when mus‘ab was killed, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] delivered the standard to ‘ali bin abi talib. ‘ali, in conjunction with the other companions, went on fighting bravely and set marvellous examples of heroism, courage and endurance in both defence and attack.
then the messenger of allâh [pbuh] made his way to his encircled army. ka‘b bin malik, who was the first one to recognize the approaching prophet [pbuh], shouted as loudly as he could: "o folks of muslims, be cherished! the messenger of allâh [pbuh] is here." but the messenger of allâh [pbuh] signed to him to stop lest his position should be located by the idolaters. upon hearing the shout, the muslims immediately raced towards the source of the shout which brought about thirty companions to gather around the prophet [pbuh]. with this assembled number of his companions, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] started drawing a planned withdrawal to the hillocks nearby.
hostilities of the enemy grew fiercer than ever with the aim of foiling the plan of withdrawal of the muslims. their attempts however proved to be fruitless due to the heroic steadfastness of the lions of islam.
‘uthman bin ‘abdullah bin al-mugheerah — one of the enemy horsemen — progressed towards the messenger of allâh [pbuh] while saying: "either i kill him (i.e. muhammad [pbuh]) or i will be killed." the messenger of allâh [pbuh] moved to encounter him but his mare tripped into some holes. so al-harith bin as-simma combated with the enemy, and struck him on his leg so he went lame, then he finished him off, took his arm and overtook the messenger of allâh [pbuh].
but later on another makkan horseman, called ‘abdullah bin jabir, attacked al-harith bin as-simma, and struck him on the shoulder with his sword and he was carried to the camp of the muslims suffering from serious wounds. anyway that very idolater did not escape death, for abu dujana — the red head-banded hero and adventurer — struck him heavily and cut his head off.
during this bitter fight, a desire to sleep overwhelmed the muslims — that was a security and tranquillity to help his slave muslims as the qur’ân spoke in this context. abu talhah said: "i was one of those who were possessed by a desire to sleep on uhud day. on that day my sword fell off my hand several times. again and again it fell down and again and again i picked it up."[sahih al-bukhari 2/582]
in a regular withdrawal and with great bravery and boldness, the muslims finally retreated to the cover of mountain uhud. then, the rest of the army followed them to that safe position. in this manner, the genius of muhammad [pbuh] foiled that of khalid bin al-waleed.