Reading the Koran. 97

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 14 JIHAD, A SETBACK

4:14 But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and go beyond His limits, will be led into the Fire to live forever, and it will be a humiliating torment!

THE BATTLE OF UHUD

Back at Mecca those who had lost at the battle of Badr told others, “Men of Quraysh, Mohammed has killed your best men. Give us money so that we may take revenge.” Money was raised, men were hired. An army was put together.

So the Meccans camped near Medina, ready for war. Ready for revenge. The Muslims now needed a strategy. Many, including Mohammed, wanted to sit and let the Meccans attack Medina. The town itself could be used in a defensive way — walls and rooftops would give any defender a strong advantage. But blood ran hot with the Muslim warriors. They were not afraid to meet the Meccans on the field of combat, man to man. After Badr, they were invincible. Allah had said as much. They said, “Mohammed lead us to our enemies, don’t let them think that we are weak and cowards.” The arguments went on until Mohammed went in his house and came out in his armor.

But now, seeing him in his armor, the hot bloods repented and said that they should never try to persuade Mohammed to do anything. They had been wrong. Mohammed said, “When a prophet puts on his armor, he should not take it off until there has been war.” So he marched out with a 1000 men to meet the Meccans.

When they saw the Meccans, Mohammed said, “Let there be no fighting until I give the word.” What they saw made the Muslims’ blood boil. The Meccans had put their camels and horses into the crops of the Muslims. Mohammed placed 50 archers to protect his rear and flank. They must not move but hold that ground. Mohammed put on a second coat of mail.

The morrow came and the battle was to begin. Now the Meccans had brought their women for the sole purpose to urge on the men. Men do not want to be cowards in front of women. The women began to beat their tambourines and chant poetry:

If you advance we will hug you

And place soft rugs beneath you

If you retreat we will leave you

Leave and no more love you.

The Muslims fought without fear and the battle went against the Meccans who were cut off from their camp that had the spoils of war. The Muslim archers left their positions to get to the spoils. The battle might go to Islam, but the treasure would be theirs. This left the flank and rear open and the Meccan cavalry took advantage and charged the rear where Mohammed was. The battle suddenly went against the Muslims.

The Muslims were put to flight and many were slain. Even Mohammed got hit in the face by a rock, broke a tooth and split his lip. He was incensed. The Meccans were all around and the Muslims had to protect

him with their bodies.

At one point the Meccans thought that they had killed the man who had brought them so much pain. But one Muslim recognized the prophet under his helmet and spread the news of his living. Mohammed fled the field. He was a heavy man, and wore two suits of armor. He almost could not climb the rocks and hill without help.

The day went to the Meccans, the Quraysh. The Meccans did not press their advantage. They came to extract tribal justice and they killed about as many the Muslims had killed at Badr. They did not want to dominate Islam. Abu Sufyan, the Meccan leader, agreed through an emissary that they would meet in combat next year.

We have paid you back for Badr

And a war that follows a war is violent

I could not bear the loss of my friends

Nor my brother and his uncle and my first born.

I have slaked my vengeance and fulfilled my vow.

The slave who killed Hamza has cooled the burning in my breast

I shall thank the slave now free

Until my bones rot in the grave. —Hind

The dead Muslims were buried in the battlefield. Mohammed said, “I testify that none who are wounded in jihad but what he will be raised by Allah with his bleeding wounds smelling like the finest perfume.” When Mohammed heard the women weeping for their dead, but he wanted wailing for his uncle Hamza as well. So the women wailed for Hamza and Mohammed felt better.

When Mohammed entered his house he handed his sword to his daughter and told her, “Wash the blood from this for by Allah it has served me well today.” The next day he ordered all the fighters who had been at Uhud to marshal themselves and be ready to head out to pursue the enemy. This move was pure strategy to impress the enemy that he was still strong and not weakened by his losses. They went about eight miles from Medina and camped for three days before returning to Medina.

Mohammed was the supreme master of the psychology of war. He sent an agent, who pretended to be a friend of the Meccans, to Abu Sufyan, the Meccan leader. Abu Sufyan was thinking about going back and finishing off the Muslims. But Mohammed’s agent told Abu Sufyan that Mohammed was coming very soon with an army, the like of which had never been seen. They were in a state of total fury and would sweep into Hell all that were in front of them. Abu Sufyan, the merchant, left for Mecca and security. They had settled their score.

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