The Martyrs of Uhud

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Where is the martyrs of uhud?

Once the idolaters left the field of Uhud in their entirety, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and the Believers descended to the field to bury their martyrs. There were exactly seventy of them, including the fearless Hamza and Musab ibn Umayr  -Allah be well-pleased with them-.

Musab ibn Umayr -Allah be well-pleased with him-, the flagbearer of the Muslim army, was martyred while trying to defend the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. An angel, thereupon, assumed the appearance of Musab and seized the flag; and the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, not yet aware of the fact that Musab was martyred, commanded him to:

“Advance, Musab, advance!”

The flagbearer, then, turned around and threw a glance at the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, who, recognizing the angel, realized Musab had been martyred. Though his body was later found, the Believers could not get hold of a large enough shroud to cover his corpse. (Ibn Sad, III, 121-122)

Covering his upper body with the clothes he had on, meant his lower body was exposed; and covering his lower body, left his upper body out in the open. So the Companions resorted to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to determine how they were to take care of his corpse. The Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace- advised them to cover Musab’s upper body using his clothes and to use nice smelling weeds for his lower body.

In retrospect, Musab was born to one of the noblest and richest families of Mecca. Almost the entire youth of Mecca were envious of him. It is even said that girls would sprinkle roses on his path. But he, in spite of all the pressures of his family, chose to be by the side of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, brushing aside all their worldly fortunes. It was a homage to the immense passion with which was he attached to the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- that an angel assumed his appearance as he lay martyred on the field of Uhud. It was a tribute, by the Almighty, for all the sacrifices Musab had made.

This moving scene made a long-lasting and profound impact on Muslim hearts. Years later, when the Muslims had strength and reigned sovereign, a few different kinds of dishes was brought in front of Abdurrahman ibn Awf -Allah be well-pleased with him-, among the wealthier Companions, by his son, to break his fast. Becoming emotional, however, he said:

“Musab was martyred at the Battle of Uhud. He was more virtuous than I. But as a shroud, he had only a mantle. If we were to cover his head with it, his legs would lay bare; and his head, if we covered his legs. Then afterward, we were given all the riches of the world…and I fear we have been rewarded for all our deeds on Earth.” Abdurrahman -Allah be well-pleased with him- then broke down in tears and left the food without touching it. (Bukhari, Janaiz, 27)

Among all the martyrs of Uhud, it was Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him-, the outstanding hero of the Muslim Army that sent the hearts of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and Believers into the most unspeakable grief.

Safiyya -Allah be well-pleased with her- rushed towards the martyrs to identify her brother Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him-. She was met by her son Zubayr ibn Awwam -Allah be well-pleased with him-.

“The Messenger of Allah commands you to return”, he told her.

“Why?” she exclaimed. “So I don’t see my brother? I have already heard he has been butchered. But he has been inflicted with this, only for the sake of Allah. Nothing short would have consoled us, anyway. Inshallah I shall bear patient and anticipate its rewards from Allah.”

Zubayr went to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and conveyed to him the words of his mother.

“Then, allow her to see him!” the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then said. Safiyya proceeded to stand and pray next to Hamza’s corpse. (Ibn Hisham, III, 48; Ibn Hajar, al-Isabah, IV, 349)

Zubayr ibn Awwam -Allah be well-pleased with him- narrates what unfolded thereafter in an emotional scene, exemplary of Muslim brotherhood.

“My mother took out the two mantles she had brought with her and said, ‘I have brought these so you can use them as shrouds for Hamza.’ So we got the mantles and returned next to Hamza’s corpse. Next to him, however, was another martyr, from the Ansar, without a shroud. We felt ashamed to wrap both mantles around Hamza at the expense of leaving the Ansari shroudless, so we decided to shroud them with one mantle each. But because one mantle was bigger than the other, we drew lots to decide between them.” (Ahmad, I, 165)

This emotional account verifies that feelings of kinship had well and truly made way for the brotherhood of iman.

Nine martyrs, at a time, were brought next to the corpse of Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him-, and buried after their funeral salat, with Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him- remaining for another nine to be brought. That way, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- eventually offered multiple funeral salats for his beloved uncle, the king of martyrs.[1]

According to the report of Jabir -Allah be well-pleased with him-, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- brought the martyrs of Uhud together in pairs, placing to the qibla side of the grave whichever one of them knew and lived a more enhanced Quranic way of life. (Bukhari, Janaiz, 73, 75)

To gather news from Uhud, Aisha -Allah be well-pleased with him- set out from Medina with a group of women. Near Harra, she came upon the righteous Hind bint Amr  -Allah be well-pleased with her-, who, having loaded a camel with the corpses of her husband Amr ibn Jamuh, her son Khallad and brother Abdullah, was making her way back to Medina.

“What is the latest at Uhud?” Aisha -Allah be well-pleased with her- asked her anxiously.

“All is well”, she replied. “The Messenger of Allah is alive and well. Nothing else matters!”

“Who are they?” then asked Aisha -Allah be well-pleased with her-, pointing to the corpses on camelback.

“My husband Amr, my brother Abdullah and my son Khallad”, replied the righteous Hind.

“Where are you taking them?”

“…To Medina, where I shall bury them.” Hind then tried spurring the camel, which was beginning to lose pace, to advance, but the camel came to a complete halt and crouched.

“Is it because it has too much to carry?” asked Aisha -Allah be well-pleased with her-.

“I do not know. It is odd for normally it is able to carry twice as much as any other. It seems something strange has come over it now!”

Forced to get back up, the camel rose, only to crouch back down once made to turn to the direction of Medina. When steered towards Uhud, however, the camel began to gallop. Hind informed the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- of the situation, seeking advice.

“The camel is on duty. Did Amr leave a will at all?”

“Just before Amr left for Uhud”, she explained, “he turned to qibla and prayed, ‘Allah, grant me martyrdom; do not make me return to my family deprived and grieved.’”

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- thereupon stated, “That is why the camel does not proceed. Whoever from among you, Ansar, has made a vow to Allah, should stick by his word. Your husband Amr is among the righteous, Hind. From the moment he was martyred, angels shaded him under their wings and looked for the best place to bury him. Your husband Amr, your son Khallad and your brother Abdullah shall unite in Paradise as friends.”

Upon hearing these words, desiring to be together again in the eternal life with her righteous husband Amr, Hind insisted:

“Please, Messenger of Allah, pray to Allah so I am united with them, too.” (Waqidi, I, 264-265; Ibn Hajar, Fath’ul-Bari, III, 216; Ibn Abdilbarr, III, 1168)

There was yet another stirring scene.

On the Day of Uhud, Medina trembled with the news that the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had been martyred. Panic broke loose as screams reached the Heavens. Such that despite being told that her husband, two sons, father and brother had been martyred on the battlefield, Sumayra  -Allah be well-pleased with her-, an Ansari woman, remained indifferent, concerned only to be comforted with the news of the Blessed Prophet’s wellbeing, as she continuously kept on asking:

“Is he all right?”

She eventually got the reply she was hoping for, from the incoming Companions:

“Yes. Alhamdulillah he is alive and well!”

But Sumayra -Allah be well-pleased with her- was little contented.

“Show him to me so my heart rests at ease”, she implored. When they did, she rushed to the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- , and holding him by the edge of his shirt, exclaimed:

“May my parents be sacrificed for you, Messenger of Allah… I have nothing to worry about so long as you’re alive!” (Waqidi, I, 292; Haythami, VI, 115)

Recounting the following is Bashir ibn Aqrabah -Allah be well-pleased with him-:

“Upon finding out that my father Aqrabah was martyred at Uhud, (still a child) I went to the Messenger of Allah, in tears. ‘Why do you cry my dear?’ he said. ‘Would not you want me as your father and Aisha as your mother?’

‘May my parents be sacrificed for you, Messenger of Allah; of course I would’, I replied. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- caressed my head. And to this day, even though my hair has become all gray, the spot touched by the Messenger of Allah still remains black.” (Bukhari, at-Tarikh’ul-Kabir, II, 78; Ali al-Muttaqi, XIII, 298/36862)

Another scene bearing out the Companions’ thrill of prospective martyrdom is given below by Jabir -Allah be well-pleased with him-:

“The night before Uhud, my father called me next to him and said, ‘I have a feeling I might just be the first martyr, tomorrow, among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. Apart from the Messenger of Allah, you are the dearest person I will be leaving behind in this life. I have debts; pay them off. Always treat you siblings with great care!’

As it turned out, my father was indeed the first to be martyred at Uhud. I placed him in a grave with another martyr. Later on, I wanted to bury him in a separate place. So six months later, I unearthed him; and behold, his entire body, except for a portion of his ear, was in the same condition as I had placed him. I went ahead and place him in a separate grave.” (Bukhari, Janaiz, 78)

Once, when the martyrs of Uhud were mentioned, in underlining the ranks of those gallant martyrs the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- remarked:

“By Allah, how I also would have loved to have fallen martyr and spent each night beneath Mount Uhud!” (Ahmad, III, 375)

The Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace-, during another of his visits to the martyrs of Uhud, avowed:

“I am witness to their iman and integrity!”

“Are not we their brothers, Messenger of Allah?” asked Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him-. “We became Muslim, just the way they did, and undertook jihad, in the same manner as them.”

“That is true”, replied the Blessed Prophet, “but I do not know of the kind of innovations you might produce after me.”

Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him- grieved and cried at length, asking, “So we are still to remain after you?” (Muwatta, Jihad, 32)

Abu Bakr’s -Allah be well-pleased with him- concern testifies to his intense love for the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- and shows why he has been labeled by the Holy Quran as ‘the second of the two, the third of who is Allah’.

The Companions loved the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- more than anyone else, including themselves. While, say, sitting at home and they suddenly began to think about the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, they would no longer be able to remain there; the place would feel too constricted. Instead, they would immediately get up and rush to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, in order to find satisfaction in his beautiful presence, and peace in his talk.[2] Given they could not see him, they could hardly be contained. The fear of falling distant from him in Paradise was more than enough to make them pale and take their consciousness away.[3] In fact, all Rabia -Allah be well-pleased with him- could wish for, when insisted by the Blessed Prophet to ask something from him, was the wish to be with him in Paradise.[4] In their final moments, the Companions used to feel an enormous satisfaction to be reuniting with the Blessed Prophet.[5] Such was the reason that their greatest reason for joy, second only to Islam, was the hadith, “One is with whom he loves.”[6]

Sixty ayat of Al-i Imran are about the Battle of Uhud. When asked by Miswar ibn Mahramah to recap the Battle, Abdurrahman ibn Awf -Allah be well-pleased with him-, replied:

“Recite from the 120th ayah of Al-i Imran onward and it will be as if you were with us at Uhud!” (Ibn Hisham, III, 58; Waqidi, I, 319)

[1] Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 28.[2] Kastallani, II, 104.[3] Qurtubi, V, 271.[4] Muslim, Salat, 226; Ahmad, III, 500.[5] Ahmad, I, 8; Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 4.[6] Bukhari, Adab, 96.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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