The conquest of Makkah which came forth as a consequence of a swift blow astonished both the Arabs and other tribes who realized that they were destined to submit to the new situation as an unalterable fact. Some of the fierce, powerful proud tribes did not submit and favored resistance. Ahead of these were the branches of the Hawazin and Thaqif. Nasr, Jusham and Sa’d bin Bakr and people of Bani Hilal – all of whom were from Qais ‘Ailan – thought that they were too mighty to admit or surrender to such a victory. So they met Malik bin ‘Awf An-Nasri and made up their mind to proceed fighting against the Muslims.
The Enemy’s March and their Encampment at Awtas
When Malik bin ‘Awf – the general leader – decided to march and fight the Muslims, he made his countrymen take their wealth, women and children with them to Awtas – which is a valley in the lands of Hawazin near Hunain. It is adjacent to Dhul-Majaz which is around ten miles from Makkah in ‘Arafat’s direction.”
The War-experienced Man wrongs the Leader’s Judgment
As soon as they camped in Awtas, the people crowded around Malik. The old sane Duraid bin As-Simmah, who was well-known as a war-experienced man, and who was among those who gathered around Malik, asked: “What valley are we in?” “In Awtas,” they said. “What a good course it is for horses! It is neither a sharp pointed height nor a plain of loose soil. What? Why do I hear camels’ growling, the donkeys’ braying, the children’s cries and the sheep bleating?” asked Duraid. They said: “Malik bin ‘Awf made people bring their women, properties and children with them.”
So he called Malik and asked him what made him do such a thing. Malik said that his aim was to have everybody’s family and
property around them so that they fight fiercely to protect them “I swear by Allah that you are nothing but a shepherd,” answered Duraid, “do you believe that there is anything whatsoever, that can stand in the way of a defeated one or stop him from fleeing? If you win the battle you avail nothing but a man with a sword and a spear; but if you lose you will bring disgrace on your people and property,” then he resumed his talk and went on wondering about some families and their leaders. “O Malik, thrusting the distinguished people of Hawazin into the battlefield will avail you nothing. Raise them up to where they can be safe. Then make the young people mount their horses and fight. If you win, those whom you put behind, will follow you; but if you lose, it would be a loss of a battle, and your kinsmen, people and properties would not be lost.”
But Malik, the general leader, refused this suggestion. “By Allah,” he said, “I will not do such a thing. You must have grown senile. Hawazin have to obey me, or else I will lean my body against this sword so that it penetrates through my back.”
He rejected any sort of contribution of Duraid’s in that concern. “We obey you,” said his people. Duraid consequently said: “Today is a day that I have not missed but surely I will not be tempted to witness.”
Spies of the Enemy
The spies that Malik had already dispatched to spy on the Muslim forces, returned with their limbs cut off. “Woe unto you! What happened to you?” said Malik. They said: “We have seen distinguished people on spotted horsebacks. We could not do anything before what you see happened to us.”
Spies of Nabi Pakﷺ
News about the enemy’s march was conveyed to Nabi Pakﷺ so he sent out Abu Hadrad Al-Aslami with orders to mix with people, and stay with them so that he would be able to know their news and to convey it to Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ
when he returned. That was exactly what he managed to do.
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ the leaves for Hunain
On Saturday, the 19th of Shawwal, nineteen days after Allâh’s Messengers entered Makkah, he left accompanied by twelve thousand Muslims. Ten thousand of those who had previously shared in the Makkan conquest. A great number of the other two thousand, who were Makkans, had recently embraced Islam. He borrowed a hundred suits of armor with their equipment from Safwan bin Umaiyah. He appointed ‘Attab bin Asid as a governor over Makkah. When it was evening. a horseman came to Allah’s Messenger and said: “I have climbed up so-and-so mountains and came across Hawazin with their riding camels, livestock and sheep. All of the people of Hawazin were gathered together there.” Nabi Pakﷺ smiled and said: “They will all be Muslims’ spoils tomorrow, if Allâh wills.” That night Anas bin Abi Marthad Al-Ghanawi ci volunteered to guard.”
On their way to Hunain, they saw a great green Nabk plant, that was called Dhat-Anwat. That was because the Arabs used to visit it, hang their weapons on it and slay beasts under it. So some of army members asked Nabi Pakﷺ content to make them a Nabk as the one they had. He said:
“Allâh is the Greatest of all! I swear by the One in whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul, that you have just said what the people of Moses said to him. They said: ‘Make us a god as the one they have.’ Surely, you are ignorant people. These are their traditions, and you will follow traditions of those who preceded you. (2)
Seeing how great in number the army was, some of them said: “We shall not be defeated.” Their statement sounded hard upon Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ
The Archers and the Attackers stunned the Muslim Army.
On Wednesday night the tenth of Shawwal, the Muslim arrived at Hunain. Malik bin ‘Awf, who had previously entered the valley by night, gave orders to his army to hide inside the valley and lie in wait on roads, entrances and narrow hiding places for the Muslims. His orders to his men were to hurl stones at Muslims whenever they caught sight of them and then to make a one man attack against them.
At early dawn, Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ started mobilizing his army and distributing posts and flags to people. In the dark and just before dawn the Muslims moved towards Hunain Valley. They started descending into it unaware of the presence of an enemy waiting for them inside the valley. So at the moment they were camping, arrows began showering upon them, and the enemy battalions started a fierce attack against the Muslims, who had to retreat in disorder and utter confusion. It was such a shatteringly defeat that Abu Sufyan bin Harb, who had recently embraced Islam, said that their retreat would not stop till they got to the Red Sea. Jabalah or Kaladah bin Al-Junaid commented on that by saying: “Surely the magic has grown inactive today.”
Nabi Pakﷺ turned to the right and said: “Come on. people! I am the Messenger of Allâh. I am Muhammad, the son of Abdullah.” Those who stood fast by him were only a few Emigrants and some of his kinsmen. The matchless bravery of the Nabi Pakﷺ was then brought to light. He went on and on in his attempts to make his mule steadfast in the face of the disbelievers while saying loudly:
أنا ابن عبد المطلب أنا النبي لا كذب “Truly saying. I am the Prophet; I am the grand) son of Abdul-Muttalib.”
“O Allâh, send down Your Help!”
The Muslims return to the Battlefield, and Fighting intensifies
Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ ordered his uncle Al-‘Abbas teton – who was a loud-voiced man to call out to the followers. As loudly as he could, Al-‘Abbas shouted: “Where are the lancers?” “By Allâh.” Al-‘Abbas said, “Upon hearing my voice calling them back, they turned round to the battlefield as if they had been wild cows tending towards their calves.
“Here we are, at your service. Here we are, they said. They were trying to stop their camels and turn them around towards the battle. He who was unable to force his camel to turn back, would take his armor, fling it round his neck, and hastily dismount his camel with his weapon in hand letting his camel move freely and run. Voices would grow louder and louder till a hundred of them gathered round the Nabi Pakﷺ and resumed the fight.
Those who were called next were Al-Ansar, the Helpers, “O folks of Al-Ansar! O folks of Al-Ansar!”
The last group to be called were Bani Al-Harith bin Al-Khazraj. Muslim battalions poured successively into the battlefield in the same manner that they had left it. The stamina of both parties was superb. Both of them stood fast and fought fiercely. Allâh’s Messengerﷺ was eagerly watching the battle, he said:
“Now the fight has grown fierce.” Picking up a handful of earth, he hurled it at their faces while saying:
The Sealed Nectar
“May your faces be shameful.”
Their eyes were thick with dust and the enemy began to retreat in utter confusion.
Reverse of Fortunes and the Enemy’s utter Defeat
Only a few hours elapsed since the handful of dust was thrown at the enemy’s faces, and they were utterly defeated. About seventy men of Thaqif alone were killed, and the Muslims took all of their riding camels, weapons and cattle.
Allâh, Glorious is He, referred to this even when He said:
“… and on the Day of Hunain (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, , then you turned back in flight. Then Allâh did send down His Sakinah (calmness, tranquility, and reassurance, etc.) on the Messenger (Muhammad ) and on the believers, and sent down forces (angels) which you saw not, and punished the disbelievers. Such is the recompense of disbelievers.” (9:25, 26]
Hot Pursuit of the Enemy
After their defeat, some enemy troops headed for Ta’if, others to Nakhlah and Awtas. A group of Muslims headed by Abu ‘Amir AlAsh’ari tte, were dispatched to Awtas to chase the enemy, some clashes took place during which Abu ‘Amir tent was killed.
A similar battalion of horsemen pursued the idolaters who run towards Nakhlah and caught up with Duraid bin As-Simmah, who was killed by Rabi’ah bin Rafi’ ,
After collecting the booty, Allâh’s Messenger things left for Ta’if to