Martyrs of UHUD

The picture on the left is at the foot of Mount Uhud contains in the centre the graves of Hamza (r.a.), Abdullah bin Jahsh (r.a.) and Mus’ab bin Umair (r.a.) who were all martyred in the Battle of Uhud. The rest of the martyrs of Uhud are buried behind this enclosure.

The Ghazwah of Uhud was the second major battle between Muslims and non believers of Makkah and was fought in third year of hijrah.

The defeat in the Ghazwah of Badr was unexpected for the Non believers of Makkah and particularly the tribe of Quraish; it was a severe blow to their pride but even more important than that was their tradition of avenging their dead. According to their tradition, there could be no peace of heart until the dead were avenged. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, the leader of Quraish, had lost many dear ones in the Ghazwah of Badr, particularly by Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib(RA), uncle of our beloved Prophet (SAW), who was a remarkable huntsman and fighter.

She was burning in the fire of revenge. Once she saw a slave, Wehshi, displaying his amazing skills of javelin. She promised to set him free if he would kill Hamza (RA).

One day, our Prophet (SAW) got the news that an army of three thousand Non Believers had arrived near Madina. A call for Jihad was made. So eager were the Muslims to fight in the name of Allah, that they left their homes and businesses at once to join Our Prophet (SAW). The following incident clearly shows the spirits of Muslims. When at the end of battle, people found the body of Hanzlah bin Abu Amer (RA), they found water dripping from it. A messenger was sent to his widow and she confirmed that the newlywed Hanzlah was so eager to join the jihad that he did not even wait to perform Ghusl e Janabat. Our Prophet (SAW) said that that was the reason the angels were bathing him; thus he was given the name “Ghaseel e Malaikah”, one who was bathed by the angels.

An army of seven hundred Muslims reached the field of Uhud first. Our Prophet (SAW) positioned his army such that the mountain of Uhud was at their back. He appointed 50 archers with strict instructions not to leave their positions, no matter what and to guard the pass that went through the Mountain of Uhud.

The Muslims fought bravely and won the first phase of the battle. As the non believers fled away to save their lives, some archers left their positions thinking that the battle was over. Khalid bin Waleed (RA) who was still a non believer at that time, led a section of army through the pass of Uhud and attacked the Muslims. The other section of non believers saw the attack and returned to attack the Muslims from the front. Now the Muslim army was sandwiched between two sections of Non believer army and suffered heavy losses in the general mayhem and confusion. Wehshi did not fight anyone; just kept on looking for Hamza(RA). When he found him, according to his own words:

“I held my spear and balanced it well, and then I aimed it. It entered into his abdomen and went out the other side. I waited until he was dead, then I took my spear and went to wait in the camp. I had no quarrel with anyone. I killed him only to be set free.”

Much later when Wehshi embraced Islam, he was always in deep regret of the pain and sorrow he had caused our Prophet (SAW). He eventually came out of his deep regret and sorrow when he killed an imposter Musailmah, who had claimed to be a prophet in the time when Abu Bakr(RA) was the Caliph.

When Hind came to know that Hamza (RA) had been martyred, her joy knew no bounds. She cut his ears and nose and opened his chest; she chewed his liver. Our Prophet (SAW) loved his uncle Hamza(RA) very much and was deeply saddened by his Shahadah, but when he offered peace and pardon to all of the Makkans when the Muslims conquered Makkah, his pardon and peace was for Hind, too. She was deeply moved by this gesture and embraced Islam.

Mus’ab bin Umair was the flag bearer of the Muslims. In those times, the position of the flag bearer was very important one. If the enemy was able to let the bearer drop the flag, the army thought that it had faced defeat and was demoralized. For the same purpose, a non believer attacked Mus’ab and cut his arm with his sword. Mus’ab caught the flag with the other arm but did not let it fall. The enemy cut the other arm, too but Mus’ab clung to the flag with the left-over parts of his arms. The enemy then pushed the sword through him to kill him but before the flag could touch the ground, another Muslim caught it and became the flag bearer.

When the battle was finally over, the Muslims collected their dead and injured. They were 70 martyrs and shroud was not available for all of them. The Prophet (SAW) asked them to be buried without the Ghusl as is the custom for the Shaheed. Sometimes two or three martyrs were buried in a single grave. Mus’ab bin Umair was a tall person but the shroud was small. Either his feet or head remained uncovered. Our Prophet (SAW) ordered his head to be covered with shroud, while his feet with the grass of Azkhar.

The graves of Martyrs of Uhud were marked with buildings and tombs that were demolished in the 1970s in accordance with Islamic rules and teachings. Now only an enclosure with unmarked graves of Hamza (RA), Mus’ab bin Umair (RA) and Abdullah bin Jahsh(RA) remains. The rest of the graves of the martyrs of Uhud are behind the enclosure. It is a Sunnah to visit the graves of Uhud and pray for them but it should not include any bid’ah or unIslamic ritual.