the battle of uhud took place in shawwal of the third year after the hijrah. after their nobles had been killed at badr and they had suffered a calamity the likes of which they had never suffered before, the quraysh were bent on revenge to restore their lost prestige. so abu sufyanmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himbegan to incite them against the muslims and recruit various factions. he gathered around three thousand men from the quraysh and their allies, accompanied by their women to prevent them from fleeing and urge them on. he marched with them toward madinah and they camped near mount uhud.
the messenger of allah peace be upon him consulted his companions about whether he peace be upon him should go out to meet them or remain in madinah. the first opinion was that they should not leave the city but fortify themselves within it, so if they entered the muslims would kill them. but another group of companions preferred to go out to meet the enemy. so the messenger of allah peace be upon him marched out on friday with a thousand companions. but somewhere between madinah and uhud, the hypocrite, `abdullah ibn ubayy returned with about one third of the soldiers, saying to them, "would you oppose my opinion and obey someone else?!"
the messenger of allah peace be upon him continued on and halted in an area near uhud. he peace be upon him placed the army with their backs to the mountain and told them not to fight until he peace be upon him ordered them. by saturday morning, he peace be upon him was prepared for battle along with the seven hundred soldiers, among them fifty horsemen.
he peace be upon him put `abdullah ibn jubayrmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himin command of fifty archers and ordered them to stay at their posts and not to leave them even if they should see birds of prey taking the flesh of the soldiers. they were placed behind the army and ordered to shower the polytheists with arrows so they could not attack the muslims from behind.
the battle began, and in the early part of the day the muslims got the advantage and were defeating the polytheists; they retreated to the position of their women. when the archers saw their defeat they left their places in which the prophet peace be upon him had told them to remain, and shouted, "the spoils of war!" their commander reminded them of the prophet's peace be upon him order but they did not listen, thinking that the polytheists would not be back. they went down after the spoils, leaving a gap in the line of defence.
but the enemy horsemen returned and found the opening unprotected by the archers. they broke through and surrounded the muslims. those whom almighty allah honoured with martyrdom were martyred and the companions retreated. the polytheists closed in on the messenger of allah peace be upon him. they wounded his face, broke his tooth, smashed the helmet on his head and hit him with stones until he peace be upon him fell, injured, into one of the holes that abu `amir al-fasiq had dug as traps for the muslims. `alimamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himtook his hand to lift him out and talhah ibn `ubaydullahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himheld him in his lap. two iron rings from his helmet had pierced his cheek and were pulled out by abu `ubaydah ibn al-jarrahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with him. malik ibn sinanmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with him, the father of abu sa`eed al-khudrimamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with him, sucked out the blood to clean his cheek. mus`ab ibn `umayrmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himwas killed in front of him so he gave the standard to `ali ibn abi talibmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with him.
the polytheists had surrounded him, determined to do that which almighty allah was to prevent. almighty allah prevented it by means of a group of ten muslims who defended him until they were killed and talhahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with him, who kept on fighting until he drove them back. abu dajanahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himshielded him with his back, not moving while arrows struck him. the eye of qatadah ibn an-nu`manmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himwas injured that day, and the messenger of allahpeace be upon him pressed it back in its place with his hand. it was thereafter his best and sharpest eye.
when ibn qami'ah, shouted, "muhammad peace be upon him has been killed," it disheartened the muslims and most of them fled; but the decree of almighty allah was predestined. so the messenger of allahpeace be upon him went toward the remaining muslim army. the first to recognize him under his helmet was ka`b ibn malikmay allah be pleased with him, who shouted at the top of his voice, "o company of muslims, good news! here is the messenger of allahpeace be upon him!" but hepeace be upon him signalled him to be quiet. the muslims gathered around him and hastened with him to his camp; among them were abu bakr, may allah be pleased with him`umar may allah be pleased with him, `ali may allah be pleased with him, al-harith ibn as-sammah al-ansari may allah be pleased with him and others. when they had backed up against the mountain, the prophet saw ubayy ibn khalaf charging on his horse to kill him so, he threw his spear and hit him at the side of his neck causing him to fall from his horse and run back, defeated, to his people. he died on the way back to makkah. the muslims also killed the standard bearer of the polytheists.
the prophet peace be upon him washed the blood from his face and prayed seated due to his wounds. handhalahmay allah be pleased with him had been killed while in a state of sexual impurity so he was washed by the angels. and umm `umarah, nusaybah bint ka`b al-maziniyyah, fought valiantly; `amr ibn qami'ah had struck her with his sword, wounding her severely. the number of muslims killed that day was around seventy, and from the polytheists, twenty-three. the quraysh badly mutilated the bodies of the muslims. among those killed from the muslims was the prophet's peace be upon him uncle, hamzahmay allah be pleased with him.
zad al-ma`ad, 3/193 and lubab al-khiyar fi seerat-il-mukhtar, p.64.