Imam Ali (as) and the Battle of Uhud
In the third year of Hijrah, the battle of ‘Uhud took place. Many encounters happened after the battle of Badr and the Muslims drove the enemy back.
But the clan of Koreish was always planning to take vengeance on Muhammad (s), therefore an army of five thousand strong warriors headed by Abu-Sufyan left Mecca to attack Medina.
The Prophet's army in consultation with the companions flew to arms and came out of Medina.
The two armies met near ‘Uhud Mountain six kilometers far away from the city.
The bearer of the idolaters’ banner was a brave man named Talhah ibn Abu-Talhah, who was continuously challenging. Ali (s) came forward and as soon as Talhah saw Imam Ali he said: “Nobody else had courage to fight me except you”. The historians mentioned that Ali had killed him in the turning of a hand and then his brother lifted the banner and was killed by Ali too. Some other fighters of the same family were killed one by one and finally a huge slave with the intent of avenging his owners challenged. The historians mentioned that Ali (s) had divided him into two halves by the first strike of his sword as his body was still standing on the ground for a few moments.
The enemy, struck with terror, fled away from the field but suddenly an accident drew their attention.
A good few of the Muslims, about fifty persons, were keeping watch on a hilly narrow pass where the enemy might cross the hill and attack from behind the Muslims' back.
In spite of the Prophet's recommendations, they left the place to collect spoils when the enemy was running away.
Suddenly they saw that the place was without guardians and then the enemy seized the opportunity and passed along the mountain and made an attack upon the Muslims at the rear. In the meantime somebody cried loudly: “Mohammad was killed”.
Soon after spreading this dreadful rumor the Muslims became struck with terror and drew swords among themselves. They left Muhammad (s) alone and ran away to the mountains except four or six persons, who remained to defend him.
Some of the Sunni historians mentioned: “All of the Prophet's army, even the great companions, escaped except Ali (s), Al-Zubayr, Talhah and Abu-Dajanah.
Ali's sword was broken because of the sternness of the war. It was said that the sword named Thu’l-Fiqaar was put in his hand by an angel from the invisible world and then an unknown voice proclaimed: “There is no manly youth except Ali and there is no sword like Thu’l-Fiqaar”. 4 One of the great fighters of Islam named Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, was killed in this war. This bereavement left a deep impression on the Prophet's heart.
At last the Muslims were defeated in this battle but the enemy did not continue the war and left for Mecca without occupying the supportless Medina.
It was said that Ali (s) had received ninety sword cuts in this field and in spite of the much tiredness he did not stop his support to the Prophet (s) for an instant.
In the meanwhile Gabriel came down from the Heaven and said to Muhammad: “Look there, how Ali (s) fights in high spirit of sacrifice”. The Prophet answered: “Ali (s) is from me and I am from him”. (We both have been brought into existence from the same (one) nature.)
This tradition was mentioned by many Sunni scholars. 5
4. Refer to Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by ibn Abul Hadeed, vol.3 p.p.276, al-Fusool al-Muhimma by Nooruddeen al-Maliki p.p.43 and as-Seera al-Halabiyya by al-Halabi, vol.3 p.p.123.
5. Refer to Ahmad's Musnad, Ibnul Maghazili's Manaqib, Muwaffaq ibn Ahmad's Manaqib, at-Tarmithi's Sahih, ibn Maja's Sunan p.p.92, Muhammad ibn Yousuf al-Ganji in his book Kifayatut Talib and many others.
Adopted from the book : "Imam Ali (a.s.); Sunshine of Civilized Islam" by : "Muhammad Huseyn Tahmasebi"
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