to leave their positions in victory or defeat.

The Muslim army was lined up, facing the enemy with their backs to the mountain. When the enemy charged, the archers rained their arrows on them. Many of the Quraish were killed. When the Muslims started winning, the Quraish turned their backs and started to run away.

Some of the archers got so excited when they saw the enemy retreating that they came down the mountain to collect their booty. They left behind their leader, Abdullah bin Jubair thus disobeying the orders of Muhammad (saw).

All of sudden, the arrows stopped coming. The Quraish saw this and circled the mountain, starting an attack from behind Mount Uhud. By now there were very few archers to protect the Muslim army and they were in big trouble!

The Muslim army after having tasted victory were now losing men. Muhammad (saw) was badly injured when a stone struck his face and he lost his front tooth. There were many fearless companions who defended Muhammad (saw) bravely.

One of them was Abu Dujaanah, who used his body as a shield, protecting the Messenger from the arrows. Allah taught the Muslims a lesson by taking away their victory, for disobeying the orders of His Messenger Muhammad (saw)

This was indeed a test for those Muslims who fought at the battle of Mount Uhud. Of the Muslims, seventy men were killed, amongst whom was Muhammad’s brave uncle, Hamzah (ra). Many attempts were made on the life of Muhammad (saw). Finally, the Quraish who were now exhausted from the battle returned to Makkah.

(To be continued)

by Abu Zahir