On This Day 23-03
3/23/625 Arabia. UhudIt was the morning of Saturday, 7th Shawal, 3/March 23, 625 - exactly a year and a week after the battle of Badr.The Meccans again made first inroad and once again the rout began a good number among them fled the field with the Muslims in hot pursuit. This would have been another consequent victory, but the Muslim archers posted on the adjoining mound, neglecting the injunctions of Muhammad, rashly left their places to join them in the pursuit of plunder, leaving a critical gap in Muhammad's defence.Muhammad had commanded them never to leave their position regardless of whether the Muslims plunged into the enemy camp and won, but the archers violated the orders in greed of spoils of war. The Meccan general Khalid bin Walid at once perceived their error, who made the best of this opportunity. He wheeled his squadron and launched a reinforced attack on the rear of the Muslims, causing a great havoc. This turned the scales against them and the Muslims began to flee before the Khalid's lancers, who certainly took a heavy toll of Muslim lives. M.H. Haykal writes in "The Life of Muhammad" (Karachi, 1989, p. 265) that, "Muslim morale plunged to the bottom, and Muslim soldiers fought sporadically and purposelessly. This chaos was responsible for their killing of Husayle bin Jabir Abu Hudhayfah by mistake, as everyone sought to save his own skin by taking flight except such men as Ali bin Abu Talib whom God guided and protected."Muhammad was also embosomed with the enemies, until his front teeth were broken. Ali hurled himself into the fray, and shielded Muhammad and dashed the raiders. The Meccans, tired out by a long and gruelling day, began to retreat, and in their retreat vented their rage on the Muslims dead in the field mutilating the corpses. With a final taunt to the Muslims, Abu Sufian ordered withdrawal, and both the fighting men and the baggage train moved off. For a time it seemed that they might lay another ambush the town of Medina, but they left it alone and headed for Mecca. The Meccans lost twenty eight in the battle, while seventy men were killed among the Muslims. Among the slain, the body of Hamza was found mutilated, who had been laid low by a spear thrust which pierced him. The fiend Hinda, wife of Abu Sufian, had cut open his body, and took a piece of his liver and gnawed it to quench her thirst for the vengeance of her father, Atba who was killed by Hamza in Badr. Because of this, Muawiya, the son of Hinda was called the "son of the liver eater."
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