Conflict with Quraysh

Conflict with Quraysh ; The Internal Conflict

The next ten years were of continuous warfare with Quraysh .Muslims tried to block the trade route of Syria by raiding the caravans of Quraish. This could not be left unpunished, Muslims also defies the Quraysh and were still living safely in medina this was a mortal blow to the prestige of quraysh which should be restored, and these reasons became the cause of hostility between city state of medina and oligarchical state of mecca.

Battle of Badr

The first major battle was fought at a place called badr. Reasons of hostility were apparent

(i)            Muslims tried to block the trade route of neighboring countries of Iraq, Abbasynia, Syria

(ii)           Quraysh were thinking the escape of their renegade sons and brothers to the safe house of mecca as strategic defeat.

(iii)          They tried to contact the Jews of medina to create the unrest in the city state of medina.

(iv)         The immediate cause of the battle was the interception of the yearly trade caravan of mecca led by the Umayyad commander Abu Sufyain . Abu Sufyian put the battle cry to save the wealth and political prestige of mecca by saving this caravan.

Reaction of Meccan forces was furious. They gathered an army of a thousand men strong in the command of Abu al Hikam (abu jahil) leader of Mukhzumites branch of Quraysh ( Mukhzumites were responsible for the warfare of Quraysh) .

The two armies met near the place of Badr. According to Muslim sources the army of Prophet consisted of 313 men who included both the immigrants (Muhajir) and the natives of Medina (Ansar).

The battle was a complete success for Muslim forces. The forces of Quraysh were decimated their top leadership either died or captured in this battle .their retreat was put into order less flight. There dead leaders include Abu Jahl,Al Swad, Hisham bin Abi Huzifa.Uthba bin Rabaia his son and brother all of Umayyad, Umyyya bin khalaf of Bani Juma; Zama,s bin alaswad , abul bukhtari and and naufal bin khuwaylid of Bani Asad.

On the other hand Muslims thought this victory was due to divine intervention which made abled them to defeat the most prestigious tribe of Arab tribal hierarchy but for the Quriash the results were devastating

“Allah had helped you at Badr when ye were a contemptible little force,then fear Allah may ye show your gratitude”

(i)            Meccans were unable to secure the trade route and were facing financial problems

(ii)           Second they lost their first class leadership .The supremacy of t Umayyad clan was established in mecca as most of the leaders of Mukhzumites were killed in the battle.

(iii)          Third they lost seven of their men and furthermore same number of Meccan soldiers was captured. Meccan captives were ransomed on great financial cost

(iv)         This defeat caused humiliation and broke their prestige.

Apparently this battle was in the middle of nowhere in a country which no one knew up to this point in the world history , but actually this battle determined the fate of Islam forever.

Battle of Ohud

The battle of Badr resulted in the victory of Medina. But Meccans were still not able to secure the trade routes and protect their caravan merchandise. This defeat for Meccans led to another battle known as  Ohud in which Quraysh were fully prepared to avenge their dead and reclaim their lost honor.

Battle of Ohud was fought on March 19, 625, Muslim army of a thousand men met with Quraysh who were three thousand in number and have gathered all of their allies to put Muslim power to an end .

Muslim army was initially one thousand in strength but the discontented part of medina left in leadership of Abdullah bin Obay. On the battlefield both sides showed great valor in the traditional Arab warfare of individual battles. Quraish were not able to hold their ground and were to heel after initial battle. Meccan cavalry in the command of Khalid bin Waleed saw a weak point in the Muslim defense it was mountain in the rear of main Muslim army guarded by 70 archers who left their place when they saw Quriash fleeing battlefield. But Khalid overwhelmed them by his sudden raid in the rear of Muslim army. This was a turning point as the Muslims who were pursuing Quraysh were now themselves perused by Khalid’s cavalry unit.

Muslims were able to guard Muhammad but it was Pyrrhic victory for them. Muslims lost 70 of their men .Now the odds were even for both Muslims and Meccans.

Siege of Medina

Quraysh were now adamant to put muslin forces in an ultimate retreat and stop the growing influence of newly established of Muslim state. Quraysh gathered 4000 men for their ultimate conflict. Quraysh gathered all of their allies actually it was the conglomerate of all the anti-muslin forces to get rid of this new religion and put old socio –economic order in place

Bedouin allies of Quraysh which included powerful Najdi tribe of Ghafan,Bani Fezara.The whole confederate army was estimated between 10,000 and 25,000 men. On the other hand Muslim armies consisted of a united front under the command of Muhammad.

After the numerical loss at the battle of Ohud Muslims tried to defend by locking themselves in the city of medina against the attack of the combined forces of Quraysh in the city of Medina. Medina is geographically invulnerable from three sides due to natural defenses

Muslims employed a Persian strategy of digging a trench around one side of the city. This new strategy stopped the confederate advance towards medina. But now the city was besieged by the largest force ever the peninsula has seen .

This conflict ended with the departure of confederate forces without occupying medina.the allies of Quraysh wsecially bedouins came to have a quick victory and a lot of booty were now uncertain about their future.The last remaining tribe of jews were put to death for the treachery against the state .Quraysh have now finally realised that the growing  power of muslim state can not be stopped.

Muslims were able t defend themseves against this massive army of allies against all odds, now the winds of power were chnged forever.after this it was the muslims who attacked Mecca not the other way around.

The pact of Hudaybia

Battle of Ditch made the top leadership of Quraysh realised that now was the time to make peace. The armed conflict with Medina had left mecca in shackels of poverty. The dominating Ummyyad clan of Mecca  met with some resistance by the Mukhzumites in peace mking process.

Muhammad departed for Mecca to offer pilgrimage of the  Holy City. Meccans intercepted this moved and camped at Hudaybia .Here in the middle of road to Mecca from Medina a peace treaty was concluded

it was conclude that Muslims and Meccans would enter into a truce for ten years . Armed conflict was banned between both parties. Quraysh were allowed to carry out their trade with Palestine,Syria and Egypt. Most importantly Quraysh first time accepted Medina as a legitimate state and allowed them to enter into alliances with other tribes.

Conquest of Mecca

In th epretext of Hudaybia Muslims got into an alliance Banu khuza`a  who  were attacked by Banu bakr .Quraysh supported Banu Bakr in their massacare of  MUslim allies. Muhammad left medina with a firm determination to put an end to the Meccan power .Muslim armies moved secretly  and caught Quraysh  by surprise.

Abu sufayan the leader of Quaraysh was captured spying on muslim forces .Muslim armies marched toowards medina unoppsed. only resistance was offered by some Mukhzumites which was crushed . Holy Prophet announced general amnesty for his old Meccan rivals.

A medieval mulsim historian Tabari says about this, ” it was destined for muhammad , the prophet of war , to demonstrate that even in the attle filed he was the prophet of mercy”.

“Say, the truth has come and falsehood has vanished .Surely , falsehood is bound to vanish.”

Sura XV 81


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