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Uhud: A Bitter Memory

The Battle of Uhud (3 A.H) left Muslims with bitter memories. Meccans led by Abu Sufyan marched to Medina, in an attempt to revenge their losses in the Battle of Badr. Abu Sufyan dispatched 'Amr ibn Al-'As and others to rally other tribes for the battle. Muslims decided to go out of the city to fight against the three thousand men that were coming towards them.

The battle started out well for the Muslims army, as their spirits were still high from the Battle of Badr.  They had momentum on their side, as Talha ibn Abi Talha - from the Banu Abdul-Dar tribe, who was the bearer of the banner - advanced forward first and challenged Muslims to a duel. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) jumped forward and killed Talha. The banner was then carried by Abu Sa’d ibn Abu Talha, who confronted the Muslims, stating, “you allege that your dead go to paradise and our dead go to hell. By Al-Lat, you are liars. If you were so certain then some of you would have faced me. Let one of you come to fight me.” Imam Ali (a.s) accepted the challenge and defeated him as well. He (a.s) also defeated Artat Ibn Sharhabeel, Shureih Ibn Qaridh, and their servant, Sawab. Historians reported that Hamzah killed Othman Ibn Abu Talhah. Following that, Muslims grew ecstatic and attacked through the Meccan lines. The Meccans army was forced to retreat and flee. (1)
However, “Indeed, Allah fulfilled His promise to you when you initially swept them away by His Will, then your courage weakened and you disputed about the command and disobeyed, after Allah had brought victory within your reach. Some of you were after worldly gain while others desired a heavenly reward. He denied you victory over them as a test, yet He has pardoned you. And Allah is Gracious to the believers.” (2)
The archers who were appointed on the left flank disputed whether to keep their positions after the initial victory. Eventually, most of them decided to go in pursuit of the spoils of the battle, disobeying the Prophet’s direct orders not to leave their positions no matter what happened. Rumors circulated that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h & his family) had died. The Muslims army became jumbled as a result; they dispersed all over the place. Defeat became inevitable.
The Prophet (p.b.u.h & his family) was left alone with only Imam Ali (a.s) to defend him – which was more than enough -, as Muslims fled for their own safety.  The Prophet (p.b.u.h & his family) was hit on his forehead and teeth with stones. (3)  
All these bitter moments, yet, there was a loss that caused great pain to Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s) during this battle; the martyrdom of Hamza (a.s). Not only was he killed, but his liver was eaten and violently cut up by Abu Sufyan's wife Hind.
This loss was not a loss that destroyed the Islamic religion, but rather - with all its bitterness - became a stepping stone and a lesson learned for the Muslims. This is from the aid of Allah (s.w.t) and the blessings of the leadership of the Prophet (p.b.u.h & his family).

(1) Al-Maghāzī, vol. 1, p. 225-229; Al-Ṭabaqāt Al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 40-41; Al Kamil, vol 3 p 107.
(2) Al-Quran, 3:152.
(3) Al-Sīyar wa l-maghāzī, p. 230; Al-Sīra al-Nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 83; Tārīkh Al-Ṭabarī, vol. 2, p. 518.


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