The crucial lessons of the battle of Uhud

العلامة السيد علي فضل الله Sayyed Ali fadlullah

The first Sermon

 Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:  Allah had certainly fulfilled His promise to you when you were killing the enemy by His permission until [the time] when you lost courage and fell to disputing about the order [given by the Prophet] and disobeyed after He had shown you that which you love. Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter. Then He turned you back from them [defeated] that He might test you. And He has already forgiven you, and Allah is the possessor of bounty for the believers. Allah, The Most Exalted, speaks the truth.

 On the 15th of the month of Shawal, year 3H, was the battle of Uhud , which Quriash  initiated  to  avenge its huge defeat in the battle of Badr, a year before, and restore  its image that was distorted in Arabia.

Quraish mobilized for this battle all what it could to secure its victory, including deploying an army of 3000 strong, in addition to the women and children who were brought to the battlefield to provide incentives to the fighters to hold on to the end … When the news reached the Messenger (p.), he began to prepare for the battle. He found, after he conferred with his companions as his norm was when it came to taking major decisions that there were two opinions. The first was to fight from inside the city where all its people could take part, and the second opted to meet them outside. As a result, the second opinion which was that of the majority prevailed. And, thus, the Muslims whose number did not exceed 700 met the army of the disbelievers at the mount of Uhud.  The Messenger (p.) counted on this mountain to act as a physical obstacle that would protect his army’s back. But there was a natural breach hole that the enemy could sneak from. He decided to cover it by deploying fifty skilled archers led by Abdullah Bin Jubair and commanded them not to leave their posts, regardless of the results of the battle.  Quraish was quickly defeated and flew away, leaving a lot of bounty behind.

 Seeing this, forty archers left their posts, leaving ten only including their commander, Ibn Jubair.

 Khalid bin Al-Walid who was eying this hole, took advantage of the opportunity; He attacked the ten archers and killed all of them which gave him the chance   to surprise the Muslim army leading to the fleeing and killing of many of them .70 companions including Musab bin Umair, and Hamza, The Prophet’s uncle, were martyred and 70 injured, including the Prophet himself. Moreover, had it not been for the few that stood firm with the Messenger (p.), the Muslims would have been dealt a compelling defeat.

 Imam Ali(a.s.) was one of the most prominent figures who remained with Muhammad. When his sword was broken, The Messenger (p.) gave him his own sword “ Zul Fiqar”  . He fought with this sword so bravely and consistently that Jibril descended saying:    there is no sword except Zulfiqar, and there is no hero except Ali!

Another fighter who stood with the Prophet was Abu Dujanah who shielded the Messenger (p.) with his own body, refusing to leave when the Prophet asked him, and was extensively wounded.

Anas bin An-Nadr was another believer who stayed with Muhamad saying when he heard that the Messenger (p.), was killed “let us die for what he died for.” He then fought courageously until he was martyred.

 Women too took part in the Jihad to defend the Messenger (p.). One of these women was Nasiba Bint Kaa’b whom the Messenger (p.) used to recall whenever he talked about Uhud, remembering that whenever he looked to the right or to the left, he found her fighting to protect him.  

The battle of Uhud was a difficult test for the Muslims.  But they learned from it an important lesson concerning the necessity of steadfastness and patience and that it is not enough to be on the side of the Right to win, but also one should act according to the conditions and circumstances of the battle and make sure first of all that the love of this world and the hatred towards death for the sake of Allah, The Most Exalted, does not reenter their hearts.   

 The Muslims suffered when the love of the world and money returned to their hearts and this is what the Messenger (p.) warned about when he told them that the Dirham and Dinar perished those before them and that they would perish them too. He added that the only price that they should sell themselves for is Heaven.

The Muslims learnt the lessons of Uhud and they won all their following battles.

 May Allah, The Most Exalted, remove the love of this world from our hearts and put us among those who deserve His promise of victory.

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself, to recall what happened in the aftermath of the battle of Uhud, when Abu Sufian decided after leaving for Mecca to return to Medina to finish the Muslims off. When the news reached the Muslims and the Messenger (p.), they all went out to fight him. When Abu Sufian saw how determined they were, he changed his mind and went back to Mecca. The Holy Quran recorded this incident: …. and they said, ” to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”

So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

We are in a dire need to be guided by this Ayat and say whenever we face any challenge: Sufficient for us is Allah, The Most Exalted, to attain His blessings and not be harmed.

We begin by Lebanon in which the Lebanese were expecting that what happened in the parliament would initiate a movement towards forming the government and that the statement made expressed the will of the people who are no longer able to endure more suffering and humiliation that have become their daily bread …

 Nevertheless, and despite the positive atmosphere that was spread, escalation mounted to the extent that one cannot talk about the formation of the government in the very near future.  The only thing the Lebanese can do is to wait and perhaps for a long time.

 Thus, we say to the Lebanese that the decision is in your hands, and there is no way out of this collapse unless   those who are in charge feel that you are angered by the standstill in forming the government or by being a prisoner to the struggles and sectarian and private interests. They have betted on their ability to stir up your sectarian instincts and on convincing you that they are serving- in all what they are committing- your interests. Do not let them continue to play this game and make them feel that they are destroying your country and its future and sects.

By this alone, you will able to get out of this ongoing standstill and waiting for the domestic and foreign initiatives that are not going to come, as they are obstructed by clear obstacles. We are not calling for chaos or irresponsible moves. We wish you to raise your voices in a unified manner and tell those who are jeopardizing the government’s formation to stop tampering with the fate and the people of this country…     Express your stance by your anger, pens and stands … as you are able to initiate a change if they feel that they are facing a people who made their decision and will not relent.

In the meantime, we will continue to bet on the awakening of the conscience of those in charge to review their calculations and take into consideration, if only once, the fate that awaits the country if things continue in the same direction, as well as those who have always played the role of the security valve and ventured to untie the knots.

 On another level, we warn against the rhetoric of the civil war at a time we are in a desperate need for unity to face domestic and internal challenges.

 We also warn from the effects of the ongoing economic crisis on the security and safety of the society, as we began to see an increase in the rates of robberies and crimes, which calls on all parties to deal with this reality and curb its negative consequences.

 In Syria, we hope that the recent presidential elections, would lead to opening a new page that would enhance the stability and unity of the country and enable it to   restore its pioneer role in the Arab and Muslims worlds … The world should know that it has no option other than respecting the choice of the Syrian people.

In Palestine, the Zionists who were unable to triumph over the Palestinians are trying to prevent them from exploiting their victory through exerting pressure, intimidation and detainment, as well as continuing their violation of the Aqsa Mosque and displacing the people of Jerusalem…

 We are confident that this people who were unified, both morally and on the ground, will not give a chance for the Zionists to fragment them and abort their achievements.

In this respect, all the Arab and Muslim peoples are duty bound to support the Palestinians to enable them to achieve their goals and retrieve their lands.