Battle of Honain
- :S.M.R. Shabbar
Adopted from the book : "Story of the Holy Ka’aba And its People" by : "S.M.R. Shabbar"
The Victory of Makka brought many non believers into the fold of Islam. Broadly speaking there were three types who embraced Islam. Fear, greed and the true understanding of Islam and its principles. Some of the Makkans became muslims for fear of their lives, they were afraid that the Prophet would kill them, others were simply frightened that the Holy Prophet with the help of Angel Gabriel would bring the wrath of God on them. Then there was greed that Islam was now victorious, so if they joined in the good life would be theirs for free. Very few of them truly understood Islam and accepted it as a true faith. The Test of their true faith came immediately after the fall of Makka while muslims were still in the sweet pleasure of this bloodless victory,that various tribes outside Makka gathered an army of 20,000 in Taif to fight the muslims. The hostile tribes decided to attack at a vantage point at Hunain and selected two prominent places where they concealed their archers. The Muslims were proud of their success in Makka,but their behaviour during the encounter was timorous and cowardly. Qur'an tells us this in Sura Tauba V9 “God came to your help on so many occasions, on the day of Honain, your vanity in the number of your soldiers and your arrogance did not prove any avail to you, you were badly defeated and could not find any place of shelter, you started running away without shame.”
This encounter took place in the month of Shawwal 8th Hijri (Jan 630 AD). When the muslim army marched towards the place where archers were concealed the enemy opened the campaign with such a severe onslaught that the muslim army could not stand it. Their assault was fierce and confusion in the muslim ranks made the archers bolder and they came nearer and attacked from both flanks and from the front. The muslims could not stand the attack and started running without putting any resistance and where not concerned to leave the Prophet alone,(see Saheeh Bukhari)
The first battalion to run was the one in the command of Khalid ibne Waleed(Rauzathus Safa vol II pafw 137) This was followed by such a disorderly and tumultuous flight that only 10 people were left out of an army of 15,000 with the Holy Prophet. Eight of them were of Bani Hashim,(.Abbas, two of his sons, Ali and three other cousins of the Holy Prophet)
Abbas was shouting to the muslims to come back, reminding them of the oath of allegiance taken and promises made, but it was to no avail. Those who accepted Islam for greed , wealth and power were not willing to risk their lives.Many of them who had carefully hidden their enmity from the rising power were happy at the defeat. They gathered round Abu Sofian, started congratulating him and saying, "The magical circle of the lying Prophet is broken,” They were praying for the return of Polytheism. 1.
Once again it fell to the lot of Ali(AS) to save the Holy Prophet and the Islam. Armies of Bani Hawaazen and Banu Saqeef under cover of their archers were rushing the hillock and were getting ready for a fierce onslaught. Ali(AS) divided the small band of faithful true muslims in three divisions; to Abdullah Ibne Masood, Abbas ibne Abdul Muttalib and Abu bin Harris has assigned the duty of protecting the Holy Prophet, to three he ordered to guard the rear and he himself faced the onslaught with only three warriors with him. He fought, wounded at many places,but continue fighting when he faced the commander of the hostile army, Abu Jerdal in hand to hand fight and killed him with one stroke of his sword. He alone killed over 30 of the enemy and with this bravery his aids also fought bravely and enemy was defeated.The day was saved, the commander of the enemy’s army was killed,their ranks were broken they had no courage to face Ali(AS) and they started retreating. The sight of the powerful army in retreat, made the fleeing muslims bold and they came back as victory was won for them 2.
The defensive battles were over and the peaceful spread of Islam began. Ali(AS) was again in the forefront. He brought the whole tribe of bani Hamdan to Islam by preaching . Similarly when he was sent to Yemen he brought the whole country in to the fold of Islam by his sermons. This news so pleased the Holy Prophet that he bowed down in Sajdah to thank God three times and said loudly, peace be to Bani Hamdan and to Ali. Again in the year 10th of Hijra Ali’s sermon and preachings proved so effective that the whole province embraced Islam as one man.
In the 9th year of Hijra the famous event of Mobahela took place. Najran was a city in the province of Yemen. It was the centre of Christian Missionary activities in southern Arabia. The Holy Prophet had written to the Chief Priest of the City to realize the blessings of Islam. In reply he wrote that he personally would like to discuss the teachings of this new religion. His name was Haris. He was invited and came with a group of 14 priests. These priests as guest of the Holy Prophet. Long discussions took place during the course of 4 days of their stay in Madina. When Sunday came the Chief priest wanted to go out of the city to have their Sunday Service. Prophet Islam said that they all have permission to conduct their religious service inside the mosque of the Prophet which they happily did. Long discussions continued about monotheism verses trinity and it was realised that these priests were not open minded, on the contrary they were prejudiced against monotheism. The Almighty Lord ordered the Holy Prophet to explain to tthat “ Verily Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God. He created Adam from dust. He said unto him, Be, and he was. This is truth from thy Lord. be not therefore one of those who doubt, and whoever shall dispute thee, say unto them, “come let us call together our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our Selves and your Selves, then let us make imprecations and lay the curse of God upon those who lie. (Sura Ale Imran, V. 61) According to Bibi Ayesha when the above verse was revealed to the Apostle of God, he called Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Hussain and said, “Lord, this is my family (Ahlulbayt). The Holy Prophet took this small family with them to the open land outside the city where they all assembled to bring the curse of God on those who lie. When the Chief priest saw these faces, he told his companions that he was looking at the faces that if they call the mountain, the mountain will go them. Do not have Mobahela with them or you will be destroyed. On hearing this they all agreed to pay homage to the Holy Prophet and an annual tax for living in the Islamic State and withdrew from the scene.
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