The battle of “Zaat as-Salasel”
On 26th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 8th AH, the Muslims led by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) achieved a great victory in the battle of “Zaat as-Salasel” which was fought against the pagan Arab tribes north of Medina on the road to Syria. The event occurred in the aftermath of the Battle of Mu'tah (in what is now Jordan) against a joint force of Christian Arabs and Romans that ended inconclusively, and which encouraged pagan Arab tribes to plan raids on Medina to wipe out Islam.
When Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) learned about the plans of the Arab infidels he dispatched a force under the newly converted Amr bin Aas to Wadi al-Qura where the enemies were amassing; in order to invite them to Islam or disperse them. Amr was overawed by the numbers and requested the Prophet for reinforcements that were sent under Abu Bakr, who after a skirmish and loss of men returned to Medina.
Another force was dispatched under Omar ibn Khattab and suffered the same fate. The Prophet then decided to entrust the command to his dear cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali (AS), who duly invited the pagan Arabs to Islam. The infidels refused and prepared for battle. The Imam, despite the mountainous terrain and steep valleys, ably organized the defence. Then after several bouts of individual combat during which he made short work of the arrogant Arabs who challenged him, including their fearsome warlord, Hareth bin Makida, he launched a swift attack to soundly defeat them.
The Muslims lost only two persons, while the pagan Arabs suffered huge casualties and completely surrendered to the Muslims along with their women, children and possessions. In Medina, the Prophet informed the people that in honour of Imam Ali's victory, God has revealed “Surah Adiyaat”.
On his return to Medina, the Imam was greeted outside the city by the Prophet, who wiped the dust off the face of his dear cousin, kissed his forehead and with tears of joy, said: O Ali, I thank Allah, Who strengthened me through you. O Ali, like Moses, who prayed to Allah, to strengthen his arms by his brother (Aaron) and make him share his Prophethood, I also asked the same from Almighty Allah (for you) and He approved it.
Then the Prophet turned to the companions and said: I love him by the command of Allah. O Ali, the one who befriends you has befriended me, and the one who loves me, loves Almighty Allah, and the one who loves Almighty Allah is loved by Him and Paradise is his abode. O Ali, the one who is inimical to you, is inimical to me, and the one who is inimical to me, is inimical to the Almighty Allah. And He will not accept any deed of the enemies of Ali (AS).