The Battle of Uhud (3)

Tragically, Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib , the Lion of Allah, was martyred in the same battle he had dominated. He was killed by the javelin of Wahshi bin Harb, and Abyssinian slave, who with that successful throw earned his freedom from his master, Jubayr bin Mutim.

Hamzah had killed Jubayr’s uncle, Tu’ayma bin Aidy, in the battle of Badr, and the grieving Jubayr promised Wahshi his freedom in return for Hamzah’s head. With his freedom in sight, Wahshi sat behind a rock awaiting his chance to strike. As Hamzah stood deftly beheading Saba bin Arfat, Wahshi launched his javelin. It pierced Hamzah’s abdomen and came out from between his legs. The Lion of Allah had fallen.

Despite the loss of Hamzah, the Muslims managed to overcome the unbelievers who, faced with yet another defeat, began to flee. The pagan women also scattered as some of the Muslim soldiers gave chase. Some of the Muslim troops set about putting the fallen enemy to the sword and looting the enemy camp. It was at that point of perceived victory that events began unravelling. The archers who had been entrusted with the safety of their brothers in faith disobeyed the Prophet’s explicit orders and deserted their stations to join the looting. Forty of the rearguards descended the mountain and left the Muslims vulnerable to a comeback attack by the enemy.

When Khalid bin Waleed saw the sudden vacuum created by the disappearance of the Muslim rear-guards, he decided it was time to strike again. He and his men wiped out the ten archers guarding the rear. They then went around the mountain and surprised the Muslims from behind. Now that the Muslims were surrounded, Khalid’s cavalrymen raised a war cry and rushed back to retrieve their lost honour.

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