the prophet's escape
quraysh took the news of muhammad's death with exhilaration and joy, and abu sufyan began a search for his body on the battlefield. the muslims around muhammad did not deny the news of his death in obedience to muhammad's own commandment designed to prevent any new onslaught by the quraysh against him. ka'b ibn malik, however, came close to the circle and, bending himself over abu dujanah, noticed that the prophet was there and still alive. he proclaimed at the top of his voice: "o believers, be glad, for the prophet of god is here and still alive." the prophet, however, asked him to keep quiet. the muslims then reinforced the protective circle around the prophet and moved with him farther up toward the mountain; they were led by abu bakr, `umar, 'ali ibn abu talib, al zubayr ibn al `awwam and others. the cry of ka'b brought about a different effect upon the quraysh. most of the latter did not believe it but regarded it as an enemy trick designed to rally the muslims to fight again. a few makkans ran toward the muslims shouting, "where is muhammad? death to me if he lives!" the prophet hurled the javelin of al harith ibn al simmah at the oncoming party. it hit the leader, threw him off his horse, and killed him. when the muslims reached the entrance to the valley on the other side, 'ali filled his shield with water, washed muhammad's face and poured some water on his head. abu `ubaydah ibn al jarrah pulled out the two links of chain from muhammad's wound, and his two front teeth fell off in the process. while this was taking place, khalid ibn al walid pursued the muslims on the hillside with a small force of makkan cavalry. but they were repelled by `umar ibn al khattab and a number of the prophet's companions. the muslims continued their retreat. so great was their exhaustion that when it was noon, the prophet led the prayer seated, suffering as he was from his wounds, and the muslims prayed behind him seated also.