The battle of Hunain is a very important battle in the history of Islam because it is among the few battles that are mentioned in the Holy Quran.
This battle was fought in 636 A.D between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), along with his companions, and some Bedouin tribes, Hawazin and Thaqif were the most prominent.
This battle mentioned in the Surat Tawbah was fought in the Hunain valley which is located on the route between Makkah and Taif.
Hunain was the last encounter led personally by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (S.A.W).
The background of the battle of Hunain:
The Hawazins were the enemies of the Muslims from a very long time. They were located north-east of Makkah. Thaqif was a subtribe of the Hawazin tribe. Therefore, both parties came together to defeat the Muslims who were victorious on their conquest of Makkah (8 A.H).
The Thaqif tribe was settled in Taif at that time. These two tribes were aware of the growing power and popularity of Muhammad (PBUH), a Quraishi leader. The two tribes thought that they would easily defeat Muhammad (S.A.W) and his forces because of their recent encounter in Makkah.
Therefore, the leaders of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribe invited other tribes to join hands against the Muslim Arabs. The tribes that responded to their call were Jusham, Nasr, Sa‘ad bin Bakr, Bani ‘Amr bin Amir, Bani Hilal, and Bani ‘Awf bin Amir assembled at Awtas along with the Hawazin and Thaqeef tribe.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was accompanied by 12,000 men. Two thousand were the Quraish who were converted at the time of the conquest of Makkah and the remaining 10,000 were those Muslims that travelled from Makkah to Madinah along with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
This was the first time that the Muslims were that great in number. This number initially caused tensions among the Muslim army, why and how?
Well, some of the Muslims perceived that they were larger in number and they would easily win against the opponent tribes. This confidence (of some of the troops) proved bad for the Muslims initially as they did not come up with any war tactic.
The (Ghazwa) Battle of Hunain begins:
The spies dispatched by the Hawazin tribe constantly reported about the Muslim army. The mobile troops of the Thaqif and the Hawazin tribe were detecting the position and the amount of the Muslims constantly.
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came across the plans of the non-Muslims, he left Makkah for the Hawazin valley where his spies reported the position of the Hawazin and their allies. The Prophet (PBUH) left Attab Ibn Asid in Makkah to look after those who were left behind.
The Muslim army arrived at Hunain on Wednesday, the tenth of Shawwal. The Hawazin and the allies were already hiding in the Hunain valley and when Muslims started camping there, they were showered with arrows.
This immediate attack on the Muslims caused them to retreat in confusion. It is reported that only some soldiers were left with the Holy Prophet (PBUH). These included Ali ibn Abi Talib (R.A), Usamah (R.A), Abbas ibn Abdullah (R.A) and some other.
Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) called the Muslims back. On hearing the Prophet’s (PBUH) command, the Muslims returned to the battlefield and then fought the non-believers. Muhammad (S.A.W) said:
Where are you going men? Come to me. I am Allah’s Messenger. I am Mohammad, the son of Abdullah.Narrated by Ibn Kathir in ” Battles of Prophet”
Regarding this, the Holy Quran says:
“Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and sent down soldiers angels whom you did not see and punished those who disbelieved. And that is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (9:25 Al-Tawbah)
Some of the enemies tried to escape from the battlefield but the Muslims managed to catch them. With this, Allah almighty bestowed a wonderful victory to the Muslims.
Aftermath of the battle of Hunain:
This battle was very important for the Muslims from the fact that it allowed Muslims to capture massive spoils of war, 24 000 camels and 6000 prisoners as well.
Among the prisoners of battle was Shaima, daughter of Halima Saadia (R.A.). Muslim soldiers took her to the Prophet (S.A.W.) Prophet (S.A.W.) recognized her and treated her with massive respect and placed his garment on the ground and be seated her.
The other spoils of war include 40,000 goats and 160,000 silver coins. The enemies that managed to escape met the Muslims in the battle of Awtas.
The importance of the battle:
The importance of the battle of Hunain is that it provided Muslims some important lessons. Some of them were:
- A Muslim only fights for the sake of Allah. A true Muslim will never strive for bounty.
- It is mandatory for Muslims to obey Allah and his messenger Muhammad (PBUH) at all costs and keep their faith strong.
- Your numbers will not bestow victory upon you. Instead, it is Allah who has the power to crown anyone as the winner.
- As long as the Muslims will follow the path of Allah and his messenger, they will not be misguided. If Muslims will fall prey to Satanic temptations, they are likely to be misguided.
- You should expect any kind of situation in a battle as Prophet (S.A.W) himself said that war is nothing but a game of tactics.
The important commanders and leaders in the Muslim army were:
- Muhammad (PBUH)
- Ali ibn Abi Talib (R.A)
- Abu Bakr (R.A)
- Umar ibn Khattab (R.A)
- Uthman ibn Affan (R.A)
- Zubair ibn Awam (R.A)
- Abu Sufiyan (R.A)
Moreover, four Muslims were martyred during the battle and seventy enemy soldiers were killed.
The bottom line:
This takes us to wrap up the entire event. The battle of Hunain was crushed the power of the tribes that were constantly threatening Islam. The plans of the enemies of the Prophet (PBUH) were exposed.
Furthermore, this battle increased the influence of Muslims throughout Arabia. The huge spoils of war allowed Muslims to become stronger financially and compete with other powers opposing Islam.
Thank You very much for staying with me till the end.