Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Muhammad's Battles


Battles of Prophet Muhammad

1. Battle of Badr
2. Battle of Uhud
3. Battle of Hamra al-Asad
4. Battle of the Trench
5. Battle of Khaybar
6. Battle of Hunayn
7. Battle of Tabouk
8. Battle of Mu'tah
9. Siege of Ta'if
10. List of Expeditions
11. Military career of Muhammad
12. Caravan raids

# Battle of Badr

The Battle of Badr, fought March 17, 624 AD (17 Ramadan 2 AH in the Islamic calendar) Hejaz region of western Arabia (present-day Saudi Arabia), was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention, or by secular sources to the genius of Muhammad. It is one of the few battles specifically mentioned in the Quran. Most contemporary knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, written decades after the battle.

Prior to the battle, the Muslims and Meccans had fought several smaller skirmishes in late 623 and early 624, as the Muslim ghazawāt had become more frequent. Badr, however was the first large-scale engagement between the two forces. Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad's well-disciplined force broke the Meccan lines, killing several important Quraishi leaders including Muhammad's chief antagonist, 'Amr ibn Hishām. For the early Muslims the battle was the first sign that they might eventually defeat their enemies in Mecca. Mecca at that time was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Arabia fielding an army three times larger than that of the Muslims. The Muslim victory also signalled other tribes that a new power had arisen in Arabia and strengthened Muhammad’sposition as leader of the often fractious community in Medina.

At the time of the battle, Arabia was sparsely populated by a number of Arabic-speaking people. Some were Bedouin; pastoral nomads organized in tribes; some were farmers living either in oases in the north or in the more fertile and thickly settled areas to the south (now Yemen and Oman). The majority of Arabs were adherents of numerous polytheistic religions. There were also tribes that followed Judaism, Christianity (including Nestorianism),and Zoroastrianism.

Muhammad was born in Mecca around 570 AD into the Banū Hāshim clan of the Quraish tribe. When he was about forty years old, he is said to have experienced a divine revelation while he was meditating in a cave outside Mecca. He began to preach to his kinfolk first privately and then publicly. Response to his preaching both attracted followers and antagonized others. During this period Muhammad was protected by his uncle Abū Tālib. When his uncle died in 619, the leadership of the Banū Hāshim passed to one of Muhammad's enemies, 'Amr ibn Hishām, who withdrew the protection and stepped up persecution of the Muslim community. The hatred many Muslims have towards Hishām can be seen in his nickname, "Abū Jahl" (Father of Ignorance), which is how the majority of Muslims know him today.

In 622, with open acts of violence being committed between Muslims and the Quraishi tribesmen, Muhammad and many of his followers migrated to the neighboring city of Medina. This migration is called the Hijra and marked the beginning of Muhammad's reign as both a political as well as a religious leader.

In the spring of 624, Muhammad received word from his intelligence sources that a trade caravan, commanded by Abu Sufyan and guarded by thirty to forty men, was traveling from Syria back to Mecca. Abu Sufyan sent a message via Damdam, in fear of being attacked by Muslims, to warn mecca and to get reinforcement. As the trade caravan was carrying a lot of wealth, the Quraish responded well to the call and an army of 900-1000 men was sent for its protection.

The march to Badr
When Muhammad received the news of the Meccan army, he commanded his own army himself and brought many of his top lieutenants, including Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Hamza, Mus`ab ibn `Umair, Az-Zubair bin Al-‘Awwam, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. The Muslims also brought seventy camels and two horses, meaning that they either had to walk or fit three to four men per camel. However, many early Muslim sources, including the Qur'an, indicate that no serious fighting was expected, and the future Caliph Uthman stayed behind to care for his sick wife Ruqayyah,the daughter of the Prophet. Salman the Persian also couldn't join the battle, as he was still not a free man.

Many of the Quraishi nobles, including Amr ibn Hishām, Walid ibn Utba, Shaiba, and Umayah ibn Khalaf, joined the meccan army. Their reasons varied: some were out to protect their financial interests in the caravan; others wanted to avenge Ibn al-Hadrami, the guard killed at Nakhlah; finally, a few must have wanted to take part in what was expected to be an easy victory against the Muslims. Amr ibn Hishām is described as shaming at least one noble, Umayah ibn Khalaf, into joining the expedition.

By this time Muhammad's army was approaching the wells where he planned to either waylay the caravan, or to fight the meccan army at Badr, along the Syrian trade route where the caravan would be expected to stop or the meccan army to come for its protection. However, several Muslim scouts were discovered by scouts from the caravan and Abu Sufyan made a hasty turn towards Yanbu.

Behold! Allah Promised you one of the two (enemy) parties, that it should be yours: Ye wished that the one unarmed should be yours, but Allah Willed to justify the Truth according to His Words and to cut off the roots of the Unbelievers; ”
—Qur'an: Al-Anfal 8:7

The Muslim plan

When the word reached the Muslim army about the departure of the Meccan army. Muhammad immediately called a council of war, since there was still time to retreat and because many of the fighters there were recent converts (called Ansar or "Helpers" to distinguish them from the Quraishi Muslims), who had only pledged to defend Medina. Under the terms of the Constitution of Medina, they would have been within their rights to refuse to fight and leave the army. However, according to tradition, they pledged to fight as well, with Sa'd bin 'Ubada declaring, "If you [Muhammad] order us to plunge our horses into the sea, we would do so." However, the Muslims still hoped to avoid a pitched battle and continued to march towards Badr.

By March 15 both armies were about a day's march from Badr. Several Muslim warriors (including, according to some sources, Ali) who had ridden ahead of the main column captured two Meccan water carriers at the Badr wells. Expecting them to say they were with the caravan, the Muslims were horrified to hear them say they were with the main Quraishi army. Some traditions also say that, upon hearing the names of all the Quraishi nobles accompanying the army, Muhammad exclaimed "Mecca hath thrown unto you the best morsels of her liver." The next day Muhammad ordered a forced march to Badr and arrived before the Meccans.'Ali

The Badr wells were located on the gentle slope of the eastern side of a valley called "Yalyal". The western side of the valley was hemmed in by a large hill called 'Aqanqal. When the Muslim army arrived from the east, Muhammad initially chose to form his army at the first well he encountered. Hubab ibn al-Muhdir, however, asked him if this choice was divine instruction or Muhammad'sown opinion. When Muhammad responded in the latter, he suggests the Muslims occupy the well closest to the Quraishi army, and block off the other ones. Muhammad accepted this decision and moved right away. According to Tariq Ramadan, this shows that Muhammad was not an autocratic leader, and allowed his followers to contradict him without considering this as a sign of disrespect.

The Meccan plan

By contrast, while little is known about the progress of the Quraishi army from the time it left Mecca until its arrival just outside Badr, several things are worth noting: although many Arab armies brought their women and children along on campaigns both to motivate and care for the men, the Meccan army did not. Also, the Quraish apparently made little or no effort to contact the many tribes allies they had scattered throughout the Hijaz. Both facts suggest the Quraish lacked the time to prepare for a proper campaign in their haste to protect the caravan. Besides it is believed since they knew they had outnumbered the Muslims by three to one, they expected an easy victory.

When the Quraishi reached Juhfah, just south of Badr, they received a message from Abu Sufyan telling them the caravan was safely behind them, and that they could therefore return to Mecca. At this point, according to Karen Armstrong, a power struggle broke out in the Meccan army. Abu Jahl wanted to continue, but several of the clans present, including Banu Zuhrah and Banu Adi, promptly went home. Armstrong suggests they may have been concerned about the power that Abu Jahl would gain from crushing the Muslims. A contingent of Banu Hashim, hesitant to fight their own clansmen, also left with them. Despite these losses, Abu Jahl was still determined to fight, boasting "We will not go back until we have been to Badr." During this period, Abu Sufyan and several other men from the caravan joined the main army.

The day of battle

At midnight on March 17, the Quraish broke camp and marched into the valley of Badr. It had rained the previous day and they struggled to move their horses and camels up the hill of 'Aqanqal. After they descended from 'Aqanqal, the Meccans set up another camp inside the valley. While they rested, they sent out a scout, Umayr ibn Wahb to reconnoitre the Muslim lines. Umayr reported that Muhammad'sarmy was small, and that there were no other Muslim reinforcements which might join the battle. However, he also predicted extremely heavy Quraishi casualties in the event of an attack (One hadith refers to him seeing "the camels of [Medina] laden with certain death"). This further demoralized the Quraish, as Arab battles were traditionally low-casualty affairs, and set off another round of bickering among the Quraishi leadership. However, according to Arab traditions Amr ibn Hishām quashed the remaining dissent by appealing to the Quraishi's sense of honor and demanding that they fulfill their blood vengeance.

The battle began with champions from both armies emerging to engage in combat. Three of the Ansar emerged from the Muslim ranks, only to be shouted back by the Meccans, who were nervous about starting any unnecessary feuds and only wanted to fight the Quraishi Muslims. So Hamza approached forward and called on Ubayda and Ali to join him. The Muslims dispatched the Meccan champions in a three-on-three melee. Hamza killed his opponent Utba, Ali killed his opponent Walid ibn Utba, then after Ubayda was wounded by his opponent Shayba, Ubayda then killed him. So this was a victorious traditional 3 on 3 combat for the Muslims.

Now both armies began striking arrows at each other. A few Muslims and an unknown heavy number of Quraish warriors were killed. Before the real attack began, Muhammad had given orders for the Muslims to attack with their ranged weapons, and only engage the Quraish with melee weapons when they advanced. Now he gave the order to charge, throwing a handful of pebbles at the Meccans in what was probably a traditional Arabian gesture while yelling "Defaced be those faces!" The Muslim army yelled "Yā manṣūr amit!" and rushed the Quraishi lines. The Meccans, understrength and unenthusiastic about fighting, promptly broke and ran. The battle itself only lasted a few hours and was over by the early afternoon. The Qur'an describes the force of the Muslim attack in many verses, which refer to thousands of angels descending from Heaven at Badr to slaughter the Quraish. It should be noted that early Muslim sources take this account literally, and there are several hadith where Muhammad discusses the Angel Jibreel and the role he played in the battle.

Casualties and prisoners
Al-Bukhari lists Meccan losses as seventy dead and seventy captured. This would be 15%-16% of the Quraishi army, unless the actual number of Meccan troops present at Badr was significantly lower, in which case the percentage of troops lost would have been higher. 'Ali alone accounted for 18 of the dead Meccans. Muslim losses are commonly listed at fourteen killed, about 4% of their engaged forces. Sources do not indicate the number of wounded on either side.

During the course of the fighting, the Muslims took a number of Meccan Quraish prisoner. Their fate sparked an immediate controversy in the Muslim army. The initial fear was that the Meccan army might rally and that the Muslims couldn't spare any men to guard the prisoners. Sa'eed and Umar were in favor of killing the prisoners, but Abu Bakr argued for clemency. Muhammad eventually sided with Abu Bakr, and most prisoners were spared, either because of clan relations (one was Muhammad'sson-in-law), desire for ransom, or the hope that they would later convert to Islam (in fact, several later would). At least two high-ranking Meccans, Amr ibn Hishām and Umayyah, were executed after the battle, and two other Quraish who had dumped a bucket of sheep excrement over Muhammad during his days at Mecca were also killed during the return to Medina. In the case of Umayyah, his former slave Bilal was so intent on killing him that his companions even stabbed one of the Muslims guarding Umayyah.

Shortly before he departed Badr, Muhammad also gave the order for over twenty of the dead Quraishis to be buried in the well at Badr. Multiple hadiths refer to this incident, which was apparently a major cause for outrage among the Quraish of Mecca. Shortly thereafter, several Muslims who had been recently captured by allies of the Meccans were brought into the city of Mecca and executed in revenge for the defeat.

According to the traditional blood feud (similar to Blood Law) any Meccans related to those killed at Badr would feel compelled to take vengeance against members of the tribe who had killed their relatives. On the Muslim side, there was also a heavy desire for vengeance, as they had been persecuted and tortured by the Quraishi Meccans for years. However, after the initial executions, the surviving prisoners were quartered with Muslim families in Medina and treated well, as kin .

The Battle of Badr was extremely influential in the rise of two men who would determine the course of history on the Arabian peninsula for the next century. The first was Muhammad, who was transformed overnight from a Meccan outcast into a major leader. Marshall Hodgson adds that Badr forced the other Arabs to "regard the Muslims as challengers and potential inheritors to the prestige and the political role of the [Quraish]." The victory at Badr also allowed Muhammad to consolidate his own position at Medina. Shortly thereafter he expelled the Banu Qaynuqa, one of the Jewish tribes at Medina that had been threatening his political position, and who had assaulted a Muslim woman which led to their expulsion for breaking the peace treaty. At the same time Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy, Muhammad's chief opponent in Medina, found his own position seriously weakened. Henceforth, he would only be able to mount limited challenges to Muhammad.

The other major beneficiary of the Battle of Badr was Abu Sufyan. The death of Amr ibn Hashim, as well as many other Quraishi nobles gave Abu Sufyan the opportunity, almost by default, to become chief of the Quraish. As a result, when Muhammad marched into Mecca six years later, it was Abu Sufyan who helped negotiate its peaceful surrender. Abu Sufyan subsequently became a high-ranking official in the Muslim Empire, and his son Muawiya would later go on to found the Umayyad Caliphate.

In later days having fought at Badr became so significant that Ibn Ishaq included a complete name-by-name roster of the Muslim army in his biography of Muhammad. In many hadiths, individuals who fought at Badr are identified as such as a formality, and they may have even received a stipend in later years. The death of the last of the Badr veterans occurred during the First Islamic civil war.

As Paul K. Davis sums up, "Mohammed’s victory confirmed his authority as leader of Islam; by impressing local tribes that joined him, the expansion of Islam began."

Historical sources
Badr in the Qur'an
The Battle of Badr is one of the few battles explicitly discussed in the Qur'an. It is even mentioned by name as part of a comparison with the Battle of Uhud.

Qur'an: Al-i-Imran 3:123–125 (Yusuf Ali). “Allah had helped you at Badr, when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah; thus May ye show your gratitude.§ Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: "Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down?§ "Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.§”

According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the term "gratitude" may be a reference to discipline. At Badr, the Muslim forces had allegedly maintained firm discipline, whereas at Uhud they broke ranks to pursue the Meccans, allowing Meccan cavalry to flank and rout their army. The idea of Badr as a furqan, an Islamic miracle, is mentioned again in the same surah.

Qur'an: Al-i-Imran 3:13 (Yusuf Ali). “There has already been for you a Sign in the two armies that met (in combat): One was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah; these saw with their own eyes Twice their number. But Allah doth support with His aid whom He pleaseth. In this is a warning for such as have eyes to see.”

Badr is also the subject of Sura 8: Al-Anfal, which details military conduct and operations. "Al-Anfal" means "the spoils" and is a reference to the post-battle discussion in the Muslim army over how to divide up the plunder from the Quraishi army. Though the Sura does not name Badr, it describes the battle, and several of the verses are commonly thought to have been from or shortly after the battle.

Traditional Muslim accounts
Main article: Historiography of early Islam
Most knowledge of the Battle of Badr comes either from the traditional Islamic accounts, Quran and hadiths (records of the life and times of Muhammad). In the English speaking world, it is not known if there are earlier written records other than the traditional Islamic accounts since Arabic at that time in the hijaz was primarily an oral language. People relied mostly on oral traditions.

Modern references
Because of its place in Muslim history and connotations of victory-against-all odds, the name "Badr" has become popular among both Muslim armies and paramilitary organizations. "Operation Badr" was used to describe Egypt's offensive in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and Pakistan's actions in the 1999 Kargil War.

The Message
The Battle of Badr was featured in the 1976 film The Message. Although the film was reasonably faithful to the event, it made some notable changes. The Quraishi army was depicted as having women in tow, when the women were noticeably absent. It also suffered no defections before the battle, though in the film Abu Sufyan refused to take part. The champion combat in front of the wells consisted of three one-on-one fights, instead of a three-on-three melee. Also, since neither Muhammad nor Ali were shown (though Ali's sword was shown) due to religious concerns, Hamza became the nominal commander of the army. Both Amr ibn Hishām and Umayyah were killed in the battle, and their deaths marked the climax of the fighting.

# Battle of Uhud

The Battle of Uhud was fought on March 19, 625 AD (3 Shawwal 3 AH in the Islamic calendar) at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now North-Western Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca, the town from which many of the Muslims had previously emigrated (See Hijra). The Battle of ‘Uḥud was the second military encounter between the Meccans and the Muslims, preceded by the Battle of Badr in 624 AD, where a small Muslim army had defeated the much larger Meccan army. Marching out from Mecca towards Medina on March 11, 625 AD, the Meccans desired to avenge their losses at Badr and strike back at Muhammad and his followers. The Muslims readied for war soon afterwards and the two armies fought on the slopes and plains of Mount ‘Uḥud.

Whilst heavily outnumbered, the Muslims gained the early initiative and forced the Meccan lines back, thus leaving much of the Meccan camp unprotected. When the battle looked to be only one step far from a decisive Muslim victory, a serious mistake was committed by a part of the Muslim army, which shifted the outcome of the battle. A breach of Muhammad's orders by the Muslim archers, who left their assigned posts to despoil the Meccan camp, allowed a surprise attack from the Meccan cavalry, led by Meccan war veteran Khalid ibn al-Walid, which brought chaos to the Muslim ranks. Many Muslims were killed, and even Muhammad himself was almost killed and came out badly injured. The Muslims had to withdraw up the slopes of ‘Uḥud. The Meccans did not pursue the Muslims further, but marched back to Mecca declaring victory.

For the Muslims, the battle was a significant setback: although they had been close to routing the Meccans a second time, their breach of Muhammad's orders in favor of collecting Meccan spoils reaped severe consequences. The two armies would meet again in 627 AD at the Battle of the Trench.

Muhammad had preached the religion of Islam in Mecca from 613 to 622. He had attracted a small community of followers, but also drew staunch opposition from the rest of the Quraysh, the clan that ruled Mecca and to which he belonged. The Muslims fled Mecca in 622 after years of persecution and established themselves at Medina (formerly known as Yathrib). After the Quraysh had seized the properties and families of Muslims in Mecca and lodged caravans, containing seized Muslim property to Damascus, Muslims intercepted these caravans and raided them. The Meccans sent out a small army to punish the Muslims and stop their raiding. At the Battle of Badr in 624, a small Muslim force defeated the much larger Meccan army.

Many Muslims considered this unexpected victory a proof that they had been favored by God and believed they were assured such victories in the future. A number of the leading tribesmen of Quraysh had been killed at Badr and so leadership passed to Abu Sufyan. He forbade the mourning of the losses at Badr, for he was eager to exact revenge upon Muhammad, vowing to conduct a retaliatory raid on the city of Medina. Several months later, Abu Sufyan accompanied a party of 200 men to the city, obtaining temporary residence with the chief of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir and learning more of the current situation in Medina. He and his party then left Medina, burning down two houses and laying waste to some fields in fulfillment of his vow. Further skirmishes between the Meccans and the Muslims would occur thereafter.

Meccan force sets out
The following year on March 11, 625 AD, with Abu Sufyan at the helm, the Meccans — anxious to avenge their defeat at Badr — raised another force numbering 3,000 and set out for the Muslim base in Medina. Rather than attacking Medina itself, which was populated by numerous strongholds that would have required long sieges to overcome, they camped on the pastures north of the city, hoping that the Muslims would come out to meet them. According to the early Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq, a number of Meccan women are said to have accompanied Abu Sufyan's army to provide vocal support, including Hind bint Utbah, his wife.

A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers late on Thursday March 21. The next morning, a Muslim conference of war convened, and there was dispute over how best to repel the Meccans. Muhammad and many of the senior figures suggested that it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of its heavily fortified strongholds. Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying their crops, and that huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige. Muhammad eventually conceded to the wishes of the latter, and readied the Muslim force for battle. This particular incident is considered to be one of the earliest forms of democratic military consultation.

Encounter at Uhud

A group of approximately 1,000 Muslim men set out on late Friday from Medina and managed to circle around the Meccan forces. Early the next morning, they took a position on the lower slopes of the hill of Uhud. Shortly before the battle commenced, 'Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy (the chief of the Khazraj tribe) and his followers withdrew their support for Muhammad and returned to Medina, with reports suggesting Ibn Ubayy's discontent with the plan to march out from Medina to meet the Meccans. Ibn Ubayy and his followers would later receive censure in the Qur'an for this act.

"Your misfortune on the day the two hosts met was by God's permission, so that He might distinguish the believers from the hypocrites. It was said to them, 'Come, fight for God, or defend yourselves'. They said, 'If we knew fighting (sc. with a hope of success, or, would actually take place), we would have followed you'. They are thence closer to unbelief than to belief. They speak out with their mouths what is not in their hearts, but God knows what they conceal. Those who remained back and said about their brethren, 'If they had obeyed us, they would not have been killed.' Say, 'Then prevent death from yourselves, if you should be truthful'.'
The Muslim force, now numbering around 700, was stationed on the slopes of Uhud, facing Medina with the rear being protected by the towering mount itself. Before the battle, Muhammad had assigned a number of about 51 archers on a nearby rocky hill at the West side of the Muslim camp. This was a strategic decision in order to shield the vulnerable flanks of the outnumbered Muslim army; the archers on the hill were to protect the left flank, while the right flank was to be protected by the Mount of Uhud situated on the East side of the Muslim camp. Protecting the flanks of the Muslim army meant that the Meccan army would not be able to turn around the Muslim camp, and thus the Muslim army wouldn't be surrounded or encircled by the Meccan cavalry, keeping in mind that the Meccan cavalry outnumbered the Muslim cavalry with a 50:1 ratio.

Muhammad ordered the Muslim archers to never under any circumstances leave their positions on the hill unless ordered to do so by him only, he made this order very clear by uttering these words to the archers, "If you saw us prevail and start to take spoils, do not come to assist us. And if you saw us get vanquished and birds eat from our heads, do not come to assist us."

The Meccan army positioned itself facing the Muslim lines, with the main body led by Abu Sufyan, and the left and right flanks commanded by Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl and Khalid ibn al-Walid respectively.'Amr ibn al-'As was named the commander of cavalry and his task was to coordinate attack between the cavalry wings.

The Meccans attacked with their initial charge led by the Medinan exile Abu ‘Amir. Thwarted by a shower of stones from the Muslims, Abu ‘Amir and his men were forced to retire and tend to the camps behind the Meccan lines. The Meccan standard-bearer, Talhah ibn Abi Talhah al-‘Abdari, advanced and challenged the enemy to a duel. Ali ibn Abi Talib, the young cousin of Muhammad Ahl al-Bayt, rushed forth and struck Talhah down in a single blow. Talhah's brother, `Uthman, ran forward to pick up the fallen banner — the Meccan women willing him on with songs and the loud beating of timbrels. Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib emerged from the Muslim ranks, bringing him to a similar fate as Talhah. It was their family that was responsible for the Meccan army's standard-bearing, and thus one by one, Talhah's brothers and sons went to retrieve the Meccan banner and fight unsuccessfully, until they all eventually perished.

Following the duels, general engagement between the two armies commenced. Meccan confidence quickly began to dissolve as the Muslims swept through their ranks. The Meccan army was pushed back, and repeated attempts by its cavalry to overrun the left Muslim flank were negated by the Muslim archers. Enjoying the best of these early encounters, the Muslims pierced through the Meccan lines, with victory appearing certain. However, it was the detachment of the Muslim archers, disobeying Muhammad's strict orders to remain stationary, that would shift the outcome of the battle, as they ran downhill to join in the advance and despoil the Meccan camp, leaving the flank vulnerable.

At this critical juncture, the Meccan cavalry led by Khalid ibn al-Walid exploited this move and attacked the remaining minority of Muslim archers who refused to disobey Muhammad's orders and were still positioned on the hill. From there, the Meccans were then able to target and overrun the Muslim flank and rear. Confusion ensued, and numerous Muslims were killed. Most notably was Hamza, who had been thrown down in a surprise attack by the javelin of the Ethiopian slave of Hind, Wahshy ibn Harb. While the Meccan riposte strengthened, rumors circulated that Muhammad too had perished. It emerged, however, that Muhammad had only been wounded — due to missiles of stone which resulted in a gash on his forehead and lip. A few of Muhammad's companions, such as Talhah ibn Ubaydallah and Abu Ubaidah, quickly rushed to provide support, leading him into a ravine of Mt. Uhud to rest.

After fierce hand-to-hand combat, most of the Muslims managed to withdraw and regroup higher up on the slopes of Uhud. A small faction was cut off and tried to make its way back to Medina, though many of these were killed. The Meccans' chief offensive arm, its cavalry, was unable to ascend the slopes of Uhud in pursuit of the Muslims, and so the fighting ceased. Hind and her companions are said to have mutilated the Muslim corpses, cutting off their ears and noses and making the relics into anklets. Hind is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she then attempted to eat. Abu Sufyan, after some brief verbal exchanges with Muhammad's companion, Umar (Umar ibn al-Khattab), decided to return to Mecca without pressing his advantage.

The battle is generally believed by scholars to be a defeat for the Muslims, as they had incurred greater losses than the Meccans. Chase F. Robinson, writing in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, states the notion that "the Muslims suffered a disheartening defeat is clear enough." Other scholars such as William Montgomery Watt disagree, noting that while the Muslims did not win, the Meccans had failed to achieve their strategic aim of destroying Muhammad and his followers; and that the Meccans' untimely withdrawal indicated weakness on their part. The battle is also noted for the emergence of the military leadership and tactical military genius of Khalid ibn al-Walid, who would later become the most famous of all Arab generals during the Islamic expansion era, in conquering the Sassanid Empire and Byzantine Empire held Syria.

Muhammad and the Muslims buried the dead on the battlefield, returning home that evening. The Meccans retired for the evening at a place called Hamra al-Asad, a few miles away from Medina. The next morning, Muhammad sent out a small force to hurry the Meccan army on their way home. According to Watt, this was because Muhammad realized that a show of force was required to speed the Meccans away from Medinan territory. The Meccans, not wanting to be perceived as being chased away, remained nearby for a few days before leaving.

Muslim reaction
For the Muslims, the battle held a religious dimension as well as a military one. They had expected another victory like at Badr, which was considered a sign of God's favor upon them. At Uhud, however, they had barely held off the invaders and had lost a great many men. A verse of the Qur'an revealed soon after the battle cited the Muslims' disobedience and desire for loot as the cause for this setback:

“Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to you when ye with His permission were about to annihilate your enemy, until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you but He forgave you: For Allah is full of grace to those who believe”:152 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)]

According to the Qur'an, then, the misfortunes at Uhud — largely the result of the rear guard abandoning their position in order to seek booty — were partly a punishment and partly a test for steadfastness. Firestone observes that such verses provided inspiration and hope to the Muslims, sacralizing future battles that they would experience. He adds that rather than demoralizing the Muslims, the battle seemed to reinforce the solidarity between them.

Further conflict
Abu Sufyan, whose position as leader was no longer undisputed, set about forging alliances with surrounding nomadic tribes in order to build up strength for another advance on Medina. The success of the Meccans' rousing of tribes against Muhammad reaped disastrous consequences for him and the Muslims with two main losses: one was where a Muslim party had been invited by a chieftain of the Ma'unah tribe, who were then killed as they approached by the tribe of Sulaym; while the other was when the Muslims had sent out instructors to a tribe which stated it wanted to convert to Islam — the instructors had been led into an ambush by the guides of the would-be Muslim tribe, and were subsequently killed. Soon thereafter, Muhammad became convinced that the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir harbored enmity towards him and were plotting to kill him. The Banu Nadir were expelled from Medina after a fifteen-day siege, with some relocating to the oasis of Khaybar and others to Syria. Abu Sufyan, along with the allied confederate tribes, would attack Medina in the Battle of the Trench, two years after the events at Uhud (in 627).

Historical record
Most of the information available about the events is derived from the sira—maghazi traditions (biographical narratives and documentation of military campaigns) of the early centures of Islam. The general sequence of the events gained consensus early on, as demonstrated in the text of Ibn Ishaq, an early biographer of Muhammad. Accounts of the battle are derived mainly from descendants of the participants. Much of the basic narrative and chronology, according to Robinson, is reasonably authentic, although some of the more elaborate details — such as the exact scale of the Muslim defeat — may be doubtful or difficult to ascertain.

For the early Muslims, it was certain that there were verses of the Qur'an referring to this event, and Muslim exegetes identified areas echoing the battle or lessons of Uhud. According to Ibn Ishaq, the Qur'anic chapter (sura) āl-Imrān contains 60 verses, "in which there is a description of their battle, and blame for those who he rebuked." Other verses have also been connected to the battle by exegetes, such as 33:23. Robinson, citing the judgement that Uhud was a trial for the Muslim community, concludes that the "Uhud accounts both narrated history and taught enduring lessons, perhaps especially to those Muslims familiar with the first fitna."

Battle of Uhud in Warfare
Though strategically indecisive, the conduct of the battle was sufficient proof of the military awareness of the Arabs even before their campaigns in Persia and Syria. The basic assumption that Arabs were generally raiders and learnt warfare from Persians and Syrians is proved wrong here. Abu Sufyan tried to make full use of his cavalry by deploying them as two mobile wings. The Infantry based centre provided the base upon which the cavalry would operate. He intended to pull the celebrated "Double Envelopment" maneuver. He deployed his forces in the same manner as a Persian or Byzantine General would have done.
Muhammad on the other hand showed his ability as a general by choosing the battlefield of Uhud. He decided according to the will of Muslims to fight in open country but he was aware of the superior mobility of the Meccans. He knew an encounter in open country would expose the infantry wings to envelopment, so to neutralize the Meccan mobility factor, he decided to hold high ground with Mount Uhud in their, which provided security from any attack from the rear.Moreover as the front was of approximately of 800 to 900 yards and on one flank he rested Mount Einein and on other flank were the defiles of Mount Uhud so in military language he refused both wing to the Meccan cavalry. The only approach from which the could be taken from the rear was protected by the deployment of archers. This battle is a specimen of how an Infantry based entity should fight against a Cavalry dominated arm.The comparison of this battle with the Battle of Guadalete fought by Tarik bin Ziyad against the Gothic Empire is indeed striking.

Modern references
The battle of Uhud is the second of the two main battles featured in Moustapha Akkad's 1976 film centering on the life of Muhammad, Mohammad, Messenger of God. The other battle featured is the battle of Badr. The battle of Uhud is also depicted in the 2004 animated film, Muhammad: The Last Prophet, directed by Richard Rich. The cave in Mount Uhud where Muhammad rested temporarily during the battle has also received recent media attention in the light of proposals by some Islamic scholars for it to be destroyed.

# Battle of Hamra al-Asad

The Battle of Hamra al-Asad was a Ghazawat, a battle in which the prophet Muhammad took part. It occurred in 625 AD (3 AH) after the Battle of Uhud, when the Quraysh were returning to Mecca.

In this battle the Meccans wanted to finally exterminate the Muslims after weakening them in Uhud, by preventing their return to Mecca and finishing them off at Medina. Muhammad successfully prevented this by spreading false information using a spy and by lighting 500 camp fires to make it look as if his force was very big. As a result, the Meccans cancelled their attack and decided not to return to Medina. Later, Muhammad was able to get the upper hand over them.

After the Meccan victory in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad wanted to boost the morale of his followers and of his fighters the Mujahideen, and planned many attacks against the Meccans at Hamra al-Asad.

Call for Jihad
On Sunday the 8th of Shawaal, AH3 (March 24, 625), the day after the battle at Uhud, when the Muslims woke up they heard that Muhammad had called on them to join him in the pursuit of the returning Quraysh army. He gave a general order of mobilization, with the condition that only those who had participated in the Uhud battle were eligible to participate in the new operation. One Muslim, who missed out the Uhud battle because his father did not let him fight in the Jihad at Uhud, was allowed to join the Muslim army. The son of a martyred soldier sought Muhammad’s permission to join in this expedition and was also allowed to take part. Besides them, several wounded Mujahideen also joined the march.

Gathering intelligence

A little before Muhammad set out in the pursuit of the departing Meccan army, he sent three spies, all belonging to Banu Aslam, to track the departing Meccan army. Two of them met the Meccan army at Hamra al-Asad, about eight miles from Medina. Abu Sufyan had already learned about Muhammad’s venture to pursue the Meccans. The two spies heard the discussion among the Quraysh: whether they should go back and finish off the Muslims once and for all or to continue their journey to Mecca. Abu Sufyan was in favor of inflicting a deciding blow to the Muslims, but on the counsel of Safwan ibn Umayyah, he decided against it and, instead, proceeded towards Mecca.

This happened a day before the Meccans arrived at Hamra al-Asad. Prior to their departure from Hamra al-Asad, the Quraysh spotted the two Muslim spies, and caught and killed them, leaving their corpses on the road. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of the third Muslim spy.

Camping at Hamra al-Asad
The Mujahideen, under the leadership of Muhammad, went to Hamra al-Asad and found the two dead bodies of the spies. Once Muhammad learned that the Quraysh were not there to attack him further, he decided to spend three nights – or five, according to ibn Sa’d – until Wednesday, (March 25–27, 625) before returning to Medina.

To deceive the enemy, while at Hamra al-Asad he ordered five hundred camp fires, which could be seen from a great distance away, to be lit on the adjoining heights, to make it appear as if Muhammad was chasing the Meccans and that his military force was very strong. Muhammad executed his battles so that there were as few Muslim casualties as possible, and used deception to his advantage.

While at Hamra al-Asad, Muhammad made an agreement with Mabad al-Khuzaah at Tihamah, in which Mabad pledged not to conceal anything from him. Mabad was then sent to Mecca to spread false information. In Mecca, Mabad met with Abu Sufyan and spread disinformation that Muhammad had gathered a great force to fight Abu Sufyan. Abu Sufyan and his companions were planning a massive and decisive attack on Medina to finish off the Muslims once and for all. Hearing Mabad’s talk of the great military strength of Muhammad, Abu Sufyan retreated from his plan of an immediate attack on the Muslims. In this fashion Muhammad successfully managed to prevent the massive onslaught the Meccans were planning.

Capturing and beheading Quraysh soldiers
After staying at Hamra al-Asad for three days, Muhammad returned to Medina. He captured Abu Azzah al-Jumahi as prisoner. Abu Azzah had previously been one of the prisoners of Badr. As he had no means to pay ransom, he was released after Battle of Badr, on the condition that he would not take up arms against Muslims again. But he had broken his promise and participated in Battle of Uhud. He pleaded for mercy again, but Muhammad ordered him to be killed. Az-Zubair or Asim bin Thabit executed the order.

A Meccan spy Muawiyah bin Al Mugheerah, the cousin of Uthman ibn Affan, had been captured after Uhud. Uthman gave him shelter. He was given a grace period of three days and arranged a camel and provisions for his return journey to Mecca. Uthman departed with Muhammad for Hamra-al-Asad, and Muawiyah overstayed his grace. Though he fled by the time the army returned, Muhammad ordered his pursuit and execution. The orders were carried out.

# Battle of the Trench

The Battle of the Trench (Arabic: غزوة الخندق; Transliteration: Ghazwah al-Khandaq) also known as Battle of Ahzab, Battle of the Confederates and Siege of Medina (Arabic: غزوة الاحزاب; Transliteration: Ghazwah al-Ahzab), was a fortnight-long siege of Yathrib (now Medina) by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Median numbered 3000. The battle began on March 31, 627.

The largely outnumbered defenders of Medina, mainly Muslims led by Islamic prophet Muhammad, opted to dig and fight the confederates from a trench. The trench together with Medina's natural fortifications rendered the confederate cavalry (consisting of horses and camels) useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Banu Qurayza to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad's diplomacy derailed the negotiations, and broke up the confederacy against him. The well-organized defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco.

The siege was a "battle of wits", in which the Muslims tactically overcame their opponents while suffering very few casualties. Efforts to defeat the Muslims failed, and Islam became influential in the region. As a consequence, the Muslim army besieged the neighbourhood of the Banu Qurayza tribe, leading to their unconditional surrender. Upon their surrender, according to their own Jewish Holy book, the Prophet had the males of the tribe beheaded and buried in trenches in the market square, while the women and children were enslaved. However, Muslims deny this claim and say that the Prophet only gave them a tax.

The defeat caused the Meccans to lose their trade and much of their prestige.

The battle is named after the khandaq (Arabic الخندق) that was dug by Muslims in preparation for the battle. The word khandaq is the Arabic form of the Persian word kandak (meaning "That which has been dug"). For this reason the word "trench" may be replaced with "ditch". It may also be referred to by its original Arabic name "khandaq".

The battle is also referred to as the Battle of Confederates (Arabic غزوة الاحزاب). The Qur'an uses the term confederates (Arabic الاحزاب) in sura Al-Ahzab Qur'an 33:9–3 to denote the confederacy of pagans and Jews against Islam.

After their expulsion from Mecca, the Muslims fought the Meccan Quraysh at the Battle of Badr in 624, and at the Battle of Uhud in 625. Although the Muslims neither won nor were defeated at the Battle of Uhud, their military strength was gradually growing. In April 626 Muhammad raised a force of 300 men and 10 horses to meet the Quraysh army of 1,000 at Badr for the second time. Although no fighting occurred, the coastal tribes were impressed with Muslim power. Muhammad also tried, with limited success, to break up many alliances against the Muslim expansion. Nevertheless, he was unable to prevent the Meccan one.

As with the battles of Badr and Uhud, the Muslim army used unconventional methods against their opponents (at Badr, the Muslims surrounded the wells, depriving their opponents of water; at the Battle of Uhud, Muslims made strategic use of the hills). In this battle they dug a trench to render the enemy cavalry ineffective.

The Confederates
Early 627, the Jews of Banu Nadir met with the Arab Quraysh of Mecca. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, along with other leaders from Khaybar, traveled to swear allegiance with Safwan at Mecca.

The bulk of the Confederate armies were gathered by the pagan Quraysh of Mecca, led by Abu Sufyan, who fielded 4,000 foot soldiers, 300 horsemen, and 1,000-1,500 men on camels.

The Banu Nadir began rousing the nomads of Najd. They enlisted the Banu Ghatafan by paying them half of their harvest. This contingent, the second largest, added a strength of about 2,000 men 300 horsemen led by Unaina bin Hasan Fazari. Bani Assad also agreed to join them led by Tuleha Asadi. From the Banu Sulaym, the Nadir secured 700 men, though it would have been much larger had some of its leaders not been sympathetic towards Islam. The Bani Amir, who had a pact with Muhammad, refused to join.

Other tribes included the Banu Murra with 400 men led by Hars ibn Auf Murri; Banu Shuja with 700 men led by Sufyan ibn Abd Shams. In total, the strength of the Confederate armies, though not agreed upon by scholars, is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses. At the end of March 627 the army which led by Abu Sufyan marched on Medina.

In accordance with the plan the armies began marching towards Medina, Meccans from the south (along the coast) and others from the east. At the same time horsemen from the Banu Khuza'a left to warn Medina of the invading army.

Muslim defense
The men from Banu Khuza'a reached Muhammad in four days, warning him of the Confederate armies that were to arrive in a week. Muhammad gathered the Medinans to discuss the best strategy of overcoming the enemy. Meeting the enemy in the open (which led to victory at Badr), and waiting for them inside the city (a lesson learnt from the defeat at Uhud) were both suggested. Ultimately, the outnumbered Muslims opted to engage in a defensive battle by digging deep trenches to act as a barrier along the northern front. The tactic of a defensive trench was introduced by Salman the Persian, who may have adapted it from the Persian army. Every capable Muslim in Medina including Muhammad contributed to digging the massive trench in six days. The ditch was dug on the northern side only, as the rest of Medina was surrounded by rocky mountains and trees, impenetrable to large armies (especially cavalry). The digging of the ditch coincided with a near-famine in Medina. Women and children were moved to the inner city. The Medinans harvested all their crops early, so the Confederate armies would have to rely on their own food reserves.

Muhammad established his military headquarters at the hillock of Sala' and the army was arrayed there; this position would give the Muslims an advantage if the enemy crossed the trench.

The final army that would defend the city from the invasion consisted of 3,000 men, and included all inhabitants of Medina over the age of 15, except the Banu Qurayza (the Qurayza did supply the Muslims with some instruments for digging the trench).

There were many hypocrites among the Muslims who circulated frightening rumors, which added to the fear of the Muslims. The Holy Qur'an tells of the psychological crisis with which the Muslims lived during that period:

"Behold! They came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about God! In that situation the believers were tried: They were shaken with a mighty Shock. And behold! The hypocrites and those in whose hearts there is disease (even) say: God and His Apostle promised us nothing but delusion! Behold! A party among them said: O people of Yathrib (Medina), you cannot stand (the attack), therefore turn back! And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying: Truly our houses are bare and exposed though they were not exposed; they intended nothing but to flee." (33:10-13)

The pagan army, on the contrary, was enjoying an extremely high morale. Victory to them seemed certain. Medina was under their siege, and its inhabitants did not possess the courage to come out of it. Their confidence in victory and morale went higher when Banu Quraidhah joined them. This made them change their strategy from the siege of Medina to a direct invasion.

Siege of Medina

The siege of Medina began on March 31, 627 and lasted for two weeks. Since sieges were uncommon in Arabian warfare, the arriving confederates were unprepared to deal with the trenches dug by the Muslims. The Confederates tried to attack with horsemen in hopes of forcing a passage, but the Medinans entrenched rigidly, preventing such a crossing. Both of the armies gathered on either side of the trench and spent two or three weeks exchanging insult in prose and verse, backed up with arrows fired from a comfortable distance. According to Rodinson, there were three dead among the attackers and five among the defenders. On the other hand, the harvest had been gathered and the besiegers had some trouble finding food for their horses. Those horses were no use to them in the attack.

The Quraysh veterans grew impatient with the deadlock. A group of militants led by ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Wudd and Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl attempted to thrust through the trench and managed to cross the trench occupying a marshy area near the hillock of Sala. 'Amr's challenge to the Muslims to a duel was accepted by Ali ibn Abi Talib. After a short engagement, Ali killed 'Amr and the confederates were forced to withdraw in a state of panic and confusion. Although the Confederates lost only two men during the encounter, they failed to accomplish anything important.

The Confederate army made several other attempts to cross the trench during the night repeatedly failed. Although the confederates could have deployed their infantry over the whole length of the trench, they were unwilling to engage the Muslims at close quarter as the former regarded the latter as superior in hand-to-hand fighting. As the Muslim army was well dug in behind the embankment made from the earth which had been taken from the ditch and prepared to bombard attackers with stones and arrows, any attack could cause great casualties.

Banu Qurayza
The Confederates then attempted several simultaneous attacks, in particular by trying to persuade the Banu Qurayza to attack the Muslims from the south. From the Confederates, Huyayy ibn Akhtab, a Khaybarian, the leader of the exiled Jewish tribe Banu Nadir, returned to Medina seeking their support against the Muslims.

So far the Banu Qurayza had tried their best to remain neutral, and were very hesitant about joining the Confederates since they had earlier made a pact with Muhammad. When Akhtab approached them, their leader refused to allow him entry.

Akhtab eventually managed to enter and persuade them that the Muslims would surely be overwhelmed. The sight of the vast Confederate armies, surging over the land with soldiers and horses as far as the eye could see, swung the Qurayza opinion in the favour of the Confederacy.

News of the Qurayzah's supposed renunciation of the pact with Muhammad leaked out, and Umar promptly informed Muhammad. Such suspicions were reinforced by the movement of enemy troops towards the strongholds of the Qurayza. Muhammad became anxious about their conduct, and realized the grave potential danger the Qurayza posed. Because of his pact with the Qurayza, he had not bothered to make defensive preparations along the Muslims' border with the tribe. The Qurayza also possessed weaponry: 1,500 swords, 2,000 lances, 300 suits of armor, and 500 shields.

Muhammad sent three leading Muslims to bring him details of the recent developments. He advised the men to openly declare their findings, should they find the Banu Qurayza to be loyal, so as to increase the morale of the Muslim fighters. However, he warned against spreading the news of a possible breach of the pact on the Qurayza's part, so as to avoid any panic within Muslim ranks.

The leaders found that the pact indeed had been renounced and tried in vain to convince the Qurayza to revert by reminding them of the fate of the Banu Nadir and Banu Qaynuqa at the hands of the Prophet. The findings of the leaders were signaled to Muhammad in a metaphor: "Adal and Qarah". Because the people of Adal and Qarah had betrayed the Muslims and killed them at the opportune moment, Maududi believes the metaphor means the Qurayza were thought to be about to do the same.

Crisis in Medina
The Prophet Muhammad attempted to hide his knowledge of the activities of Banu Qurayza; however, rumors soon spread of a massive assault on the city of Medina from Qurayza's side which severely demoralized the Medinans.

The Muslims found themselves in greater difficulties by day. Food was running short, and nights were colder. The lack of sleep made matters worse. So tense was the situation that, for the first time, the canonical daily prayers were neglected by the Muslim community. Only at night, when the attacks stopped due to darkness, could they resume their regular worship. According to Ibn Ishaq, the situation became serious and fear was everywhere.

although, it is not confirmed that the Muslims stopped praying the 5 time regular prayers, because that's what they were fighting for in the first place, we find example of: 1. Imam Hussain grandson of the prophet praying in Karballa despite the Arrow attacks being carried out by the enemy, some of his sahaba climbed their horses, some sat between those horses to shield the jama'at from arrows so that they could complete the Fajr Prayer.]

Quran describes the situation in surah Al-Ahzab:

“ Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah! In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking. And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!" Behold! A party among them said: "Ye men of Yathrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!" And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying, "Truly our houses are bare and exposed," though they were not exposed they intended nothing but to run away. And if an entry had been effected to them from the sides of the (city), and they had been incited to sedition, they would certainly have brought it to pass, with none but a brief delay! ... They think that the Confederates have not withdrawn; and if the Confederates should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the Bedouins, and seeking news about you (from a safe distance); and if they were in your midst, they would fight but little... When the Believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: "This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience. [Qur'an 33:10–22 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)] ”

Muslim response
Immediately after hearing the rumors about the Qurayza , Muhammad had sent 100 men to the inner city for protection. Later he sent 300 horsemen (cavalry was not needed at the trench) as well to protect the city. The loud voices, in which the troops prayed every night, created the illusion of a large force.

The crisis showed Muhammad that many of his men had reached the limits of their endurance. He sent a word to Ghatafan, trying to pay for their defection and offering them a third of Medina's date harvest if they withdrew. Although the Ghatafan demanded half, they eventually agreed to negotiating with Muhammad on those terms. Before Muhammad began the order of drafting the agreement, he consulted the Medinan leaders. They sharply rejected the terms of the agreement, protesting Medina had never sunk to such levels of ignominy. The negotiations were broken off. While the Ghatafan did not retreat they had compromised themselves by entering negotiations in with Medina, and Confederacy's internal dissension had increased.

According to historian Ibn Ishaq, at about that point, Muhammad received a visit from Nuaym ibn Masud, an Arab leader well respected by the entire confederacy, but who had secretly converted to Islam. Muhammad asked him to end the siege by creating discord amongst Confederates.

Nuaym then came up with an efficient stratagem. He first went to the Banu Qurayza and warned them about the intentions of the rest of the Confederacy. If the siege fails, he said, the Confederacy will not be afraid to abandon the Jews, leaving them at the mercy of Muhammad. The Qurayza should thus demand Confederate leaders as hostages in return for cooperation. This advice touched the fears the Qurayza had harbored.

Next Nuaym went to Abu Sufyan, the Confederate leader, warning him that the Qurayza had defected to Muhammad. He stated that the Jewish tribe intended to ask the Confederacy of hostages, ostensibly in return for cooperation, but really to handover to Muhammad. Thus the Confederacy should not give a single man as hostage. Nuaym repeated the same message to other tribes in the Confederacy.

Collapse of the Confederacy
Nuaym's stratagem worked. After consulting, the Confederate leaders sent Ikrimah to the Qurayza, signaling a united invasion of Medina. The Qurayza, however, demanded hostages as a guarantee that the Confederacy would not desert them. The Confederacy, considering that the Qurayza might give the hostage to Muhammad, refused. Messages were repeatedly sent back and forth between the parties, but each held to its position stubbornly.

Abu Sufyan summoned Huyayy ibn Akhtab, informing him of Qurayza's response. Huyayy was taken aback, and Abu Sufyan branded him as a "traitor". Fearing for his life, Huyayy fled to the Qurayza's strongholds.

The Bedouins, the Ghatafan and other Confederates from Najd had already been compromised by Muhammad's negotiations. They had taken part in the expedition in hopes of plunder, rather than any particular prejudice against Islam. They lost hope as chances of success dwindled, uninterested in continuing the siege. The two confederate armies were marked by recriminations and mutual distrust.

The provisions of the Confederate armies were running out. Horses and camels were dying out of hunger and wounds. For days the weather had been exceptionally cold and wet. Violent winds blew out the camp fires, taking away from the Confederate army their source of heat. The Muslim camp, however, was sheltered by such winds. During the night the Confederate armies withdrew, and by morning the ground was cleared of all enemy forces.

Aftermath: Siege and demise of the Banu Qurayza
Main article: Banu Qurayza
Following the retreat of the Confederate army, the Banu Qurayza neighbourhoods were besieged by the Muslims, in revenge for their treachery. After a 25 day siege of their neighbourhood the Banu Qurayza unconditionally surrendered. When the Banu Qurayza tribe surrendered, the Muslim army seized their stronghold and their possessions. On the request of the Banu Aus, who were allied to the Qurayza, Muhammad chose one of them, Sa'ad ibn Mu'adh, as an arbitrator to pronounce judgment upon them. Sa'ad, who would later die of his wounds from the battle, decided the men shall be killed and women and children enslaved. Muhammad approved of this decision, and the next day the sentence was carried out.

The men - numbering between 400 and 900 - were bound and placed under the custody of Muhammad ibn Maslamah, while the women and children were placed under Abdullah ibn Salam, a former rabbi who had converted to Islam.

Ibn Ishaq describes the killing of the Banu Qurayza men as follows:

“ Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, 'Will you never understand? Don't you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!' This went on until the apostle made an end of them. Huyayy was brought out wearing a flowered robe in which he had made holes about the size of the finger-tips in every part so that it should not be taken from him as spoil, with his hands bound to his neck by a rope. When he saw the apostle he said, 'By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken.' Then he went to the men and said, 'God's command is right. A book and a decree, and massacre have been written against the Sons of Israel.' Then he sat down and his head was struck off. ”

Several accounts note Muhammad's companions as executioners, Ali and Al-Zubayr in particular, and that each clan of the Aws was also charged with killing a group of Qurayza men.

It is also reported that one woman, who had thrown a millstone from the battlements during the siege and killed one of the Muslim besiegers, was also beheaded along with the men. Ibn Asakir writes in his History of Damascus that the Banu Kilab, a clan of Arab clients of the Banu Qurayza, were killed alongside the Jewish tribe.

The spoils of battle, including the enslaved women and children of the tribe, were divided up among the Islamic warriors that had participated in the siege and among the emigrees from Mecca (who had hitherto depended on the help of the Muslims native to Medina.

The Prophet took a fifth of the booty for himself, as was customary among Muslims.

As part of his share of the spoils, Muhammad selected one of the women, Rayhana, for himself and took her as part of his booty. Muhammad offered to free and marry her and according to some sources she accepted his proposal, while according to others she rejected it and remained the Prophet's slave. She is said to have later become a Muslim.

Scholars argue that Muhammad had already decided upon this judgment before the Qurayza's surrender, and that Sa'ad was putting his allegiance to the Muslim community above that to his tribe. One reason cited by some for such punishment is that Muhammad's previous clemency towards defeated foes was in contradiction to Arab and Jewish laws of the time, and was seen as a sign of weakness. Others see the punishment as a response to what was perceived as an act of treason by the Qurayza since they betrayed their joint defense pact with Muhammad by supposedly giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the Muslims.

However, There are many Muslim sources which do actually talk about Banu Qurayza and Banu Nudir "fought against the Messenger of Allah"

Most Muslims deny this and say that the banu Qurayza was only given a tax.

The failure of the siege marked the beginning of Muhammad's undoubted political ascendancy in the city of Medina. The Meccans had exerted their utmost strength to dislodge Muhammad from Medina, and this defeat caused them to lose their trade with Syria and much of their prestige with it. Watt conjectures that the Meccans at this point began to contemplate that conversion to Islam would be the most prudent option. From the magnitude of the defeated army, it had become clear that the Arab military forces regardless of size would not be able to hold off Islam.

See also: Historicity of Muhammad
The main contemporary source of the battle is the Surah 33rd of Quran. Although Quran doesn't speak about the events, it reveals psychological and social situation of people of Medina and different approaches toward the battle among them.[citation needed] The most trustworthy source for reconstruction of the life of the historical Muhammad is the Quran. The Qur'an in its actual form is generally considered by non-Muslim academic scholars to record the words spoken by Muhammad because the search for variants in Western academia has not yielded any differences of great significance.

Next in importance are the historical works by writers of third and fourth century of the Muslim era. These include the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him (the sira and hadith literature), which provide further information on Muhammad's life. The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written some 120 to 130 years after Muhammad's death. Although the original work is lost, portions of it survive in the recensions of Ibn Hisham and Al-Tabari. Another early source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by al-Waqidi (d. 823).

# Battle of Khaybar

The Battle of Khaybar was fought in the year 629 between Prophet Muhammad and his followers against the Jews living in the oasis of Khaybar, located 150 kilometers (95 miles) from Medina in the north-western part of the Arabian peninsula, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. According to Muslim sources, the Muslims attacked Jews who had barricaded themselves in a fort.

On the reasons for the attack, Scottish historian William Montgomery Watt notes the presence in Khaybar of the Banu Nadir, who were inciting hostilities along with neighboring Arab tribes against Muhammad. Contemporary scholar Laura Veccia Vaglieri, while giving full credence to Watt's view, points out other reasons such as Muhammad's raising his prestige among his followers, as well as his capturing booty to sustain subsequent conquests.

The Jews of Khaybar finally surrendered and were allowed to live in the oasis on the condition that they would give one-half of their produce to the Muslims. Jews continued to live in the oasis for several more years until they were finally expelled by caliph Umar. The imposition of tribute upon the conquered Jews served as a precedent for provisions in the Islamic law requiring the exaction of tribute known as jizya from non-Muslims under Muslim rule, and confiscation of land belonging to non-Muslims into the collective property of the Muslim community. In return, non-Muslim citizens were permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to Muslim state's protection from outside aggression, and to be exempted from military service and the Zakat, which is obligatory upon Muslim citizens.

In the 7th century, Khaybar was inhabited by Jews. The inhabitants had stored in a redoubt at Khaybar a siege-engine, swords, lances, shields and other weaponry. In the past some scholars attempted to explain the presence of the weapons, suggesting that they were used for settling quarrels among the families of the community. Vaglieri suggests that it is more logical to assume that the weapons were stored in a depôt for future sale. Similarly the Jews kept 20 bales of cloth and 500 cloaks for sale, and other luxury goods. These commercial activities as a cause of hostility, Vaglieri argues, are similar to the economic causes behind persecutions in many other countries throughout history.

The oasis was divided into three regions: al-Natat, al-Shikk, and al-Katiba, probably separated by natural divisions, such as the desert, lava drifts, and swamps. Each of these regions contained several fortresses or redoubts including homes, storehouses and stables. Each fortress was occupied by a separate family and surrounded by cultivated fields and palm-groves. In order to improve their defensive capabilities, the fortresses were raised up on hills or basalt rocks.

After they were sent into exile in 625, the Banu Nadir had settled in Khaybar. In 627, the Nadir chief Huyayy ibn Akhtab together with his son joined the Meccans and Bedouins besieging Medina during the Battle of the Trench. In addition, the Nadir paid Arabian tribes to go to war against the Muslims. Bribing Banu Ghatafan with half their harvest, Banu Nadir secured 2,000 men 300 horsemen from the tribe to attack Muhammad, and similarly persuaded the Bani Asad. They attempted to get the Banu Sulaym to attack the Muslims, but the tribe gave them only 700 men, since some of its leaders were sympathetic towards Islam; the Bani Amir refused to join them all together, as they had a pact with Muhammad. Once the battle started, Huyayy ibn Akhtab persuaded the Banu Qurayza to go against their covenant with Muhammad and turn against him during the battle. After defeat of the confederates in the battle and Qurayza's subsequent surrender, Huyayy (who was at that time in the Qurayza strongholds of Medina) was killed alongside the men of the Qurayza. After the death of Huyayy, Abu al-Rafi ibn Abi al-Huqayq took charge of the Banu Nadir at Khaybar. Al-Huqayq soon approached neighboring tribes to raise an army against Muhammad. After learning this, the Muslims, aided by an Arab with a Jewish dialect, assassinated him.

Al-Huqayq was succeeded by Usayr ibn Zarim. It has been recorded by one source that Usayr also approached the Ghatafan and rumors spread that he intended to attack the "capital of Muhammad". The latter sent Abdullah bin Rawaha with a number of his companions, among whom were Abdullah bin Unays, an ally of Banu Salima, a clan hostile to the Jews. When they came to him they spoke to him and treated him saying that if he would come to Muhammad he would give him an appointment and honour him. They kept on at him until he went with them with a number of Jews. Abdullah bin Unays mounted him on his beast until when he was in al-Qarqara, about six miles from Khaybar, Usayr changed his mind about going with them. Abdullah perceived his intention as he was preparing to draw his sword so he rushed at him and struck him with his sword cutting off his leg. Usayr hit him with a stick of shauhat wood which he had in his hand and wounded his head. All Muhammad's emissaries fell upon the thirty Jewish companions and killed them except one man who escaped on his feet. Abdullah bin Unays is the assassin who volunteered and got permission to kill Banu Nadir's Sallam ibn Abu al-Huqayq at a previous night mission in Khaybar.

Many scholars have considered the above machinations of the Nadir as a reason for the battle. According to Montgomery Watt, their intriguing and use of their wealth to incite tribes against Muhammad left him no choice to attack; Vaglieri concurs that one reason for attack was that the Jews of Khaybar were responsible for the Confederates that attacked Muslims during the Battle of the Trench. Shibli Numani also sees Khaybar's actions during the Battle of the Trench, and draws particular attention to Banu Nadir's leader Huyayy ibn Akhtab, who had gone to the Banu Qurayza during the battle to instigate them to attack Muhammad.

Treaty of Hudaybiyya
See also: Treaty of Hudaybiyya
In 628, when the Muslims attempted to perform the pilgrimage, After much negotiations, the Muslims entered a peace treaty with the Quraysh, ending the Muslim-Quraysh wars. Some of his followers, however, were discontent at the terms Muhammad had agreed to.

Scholars agree that Muhammad's need to raise his prestige amongst his followers, which had been eroded by the Treaty, was one reason for the battle. Vaglieri also argues that the conquest of Khaybar would satisfy those Muslims who had hoped to conquer Mecca, as well as bring in army and money. Stillman adds that Muhammad needed the victory to show the Bedouins, who were not strongly tied to the rest of the Muslim community, that the alliance with him would pay off. In addition, the treaty also gave Muhammad the assurance of not being attacked in the rear by the Meccans during the expedition.

Political situation
As war with Muhammad seemed imminent, the Jews of Khaybar entered into an alliance with the Jews of Fadak oasis. They also successfully persuaded the Bedouin Ghatafan tribe to join their side in the war in exchange for half their produce. However, the lack of central authority at Khaybar prevented any further defensive preparations, and quarrels between different families left the Jews disorganized. The Banu Fazara, related to the Ghatafan, also offered their assistance to Khaybar, after their unsuccessful negotiations with the Muslims.

Course of battle
Before the battle, the people of Khaybar no doubt knew of the war. The Muslims set out for Khaybar in May 628, Muharram 7 AH. According to different sources, the strength of his army varied from 1,400 to 1,800 men and between 100 and 200 horses. Some Muslim women (including Umm Salama) also joined the army, in order to take care of the wounded. Compared to the Khaybarian fighting strength of 10,000, the Muslim contingent was small, but this gave Muslims advantages. It allowed Muslims to swiftly and quietly march to Khaybar (in only three days), catching the city by surprise. It also made Khaybar over-confident in themselves. As a result, the Jews failed to mount a centrally organized defense, leaving each family to defend its own fortified redoubt.

The Jews, going on the offensive, charged from Natat attacking the Muslim army's flanks. When the Muslims started their operations they met with much opposition In particular from Khabarian archers, the best in Arabia, who wounded more than 50 Muslims. Five days of fighting resulted in no achievements. On the night of the sixth, Umar caught a Jewish spy, who advised Muslims that they should attack the fort of Naim.

Storming Naim
The advantages of attacking Naim was that it wasn't well-guarded and could fall with the least effort. In addition it had a stockpile of weapons (especially siege engines) stored, that could be used against the more well-defended forts. Muhammad sent various contingents to attack the fort, first under Abu Bakr who failed,later led by Umar who also failed, and finally under the champion warrior Ali. Duels took place between Ali and Marhab, the chief of the fort, and between Zubayr and Yasir (Marhab's brother) - both resulting in Muslim victory. Ali incredibly managed to seize a portal on himself, which according to islamic sources, would take between 40 to 45 people to move it. He then used it as a bridge to bring his men into the fort. Fighting inside the fort continued, until the Jewish leader Al-Harith ibn Abi Zaynab was killed in combat.

When the fort fell, Muslims recovered various siege machines. Among them was a ballista for hurling projectiles, and two testudos that could bring men to the walls so they could breach an entrance.

Failure of Banu Ghatafan
Knowing the outcome of Muhammad's battles with other Jewish tribes, the Jews of Khaybar put up fierce resistance, and the Muslims were forced to take the fortresses one by one. During the battle, the Muslims were able to prevent Khaybar's Ghatafan allies (consisting of 4,000 men) from providing them with reinforcements. One reason given is that the Muslims were able to buy off the Bedouin allies of the Jews. Watt, however, also suggests that rumors of a Muslim attack on Ghatafan strongholds might also have played a role.

The Jews, after a rather bloody skirmish in front of one of the fortresses, avoided combat in the open country. Most of the fighting consisted of shooting arrows at a great distance. On at least one occasion the Muslims were able to storm the fortresses. The besieged Jews managed to organize, under the cover of darkness, the transfer of people and treasures from one fortress to another as needed to make their resistance more effective.

Neither the Jews nor the Muslims were prepared for an extended siege, and both suffered from a lack of provisions. The Jews, initially overconfident in their strength, failed to prepare even enough water supplies for a short siege.

After the forts at an-Natat and those at ash-Shiqq were captured, there remained the last and the heavily guarded fortress called al-Qamus, the siege of which lasted almost a month. Several attempts by Muslims to capture this citadel in some single combat, failed. All this time Ali, son-inlaw and cousin of Prophet Muhammad, was ill and could not participate in the failed attempts. Now Prophet Muhammad called for Ali to capture the citadel. Harith, a Jewish champion who have severely repulsed the previous attacks, stepped forward and was killed by Ali. Then followed his brother Marhab, a famed Arab warrior, who was again killed by Ali and the citadel was conquered... "The Apostle revived their (his followers) faith by the example of Ali, on whom he bestowed the surname of the Lion of God"

The Jews speedily met with Muhammad to discuss the terms of surrender. The people of al-Waṭī and al-Sulālim surrendered to the Muslims on the condition that they be "treated leniently" and the Muslims refrain from shedding their blood. Muhammad agreed to these conditions and did not take any of the property of these two forts.

Muhammad met with Ibn Abi al-Huqaiq, al-Katibah and al-Watih to discuss the terms of surrender. As part of the agreement, the Jews of Khaybar were to evacuate the area, and surrender their wealth. The Muslims, would cease warfare, and not hurt any of the Jews. After the agreement some Jews approached Muhammad, with a request to continue to cultivate their fine orchards, and remain in the oasis. In return, they would give one-half of their produce to the Muslims. Muhammad accepted the proposal. He also ordered the restitution to the Jews of their holy scriptures.

According to Ibn Hisham's version of the pact with Khaybar, it was concluded on the condition that the Muslims "may expel you [Jews of Khaybar] if and when we wish to expel you." Norman Stillman believes that this is probably a later interpolation intended to justify the expulsion of Jews in 642. The agreement with the Jews of Khaybar served as an important precedent for Islamic Law in determining the status of dhimmis, (non-Muslims under Muslim rule).

After hearing about this battle, the people of Fadak, allied with Khaybar during the battle, sent Muḥayyisa b. Masūd to Muhammad. Fadak offered to be "treated leniently" in return for surrender. A treaty similar to that of Khaybar was drawn with Fadak as well.

Among the Jewish women there was one who was chosen by Muhammad as wife. It was Safiyya bint Huyayy, daughter of the killed Banu Nadir chief Huyayy ibn Akhtab and widow of Kinana ibn al-Rabi, the treasurer of Banu Nadir. According to Ibn Ishaq, when Muhammad asked him to locate the tribe's treasure, al-Rabi denied knowing where it was breaking the surrender treaty. A Jew told Muhammad that he had seen Al-Rabi near a certain ruin every morning. When the ruin was excavated, it was found to contain some of the treasure. Muhammad ordered Al-Zubayr to interrogate al-Rabi until he revealed the location of the rest, then handed him to Muhammad ibn Maslamah, whose brother had died in the battle, to be beheaded. However, the authour of this event states that he had gotten it from an unnamed source, hence Muslims have deemned it unauthentic.

Muslim biographers of Muhammad tell a story that a Jewish woman of the Banu Nadir tribe attempted to poison Muhammad to avenge her slain relatives. She poisoned a piece of lamb that she cooked for Muhammad and his companion, putting especially much poison into the shoulder — Muhammad's favorite part of lamb. The attempt on Muhammad's life failed because he reportedly spat out the meat, feeling that it was poisoned, while his companion ate the meat and died. Muhammad's companions reported that, on his deathbed, Muhammad said that his illness was the result of that poisoning.

The victory in Khaybar greatly raised the status of Muhammad among his followers and, local Bedouin tribes, who, seeing his power, swore allegiance to Muhammad and converted to Islam. The captured booty and weapons strengthened his army, and he captured Mecca just 18 months after Khaybar.

The battle in classic Islamic literature
The traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad report that in one of the fortresses, first Abu Bakr, then Umar, took up the standard in the hope of breaking down their resistance, by putting themselves at the head of the attacks, but both failed. According to this tradition, Muhammad then called for Ali, who killed a Jewish chieftain with a sword-stroke, which split in two the helmet, the head and the body of the victim. Having lost his shield, Ali is said to have lifted both of the doors of the fortress from its hinges, climbed into the moat and held them up to make a bridge whereby the attackers gained access to the redoubt. The door was so heavy that forty men were required to put it back in place. This story is one basis for the Muslim view, especially in Shi'a Islam, of Ali as the prototype of heroes.

On one occasion, Muslim soldiers killed and cooked a score of donkeys, which had escaped from a farm. The incident led Muhammad to forbid to Muslims the meat of horses, mules, and donkeys, unless consumption was forced by necessity. The Jews surrendered when after a month and a half of the siege, all but two fortresses were captured by the Muslims.

# Battle of Hunayn

The Battle of Hunain was fought between Muhammad and his followers against the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin and its subsection the Thaqif in 630 in a valley on one of the roads leading from Mecca to al-Ta'if. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims, who captured enormous spoils. The Battle of Hunayn is one of only two battles mentioned in the Qur'an by name, in Sura Qur'an 9:2.

The Hawazin and their allies, the Thaqif, began mobilizing their forces when they learnt from their spies that Muhammad and his army had departed from Medina to begin an assault on Mecca. The confederates apparently hoped to attack the Muslim army while it besieged Mecca. Muhammad, however, uncovered their intentions through his own spies in the camp of the Hawazin, and marched against the Hawazin just two weeks after the conquest of Mecca with a force of 12,000 men. Only four weeks had elapsed since quitting Medina.

Course of the battle
The Bedouin commander Malik ibn Awf al-Nasri ambushed the Muslims at a place where the road to al-Taif enters winding gorges; the Muslims, surprised by the assault of the Bedouin cavalry, who they thought were encamped at Awtas, began retreating in disarray. Modern historians have been unable to fully reconstruct the course of the battle from this point onwards because the different Muslim sources describing the battle give contradictory accounts.

Flight of the Army


Because Malik ibn Awf al-Nasri had brought the families and flocks of the Hawazin along, the Muslims were able to capture huge spoils, consisting of 6,000 women and children and 24,000 camels. Some Bedouins fled, and split into two groups. One group went back, resulting in the Battle of Autas, while the larger group found refuge at al-Ta'if, where Muhammad besieged them.

# Battle of Tabouk

The Battle of Tabouk (also called the Battle of Tabuk) was a military expedition said to have been led by Muhammed in October, AD 630. According to Muslim biographies, Muhammed led a force of as many as 30,000 north to Tabouk in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia, with the intention of engaging the Byzantine army. Though not a battle in the typical sense, if historical the event would represent the opening conflict in the coming Byzantine-Arab wars. There is no contemporary Byzantine account of the events, and much of the details come from later Muslim sources. Noting this, as well as the fact that the armies never met, some Western scholars have questioned the authenticity of the details surrounding the event; though in the Arab world it is widely held as historical.

The expedition is said to have taken place in the 9th year of the Muslim calendar. According to Ar-Rahīq al-Makhtum, a modern Islamic hagiography of Muhammad written by the Indian Muslim author Saif ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Heraclius, then the Byzantine emperor, had decided that reducing the growing Muslim power had become an urgent necessity and the conquest of Arabia should, in his opinion, be achieved before the Muslims became too powerful to conquer and raise troubles and unrest in the adjacent Arab territories. According to the Muslim accounts, the Emperor was rumored to have mustered a huge army of Byzantine soldiers and pro-Roman Ghassanid tribes to launch a decisive military attack against the Muslims.

Many rumors of the danger threatening the Muslims was carried to Mecca by Nabateans who traded from Syria to Medina. They carried rumors of Heraclius' preparations and the existence of an enormous army said to number anywhere from 40,000 to several 100,000 besides the Lakhm, Judham and other Arab tribes allied to the Byzantines.

Muhammad, deciding that it might be worthwhile and precautionary to investigate the possible danger, announced plans to raise an army for an expedition to Syria. Though in a famine and lacking funds, all who could contributed what they could. Eventually they set out.

Muhammad marched northwards to Tabouk. The army of 30,000 was a great one, when compared with the previous armies of Islam. Muslims had never marched with such a great number before.

After arriving at Tabouk and camping there, Muhammad's army was prepared to face the Byzantines. However the Byzantines were not at Tabouk. They stayed there for a number of days and scouted the area but they never came. It was rumoured Heraclius was in Hims at that time. According to some Muslim historians, upon learning of Muhammad's march north, the Byzantines and their allies probably withdrew without a fight. It should also be noted that in 630, Heraclius marched barefoot as a pious Christian pilgrim into Jerusalem and restored the True Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Nevertheless, it is sometimes claimed that this expedition brought, in itself, credit to the Muslim forces that had gained military reputation in the remote lands of the Arabian Peninsula.

The local tribes gave their allegiance to Muhammad and agreed to the payment of the jizyah protection tribute. Yahna bin Rawbah, came to Muhammad and made peace with him, paying him the jizyah and Muhammad in return gave each tribe a letter of guarantee, similar to Yahna's. This letter especially guaranteed the Freedom to practice Religion.

The strategic long term consequence of the battle was that many Arab tribes now abandoned the Byzantines and joined with Muhammad, enlarging the Muslim state.


Bowersock, Glen Warren, Peter Robert Lamont Brown and Oleg Grabar Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World (1999, Harvard University Press) p. 597, which notes that many of the details surrounding Muhammad's life as given in the biographies, are "probelmatic in certain respects, the most important of which is that they represent a tradition of living narrative that is likely to have developed orally for a considerable period before it was given even a relatively fixed written form. Ideally, one would like to be able to check such accounts against contemporary evidence... however, there is no relevant archaeological, epigraphic, or numismatic evidence dating from the time of Muhammad, nor are there any references to him in non-Muslim sources dating from the period before 632." Also cf. El-Cheikh, Nadia Maria Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs (2004, Harvard University Press) p. 5, "One major challenge to examining initial contacts between Byzantium and the early Muslim umma arises from the controversy surrounding the traditional Islamic account... ...sources are not contemporaneous with the events they purport to relate and sometimes were written many centuries later. These sources contain internal complexitites, anachronisms, discrepancies, and contradictions. Moreover, many of them provide evidence of embelleshment and invention that were introduced to serve the purposes of political or religious apologetic."

# Battle of Mu'tah

The Battle of Mu'tah was fought in 629 (5 Jumada al-awwal 8 AH in the Islamic calendar), near the village of Mu'tah, east of the Jordan River and Karak, between an army of the Rashidun Caliphate and an army of the Byzantine Empire.

In Muslim histories, the battle is usually described as the Muslims' attempt to take retribution against a Ghassanid chief for taking the life of an emissary; it ended in a draw and the safe retreat of both sides.

The Treaty of Hudaybiyah initiated a truce between the Muslim forces in Medina and the Qurayshite forces in control of Mecca. Badhan, the Sassanid governor of Yemen, had converted to Islam and many of the southern Arabian tribes also joined the rising power in Medina. Muhammad was therefore free to focus on the Arab tribes in the Bilad al-Sham to the North.

Muslim historians say that the immediate impetus for a military march north was the mistreatment of emissaries. Muhammad is said to have sent emissaries to the nomadic Banu Sulaym and Dhat al Talh tribes of the north (tribes under the protection of the Byzantines). The emissaries were killed. The expedition sent for revenge was the largest Muslim army raised yet against a non-Meccan confederate force and would be the first to confront the Byzantines. According to F. Buhl, another possible reason "seems to have been that he wished to bring the (Christian or pagan) Arabs living there under his control."

Mobilization of the armies
According to later Muslim historians, Prophet Muhammad dispatched 3,000 of his troops to the area in Jumada al-awwal of the year 8 A.H. 629, for a quick expedition to attack and punish the tribes. The army was led by Zayd ibn Haritha; the second-in-command was Jafar ibn Abi Talib and the third-in-command was Abdullah ibn Rawahah.

The leader of the Ghassanids is said to have received word of the expedition and prepared his forces; he also sent to the Byzantines for aid. Muslim historians report that the Byzantine emperor Heraclius gathered an army and hurried to the aid of his Arab allies. Other sources say that the leader was the emperor's brother, Theodorus.[citation needed] The combined force of Roman soldiers and Arab allies is usually reported to be approximately 200,000 according to Muslim sources.

When the Muslim troops arrived at the area to the east of Jordan and learnt of the size of the Byzantine army, they wanted to wait and send for reinforcements from Medina. Abdullah ibn Rawahah scolded them for their timidity, so they continued marching towards the waiting army.

The battle
The Muslims engaged the Byzantines at their camp by the village of Musharif and then withdrew towards Mu'tah. It was here that the two armies fought. Some Muslim sources report that the battle was fought in a valley between two heights, which negated the Byzantines their numerical superiority. During the battle, all three Muslim leaders fell one after the other as they took command of the force: first, Zayd ibn Haritha, then Jafar ibn Abi Talib, then Abdullah ibn Rawahah. Al-Bukhari reported that there were fifty stab wounds in Jafar's body, none of them in the back. After the death of the latter, some of the Muslim soldiers began to rout. Thabit ibn Arkan, seeing the desperate state of the Muslim forces, took up the banner and rallied his comrades, and managed to save the army from complete destruction. After the battle the troops asked Thabit ibn Arkan to assume command; however, he declined and asked Khalid ibn al-Walid to take the lead.

Khalid ibn Al-Walid reported that the fighting was so intense that he used nine swords which broke in the battle. Al-Walid, seeing that the situation was hopeless, prepared to withdraw. He continued to engage the Byzantines in skirmishes, but avoided pitched battle. One night he completely changed his troop positions and brought forth a rearguard that he had equipped with new banners; all this was intended to give the impression that reinforcements had arrived from Medina. He also ordered his cavalry to retreat behind a hill during the night, hiding their movements, and then to return during daytime when the battle resumed, raising as much dust as they could. This also was intended to create the impression that further reinforcements were arriving. The Byzantines believed in the fictitious reinforcements and withdrew, thus allowing the Muslim force to safely retreat to Medina.

Military commentators on the battle have often praised the skirmishing tactics of Khalid ibn al-Walid. neutrality is disputed][who?][dubious – discuss]


When the Muslim force arrived at Medina, they were berated for withdrawing and accused of fleeing. Salamah ibn Hisham is reported to have avoided going to the mosque to avoid having to explain himself. Prophet Muhammad ordered them to stop, saying that they would return to fight the Byzantines again and bestowed upon Khalid the title of 'Saifullah' meaning 'The Sword of Allah'.

Today, Muslims who fell at the battle are considered martyrs (shahid), by some/many. Some have claimed that this battle, far from being a defeat, was a strategic success; the Muslims had challenged the Byzantines and had made their presence felt amongst the Arab Bedouin tribes in the region. A mausoleum was later built at Mu'tah over their grave.

Criticism of the traditional Muslim accounts
Aside from the Muslim accounts, there may be a reference to the battle in the chronicle written by ninth century Byzantine monk and chronicler Theophanes.

According to Theophanes, the Muslim army intended to attack the local Arabs on a feast day (the word that Theophanes used most likely indicates a pagan rather than a Christian holiday). However, the vicar Theodorus learnt about their plans and gathered a force from the garrisons of local fortresses. He fell upon the Muslims and routed them; three of the Muslim leaders were killed, and only Khalid ibn al-Walid managed to escape with the rest of the army. It has been argued by some scholars such as Walter Kaegi, that this is a reference to the Battle of Mu'tah, but this is not certain.

Fred Donner, author of The Early Islamic Conquests, argues that Muhammad sent his troops on numerous raids into Byzantine territory: Dhat al-Atla, Mut'ah, Dhat al-Salasil, Tabuk, and Dumat al-Jandal. Donner writes of Muhammad's aims in these raids:

'He probably had as his immediate objective the subjugation of Arabic-speaking nomadic tribes living in the northern Hijaz and southern Syria, or at least the extension of Medina's influence sufficiently to bring these tribes into alliance with the Islamic state.' (p. 102)
Donner terms the raid upon Mut'ah a failure. He writes:

'Both the Bani Judham and the Bani Lakhm were among the Byzantine allies that defeated the Muslims at Mu'tah in A.H. 8/A.D. 629.' (p. 105)

# Siege of Ta'if

The Siege of Taif took place in 630 CE, as the Muslims besieged the city of Taif after their victory in the Battle of Hunayn and Autas. However, the city did not succumb to the siege. One of their chieftains, Urwah ibn Mas'ud, was absent in Yemen during that siege.

Sunni sources state regarding the Siege of Ta'if:

Abu Sufyan ibn Harb lost his first eye in the Siege of Taif. He told Muhammad of his loss for Allah to which Muhammad said “Which would you prefer: An eye in heaven or shall I pray to Allah that he brings it back?” To this Abu Sufyan said he would rather have his eye in heaven. He lost his other eye in the Battle of Yarmouk.

Although the siege was unsuccessful, the inhabitants of Ta'if, the Banu Thaqif, sent a delegation to Mecca shortly after the siege; this resulted in them adopting Islam.


# List of Expeditions


Sariyyah (expeditions which he ordered but did not take part)
Ghazwah (expeditions which he ordered and took part)

Ghazwah (expeditions where he took part)
Caravan Raids •Waddan •Buwat •Safwan •Dul Ashir •1st Badr •Kudr •Sawiq •Qaynuqa •Ghatafan •Bahran •Uhud •Al-Asad •Nadir •Invasion of Nejd •2nd Badr •1st Jandal •Trench •Qurayza •2nd Lahyan •Mustaliq •Hudaybiyyah •Khaybar •Conquest of Fidak •3rd Qura •Dhat al-Riqa •Baqra •Mecca •Hunayn •Autas •Ta'if •Tabouk

Sariyyah (expeditions which he ordered)
Nakhla •Nejd •1st Asad •1st Lahyan •Al Raji •Umayyah •Bir Maona •Assassination of Abu Rafi •Maslamah •2nd Asad •1st Thalabah •2nd Thalabah •Dhu Qarad •Jumum •Al-Is •3rd Thalabah •Hisma •1st Qura •2nd Jandal •1st Ali •2nd Qura •Uraynah •Rawaha •Umar •Abu Bakr •Murrah •Uwal •3rd Fadak •Yemen •Sulaym •Kadid •Banu Layth •Amir •Dhat Atlah •Mu'tah •Amr •Abu Ubaidah •Abi Hadrad •Edam •Khadirah •1st Khalid ibn Walid •Demolition of Suwa •Demolition of Manat •2nd Khalid ibn Walid •Demolition of Yaghuth •1st Autas •2nd Autas •Banu Tamim •Banu Khatham •Banu Kilab •Jeddah •3rd Ali •Udhrah •3rd Khalid ibn Walid •4th Khalid ibn Walid •Abu Sufyan •Jurash •5th Khalid ibn Walid •2nd Ali •3rd Ali •Dhul Khalasa •Army of Usama (Final Expedition)

Muhammad's order and reason for expedition
Notable Primary sources

1 Al Is Caravan Raid 623  Raid Quraysh caravan to relieve themselves from poverty None
 Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

2 Batn Rabigh Caravan Raid 623  Raid Quraysh caravan to relieve themselves from poverty None, caravan left
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:57:74
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

3 Kharar Caravan Raid May & June 623  Attack a Quraysh caravan None, caravan left
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

4 Invasion of Waddan August 623  Attack a Quraysh caravan which included camels Unknown
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

5 Invasion of Buwat October 623  Raid a Quraysh caravan which included 200 camels None, caravan left
 Sahih Muslim, 42:7149
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

6 Invasion of Dul Ashir December 623  Attack a Quraysh caravan None, caravan left
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

7 Invasion of Safwan 623  To pursue Kurz bin Jabir Al-Fihri who led a small group that looted Muhammad's animals None, enemy escaped
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

8 Nakhla Raid January 624 Attack a Quraysh caravan and gather information Muslims: 0 Casualties
Non-Muslims: 1 killed, 2 captured
 [Quran 2:217]
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah

9 Battle of Badr March 624  Raid a Quraysh caravan carrying 50,000 gold Dinars guarded by 40 men, and to further Muslim political, economic and military position Muslims: 14 killed
Non-Muslims: 70 killed, 30-47 captured
 [Quran 8:47], [Quran 68:25], [Quran 8:5], [Quran 8:6] and more
Sahih Bukhari, Sunan Abu Dawud
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

10 Assassination of Asma bint Marwan January 624  Kill 'Asma' bint Marwan for opposing Muhammad with poetry and for provoking others to attack him Asma' bint Marwan assassinated
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

11 Assassination of Abu Afak February 624  Kill Abu Afak for opposing Muhammad through poetry Abu Afak assassinated
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

12 Invasion of Sawiq 624  Pursue Abu Sufyan for killing 2 Muslims and burning a corn field 2 Muslims killed
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

13 Invasion of Banu Qaynuqa February 624  Attack the Banu Qaynuqa Jews for allegedly breaking the treaty known as the Constitution of Medina by pinning the clothes of a Muslim woman, which lead to her being stripped naked Unknown, some revenge killings
 [Quran 8:58], [Quran 3:118], [Quran 3:12], [Quran 3:13]
Sahih Muslim, 19:4364
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2
Tabari, Volume 7, The foundation of the community

14 Al Kudr Invasion May 624  Surprise attack on the Banu Salim tribe for allegedly plotting to attack Medina Unknown
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

15 Invasion of Thi Amr September 624  Raid the Banu Muharib and Banu Talabah tribes after he received intelligence that they were allegedly going to raid the outskirts of Medina 1 captured by Muslims
 [Quran 5:11]
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:458
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

16 Assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf September 624  According to Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad ordered his followers to kill Ka'b because he "had gone to Mecca after Badr and inveighed against Muhammad. He also composed verses in which he bewailed the victims of Quraysh who had been killed at Badr. Shortly afterwards he returned to Medina and composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women". Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf assassinated
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:369, Sahih Muslim, 19:4436

17 Invasion of Bahran 624  Raid the Banu Sulaym tribe, no reason given in primary sources ( Possibly a continuation of the previous war) None
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

18 Nejd Caravan Raid 624  Intercept and capture Quraysh caravan and its goods 3 captured by Muslims(including guide)
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:627, Sahih Muslim, 19:4330, Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2672
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Tabari, Volume 7, The foundation of the community

19 Expedition of 'Abdullah ibn 'Atik December 624  Kill Abu Rafi' ibn Abi Al-Huqaiq for mocking Muhammad with his poetry and for helping the troops of the Confederates by providing them with money and supplies Abu Rafi assassinated
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:264, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:370, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:371, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:372 and more
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Tabari, Volume 7, The foundation of the community

20 Battle of Uhud March 23 625  Defend against Quraysh attack Muslims: 70 killed
Non-Muslims: 22 or 37 Killed
 [Quran 8:36], [Quran 3:122], [Quran 3:167]
Sahih Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal

21 Invasion of Hamra al-Asad March 625 Prevent Quraysh attack on weakened Muslim army Muslims: 2 spies killed
Non-Muslims: 3 beheaded, 3 captured
 [Quran 3:173], [Quran 3:174]
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

22 Expedition of Qatan June 625  Attack Banu Asad bin Khuzaymah tribe after receiving intelligence that they were allegedly plotting to attack Medina 3 captured by Muslims
 Sahih Muslim, 19:4330, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:627 and more
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

23 Expedition of Abdullah Ibn Unais 625  Kill Khalid bin Sufyan, because there were reports he considered an attack on Madinah and that he was inciting the people on Nakhla or Uranah to fight Muslims Khalid ibn Sufyan assassinated
 Musnad Ahmad 3:496
Abu Dawud, book 2 no.1244
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

24 Expedition of Al Raji 625  Some men requested that Muhammad send instructors to teach them Islam, but the men were bribed by the two tribes of Khuzaymah who wanted revenge for the assassination of Khalid bin Sufyan by Muhammad's followers 8 or 10 Muslims killed
 Sahih Muslim, 4:1442, Sahih Bukhari
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

25 The Mission of Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri 627  Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri sent to assassinate Abu Sufyan 3 polytheists killed by Muslims
 Tabari, Volume 7, The foundation of the community

26 Expedition of Bir Maona July 625  Muhammad sends Missionaries at request of some men from the Banu Amir tribe, but the Muslims are killed as revenge for the assassination of Khalid bin Sufyan by Muhammad's followers 70 Muslims killed
 Quran 3:169-173
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:405, Sahih Muslim, 4:1433

27 Invasion of Banu Nadir August 625  Muslim scholars (like Mubarakpuri) claim, the Banu Nadir were attacked because the Angel Gabriel told Muhammad that some of the Banu Nadir wanted to assassinate him. Watt contends it was in response to the tribe’s criticism of Muhammad and doubts they wanted to assassinate Muhammad. He says "it is possible that the allegation was no more than an excuse to justify the attack". Unknown
 Quran chapter 59, and [Quran 2:256]
Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2676
Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:39:519
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

28 Expedition of Dhat al-Riqa October 625 or 627 Attack the Banu Ghatafan tribe, because he received news that they were assembling at Dhat al-Riqa with a suspicious purpose Many women captured by Muslims
 Quran 4:101 and 5:11
Sahih Muslim, 4:1830
Tabari, Volume 7, The foundation of the community

29 Invasion of Badr January 626 or March 625 Attack the Quraysh led by Abu Sufyan, both sides were preparing to fight each other again at Badr None, enemy flees
 Quran 3:173-176
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:627
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah

30 Invasion of Dumatul Jandal July 626  Invade Duma, because Muhammad received intelligence that some tribes there were involved in highway robbery and preparing to attack Medina itself None, Ghatafan tribe flees
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

31 Battle of the Trench February 627  Muhammad orders Muslims to defend Medina from attack, after Banu Nadir and Banu Qaynuqa tribes form an alliance with the Quraysh to attack him as revenge for expelling them from Medina Muslims: light casualties
Non-Muslims: extremely heavy casualties
 Quran 33:10-13, [Quran 3:22]
Sahih Bukhari 5:59:435, Sahih Muslim, 31:4940 and more
Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

32 Invasion of Banu Qurayza February–March 627  Attack Banu Qurayza because according to Muslim tradition he had been ordered to do so by the angel Gabriel. Al-Waqidi claims Muhammad had a treaty with the tribe which was torn apart. Stillman and Watt deny the authenticity of al-Waqidi. Al-Waqidi has been frequently criticized by Muslim writers, who claim that he is unreliable.
 Muslims: 2 killed
1.600-900 beheaded (Tabari, Ibn Hisham)

2.All Males and 1 woman beheaded
(Sunni Hadith)
 [Quran 33:26], Quran 33:09 & 33:10
Sunnan Abu Dawud, 38:4390
Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:68, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:57:66 and more
Tabari, Volume 8, Victory of Islam

33 Expedition of Muhammad ibn Maslamah June 627  Attack Bani Bakr sept for booty/spoils 10 killed, 1 captured by Muslims
 Sahih Muslim, 19:4361, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:658
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

34 Expedition of Ukasha bin Al-Mihsan 627  Attack Banu Assad bin Qhuzayma tribe to capture booty/spoils None, Banu Asad tribe flees
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

35 First Raid on Banu Thalabah August 627  Attack the Banu Thalabah tribe, because he suspected they would be tempted to steal his camels 9 Muslims killed
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

36 Second Raid on Banu Thalabah August 627  Attack the Banu Thalabah tribe, as revenge for the 1st failed raid on them in which 9 Muslims died 1 injured man captured by Muslims
 Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

37 Invasion of Banu Lahyan September 627  Attack the Banu Lahyan tribe to get revenge for the killing of 10 Muslims in the Expedition of Al Raji None, Banu Lahyan tribe flees
 Sahih Muslim, 20:4672
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

38 Raid on al-Ghabah 627
 No orders given by Muhammad, Amr ibn al-Akwa attacks Uyanah bin Hisn Al-Fazari after seeing him seize 20 of Muhammad's camels 1 Muslim shepherd killed, and his wife captured
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

39 Expedition of Dhu Qarad September 627  To attack a group of men led by Uyanah bin Hisn Al-Fazari, who raided the outskirts of the Medina; and seized 20 of Muhammad's milch camels Muslims: 4 killed
Non-Muslims: 4 Killed
 Sahih Muslim, 19:4450
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

40 Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Al-Jumum) 627  To raid al-Jumum and capture booty/spoils Some captured by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

41 Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Al-Is) September 627  Attack Quraysh caravan and loot their camels Many captured by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

42 Third Raid on Banu Thalabah 627  To raid Banu Thalabah and capture their camels as booty None, Banu Thalabah tribe flees
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

43 Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma) October 627  Attack robbers who attacked Muhammad's envoy, Dhiyah bin Khalifah al-Kalbi Heavy casualties inflicted, 100 women and boys captured by Muslims
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:52:191
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

44 Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Wadi al-Qura) December 627  Survey the area and to monitor the movements of the enemies of Muhammad 9 Muslims killed
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

45 Invasion of Banu Mustaliq December 627  Attack Banu Mustaliq because Muhammad received some rumours that the Banu Mustaliq were preparing to attack him. The Banu Mustaliq also believed that Muhammad was preparing to attack them, both sides sent spies to confirm the reports, but the Banu Mustaliq spy was killed by Muslims, and then Muhammad told his followers to prepare for war Muslims: 1 killed
(friendly fire)
Non-Muslims: 10 killed, 200 families taken captive
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 76:1:422
Sahih Muslim, 19:4292
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

46 Expedition of Abdur Rahman bin Auf December 627  700 men sent to get the Christian king Al-Asbagh and his people to convert to Islam within 3 days or pay Jizyah None
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

47 Expedition of Fidak 627  Attack the Bani Sa‘d bin Bakr tribe, because Muhammad received intelligence they were planning to help the Jews of Khaybar 1 captured by Muslims, rest of tribe flees
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

48 Second Expedition of Wadi al-Qura January 628  Raid the inhabitants of Wadi al-Qura for revenge, because a number of Muslims were killed when they tried to raid the inhabitants previouslly, but failed 30 horsemen, and 1 women killed by Muslims
Many captured by Muslims
 Sahih Muslim, 19:4345
Tabari, Volume 8, History of Islam

49 Expedition of Kurz bin Jabir Al-Fihri February 628  Capture 8 men who came to him to convert to Islam, but then killed one Muslim and drove off with Muhammad's camels Muslims: 1 killed
Non-Muslims: 8 tortured to death
 Quran 5:33-39
Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:4:234, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:505, Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:623 and more

50 Expedition of Abdullah ibn Rawaha February 628  Kill Al-Yusayr ibn Rizam because Muhammad heard that his group was preparing to attack him 30 killed by Muslims
 Tirmidhi no. 3923
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

51 Treaty of Hudaybiyyah March 628  March to Mecca to perform the lesser pilgrimage (Umrah) None
 [Quran 48:24], [Quran 48:18]
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

52 Conquest of Fidak May 628  To force the Jews of Fidak to surrender their properties and wealth(accepting his terms) or be attacked None
 [Quran 59:6],[Quran 59:7]
Sahih Muslim, 19:2961
Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal

53 Battle of Khaybar May/June 628  To attack the Jews of Khaybar for booty to distribute to his followers whose expectations had recently been disappointed (according to Watt) Muslims: 16-18 killed
Jews: 93 killed
 [Quran 48:15], [Quran 48:20]
Sahih Bukhari
Sahih Muslim, 19:4450

54 Third Expedition of Wadi al Qura May 628  Attack the Jews of Wadi al Qura to conquer their land Muslims: 1 killed
Jews: 11 killed
 Al-Muwatta, 21 13.25
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

55 Expedition of Umar ibn al-Khatab December 628  Attack Banu Hawazin for booty None, tribe flees
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

56 Expedition of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq December 628  Attack the Banu Kilab tribe Many killed
(at least 7 families killed) by Muslims
 Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2632
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

57 Expedition of Bashir Ibn Sa’d al-Ansari (Fadak) December 628  Attack for Banu Murrah tribe to capture booty  Muslims: 29 killed, Bashir wounded
Non-Muslims: large amount killed
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

58 Expedition of Ghalib ibn Abdullah al-Laithi (Mayfah) January 629  Attack the Banu ‘Awâl and Banu Thalabah tribes to capture booty (camels and flock) Some killed by Muslims
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:568
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2
Tabari, Volume 8, History of Islam

59 Expedition of Ghalib ibn Abdullah al-Laithi (Fadak) May 629 Attack the Banu Murrah as revenge for the killing of Muslims in a failed raid carried out by Muslims Everyone who came into contact with Muslims were killed
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

60 Expedition of Bashir Ibn Sa’d al-Ansari (Yemen) February 629  Attack a large group of polytheists who Muhammad believed gathered to raid the outskirts of Madinah 1 killed, 2 captured by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

61 Expedition of Ibn Abi Al-Awja Al-Sulami April 629 50 men sent to demand the allegiance of the Banu Sualym tribe to Islam Muslims: Most killed
Non-Muslims: Most killed, 2 captured
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

62 Expedition of Ghalib ibn Abdullah al-Laithi (Al-Kadid) May 629  To raid the Banu al-Mulawwih tribe for booty Large amount killed, and 1 captured by Muslims
 Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2672
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

63 Raid on Banu Layth June 629  Attack Banu Layth, camels plundered N/A

64 Expedition of Shuja ibn Wahb al-Asadi June 629  Raid the Banu Amir tribe to plunder camels for booty Unknown
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

65 Expedition of Ka’b ibn 'Umair al-Ghifari June 629  Attack Banu Quda‘a tribe because Muhammad received intelligence that they had gathered a large number of men to attack the Muslim positions 14 Muslims killed, 1 wounded
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

66 Battle of Mu'tah August 629  Raid the inhabitants of Mut'ah, because one of Muhammad's messenger was killed by the chief of Ma’ab or Mu’tah Muslims: 12 killed
Non-Muslims: Unknown
 [Quran 19:71]
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:565, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:565

67 Expedition of Amr ibn al-As September 629  To subjugate the Banu Qudah tribe, and incite the tribes friendly to Muhammad to attack them, because of a rumour that the Banu Qudah were preparing to attack Medina and to improve Muslim prestige None, Qudah tribe flees
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:644
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

68 Expedition of Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah October 629  Attack the tribe of Juhaynah and raid a caravan None, caravan flees
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:44:663, Sahih Muslim, 21:4757
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

69 Expedition of Abi Hadrad al-Aslami 629  To kill Rifa’ah bin Qays, because Muhammad heard they were allegedly enticing the people people of Qais to fight him 1 beheaded, 4 women captured by Muslims
 Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Tabari, Volume 8, History of Islam

70 Expedition of Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i al-Ansari (Khadirah) November or Dec 629 Attack the Ghatafan tribe because he heard that they were amassing troops and were still outside the "domain of Islam" Some killed, some captured by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

71 Expedition of Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i al-Ansari (Batn Edam) December 629  To divert the attention from his intention of attacking Mecca, he despatched 8 men to attack a caravan passing through Edam 1 Muslim killed by Muslims
 [Quran 4:94]
Sahih Muslim, 43:7176
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

72 Conquest of Mecca December 629  To Conquer Mecca 5 killed by Muslims:
1.Abdullah b. Khatal
2.Fartana (slave girl)
3.Huwayrith b. Nafidh
4.Miqyas b. Subabah
5.Harith b. Talatil
 Quran 12:91-92, [Quran 34:49], [Quran 49:13]
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:582, Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2678 and more
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

73 Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Nakhla) December 629  To destroy al-Uzza because Muhammad wanted "the submission of neighbouring tribes" and wanted to eliminate "symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices" 1 women killed by Khalid ibn Walid
 Al-Sunan al-Sughra
Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols

74 Raid of Amr ibn al-As December 629  To destroy Suwa because Muhammad wanted "the submission of neighbouring tribes" and wanted to eliminate "symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices" None
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

75 Raid of Sa'd ibn Zaid al-Ashhali December 629  To destroy Manat because Muhammad wanted "the submission of neighbouring tribes" and wanted to eliminate "symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices" 1 women killed by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2
Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols

76 Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Banu Jadhimah) January 630  Invite the Banu Jadhimah tribe to Islam Entire tribe taken prisoner, portion executed
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:628
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

77 Battle of Hunayn January 630  To attack the people of Hawazin and Thaqif for refusing to surrender to Muhammad and submit to Islam because "they thought that they were too mighty to admit or surrender" after the Conquest of Mecca Muslims: 5 killed
Non-Muslims: 70 killed, 6000 women and children captured
 [Quran 9:25], [Quran 9:26]
Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:53:370, Al-Muwatta, 21 10.19

78 Expedition of At-Tufail ibn 'Amr Ad-Dausi January 630  Destroy the idol Yaguth and to secure the allegiance of the Banu Daws tribe to Isam so they can lend him catapults to use in the Siege of Taif None
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

79 Battle of Autas 630  Defend against an attack by a league of tribes that formed an alliance to attack him. Washington Irving claims that the tribes were hostile to Muhammad and wanted to attack him because he was spreading Islam by the sword, and because the tribes feared Muhammad would attack them anyway for vengeance Enemy defeated, many killed by Muslims
 [Quran 4:24]
Sahih Muslim, 8:3432, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:612 and more
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

80 Expedition of Abu Amir Al-Ashari January 630  Chase the enemies who fled from the Battle of Hunayn Muslims: 1 Killed
Non-Muslims: 9 Killed
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:612, Sahih Muslim, 3:6092
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

81 Expedition of Abu Musa Al-Ashari January 630  Chase the enemies who fled from the Battle of Hunayn At least 1 killed, men, women and children taken captives by Muslims
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:612
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

82 Siege of Ta'if January 630  Attack enemies who fled from the Battle of Hunayn and sought refuge in the fortress of Taif Muslims: 12 killed
Non-Muslims: Unknown
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:615, Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:93:572 and more
Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah

83 Expedition of Uyainah bin Hisn April 630  Attack the Muslim tribe of Banu Tamim for refusing to pay tax (Zakat) 11 men, 21 women and 30 boys, captured by Muslims
 [Quran 49:1]
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

84 Expedition of Qutbah ibn Amir May 630  Attack the Banu Khatham tribe to capture booty Muslims: many wounded, some killed
Non-Muslims: many wounded, some killed, some women captured
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2
Sunnan Abu Dawud, 14:2639

85 Expedition of Dahhak al-Kilabi June 630  To call the Banu Kilab tribe to embrace Islam 1 killed by Muslims
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

86 Expedition of Alqammah bin Mujazziz July 630  Attack a group of Abyssinians (Ethiopians) who Muhammad suspected were pirates None, Ethiopians flee
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

87 Third Expedition of Dhu Qarad July 630  Muhammad sent him to take revenge for the killing of the son of Abu Dhar Ghifari at al-Ghaba None
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

88 Expedition of Ali ibn Abi Talib July 630  Destroy al-Qullus, an idol worshipped by pagans Many men, women and children taken captive by Muslims
 Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

89 Expedition of Ukasha bin Al-Mihsan (Udhrah and Baliy) July 630  Attack the tribes of Udhrah and Baliy, no further details Unknown
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

90 Battle of Tabouk October 630  Attack the Byzantine empire. Mubarakpuri claims, reason was revenge for the killing of 1 of Muhammad's ambassadors by a Christian chief of al-Balaqa, which led to the Battle of Mutah. Mubrakpuri claims this was the reason for the Battle of Tabouk also, and that there was a rumour Heraclius was preparing an attack on Muslims. William Muir claims Heraclius wanted to prevent the recurrence of Muslim attacks such as the Expedition of Ukasha bin Al-Mihsan against the Banu Udrah tribe. A tribe that was aligned to the Byzantine Empire None, no enemies met
 [Quran 9:49], [Quran 9:29], Quran 9:42-48, [Quran 9:81]
Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:702, Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:60:199 and more

91 Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Dumatul Jandal) October 630  Attack the Christian prince of Duma. 1 killed, 2 taken captive
 Sunan Abu Dawud 19:3031
Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume 2

92 Expedition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb 630  To demolish the idol al-Lat Unknown
 [Quran 17:73]
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

93 Demolition of Masjid al-Dirar 630  Demolish a mosque for promoting opposition None (speculation that people may have been burnt)
 [Quran 9:107]
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

94 Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (2nd Dumatul Jandal) April 631  Demolish an idol called Wadd, worshipped by the Banu Kilab tribe Banu Abd-Wadd and Banu Amir al-Ajdar tribe members killed by Muslims
 Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols

95 Expedition of Surad ibn Abdullah April 631  Ordered Surad ibn Abdullah (new convert) to war against the non-Muslim tribes in his neighbourhood Heavy casualties, people of Jurash killed
 Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

96 Expedition of Khalid ibn al-Walid (Najran) June 631  Call on the people of Najran to embrace Islam or fight the Muslims None, Banu Harith tribe surrenders and converts to Islam
 [Quran 3:61]
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet
Hamidullah, Majmu'ah (Original letters of Muhammad)

97 Expedition of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Mudhij) December 631  Attack the Banu Nakhla tribe to reduce them to submission 20 killed by Muslims.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:24:573
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

98 Expedition of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Hamdan) 631  To call the people of Hamdan to embrace Islam None
 Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet

99 Demolition of Dhul Khalasa April 632  Demolish the Temple of Dhul Khalasa worshipped by the Bajila and Khatham tribes 300 killed by Muslims
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:641, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:642, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:643 and more
Al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols

100 Expedition of Usama bin Zayd May 632  Invade Palestine and attack Moab and Darum Local population "slaughtered" by Muslims, "destroying, burning and taking as many captives as they could"
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:744, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:745 and more
Tabari, Volume 9, The last years of the Prophet
Tabari, Volume 10, Conquest of Arabia


# Military career of Muhammad

The military career of Muhammad lasted for the final ten years of his life when he served as the leader of the ummah at Medina.
Muhammad spent his last ten years, from 622 to 632, as the leader of Medina in a state of war with pagan Mecca. Muhammad and his Companions had earlier migrated from Mecca to Medina in what is known as the Hijra following years of persecution by the Meccans. Through raids, sieges, and diplomacy, Muhammad and his followers allied with or subdued some of the tribes and cities of the Arabian peninsula in their struggle to overcome the powerful Banu Quraish of Mecca.
They also sent out raiding parties against Arabic-speaking communities ruled under the Roman Empire. Muhammad was believed by the Muslims to be divinely chosen to spread Islam in Arabia, and Muhammad ultimately permitted warfare as one aspect of this struggle. After initially refusing to accede to requests by his followers to fight the Meccans for continued persecution and provocation, he eventually proclaimed the revelations of the Quran:
"Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged -truly Allah has the power to come to their support- those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, 'Our Lord is Allah'..." (Quran, 22:39-40)"
After the first battle of Badr against the Quraysh, he is reported as having said "We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad (i.e. the struggle against the evil of one's soul)." John Esposito writes that Muhammad's use of warfare in general was alien neither to Arab custom nor to that of the Hebrew prophets, as both believed that God had sanctioned battle with the enemies of the Lord.

Lead up to armed conflict
Upon arrival in Medina he set about the establishment of a pact known as the Constitution of Medina, to regulate the matters of governance of the city, as well as the extent and nature of inter-community relations, and signatories to it included the Muslims, the Ansar and the various Jewish tribes of Medina.
Significant clauses of the constitution included the mutual assistance of each other if one signatory were to be attacked by a third party, the resolution that the Muslims would profess their religion and the Jews theirs, as well as the appointment of Muhammad as the leader of the state. Muslims who did not migrate were subject to increased persecution, and the threat to the life of both the Ansar and the Muslims was such that they were reported as having to sleep by their weapons all night. ‘Abdullah bin Uabi bin Salul, who was the Madinan chief of the tribes ‘Aws and Khazraj before Muhammad's emigration was sent an ultimatum to either fight or expel Muhammad, or face action in the form of a military campaign that would exterminate his people and enslave his women.
Sa'd ibn Mua'dh, an Ansar, went to Mecca to learn how to perform the Umrah and there was accosted by Abu Jahl at the Kaaba who threatened he would kill him, had he not been in the company of Omaiya bin Khalaf. Sa‘d then challenged him to commit any such folly if he wanted to court a risk to the Meccan trading caravans.
As tensions escalated the Muslims began to take defensive measures such as stationing guards around Muhammad and sending out reconnaissance patrols. The Muslims, who fled Mecca's persecution to Medina, had left all their possessions and houses in Mecca, which were unlawfully expropriated by the Meccans. The Muslims were initially not given permission to fight. Small groups of men were only sent for intelligence gathering, but are reported as not having followed orders to engage in violence-free missions.

Raids on Meccan caravans
Main article: Caravan raids

The Caravan raids refer to a series of raids which Muhammad and his Companions participated in. The raids were generally offensive and carried out to gather intelligence or seize the trade goods of Caravans financed by the Quraysh, (such retaliation was rationalized as being legitimate actions because many Muslims left their possessions and wealth behind when they migrated from Mecca). The Muslims declared that the raids were justified and that God gave them permission to defend against the Meccans' persecution of Muslims.
Raids against other tribes
The Muslims also set their new military organization against various non-Meccan groups.
As a result of these campaigns, some nomadic tribes decided that it was in their best interests to ally with the Muslims. They accepted Islam, subsequently destroying their own cult figures and shrines.

Muslim alliance versus Meccan alliance

By expanding their military operations and negotiating with the nomads, the Muslims had created an alliance with greater resources than Mecca, alone, could muster. The Meccans in their turn made alliances with Bedouin tribes. Two large alliances faced each other, poised for further warfare.

Main article: Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

By old custom, during the months of pilgrimage, tribal hostilities stopped and all were free to visit Mecca. In March 628, Muhammad put on the garb of a pilgim and taking a force and camels for sacrifice, set out for Mecca.
According to the early chronicler Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad took 700 men (Guillaume 1955, p. 500). According to Watt, Muhammad took 1400 to 1600 men (Watt 1957, p. 46).
The Meccans did not accept the Muslim professions of peaceful intent and sent out an armed party against them. The Muslims evaded them by taking a side route through the hills around Mecca, and then camped outside Mecca, at Hudaybiya. Ibn Ishaq describes a tense period of embassies and counter-embassies, including a bold foray by Uthman ibn Affan into the city of Mecca, where he was temporarily held as a hostage. The Meccans told the Muslims that Uthman had been killed and open warfare seemed imminent.
Then the situation shifted radically. Uthman was revealed to be alive, and the Meccans expressed their willingness to negotiate a truce. Some elements wanted a confrontation, but Muhammad held out for a peaceful resolution.
The treaty of Hudaybiyyah committed both sides to a ten-year truce. The Muslims were to be allowed to return the next year, to perform the pilgrimage.

Muslim alliance expands

Free of the Meccan threat, the Muslims expanded their activities against other oases and tribes. They conquered the rich oasis of Khaybar (see Battle of Khaybar) and sent raiding parties against the Ghatafan, Murrah, Sulaym, and Hawaizin (Watt 1957 pp. 52–53).

Muslims take Mecca
Main article: Conquest of Mecca

Less than two years after the truce of Hudaybiyyah, the truce was broken by a squabble between tribes allied to the Meccans and Medinans. There had long been bad blood between the Khuza'ah and the Banu Bakr bin Abd Manat, and the two groups lined up on opposite sides, the Khuza'ah with the Muslims and the Banu Bakr with the Meccans. Watt (p. 62) says that some of the Quraysh helped the Banu Bakr ambush the Khuza'ah.
Shortly afterwards, a large Muslim force of some 10,000 men headed for Mecca. They camped outside Mecca and the usual round of emissaries and negotiations began. Apparently Abu Sufyan had negotiated, then or earlier, a promise that he and those under him would not be attacked if they submitted. A few Meccans, from the Makhzum faction, prepared to resist.
On or near January 11, 630, Muhammad sent four columns of troops into Mecca. Only one column met any resistance. Twenty-eight Meccans were killed and the rest of those opposing the Muslim entry fled. The remaining Meccans surrendered to Muhammad. The Meccans, even those who had been notable for their opposition to Islam, were spared.
The Kaaba was cleansed of all the idols of Arabian gods, such as Hubal, which were placed in it and the area was established as a Muslim sanctuary. While destroying each idol, Muhammad recited [Quran 17:81] which says "Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish."  According to Islamic tradition, the Kaaba was built by Adam as a place of worship, and then later reconstructed by Abraham and Ishmael.

Last two years

After the fall of Mecca, other tribes hastened to submit to the Muslims. Those who did not submit were harried until they submitted. The historian Fred Donner, in his book The Early Islamic Conquests, argues that the early Islamic state organized the nomads, the Bedouin, under the leadership of urban Arabic-speakers. This arrangement was inherently unstable as long as there were any nomads outside Muslim rule. Otherwise, any rebellious tribe had only to move its flocks and tents outside the area that the Muslims controlled in order to be free again. The Muslims would have to control the entire Syro-Arabian steppe in order to be secure. Muhammad, and the caliphs that followed him, Abu Bakr and Umar al-Khattab, put a great deal of effort into extending and solidifying these tribal treaties and conquests.



The sum total of all casualties on all sides in all the battles of Muhammad is more than 1,000 according to the most authoritative sources[which?], with the Battle of Mu'tah being the most costly in terms of casualties.


His efforts led to the unification of the Arabian peninsula.


Muslim View

Muslims view that the Muslims fought only when attacked, or in the context of a wider war of self-defense. They argue that Muhammad was the first among the major military figures of history to lay down rules for humane warfare, and that he was scrupulous in limiting the loss of life as much as possible.
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi writes in Mizan that there are certain directives of the Qur’an pertaining to war which were specific only to Muhammad against Divinely specified peoples of his times (the polytheists and the Israelites and Nazarites of Arabia and some other Jews, Christians, et al.) as a form of Divine punishment—for they had persistently denied the truth of Muhammad's mission even after it had been made conclusively evident to them by Allah through Muhammad, and asked the polytheists of Arabia for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims. Therefore, after Muhammad and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam, hence now, the only valid reason for war is to end oppression when all other measures have failed. (jihad)

Non-Muslim view
Michael H. Hart, in his hotly debated and widely copied book, "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History" (1978) ranked Muhammad as the most influential, attributing this to the fact that Muhammad was successful in both the religious and political realms and had a significant role in the development of Islamic theology.
Muhammad's critics often hold that the Muslims engaged in wars of aggression. Conversely, other non-Muslim academics believe that Muhammad was a reluctant warrior, such that he disliked fighting except when he believed it to be absolutely necessary.


# Caravan raids

The Caravan raids refer to a series of raids which Muhammad and his Companions participated in. The raids were generally offensive and carried out to gather intelligence or seize the trade goods of Caravans financed by the Quraysh, (such thefts were rationalized as being legitimate actions because many Muslims left their possessions behind when they migrated from Mecca). The Muslims declared that the raids were justified and that God gave them permission to defend against the Meccans' persecution of Muslims.
BackgroundThe Islamic prophet Muhammad's followers suffered from poverty after fleeing persecution in Mecca and migrating with Muhammad to Medina. Their Meccan persecutors seized their wealth and belongings left behind in Mecca.
Beginning in January 623, some of the Muslims resorted to the tradition of raiding the Meccan caravans that traveled along the eastern coast of the Red Sea from Mecca to Syria.Communal life was essential for survival in desert conditions, as people needed support against the harsh environment and lifestyle. The tribal grouping was thus encouraged by the need to act as a unit. This unity was based on the bond of kinship by blood. People of Arabia were either nomadic or sedentary, the former constantly traveling from one place to another seeking water and pasture for their flocks, while the latter settled and focused on trade and agriculture. The survival of nomads (or bedouins) was also partially dependent on raiding caravans or oases; thus they saw this as no crime.

Earliest Quran verse about fighting
According to William Montgomery Watt, the Quran verse 22:29 was the earliest verse commanding Muslims to fight. However, he says there was a "disinclination" among the Muslims to follow the command to fight, but they were given an incentive, after the Muslims were told that God prefers fighters to those who sit still and remain at home, and that for fighters there is a reward in Paradise.

First raid
According to Ar-Rahīq al-Makhtum (the Sealed Nectar), a modern Islamic hagiography of Muhammad written by the Indian Muslim author Saif ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad ordered the first caravan raid led by Hamza ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (Muhammad's uncle) seven to nine months after the Hijra. A party of thirty to forty men assembled at the seacoast near al-Is, between Mecca and Medina, where Abu Jahl (Amr ibn Hishām), the leader of the caravan was camping with three hundred Meccan riders.
Hamza met Abu Jahl there with a view to attack the caravan, but Majdi bin Amr al-Juhani, a Quraysh who was friendly to both the parties intervened between them; so, both parties separated without fighting. Hamza returned to Medina and Abu Jahl proceeded towards Mecca. Muhmmad also entrusted the first flag of Islam to Kinaz bin Husain an Ghanawi

Second raid
Ubaydah ibn al-Harith was the Commander of the second raid. This raid took place nine months after the Hijra, a few weeks after the first one at al-Is.
About a month after Hamzah's unsuccessful bid to plunder, Muhammad entrusted a party of sixty Muhajireen led by Ubaydah to conduct another operation at a Quraysh caravan that was returning from Syria and protected by two hundred armed men. The leader of this caravan was either Abu Sufyan ibn Harb.
The Muslim party went as far as Thanyatul-Murra, a watering place in Hejaz. No fighting took place, as the Quraysh were quite far from the place where Muslims were in the offing to attack the caravan. Nevertheless, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow at the Quraysh. This is known as the first arrow of Islam. Despite this surprise attack, no fighting took place and the Muslims returned empty-handed. It is believed that Ubaydah was the first to carry the banner of Islam; others say Hamzah was the first to carry the first banner .
The incident is partly referenced in the Sahih Bukhari hadith collection:
“ I heard Sa'd saying, "I was the first amongst the 'Arabs who shot an arrow for Allah's Cause. We used to fight along with the Prophet".Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:57:74 ”
Third raidSa`d ibn Abi Waqqas was ordered to lead the third raid. His group consisted of about twenty Muhajirs. This raid was done about a month after the previous. Sa'd, with his soldiers, set up an ambush in the valley of Kharrar on the road to Mecca and waited to raid a returning Meccan caravan from Syria. But the caravan had already passed and the Muslims returned to Medina without a fight.

Battle of Waddan
Main article: Battle of Waddan

The fourth raid, known as the Battle of Waddan, was the first offensive in which Muhammad took part personally. It is said that twelve months after moving to Madina, Muhammad himself led a caravan raid to Waddan (Abwa). The aim was to intercept the caravans of the Quraysh and the Banu Damra. The raid party did not meet any Quraysh during the raid.
But the Caravan of Banu Damrah was raided. Negotiations began and the two leaders signed a treaty of non-aggression. Banu Damrah pledged to not attack Muslims or side with the Quraysh; and Muhammad pledged to not attack the caravans of Banu Damrah or seize their goods.
According to Muslim scholar al-Zurqani, the provisions of the pact/treaty go as follows :
"This document is from Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, concerning the Banu Darmah. In which he (Muhammad)established them safety and security in their wealth and lives. They can expect support from the Muslims, unless they oppose the religion of Allah. They are also expected to respond positively if the prophet sought their help

Buwat Caravan Raid (Fifth raid)
Main article: Invasion of Buwat

Muhammad was the commander for the fifth raid as well. A month after the raid at al-Abwa, he personally led 200 men including Muhajirs and Ansars to Bawat, a place on the caravan route of the Quraysh merchants. A herd of fifteen hundred camels was proceeding, accompanied by one hundred riders under the leadership of Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a Quraysh. The purpose of the raid was to plunder this rich Quraysh caravan.
No battle took place and the raid resulted in no booty. This was due the caravan taking an untrodden unknown route. Muhammad then went up to Dhat al-Saq, in the desert of al-Khabar. He prayed there and a mosque was built at the spot. This was the first raid where a few Ansars took part. The caravan was led by 100 Quraysh and 2,500 camels were with them.

Sixth raid
Main article: Invasion of Dul Ashir

Two or three months after Muhammad's return from Buwat, he appointed Abu Salamah Ibn Abd al-Assad to take his place in Medina while he was away commanding another raid. Between 150 and 200 followers joined this operation to al-Ushayra, Yanbu in Jumada al-awwal or Jumada al-thani.
They had thirty camels that they rode upon by turns. When they arrived at al-Usharayh, they expected to raid a rich Meccan caravan towards Syria led by Abu Sufyan. Muhammad already had the knowledge of this caravan’s departure from Mecca and waited for about a month for this caravan to pass. But the Meccan caravan had already passed.
In this operation, Muhammad entered into an alliance with Banu Madlaj, a tribe inhabiting the vicinity of al-Ushayra. He also concluded another treaty that was made with Banu Damrah previously. All those treaties established good political connections for him.
Nakhla raid
The Nakhla Raid was the seventh Caravan Raid and the first successful raid against the Meccans. Abdullah ibn Jahsh was the Commander .
It took place in Rajab 2 A.H. Muhammad despatched ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh Asadi to Nakhlah at the head of 12 Emigrants with six camels.
After his return from the first Badr encounter (Battle of Safwan), Muhammad sent Abdullah ibn Jahsh in Rajab with 8 or 12 on a fact-finding operation.
Abdullah ibn Jahsh was a maternal cousin of Muhammad. He took along with him Abu Haudhayfa, Abdullah ibn Jahsh, Ukkash ibn Mihsan, Utba b. Ghazwan, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Amir ibn Rabia, Waqid ibn Abdullah and Khalid ibn al-Bukayr.
One of Abdullah ibn Jahsh’s men, Ukkash ibn Mihsan, was shaven in head to hide the real purpose of their journey and to give the Quraysh the impression of lesser Hajj (Umra); for it was the month (Rajab) when hostilities were forbidden.
Nevertheless, after much deliberation, the group did not want this rich caravan to escape. So they decided to take a large booty.
While they (the Quraysh) were busy preparing food, the Muslims attacked.At last they agreed to engage with them in fighting. In the short battle that ensued, Waqid ibn Abdullah killed Amr ibn Hadrami by an arrow, the leader of the Quraysh caravan. Nawfal ibn Abdullah escaped. The Muslims took Uthman ibn Abdullah and al-Hakam ibn Kaysan as prisoners. Abdullah ibn Jahsh returned to Medina with the booty and with the two captured Quraysh men. The followers planned to give one-fifth of the booty to the Prophet.
The Quraysh also spread everywhere the news of the raid and the killing by the Muslims in the sacred month. Because of the timing, and because the attack was carried out without his sanction, Muhammad was furious about what had happened. He rebuked them (the Muslims) for fighting in the sacred month, saying:
I did not instruct you to fight in the sacred month
Muhammad initially disapproved of that act and suspended any action as regards the camels and the two captives on account of the prohibited months. The polytheists, on their part, exploited this golden opportunity to calumniate the Muslims and accuse them of violating what is Divinely inviolable. This idle talk brought about a painful headache to Muhammad’s Companions, until at last they were relieved when Muhammad revealed a verse regarding fighting in the sacred months:
“ "They ask you concerning fighting in the sacred months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, ‘Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allâh is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allâh, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing." [Quran 2:217] ”
Since this bloodshed took place during a sacred month, Muhammad was furious about what had happened and refused to take his share from the raid. He freed the prisoners upon ransom and paid blood money for the killed man. Muslims in Medina also reproached the raiders. The Quraysh spread the news of the raid and the killing by the Muslims in the sacred month. Later, Muhammad claimed that God revealed the Quranic verse: Persecution of Muslims is worse than killing of disbelievers., giving the Muslims permission to attack at any time if there was aggression against them.
Soon after his release, al-Hakam bin Kaysan, one of the two prisoners captured, became a Muslim.  Mubarakpuri mentions that the Quran verse 47:20 was also sent down, dispraising the hypocrites and cowards who are scared of fighting, and exhorted Muslims to fight.

Nejd Caravan raid (8th raid)
Main article: Nejd Caravan Raid

The Nejd Caravan Raid took place in Jumad at Thaniya, in the year 3 A.H. The Meccan polytheists lived on trade, as summer approached, it was time for the Meccans to leave for Syria for their seasonal trade business.
After receiving intelligence, Zayd ibn Haritha went after the Caravan (after receiving orders from Muhammad), and they successfully raided it and captured 100,000 Dirham's worth of booty. Safan (the Caravan leader) and his guards fled away. As a result, the Muslims foiled the Quraysh plan to find another trade route.

Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha in Al-Is (9th raid)
Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha in al-Is took place in September, 627AD, 5th month of 6AH of the Islamic Calendar
Zaid bin Haritha,at the head of a 170 horsemen, set out to a place called Al-‘Ais, intercepted a caravan of Quraish led by Abul-‘As, Muhammad's relative (Zaynab's Husband) and captured their camels as booty.
Abu al-As was released at the insistence of Muhammad's daughter Zaynab. The whole caravan, including a large store of silver was captured and some of those who guarded it, taken prisoners.

Expedition of Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah (10th raid)
Main article: Expedition of Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah

Expedition of Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah, also known as the Expedition of Fish and Invasion of al-Khabt, took place in October 629 AD, 8AH, 7th month, of the Islamic Calendar, or according to some scholars in 7AH, 4th Month.
Muhammad sent Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah along with 300 men to attack and chastise the tribe of Juhaynah at al-Khabat, on the seacoast, five nights journey from Medina. He was sent to observe a Quraysh caravan. There was no fighting as the enemy fled after they heard of the arrival.
This expedition is famous because Muslims were short of supply and food was running out, and they were fighting for survival, they suffered from famine. In the end, the Muslims found a sperm whale that came ashore and ate it for twenty days. Ibn Hisham mentions the incident in detail. This is why its also known as the ‘expedition of fish.’ They brought some of the stale meat to Muhammad and he ate it too

Expedition of Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i al-Ansari, Batn Edam (11th Raid)
Main article: Expedition of Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i al-Ansari (Batn Edam)

Expedition of Abu Qatadah ibn Rab'i al-Ansari, to Batn Edam (also spelt Idam) took place in November 629 AD, 8AH, 8th month, of the Islamic Calendar
Muhammad was planning on attacking Mecca, with view of securing a complete news black-out concerning his military intentions, then Muhammad despatched an 8 man platoon under the leadership of Abu Qatadah bin Rab‘i in the direction of Edam, a short distance from Madinah, in Ramadan 8 A.H., in order to divert the attention of people from his main target of attacking Mecca, with which he was pre-occupied.
According to Ibn Sa'd, Ibn Hisham, and many Sunni hadith collections, a Bedouin caravan passed by and they greeted the Muslims with “Assalamu Alaikum.” But Abu Qatadah attacked the caravan anyway and killed the people. They returned to Muhammad with the flock they captured and told him the story.
Muhammad then “revealed” the verse 4:94. Ibn Kathir interprets this as, God asking Muslims to be more careful when killing Muslims accidentally.

Permission to fight
Up to this point the Muhammad told people to endure insults and abuse. Because of being persecuted and economically-uprooted by their Meccan persecutors, Muhammad claimed that Allah gave him permission to fight the Meccans.
The permission to fight was given in many stages during Muhammad's prophetic mission:
At first, the Muslims were only allowed to fight the Meccan Quraysh, because they were the first to oppress the Muslims in Mecca. Muslims were allowed to seize their goods, but not those tribes which the Muhammad made a treaty with.
Then Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight Pagan tribes that allied with the Quraysh.
Then Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight the Jewish tribes of Medina, when these tribes violated the Constitution of Medina and their pact with the Muslims.
Subsequently, Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight the "People of the Book" (Christian and Jews). If the People of the Book paid a poll tax (Jizyah), then the Muslims were forbidden to fight them.
Muslims were required to make peace with any polytheist, Jews or Christians who embraced Islam, and were required to embrace them as fellow Muslims.


Second Raid on Meccan Caravans: Buwat
Date April, 623 , 1 AH
Location Batn Rabigh
Result Failed raid (Enemy too far away)

Muslims of Medina Quraish of Mecca
Commanders and leaders
Ubaydah ibn al-Harith
Abu Sufyan
Casualties and losses
Unknown (Arrows fired)
Unknown (1 arrow fired)


Raid on Meccan Caravans, Nakhla
Date December 623, 2 AH
Location Nakhla
Result Successful raid
Booty (war treasure) captured and prisoners captured
Muhammad condemns attack on civilians in "forbidden month" and does not accept booty
New Quran verse revealed, Muhammad allowed to fight in forbidden month, justifying the killing of the civilian
Muhammad accepts booty
Muhammad releases prisoners for ransom

Muslims of Medina
Quraysh of Mecca
Commanders and leaders
Abdallah Jahsh
Amr al-Hadrami(killed)
Casualties and losses
1 killed
(2 Captured)


Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Al-Is)
Date September 627AD, 5th month 6AH
Location Al-Is
Result Successful raid, lots of booty captured

Commanders and leaders
Zaid ibn Haritha
Abu al As
170 horsemen
Casualties and losses
Unknown number captured


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