the day was a friday. muhammad led the prayer and informed the congregation that their victory depended on their patience and careful preparation for war. after the mid-afternoon prayers, he returned home with abu bakr and `umar, who helped him put on his armour and handed to him his sword. in the meantime, the people were waiting outside and arguing with one another. usayd ibn hudayr and sa'd ibn mu'adh, who had argued in favor of remaining in madinah, addressed the people in these words: "you must have noticed that the prophet was of the opinion that we should remain in madinah and meet our enemy here. in saying what you did, you dissuaded him from this position against his will. had you not better delegate the matter to him entirely, follow his verdict, and obey him?" the protagonists of the opposite view were suddenly struck by the idea that they might have opposed the prophet in a matter in which god might have guided him. when he came out of his house wearing his armour and carrying his sword, they came to him pleading that they did not mean to disagree with him. they declared themselves prepared to abide by his and god's judgment whatever that may be. muhammad answered: "i have previously called you to follow such a course but you resisted. the prophet is not one to put away his armour and sword once he puts them on until god's judgment is rendered between him and his enemies. obey me henceforth. victory will be yours provided you bear yourselves in patience." thus, besides the principle of consensus, muhammad placed order at the foundation of government. once the community has made up its mind after due deliberation, it should not alter it in haste, but endeavor resolutely to see through. it is then the responsibility of its executive to see to it that the course followed does indeed accomplish the objective sought.
the muslims' march
muhammad set out at the head of his force in the direction of uhud. his first stop was at a locality called al shaykhan where he met a group of people unknown to him and who, upon inquiry, turned out to be the jewish allies of ibn ubayy. the prophet ruled that unbelievers may not be taken as allies against unbelievers unless they become muslims. the jewish column therefore was commanded to return to madinah. the friends of ibn ubayy began to whisper in his ear that muhammad had slighted him by disregarding the ancestral wisdom which he had put at the disposal of muhammad but which the latter had rejected in favor of the childish views of the muslims. soon ibn ubayy became convinced that the muslims were following the wrong course and returned with his own men to madinah. the sincere believers who remained with the prophet numbered seven hundred as against the three thousand makkan fighters of the quraysh tribe