Page 112 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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Nu‘man. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) immediately mustered 100 horsemen under the
leadership of Zaid bin Harithah Al-Kalbi and despatched them to intercept and capture the caravan.
They caught up with the camels at a place called Al-Qardah. They took the polytheists by surprise
and arrested their guide and two other men. Safwan and his guards fled away without showing the
least resistance. The caravan was carrying silver and wares whose value amounted to 100 thousand
dirhams. The booty was distributed among the Muslim warriors after one-fifth had been set aside for
the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Furat bin Haiyan embraced Islam out of his o wn sweet free will.
As a result of this episode, the Muslims foiled Quraish’s plans to find a new trade route. The
economic siege laid to Makkah was thus consolidated and had a great impact on the mercantile
economy of Makkah. The Makkans were terribly anxious and worried about their prospects of life
now at stake with no hope whatsoever for any possible rehabilitation of commercial life or
redemption of former prestige at the socio-political level except through two avenues categorically
contrasting: Relinquishing all symbols of arrogance and all attitudes of haughtiness through
reconciliation with the new status quo, and peaceableness with the Muslims; or launching a decisive
overwhelming war with the aim of crushing down the military forces of Madinah. It was apparent
through the process of events that Quraish had opted for the second alternative. Loud cries were
being heard everywhere in Makkah demanding immediate vengeance and quick retaliatory action.
These movements on all levels constituted the direct preliminaries to the battle of Uhud.
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