the polytheists having received a large dose of disciplining and heavy defeat, fled away in great disorder in the vales and hillocks heading for makkah panicked and too ashamed to see their people.
ibn ishaq related that the first herald of bad tidings was al-haisaman bin ‘abdullah al-khuza‘i. he narrated to them how their notables were killed. people there did not believe him at first and thought that he had gone mad, but soon the news was confirmed and a state of incredible bewilderment overwhelmed the whole makkan scene. abu sufyan bin al-harith gave abu lahab a full account of the massacre and the disgraceful rout they sustained, with emphasis on the role that the angels played in bringing about their tragic end. abu lahab could not contain himself and gave vent to his feelings of resentment in beating, abusing and slapping abu rafi‘, a muslim, but reticent on his conversion, for reiterating the role of the angels. umm al-fadl, another muslim woman, greatly exasperated by abu lahab’s thoughtless behaviour, struck him with a log and cracked his head. seven days later, he died of an ominous ulcer and was left for three days unburied. his sons, however, for fear of shameful rumours, drove him to a pit and keeping their distance, hurled stones and dust at him.
the defeat was a matter of great shame and grief for the makkans. in almost every house there were silent tears for the dead and the captives. they were burning with humiliation and were thirsting for revenge. wailing, lamenting and crying however were decreed strictly forbidden lest the muslims should rejoice at their affliction.