The Martyrdom of Sayyidina Hamza at Uhud

Hajjah Amina bint `Ayesha

The Martyrdom of Hamza

Dua at grave of saydina HamzaThe time drew nigh for the Prophet’s ﷺ favorite uncle, Hamza to suffer holy martyrdom. Hamza killed one of the most entrenched enemies of Islam, Sabah Gawshani. This lion of Islam fought so fiercely, it was impossible to come near to him. The pagans considered how they might do away with this tireless warrior, and as no one could come close to him, they pondered on ways of destroying him from a distance. The deed was done by Hind’s Abyssinian slave Wahshi, who was skilled in the art of spear throwing. This unfortunate miscreant, blinded by desire for worldly gain, hurled his spear from cowardly concealment, and Hamza was seriously wounded. Just as Hamza was about to reciprocate, his soul was taken from him.
Wahshi cut out the liver from the corpse of the Holy Prophet’s – most beloved uncle, and he cut off his ears and brought them to Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, the mother of Mu’awiya, the grandmother of Yazid. Hind began to chew on his liver, but she could not swallow it. That is why she was called ‘the eater of the liver’ (akalat-al-kabad). She took the ears of this blessed person, strung them on a string and hung them around her neck, and presented her own necklace to his slayer, Wahshi. She promised to pay him the remainder of his reward upon her return to Mecca and to never be remiss in her feelings of gratitude towards him until the day she died.
When the Muslims witnessed Hamza being killed, they were totally perplexed. Thus Ibn Qam‘iah killed the Muslim standard-bearer Mus’ab bin Amir, making him a martyr. Mus’ab bore a strong resemblance to the Holy Prophet ﷺ, and suddenly word went round that the Holy Prophet ﷺ had fallen. This false rumor completely confounded the Muslim warriors, and even the most steadfast and valiant among them were as if their backbone had been broken.
The valued companion Yaman was thus martyred by Muslim hands, although his son Hudhayfa cried out, “Don’t strike him, he is my father.” In the face of this, Hudhayfa cried out loudly, “Oh Lord, they did it unknowingly, forgive the Muslims for it!” and he carried away his father’s corpse. Both Yaman and Thabit ibn Waq’ash were old men, and the Holy Prophet ﷺ had not wanted them to go out to battle, but both had insisted, so the Holy Prophet ﷺ had accepted their pleas and they attained their goal.
In this way, the whole Muslim army was thrown into disarray. Only twelve fighters remained around the Holy Prophet ﷺ and they formed a protective ring around him. The Prophet ﷺ himself entered the protection of Faith and was sheltered beneath the shield of Divine Love. From time to time, he prostrated himself in sajda, saying, “Oh my Lord, do You not wish for Your Unity to be made known?”

Umm Ummara Joins the Battle

As already mentioned, the rumor that the Holy Prophet ﷺ had been slain left even the most determined of men in a witless state of mind. Umm ‘Umarra, hearing that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was dead, threw herself into the fray of the battle, yelling, “Ya Rasulullah!” Zayd bin Asim’s wife Nusayba, of the family of Ma’zin bin Najash, the daughter of Ka’b al-Ansar one of the great mothers of Islam had taken the oath of allegiance to the Holy Prophet ﷺ at Aqaba. Together with her husband and son, she had invited the Prophet ﷺ to come to Madinah. Now she threw herself upon the enemy and attacked them furiously, striking out at whomever she could reach, while at the same time searching tearfully for the Holy Prophet ﷺ.
Meanwhile, the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ general, Ali ر, was fighting the pagans with such fury and speed that his striking sword resembled a flash of lightning as it rose and fell on the battlefield. He, too, was looking for the Mirror of Truth, Muhammad’s ﷺ blessed countenance, which was nowhere to be seen. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab threw his sword aside and remained motionless in a desolate mood. The uncle of Anas bin Malik ر, Anas Abu Nadir saw ‘Umar ر sitting there disconsolately as he was passing to the other side while trying to break through the enemy lines. He asked him, “Oh ‘Umar, what is it with you that you are sitting here, your weapons thrown aside?” ‘Umar ر answered, “Whom should I fight for now that the Prophet is killed?” Abu Nadir ر then said to him, “Oh ‘Umar, come to your senses and rise from your seat! Know that the presence of Muhammad ﷺ who is a manifestation of the Divine Unity cannot ever disappear! The time to really fight has now come!”
These words of Abu Nadir ر infused ‘Umar ر with new life, he reached for his sword and took up fighting the enemy with renewed vigor. Abu Nadir ر was wounded in eighty places. He was so disfigured by the many lance thrusts that none could recognize him except his sister. When she heard that there was an unknown martyr, she went to the field and identified him by the tips of his fingers.
Now the Muslims began to stir anew and their battle spirit was rekindled. Everybody was out looking for the Holy Prophet ﷺ, but the first person to espy him was Ka’b bin Malik ر. As he was wearing his helmet, all that was seen of him were his blessed eyes. Those blessed eyes which were a window to the Truth, met the eyes of Ka’b bin Malik ر who cried out, “Oh Muslims, here is the Prophet ﷺ, he is here!” In his great joy, he showed them to the place. All the Sahaba came running to where he stood and ringed around him. But the unbelievers had also heard Ka’b’s cry of joy, and they drew near the spot as well. Ali and his comrades scattered the pagans closest to the Prophet ﷺ.
The unbelievers joined forces and they launched a second attack on the Holy Prophet ﷺ. This time they came very close. The Sahaba lay on top of the Holy Prophet ﷺ protecting him with their bodies as a shield, and taking the rain of arrows upon themselves. Some were wounded and some died as martyrs. Talha’s arm was wounded in defense of the Prophet ﷺ and he was disabled.
The noble lady warrior Umm Ummara ر already mentioned passed between Ibn Qami‘ah and the Holy Prophet ﷺ just as he attacked the Prophet ﷺ with a fierce blow of his sword. Umm Ummara ر struck him with her own sword, but the accursed Ibn Qami’ah was wearing double armor and the sword cut through only one layer of armor. Ibn Qami‘ah dealt Umm Ummara ر a blow that hit her armpit, but the Holy Prophet ﷺ held out his blessed hands and stroked her shoulder, and she was miraculously healed in an instant. Thereupon this noble lady said, “Oh Rasulullah, I wished to become a martyr from the bottom of my heart, but you have kept me from it.” That noble mother of Islam later struck yet another one of the most vicious enemy warriors who attacked the Holy Prophet ﷺ, and she cut his leg in two so that he fell from his mount.
According to one narration the son and husband of this lady were seriously injured and at the point of martyrdom, when they heard the voice of Umm Ummara ر, they called out, “Oh mother, let me just see you one more time,” and her husband called, “Come, my sweet wife, sit by my side for a bit,” but Umm Ummara ر answered, “They are attacking the Holy Prophet ﷺ, I must rush to defend him from their attack. Tell the Lord Almighty I am waiting to die by the side of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. May the Lord grant me, too, the rank of martyrdom! Go before me and give my Lord this message.” That was her answer.
However, this great lady had already been promised a tremendously high rank in the life of eternity: One day the Holy Prophet ﷺ had held up his hands in prayer and prayed, “Oh my Lord, do not separate me from Umm Ummara and her family!” All the Sahaba had wept as she was given her rank. How great a distinction for Umm Ummara to be singled out by him who is honored with perfect favor in the Divine Presence!
The unbelievers attacked with increasing fury. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas ر shot the arrows given to him by the Holy Prophet ﷺ one by one and they each hit their goal without fail. Every time he handed him an arrow, he said to Sa’d: “Oh Sa’d, may my father and mother be your ransom, may Allah accept everything you say!” With these words, he conferred upon him the very highest rank. Therefore Allah Almighty granted every one of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas‘ wishes.
This fact was well known among the Sahaba, wherefore they said, “If we offend him we will necessarily receive a curse in return.” They paid meticulous attention to be respectful of all his rights and wishes. In his old age, Sa’d ر lost the outward signs of his high rank, and the Sahaba said to him, “Oh Sa’d, you who are the beloved companion of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, why do you not pray for your eyesight to be restored, for whatever you wish for comes to pass.” Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas ر answered them, “I love the Divine Decree more than mine eyes; if I had one thousand eyes and all thousand of them became blind, I would not trade the opening of even one eye for His Decree.”
Among the archers there was one youth in particular who attracted the Holy Prophet‘s ﷺ blessed attention. His expert marksmanship and skill pleased him greatly. He went up close to this youth. As he was shooting an arrow at the enemies of Islam, he heard him say, “Take this, my Qurayshi friend” to which the Holy Prophet ﷺ replied, while patting him on the shoulder, “My son, how much more you would have achieved had you shot your arrow in the name of Islam.”

The Prophet ﷺ is Wounded

The pagans launched another fierce attack from another quarter, and this time they came very close to where the Holy Prophet ﷺ was standing. He was wounded in this onslaught and the destiny of Islam seemed to be endangered. There were four accursed persons of Quraysh who had sworn a pact to annihilate the Holy Prophet ﷺ: `Utba ibn Abi Waqqas, Ibn Qami’ah, Ubbay bin Khalaf and Abdullah bin Shahab. The accursed `Utba ibn Abi Waqqas injured the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ blessed lips. One of his teeth was broken, thereby martyred. The enemy of Allah Ibn Qami’ah struck the upper half of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ blessed countenance, the Mirror of Truth, and two of his helmet rings became embedded in his cheek.
As Abu ‘Ubaydah ر was attempting to remove these rings from the Prophet’s ﷺ blessed face, he pulled them out together with two of his own teeth. He was later asked by his companions, “While you were working at removing the rings from the Prophet’s ﷺ blessed face, did you not feel the pain of your teeth being drawn out?” To this Abu ‘Ubaydah replied, “What pain? When I drew near to the face of the Beloved of Allah, such was the flow of mercy that I received that nothing remained in me of myself.” However, none can understand these words who has not reached to the station of ‘ishq (Love), and is yet engrossed in the density of this material world. For those, our words have no meaning. Only this much let us say: generally when a man falls in love with a girl, at the sight of her he feels no desire for food or sleep, nor does he feel any pain. This state may be likened to that of intoxication with the Divine; it is a spiritual opiate to which Abu ‘Ubaydah ر had access. May Allah endow our words with beneficence.
The Glory of all the World, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was bleeding heavily from his face, and he wiped his hand over the wound in order to still the flow of blood. He said, “Oh Lord, what good can come to a people who have blooded their Prophet’s ﷺ face? No good can come of them, but they did it because they do not know, so forgive them.” For the Lord had made plain His Divine Will: “If only one drop of My Beloved’s blood falls to the ground, I will manifest My overwhelming power.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ interceded with the Lord, pleading, “Oh Lord, my people are ignorant, if only Thou wouldst guide them.” He thereby forestalled the Anger of the Divine.
Ali was trying to staunch the flow of blood. When the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ daughter Fatima ر heard in Madinah that her father, the Mercy to the Worlds, had fallen in battle, she ran to the battlefield. Seeing her father’s pure face all covered in blood and her husband Ali ر soiled from trying to wash it off with water, she cried out in tears, “Oh beloved father of mine, they have cut your face because of your calling them to Allah!?” Having assessed the situation, she instantly began to wash his holy face with her own hands, but the blood would not cease to flow. She said to Ali ر, “Burn a piece of cloth, so we can staunch the wound with the ashes.” So they burned a piece of cloth, Fatima ر laid it upon the wound with her own hands, and the flow of blood was stopped.
Then the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, “Who will sell his life for me?” ‘Umara bin Ziyad bin Saq’an ر said, “Oh Prophet of Allah ﷺ, I am ready to do so,” and he and the fourteen fighters he had brought along with him joined forces and threw themselves against the enemy, fighting until they all blissfully fell as martyrs. The Holy Prophet ﷺ wished for Ziyad ر to be brought to his side, and they brought him to the Prophet’s ﷺ side before his soul had quite left his body. For Ziyad ر had wished to die gazing at the Prophet’s ﷺ holy face. Ziyad ر opened his eyes once more to gaze with love upon the pure countenance of Muhammad ﷺ; he pronounced the words of the Shahada and was reunited with the Divine Presence. How blessed was he to surrender his soul while resting in the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ lap! Could there be any station higher than this? Was Ziyad ر the only holder of this station, to die in the favor of the Prophet’s ﷺ embrace? Certainly not, for most of the fighters in the cause Islam achieved this lofty station.

Allah Offers Martyrdom

A Muslim was eating some dates when the Holy Prophet ﷺ announced that the Lord Almighty Himself had offered the cup of martyrdom, and called for those wishing to attain that rank to come forth. The man thought to himself, “Perhaps by the time I finish eating these dates I will be too late to obey my Lord’s command,” and he threw the dates away. On account of one word from the blessed mouth of the Holy Prophet ﷺ he threw himself into the fray without delay and fought until he was cut down and martyred. Then again, there was Wahab bin Kabus ر who holds one of the foremost ranks in the Divine Order of things. Of him as great a personality as ‘Umar ر was to say, “Oh, if only I could be like Kabus, if only I could pass into the afterlife as the son of Kabus did.”
Wahab bin Kabus ر together with his cousin Qaris bin‘Aqad ر was on his way from Jabal Muzayana to Madinah to visit the Holy Prophet ﷺ, ignorant of the battle that was being waged. No sooner had he reached Madinah where he heard the news of the Prophet’s ﷺ engagement in battle against the unbelievers, then he immediately set out for Uhud to join in the fray. He reached the army of the Prophet ﷺ at a most critical moment. Because of the archers‘ mistake and disobedience to the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ advice, the Muslim army was surrounded and forced to withdraw. The enemy made use their momentary strength in attacking the Prophet’s ﷺ position with full force. Wahab – may Allah be well pleased with him – fought against the unbelievers with such force that he seemed to be a whole army of men, as though he had been granted extraordinary spiritual powers. The enemy was dispersed, but another group launched a second attack. The Holy Prophet ﷺ asked, “Who will go out against this new wave of attackers?” Wahab bin Kabus ر was worn out from fighting and had withdrawn into a corner to rest. Despite this, he instantly rose and said, “By your leave, oh Prophet of Allah ﷺ, I will go out and fight them anew.” This answer of Wahab’s, colored with the colors of Divine Love and Faith pleased the Holy Prophet ﷺ greatly. “Rise, Wahab,” he said; “I give you the good news of Allah.”
These words promising him the highest of all ranks issuing from the blessed mouth of the Prophet ﷺ were the strongest weapon Wahab possessed. Again he fought the enemy forces to his utmost power, and again he dispersed them, but now his force was spent, and according to the tidings of the Prophet ﷺ he was blissfully admitted into the Presence of the Divine. The Holy Prophet ﷺ went up to Wahab’s dead body and stroked and kissed him. “Oh Wahab,” he said, “I have come to visit you and I give Salams to your spirit, for I am pleased with you, and may Allah be pleased with you as well.” Thereby he showed him the very highest station.
Now there was a certain Jew living in Madinah by the name of Mukhayriq who lived by the law of the prophet Musa ع and who was known for his great learning and virtue. This man had become Muslim, but out of consideration for his circumstances he had so far kept his Islam secret. However, when the battle of Uhud began, he felt a great yearning and desire to be of service to the Holy Prophet ﷺ. When he could not sit still any longer, he went to the heads of his clan and said to them, “Do you have any doubt that I am the most learned among you in the knowledge of the heavenly scripture?” They answered him at once, “No, we haven’t a grain of doubt that you are the most knowledgeable amongst us all.”
“Know then that the Prophet of the Last Times who has been foretold in all the Holy Books, is Muhammad ﷺ who this very day is fighting the pagan Quraysh at Uhud. For us it is the very best way to success if we joined him and lent him our support.” “But today is the Sabbath, it is forbidden to us to do any work,” they replied. Mukhayriq ر replied, “Muhammad ﷺ who is the first and the last of all the prophets, has come to change the Shari’a, the holy law. Let us cut a long matter short, you have just confirmed that I know more about the laws of religion than all of you, so come along, let us sacrifice our souls for the sake of the Holy Prophet ﷺ this very day.”
But though he tried his best, he could not persuade them to leave their error behind and to accept Islam as the true choice of Allah. Mukhayriq ر therefore proclaimed his faith in the new religion all alone, and came into the presence of the Holy Prophet ﷺ at Uhud. “Oh Prophet of Allah, will you accept me, I have come to give my life and soul for you, and I make over all my possessions and belongings to you. I ask you to dispense of my property in the cause of this noble religion and for the love of Muhammad ﷺ, and for this battle fought for the sake of the Word of Allah.” After that, he went out to fight. He fought with bravery and valor, and was at last slain, dying a martyr. The Holy Prophet ﷺ praised him when he said of him, “Mukhayriq is the best of his people.
Still the enemy cavalry pressed in on the Prophet ﷺ. One of the enemy horsemen was ‘Uthman bin Mughira of the Bani Makhzum – may his name be cursed. He attacked the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and fell into the trench that Abu Amir had dug for the Holy Prophet ﷺ. He was slain by the sword of Harith ر and plunged into the pit of everlasting despair.

Umm Ayman is Injured

At this point in the battle, Umm Ayman ر was injured. She was one woman whom the Holy Prophet ﷺ loved exceedingly much; she had been his wet-nurse and he honored her by saying about her, “(She is) my mother after my mother.” This highly honored lady of Islam was one of the women who looked after the wounded in battle and distributed water. She was wounded by the treacherous Khayyam.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas ر, “Here, take this arrow and shoot the man who wounded my nurse,” and he prayed after that to the Lord, “Oh Allah, make his arrow hit its mark!” The arrow Sa’d shot upon the Prophet’s ﷺ command did not miss its mark and felled Khayyam to the ground. After this again Sa’d shot the arrow that the Prophet ﷺ gave him and killed one of the unbelievers, Malik bin Zuhayr who had hidden behind a rock and who had caused the Muslims great losses.
Though the enemy army had at one point very nearly routed the Muslims who were dispersed by attacking fighters, the Muslim army pulled itself together and the enemy was pushed back. Then there was a lull in the fighting.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ found it unsuitable to stay any longer on the open ground that he and his companions were occupying, and they withdrew to a more protected position behind the mountain of Uhud. When Abu Sufyan saw the Muslims gathering on the plain of Mt. Uhud, he contemplated attacking them again with another band of soldiers. But the Holy Prophet ﷺ prayed to Allah Almighty, saying, “Oh my Lord, do not permit these unbelievers to climb these heights, so that they might not defeat this handful of true believers; prevent them from achieving this!” In answer to the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ supplication the pagans were not able to scale the heights of Mt. Uhud.
The Meccans finally decided to withdraw, but before they went, Abu Sufyan wished to have certain news of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ condition. “Is Muhammad with you?” The Holy Prophet ﷺ commanded his companions to give no answer. This time Abu Sufyan asked, “Is Abu Bakr with you?” and he yelled three times, but again the Prophet ﷺ would let no one answer for him. After this Abu Sufyan asked about Ali and ‘Umar, but no one answered.
Thereupon Abu Sufyan turned and said to his men, “This means to say that they are dead, the backbone of Islam is therefore broken. We have attained our goal; this new religion is extinguished.” Hearing these vile words from the commander of the pagan army, ‘Umar the general of the new Shari’a could stand no more. He turned and yelled back at him, “Oh no, you vile and treacherous one, who has declared war on Allah and His Holy Prophet ﷺ, go tell your men that Allah has withered the lips of him who tries to extinguish this religion! All those about whom you ask are among the living, and they are soldiers of Allah’s army. They will come to exact their revenge on you yet.”
When Abu Sufyan heard ‘Umar speak these intrepid words, he was greatly astonished, and all he could say was, “The fortunes of war are variable. Today we have had our revenge for the Battle of Badr.” But ‘Umar yelled back at him again, answering, “Nay, it is not at all like that, in this too, you are in error. For our victory is from the bounty of Allah, while your victory is from the world of the fire which is the place of purification for the unbelievers.” Abu Sufyan then called upon the idols that he worshipped, and honored them, saying, “Oh great Hubal!” The Holy Prophet ﷺ, a confirmed servant of the Lord, commanded ‘Umar to reply in such a way as to affirm the Unity of Allah. ‘Umar raised his voice and called out:
Abu Sufyan, when he heard these words spoken in reverence, was confounded once more and could think of nothing to say but, “And we have ‘Uzza as well.” To this ‘Umar replied once more, “And Allah is our Lord.” Abu Sufyan then said, “Oh ‘Umar, your word is more to me than the word of Ibn Qami’ah, tell me truthfully: is Muhammad still alive?” ‘Umar replied, “I swear by Allah the Almighty that he is listening to all our prattle, that is the truth. Next year we will be back to measure ourselves against you, then we will see how it shall be.”

The Death of Ubayy bin Khalaf

The Holy Prophet ﷺ commanded ‘Umar to speak these words, and ‘Umar ر obeyed his order. Then he advised his companions to let him know immediately should they run into Ubayy bin Khalaf, and for no one to touch him. For before this time, while in Mecca, this man had said to the Prophet ﷺ whenever he ran into him, “Oh Muhammad, I am feeding a horse named ‘Awd, and it is from the back of this horse that I am going to kill you.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ had answered him, “Not so, for Allah Almighty will deal you death at my hands, while you are yet astride that horse.”
This treacherous man had been taken prisoner at Badr, had been ransomed and saved, and yet had not changed his ways. He returned to fight the Prophet ﷺ at Uhud. Suddenly he approached Muhammad, yelling at the top of his voice, “It’s you or I, Muhammad!” The Prophet’s ﷺ companions closed round him and prepared to assail him, but the Holy Prophet ﷺ had forbidden them to touch him, and ordered them to let him know when he came. Speaking the name of Allah upon his lance, he stepped out in front of them all, and hurled his lance at the accursed man, so that it broke his rib. The stricken man turned his horse and fled, crying out, “Muhammad has killed me!” Abu Sufyan met him and held him, saying, “What has happened to you, there is no injury to be seen, no blood, and you are a strong man, what is it with you?” But the man insisted, “I don’t know what it is, or how I am wounded, but I know that this is going to kill me! I cannot stand this,” and he rode on to the Meccan camp where indeed he died and went into the everlasting fire, which is the place of cleansing for those who disbelieved.
Later the Holy Prophet ﷺ was asked about these events, and he explained that when he had thrown his lance, the angel Jibra’il had lifted up the rib so that the weapon struck his liver and destroyed it. Then the angel had lowered the rib again so that there was no visible trace. Yet, the man was mortally wounded.
The pagans were finally convinced that they would not succeed in defeating the Muslims completely that day, so eventually they turned away from them, and rode back to camp.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ ordered Muhammad ibn Maslama ر to find Sa’d bin Rabi‘ ر, and he added, “I have seen Sa’d with twelve spears stuck in him, and I love Sa’d as I love my own eyes. Go and find him for me!” Muhammad ibn Maslama ر went out to the battlefield to find Sa’d. He went about calling, “Sa’d bin Rabi‘, where are you?” but he received no answer. At last, he called, “Oh Sa’d, I have been sent by the Holy Prophet ﷺ to find you, it is my blessed duty to find you, he wishes to know what happened to you.” Hearing the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ name mentioned, Sa’d ر then answered, “I am among the slain, and at this moment I am contemplating the Presence of Allah; I am submerged in the fragrance of Paradise, gazing at the Beauty of the Divine, drunk with the Love of Muhammad ﷺ; come to me, here I am.” These words led him to where he lay.
Muhammad ibn Maslama ran to the place the voice came from, and he found Sa’d in a pool of blood. He took him in his arms and once more Sa’d opened his eyes. “You have been sent by Muhammad ﷺ, oh Muhammad bin Maslama?” he asked him. When Muhammad bin Maslama answered him that this was so, he said to him, “Tell our revered Prophet ﷺ that I am sending him my Salams, and tell him that I have attained the Presence of the Beloved. Go give my Salams also to my people and say to them that if they wish to attain supreme success they should serve and support the Holy Prophet ﷺ, and seek to increase their love for him. Tell them that as long as they possess the strength to flutter an eyelid they should not fail in his service.” Then saying, “Oh Rasulullah, may you be satisfied with me!” he closed his eyes and surrendered his soul, entering the abode beyond all space.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ wandered across the battlefield and stopped in front of each of the martyrs, gazing at each one separately. His eyes filled with tears that Allah alone could dry and they fell upon each one of the martyrs. He prayed for each of them each and informed of their various stations. When he came upon his blessed uncle Hamza ر, the great lion of Islam and champion of mankind, the most valiant hero among all the other martyrs, he saw what had been done to him, how his blessed corpse had been mutilated, his ears cut off, his liver torn out. He threw himself upon his dear uncle’s holy body.
Never had the Holy Prophet ﷺ been seen to be so affected by anything as by these barbarous acts perpetrated on his beloved uncle, they were most hurtful to the Prophet ﷺ. As the Lord saw that His beloved Prophet ﷺ would not be able to bear the pain, He sent the angel Jibra’il to show him the high station Hamza now occupied in the Divine Presence. Then he was ordered to pray the prayer of the dead for the martyrs, and he prayed for every single one of them. When he came to pray over his uncle Hamza, he was so overcome that he could not pray. After he was composed, he prayed not less than seven times.

The Funeral Prayer in Islam

Oh Traveler on the road to Truth! You who are seeking the light of real knowledge! Even if it is an aside from our main topic here, I cannot pass without at least a brief mention of how immensely important the funeral prayer is in Islam.
In the illustrious religion of Islam, the funeral prayer tells of the spiritual station which material man occupies in the Divine Presence, and Islam is the only religion to possess such form of worship. It is a station reserved for the Holy Prophet ﷺ that is hereby open to all mankind, as a Divine grant for his nation. It is a form of prayer that combines similarity with exception, for in that it consists of Qiyam (standing in prayer) it shows its similitude, and in that it contains no ruku’ (bowing low) or sajda (prostration), it shows its exception. This is how the funeral prayer is prayed: The dead body of the Muslim is placed before the congregation praying the funeral prayer. The imam leading the funeral prayer stands at the height of the dead man’s chest, making his inner reality to be his Qibla. But lest any take this for a sign of idolatry, I hasten to elucidate as follows:
The chest is the location of iman (faith); the heart located at its center is the site of the call to Allah. On this site the Divine Gaze is trained, and it is the center of the organization of the human being. Therefore, when a true believer leaves this world and reaches his Lord, Allah Almighty orders the Muslims: “The heart of this servant of Mine was full of faith, and it was the established resting place of love, for Myself and My Beloved. This servant lived with Me, he walked with Me and rested in Me, he hurt no one, and he never inclined towards idolatry, disbelief, or hypocrisy. He was never slave to any tyrant. He always preserved his inner secret in the fairest of forms. In brief, he did not damage his distinction of “laqad karramna bani adama” (We have honored the Children of Adam – The Night Journey 70). He was not separated from Me for a single moment. Now he has passed into the other world and come to Me. Rise now and make him to be your Qibla! I graciously deign to descend upon his inner reality, so pray the funeral prayer over him, for in truth the Qibla is ever Mine,” speaks the Lord. This is the significance of the funeral prayer.
Therefore, when the Holy Prophet ﷺ was about to pray the funeral prayer over his beloved uncle Hamza, he plainly perceived the Descent of Divine Grace and could not get his fill of it. For that, he stood again and again, intoning the prayer anew.

More Examples of Pious Women

The sister of Hamza, Safiya, had come running out from Madinah to the field of Uhud as soon as she heard the news of her brother Hamza. The Holy Prophet ﷺ gave orders to the Companions to keep her away from the body of her dead brother, lest she see the state he was in. While the Companions tried to deter her from searching for the body of Hamza among the fallen, this blessed lady spoke, “Don’t try to hide my brother from me, I know he has fallen as a martyr. It is not such a terrible thing to die for the sake of Allah, in exchange for his soul my brother has received great reward and immeasurable gain. That is to say, Allah Almighty Himself has ransomed him which is why I wish to see his holy body.”
When he heard this answer from Safiya which bespoke of her deep faith and a heart filled with love and closeness to the Almighty, the Prophet ﷺ changed his mind and told his Companions to show her the body, saying, “She has earned the right to see him,” while at the same time he prayed, “Oh my Lord, just as You have shown me the special rank my uncle Hamza holds in your Divine Presence, show it also to his sister who is the embodiment of love and faith.” So they told her what had happened to the blessed body of Hamza and showed him to her. Safiya beheld the body of Hamza in the shape it is preserved in the Divine Presence, fully aware and in a wakeful state, sentient perception of his station, and she asked of him his intercession, while to people in general he appeared as a mutilated corpse. She touched him with fondness, reciting the holy words:
inna llillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`un.
Surely we belong to God and to Him we return. (The Cow, 156)
This lady was not the only example of perfect love of faith that the Holy Prophet ﷺ implanted in the hearts of those blessed martyrs in a brief period of time. Countless other examples could be cited, and assuming the reader’s consent, we shall mention here yet another blessed lady.
There was a woman of the Ansar who had one son who was a paragon of beauty and a brother and a husband, who both excelled in bravery. When she was informed of the death as martyrs of her dearest ones, successively, this respectable lady cried out repeatedly, “I want you to give me news of the Holy Prophet ﷺ!” In the end she learned where the Holy Prophet ﷺ was and she went to him and gazed at his blessed countenance, which mirrors the aspect of the Divine, and she called out, “Oh Rasulullah, now that I am seeing your blessed face all my troubles and woes are as nothing to me.”
What a wealth of religious sensitivity, what ardent love of faith! Thereafter the Holy Prophet ﷺ had all the martyrs gathered. The spiritual beings of these warriors having departed for the Presence of the Divine, their pure and blessed remains, which are likened to the soul’s bride, were wrapped in their winding sheets, covered as they were in their martyr’s blood. Without being washed they were reposed with awe and veneration in the earth who is their original mother, while the Holy Prophet ﷺ addressed the congregation as follows: “I bear witness that these friends of mine placed their own self-interest last and that they surrendered their lives and souls in Allah’s cause. Yes, in the eternal world to come, on that second Day of Gathering, those who were wounded for the sake of Allah will rise from their graves, blood flowing afresh from their wounds. No man nor angel will at that instance not feel passionate love for the color of that martyr’s blood, and indeed will become intoxicated on the scent issuing from it.”
How fortunate that man for whom none other than the Holy Prophet ﷺ bears witness! As much as he has said to Jabir, “Oh Jabir, when your father was dying the death of the martyr, Allah Almighty spoke to him without intermediary, and without veils and said to him, ‘Oh My servant, you who are giving up your life and soul for My sake! Whatever it is you wish for, tell Me, let Me know your every desire!’ Thereupon your father answered, ‘Oh My Lord, I have attained the goal of my faith in that I have come to You. What more is there left to wish for? Only for those whom I left behind in this world do I wish that they should know of my condition and of what You have granted to us.’ For the sake of your martyred father’s request, the Lord Almighty has commanded me through the revelation of these verses to make known the fate of the martyrs:
Count not those who were slain in God’s way as dead, but rather living with their Lord, by Him provided, rejoicing in the bounty that God has given them, and joyful in those who remain behind and have not joined them, because no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow, joyful in blessing and bounty from God, and that God leaves not to waste the wage of the believers. And those who answered God and the Messenger after the wound had smitten them -to all those of them who did good and feared God, shall be a mighty wage; those to whom the people said, ‘The people have gathered against you, therefore fear them’; but it increased them in faith, and they said, ‘God is sufficient for us; an excellent Guardian is He.’”  (The House of Imran, 169-173)
In this battle, the Muslims lost over seventy men who fell as martyrs, mostly from the Ansar. Their pure remains were delivered two by two to their original element, Mother Earth. For many of them no winding sheet could be found, such as Mus’ab bin ‘Umayr, the great standard-bearer of Islam, whose garment was not long enough to cover his feet. They covered them instead with branches from the rue-bush. Those who were close to one another and good friends in life were laid together in their graves in death. Hamza’ s nephew (the son of his sister) was buried together with Abdullah bin Jahsh; Abu Jabir, his brother-in-law ‘Amr bin Jamul and Khazraj bin Zayd were all laid in a grave together. There were also many wounded among the Muslims who needed to be looked after and attended.
The losses of the enemy did not exceed thirty men. The Muslims were full of deep remorse for not having heeded the advice of the Holy Prophet ﷺ at the outset of the battle. The Prophet ﷺ therefore gathered them all and addressed them: “Be not overly distraught, for you have been forgiven. The conquest of Mecca is near. However, be wary now, for the band of hypocrites is about to split off. We return to Madinah, and you will see clearly on their faces who is a true believer in Islam and who is not. The hypocrites will be weeded out.”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ turned once more towards the martyrs buried in the field, gave them his tender Salams and bade them farewell. Then he turned back towards Madinah with his Companions, although his blessed face was wounded. When the seriously injured were taken aside to be cared for, he spoke to the Companions of the condition of the enemy. “Now Abu Sufyan is thinking, ‘Why didn’t we complete what we had set out to do, to eliminate the Muslim threat?’ and he will be planning a new attack. Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl is lamenting, ‘The revenge for my father’s death is not yet complete, although we have dealt a painful blow to the Muslims, we are yet returning without having settled with them once and for all, we have not entirely eradicated them.’ Is there not one person among you who will show them that Islam is here to stay, that the cause of ‘La ilaha illAllah’ will remain until the Last Day? We ought to follow them and make sure that their taste for launching a new attack is thoroughly spoilt, so that they understand that the essential reality of Islam has not been weakened.”
Upon this Abu Bakr and Zubayr together with seventy men made ready on the spot, presenting themselves before the Holy Prophet ﷺ, saying, “Your wish is our command, oh Rasulullah!” After the Holy Prophet ﷺ had prayed the morning prayer with them in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, he called for Bilal al-Habashi, and commanded him to call out: “Let all the fighters of the Battle of Uhud assemble here, let them prepare to pursue the enemy.” Bilal called out this command of the Holy Prophet ﷺ with his strong voice, and the valiant warriors came running. Those who were only lightly wounded tied up their wounds and came along.
On the other side, Abu Sufyan had gone as far as Rawha when he decided to return to Madinah and launch a second attack on Islam. The Holy Prophet ﷺ left the city of Madinah under the aegis of Ibn Ummi Maktum and gave the Muslim standard into Ali’s hands. Although he himself had been injured, he mounted his steed and counting the seventy men Abu Bakr had assembled round him, there were six-hundred warriors setting out from Madinah that day.
They reached a place called Hamru-al-Asad at a distance of eight miles from the city, there the Holy Prophet ﷺ decided to set up camp. Abu Ma’bad, the chief of the Khuza’a, gave them his condolences for the losses they had suffered at Uhud. Ma’bad told them he was intending to travel to Mecca on some business and bid them farewell. Although the Khuza’a were not yet declared Muslims, their hearts already inclined towards Islam. When Abu Ma’bad passed the place of Rawha he made sure to call on Abu Sufyan. In the course of their conversation, Abu Sufyan asked him for news, as Ma’bad had expected him to. Ma’bad answered, “Wallahi, by God, I don’t know, but Muhammad is moving against you with an army the likes of which I have not seen before, composed in particular of those who were not able to come to Uhud with him.” “How is that possible,” exclaimed Abu Sufyan, “we had all but eliminated their main power and thrust!” “That I can’t say, all I know is that I have never seen such an army. They came to Hamra-al-Asad. Before you leave this place here, I think you will be seeing the hooves of their horses.” As soon as Safwan bin Umayya may his name be cursed – heard this, he said to Abu Sufyan, “Come, now that we have emerged victorious, let us not return to be beaten and defeated.” Abu Sufyan’s heart then filled with fear, and abandoning his plans, he returned to Mecca.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ meanwhile returned to Madinah. The city was filled with grief, there were tears shed in every house except in the houses of the hypocrites whose faces were glad. When the Holy Prophet ﷺ heard the shrill wails of the women coming from every house, he said, “Only for my uncle there is none who would weep,” and he added with tears brimming in his blessed eyes, “My dearest uncle, is there no one left at all to cry for you?” When the Ansar heard these words of the Holy Prophet ﷺ they came running with their wives to the presence of the Prophet ﷺ to give their condolences. From then on it became customary for each house to mention foremost the name of Hamza when bemoaning the dead and fallen. They sought to please of the Holy Prophet ﷺ by adopting this practice. The Holy Prophet ﷺ only forbade loud manifestations of grief like weeping and wailing, loud screaming and beating oneself, as was the custom in those times. He did say, however, that the tears flowing from grief are a rain of mercy in their own right.
Nowadays some people have abandoned these prophetic injunctions and the spiritual dimensions of this religion. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has taught a valuable lesson to those cold-hearted people who fail to understand these issues. Some people claim that in Islam there is no such thing as mourning; nay, they go even further. If a Muslim who loves his Prophet ﷺ more than he loves his own soul, happens to look a bit sad on the day that those lofty persons who were a living particle of the King of Prophets ﷺ passed away, they will say to him, “Oh my brother, how is it that you are out of sorts today? You do not belong to the people of error, do you? For you must know, surely, that there is no mourning in Islam.”
This we do not understand very well: if there is no mourning in Islam, that is to say, if there is no compassion – may God forbid this ever be so is our whole religion then swindle and fraud? Oh no, on the contrary, Islam is a religion of decency and decorum, kindness and compassion, and above all, mercy. When, for example, our neighbor dies, you will never express yourself lightly and pleasurably on that day. How much more must this be the case when one of the great personages of Islam is engulfed by sorrow! How can it be counted among the precepts of our religion to remain as unmoved as a piece of wood by such events? It must be understood that the compassion felt in the face of any disaster is a mercy resulting from familiarity with the venerated Prophet ﷺ; on that account, how could this coldness of feeling towards him be evidence of anything but the lack of connectedness to the Holy Prophet ﷺ, the Glory of the Worlds?

The Military Defeat at Uhud

Oh you who wish to taste of the sweetness of faith! We now ask ourselves this question: what wisdom lay in the defeat of the blessed Sahaba at the Battle of Uhud? We shall try to give an answer. There were those who would readily give their whole heart for this noble religion of Islam and follow the Holy Prophet ﷺ perfectly and there were those of doubtful adherence to the faith, that is to say, the hypocrites. Of the second group, there were some who were to enter Islam in the future, for example Khalid ibn al-Walid, who was a genius of warfare. For the sake of the good deeds to be performed in the future, Allah Almighty in His Divine Wisdom and Subtlety permitted him this show of outward success, as a pre-empted reward, so that all his might and glory might not be broken.
For Khalid’s most glorious and honor-filled future was yet to come when the Light of the Quran which is the backbone of all Islam would blot out his stubbornness and zealotry. Moreover, at the armistice of Hudaybiyah, they were defeated by the sword of the Quran. In submission to the power residing at Madinah they bowed their heads and accepted Islam. Khalid ibn al-Walid became a great and mighty commander and was raised to the rank of “Sayfullah,” the “Sword of Allah.” He came to be one of the mightiest swords in the conquests of Islam and is counted amongst the most eminent of the Sahaba.
It is related that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ was in great distress and separated from all of the Sahaba during the Battle of Uhud, the Lord of the Worlds sent to him five angels. The angels said to him, “Oh Rasulullah, we have come to your aid, whatever you wish, we will do it.” One of the angels said, “I am the angel in charge of the wind; if it is your wish, I will blow your enemies to pieces as happened to the people of ‘Ad.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to him, “Go away and tend to your own business.” The second angel came and said, “Oh Prophet of Allah! I am the angel in charge of fire; if you command me, I will rain fire upon them and burn them up, for the Lord has sent us to thee!” But the Holy Prophet ﷺ wished to accept no help from this angel either.
Then the third angel came up to him and said, “As I caused the earth to open in order to swallow Qarun, thus I will cause the earth to open and close over all of them, if you will only permit me.” The fourth angel came and said, “I am the angel in charge of the waters; if you permit, I will drown them in a flood like the flood of Nuh, though this be a waterless country.” And the fifth angel spoke and said, “I am the angel of thunder and lightning. Allow me, and I will strike them with bolts of lightning and destroy them utterly.”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ then wept, “Oh my Lord, have mercy on my people, for they do not know me. If they knew they would not act as they do.” He refrained from asking the Lord to destroy his enemies, he prayed for His mercy upon them. He said then, “Maybe there are some among them who are Muslims, or some whose children will become Muslim – how should I curse them?” and he did not do so. Despite the fact that they did him such harm and caused him so much hurt, he would not curse them, for all prophets’ curses instantly take effect, but they also decrease the rank and station of that prophet. Therefore the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ became a Mercy for the Worlds.