When and how did The Battle of Hunayn take place?
The Arab tribes were awaiting the settlement of the conflict between the
Quraysh and the Muslims, before accepting Islam, saying: ‘If Muhammad prevails
over his people, he would indeed be a Prophet’. Consequently, when that was
accomplished, they began to enter Islam in throngs. This shocked the pagan idolaters,
who organized a great gathering near Ta’if to concert plans for attacking God’s
Messenger. The Hawazin and the Thaqif tribes,
who were famous for courage and throwing arrows, took the lead and prepared
a great expedition for Makka. Informed of their movements through ‘Adbullah
ibn Hadrad, whom he had sent to them, God’s Messenger left Makka with 12,000
Muslims, among whom there was a confident enthusiasm due to the new conversions
numbering 2,000. In order to protect Makka from an attack and consolidate the
belief of new Muslims by healing their wounded feelings, God’s Messenger did
not want to meet the enemy within the confines of Makka.
The battle was joined at Hunayn, a valley between Makka and Ta’if. The new
converts in the Muslim ranks had more enthusiasm than wisdom, more a spirit
of elation than of faith and confidence in the righteousness of their cause.
The enemy had the advantage of knowing the ground thoroughly. They laid an ambush
in which the advance guard of the Muslim forces was caught or intentionally
pushed by God’s Messenger, who might have planned
to draw the enemy in under the guise of retreat. However, the retreat was in
confusion, under a shower of enemy arrows. The Prophet, as ever, was calm in
his faith and wisdom in that hour of danger and spurred his horse forward. His
uncle ‘Abbas was on his right and Fadl, the son of ‘Abbas, on his left. While
Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith was trying to stop him, he was crying:
Now war has
been kindled. I am the Prophet, that is no lie. I am the descendant of ‘Abd
‘Abbas called out at the top of his voice: ‘Companions who made the pledge
of allegiance under the acacia tree!’ . Thereupon, from all sides the Companions
responded ‘Labbayk’ (at your service!), and rallied to the Prophet, upon him
be peace and blessings. The enemy, who had pushed themselves into the center
of the Muslim army, were surrounded from all sides. The courage, wisdom and
steadfastness of God’s Messenger changed a seeming defeat into a decisive victory.
It was by God’s help that the Muslims won the day. They completed the victory
with an energetic pursuit of the enemies, capturing their camps, their flocks
and herds they had boastfully brought with them in
expectation of an easy victory.
The routed enemy took refuge in Ta’if. The Muslim victory persuaded the desert
tribes to accept Islam and shortly thereafter the rebel tribes and Ta’if also
surrendered and entered Islam.
here to read Prophet`s prayer while he was returning from Ta’if
1. Bukhari, “Jihad,” 52; Muslim, “Jihad,” 78.
2. I. Kathir, 4.373.