The Most Awkward Hour in the Messenger’s Life
after the fall of ibn sakan, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] remained alone with only those two quraishites. in a version by abu ‘uthman — authorized in as-sahihain— he said: "at that time, there were none with the prophet [pbuh] except talha bin ‘ubaidullâh and sa‘d bin abi waqqas.[sahih al-bukhari 1/527, 2/581] that was the most awkward and dangerous hour for the prophet [pbuh], but it was a golden opportunity for the idolaters who promptly took advantage of it. they concentrated their attack on the prophet [pbuh] and looked forward to killing him.
‘utbah bin abi waqqas pelted him with stones. one of the stones fell on his face. his lower right incisor ruba‘iya (i.e. the tooth that is between a canine and a front tooth) was injured. his lower lip was wounded. he was also attacked by ‘abdullah bin shihab az-zuhri who cleaved his forehead. ‘abdullah bin qami’a (qami’a means ‘a humiliated woman’), who was an obstinate strong horseman, struck him violently on his shoulder with his sword; and that stroke hurt the messenger of allâh [pbuh] for over a month — though it was not strong enough to break his two armours. he dealt a heavy blow on his cheek. it was so strong that two rings of his iron-ringed helmet penetrated into his holy cheek. "take this stroke from me, i am ibn qami’a." he said while striking the messenger with his sword. the messenger of allâh [pbuh] replied — while he was wiping the blood flowing on his face: "i implore allâh to humiliate you."[fath al-bari 7/373, 366] (i.e. aqma’aka allâh). in al-bukhâri it is stated his incisor broke, his head was cleaved, and that he started wiping the blood off it and saying: "(i wonder) how can people who cut the face of their prophet [pbuh] and break the incisor of his — he who calls them to worship allâh. how can such people thrive or be successful?" about that incident, allâh, glory is to him, sent down a qur’ânic verse saying:
"not for you (o muhammad [pbuh] but for allâh) is the decision; whether he turns in mercy to (pardons) them or punishes them; verily, they are the zâlimûn (polytheists, disobedients, and wrong-doers)." [al-qur'an 3:128] [sahih al-bukhari 2/582; sahih muslim 2/108]
at-tabarani states that the prophet [pbuh] said: "allâh’s wrath is great on those who besmear the face of his messenger," observed silence for a short while and then resumed saying:
"o allâh, forgive my people for they have no knowledge." [fath al-bari 7/373]
in sahih muslim it is stated that the messenger of allâh [pbuh] said:
"my lord, forgive my people for they have no knowledge." [sahih muslim 2/108]
in ash-shifa — a book by ‘ayad al-qadi — it is related that the prophet [pbuh] said:
"o allâh, guide my people for they have no knowledge." [ash-shifa 1/81]
it is quite certain that killing the prophet [pbuh] was their primary aim, but the two quraishites — sa‘d bin abi waqqas and talha bin ‘ubaidullâh, who showed great and rare courage and fought so fiercely and boldly that — though they were only two — were able to stop the idolaters short of realizing their aim. they were of the best skillful arab archers and kept on militating in defence of the messenger of allâh [pbuh] till the whole squad of idolaters was driven off him [pbuh].
the messenger of allâh [pbuh] emptied his quiver of arrows and said to sa‘d bin abi waqqas: "shoot, an arrow sa‘d. may my father and mother be sacrified for you.[sahih al-bukhari 1/407, 2/580, 581]" the prophet [pbuh] had never gathered his parents except in the case of sa‘d — a privilege granted to him for his efficiency.[ibid 1/407, 2/580,581]
in a version by jabir — authorized by an-nasa’i — concerning the attitude of talha bin ‘ubaidullâh towards the gathering of idolaters around the messenger of allâh [pbuh] — when there were only some helpers with him — jabir said: "when the idolaters reached him, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] said: ‘who will suffice us their evils (i.e. fight them back)?’ talha said: ‘i will.’" then jabir mentioned the advance of the helpers to fight and how they were killed one after the other in a similar way to muslim’s narration — "when all the helpers were killed, talha proceeded forward to fight as much as the other eleven ones did till his hand was hurt and his fingers were cut off. so he said: ‘be they cut off!’ the prophet [pbuh] said: ‘if you had said: in the name of allâh, the angels would have raised you up before the people’s very eyes.’" then he said: "allâh drove the idolaters off them."[fath-al-bari 7/361; an-nasa'i 2/52,53] in al-ikleel — a book by hakim — it is stated that talha had sustained thirty-nine or thirty-five wounds, and his fingers (i.e. the forefinger and the one next to it — got paralyzed.[ibid 7/361]
in a version by qais bin abi hâzim — authorized by al-bukhari, he said: "i saw the hand of talha paralyzed. that was because he protected the prophet [pbuh] with it in uhud battle."[sahih al-bukhari 1/527, 2/581]
at-tirmidhi stated that the prophet [pbuh] then said about talha: "he who desires to see a martyr walking on the ground, let him look at talha bin ‘ubaidullâh."[mishkat 2/566; ibn hisham 2/86]
abu da’ûd at-tayalisi on the authority of ‘aishah [r], said: "whenever uhud day (i.e. battle) was mentioned, abu bakr used to say: ‘that was talha’s day (i.e. battle)’.[fath al-bari 7/361] abu bakr recited a verse of poetry about him: ‘o talha bin ‘ubaidullâh! paradise is due to you as water-springs are due to deer to drink out of.’ [mukhtasar tareekh damishq, 7/82] at the awkward and most delicate circumstances, allâh, glory is to him, sent down his invisible help. in a version by sa‘d — cleared and authorized in sahih al-bukhari and muslim — he said: "i saw the messenger of allâh [pbuh] on uhud day with two men — dressed in white defending him fiercely — i have never seen similar to them neither before uhud nor after it." in another version: "he means to say that they were gabriel and michael".[sahih al-bukhari 2/580]