Page 172 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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began to weep at that moment, and when asked why he was weeping, he swore that it was not love
for this world nor under a motive of infatuation with the glamour of life but rather the Words of Allâh
speaking of Fire that he heard the Prophet peace be upon him reciting:
"There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a Decree which must be
accomplished." [19:71]
The Muslim army then marched northward to Ma'ân, a town bordering on geographical Syria. There
news came to the effect that Heraclius had mobilized a hundred thousand troops together with
another hundred thousand men of Lakham, Judham and Balqain - Arabian tribes allied to the
Byzantines. The Muslims, on their part had never thought of encountering such a huge army. They
were at a loss about what course to follow, and spent two nights debating these unfavourable
conditions. Some suggested that they should write a letter to the Prophet peace be upon him
seeking his advice. 'Abdullah bin Rawaha was opposed to them being reluctant and addressed the
Muslims saying: "I swear by Allâh that this very object which you hold in abhorrence is the very one
you have set out seeking, martyrdom. In our fight we don't count on number of soldiers or
equipment but rather on the Faith that Allâh has honoured us with. Dart to win either of the two,
victory or martyrdom." In the light of these words, they moved to engage with the enemy in
Masharif, a town of Al-Balqa', and then changed direction towards Mu'tah where they encamped.
The right flank was led by Qutba bin Qatadah Al-'Udhari, and the left by 'Ubadah bin Malik Al-Ansari.
Bitter fighting started between the two parties, three thousand Muslims against anenemy fiftyfold
as large.
Zaid bin Haritha, the closest to the Messenger's heart, assumed leadership and began to fight
tenaciously and in matchless spirit of bravery until he fell, fatally stabbed. Ja'far bin Abi Talib then
took the banner and did a miraculous job. In the thick of the battle, he dismounted, hamstrung his
horse and resumed fighting until his right hand was cut off. He seized the banner with his left hand
until this too was gone. He then clasped the banner with both arms until a Byzantine s oldier struck
and cut him into two parts. he was posthumously called "the flying Ja'far" or "Ja'far with two wings"
because Allâh has awarded him two wings to fly wherever he desired there in the eternal Garden.
Al-Bukhari reported fifty stabs in his body, none of them in the back.
'Abdullah bin Rawaha then proceeded to hold up the banner and fight bravely on his horseback while
reciting enthusiastic verses until he too was killed. Thereupon a man, from Bani 'Ajlan, called Thabit
bin Al-Arqam took the banner and called upon the Muslims to choose a leader. The honour was
unanimously granted to Khalid bin Al-Waleed, a skilled brave fighter and an outstanding strategist.
It was reported by Al-Bukhari that he used nine swords that broke while he was relentlessly and
courageously fighting the enemies of Islam. He, however, realizing the grave situation the Muslims
were in, began to follow a different course of encounter, revealing the super strategy-maker, that
Khalid was rightly called. He reshuffled the right and left flanks of the Muslim army and introduced
forward a division from the rear in order to cast fear into the hearts of the Byzantine by deluding
them that fresh reinforcements had arrived. The Muslims engaged with the enemies in sporadic
skirmishes but gradually and judiciously retreating in a fully organized and well-planned withdrawal.
The Byzantines, seeing this new strategy, believed that they were being entrapped and drawn in the
heart of the desert. They stopped the pursuit, and consequently the Muslims managed to retreat
back to Madinah with the slightest losses. The Muslims sustained twelve martyrs, whereas the
number of casualties among the Byzantines was unknown although the details of the battle point
clearly to a large number. Even though the battle did not satisfy the Muslims' objective, namely
avenging Al-Harith's murder, it resulted in a far-ranging impact and attached to the Muslims a great
reputation in the battlefields.
The Byzantine Empire, at that time, was a power to be reckoned with, and mere thinking of
antagonizing it used to mean self-annihilation, let alone a three-thousand-soldier army going into
fight against 200,000 soldiers far better equipped and lavishly furnished with all luxurious
conveniences. The battle was a real miracle proving that the Muslims were something exceptional
not then familiar. Moreover, it gave evidence that Allâh backed them and their Prophet, Muhammad,
was really Allâh's Messenger. In the light of these new strategic changes, the archenemies among
the desert bedouins began to reconcile themselves with the new uprising faith and several
recalcitrant tribes like Banu Saleem, Ashja', Ghatfan, Dhubyan, Fazarah and others came to profess
Islam out of their own sweet free will.
Mu'tah Battle, after all, constituted the forerunner of the blood encounter to take place with the
Byzantines subsequently. It pointed markedly to a new epoch of the Islamic conquest of the
Byzantine empire and other remote countries, to follow at a later stage.
Dhat As-Salasil Campaign:
Dhat As-Salasil is a spot situated ten days' walk north of Madinah. The Muslims are said to have
encamped in a place with a well of water called Salsal, hence the terminology Dhat As-Salasil. In
view of the alliance between the Arabian tribes on the borders of Syria and the Byzantines, the
Prophet peace be upon him deemed it of top urgency to carry out a wisely-planned manoeuvre that
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