Imam Ali (as) and the battle of Mu'tah
There was somewhat a peaceful time all over Arabia at the beginning of the eighth year of Hijrah. Neither the Jews in the north nor the idolaters of Mecca caused any threat to the Muslims.
At the same time something happened that made the Prophet (s) dispatch a force towards the frontier countries of Syria.
The Prophet had sent to Damascus a man for preaching but before getting there he was killed by a frontier official. At the same time sixteen persons, who had gone there for the same purpose, were killed in that area. The place where they were killed in was called Mu’tah.
A host of three thousand men set out to Mu’tah to avenge the murder of the killed persons under the command of Ja’far the full brother of Ali (s).
The Prophet delivered a short speech in the camp. He said: “You are going to the same place where your brothers have been killed. You go ahead and invite them to believe in God. If they do not refuse you should dispense with the revenge, otherwise you fight them for the sake of Allah to punish God's enemies. But remember that you are not to disturb the monks and nuns, who live away from the social life in monasteries. You are not to kill children, women and old men. Be careful not to ruin houses and farms.
The Syrian government was well-informed of the Muslim’s bravery and self-sacrifice and also their success in the war against the Arab tribes.
In spite of the fact that these two armies (the Romans and the Muslims) were incomparable in equipments and persons but the Muslims showed an extra sacrifice and took toll from the enemy.
Now some groups of Muslims left the battlefield for a farther place at midnight and decided to call out with the motto of “la ilaha illa (a)llah” (there is no any God but Allah).They hereby made the enemy think that an auxiliary force would come to help the Muslims and consequently the Syrians stopped attacking the Muslims for two days. This wise tactic helped them to seize the opportunity and to leave the field for Medina.
Although the Muslims did not get a good result in this battle, but the fame and reputation of Islam was trumpeted abroad and it opened a way for next publicities.
Adopted from the book : "Imam Ali (a.s.); Sunshine of Civilized Islam" by : "Muhammad Huseyn Tahmasebi"
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