The Battle of Hunayn
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 8 AH, the Battle of Hunayn occurred in the valley of the same name between Mecca and Ta’ef, when Arab infidels of the Hawazen and Thaqeef tribes attacked Muslims, following the peaceful surrender of Mecca to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Proud of their military might, the pagan Arabs resolved to strike and kill the Prophet to prevent the spread of the monotheistic teachings of Islam.
The Muslims, for their part, were deceived by the apparently large number of converts to the faith by the Meccan Arabs, only a fortnight ago. But when the infidel Arabs ambushed the army of Islam, almost all the neo-Muslim forces, including the Muhajer and the Ansars fled, deserting the Prophet, except for his valiant cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), his another cousin Abu Sufyan ibn Harreth ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, his uncle Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, and a few others.
The valour of Imam Ali (AS) saved the day, while the loud voice of Abbas in urging the fleeing Muslims to return brought back no more than a hundred Muslims to the battlefield. The Prophet, beseeching God Almighty for help, ordered the fight-back. Imam launched an attack, with his flashing blade Zulfeqar making short work of the fearsome Arab standard-bearer Abu Jaroul and some 40 other warlords, which forced the infidels to retreat, thereby resulting in a decisive defeat for the pagan Arabs. The holy Qur’an has referred to this event in ayah 25 of Surah Towba, which reads: “Allah has certainly helped you in many situations, and on the Day of Hunayn, when your great number impressed you, but it did not avail you in any way, and the earth became narrow for you in spite of its expanse, whereupon you turned your backs [to flee].
"Then Allah sent down His composure upon His Prophet and upon the faithful, and He sent down hosts you did not see, and He punished the faithless, and that is the requital of the faithless."