Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Madinah Part 3: Uhud - The Forgotten Order

"If you saw us prevail, and start to take war spoils, do not come and assist us. And if you saw us vanquished and birds eating from our head, do not come and assist us."

Order by Prophet Muhammad SAW to the Archers

But the order was forgotten by the archers.

Mount Uhud
A spiritual visit in Madinah would not be completed if one choose to omit other significant places in the history of Islam. Mount Uhud is one of them. Centuries ago, Mount Uhud witnessed the defeat of the Muslim troop to the Meccan Quraisy.

From inside the bus I could see Mount Uhud, standing still. Located about 5 kilometers from the main city of Madinah, it is 7 km in length and 3 km in breadth. I got off from the bus. The air was dry and the sun was scorching hot, that I could feel it burned my skin to red. As I stepped my foot on the land where the legendary heroes had fallen, a vivid imagination of the battle came into my mind. 

"O Allah! If this small band of Muslims is destroyed, You will not be worshipped on this earth."

Prophet Muhammad SAW

The Strategy for Battle of Uhud
As we walked from the bus to the graves of the fallen heroes, I saw few canopies had been carefully constructed to house several stalls selling souvenirs. It wasn't that long before we were greeted by determined stall owners, promoting their things. Series of unstoppable attempts by the stall owners to sell their things were actually annoying, but never a justification for us to decline the offer in hostile manner. 

Prophet Muhammad SAW decided that this war should be allowed to happen outside of the main city of Madinah. So he chose the advantageous Mount Uhud. Half way to the battlefield, Abdullah bin Ubayy and 300 men broke away, leaving the Muslims troop of 700 people only. With much lesser people than the Quraisy, and lesser quality of equipment, Prophet Muhammad SAW and 700 men marched towards Mount Uhud.

Fifty skilled archers, some were as young as 14 or 15, were stationed on the Mount of Aynayn to guard the army from any attack by the Meccan Quraisy. They were told not to leave the station, regardless of what would happen. 

I climbed onto the small mountain, imagining I was one of the archers. Would I have the same courage? I do not know. 

The Forgotten Order  
At a point where Muslims seemed to be victorious in this battle, the archers had forgotten the order that was given to them by Prophet Muhammad SAW which was not to leave their position no matter what happened. Lured by the war spoils before their eyes, some of them left their position and joined in the excitement. The joyful ceremony of collecting war spoils turned into bloody defeat when Khalid Al-Walid decided to launch a furious attack on the Muslims. Panic and unable to immediately form a cohesive attack, the Muslim troops were disorganised and fought in a chaotic strategy.

Seventy of Prophet's companion were killed, including his beloved uncle, Hamzah ibn Abu Muttalib, who were murdered by a slave named Wahsyi, driven by his determination for freedom for slavery (if he managed to murder Hamzah). 

And Prophet Muhammad SAW himself, was badly injured. 

The Controversial Death of Muhammad SAW
One of the Quraisy fighter named Abdullah bin Qam`a slain one of the Prophet's companion, who resembled the Prophet's feature and complexion, named Mus`ab bin Umair (r.a.). Thinking he had successfully slain Prophet Muhammad SAW, Abdullah bin Qam`a announced that "Muhammad is dead!"

In the midst of the confusing war, the rumour of the Prophet's death had weakened the morale of the Muslim troops. But when one of the companion named Ka'b bin Malik spotted Prophet Muhammad SAW, who was covered in damaged helmet, he shouted out loud: "Muhammad is alive!".

Many of the remaining fighters dashed to the Prophet and protected him from further attack. Even the women, who were initially entrusted with the task to treat the wounded soldier, picked up the nearest weapon and fought like a man. Prophet Muhammad SAW had to make a difficult decision to retreat and led the remaining troops to the safe side of the mountain. 

Martyrs of Uhud
We walked in a large group, from the bus towards a fenced area. Behind the fence, martyrs of Battle of Uhud were buried. The Prophet Muhammad SAW used to visit the graves of the fallen heroes. And there we were, visiting them too. 

The catastrophic tragedy served as a lesson descended down from one generation to another. That winning is not by one's right, but by the will of Allah SWT. The archers had forgotten the order for a split second, and it cost the unfortunate defeat and casualties for the whole Muslims troop. While myself, on the contrary had been forgetting series of Prophet's order and yet I am still here. 

I heard about Uhud when I was in primary school. I listened to a song recorded by Brothers entitled Uhud. And at that moment Uhud was in front of me.

Uhud were there standing still. And beautiful in its own way. 

"This mountain loves us, and we love it."
Prophet Muhammad SAW

Till then, 

Hairi Tahir
Historical facts written here are based on what was narrated by the tour guide to us. In the instance of inaccuracy, please do not hesitate to inform me and I will rectify straight away.

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2 Nukilan:

R.a.W | Ramble and Wander said...

Beautiful. And touching. As usual :-)

Hairi Tahir said...

Thanks for reading bro.

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