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Confrontation between Sham army and forces of Medina

To protect Medina, the Islamic resistance forces of Medina used a trench which had remained since the Prophet’s (S) time. They neglected the eastern part of the city because they believed that there was a remote possibility that the Sham army would begin their attack from the rugged rocky area.

They thought that even if the Sham army were to begin their attack from this area, it was still improbable for them to achieve any success. However, the Sham army took them by surprise and began its attack on Medina from that same stony area which the Islamic resistant forces had ignored.

The battle continued from morning up to afternoon. The Islamic forces of Medina were fighting and resisting fiercely. At noon, ‘Abd Allah ibn Hanzalah asked one of his slaves to watch and protect him from behind so that he could recite his prayers. ‘Abd Allah then recited his prayers and returned to the battlefront to lead the valiant resistance against the Sham army. 31

Muslim ibn ‘Aqabah asked Marwan to help him enter Medina. Marwan went to Medina and visited the tribe of Bani Harthah. There, he called for a man he was acquainted with and in the process of a secret conversation, Marwan managed to persuade this traitor to show him the way for the Sham army to penetrate Medina in return for generous rewards.

He showed Marwan a way which passed through the area of the tribe of Bani al-Ashhal and the Sham army used this route to infiltrate Medina.32

The first line of the Islamic resistant fighters responsible for defending Medina suddenly heard the shout of ‘Allah-u Akbar’ by the Sham army from right inside Medina. It was not long before they realized that they were being attacked from behind by the Sham army. Many of the Islamic resistance fighters left the battlefield and returned to Medina in order to defend their women and children.

The Sham army attacked and killed innocent civilians from every direction. When ‘Abd Allah ibn Hanzalah was finally killed, the Sham army gained the upper hand against the resistance movement of Medina. Finally, they gained complete control of the whole city.33

Notes:

31. Ibid., p. 48; Al-I‘lam, vol. 4, p. 234.

32. Al-Imamah wa al-Siyasah, vol. 1, p. 211; Akhbar al-Tuwal, p. 310; Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, p. 129.

33. Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, p. 130.

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"